Lowell's astronomers carry out research in areas spanning much of modern astrophysics, from studies of tiny icy objects in our own solar system to the structure of distant galaxies. Meet our scientists and learn more about our diverse programs here.
Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets
Travis Barman models the atmospheres of extrasolar planets using large-scale numerical simulations that predict the atmospheric structure, chemistry, and emergent spectra. Since observations of planets are almost exclusively limited to atmospheric depths, understanding planets, in general, relies heavily on our understanding of their complex atmospheric physics and chemistry. Barman compares his predictions with observations of extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs to infer their basic properties. Most recently, Barman has been comparing model predictions to Spitzer Space Telescope observations of newly discovered transiting extrasolar planets. Barman is also involved in a planet search program using the Keck telescope, with adaptive optics, to search for young, self-luminous, planets. At very young ages (less than a few 100 Myrs), planet-mass objects are bright enough to be directly imaged from the ground using infrared detectors.
Select a program from the list below to read more about it.