Astronomy & Telescopes

The ARCiS framework For Exoplanet Atmospheres: Modelling Philosophy and Retrieval

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
June 25, 2020
Filed under
The ARCiS framework For Exoplanet Atmospheres: Modelling Philosophy and Retrieval
Schematic layout of the modelling chain.

Aims: ARCiS, a novel code for the analysis of exoplanet transmission and emission spectra is presented. The aim of the modelling framework is to provide a tool able to link observations to physical models of exoplanet atmospheres.

Methods: The modelling philosophy chosen in this paper is to use physical and chemical models to constrain certain parameters while keeping free the parts where our physical understanding is still more limited. This approach, in between full physical modelling and full parameterisation, allows us to use the processes we understand well and parameterise those less understood. A Bayesian retrieval framework is implemented and applied to the transit spectra of a set of 10 hot Jupiters. The code contains chemistry and cloud formation and has the option for self consistent temperature structure computations. Results: The code presented is fast and flexible enough to be used for retrieval and for target list simulations for e.g. JWST or the ESA Ariel missions. We present results for the retrieval of elemental abundance ratios using the physical retrieval framework and compare this to results obtained using a parameterised retrieval setup.

Conclusions: We conclude that for most of the targets considered the current dataset is not constraining enough to reliably pin down the elemental abundance ratios. We find no significant correlations between different physical parameters. We confirm that planets in our sample with a strong slope in the optical transmission spectrum are the planets where we find cloud formation to be most active. Finally, we conclude that with ARCiS we have a computationally efficient tool to analyse exoplanet observations in the context of physical and chemical models.

Michiel Min, Chris W. Ormel, Katy Chubb, Christiane Helling, Yui Kawashima
Comments: Accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2006.12821 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2006.12821v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Michiel Min
[v1] Tue, 23 Jun 2020 08:26:31 UTC (2,459 KB)
Astrobiology, Astrochemistry

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) 🖖🏻