Status Report

Atmospheric Dynamics of Exoplanets

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2014
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Atmospheric Dynamics of Exoplanets

Kevin Heng, Adam P. Showman

(Submitted on 15 Jul 2014)

The characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres has come of age in the last 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 the present 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 towards the future by considering a separate set of exploratory questions. Attaining the next level of understanding will require a concerted effort of constructing multi-faceted, multi-wavelength 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 multi-faceted, multi-wavelength datasets will help us understand these and other degeneracies. The coming decade will witness a decisive confrontation of theory and simulation by the next generation of astronomical data.


Submitted to Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. 16 pages, 9 figures, 1 table. Posted with permission from the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Volume TBD by Annual Reviews, this http URL Comments welcome


Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as:

arXiv:1407.4150 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1407.4150v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Kevin Heng 

[v1] Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:20:27 GMT (3600kb,D)


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