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Exoplanet Hazes and their Interactions with Liquid Surface Water

Presentation #223.07 in the session Exoplanet Atmospheres (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Exoplanet Hazes and their Interactions with Liquid Surface Water

Recent exoplanet observations reveal hazy atmospheres, coming as no surprise due to the prevalence of photochemical hazes in our Solar System on bodies like Titan. Photolysis of Titan’s N2-CH4 atmosphere produces complex organic aerosols that influence atmospheric composition as well as supply material to the surface. Haze interaction with liquid surface water, made possible by cryovolcanism or impacts on the water ice shell, creates complex biological molecules like amino acids thanks to available oxygen in water and mixtures with silicates and salts. As we observe haze on exoplanets, it is expected that these particles similarly fall out onto the surface and, particularly on planets with water-rich atmospheres, react with liquid water. Here, we perform a series of hydrolysis experiments on laboratory simulated hazes in Titan’s atmosphere and water-rich exoplanet atmospheres. Titan haze analogs are formed through N2-CH4 photolysis, and water-rich exoplanet haze analogs are formed through photolysis of gases at 1000x solar metallicity. We obtain the optical constants and compositions of these hydrolyzed haze analogs, informing future observation analyses and uncovering atmosphere-surface interactions.

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