The recently adopted Ariel ESA mission will measure the atmospheric composition of a large number of exoplanets. This information will then be used to better constrain planetary bulk compositions. While the connection between the composition of a planetary atmosphere and the bulk interior is still being investigated, the combination of the atmospheric composition with the measured mass and radius of exoplanets will push the field of exoplanet characterisation to the next level, and provide new insights of the nature of planets in our galaxy. In this white paper, we outline the ongoing activities of the interior working group of the Ariel mission, and list the desirable theoretical developments as well as the challenges in linking planetary atmospheres, bulk composition and interior structure.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the two anonymous referees for valuable comments. RH acknowledges support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) via grant 200020_188460. SCW is supported by the Research Council of Norway through its Centers of Excellence funding scheme, project number 223272 (CEED). CD acknowledges support from the Swiss National Science Foundation under grant PZ00P2_174028. TL received funding from the Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life (grant no. 611576) and the SNSF (grant no. P2EZP2-178621). Parts of the work presented here was conducted within the framework of the National Centre for Competence in Research PlanetS (grant no. 51NF40-141881) supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. This research has made use of the Exoplanet Orbit Database and the Exoplanet Data Explorer at exoplanets.org.
© 2021, The Author(s).
- Atmosphere-interior interaction
- Planet composition
- Planetary interiors