The case for transiting warm giant exoplanets: from TESS discoveries to atmospheric characterization with JWST
Transiting warm giant exoplanets (planets with equilibrium temperatures below 1000 K, or periods longer than about 10 days) are fundamental objects to study, as they are ideal laboratories for tests on planet formation and evolution, which might not only provide distinct signatures to their much better characterized hotter counterparts, but also constrain our understanding of giant (exo)planet interiors and their accretion history through, e.g., mass-metallicity relations. Their detection and characterization, however, is very challenging due to their longer periods (which makes them hard to detect from ground-based transit surveys) and cooler nature (which implies smaller scale-heights and, thus, smaller signals in transmission). In fact, only about 40 of these systems have been discovered to date, with only a handful of them being optimal for atmospheric characterization. In this talk, I will present the state-of-the-art on our understanding of warm giant exoplanets both from a population and from an interior modelling perspective, emphasizing how the study of these exoplanets can help us understand previously unconstrained properties and predictions of gas giant exoplanets. With this motivation at hand, I will then present the ongoing work of the Chile-MPIA collaboration, a multi-institutional effort focused on the systematic search of these long-period systems using data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and several ground-based facilities. Emphasis will be given both in the methodology of the search and on the most exciting and recent results of the collaboration, including a handful of transiting systems with the longest periods discovered by the mission yet. Finally, I will focus on the unique capabilities the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has for characterizing the atmospheres of these exciting systems, and how together with current ground-based facilities, this promising observatory will allow us to get a panchromatic view of these distant worlds, which will in turn enable the first tests of key predictions from structure modelling and planet formation.
AAS/Division for Extreme Solar Systems Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- August 2019