Northwestern Events Calendar


Astrophysics Seminar: Natasha Batalha, NASA: "The Open Access Era of Exoplanet Characterization at the Onset of Next-Generation Telescopes"

When: Tuesday, November 28, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM CT

Where: 1800 Sherman Avenue, 7-600, Evanston, IL 60201 Evanston map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Joan West   (847) 491-3645

Group: Physics and Astronomy Astrophysics Seminars

Category: Academic


One of NASA's primary goals is to observationally characterize exoplanet atmospheres, understand the chemical and physical processes of exoplanets and improve the understanding of the origins of exoplanetary systems. The launch and successful operation of JWST is allowing us to interpret a diverse set of exoplanet atmosphere observations, ranging from hot gas giants to small temperate rocky worlds. Our understanding and interpretation of this full gamut of spectroscopy data will hinge on our ability to link observations accurately and transparently to theoretical models. In concert with this new era in exoplanetary space science, NASA has declared 2023 the Year of Open Science, ushering in a new foundation for us to conduct our science. One of our goals has been to ensure that the community is equipped with findable, accessible, interpretable, and reproducible theoretical models needed to both plan and execute ground-breaking science with JWST and beyond. Open access tools increase the accessibility of our science, the diversity of ideas, and foster equitable collaborations. 

I will first discuss the current landscape of open access theoretical exoplanet model development, and then focus on how they have enabled some of the first JWST results of a diverse set of planetary atmospheres. Lastly, we will look ahead to the next decade of exoplanet exploration, discuss what gaps remain, and how we will move towards a population-level understanding of exoplanets that is built on open access science.

Natasha Batalha, Research Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center

Host: Jason Wang

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