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“Chalk Talk” Astronomy Seminar – Andrew Mann
February 23, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
UNC-CH “Chalk Talk” Astronomy Seminar
Andrew Mann, Columbia University
“Exoplanets Across Space and Time”
The coming decades will usher in a new era of research on young exoplanets. This begins with the launch of TESS and JWST, which will provide new insight into the evolution of exoplanetary atmospheres. Gaia astrometric results will follow soon after, which will enable the discovery of young planets on wide orbits missed by transit surveys. This will culminate with the launch of NASA’s next generation flagship missions (LUVOIR and/or HabEX) and the construction of 30m-class telescopes, which can directly image the analogues of a young Earth. Thanks to the decreasing cost of microsatellite, it is also possible to run a dedicated survey of young star forming regions from space, which can help bridge the scientific and temporal gap between TESS/JWST/Gaia and LUVOIR/HabEX. Throughout this journey, SOAR and similar ground-based facilities will be essential to confirm planet candidates, characterize the planet’s host star, and provide more detailed properties of confirmed planets. This includes complementary work to understand the physical properties of young stars that pulls heavily on existing and planned instrumentation for SOAR and SALT. This combination of space- and ground-based facilities offers a unique opportunity for UNC researchers to be at the forefront of this field in these critical years.