results for au:Herman_J in:astro-ph
Even though it was not designed as an exoplanetary research mission, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has been opportunistically used for a novel experiment, in which Earth serves as a proxy exoplanet. More than two years of DSCOVR Earth images were employed to produce time series of multi-wavelength, single-point light sources, in order to extract information on planetary rotation, cloud patterns, surface type, and orbit around the Sun. In what follows, we assume that these properties of the Earth are unknown, and instead attempt to derive them from first principles. These conclusions are then compared with known data about our planet. We also used the DSCOVR data to simulate phase angle changes, as well as the minimum data collection rate needed to determine the rotation period of an exoplanet. This innovative method of using the time evolution of a multi-wavelength, reflected single-point light source, can be deployed for retrieving a range of intrinsic properties of an exoplanet around a distant star.
The field of exoplanets has rapidly expanded from the exclusivity of exoplanet detection to include exoplanet characterization. A key step towards this characterization will be retrieval of planetary albedos and rotation rates from highly undersampled imaging data. The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) provides a unique opportunity to test such retrieval methods using high cadence data of the sunlit surface of the Earth. There are two NASA instruments on board DSCOVR that can be used to achieve this task: the NASA instruments Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR). Here we briefly describe the properties of these instruments and the exoplanetary science that can be explored with their data products. These are described within the context of future NASA direct imaging missions for exoplanets.