Planetary and exoplanetary Lunch Seminar (PALS) for 2023-12-04

Series: Planetary and exoplanetary Lunch Seminar (PALS)
Date: Monday 04-Dec-2023
Time: 11:15 am-12:15 pm
Location: ATL 1250 and Zoom (contact host Matt Nixon for link)
Speaker: Katie Bennett (JHU)
Title: Searching for M-Dwarf Rocky Planet Atmospheres with HST and JWST

Abstract: Which rocky exoplanets have atmospheres, and which do not? This presumably simply question is the first that must be answered in the pathway toward understanding the prevalence of habitable planets in our Galaxy. The exoplanet community has focused on answering this question for rocky planets orbiting M-dwarfs, as these planets orbit the smallest and coolest stars and therefore are the most amenable to characterization. However, the question of whether exoplanet atmospheres can endure in the close-in, high-energy environment of M-dwarf stars remains almost entirely unknown from an observational standpoint. In this talk, I discuss our efforts to uncover whether two nearby M-dwarf rocky planets have atmospheres: GJ 1132b and LTT 1445Ab. Two near-infrared transits of GJ 1132b were observed with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and one near-infrared transit of LTT 1445Ab was observed with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). I will bring us on a journey through the data reduction process, discussing the ongoing challenges of searching for small signals and comparing the use of HST and JWST in this endeavor. I discuss what we have (and have not) learned about these two planets and lessons learned for future rocky exoplanet observations.

If you have any questions, contact the PALS hosts: Jacob Kloos (small bodies) and Matt Nixon (exoplanets).


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: 01-Dec-2023.