3D atmospheric modelling of exoplanetary atmospheres with DiRAC

3D atmospheric modelling of exoplanetary atmospheres with DiRAC

Credit: Dr Denis Sergeev, University of Exeter.

Exoplanets are planets that exist outside of our solar system, orbiting distant stars. Scientists at the University of Exeter and the Met Office use state-of-the-art 3D climate models to understand the key physical processes which control the atmospheres of these exoplanets. Exoplanetary atmospheres are diverse, and many of them behave in a completely unfamiliar way, compared to Earth. This image shows results of several computer simulations given various planetary and stellar parameters. Astrophysicists and climate scientists work together to analyse these simulated atmospheres by looking at temperatures, winds, cloudiness and other meteorological variables – testing and developing theories of climate processes.