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Weaver, I. C., Lopez-Morales, M., Alam, M. K., Espinoza, N., Rackham, B. V., Goyal, J. M., et al. (2021). ACCESS: An Optical Transmission Spectrum of the High-gravity Hot Jupiter HAT-P-23b. Astron. J., 161(6), 278.
Abstract: We present a new ground-based visible transmission spectrum of the high-gravity, hot Jupiter HAT-P-23b, obtained as part of the ACCESS project. We derive the spectrum from five transits observed between 2016 and 2018, with combined wavelength coverage between 5200 angstrom and 9269 angstrom in 200 angstrom bins, and with a median precision of 247 ppm per bin. HAT-P-23b's relatively high surface gravity (g approximate to 30 m s(-2)), combined with updated stellar and planetary parameters from Gaia DR2, gives a five-scale-height signal of 384 ppm for a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere. Bayesian models favor a clear atmosphere for the planet with the tentative presence of TiO, after simultaneously modeling stellar contamination, using spots parameter constraints from photometry. If confirmed, HAT-P-23b would be the first example of a high-gravity gas giant with a clear atmosphere observed in transmission at optical/near-IR wavelengths; therefore, we recommend expanding observations to the UV and IR to confirm our results and further characterize this planet. This result demonstrates how combining transmission spectroscopy of exoplanet atmospheres with long-term photometric monitoring of the host stars can help disentangle the exoplanet and stellar activity signals.