KeywordsPhysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis work is a detailed study of extrasolar giant planet (EGP) atmospheres and spectra. Models representative of the full range of systems known today are included, from the extreme close-in EGPs to Jovian-like planets at large orbital radii. Using a self-consistent planar atmosphere code along with the latest atomic and molecular cross sections, cloud models, Mie theory treatment of grain scattering and absorption, and incident stellar fluxes, I produce an extensive set of theoretical EGP atmosphere models and emergent spectra. The emergent spectra of EGPs strongly depend upon their outer atmospheric chemical compositions, which in turn depend upon the run of temperature and pressure with atmospheric depth. Because of qualitative similarities in the compositions and spectra of objects within several broad temperature ranges, EGPs fall naturally into five groups, or composition classes. Such a classification scheme, however preliminary, brings a degree of order to the rich variety of EGP systems known to exist today. Generic models that represent the EGP classes, as well as a set of specific models for a number of important systems that have been detected, are provided. Furthermore, the effects on emergent EGP spectra of varying key parameters such as surface gravity, cloud particle sizes, orbital distance, etc. are modeled. A discussion of current and future ground-based and space-based missions to detect and characterize EGPs in light of theoretical spectral models is included to facilitate an understanding of which systems are most likely to be studied successfully.
Degree ProgramGraduate College