Institute of Astronomy

Exploring the Extreme Climates of Giant Planets

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Leigh Fletcher, Oxford University28 May 2015Institute of Astronomy Colloquia

Abstract

Giant planet atmospheres represent perfect natural laboratories for the
exploration of fluid dynamics and chemistry; a paradigm for a class of
astrophysical object now known to be commonplace in our galaxy; and a time
capsule for the nebula conditions at the epoch of planet formation. This
talk will review our present understanding of the gas and ice giant
atmospheres, including the hard-to-predict cycles of variability that
perturb the climate over multi-year timescales (e.g., upheavals of the
belt/zone structure and giant storms). Finally, we will look ahead to
exciting new insights in comparative planetology from future missions,
including Juno, JWST and ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE).

Presentation

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