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Paper: Signatures of Water Clouds on Exoplanets: Numerical Simulations.
Volume: 450, Molecules in the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets
Page: 101
Authors: Karalidi, T.; Stam, D. M.; Keller, C. U.
Abstract: Clouds are of crucial importance for a planetary climate, because they store atmospheric volatiles, and because they scatter and absorb incident starlight and absorb, emit and scatter thermal radiation. Consequently, the detection and characterization of clouds on a planet can provide us with a wealth of information on the conditions on the surface. Here, we present numerically simulated flux and polarization spectra, from 0.3 μm to 1.0 μm, of starlight reflected by Earth–like exoplanets that are covered by horizontally homogeneous water clouds, for different cloud altitudes and particle sizes. Our results show that the degree of polarization P is sensitive to the particle size, in particular at phase angles between 30° and ∼50° and around 90°, and to the cloud top altitude, in particular at wavelengths between 0.35 μm and 0.7 μm. The information in P should be easier to retrieve than that in F.
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