University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Astrophysics Talks Series > Robustly Characterizing Exoplanets in a New Era of High-Precision Transit Measurements

Robustly Characterizing Exoplanets in a New Era of High-Precision Transit Measurements

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  • UserJulien de Wit, MIT
  • ClockWednesday 28 June 2023, 14:00-15:00
  • HousePHYW-LT (117).

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lalitha Sairam.

With a new-generation of great observatories coming online this decade, unprecedented insights into exoplanets will soon be within reach. Observatories such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) notably enable the study of atmospheres around terrestrial exoplanets and can reveal tri-dimensional structures in the atmospheres of their larger counterparts. Robustly leveraging new observations to reach such achievements will however require extra care as the models currently used may not be up to par with their precision.

During this presentation, I will introduce work done by MIT ’s Disruptive Planets group and collaborators towards supporting the robust in-depth characterization of exoplanets. I will specifically discuss how not accounting for the true shape of a planet can lead to a misinterpretation of its interior properties as well as atmospheric structure; how the current state of our understanding of light-matter interactions can similarly affect our interpretation of planetary spectra and thus inferences regarding their atmospheric properties; and how the current state of emission spectrum models for stars may even prevent from disentangling between the contribution of a planet and its host star, to start with. I will also present possible ways to address these challenges. I will end with a step-by-step roadmap to the robust characterization of temperate terrestrial planets with JWST , which includes habitability assessment.

This talk is part of the Astrophysics Talks Series series.

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