Series: Astronomy Colloquium
Date: Wednesday 22-Feb-2017
Time: 16:05-17:00 (4:05-5:00 pm)
Location: CSS 2400
Speaker: Dr. Eliza Kempton (Grinnell College)
Title: Revealing the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Super-Earths
Discoveries of extrasolar planets over the last two decades have reshaped our understanding of how planetary systems form. Super-Earths -- planets intermediate in size/mass between Earth and Neptune -- do not exist in our Solar System, and the discovery of such planets poses a challenge to theories of planetary formation and composition based on the Solar System paradigm. Through observations of the atmospheres of these planets, we can learn about their formation history, their climate, and in some cases their propensity to support life. This talk will focus on the modeling of super-Earth atmospheres as it relates to current and future observations. I will detail the current state of characterization efforts for super-Earth atmospheres, focusing on the challenges and successes in modeling and interpreting the early observations of these objects. I will conclude with a forward-looking view of super-Earth atmospheric studies over the next 5-10 years, in the era of JWST and 30-meter class ground-based telescopes.
Colloquia are usually preceded by espresso and ice cream at 1:45 pm outside room PSC 1150 and are followed by an informal reception at 5:15 pm in that room. Anyone interested in talking with the speaker, or being added to the colloquium announcement email list, should contact the colloquium organizer. Lunch will normally be reserved for the speaker to talk to graduate students.
Prof. Stuart Vogel
Special accommodations for individuals with disabilities can be made by calling (301) 405-3001. It would be appreciated if we are notified at least one week in advance.