Presentation #115.02 in the session “Extrasolar Planets”.
Exoplanet heat mapping employs photometric data to describe the temperature distribution of exoplanet atmospheres or surfaces. There are a variety of methods in use to describe said distributions, including treating the planet as if it had just two temperature zones, a hot dayside and cooler nightside. In addition, one could model the temperature distribution as a set of slices, like those of a beach ball. I am employing a new method of characterizing the thermal emissions of exoplanets by considering N-temperature zones which make up a series of concentric rings centered along the line connecting the center of the exoplanet to that of its host star. The rings will be treated as individual blackbodies of constant temperature with the hottest zone closest to the host star. The goal is to reflect the temperature gradient of the exoplanet more accurately as compared to the coarser dayside/nightside model. A comparison will be made between the N-zone model and the dayside/nightside model on both synthetic and real exoplanet data using EXONEST, a Bayesian inference software package for model testing exoplanet photometric data. In addition, ongoing work includes comparing the N-zone model to the orange slice model. Finally, the requirements for differentiating between the three models will be explored.