Date of Award

5-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Physics

Advisor

Brittain, Sean

Abstract

This thesis searches or the H3+ molecule in the atmosphere of HD 209458b. This exoplanet has been well studied since its initial discovery. H3+ is a diagnostic of the thermal regulation in the ionosphere of the exoplanet, and therefore is an advantageous molecule to test both atmospheric models and observational limits. Both models and observational limits need to be constrained as steps towards the ultimate goal of detecting biomarkers in the atmospheres of exoplanets. The exoplanet HD 209458b was observed during transit using PHOENIX on Gemini South in 2005.

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