Document Type

Honors Paper

Publication Date

Spring 4-30-2008


Exoplanets, or planets orbiting stars other than our Sun, are difficult to detect. It is even more difficult to determine their properties. In this thesis I focus on HAT-P-1b, which is a ¨Dhot Jupiter¡¬ ¨C a gas giant, extremely close to its parent star. It is important for this thesis that HAT-P-1b is also a transiting exoplanet, i.e., it periodically passes directly in front of, or behind, its parent star, which gives scientists unique opportunities to determine its physical properties, to measure its temperature and to study its atmosphere¡¯s chemical properties. The purpose of this thesis is to measure the brightness temperature of the transiting exoplanet HAT-P-1b. The observations used were made with the Spitzer Space Telescope through a filter with center wavelength of 8.0¦Ìm, which covered a secondary eclipse of the planetary system, i.e., when the planet is behind its parent star, ADS 16402B. We created a light curve for the system, detected the eclipse and fitted a model eclipse curve in the data. From the eclipse depth I determined HAT-P-1b¡¯s flux. Knowing the planet¡¯s distance from ADS 16402B and the masses and radii of the star and the planet, I estimated the brightness temperature of the planet. My calculated result is 1300¡À170K. Future research will involve similar measurements in three additional wavebands, which will provide information about the chemical and thermal structure of HAT-P-1b¡¯s atmosphere.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.