Exoplanets: from detection to characterization

TYPEAstrophysics Seminar
Speaker:Aviv Ofir
Time:14:30 - 15:30
Location:Lidow 620
Abstract:How can one study objects one cannot even see? In this talk I will shortly review the different observational techniques used for detect exoplanets before focusing on transits. These are usually thought of as the passage of a circular black disk in front of a luminous one, but this description is extremely simplistic and ignores a multitude of other effects. Indeed, detailed transit analysis can help to constrain a surprisingly large number of exoplanetary parameters: from planetary system formation and system architecture, through bulk and atmospheric compositions, to moons and rings, and to global weather patterns and biomarkers detection. These prospects underline the major shift in the focus of the exoplanets community  from planet detection to planet characterization. The relentless pace of discoveries during the past two decades, about these objects that one cannot even see, is expected to continue and even intensify in the future.