Exoplanets & Exomoons

Exoplanetary Atmospheres: Key Insights, Challenges and Prospects

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
April 9, 2019
Filed under
Exoplanetary Atmospheres: Key Insights, Challenges and Prospects
Extrasolar planet

Exoplanetary science is on the verge of an unprecedented revolution. The thousands of exoplanets discovered over the past decade have most recently been supplemented by discoveries of potentially habitable planets around nearby low-mass stars.

Currently, the field is rapidly progressing towards detailed spectroscopic observations to characterise the atmospheres of these planets. While various surveys from space and ground are expected to detect numerous more exoplanets orbiting nearby stars, the imminent launch of JWST along with large ground-based facilities are expected to revolutionise exoplanetary spectroscopy. Such observations, combined with detailed theoretical models and inverse methods, provide valuable insights into a wide range of physical processes and chemical compositions in exoplanetary atmospheres.

Depending on the planetary properties, the knowledge of atmospheric compositions can also place important constraints on planetary formation and migration mechanisms, geophysical processes, and, ultimately, biosignatures. In the present review, we will discuss the modern and future landscape of this frontier area of exoplanetary atmospheres. We will start with a brief review of the area, emphasising the key insights gained from different observational methods and theoretical studies. This is followed by an in-depth discussion of the state-of-the-art, challenges, and future prospects in three forefront branches of the area.

Nikku Madhusudhan
(Submitted on 5 Apr 2019)

Comments: To appear in Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1904.03190 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1904.03190v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Madhusudhan Nikku
[v1] Fri, 5 Apr 2019 18:00:00 UTC (5,493 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻