Radiative Transfer for Exoplanet Atmospheres
Heng et al
Remote sensing of the atmospheres of distant worlds motivates a firm understanding of radiative transfer. In this review, we provide a pedagogical cookbook that describes the principal ingredients needed to perform a radiative transfer calculation and predict the spectrum of an exoplanet atmosphere, including solving the radiative transfer equation, calculating opacities (and chemistry), iterating for radiative equilibrium (or not), and adapting the output of the calculations to the astronomical observations. A review of the state of the art is performed, focusing on selected milestone papers. Outstanding issues, including the need to understand aerosols or clouds and elucidating the assumptions and caveats behind inversion methods, are discussed. A checklist is provided to assist referees/reviewers in their scrutiny of works involving radiative transfer. A table summarizing the methodology employed by past studies is provided.