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Earth


Earth is the best-studied planet, and is the only known inhabited world.  While we don't expect habitable exoplanets to look exactly like Earth, we do expect certain commonalities - surface water, clouds, similar temperatures, etc.  One day, exoplanetary scientists hope to have the capabilities to find and characterize such worlds, and, with that in mind, we have developed a tool for accurately simulating Earth's disk-integrated spectrum - the Virtual Planetary Laboratory 3-D spectral Earth model.

This model has been extensively validated against UV, visible, NIR, and MIR data. High resolution, disk-integrated spectra corresponding to the equatorial observations of Earth from NASA's EPOXI mission can be found here.

The VPL 3-D spectral Earth model has also been validated over a wide range of phases by comparing it to Earthshine observations.  This validation was done as part of an investigation into the feasibility of using glint to detect oceans on Earth-like exoplanets (Robinson et al., 2010).  High resolution, disk-integrated spectra of Earth taken every 4 hours over the course of an orbit (for a variety of system inclinations) can be found here.

If you use any of these spectra in your work, please cite Robinson et al. (2011).