Astronomy Tea Talk
Gas-giant planets emit a large fraction of their light in the mid-infrared (>3 microns), where photometry and spectroscopy are critical to our understanding of the bulk properties of extrasolar planets. Of particular importance are the L and M-band atmospheric windows (3-5 micron), which are the longest wavelengths currently accessible to ground-based, high-contrast imagers.
I will describe how recent LBT and Magellan photometry of HR 8799 and 2M1207 b impact our picture of the dynamical atmospheres of exoplanets, and what our results imply for future exoplanet imaging projects, such as JWST. Additionally, I will describe the state of the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, which is beginning a large exoplanet imaging survey (LEECH) and a first reconnaissance of exozodiacal dust around nearby stars (HOSTS).