Exoplanetary Atmospheres: Key Insights, Challenges, and Prospects

  title={Exoplanetary Atmospheres: Key Insights, Challenges, and Prospects},
  author={Nikku Madhusudhan},
  journal={Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics},
  • N. Madhusudhan
  • Published 5 April 2019
  • Geology, Physics
  • Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Exoplanetary science is on the verge of an unprecedented revolution. The thousands of exoplanets discovered over the past decade have most recently been supplemented by discoveries of potentially habitable planets around nearby low-mass stars. Currently, the field is rapidly progressing toward detailed spectroscopic observations to characterize the atmospheres of these planets. Various surveys from space and the ground are expected to detect numerous more exoplanets orbiting nearby stars that… 
Atmospheric composition of exoplanets based on the thermal escape of gases and implications for habitability
This work estimates, for the first time and using the kinetic theory of gases, a list of the possible atmospheric species that can be retained in the atmospheres of the known exoplanets and concludes that 45 of them are good candidates for habitability studies.
Possible Atmospheric Diversity of Low Mass Exoplanets – Some Central Aspects
Exoplanetary science continues to excite and surprise with its rich diversity. We discuss here some key aspects potentially influencing the range of exoplanetary terrestrial-type atmospheres which
High Accuracy Molecular Line Lists for Studies of Exoplanets and Other Hot Atmospheres
The desire to characterize and model the atmospheres of the many extrasolar planets that have been discovered over the last three decades is a major driver of current astronomy. However, this goal is
On the synergy between Ariel and ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy
Since the first discovery of an extra-solar planet around a main-sequence star, in 1995, the number of detected exoplanets has increased enormously. Over the past two decades, observational
Characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres through a model-unbiased spectral survey methodology
Context. Collecting a large variety of exoplanetary atmosphere measurements is crucial to improve our understanding of exoplanets. In this context, it is likely that the field would benefit from
Quantifying the information impact of future searches for exoplanetary biosignatures
It is shown that even a single detection of biosignatures in the vicinity of the authors' stellar system, in a survey of similar size to what will be obtainable in the next 2 decades, would affect significantly their prior belief on the frequency of life in the universe.
Atmospheric dynamics of a near tidally locked Earth-sized planet
  • S. Kane
  • Geology, Physics
    Nature Astronomy
  • 2022
The discovery and characterization of Earth-sized planets that are in, or near, a tidally-locked state are of crucial importance to understanding terrestrial planet evolution, and for which Venus is
Development of the SPECULOOS exoplanet search project
The current status of SPECULOOS is reviewed, its first results, the plans for its development, and its connection to the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and JWST are reviewed.
Variable and Supersonic Winds in the Atmosphere of an Ultrahot Giant Planet
Hot Jupiters (HJs) receive intense irradiation from their stellar hosts. The resulting extreme environments in their atmospheres allow us to study the conditions that drive planetary atmospheric
Extreme-ultraviolet- and X-Ray-driven Photochemistry of Gaseous Exoplanets
The interaction of exoplanets with their host stars causes a vast diversity in bulk and atmospheric compositions and physical and chemical conditions. Stellar radiation, especially at the shorter


Exoplanetary Atmospheres
Exoplanetary discoveries in the past two decades have unveiled an astonishing diversity in the physical characteristics of exoplanetary systems, including their orbital properties, masses, radii,
Exoplanetary Atmospheres—Chemistry, Formation Conditions, and Habitability
The theory of atmospheric chemistry in all classes of exoplanets discovered to date is reviewed, from highly irradiated gas giants, ice giants, and super-Earths, to directly imaged giant planets at large orbital separations.
Exoplanet Biosignatures: Observational Prospects
The observability of not only the proposed biosignature candidates themselves but also of more general planetary properties that provide circumstantial evidence are discussed, since the evaluation of any biosignatures candidate relies on its context.
Exoplanet Detection Techniques
We are still in the early days of exoplanet discovery. Astronomers are beginning to model the atmospheres and interiors of exoplanets and have developed a deeper understanding of processes of planet
Exoplanet Atmospheres at High Spectral Resolution
The spectrum of an exoplanet reveals the physical, chemical, and biological processes that have shaped its history and govern its future. However, observations of exoplanet spectra are complicated by
Atmospheric Escape and the Evolution of Close-In Exoplanets
  • J. Owen
  • Physics, Geology
    Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • 2019
Exoplanets with substantial hydrogen/helium atmospheres have been discovered in abundance, many residing extremely close to their parent stars. The extreme irradiation levels that these atmospheres
Atmospheric Retrieval of Exoplanets
Exoplanetary atmospheric retrieval refers to the inference of atmospheric properties of an exoplanet given an observed spectrum. The atmospheric properties include the chemical compositions,
Terrestrial exoplanets: diversity, habitability and characterization
After a decade rich in giant exoplanet detections, observation techniques have now reached the sensitivity to gain information on the physical structure and chemical content of some of the detected
Thermal structure of an exoplanet atmosphere from phase-resolved emission spectroscopy
Spectroscopic thermal emission measurements as a function of orbital phase (“phase-curve observations”) for the highly irradiated exoplanet WASP-43b spanning three full planet rotations using the Hubble Space Telescope are presented.
We are in the midst of a revolution in our understanding of planets in the Universe. In the last 20 years, 200-times more planets have been discovered beyond our solar system than reside within it.