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Revisiting the Iconic Spitzer Phase Curve of 55 Cancri e: Not So Strange After All?

Presentation #403.05 in the session Exoplanet Transits — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Revisiting the Iconic Spitzer Phase Curve of 55 Cancri e: Not So Strange After All?

Thermal phase curves of short-period planets provide the best constraints on the atmospheric dynamics and heat transport in exoplanet atmospheres. The published Spitzer phase curve of 55 Cancri e, an ultra-short period super-Earth, exhibits a large hot spot offset, suggesting significant eastward heat recirculation, unexpected on such a hot planet. We present our re-reduction and analysis of these iconic observations using the open source and modular Spitzer Phase Curve Analysis Pipeline (SPCA). In particular, we attempt to reproduce the published analysis using bi-linear interpolation, but also test alternative instrument detrending schemes. We study how the retrieved dayside temperature, nightside temperature, and longitudinal offset of the planet’s hotspot depend on the reduction and detrending. Our re-analysis suggests that 55 Cancri e may have a negligible hot spot offset of 14 ± 10 degrees west, as expected from theoretical considerations and consistent with other ultra-short-period planets. We also report an eclipse depth of 195 ± 24 p.p.m., a phase semi-amplitude of 95 ± 13 p.p.m., a dayside brightness temperature of 3767 ± 424 K and a nightside brightness temperature of 1033 ± 253 K.

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