DIX Planetary Science Seminar
The study of rocky exoplanets and their atmospheres promises new insights into the prevalence of habitable worlds and the search for life beyond Earth. However, the ability to achieve these goals rests on the success of our current and future observing facilities and the foundational interdisciplinary research that clarifies the path toward these high-level goals. In this talk, I will review current and ongoing work to characterize the atmospheres of solar system planets using exoplanet analog observations to leverage the power of precision from remote sensing and in situ measurements to validate exoplanet models and methods. I will also discuss how the exoplanet ensemble offers power in numbers to test population-level hypotheses and to develop generalized theories in planetary science that can explain our planetary origins in tandem with those of our exoplanetary neighbors. Finally, I will present an overview of findings from our team's large JWST Cycle 1 program designed to search for atmospheres on rocky exoplanets in a first extrasolar test of the cosmic shoreline hypothesis – an empirical division observed in the solar system between the population of bodies with and without atmospheres.