Astrophysics Seminar: Mary Anne Limbach, Texas A&M/Univ of Michigan


Location: 184 Nieuwland Science Hall (View on map )

Beyond the Stars: Exploring Exoplanet Frontiers

Mary Anne Limbach
Physics & Astronomy
Texas A&M/Univ of Michigan

In this presentation, I will delve into two frontiers of exoplanet research: the detection of exomoons and the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres. Firstly, I will discuss the possibility of detecting exomoons and exosatellites orbiting free-floating
planetary-mass objects (FFPs) and brown dwarfs through the use of space-based infrared observatories such as Spitzer, JWST, and the Roman Space telescope. I will also touch upon our ongoing efforts to utilize archival substellar Spitzer lightcurves to understand the demographics of this elusive population. Additionally, I will discuss the potential for detecting smaller exosatellites, down to the size of Io, with upcoming JWST observations. Furthermore, I will introduce the Transiting Exosatellites, Moons, and Planets in Orion (TEMPO) Survey that will leverage the capabilities of the Roman Space Telescope to identify exomoons and exosatellites as small as Titan orbiting FFP and brown dwarf hosts. Moving on to exoplanet atmospheres, I will highlight some of our latest developments in ground-based instrumentation for exoplanet atmospheric characterization. This will include upgrades to the GPI 2.0 IFS and the first scientific results obtained using our newly commissioned exoplanet transmission spectroscopy instrument (ETSI), which features a unique design for high-precision transit spectroscopy from the ground. Lastly, I will present a novel method for characterizing white dwarf exoplanet atmospheres, including biosignatures, through the use of the JWST/MIRI instrument to detect spectrally resolved infrared excess.

Hosted by Prof. Chilcote