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Journal Articles Nature Astronomy Year : 2021

Haze Evolution in Temperate Exoplanet Atmospheres Through Surface Energy Measurements

Abstract

Photochemical hazes are important opacity sources in temperate exoplanet atmospheres, hindering current observations from characterizing exoplanet atmospheric compositions. The haziness of an atmosphere is determined by the balance between haze production and removal. However, the material-dependent removal physics of the haze particles is currently unknown under exoplanetary conditions. Here we provide experimentally-measured surface energies for a grid of temperate exoplanet hazes to characterize haze removal in exoplanetary atmospheres. We found large variations of surface energies for hazes produced under different energy sources, atmospheric compositions, and temperatures. The surface energies of the hazes were found to be the lowest around 400 K for the cold plasma samples, leading to the lowest removal rates. We show a suggestive correlation between haze surface energy and atmospheric haziness with planetary equilibrium temperature. We hypothesize that habitable zone exoplanets could be less hazy, as they would possess high-surface-energy hazes which can be removed efficiently.
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Dates and versions

hal-03303728 , version 1 (28-07-2021)

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Xinting Yu, Chao He, Xi Zhang, Sarah M Hörst, Austin H Dymont, et al.. Haze Evolution in Temperate Exoplanet Atmospheres Through Surface Energy Measurements. Nature Astronomy, 2021, 5, pp.822-831. ⟨10.1038/s41550-021-01375-3⟩. ⟨hal-03303728⟩
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