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L. E. Allen (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), D. Charbonneau (Harvard University)
In late 2004 the Spitzer Space Telescope made the first direct detection of thermal emission from an extrasolar planet, with the observations of two transiting planetary systems, HD 209458 and TrES-1. Since then, additional observations in complementary bandpasses have been obtained for both planets and at least one other system, HD 149026, has been observed. We will review all of the Spitzer results to date.
By measuring planetary fluxes in the IRAC and MIPS bands (3.6, 4.5, 5.8, 8.0 and 24 \mum), we can directly constrain models of planetary emission, in turn identifying the dominant molecules in their atmospheres. Overall flux levels constrain the planetary albedos, which affect the atmospheric temperature and pressure profiles of these strongly irradiated planets. Spitzer observations may also provide important clues as to the observed disparity in the radii of hot Jupiters despite their similar masses and proximities to their stars (0.73 to 1.35 RJup).
This work is based [in part] on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.