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Astronomy Colloquium - "Probing the Weather on Distant Worlds"

Event Type
Department of Astronomy
Astronomy 134
Oct 14, 2014   3:45 pm  
Nikole Lewis, MIT
Originating Calendar
Astronomy Colloquium Speaker Calendar

The number of planets detected outside of our solar system has

increased at an almost exponential rate over the past 10 years with

currently more than 1800 confirmed exoplanets.  Slowly, we are

beginning to characterize the physical properties of these planets

including their atmospheric composition, thermal structure, and global

circulation patterns.  Here I discuss the combination of sophisticated

three-dimensional atmospheric models with space-based observations to

probe weather patterns in exoplanet atmospheres.  I will focus on

recent phase-curve and eclipse-mapping observations with the Spitzer

Space Telescope aimed at characterizing the global circulation

patterns of extrasolar planets.  The combination of these observations

with atmospheric models will hopefully shed new light on the

radiative, dynamic, and chemical process that are at work in these

atmospheres beyond our solar system.

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