We have created a general methodology for calculating the wavelength-dependent light curves of close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) as they traverse their orbits. Focusing on the transiting EGPs HD 18973 3b, TrES-1, and HD 209458h, we calculate planet/star flux ratios during secondary eclipse and compare them with the Spitzer data points obtained so far in the mid-infrared. We introduce a simple parameterization for the redistribution of heat to the planet's night side, derive constraints on this parameter (P n), and provide a general set of predictions for planet/star contrast ratios as a function of wavelength, model, and phase. Moreover, we calculate average dayside and nightside atmospheric temperature/pressure profiles for each transiting planet/Pn pair with which existing and anticipated Spitzer data can be used to probe the atmospheric thermal structure of severely irradiated EGPs. We find that the baseline models do a good job of fitting the current secondary eclipse data set, but that the Spitzer error bars are not yet small enough to discriminate cleanly among all the various possibilities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Planetary systems
- Planets and satellites: general
- Stars: individual (TrES-1, HD 209458, HD 189733)