We calculate a new suite of albedo models for close-in extrasolar giant planets and compare with the recent stringent upper limit for HD 209458b of Rowe et al. using MOST. We find that all models without scattering clouds are consistent with this optical limit. We explore the dependence on wavelength and wave band, metallicity, the degree of heat redistribution, and the possible presence of thermal inversions and find a rich diversity of behaviors. Measurements of transiting extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) at short wavelengths by MOST, Kepler, and CoRoT, as well as by proposed dedicated multiband missions, can complement measurements in the near- and mid-IR using Spitzer and JWST. Collectively, such measurements can help determine metallicity, compositions, atmospheric temperatures, and the cause of thermal inversions (when they arise) for EGPs with a broad range of radii, masses, degrees of stellar insolation, and ages. With this paper we reappraise and highlight the diagnostic potential of albedo measurements of hot EGPs shortward of ∼ 1.3 μm.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Planetary systems
- Planets and satellites: General
- Stars: Individual (HD 209458)