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Hotter than Hell: Understanding highly-irradiated worlds through transmission spectroscopy

Julia V. Seidel
Observatory of Geneva, Switzerland

One of the most intriguing outcomes of the young field of exoplanet research is the emergence of highly-irradiated planets, located much closer to their host star than any of the Solar System planets. These planets, which give us a glimpse into the future of our Solar System once the Sun reaches its final life stages, have been studied in-depth, allowing us to learn more about their temperature profiles and present molecules and atoms. However, the characterization of atmospheric dynamics, a crucial part to truly understand an atmosphere, has severely lagged behind. Until recently, our only glimpse into the winds on exoplanets was restricted to global circulation models (e.g. Showman et al. 2009, Parmentier et al. 2018), probing only the lowest layers of the atmosphere, and atmospheric escape models, which describe the mass outflow far out in the exosphere (e.g. Lecavelier des Etangs et al. 2010, Bourrier et al. 2017). Thanks to these techniques, we know that the lower atmosphere is dominated by zonal winds, while the exosphere expands into space. But what happens in the vast area between these regimes?

This pressing question has been answered in my PhD work, where I resolved spectral lines which probe the missing layers of the atmosphere to understand their atmospheric dynamics (Seidel et al. 2019, 2020a, 2021 submitted). During my talk, I will present a consolidated view of highly-irradiated exoplanet atmosphere dynamics, focusing on the connection between the different atmospheric layers and show new results on the ultra hot Jupiter WASP-76b (Seidel et al. 2021 submitted to A&A).

2021 March 03, 13:30

Online broadcast (Zoom)

Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia