Mapping Other Worlds: Spatial Studies of Exoplanets and Ultracool Atmospheres

A Satellite Session at the Pathways 2015  Meeting

Organizers: Daniel Apai and Nick Cowan

Tuesday, July 14 afternoon,  at Lecture Rm 206.

Invited Speakers:
Esther Buenzli (MPIA)
Julien de Wit
Yuka Fujii (ELSI, Tokyo IT)

Spatial information provides powerful and unique constraints on the physics and chemistry of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, including cloud formation, structure, and evolution; atmospheric dynamics; compositional variations in gas, solid, and liquid phases; as well as inferring surface spectra — including biosignatures — and surface coverage.  Recent years have seen exciting progress in this new field, including numerical methods to interpret time-resolved exoplanet data, the first maps of brown dwarfs and transiting exoplanets, and exciting ideas and technique to map habitable zone exo-earths.

In this session we will explore:
1) state-of-the-art observations of spatially resolved ultracool atmospheres;
2) methods to obtain spatially resolved exoplanet data in the future;
3) approaches to deduce spatial information from time-resolved data;
4) science goals that can be achieved through spatially resolved data.

The 2-hour-long session will consist of 3 invited talks (20+5 minutes) and  contributed talks (8+2 minutes), followed by an open discussion.

Session Program

2:00 – 2:25 Esther Buenzli, Invited Speaker, (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy)
Mapping Brown Dwarfs

2:25 – 2:35  Daniel Apai (Univ. Arizona)
Mapping Silicate Storms and Atmospheric Dynamics in Ultracool Atmospheres

2:35 – 2:45  Theodora Karalidi (Univ. Arizona)
Mapping ultracool atmosphere storms with Aeolus

2:45 – 3:10 Julien de Wit, Invited Speaker (MIT)
Mapping Transiting Exoplanets

3:10 – 3:20 Nadine Afram (Kiepenheuer Institut für Sonnenphysik)
Molecular bands and Clouds in hot Jupiter atmospheres

3:20 – 3:45 Yuka Fujii, Invited Speaker (ELSI, Tokyo IT)
Methods and Techniques to Map Terrestrial Exoplanets

3:45-3:55 Discussion

3:55 – 4:05 Joel Schwartz (Northwestern University)
Inferring Planetary Obliquity Using Rotational Photometry

4:05 – 4:15 Nick Cowan (Northwestern University)
Robust Glint Signatures in Exoplanet Photometry

4:15 – 4:30 Discussion

Contact Information:

Daniel Apai   (                                                                                       Nicolas Cowan (
Steward Observatory and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory                                             Amherst College
The University of Arizona