Extrasolar Planets

An Informational Approach to Exoplanet Characterization

By Keith Cowing
June 29, 2022
Filed under
An Informational Approach to Exoplanet Characterization
Violin plot showing the DJS distributions comparing the simulated super Earths to Earth (left), to Jupiter (center), and to a Jupiter-clone with the temperature raised to 1200K (right). The width of the violin plot reads like a histogram, indicating the distribution of planets clustered around the mean DJS value. The DJS from observed exoplanets are labeled with colored shapes; remaining points in the DJS distribution are from four exoplanet simulations. Physical parameters for the exoplanets are listed in Table 1.

The atmospheres of exoplanets harbor critical information about their habitability. However, extracting and interpreting that information requires both high-quality spectroscopic data and a comparative analysis to characterize the findings.

Looking forward to data availability, we propose a novel, assumption-free approach adapting the Jensen-Shannon divergence (JS) information measure to identify Earth-like planets through their transmission spectra. We apply this method to simulated Earth-like and Jupiter-like planets, including high-interest observed exoplanets such as Trappist-1e and GJ 667 Cc, and demonstrate that JS can discriminate between different planet types. We argue that this method can be used to identify habitable and even inhabited planets as more precise transit spectroscopy data becomes available in the coming years.

Sara Vannah, Ian D. Stiehl, Marcelo Gleiser

Comments: 10 pages, 3 figures. Submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2206.13344 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2206.13344v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Sara Vannah
[v1] Mon, 27 Jun 2022 14:46:52 UTC (230 KB)

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