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Michael Line Colloquium Abstract (Nov 15, 2017)

Characterizing the Diversity of Extrasolar Atmospheres: From Planets to Brown Dwarfs

The spectra of extrasolar objects (both planetary and substellar) offer a window into the physical and chemical processes occurring in their atmospheres.  I will discuss what we have learned about the fundamental properties of the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extra-solar planets derived from powerful atmospheric retrieval techniques.  A joint understanding of the chemistry and physics in both brown dwarfs and extra-solar planets is required in order to determine the fundamental differences between them. I will first discuss the properties we can derive from low resolution spectra of of ultra-cool brown dwarfs, including their vertical thermal structures, chemistry, and elemental abundances. Then I will discuss what we have learned from the limited data from extrasolar planet atmospheres and how future missions will enlighten our understanding.