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Connecting Giant Planet Atmosphere and Interior Modeling: Constraints on Atmospheric Metal Enrichment

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2018

Daniel P. Thorngren., Jonathan J. Fortney

(Submitted on 28 Nov 2018)

Atmospheric characterization through spectroscopic analysis, an essential tool of modern exoplanet science, can benefit significantly from the context provided by interior structure models. In particular, the planet's bulk metallicity Zp places an upper limit on potential atmospheric metallicity. Here we construct interior structure models to derive Zp and atmospheric metallicity upper limits for 365 known transiting giant exoplanets. These limits are low enough that they can usefully inform atmosphere models. Additionally, we argue that comparing Zp to the observed atmospheric metallicity gives a useful measure of how well-mixed metals are within the planet. This represents a new avenue for learning about planetary interiors. To aid in the future characterization of new planet discoveries we derive analytic prior predictions of atmosphere metallicity as a function of planet mass, and evaluate the effectiveness of our approach on Jupiter and Saturn. We we include log-linear fits for approximating the metallicities of planets not in our catalog.

Comments: Submitted to ApJ

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1811.11859 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1811.11859v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Daniel Thorngren  

[v1] Wed, 28 Nov 2018 22:15:31 UTC (1,216 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.11859


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