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τ-REx. II. Retrieval of emission spectra

Waldmann, IP; Rocchetto, M; Tinetti, G; Barton, EJ; Yurchenko, SN; Tennyson, J; (2015) τ-REx. II. Retrieval of emission spectra. The Astrophysical Journal , 813 (1) , Article 13. 10.1088/0004-637X/813/1/13. Green open access

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Abstract

τ-REx (Tau Retrieval of Exoplanets) is a novel, fully Bayesian atmospheric retrieval code custom built for extrasolar atmospheres. In Waldmann et al., the transmission spectroscopic case was introduced, and here we present the emission spectroscopy spectral retrieval for the τ-REx framework. Compared to transmission spectroscopy, the emission case is often significantly more degenerate due to the need to retrieve the full atmospheric temperature–pressure (TP) profile. This is particularly true in the case of current measurements of exoplanetary atmospheres, which are either of low signal-to-noise, low spectral resolution, or both. We present a new way of combining two existing approaches to the modeling of the said TP profile: (1) the parametric profile, where the atmospheric TP structure is analytically approximated by a few model parameters, (2) the layer-by-layer approach, where individual atmospheric layers are modeled. Both of these approaches have distinct advantages and disadvantages in terms of convergence properties and potential model biases. The τ-REx hybrid model presented here is a new two-stage TP profile retrieval, which combines the robustness of the analytic solution with the accuracy of the layer-by-layer approach. The retrieval process is demonstrated using simulations of the hot-Jupiter WASP-76b and the hot-super-Earth 55 Cnc e as well as the secondary eclipse measurements of HD 189733b.

Type: Article
Title: τ-REx. II. Retrieval of emission spectra
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/813/1/13
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/813/1/13
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Keywords: methods: data analysis, methods: statistical, radiative transfer, techniques: spectroscopic
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1490686
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