Tables of Rosseland mean opacities for candidate atmospheres of life hosting free-floating planets

Viorel Badescu 1
  • 1 Candida Oancea Institute, Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Spl. Independentei 313, Bucharest, 060042, Romania

Abstract

The existence of life on a free-floating planet is conditioned by the existence of an optically thick atmosphere. This may ensure the long-term thermal stability of a (liquid) solvent on the surface of that body. Requirements to be fulfilled by a hypothetic gas constituent of a free-floating planet atmosphere are studied. The four gases analyzed here (nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and ethane) are candidates. They may induce a higher opacity than molecular hydrogen, which has been considered in previous research. The paper deals with preparation of tables of Rosseland mean opacity values. Selection of the ranges of temperature and pressure is guided by life existence considerations. The range of temperatures involved (50 to 650 K) is lower than usually found in the literature. The tables may be useful for studies related to free-floating planets, where the usage of absorption opacity is a straightforward way to compute the energy flux in the atmosphere. Also, the results are useful in all cases where radiation is transferred through dense layers of the gases considered in this paper.

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