PSJC #17 Sep 8 2008

Photometry and Spectroscopy of Exoplanetary Atmospheres

Exoplanetary measurements have posed challenges to established theory from the initial announcements of planets orbiting a pulsar (Wolszczan and Frail 1992) and 51 Peg (Mayor and Queloz 1995), the latter in an orbit of just 4.2 days. Since then observations of light absorbed, reflected, and emitted by planets have slowly begun revealing the secrets of these surprisingly unpredictable worlds. I will review the status of the field to date, present our latest results using the Spitzer Space Telescope, and discuss open questions and future research possibilities.