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MAESTRO: Building access and community standards for opacity data at the onset of next-generation atmosphere observations

Presentation #102.371 in the session Poster Session.

Published onJun 20, 2022
MAESTRO: Building access and community standards for opacity data at the onset of next-generation atmosphere observations

The characterization of a diverse set of exoplanet atmosphere observations, ranging from hot gas giants to small temperate rocky worlds, will be one of the legacies of upcoming facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Our understanding and interpretation of such observations will hinge on our ability to link observations with atmospheric theoretical studies that critically rely on fundamental molecular and atomic opacities. Computing such opacities is a highly inaccessible process which requires several terabytes of available disk space, hours of CPU time per pressure-temperature combination, and requires users to carefully aggregate line lists data from various sources. Ultimately, this limits access to data and model intercomparison studies within the exoplanet community. To interpret next generation exoplanet observations successfully and robustly, the community needs access to validated & up-to-date opacities. This was the motivation for the MAESTRO (Molecules and Atoms in Exoplanet Science: Tools and Resources for Opacities) database, a new NASA-supported opacity service that can be accessed by the community via a web interface and python API. We will present MAESTRO and discuss the outcome of a three-year collaboration to develop community standards in computing opacities. This is timely because subtle choices in opacity computations lead to model inconsistencies in the analysis of both high-resolution (R>10,000) and low resolution (JWST-like) observations. Our team reflects a diversity in expertise: the maintainers of ExoMol, HITRAN/HITEMP, and various exoplanet and stellar atmosphere models. Scheduled for release in 2022, MAESTRO will prove to be an invaluable community resource in the era of JWST and beyond.

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