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Detection of oxygen and carbon in the hydrodynamically escaping atmosphere of the extrasolar planet HD209458b

Detection of oxygen and carbon in the hydrodynamically escaping atmosphere of the extrasolar planet HD209458b

Publication date: 02 February 2004

Authors: A. Vidal-Madjar et al.

Journal: ApJ Letters
Volume: TBC
Issue: TBC
Page: TBC
Year: 2004

Four transits of the planet orbiting the star HD209458 were observed with the STIS spectrograph on board HST. The wavelength domain (1180-1710A) includes HI as well as CI, CII, CIV, NV, OI, SI, SiII, SiIII and SiIV lines. During the transits, absorptions are detected in HI, OI and CII (5+/-2%, 13+/-4.5% and 7.5+/-3.5%, respectively). No absorptions are detected for other lines. The 5% mean absorption over the whole HI Lyman alpha line is consistent with the previous detection at higher resolution (Vidal-Madjar et al. 2003). The absorption depths in OI and CII show that oxygen and carbon are present in the extended upper atmosphere of HD209458b. These species must be carried out up to the Roche lobe and beyond, most likely in a state of hydrodynamic escape.

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