Thermal Phase Curves of XO-3b: An Eccentric Hot Jupiter at the Deuterium Burning Limit

Lisa Dang, Taylor J. Bell, Nicolas B. Cowan, Daniel Thorngren, Tiffany Kataria, Heather A. Knutson, Nikole K. Lewis, Keivan G. Stassun, Jonathan J. Fortney, Eric Agol, Gregory P. Laughlin, Adam Burrows, Karen A. Collins, Drake Deming, Diana Jovmir, Jonathan Langton, Sara Rastegar, Adam P. Showman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We report Spitzer full-orbit phase observations of the eccentric hot Jupiter XO-3b at 3.6 and 4.5 μm. Our new eclipse depth measurements of 1770 180 ppm at 3.6 μm and 1610 70 ppm at 4.5 μm show no evidence of the previously reported dayside temperature inversion. We also empirically derive the mass and radius of XO-3b and its host star using Gaia DR3's parallax measurement and find a planetary mass M p = 11.79 0.98 M Jup and radius R p = 1.295 0.066 R Jup. We compare our Spitzer observations with multiple atmospheric models to constrain the radiative and advective properties of XO-3b. While the decorrelated 4.5 μm observations are pristine, the 3.6 μm phase curve remains polluted with detector systematics due to larger amplitude intrapixel sensitivity variations in this channel. We focus our analysis on the more reliable 4.5 μm phase curve and fit an energy balance model with solid body rotation to estimate the zonal wind speed and the pressure of the bottom of the mixed layer. Our energy balance model fit suggests an eastward equatorial wind speed of 3.13}_{-0.83+0.26 km s-1, an atmospheric mixed layer down to 2.40}_{-0.16+0.92 bars, and a Bond albedo of 0.106-0.106+0.008. We assume that the wind speed and mixed layer depth are constant throughout the orbit. We compare our observations with 1D planet-averaged model predictions at apoapse and periapse and 3D general circulation model predictions for XO-3b. We also investigate the inflated radius of XO-3b and find that it would require an unusually large amount of internal heating to explain the observed planetary radius.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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