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Wed, 03 Jul

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JWST Thermal Emission Spectroscopy of the Super-Earth 55 Cnc e

Renyu Hu (JPL Caltech)

JWST Thermal Emission Spectroscopy of the Super-Earth 55 Cnc e
JWST Thermal Emission Spectroscopy of the Super-Earth 55 Cnc e

Time & Location

03 Jul 2024, 18:00 – 19:00 CEST

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About the event

JWST enables the measurements of the thermal emission spectra of small exoplanets to characterize their atmospheres and surfaces. Such measurements open up a new way to test models of atmospheric evolution and retention. I will present JWST thermal emission observations of a potentially rocky exoplanet, the planet 55 Cnc e, covering the wavelength range between 4 and 12 microns through two eclipse observations using the NIRCam/F444W and MIRI/LRS modes. Prior observations with Spitzer photometry showed that the planet must have either a volatile-rich atmosphere, or a molten lava surface shrouded by a mineral atmosphere while rotating at an asynchronous rate. The JWST observations have the sensitivity to distinguish the volatile-rich atmosphere scenarios versus the mineral atmosphere scenario via spectral features of H2O, CO, CO2, SO2, and SiO, providing one of the first direct detections of a non-H2-dominated atmosphere on an exoplanet. I will also discuss the challenges and mitigations for observing very bright stars using JWST.

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