A retrieval challenge exercise for the Ariel mission

Joanna K. Barstow*, Quentin Changeat, Katy L. Chubb, Patricio E. Cubillos, Billy Edwards, Ryan J. MacDonald, Michiel Min, Ingo P. Waldmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The Ariel mission, due to launch in 2029, will obtain spectroscopic information for 1000 exoplanets, providing an unprecedented opportunity for comparative exoplanetology. Retrieval codes - parameteric atmospheric models coupled with an inversion algorithm - represent the tool of choice for interpreting Ariel data. Ensuring that reliable and consistent results can be produced by these tools is a critical preparatory step for the mission. Here, we present the results of a retrieval challenge. We use five different exoplanet retrieval codes to analyse the same synthetic datasets, and test a) the ability of each to recover the correct input solution and b) the consistency of the results. We find that generally there is very good agreement between the five codes, and in the majority of cases the correct solutions are recovered. This demonstrates the reproducibility of retrievals for transit spectra of exoplanets, even when codes are not previously benchmarked against each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-471
Number of pages25
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Issue number2
Early online date9 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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