AR 16634 (Archival Research)

Thu Jul 25 14:06:07 GMT 2024

Principal Investigator: David Sing
PI Institution: The Johns Hopkins University
Investigators (xml)

Title: Sculpting Hubble's Exoplanet Legacy: A Comprehensive Uniform Dataset of Exoplanet Transmission Spectra
Cycle: 29

HST launched the field of exoplanet atmospheres, thanks in large part to it's unprecedented ability to gather high precision time series spectroscopy from the UV to near-IR. Scores of exoplanet atmospheres have been been detected, with atmospheric features found in planets ranging from Jupiter down to mini-Neptune masses. While the archive is rich with exoplanet data on more than 70 exoplanets, the full potential of this data has not even begun to be realized, as no comprehensive effort has been made to reduce and compile this eclectic set of spectra together. Unfortunately, one cannot simply download a calibrated exoplanet spectrum from the MAST archive, as time series data has not been supported by STScI in this manner. The majority of this data has been published, but typically not with the latest reduction methods and calibration issues between instruments is common which complicates using literature HST spectra for JWST analysis. This archive program fills this need, generating a complete and homogeneous set of calibrated exoplanet spectra, and their ancillary data products, to a central STScI MAST location and makes publicly available all the software tools. With a modern analysis, nearly a large program of previously discarded orbits can be used. With a homogenous database of exoplanet spectra, our program enables comparative planetology studies on a wide scale, where we can gain the maximum leverage on what the physical effects environmental factors may have on the clouds seen in the optical and molecular features observed in the infrared. This database will provide a legacy set of HST near-UV and optical exoplanet spectra, ready to be utilized for JWST.