Theoretical spectra and atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets

David Sudarsky, Adam S. Burrows, Ivan Hubeny

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

250 Scopus citations


We present a comprehensive theory of the spectra and atmospheres of irradiated extrasolar giant planets. We explore the dependences on stellar type, orbital distance, cloud characteristics, planet mass, and surface gravity. Phase-averaged spectra for specific known extrasolar giant planets that span a wide range of the relevant parameters are calculated, plotted, and discussed. The connection between atmospheric composition and emergent spectrum is explored in detail. Furthermore, we calculate the effect of stellar insolation on brown dwarfs. We review a variety of representative observational techniques and programs for their potential for direct detection, in light of our theoretical expectations, and we calculate planet-to-star flux ratios as a function of wavelength. Our results suggest which spectral features are most diagnostic of giant planet atmospheres and reveal the best bands in which to image planets of whatever physical and orbital characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1121-1148
Number of pages28
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - May 10 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Binaries: general
  • Molecular processes
  • Planetary systems
  • Planets and satellites: general
  • Radiative transfer
  • Stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs


Dive into the research topics of 'Theoretical spectra and atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this