MIT Astrophysics Colloquium 10/11/2022: Exoplanet Atmospheres In High Definition (Speaker: Nikole Lewis, Cornell)

With the recent successful launch of JWST, a new window into exoplanet atmospheres is now wide open. Early JWST observations of exoplanet hosting systems have already proven the power of this observatory to provide new and transformational insights into exoplanet atmospheres. Although JWST will provided us with unprecedented looks at exoplanets in the infrared, to get a complete picture of the physical and chemical processes shaping these distant worlds we need to combine information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. Hubble is often referred to as JWST’s predecessor, but it still provides unique and important insights into exoplanet atmospheres. Recently a new mode for observing transiting exoplanets in ultraviolet to optical wavelengths with Hubble has been vetted and applied to yield insights into the chemistry at work in these atmospheres. In this talk I will focus on observations of transiting exoplanets from space-based observatories past, present, and future that allow us to better understand the three-dimensional nature of exoplanet atmospheres. I will also discuss the development of new theoretical tools that will allow us to interpret such observations and probe the complex physics and chemistry at work in these distant worlds.

Host: Sara Seager


Event Contact

Debbie Meinbresse