Infrared Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres
- Author(s): Crossfield, Ian James Mills
- Advisor(s): Hansen, Bradley M.S.
- et al.
The study of extrasolar planet atmospheres elucidates the formation
and migration history of planets and places the origin and evolution
of Earth and the Solar System in a broader context. The last
several years have seen rapid strides in this direction via routine
detections of planetary transits, thermal emission, atmospheric
circulation, and transmisission spectroscopy using both broadband
photometry and spectroscopy. My dissertation employs all these
techniques in an effort to investigate the atmospheric composition,
structure, and dynamics of a broad range of exoplanet atmospheres.
These observations focus on the infrared wavelengths where planet
emission is strongest and molecular features are most prominent. I
present transit, eclipse, and phase curve photometry of several hot
Jupiters (upsilon Andromedae b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b), and present spectroscopy
for both WASP-12b (emission, observed at low resolution) and the
cool, low-mass planet GJ 1214b (transmission at high
resolution). This work will guide future observations and inform the
next generation of models in preparation for future spectroscopy of
ever smaller, cooler, and more Earthlike planets.