Feb 07, 2022

Sarah Hörst, Johns Hopkins University

"Planets in a Bottle: The Role of Laboratory Experiments in the Search for Life"

From exoplanets, with their surprising lack of spectral features, to Titan and its characteristic haze layer, numerous planetary atmospheres may possess photochemically produced particles of "haze".  With few exceptions, we lack strong observational constraints (in situ or remote sensing) on the size, shape, density, and composition of these particles. Photochemical models, which can generally explain the observed abundances of smaller, gas phase molecules, are not well suited for investigations of much larger, solid phase particles. Laboratory investigations of haze formation in planetary atmospheres therefore play a key role in improving our understanding of the formation and composition of haze particles. I will discuss a series of experiments aimed at improving our understanding of the physical and chemical properties of planetary atmospheric hazes for a wide range of exoplanets including super-Earths, and mini-Neptunes and how we hope to use our results to aid in the search for life.

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Event Details

Feb 07, 2022


Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Orchard Room

Speaker Host:
Susanna Widicus Weaver, Vozza Professor of Chemistry and Astronomy

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