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Spatially Resolved Weather on Hot Jupiters

Presentation #501.02 in the session Atmospheres and Interiors of Giant Planets.

Published onApr 03, 2024
Spatially Resolved Weather on Hot Jupiters

New observations with JWST have further proven that understanding clouds is essential for understanding planetary atmospheres — even for planets that were previously thought to be cloud-free. Hot Jupiters are naturally occurring cloud laboratories as their high temperatures and spatially inhomogeneous atmospheres mean that several different cloud species should form and will do so differently at different atmospheric locations. Using a new two-dimensional cloud microphysics model that accounts for the interplay between cloud formation and atmospheric dynamics, I will detail the cloud formation processes that give rise to exacerbated east/west limb asymmetries in hot Jupiters as a function of their equilibrium temperatures. I will demonstrate how horizontal advection alters the cloud species that we predict will form, enhances cloud formation in the upper atmosphere, and changes the spatial distribution of clouds on hot Jupiters. I will also provide a first look at the interpretation of new JWST results of limb resolved atmospheric spectra that were designed to test this model (PID 3969, PIs Espinoza & Powell) and describe what these data tell us about cloud formation in planetary atmospheres.

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