Wilson Cauley (UC Boulder): "Rarified Air: The Extended Atmospheres of Hot Planets"


Title: Rarified Air: The Extended Atmospheres of Hot Planets

Abstract: Thanks to the dedication of exoplanet hunters and the amazing success of survey missions, such as NASA's Kepler and TESS instruments, we now have a good statistical grasp on many pieces of the exoplanet demographic puzzle. The path to a comprehensive understanding of exoplanets now winds through the meadow of detailed characterization. One important component of this effort is detecting and modeling exoplanet atmospheres, which can provide insight into planetary evolution and formation. In the past several years high-resolution spectroscopy has become a critical tool in measuring the properties of exoplanet atmospheres, in particular those with very short orbital periods, or "hot" planets given their high equilibrium temperatures. I will discuss our exciting efforts to use high-resolution spectrographs to probe the velocity dynamics of these extreme planets and how these techniques might be used in the future to characterize the atmospheres of rocky temperate worlds. I will also briefly describe our ongoing programs to use ultraviolet observations to search for mass loss around young planets and molecular hydrogen in the atmospheres of the hottest planets yet detected.