Atmospheric dynamics of hot exoplanets

Kevin Heng, Adam Showman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres has come of age in the past decade, as astronomical techniques now allow for albedos, chemical abundances, temperature profiles and maps, rotation periods, and even wind speeds to be measured. Atmospheric dynamics sets the background state of density, temperature, and velocity that determines or influences the spectral and temporal appearance of an exoplanetary atmosphere. Hot exoplanets are most amenable to these characterization techniques. In this review, we focus on highly irradiated, large exoplanets (the hot Jupiters), as astronomical data begin to confront theoretical questions. We summarize the basic atmospheric quantities inferred from the astronomical observations. We review the state of the art by addressing a series of current questions, and look toward the future by considering a separate set of exploratory questions. Attaining the next level of understanding requires a concerted effort of constructing multifaceted, multiwavelength datasets for benchmark objects. Understanding clouds presents a formidable obstacle, as they introduce degeneracies into the interpretation of spectra, yet their properties and existence are directly influenced by atmospheric dynamics. Confronting general circulation models with these multifaceted, multiwavelength datasets will help us understand these and other degeneracies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-540
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Volume43
DOIs
StatePublished - May 30 2015

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atmospheric dynamics
extrasolar planets
atmosphere
temperature profile
Jupiter
albedo
general circulation model
atmospheres
wind velocity
Jupiter (planet)
temperature profiles
temperature
chemical
state of the art

Keywords

  • Astronomical observations
  • Clouds
  • Exoplanetary atmospheres
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Hot exoplanets
  • Radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Atmospheric dynamics of hot exoplanets. / Heng, Kevin; Showman, Adam.

In: Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 43, 30.05.2015, p. 509-540.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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