Atmospheric Dynamics of Hot Exoplanets

Heng, Kevin; Showman, Adam (2014). Atmospheric Dynamics of Hot Exoplanets. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 43(1), pp. 509-540. Annual Reviews 10.1146/annurev-earth-060614-105146

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The characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres has come of age in the last decade, as astronomical techniques now allow for albedos, chemical abundances, temperature profiles and maps, rotation periods and even wind speeds to be measured. Atmospheric dynamics sets the background state of density, temperature and velocity that determines or influences the spectral and temporal appearance of an exoplanetary atmosphere. Hot exoplanets are most amenable to these characterization techniques; in the present review, we focus on highly-irradiated, large exoplanets (the "hot Jupiters"), as astronomical data begin to confront theoretical questions. We summarize the basic atmospheric quantities inferred from the astronomical observations. We review the state of the art by addressing a series of current questions and look towards the future by considering a separate set of exploratory questions. Attaining the next level of understanding will require a concerted effort of constructing multi-faceted, multi-wavelength datasets for benchmark objects. Understanding clouds presents a formidable obstacle, as they introduce degeneracies into the interpretation of spectra, yet their properties and existence are directly influenced by atmospheric dynamics. Confronting general circulation models with these multi-faceted, multi-wavelength datasets will help us understand these and other degeneracies. The coming decade will witness a decisive confrontation of theory and simulation by the next generation of astronomical data.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)

UniBE Contributor:

Heng, Kevin


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics




Annual Reviews




Danielle Zemp

Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2014 15:30

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:37

Publisher DOI:


ArXiv ID:



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