Institut für Astronomie & Astrophysik

Detecting Isotopologues in Exoplanet Atmospheres

Paul Mollière, Sterrewacht Leiden, Huygens Laboratory - 29.10.18


Using high-resolution spectra, the unique identification of molecules such as water and carbon monoxide in exoplanet atmospheres has been possible. In addition, this technique allows to detect temperature inversions, and can even be used to measure atmospheric wind speeds, as well as planetary spin rates. For such inferences the line shape and position of detected atmospheric absorbers is used. In this presentation, I will show the ability of upcoming and next-generation observing facilities to make a leap forward in sensitivity, with the goal of detecting the presence of molecular isotopologues (such as 13C16O) in exoplanet atmospheres. I will discuss the required signal-to-noise ratios for successful detections, as well as what can be learned from detecting isotopologues in an exoplanet’s atmosphere.