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Special Presentations

Exoplanet Atmosphere Characterization, Present and Future

Presented by: Laura Kreidberg (Harvard University)
Category: Special Interest   Duration: 1 hour   Broadcast date: January 31, 2019
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We now know that exoplanets abound in the Galaxy, with most stars hosting at least one planet. These recently discovered worlds are much more diverse than the planets in the Solar System, and raise many questions about their formation, evolution, and habitability. To address these questions, we turn to atmosphere characterization, which provides a wealth of additional information about the planets. I will discuss the state of the art in atmosphere studies, focusing on recent high-precision, space-based observations of hot Jupiters and warm Neptunes. These studies have already revealed planetary atmospheric chemistry, climate, and cloud coverage in unprecedented detail, and they are poised for a revolutionary advance thanks to a series of new and upcoming missions. I will conclude with a discussion of prospects for characterization of temperate, terrestrial worlds with future facilities.