2021 Sagan Exoplanet Summer Virtual Workshop

Hands On Session Information

July 19-23, 2021
Hosted by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute

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There will be two sets of hands-on sessions during the workshop week: one will focus on models of protoplanetary and debris disks (held on Monday and Tuesday and led by Dr. Virginie Faramaz) and one will focus on modeling young planet atmospheres (held on Wednesday and Thursday and led by Dr. Natasha Batalha and Dr. Mark Marley). You can either participate in person, or do the hands-on session activities on your own time; we will have Slack available for asking questions at any time during the workshop week (two channels for the hands-on sessions, #hands-on-session-disks, #hands-on-session-planet-spectra). Questions posted on Slack will be answered as timely as possible, but expect some delays.

Note that some preparation is required before you can participate in the hands-on sessions: you will either install Python and some software packages on your computer, or you will download and use Google Colaboratory (Colab) notebooks. For details, see the Before the Workshop section below.

The hands-on sessions will be held via a Zoom meeting with breakout rooms so participants can work in smaller groups. Links for the Zoom meetings will be provided via Slack and email. See the section below "During the Workshop" for more information.

Disk Models

Disks Hands-on Session Final Documentation

This document provides answers to the questions explored during the Hands-on session, answers to the Google Form (as well as statistics of answers), and finally, contains useful sample of Python setup routines that attendees might use to produce their own model should they want to install RADMC3D completely.

When stars are born, they are surrounded by circumstellar disks, which are also known as primordial or protoplanetary disks, since they are sites of planet formation. The dust in the disk absorbs the stellar light and re-emits it at infrared and longer wavelengths. Over time, disks evolve and dissipate. New dust disks can form later by collisions of bodies such as asteroids and comets; these debris disks are more tenuous than protoplanetary disks, and they are potentially signposts of planets.

By studying the emission from these disks, important disk properties can be derived. In this hands-on session you will explore a variety of circumstellar disks and their properties by analyzing models calculated with RADMC-3D, which is a code for radiative transfer calculations, including tools to produce images and plot spectral energy distributions (SEDs).

The schedule below includes an introduction on Monday, followed by hands-on activities on Tuesday.

  • Monday July 19: 11:45 am - 12:30 pm PDT: Hands-on Session Introduction: Disk Models
  • Tuesday July 20: 12:45 - 1:45 pm PDT: Hands-on Session activities: Disk Models

Simulating Spectra of Planet Atmospheres (Young Planets Spectroscopy)

As giant planets age and cool, much of the details of their formation history are slowly obscured. By a hundred million years or so, giant planets formed by core accretion are expected to look much like planets formed by gravitational instability. For this reason, it is important to study young giant planets, ideally as young as ten or twenty million years or younger, as the combination of a planet's mass, radius, effective temperature, and atmospheric composition will paint a clear picture of its formation story. However, discerning these key planet properties from spectra and photometry of directly imaged young planets, such as those in the HR 8977 system or 51 Eri b, has proven challenging. This hands-on activity will address why this is the case and allow attendees to devise their own observational tests of young planet properties that might be applied to future datasets from JWST, the ELTs, and other telescopes.

In this hands-on session, you will use the planetary spectral modeling tool PICASO in combination with the cloud modeling framework VIRGA to create model spectra of young extrasolar giant planets. You will learn how traits like atmospheric composition, gravity, clouds, and temperature can produce degenerate spectral signatures at some wavelengths, and will devise notional observing programs to better tease out these properties in order to best characterize young giant planets. By learning how to use this suite of open source modeling tools, you will be well-equipped to plan and conduct your own research on young giant planets in the future.

The schedule below includes an introduction on Wednesday, followed by hands-on activities on Wednesday and Thursday. The activities on Thursday will build on those done on Wednesday; ideally, if you plan to attend this hands-on session live, you should attend both sessions in person, but if you miss the Wednesday session, you should try to catch up on your own before the start of the Thursday session. On Friday there will be a short recap of the hands-on activities.

  • Wednesday July 21: 11:15 am - 12:00 pm PDT: Hands-on Session Introduction: Simulating Spectra of Planet Atmospheres
  • Wednesday July 21: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm PDT: Hands-on Session activities: Simulating Spectra of Planet Atmospheres (Part I)
  • Thursday July 22: 12:10 - 1:10 pm PDT: Hands-on Session activities: Simulating Spectra of Planet Atmospheres (Part II)
  • Friday July 23: 8:30 - 9:00 am PDT: Hands-on Session Recap: Simulating Spectra of Planet Atmospheres

Before the Workshop

For each set of hands-on session, you can choose to either install Python and associated software packages on your computer, or download and use Google Colaboratory (Colab) notebooks, which run in your Google Drive using a virtual machine and do not require a Python installation. Either choice will allow you to go through the same hands-on activities; if you install Python, you will work with Jupyter notebooks, and if you use Google, you will work with Google Colab notebooks. No prior Python experience is required to participate in the hands-on sessions.

Click here for the Python instructions
Click here for the Google Colab instructions
You only have to follow one set of instructions, not both. If you have any serious problems installing Python, we recommend using Google Colab instead. If you prefer to install Python, but are having problems, you can ask questions on the Slack channel #python-help.

Note that the Python instructions contain information for both sets of hands-on sessions (Disk Models and Young Planets Spectroscopy); if you plan to only participate in one of them, you should follow the general Python instruction, but then only the instructions for your hands-on session.

Similarly, the Google Colab instructions contain general information about Google Colab and then links to Colab notebooks for both sets of hands-on sessions (Disk Models and Young Planets Spectroscopy); you only need to download the notebooks for your hands-on session.

For Disk Models hands-on session
This document contains an introduction to the Disk Models hands-on session, as well as more detailed information on the disks that will be studied and the questions that you will address as you work through the Jupyter or Google Colab notebooks.

During the Workshop

The hands-on sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday (the second part after 12:15 pm PDT), and on Thursday will use Zoom meetings instead of a Zoom webinar, so you can be placed into Zoom breakout rooms with a smaller number of participants for a more interactive session. We will provide the Zoom meeting links a few days before the hands-on sessions start.

In addition, there is the opportunity to also use the Gather space that we set up for the workshop to meet and work on the hands-on activities. Gather is a virtual environment in which you move around with an avatar and can talk to colleagues. We have set up a “Hands-on session lab” where you can meet and (virtually) sit at small (or big) tables and work together in groups.


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(last updated January 11th, 2022 15:43:15)