Status Report

Exoplanet Classification and Yield Estimates for Direct Imaging Missions

By SpaceRef Editor
February 28, 2018
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Ravi kumar Kopparapu, Eric Hebrard, Rus Belikov, Natalie M. Batalha, Gijs D. Mulders, Chris Stark, Dillon Teal, Shawn Domagal-Goldman, Avi Mandell
(Submitted on 26 Feb 2018)

Future NASA concept missions that are currently under study, like Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) & Large Ultra-Violet Optical Infra Red (LUVOIR) Surveyor, would discover a large diversity of exoplanets. We propose here a classification scheme that distinguishes exoplanets into different categories based on their size and incident stellar flux, for the purpose of providing the expected number of exoplanets observed (yield) with direct imaging missions. The boundaries of this classification can be computed using the known chemical behavior of gases and condensates at different pressures and temperatures in a planetary atmosphere. In this study, we initially focus on condensation curves for sphalerite ZnS, H2O, CO2 and CH4. The order in which these species condense in a planetary atmosphere define the boundaries between different classes of planets. Broadly, the planets are divided into rocky (0.5 – 1.0RE), super-Earths (1.0- 1.75RE), sub-Neptunes (1.75-3.5RE), sub-Jovians (3.5 – 6.0RE) and Jovians (6-14.3RE) based on their planet sizes, and ‘hot’, ‘warm’ and ‘cold’ based on the incident stellar flux. We then calculate planet occurrence rates within these boundaries for different kinds of exoplanets, \eta_{planet}, using the community co-ordinated results of NASA’s Exoplanet Program Analysis Group’s Science Analysis Group-13 (SAG-13). These occurrence rate estimates are in turn used to estimate the expected exoplanet yields for direct imaging missions of different telescope diameter.

Comments:    Accepted to Astrophysical Journal. 30 pages, 4 tables. Online tool for classification boundaries can be found at: this http URL
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as:    arXiv:1802.09602 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1802.09602v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Ravi Kumar Kopparapu
[v1] Mon, 26 Feb 2018 20:56:42 GMT (281kb,D)

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