Finding the Needles in the Haystacks: High-fidelity Models of the Modern and Archean Solar System for Simulating Exoplanet Observations
We present two state-of-the-art models of the solar system, one corresponding to the present day and one to the Archean Eon 3.5 billion years ago. Each model contains spatial and spectral information for the star, the planets, and the interplanetary dust, extending to 50 au from the Sun and covering the wavelength range 0.3-2.5 μm. In addition, we created a spectral image cube representative of the astronomical backgrounds that will be seen behind deep observations of extrasolar planetary systems, including galaxies and Milky Way stars. These models are intended as inputs to high-fidelity simulations of direct observations of exoplanetary systems using telescopes equipped with high-contrast capability. They will help improve the realism of observation and instrument parameters that are required inputs to statistical observatory yield calculations, as well as guide development of post-processing algorithms for telescopes capable of directly imaging Earth-like planets.