Exoplanet Atmospheres

With the discovery of over 5000 exoplanets and counting, the next generation of telescopes will search for signs of habitable conditions by studying their atmospheres. In this Teen Astronomy Cafe — To Go! Instant Pack, students simulate exoplanet systems and determine the relationship between a planet’s radius and depth of the lightcurve. Students then identify patterns within the exoplanet atmosphere’s spectral data to determine the chemicals present in the atmosphere, or the absence of an atmosphere. This activity is conducted in a Python Notebook, a web-based interactive computational environment that contains code, text, and plots.