Outstanding Challenges of Exoplanet Atmospheric Retrievals


Strong superrotation on hot Jupiters, coupled with extreme irradiation, results in significant variation in temperature around the terminator region as observed in transit, and an asymmetric pattern on variation on the dayside as observed in eclipse

Spectral retrieval has long been a powerful tool for interpreting planetary remote sensing observations. Flexible, parameterised, agnostic models are coupled with inversion algorithms in order to infer atmospheric properties directly from observations, with minimal reliance on physical assumptions.

This approach, originally developed for application to Earth satellite data and subsequently observations of other Solar System planets, has been recently and successfully applied to transit, eclipse and phase curve spectra of transiting exoplanets. In this review, we present the current state-of-the-art in terms of our ability to accurately retrieve information about atmospheric chemistry, temperature, clouds and spatial variability; we discuss the limitations of this, both in the available data and modelling strategies used; and we recommend approaches for future improvement.

Joanna K. Barstow, Kevin Heng
(Submitted on 31 Mar 2020)
Comments: 30 pages, 6 figures. Accepted by Space Science Reviews
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:2003.14311 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2003.14311v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Joanna Barstow (Eberhardt) Dr
[v1] Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:47:54 UTC (810 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/2003.14311
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