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Astronomy Colloquium

Wednesday, March 16, 2022
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Online and In-Person Event
Exoplanet Adventures in the 2020s and Beyond
Jayne Birkby, Associate Professor of Exoplanetary Science, Department of Physics, University of Oxford,

This year marks 30 years since the confirmation of planets beyond our Solar system; the pulsar planets. In our quest to find other Earths, we've uncovered an extraordinarily diverse set of outcomes of the star-planet formation process, far beyond our imagination, and yet we have still barely scratched the surface of what we can learn about this eclectic zoo of other worlds. While exoplanet hunters continue the search for the nearest Earth twins, our last decade of study has pushed to understand the atmospheres of these new planets, and how their climate physics and chemistry respond to the environment created by their parents stars. In this talk, I will demonstrate how new instrumentation, high in resolution, precision, and contrast is pushing our understanding of exoplanet atmospheres to increasing detail. I'll discuss studies of gas giants as well as the crucial preparation we are doing to find biosignatures on nearby rocky worlds with the Extremely Large Telescopes. I will demonstrate our recent work on techniques to map out storms in giant exoplanet atmospheres, and I'll end by discussing the next phase of exoplanet observations that aim to reveal the surface interactions of rocky exoplanets.

To view this talk via YouTube, please visit:

For more information, please contact Jim Fuller by email at [email protected] or visit