Astronomy Colloquium for 2024-03-27

Series: Astronomy Colloquium
Date: Wednesday 27-Mar-2024
Time: 16:05-17:00 (4:05-5:00 pm)
Location: ATL 2400
Speaker: Dr. Megan Mansfield (University of Arizona
Title: Studying exoplanet atmospheres in the era of JWST

The recent launch of JWST is revolutionizing our understanding of exoplanet atmospheres by providing observations at an unprecedented level of detail. In this talk, I will discuss two methods for studying the atmospheres of exoplanets with JWST. First, I will discuss the potential for spectroscopic eclipse mapping with JWST. Spectroscopic eclipse mapping is the only observational technique which allows for simultaneous resolution of the atmosphere in three spatial dimensions: latitude, longitude, and altitude. I will present a spectroscopic eclipse map of the hot Jupiter WASP-18b, the first such map ever produced. Second, I will present a method of using JWST to quickly determine which M dwarf planets host atmospheres through secondary eclipse observations. I will give an overview of the application of this method in the first two years of JWST science, including new, unpublished results from my own program to observe the hot terrestrial planet Gl 486b in secondary eclipse. Finally, I will briefly discuss synergies between JWST and upcoming extremely large telescopes in studying exoplanet atmospheres.

In-person 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 Dr. Leslie Sage. Lunch will normally be reserved for the speaker to talk to graduate students. Anyone asking a question during a talk is asked to raise their hand and be acknowledged before speaking. Contact Dr. Leslie Sage for details.

Colloquium Organizer: Dr. Leslie Sage


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.


Directions and information about parking can be found here.

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