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Astronomy Colloquium Series Presents

Dr. Jayne Birkby, Assistant Professor, Anton Pannekoek Institute, University of Amsterdam
Thursday, October 18, 2018
3:30-4:20 PM
411 West Hall Map
Exoplanet Atmospheres in High Resolution

Our search for a second Earth has uncovered an incredible diversity in the exoplanet population. Many have no analogue in our solar system, and it is clear that our cosy solar neighbourhood contains only a mere fraction of the possible outcomes of the planet formation process. We do not yet know what causes this diversity, but it has implications for our understanding of the by-products of star formation, and the occurrence of Earth-like and life-bearing planets in our galaxy. A key way we can begin to elucidate this is via the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres, to learn how and where they gathered their materials in their protoplanetary disks, as well as to understand the physical processes that govern them, especially in the extreme regimes that some of them exist. In this colloquium, I will discuss a relatively new technique that uses high resolution spectrographs to give a deep insight into exoplanet atmospheres. High-resolution spectroscopy is a robust and powerful tool in exoplanet characterization. It uses changes in the Doppler shift of a planet to disentangle its spectrum from the glare of its host star. The technique is sensitive to the depth, shape, and position of a planet's spectral lines, and thus reveals information about the planet's composition, atmospheric structure, mass, global wind patterns, and rotation. I will demonstrate how it may be our only avenue forward in the coming decades for characterizing our nearest temperate rocky worlds, using the ELTs. I will close by highlighting how two high resolution spectrographs on the ELT, METIS and HIRES, will play a pivotal role in this endeavour and in the hunt for biosignatures.

Please note: Should you require any reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access and opportunity related to this event please contact Stacy Tiburzi at 734-764-3440 or
Building: West Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Astronomy, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, Lecture, Physics
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Astronomy, Department of Physics, Michigan Institute for Research in Astrophysics