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The Irradiation-Driven Evolution of Gas-Giant Exoplanets


Vissapragada, Shreyas (2022) The Irradiation-Driven Evolution of Gas-Giant Exoplanets. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/73xn-xx35.


Nearly thirty years after their initial discovery, we now know of over five thousand extrasolar planets. Intensive efforts have been made to characterize the sizes, masses, orbits, and compositions of these new worlds, and the resulting population challenges our intuition from the Solar System. One striking feature of the exoplanet census is that the vast majority of known planets reside quite close to their host stars, with orbital periods of less than a hundred days. Our galaxy is replete with hot Jupiters, sub-Neptunes, and super-Earths orbiting their stars more quickly than Mercury orbits the Sun. These close-in planets are bombarded by high-energy stellar radiation, which heats their upper atmospheres and triggers mass loss via hydrodynamic escape. This means that planetary sizes, masses, and compositions can be substantially altered from their values at formation. This thesis presents five studies aimed at elucidating the irradiation-driven evolution of close-in extrasolar planets.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:extrasolar planets, exoplanets, exoplanet atmospheres, planetary evolution, atmospheric escape, transit technique
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Planetary Sciences
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Knutson, Heather A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Blake, Geoffrey A. (chair)
  • Knutson, Heather A.
  • Batygin, Konstantin
  • Yung, Yuk L.
Defense Date:17 February 2022
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05172022-001822273
Persistent URL:
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URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Ch. 2 adapted for Ch. 3 adapted for Ch. 4 adapted for Ch. 5 adapted for Ch. 6
Vissapragada, Shreyas0000-0003-2527-1475
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14582
Deposited By: Shreyas Vissapragada
Deposited On:31 May 2022 23:32
Last Modified:02 Dec 2022 19:40

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