TAP Colloquium: Dr. Emily Rauscher
Pushing the Boundaries: Expanding Possibilities for Exoplanet Atmospheric Characterization
Dr. Emily Rauscher
University of Michigan
With the launch of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, the (eventual) launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, and the continual development of ground-based capabilities and construction of extremely large telescopes, we have an expanding ability to collect atmospheric data on many more exoplanets, and much more highly detailed data on the brightest ones. The biggest, brightest transiting planets will always be hot Jupiters which, although we have been observing and modeling their atmospheres for over a decade, remain far from a "solved problem". I will discuss two types of observational techniques that can provide new, highly detailed information about their atmospheres: high-resolution spectroscopy, which provides direct measurement of a planet's rotation rate and wind speeds, and eclipse mapping, which resolves a two-dimensional image of the planet's day side. Each of these methods will enable us to tackle outstanding scientific questions. Then, as we are increasingly able to perform atmospheric characterization measurements of more diverse types of exoplanets, we will be better able to understand atmospheric and planetary properties writ large. I will provide the example of what new things we will learn from studying "warm Jupiters", just slightly out beyond the standard hot Jupiter population.