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Infrared Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres

  • Author(s): Crossfield, Ian James Mills
  • Advisor(s): Hansen, Bradley M.S.
  • et al.
Abstract

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.

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