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Hot Jupiters as Extreme Examples of Atmospheric Physics and the Best Targets for Characterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres

Abstract: Hot Jupiters are a class of gas giant exoplanets that receive 10,000 times more flux than Jupiter and have been tidally locked into synchronous rotation states, with rotation periods of a few days. The intense irradiation on their permanent daysides drive global-scale circulation patterns with wind speeds on the order of a few km/s. Although the first type of exoplanet discovered, there remain several outstanding questions regarding the physical properties and processes at work in their atmospheres. With the launch of JWST and the advancement of ground-based observing techniques, our ability to empirically constrain hot Jupiter atmospheres has drastically advanced and three-dimensional, complex details are imprinted in these new, cutting-edge data. Meanwhile, the number of hot Jupiters for which we have atmospheric characterization measurements has steadily increased, allowing for observations of physical trends across the hot Jupiter population. I will discuss work from my group in modeling the 3D structure of hot Jupiters and discuss in particular the extreme physics of: 1) global-scale mineral cloud formation and, 2) how magnetic effects shape the flow structure when thermal ionization within the atmosphere becomes important. These effects matter differently across the hot Jupiter population, and I will discuss what population-level observational trends may result. I will compare these to observed trends and discuss how we can push our measurement techniques to gain even more detailed information about hot Jupiter 3D structure and physics.

Host: Deepayan Banik
Event series  Atmospheric Physics SeminarsNoble Seminar Series