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Paper: Opacities from Molecules and Aerosols in Exoplanet and Brown Dwarf Atmospheres
Volume: 515, Workshop on Astrophysical Opacities
Page: 221
Authors: Morley, C. V.
Abstract: Modeling the spectra of exoplanets and brown dwarfs involves a complete understanding of the molecules and aerosols in their atmospheres. For each molecule, a list of line locations and strengths and broadening parameters is required. For abundant species in the dense conditions present in planetary atmospheres, collision-induced absorption is also important. These opacity data are becoming increasingly available and accurate, though further work is needed to have complete information across the diverse set of conditions present in exoplanets. Planets and brown dwarfs also have opacity from aerosols, including both clouds and hazes. Clouds are formed from metals, rocks, salts, sulfides, and ices, and their presence strongly depends on the temperature of the object. Their opacity depends on the species that form the cloud and the particle sizes present. Hazes are formed from the interaction of UV light with molecules in the upper atmosphere of a planet; they may contain hydrocarbons, sulfurs, or other species. Haze formation in exoplanets is not currently well understood and needs further investigation in the laboratory, from observations, and in theoretical calculations. Future observations will allow us to detect many molecules, clouds, and hazes for a broad range of different exoplanets, from hot giant planets to temperate terrestrial worlds.
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