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Exoplanetary Atmospheres

Madhusudhan, Nikku and Knutson, Heather and Fortney, Jonathan J. and Barman, Travis (2014) Exoplanetary Atmospheres. In: Protostars and Planets VI. University of Arizona Press , Tucson, AZ, pp. 739-762. ISBN 978-0-8165-3124-0.

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The study of exoplanetary atmospheres is one of the most exciting and dynamic frontiers in astronomy. Over the past two decades ongoing surveys have revealed an astonishing diversity in the planetary masses, radii, temperatures, orbital parameters, and host stellar properties of exoplanetary systems. We are now moving into an era where we can begin to address fundamental questions concerning the diversity of exoplanetary compositions, atmospheric and interior processes, and formation histories, just as have been pursued for solar system planets over the past century. Exoplanetary atmospheres provide a direct means to address these questions via their observable spectral signatures. In the last decade, and particularly in the last five years, tremendous progress has been made in detecting atmospheric signatures of exoplanets through photometric and spectroscopic methods using a variety of spaceborne and/or groundbased observational facilities. These observations are beginning to provide important constraints on a wide gamut of atmospheric properties, including pressure-temperature profiles, chemical compositions, energy circulation, presence of clouds, and nonequilibrium processes. The latest studies are also beginning to connect the inferred chemical compositions to exoplanetary formation conditions. In the present chapter, we review the most recent developments in the area of exoplanetary atmospheres. Our review covers advances in both observations and theory of exoplanetary atmospheres, and spans a broad range of exoplanet types (gas giants, ice giants, and super-Earths) and detection methods (transiting planets, direct imaging, and radial velocity). A number of upcoming planet-finding surveys will focus on detecting exoplanets orbiting nearby bright stars, which are the best targets for detailed atmospheric characterization. We close with a discussion of the bright prospects for future studies of exoplanetary atmospheres.

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Madhusudhan, Nikku0000-0002-4869-000X
Knutson, Heather0000-0002-0822-3095
Fortney, Jonathan J.0000-0002-9843-4354
Barman, Travis0000-0002-7129-3002
Additional Information:© 2014 University of Arizona Press. N.M. acknowledges support from Yale University through the YCAA fellowship. T.B. acknowledges support from NASA awards NNXIOAH31G and NNH10A007l and NSF award AST-1405505. J.J.F. acknowledges support from NASA awards NNX09AC22G and NNXI 2AI43A and NSF award AST-1312545.
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Yale University YCAA FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141219-144457669
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:53055
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Dec 2014 22:55
Last Modified:14 Oct 2019 21:55

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