Molecules in the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets - A Workshop inParis

Salle Cassini, Observatoire de Paris, November 19-21 2008

Exoplanets are being discovered at an ever accelerating pace. As a result planetary scientists and astronomers are increasingly called upon to make the transition from discovery to characterization, so that we can begin the long journey of understanding these planets in the same way that we understand those in our own Solar System. Among the known exoplanets, hot-Jupiters and hot-Neptunes that transit their parent stars present the first real opportunities to determine key compositional and atmospheric parameters.

The atmospheres of transiting hot-Jupiters are now starting to be probed for water vapour, carbon/nitrogen/sulphur bearing molecules. The results will provide us with a first insight on the photochemical composition and escape processes on the atmospheres of hot-Jupiters, and pave the way to do such studies on hot-Neptunes, super-Earths, and finally Earth-mass planets. This is a necessary step before proceeding with the study of cooler planets.

This workshop aims at bringing together different scientific communities : solar system planetary scientists, brown dwarf and exoplanet modellers and observers, molecular spectroscopy and instrument development experts. We will cover different topics : radiative transfer, line lists, photochemical models, dynamics, observations using ground based facilities (high-resolution spectroscopy in the optical and in the IR), and space-based observations. Present days results will be discussed in the context of the preparation of upcoming warm SPITZER, JWST, SPICA, and the next generation of direct detection mission concepts from ground and space.

For more information: http://www.iap.fr/molecules2008/

Source: NAI Newsletter

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