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Polarization of Directly Imaged Young Giant Planets as a Probe of Mass, Rotation, and Clouds
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Author and Affiliation:
Marley, Mark Scott(NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States);
Sengupta, Sujan(Indian Inst. of Astrophysics, Bangalore, India)
Abstract: Young, hot gas giant planets at large separations from their primaries have been directly imaged around several nearby stars. More such planets will likely be detected by ongoing and new imaging surveys with instruments such as the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). Efforts continue to model the spectra of these planets in order to constrain their masses, effective temperatures, composition, and cloud structure. One potential tool for analyzing these objects, which has received relatively less attention, is polarization. Linear polarization of gas giant exoplanets can arise from the combined influences of light scattering by atmospheric dust and a rotationally distorted shape. The oblateness of gas giant planet increases of course with rotation rate and for fixed rotation also rises with decreasing gravity. Thus young, lower mass gas giant planets with youthful inflated radii could easily have oblateness greater than that of Saturn s 10%. We find that polarizations of over 1% may easily be produced in the near-infrared in such cases. This magnitude of polarization may be measurable by GPI and other instruments. Thus if detected, polarization of a young Jupiter places constraints on the combination of its gravity, rotation rate, and degree of cloudiness. We will present results of our multiple scattering analysis coupled with a self-consistent dusty atmospheric models to demonstrate the range of polarizations that might be expected from resolved exoplanets and the range of parameter space that such observations may inform.
Publication Date: Oct 03, 2012
Document ID:
20130013767
(Acquired Jul 03, 2013)
Subject Category: ASTROPHYSICS
Document Type: Oral/Visual Presentation
Meeting Information: 42nd Annual Meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences; 3-8 Oct. 2012; Pasadena, CA; United States
Meeting Sponsor: American Astronomical Society; Washington, DC, United States
Contract/Grant/Task Num: WBS 811073.02.07.02.48
Financial Sponsor: NASA Ames Research Center; Moffett Field, CA, United States
Organization Source: NASA Ames Research Center; Moffett Field, CA, United States
Description: 1p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: ATMOSPHERIC MODELS; CLOUD PHYSICS; DISTORTION; DUST; EXTRASOLAR PLANETS; GAS GIANT PLANETS; GRAVITATION; HIGH TEMPERATURE GASES; LINEAR POLARIZATION; ROTATION
Availability Notes: Abstract Only
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