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Forward Modeling and Retrievals with PLATON, a Fast Open-source Tool

Zhang, Michael and Chachan, Yayaati and Kempton, Eliza M.-R. and Knutson, Heather A. (2019) Forward Modeling and Retrievals with PLATON, a Fast Open-source Tool. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 131 (997). Art. No. 034501. ISSN 0004-6280. doi:10.1088/1538-3873/aaf5ad.

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We introduce PLanetary Atmospheric Transmission for Observer Noobs (PLATON), a Python package that calculates transmission spectra for exoplanets and retrieves atmospheric characteristics based on observed spectra. PLATON is easy to install and use, with common use cases taking no more than a few lines of code. It is also fast, with the forward model taking much less than one second, and a typical retrieval finishing in minutes on an ordinary desktop. PLATON supports the most common atmospheric parameters, such as temperature, metallicity, C/O ratio, cloud-top pressure, and scattering slope. It also has less commonly included features, such as a Mie scattering cloud model and unocculted starspot corrections. The code is available online at under the open-source GPL-3.0 license.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemSoftware
Zhang, Michael0000-0002-0659-1783
Chachan, Yayaati0000-0003-1728-8269
Kempton, Eliza M.-R.0000-0002-1337-9051
Knutson, Heather A.0000-0002-0822-3095
Additional Information:© 2019. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2018 October 3; accepted 2018 December 1; published 2019 January 29. M.Z. acknowledges Plato (Greek:ΠΛATΩN) for his insightful philosophy and his contribution to the package's name. We thank Carlos E. Munoz for generating high-resolution opacity data in a format suitable for PLATON. We thank Jayesh Goyal for assistance in comparing PLATON to ATMO. Support for this work was provided by HST GO programs 13431, 13665, and 14260. Software: numpy, scipy, matplotlib, emcee, nestle, corner, nose, Travis CI.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:methods: data analysis – techniques: spectroscopic – planets and satellites: atmospheres – planets and satellites: composition – planets and satellites: general
Issue or Number:997
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190130-162009928
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Michael Zhang et al 2019 PASP 131 034501
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92535
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:31 Jan 2019 00:53
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:51

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