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Impact of Atmospheric Photochemistry on Circumbinary Exoplanets

Presentation #403.01 in the session “Exoplanets and Systems: Terrestrial Planet Atmospheres 1”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
Impact of Atmospheric Photochemistry on Circumbinary Exoplanets

Despite their prevalence, circumbinary planets are often overlooked in the search for life beyond the Earth, primarily due to the unique challenges in supporting life due to the constantly changing insolation in these systems. However, recent studies using 1D and 3D climate models have shown that these time dependent fluctuations are not as detrimental to life as previously thought, and that stable atmospheric conditions can exist for circumbinary planets. However, the role of photochemistry in systems with continually differing radiative intensities and peak types has not been fully explored. Here we present validation of a new one-dimensional time-dependent photochemical climate model of a circumbinary system as well as results showing the impact of atmospheric photochemistry on surface parameters. We find that, similarly to recent circumbinary climate studies, atmospheric photochemistry is not significantly impacted by the addition of a secondary star, even with maximal flux variations. This result further supports the idea of habitable circumbinary planets which significantly expands the number of systems which can be searched for life.

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