Radiative transfer for exoplanet atmospheres

Kevin Heng, Mark S. Marley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Remote sensing of the atmospheres of distant worlds motivates a firm understanding of radiative transfer. In this review, we provide a pedagogical cookbook that describes the principal ingredients needed to perform a radiative transfer calculation and predict the spectrum of an exoplanet atmosphere, including solving the radiative transfer equation, calculating opacities (and chemistry), iterating for radiative equilibrium (or not), and adapting the output of the calculations to the astronomical observations. A review of the state of the art is performed, focusing on selected milestone papers. Outstanding issues, including the need to understand aerosols or clouds and elucidating the assumptions and caveats behind inversion methods, are discussed. A checklist is provided to assist referees/reviewers in their scrutiny of works involving radiative transfer. A table summarizing the methodology employed by past studies is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Exoplanets
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319553337
ISBN (Print)9783319553320
StatePublished - Nov 3 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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