Date: February 2, 2022
Time: 3:30 PM
Ever since the discovery of the first exoplanet, astronomers have made steady progress towards finding and probing planets in the habitable zone of their host stars, where the conditions could be right for liquid water to form and life to sprawl. Probing the conditions and atmospheres on any of these habitable-zone planets is extremely difficult from an observational perspective. Still, recent discoveries of highly favorable target planets with TESS and K2, combined with intensive Hubble Space Telescope spectroscopic follow-up, have opened the window into these intriguing temperate worlds. In this colloquium, I will present the main results from our 85-orbit Hubble Space Telescope program, discuss the implications for the overall populations of super-Earths and sub-Neptunes, and give an outlook for future progress in this domain using the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope and next generation ground-based instrumentation.
Institution: University of Montreal
Host: Dr. Ralph Pudritz