Astronomy Colloquium - Eliza Kempton

Image
Primary Mirror of the 4-meter Mayall Telescope on Kitt Peak
February 20, 2020
3:00PM - 4:00PM
Location
0130 CBEC

Date Range
Add to Calendar 2020-02-20 15:00:00 2020-02-20 16:00:00 Astronomy Colloquium - Eliza Kempton Revealing the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Super-Earths Eliza Kempton - University of Maryland Super-Earths (planets with masses and sizes intermediate between the Earth and Neptune) do not exist in our Solar System, and models of planet formation and evolution are unable to uniquely predict their bulk compositions.  Whether these planets are primarily rocky, gassy, or icy — and, if all three possibilities exist, how the dividing lines between sub-classes are sculpted — remains the subject of vigorous scientific discourse.  The atmospheres of super-Earths are an astronomical observer’s window into the composition of these planets.  I will review the current state of atmospheric modeling and observations of super-Earth exoplanets, focusing on the challenges of uniquely inferring their key physical properties.  I will then turn to a forward-looking view of the coming decade with regard to upcoming observational facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope and ground-based thirty-meter class telescopes, and how these facilities will revolutionize our understanding of super-Earths and their atmospheres.  Coffee and Donuts will be served at 2:30pm in 4054 McPherson Lab. 0130 CBEC Department of Astronomy astronomy@osu.edu America/New_York public
Description

Revealing the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Super-Earths

Eliza Kempton - University of Maryland

Super-Earths (planets with masses and sizes intermediate between the Earth and Neptune) do not exist in our Solar System, and models of planet formation and evolution are unable to uniquely predict their bulk compositions.  Whether these planets are primarily rocky, gassy, or icy — and, if all three possibilities exist, how the dividing lines between sub-classes are sculpted — remains the subject of vigorous scientific discourse.  The atmospheres of super-Earths are an astronomical observer’s window into the composition of these planets.  I will review the current state of atmospheric modeling and observations of super-Earth exoplanets, focusing on the challenges of uniquely inferring their key physical properties.  I will then turn to a forward-looking view of the coming decade with regard to upcoming observational facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope and ground-based thirty-meter class telescopes, and how these facilities will revolutionize our understanding of super-Earths and their atmospheres. 

Coffee and Donuts will be served at 2:30pm in 4054 McPherson Lab.

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