Detection of a temperature inversion in the broadband infrared emission spectrum of TrES-4

Heather A. Knutson, David Charbonneau, Adam S. Burrows, Francis T. O'Donovan, Georgi Mandushev

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We estimate the strength of the bandpass-integrated thermal emission from the extrasolar planet TrES-4 at 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0 μ using the Infrared Array Camera on the Spitzer Space Telescope. We find relative eclipse depths of 0.137% ± 0.011%, 0.148% ± 0.016%, 0.261% ± 0.059%, and 0.318% ± 0.044% in these four bandpasses, respectively. We also place a 2σ upper limit of 0.37% on the depth of the secondary eclipse in the 16 μ IRS peak-up array. These eclipse depths reveal that TrES-4 has an emission spectrum similar to that of HD 209458b, which requires the presence of water emission bands created by a thermal inversion layer high in the atmosphere in order to explain the observed features. TrES-4 receives more radiation from its star than HD 209458b and has a correspondingly higher effective temperature, therefore the presence of a temperature inversion in this planet's atmosphere lends support to the idea that inversions might be correlated with the irradiance received by the planet. We find no evidence for any offset in the timing of the secondary eclipse, and place a 3σ upper limit of |ecos(ω)| < 0.0058, where e is the planet's orbital eccentricity and ω is the argument of pericenter. From this we conclude that tidal heating from ongoing orbital circularization is unlikely to be the explanation for TrES-4's inflated radius.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-874
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • eclipses
  • planetary systems
  • stars: individual: (TrES-4)
  • techniques: photometric


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