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Exoplanet atmospheres with EChO: spectral retrievals using EChOSim

By Joanna K. Barstow, Neil E. Bowles, Suzanne Aigrain, Leigh N. Fletcher, Patrick G. J. Irwin, Ryan Varley and Enzo Pascale

Abstract

We demonstrate the effectiveness of the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory mission concept for constraining the atmospheric properties of hot and warm gas giants and super Earths. Synthetic primary and secondary transit spectra for a range of planets are passed through EChOSim [13] to obtain the expected level of noise for different observational scenarios; these are then used as inputs for the NEMESIS atmospheric retrieval code and the retrieved atmospheric properties (temperature structure, composition and cloud properties) compared with the known input values, following the method of [1]. To correctly retrieve the temperature structure and composition of the atmosphere to within 2 σ, we find that we require: a single transit or eclipse of a hot Jupiter orbiting a sun-like (G2) star at 35 pc to constrain the terminator and dayside atmospheres; 20 transits or eclipses of a warm Jupiter orbiting a similar star; 10 transits/eclipses of a hot Neptune orbiting an M dwarf at 6 pc; and 30 transits or eclipses of a GJ1214b-like planet

Topics: QB Astronomy
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s10686-014-9397-y
OAI identifier: oai:http://orca.cf.ac.uk:76466
Provided by: ORCA
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