“Planets in a bottle” – JHU’s Hörst @ UMD

2016 UMD Geology Colloquium Series

Friday, November 4th 2016 at 3:00 pm
in PLS 1140

Sarah Hörst
Johns Hopkins University

Planets in a bottle: Exploring planetary atmospheres in the lab

From exoplanets, with their surprising lack of spectral features, to Titan and its characteristic haze layer, numerous planetary atmospheres may possess photochemically produced particles or haze. With few exceptions, we lack strong observational constraints (in situ or remote sensing) on the size, shape, density, and composition of these particles. Photochemical models, which can generally explain the observed abundances of smaller, gas phase species, are not well suited for investigations of much larger, solid phase species. Laboratory investigations of haze formation in planetary atmospheres therefore play a key role in improving our understanding of the formation and composition of haze particles. I will discuss a series of experiments aimed at improving our understanding of the physical and chemical properties of planetary atmospheric hazes on Titan and the early Earth.

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