Phase angle αcc where the phase curves of the total flux F (black), the (linearly) polarized flux Q (gray), and the degree of (linear) polarization P (brown) of an ocean planet for the different wavelengths cross each other, as functions of the cloud coverage fraction fc. The wind speed v is 7 m s−1, although αcc does not significantly depend on v. The symbols(squares, circles, diamonds) are the αcc’s shown before in Figs. 8–10 as computed for horizontally inhomogeneous planets, with the error bars representing the 1σ standard deviation of 300 iterations with different locations of the patchy clouds. The solid, dashed, and dotted lines have been computed using the weighted sum approach (see text), with the clouds at different altitudes (pct = 0.5 or 0.7 bar) and for different cloud optical thicknesses (ba = 5 or 10). The horizontal axis at the top indicates the minimum orbital inclination angle i* required to be able to observe the exoplanet at the corresponding αcc (an inclination angle of 90° indicates a planetary orbit that is “seen” edge-on).
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