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Direct imaging of exoplanets: why is it important to know the planet radius

Carrión González, Oscar and Garcia Munoz, A. and Cabrera Perez, Juan and Csizmadia, Szilard and Santos, N. C. and Rauer, H (2020) Direct imaging of exoplanets: why is it important to know the planet radius. Exoplanets III, 27.-31. Juli 2020, online.

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Abstract

Upcoming space missions such as WFIRST and concepts like LUVOIR or HabEx will measure the starlight reflected from cold and temperate exoplanets by direct imaging. Reflected starlight is sensitive to atmospheric depths that cannot be probed in transit and provides a means for investigating non-transiting exoplanets. Directly imaged exoplanets observed in reflected starlight represents the next frontier in exoplanet atmospheres characterization. Thus, the theory for planning and interpreting future observations and the physics behind them is now in development. The goal of this work is to understand what information can be extracted from direct imaging observations of exoplanets in reflected starlight and how robust these conclusions are. Particularly, we focus on Barnard's Star b, a planet candidate announced in 2018 from the analysis of 20 years of radial velocity data of this M dwarf, the second nearest stellar system (d=5.96 ly) after alpha Centauri. Due to its proximity and given its mass and orbital distance (M·sini=3.23MEarth a=0.4 AU) this planetary system is currently one of the most promising targets for the aforementioned direct imaging missions. We simulated direct-imaging observations and performed retrievals to constrain the atmospheric properties of the exoplanet. With that, we studied how degeneracies between model parameters affect the results of the retrieval. Moreover, we analyzed how these results change when the planetary radius is unknown. This will be the case for a majority of the future directly imaged exoplanets and will substantially modify the conclusions of the characterization.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/137431/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:Direct imaging of exoplanets: why is it important to know the planet radius
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Carrión González, OscarTU BerlinUNSPECIFIED
Garcia Munoz, A.Zentrum fuer Astronomie und Astrophysik, Technische Universitaet Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Cabrera Perez, JuanJuan.Cabrera (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6653-5487
Csizmadia, Szilardszilard.csizmadia (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Santos, N. C.Instituto de Astrofisica e Ciencias do Espaco, Universidade do Porto, CAUP, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal; Departamento de Fisica e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade do Porto, Rua Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, PortugalUNSPECIFIED
Rauer, Hheike.rauer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:July 2020
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:exoplanets, direct imaging
Event Title:Exoplanets III
Event Location:online
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:27.-31. Juli 2020
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project PLATO (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres
Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: Cabrera Perez, Juan
Deposited On:12 Nov 2020 08:53
Last Modified:12 Nov 2020 08:53

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