Cloud Atlas: High-precision HST/WFC3/IR Time-resolved Observations of Directly Imaged Exoplanet HD 106906b

April 2020 • 2020AJ....159..140Z

Authors • Zhou, Yifan • Apai, Dániel • Bedin, Luigi R. • Lew, Ben W. P. • Schneider, Glenn • Burgasser, Adam J. • Manjavacas, Elena • Karalidi, Theodora • Metchev, Stanimir • Miles-Páez, Paulo A. • Cowan, Nicolas B. • Lowrance, Patrick J. • Radigan, Jacqueline

Abstract • HD 106906b is an $\sim 11{M}_{\mathrm{Jup}}, ∼15 Myr old directly imaged exoplanet orbiting at an extremely large distance from its host star. The wide separation (7"11) between HD 106906b and its host star greatly reduces the difficulty in direct-imaging observations, making it one of the most favorable directly imaged exoplanets for detailed characterization. In this paper, we present HST/WFC3/IR time-resolved observations of HD 106906b in the F127M, F139M, and F153M bands. We have achieved ∼1% precision in the lightcurves in all three bands. The F127M lightcurve demonstrates marginally detectable (2.7σ significance) variability with a best-fitting period of 4 hr, while the lightcurves in the other two bands are consistent with flat lines. We construct primary-subtracted deep images and use these images to exclude additional companions to HD 106906 that are more massive than 4 ${M}_{\mathrm{Jup}} and locate at projected distances of more than ∼500 au. We measure the astrometry of HD 106906b in two HST/WFC3 epochs and achieve precisions better than 2.5 mas. The position angle and separation measurements do not deviate from those in the 2004 HST/ACS/HRC images for more than 1σ uncertainty. We provide the HST/WFC3 astrometric results for 25 background stars that can be used as reference sources in future precision astrometry studies. Our observations also provide the first 1.4 μm water band photometric measurement for HD 106906b. HD 106906b's spectral energy distribution and the best-fitting BT-Settl model have an inconsistency in the 1.4 μm water absorption band, which highlights the challenges in modeling atmospheres of young planetary-mass objects.


IPAC Authors


Patrick Lowrance

Senior Scientist