Institute of Astronomy

A New Radiative Transfer Code For Exoplanet Atmospheres

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Tomas Stolker28 July 2014Across HR 2014 Posters


High-contrast imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanets will happen more frequently with upcoming instruments for ground based telescopes and space missions. Both the thermal infrared and the reflected optical stellar light carry valuable information about the structure and composition of the atmosphere of an exoplanet. We are developing a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code which allows us to quantitatively understand the physical and chemical nature of varies types of exoplanet atmospheres. This code simulates the radiative transfer of both the stellar light and thermal infrared through an inhomogeneous exoplanet atmosphere from which we can calculate its temperature structure. In addition, observable output results include images, spectral energy distributions and polarization signals of the simulated exoplanets. Polarimetry is a powerful technique that enhances the contrast between a star and an exoplanet. It also allows for the characterization of exoplanets since a polarization signal is sensitive to the structure and composition of a planetary atmosphere. Therefore, starlight that is scattered by an exoplanet atmosphere will have a certain degree of linear polarization as a function of wavelength and phase angle. This poster will show some of the results of these radiative transfer calculations and its application for the interpretation of future observations.