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Spectroscopy data for exoplanet characterization from laboratory theory and experiment

Presentation #401.01 in the session Plenary 6.

Published onJun 20, 2022
Spectroscopy data for exoplanet characterization from laboratory theory and experiment

The characterization of exoplanets requires the use of subtle techniques to obtain spectra of the planetary atmosphere. Interpretation these spectra rests on using spectroscopic data generated in the laboratory. The wide range of conditions and species found on exoplanets has drive a huge increase in demand for laboratory spectroscopic data. These demands are being met by a combination of novel laboratory experiments and the application of theoretical methods. In practice most solutions combine the best elements of both approaches. For example the ExoMol project which I lead uses computational approaches based on accurate solution of the quantum-mechanical Schrodinger equation for molecules of interest. However the spectroscopic models constructed are heavily informed by available laboratory measurements.

The presentation will outline spectroscopic needs for exoplanet characterization in terms of species, characteristics of the planet (notably temperature) and observational technique used. In particular, the data requirements for interpreting transit spectra, cross correlation observations and spectra of directly imaged exoplanets differ significantly in terms of the requirement for completeness (essential for transit spectra) versus accuracy (vital for successful cross correlation observations). The current status of these data will be summarized and prospects for the future discussed.

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