CCA Seminar (Adam Showman)

Date & Time

The Atmospheric Circulation of hot Jupiters

Over 3500 planets have been discovered around other stars, many of
which orbit extremely close-in, where they receive enormous stellar
fluxes. The intense radiation on these planets is expected to drive a
vigorous atmospheric circulation that shapes the day-night temperature
difference, infrared light curves, spectra, albedo, atmospheric
composition, and perhaps even the long-term evolution and planetary
radii. Recent spacebased and groundbased telescope observations
exhibit extensive evidence for such circulations in the atmospheres of
these planets. This new observational vanguard opens the possibility
of extending our understanding of atmospheric circulation beyond the
confines of the Solar System, and it raises fundamental questions
about planetary climate and habitability. Here I will survey this
exciting new field and describe recent research elucidating the
dynamical mechanisms that operate to control the atmospheric
circulation in these planets’ atmospheres. To emphasize the
similarities as well as differences, I will ground this discussion
in our understanding of the more familiar atmospheric dynamical
regime of Earth, as well as our “local” giant planets Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, and Neptune.

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