SSP seminar

A new approach to retrieve atmospheric properties of extrasolar planets

Nikku Madhusudhan (MIT)

Monday 23rd November 2009, 12:00pm
Pratt conference room, 60 Garden Street

I will present a new development in theoretical modeling and interpretation of exoplanet atmospheres. We have developed a new modeling method which allows one to place statistical constraints on the atmospheric properties of extrasolar planets, based on photometric and spectroscopic data. We can now compute error contours in chemical compositions, temperature structure, and day-night energy redistribution in the planet atmosphere. Our method involves large-scale computation of millions of 1D atmosphere models, with and without thermal inversions, to span the large parameter space. I will present the method and several new results that resulted from this approach. I will report results on several hot Jupiters from HST, Spitzer and Kepler data, address the fundamental question of whether hot Jupiters host thermal inversions, and discuss on how much data is required to estimate the atmospheric properties at a required confidence.


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