Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union

Contributed Papers

Spectrum and atmosphere models of irradiated transiting giant planets

Ivan Hubenya1 and Adam Burrowsa2

a1 Steward Observatory and Dept. of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA email:

a2 Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Peyton Hall, Princeton, NJ 0854, USA email:


We show that a consistent fit to observed secondary eclipse data for several strongly irradiated transiting planets demands a temperature inversion (stratosphere) at altitude. Such a thermal inversion significantly influences the planet/star contrast ratios at the secondary eclipse, their wavelength dependences, and, importantly, the day-night flux contrast during a planetary orbit. The presence of the thermal inversion/stratosphere seems to roughly correlate with the stellar flux at the planet. Such temperature inversions might be caused by an upper-atmosphere absorber whose exact nature is still uncertain.