Astronomy Colloquium for 2024-05-08

Series: Astronomy Colloquium
Date: Wednesday 08-May-2024
Time: 16:05-17:00 (4:05-5:00 pm)
Location: ATL 2400
Speaker: Dr. Nikole Lewis (Cornell University)
Title: Deep Reconnaissance of Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST

With JWST a new window into exoplanet atmospheres is now wide open. Cycle 1 JWST observations of exoplanet hosting systems have already proven the power of this observatory to provide new and transformational insights into exoplanet atmospheres. Here I will focus on key results from JWST Cycle 1 programs that aimed to perform “deep” observations of specific transiting exoplanet hosting systems to explore the physics and chemistry at work in these planetary atmospheres. The JWST Telescope Scientist Team (JWST-TST) used 133 of Cycle 1 guaranteed observing time to perform Deep Reconnaissance of Exoplanet Atmospheres through Multi-instrument Spectroscopy (DREAMS) on three archetypical planets: a hot Jupiter (WASP-17 b), a warm Neptune (HAT-P-26 b), and a temperate Earth (TRAPPIST-1e). Through both transmission and emission observations spanning 0.6-12 microns, the DREAMS survey has uncovered new and unexpected chemistry at work in these atmospheres and allowed us to explore their three-dimensional atmospheric structure. I will additionally discuss complementary observations of additional transiting exoplanet targets with JWST, such as HD189733b, and the expansion of our wavelength coverage on key targets into the ultraviolet with Hubble. In this talk I will set the stage for the transformative exoplanet science being performed with JWST by providing a look at previous state-of-the art observations with Hubble and Spitzer for these targets. I will also look forward to future observations with JWST and Hubble that will continue our reconnaissance of these foundational targets.

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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