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Astrophysics Colloquium

Wind, Clouds, and Chemistry: Heat Transport on Hot Jupiters
Presented by Nick Cowan
McGill University

Thursday, May 10, 2018
11:00 A.M. in 169-336

Hot Jupiters were the first exoplanets to be discovered, and are still the best-characterized. We have no analogs to these worlds in our Solar System, but on paper they should be relatively simple objects: hot Jupiters are all about the same size, they are all roughly the same composition as their host star, and they are sufficiently hot that we should be able to neglect photo-chemistry. To date, we have been able to study the atmospheres of dozens of hot Jupiters, mostly using the Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes. These observations have convinced us that hot Jupiters are much more interesting than advertised. I will present recent highlights from my team, including a remarkably black planet, a planet where the winds blow the wrong way, and a planet with impossibly cold nights. I will tell a plausible story involving exotic clouds and hydrogen chemistry that goes a long way to explaining some of the emerging trends in hot Jupiter atmospheres. Magnetic fields may also rear their ugly heads.

JPL Contact: Tiffany Kataria (3-4935)

SVCP Astrophysics

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