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APEX this week with Dr Angelos Tsiaras: Towards a population of exoplanetary atmospheres

Start: Nov 02, 2017 01:00 PM
End: Nov 02, 2017 02:00 PM

Location: Garwood Lecture Theatre, first floor of the UCL South Wing

This week's Astrobiology and Planetary Exploration (APEX) seminar features a talk by:

Dr Angelos Tsiaras  (UCL, Physics and Astronomy): Towards a population of exoplanetary atmospheres 

Abstract

APEX Meeting logo

In the past two decades, we have learnt that every star hosts more than one planet. While the hunt for new exoplanets is on-going, the current sample of more than 3500 confirmed planets reveals a wide spectrum of planetary characteristics. While small planets appear to be the most common, the big and gaseous planets play a key role in the process of planetary formation. One of the most successful instruments for observing exoplanetary atmospheres is the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope. In particular, the use of the spatial scanning technique has given the opportunity for even more efficient observations of the brightest targets, achieving the necessary precision of 10 to 100 ppm to the flux of the star. In this talk I will describe the process followed to extract and analyse the planetary transmission spectrum from HST observations, focusing on the development of self-consistent, automatic tools for data analysis, simulations, and atmospheric modelling. I will also discuss latest results from the analysis of the largest population of exoplanetary atmospheres, with 30 planets, and the first atmosphere of a super-Earth, 55 Cancri e. With the James Webb Space Telescope and other dedicated instruments coming in the near future, automated processes integrated into publicly available software, as well as publicly available data, are paramount for the analysis of large number of observations, allowing us to answer questions related to the formation, evolution, composition and habitability of exoplanets.

The full APEX programme for this term is now available at:

http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfbiac/APEX.htm

As usual, everyone interested in these topics is welcome to attend.

Page last modified on 30 oct 17 10:52 by Joanna Fabbri