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Ultraviolet Spectropolarimetry as a Tool for Understanding the Diversity of Exoplanetary Atmospheres

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2019

L. Fossati, L. Rossi, D. Stam, A. García Muñoz, J. Berzosa-Molina, P. M. Arenal, J. Caballero, J. Cabrera, A. Chiavassa, J.-M. Desert, M. Godolt, L. Grenfell, C. Haswell, P. Kabath, K. Kislyakova, A. Lanza, A. Lecavelier des Etangs, M. Lendl, E. Pallé, H. Rauer, S. Rugheimer, A. Vidotto
(Submitted on 14 Mar 2019)
The polarization state of starlight reflected by a planetary atmosphere uniquely reveals coverage, particle size, and composition of aerosols as well as changing cloud patterns. It is not possible to obtain a comparable level of detailed from flux-only observations. Furthermore, polarization observations can probe the atmosphere of planets independently of the orbital geometry (i.e., transiting and non-transiting planets). We show that a high-resolution spectropolarimeter with a broad wavelength coverage, particularly if attached to a large space telescope, would enable simultaneous study of the polarimetric exoplanet properties of the continuum and to look for and characterize the polarimetric signal due to scattering from single molecules.
Comments:    White paper submitted for Astro2020 Decadal Survey. 7 pages, 4 figures
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as:    arXiv:1903.05834 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1903.05834v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Luca Fossati
[v1] Thu, 14 Mar 2019 06:53:35 UTC (629 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.05834

Astrobiology

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