Institute of Astronomy

Thermal light curves of Earth-like planets: orbital and climatic conditions

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Illeana Gomez Leal28 July 2014Across HR 2014 Posters


The thermal light curves are a key to characterize the physical and chemical properties of its atmosphere as well as their evolution. The emission is modulated by the orbital parameters of the planet, the composition and dynamics of the atmosphere, the planetary climate or the presence of natural satellites. The use of spectrophotometric light curves allows to achieve several levels of the atmosphere and follow the evolution of its main components. We present the study of the modeled thermal emission of nine Earth-like planets, including variations on the albedo (Earth continental distribution, aquaplanet or snowball planet), the obliquity, the eccentricity of the orbit, the rotation rate (slow rotations and tidally-locked planets) and the presence of moons. We have derived the particular characteristics of the light curves of this type of planets by the study of the influence of these parameters on the climate and on the thermal emission. The effective temperature, the albedo, the seasonal variations, the presence of warm and cold spots on the surface or the rotation rate of the planet can be inferred from thermal light curves. However, the detection of the rotation rate also depends on the conditions of the weather patterns such as cloud lifetimes or superrotating winds.


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