Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Using Deep Space Climate Observatory Measurements to Study the Earth as An Exoplanet

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
May 15, 2018
Filed under
Using Deep Space Climate Observatory Measurements to Study the Earth as An Exoplanet
Earth as seen by DSCOVR

Even though it was not designed as an exoplanetary research mission, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has been opportunistically used for a novel experiment, in which Earth serves as a proxy exoplanet.

More than two years of DSCOVR Earth images were employed to produce time series of multi-wavelength, single-point light sources, in order to extract information on planetary rotation, cloud patterns, surface type, and orbit around the Sun. In what follows, we assume that these properties of the Earth are unknown, and instead attempt to derive them from first principles. These conclusions are then compared with known data about our planet.

We also used the DSCOVR data to simulate phase angle changes, as well as the minimum data collection rate needed to determine the rotation period of an exoplanet. This innovative method of using the time evolution of a multi-wavelength, reflected single-point light source, can be deployed for retrieving a range of intrinsic properties of an exoplanet around a distant star.

Jonathan H. Jiang, Albert J. Zhai, Jay Herman, Chengxing Zhai, Renyu Hu, Hui Su, Vijay Natraj, Jiazheng Li, Feng Xu, Yuk L.Yung
(Submitted on 15 May 2018)

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1805.05834 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1805.05834v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Jonathan Jiang
[v1] Tue, 15 May 2018 15:09:03 GMT (3831kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻