Exoplanetary Worlds: Atmospheres and Architectures
Stan Metchev



The detection of global weather phenomena in irradiated extrasolar hot Jupiter planets has provided tremendous insights into their atmospheric structure. Non-irradiated substellar atmospheres probe weather in an entirely different regime, where global atmospheric flows result primarily from a combination of rapid rotation and internal convection - e.g., as in the atmosphere of Jupiter - rather than from external forcing. Isolated brown dwarfs are ideal targets for such investigations because they possess planet-like atmospheric dynamics, yet have greater intrinsic brightnesses and lack nearby bright stars to contaminate observations. I will overview recent results on non-irradiated brown dwarf atmospheres, focussing on a finding that large atmospheric features analogous to Jupiter's Great Red Spot are ubiquitous in cool substellar atmospheres.

I will also discuss results on the occurrence of asteroid belts around solar neighborhood stars, as found in a recently completed study on WISE. Together with the direct characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres, resolved imaging of the frost lines and terrestrial zones of nearby planetary systems offers exciting prospects for the generation of extreme-contrast imaging telescopes.