Presenter: Giovanna Tinetti, University College, London
Date/Time: June 2, 2008 11:00 AM Pacific
Abstract: In the past decade, over 280 planets orbiting other stars (extrasolar planets) have been discovered. For a growing sample of giant extrasolar planets orbiting very close to their parent star (hot-Jupiters), we can already probe their atmospheric constituents using transit techniques. With this method, we can indirectly observe the thin atmospheric ring surrounding the optically thick disc of the planet -the limb- while the planet is transiting in front of its parent star. This method was traditionally used to probe the atmospheres of planets in our Solar System and most recently, thanks to the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, was successfully applied to exoplanets.