On the Need for a Classification System for Consistent Characterization of the Composition of Planetary Bodies

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021

David G. Russell

A classification system is presented for characterizing the composition of planetary bodies. Mass-radius and mass-density relationships indicate planets may be broadly grouped into Gas Giant, Rock-Ice Giant, and Terrestrial composition classes based upon the mass fraction of H-He gas. For each of these broad composition classes, specific bulk composition classes are defined and characterized with composition codes that describe the rock, ice, and gas fractions. The classification system allows for both general and detailed characterization of exoplanets based upon planetary mass-radius-composition models and rationale for distinguishing gas-rich super-Earths from mini-Neptunes. Finally, the bulk composition classes combined with planetary mass ranges allow for alignment of Solar System analog names to more accurately characterize individual exoplanets.

Comments: 28 pages including 2 figures, 5 tables, and Appendix. Revised version. Comments welcome

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:2108.03343 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2108.03343v2 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: David Russell Mr.

[v1] Sat, 7 Aug 2021 01:39:10 UTC (479 KB)

[v2] Wed, 10 Nov 2021 18:28:18 UTC (855 KB)

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