Astronomy departmental seminar - Raymond T. Pierrehumbert (University of Oxford)

Subneptune atmopheres linked to interior structure
I will introduce the subNeptune class of planets, which are estimated to be the most common kind of planets in the Universe (if one can extrapolate from our local region of the Milky Way Galaxy);  Possible vertical structures and compositions are discussed, with particular emphasis on the way compositional inhibition of convection from silicate vapor in water or H2, or water vapor in H2 can affect the thermal structure and mass-radius relation. The importance of coupling interior structure models to self-consistent atmospheres is emphasised, and in particular the implications of the runaway greenhouse threshold for the interior state of subNeptunes are discussed. Some highlights of current and planed JWST observations of subNeptunes are discussed.