Joint Seminar: A Theory for Atmospheric Circulations of Rocky Exoplanets

Rocky exoplanets are extremely common in the galaxy, and next-generation telescopes will allow us to study their atmospheres. Most exoplanets accessible to observations are likely tidally locked, which has important consequences. Numerical simulations indicate that tidal locking critically influences a planet's remote appearance and habitability, but there is little theory to support these simulations or to make testable predictions.

I will present a basic theoretical framework for tidally locked planets. I will show that these planets resemble planetary heat engines, which allows us to constrain their large-scale wind speeds and temperature structure. Using dimensional analysis, I will also show how an exoplanet's observed day-night heat redistribution can be used to infer its atmospheric thickness, and thus distinguish an exo-Mars from an exo-Venus. These theories extend our understanding of climate to other planets, and make predictions that can be tested as soon as 2018.




15:15 h


Bundesstr. 53, room 022/023
Seminar Room 022/023, Ground Floor, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Hamburg


Daniel Koll, University of Chicago


Bjorn Stevens

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