High resolution NIR spectroscopy offers an excellent complement to the expanding dataset of transit and secondary eclipse observations of exo-planets with Spitzer that have provided the bulk of our understanding of the atmospheres and internal structure of these objects. High-resolution data can quantify the vertical temperature structure by isolating specific spectral lines formed at various depths. The presence of an opaque absorbing layer can also be inferred - and its pressure level determined quantitatively - via its effect on spectral line intensities.
We have analyzed data for a single secondary eclipse of the bright transiting exo-planet host star HD189733 at L-band wavelengths (3–4 μm) using the NIRSPEC instrument on Keck-II. We utilize a sophisticated first-order telluric absorption modeling technique that, combined with a calibration star, has already been proven to remove the effects of varying atmospheric transmittance and allow us to reach unprecedented S/N. We are conducting validation of the final data reduction products and developing high-resolution atmospheric models for comparison, but we have already been able to rule out emission from methane as reported by Swain et al. (2010). We present preliminary results and discuss future plans for analysis and observations.