AR 17558 (Archival Research)

Thu Jul 18 14:47:08 GMT 2024

Principal Investigator: Robert Hargreaves
PI Institution: Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory
Investigators (xml)

Title: Sulfur Vision! Refining our view of sulfur-containing UV opacities for exoplanet atmospheres
Cycle: 31

While significant efforts have been made to provide molecular line lists at optical and infrared wavelengths, there is a critical gap in our knowledge of molecular opacities relevant to exoplanetary atmospheres, particularly at UV wavelengths. The lack of comprehensive UV line lists for many species and/or the absence of measured temperature-dependent opacities pose a significant threat to accurate interpretation of exoplanet atmospheres. This is particularly pressing for HST where nearly 300 orbits in Cycle 30 alone are devoted to MUV-NUV observations of transiting exoplanets. We propose to build a robust open-source accessible database of MUV-NUV opacities for a curated set of seven high-priority species that can be leveraged for the reproducible interpretation of past, current, and future HST UV exoplanet observations. We focus on seven sulfur-based species that: 1) are in dire need of higher fidelity opacities, 2) play an important role in the exoplanet atmospheric chemistry of hot gas giants, and 3) are expected to sculpt MUV-NUV HST observations of exoplanets. Ultimately, our work will be an asset the community and provide new methodology that can be further used to fill critical gaps in UV opacities relevant to exoplanet atmospheres.