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Thu, 07 Sept

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Zoom

Rocky planet or water world? Observability of low-density lava world atmospheres

Anjali Piette (Carnegie EPL)

Rocky planet or water world? Observability of low-density lava world atmospheres
Rocky planet or water world? Observability of low-density lava world atmospheres

Time & Location

07 Sept 2023, 14:00 – 15:00 CEST

Zoom

About the event

Super-Earths span a wide range of bulk densities, indicating a diversity in interior conditions beyond that seen in the solar system. In particular, an emerging population of low-density super-Earths may be explained by volatile-rich interiors. Among these, low-density lava worlds have dayside temperatures high enough to evaporate their surfaces, providing a unique opportunity to probe their interior compositions and test for the presence of volatiles. In this talk, I will discuss the atmospheric observability of low-density lava worlds. I use a radiative-convective model to explore the atmospheric structures and emission spectra of these planets, focusing on three case studies with high observability metrics. By simulating JWST observations, I find that key volatile spectral features could be detected with a feasible observing time (~ 5 secondary eclipses). Detecting volatiles in these atmospheres would provide crucial independent evidence that volatile-rich interiors exist among the super-Earth population.

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