Presentation #341.01 in the session Annie Jump Cannon Award Lecture.
The past 25 years have revealed a diversity of exoplanets far beyond what was imagined from the limited sample in the Solar System. With new and upcoming observing facilities and a rapidly growing number of nearby planets, we are beginning to bring this diversity into focus, with detailed follow-up characterization of the planets’ atmospheres. In this talk, I will discuss three frontier topics in exoplanet atmosphere studies: (1) What can we learn about giant planets’ origins from their present-day atmospheres? (2) How is planetary climate affected by the diverse (and sometimes extreme) irradiation environments around other stars? (3) What can we learn about habitability from “Earth cousins”, planets that are a little bigger or a little hotter than the Earth? Finally, I will conclude with my outlook on the search for biosignatures in the atmospheres of potentially inhabited planets.