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HELIOS: An Open-source, GPU-accelerated Radiative Transfer Code for Self-consistent Exoplanetary Atmospheres

Author(s): Malik, Matej; Grosheintz, Luc; Mendonça, Jo ao M; Grimm, Simon L; Lavie, Baptiste; et al

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Abstract: We present the open-source radiative transfer code named HELIOS, which is constructed for studying exoplanetary atmospheres. In its initial version, the model atmospheres of HELIOSare one-dimensional and plane-parallel, and the equation of radiative transfer is solved in the two-stream approximation with nonisotropic scattering. A small set of the main infrared absorbers is employed, computed with the opacity calculator HELIOS-Kand combined using a correlated-k approximation. The molecular abundances originate from validated analytical formulae for equilibrium chemistry. We compare HELIOS with the work of Miller-Ricci & Fortney using a model of GJ 1214b, and perform several tests, where we find: model atmospheres with single-temperature layers struggle to converge to radiative equilibrium;k-distribution tables constructed with0.01cm−1resolution in the opacity function(103points per wave number bin)may result in errors1%–10% in the synthetic spectra; and a diffusivity factor of 2 approximates well the exact radiative transfer solution in the limit of pure absorption. We construct “null-hypothesis”models(chemical equilibrium, radiative equilibrium, and solar elemental abundances)for six hot Jupiters. We find that the dayside emission spectra of HD 189733b and WASP-43b are consistent with the null hypothesis, while the latter consistently under predicts the observed fluxes of WASP-8b, WASP-12b,WASP-14b, and WASP-33b. We demonstrate that our results are somewhat insensitive to the choice of stellar models (blackbody, Kurucz, or PHOENIX) and metallicity, but are strongly affected by higher carbon-to-oxygen ratios. The code is publicly available as part of the Exoclimes Simulation Platform (
Publication Date: Feb-2017
Electronic Publication Date: 9-Jan-2017
Citation: Malik, Matej, Grosheintz, Luc, Mendonça, Jo ao M, Grimm, Simon L, Lavie, Baptiste, Kitzmann, Daniel, Tsai, Shang-Min, Burrows, Adam, Kreidberg, Laura, Bedell, Megan, Bean, Jacob L, Stevenson, Kevin B, Heng, Kevin. (2017). HELIOS: An Open-source, GPU-accelerated Radiative Transfer Code for Self-consistent Exoplanetary Atmospheres. \aj, 153 (56 - 56. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/153/2/56
DOI: doi:10.3847/1538-3881/153/2/56
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Astronomical Journal
Version: Author's manuscript

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