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K2-22b: A Rocky World Inside Out

Presentation #625.24 in the session Planetary Atmospheres - Terrestrial Planets and Mini-Neptunes.

Published onApr 03, 2024
K2-22b: A Rocky World Inside Out

The disintegrating ultra-short period exoplanet K2-22b offers an opportunity to probe the interior composition of a rocky exoplanet around a main sequence star for the first time, via the transmission spectrum of the evaporating dust obtained with MIRI LRS slitless spectroscopy on JWST. By comparing the transit transmission spectra to detailed extinction and scattering models, this program aims to determine the mineralogical make-up of the dust outflowing from K2-22b, and therefore the composition of the planet’s interior. The relative mineralogical abundances in the dust will provide insight into whether it is crustal, mantle or core material that is evaporating. Assuming mantle material is evaporating, these observations will determine the Mg/Si and Fe/Si ratios of the planet — which drives important questions of interior dynamics and habitability. These observations, scheduled for spring 2024, will be complimented with simultaneous optical data that will enable the breaking of degeneracies in the mineralogical models. We present here the methods we will use and simulations we have run for the anticipated data output of this upcoming program.

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