Planetary and exoplanetary Astronomy Lunch Seminar (PALS) for 2023-02-06

Series: Planetary and exoplanetary Astronomy Lunch Seminar (PALS)
Date: Monday 06-February-2023
Time: 11:15-12:15
Location: ATL 1250
Speaker: Naomi Rowe-Gurney
Title: The Ice Giants from JWST

Abstract: The Ice Giants, Uranus and Neptune, are the least understood planets in our Solar System. They have only been visited once by flybys (in 1986 and 1989) by Voyager 2. The recently published 2023-2032 Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology prioritized a flagship orbiter and probe to Uranus with the intent to “...transform our knowledge of ice giants in general and the Uranian system in particular”. By using remote sensing to probe their atmospheres, we can begin to understand their composition and complex weather systems in preparation for this future mission. Uranus and Neptune have been observed from ground- and space-based observatories in many wavelength bands. This talk will present post-Voyager infrared remote sensing observations of both planets and show how the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is advancing our understanding of ice giant atmospheres. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was arguably the JWST's predecessor, and its Infrared Spectrometer (IRS) was used to observe the thermal emission (5 – 37 μm) of both Uranus and Neptune multiple times between 2004 and 2007. This disc-averaged thermal and chemical structure from Spitzer is our best characterization of ice giant thermal structure before the JWST Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI)'s resolved mid-infrared spectroscopy. This talk will outline the plans for the JWST Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) and discuss the advancements that JWST gives with respect to Spitzer.

For further information contact PALS coordinators Quanzhi Ye at and Tad Komacek at


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.

This page was automatically generated on: 30-Jan-2023.