Applications of

Radiative Transfer

to stellar and planetary atmospheres
Tenerife, Spain - 13-17 Nov. 2017

Poster abstract details

Stability studies of Super Earths atmospheres - Atmosphere in a Test Tube
Alei E., Claudi R., La Rocca N., Poletto L., Erculiani S., Cocola L.


The main purpose of this study is to gather information about the stability of Super Earths atmospheres. Super Earths are likely to exist in a various range of atmospheres; therefore, it's important to understand which ones allow liquid water on the surface and could potentially host Earth-like life forms. In order to do so, a numerical code needs to be developed while trying to include those chemical and physical processes that are believed to be present in a typical atmosphere.
Once determined the best chemical environments for life survival on a Super Earth, these atmospheric conditions (pressure, temperature, and chemical composition) could be reproduced in laboratory. Following the idea proposed by Claudi et al. (2016) within the "Atmosphere in a Test Tube" experiment, these mixtures could be inserted in a special steel cylinder that contains photosynthetic bacteria: irradiating the chamber, one should be able to study how these species behave and how they effectively change the atmosphere during time, mainly producing oxygen. The setup includes a light source able to reproduce visible and NIR spectra of G, K, and M stars. The experiment is already running with Earth-Sun and Earth-M star simulations, producing many interesting results.
The proposed work is part of a project that aims to define a database of exoplanets' synthetic spectra in order to understand observational data that will be retrieved from Cheops, PLATO, JWST and ARIEL.