Universiteit Leiden

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Portraits of Alien Worlds

Wednesday 4 December 2019
Lecture is in English. Entrance: Special Guest Card, entrance ticket, Friend of the Museum
Rijksmuseum Boerhaave
Lange Sint Agnietenstraat 10
2312 WC Leiden
Einstein room

How fast does the weather change on other planets?
With thousands of exoplanets discovered to date, astronomers have turned their interest to their atmospheres. We try to find answers to questions like: does the gravity, temperature or maybe distance to their parent star affect these atmospheres? Are clouds common? How fast does the weather change on other planets? Until now we haven't found any other planet like our Earth, but the lessons we learn from studying the vast zoo of exoplanet atmospheres helps us prepare for the future study of real Earth-analogues.

Actual photos of exoplanets
Assistant Professor Theodora Karalidi of the University of Central Florida will discuss how we study exoplanet atmospheres using direct imaging, i.e., taking actual photos of the planets.

We will see how observing an exoplanet as it rotates around its axis, during an exoplanet day, allows us to create maps. She will talk about how these maps can be used to study the weather on these alien worlds and help us understand why some atmospheres appear to change behavior from one day to the next.

Finally, she will talk about how we can make maps of Earth-like planets and look for water, clouds and oceans on these alien worlds.

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