WASP-80b has a dayside within the T-dwarf range

Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, Michael Gillon, David Ehrenreich, Enrique Herrero, Monika Lendl, David R. Anderson, Andrew Collier Cameron, Laetitia Delrez, Brice-Olivier Demory, Coel Hellier, Keving Heng, Emmanuel Jehin, Pierre F. L. Maxted, Don Pollacco, Didier Queloz, Ignasi Ribas, Barry Smalley, Alexis Michael Sheridan Smith, Stephane Udry

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WASP-80b is a missing link in the study of exo-atmospheres. It falls between the warm Neptunes and the hot Jupiters and is amenable for characterisation, thanks to its host star's properties. We observed the planet through transit and during occultation with Warm Spitzer. Combining our mid-infrared transits with optical time series, we find that the planet presents a transmission spectrum indistinguishable from a horizontal line. In emission, WASP-80b is the intrinsically faintest planet whose dayside flux has been detected in both the 3.6 and 4.5 $\mu$m Spitzer channels. The depths of the occultations reveal that WASP-80b is as bright and as red as a T4 dwarf, but that its temperature is cooler. If planets go through the equivalent of an L-T transition, our results would imply this happens at cooler temperatures than for brown dwarfs. Placing WASP-80b's dayside into a colour-magnitude diagram, it falls exactly at the junction between a blackbody model and the T-dwarf sequence; we cannot discern which of those two interpretations is the more likely. Flux measurements on other planets with similar equilibrium temperatures are required to establish whether irradiated gas giants, like brown dwarfs, transition between two spectral classes. An eventual detection of methane absorption in transmission would also help lift that degeneracy. We obtained a second series of high-resolution spectra during transit, using HARPS. We reanalyse the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. The data now favour an aligned orbital solution and a stellar rotation nearly three times slower than stellar line broadening implies. A contribution to stellar line broadening, maybe macroturbulence, is likely to have been underestimated for cool stars, whose rotations have therefore been systematically overestimated. [abridged]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2279-2290
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date6 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • Planets and satellites: atmospheres
  • Planets and satellites: individual: WASP-80b
  • Binaries: eclipsing
  • Brown dwarfs
  • Hertzsprung–Russell and colour–magnitude diagrams
  • Stars: late-type


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