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The Theoretical Astrophysics Program is an interdisciplinary program designed to foster scientific and academic links among the Physics, Astronomy, and Planetary Sciences community.
Feb
24
Mon
2020
Antonija Oklopčić
Feb 24 @ 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm
Antonija Oklopčić

Antonija Oklopčić – Harvard University

Probing the Escaping Atmospheres of Exoplanets

Atmospheric escape is an important process in the evolution of atmospheres of extrasolar planets, especially those orbiting very close to their host stars. However, many aspects of atmospheric escape in exoplanets remain poorly understood, in part due to a small number of direct observations that have been available until recently, obtained mostly via transit spectroscopy in the difficult-to-observe hydrogen Lyman-alpha line. In recent theoretical work, we demonstrated that the absorption line of helium at 1083 nm can be used as a powerful new diagnostic of extended and escaping atmospheres. Since then, large absorption signals in the helium 1083 nm line have been observed in several exoplanets. I will discuss how we can use theoretical models to provide the physical interpretation for the observed 1083 nm absorption signals and place constraints on the physical properties of extended exoplanet atmospheres and their mass-loss rates. These observations can help us improve our understanding of the processes that drive atmospheric mass loss and, consequently, influence the evolution of exoplanets and the demographics of exoplanetary systems.

Refreshments served at 3:15pm in the 3rd Floor Atrium

Mar
16
Mon
2020
Andreu Font-Ribera
Mar 16 @ 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm
Andreu Font-Ribera

Andrew Font-Ribera – University College London

Title and Abstract: TBA

Refreshments served at 3:15pm in the 3rd Floor Atrium

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LOCATION

Steward Observatory
933 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719