The discovery of planets around other stars over the last two decades has been nothing short of an astronomical fairy tale New discoveries of these exotic worlds are being made at a staggering rate, bringing science into the domain previously reserved for science fiction. Having discovered such a vast variety of different planets, the time for characterising them has come. Over the last decade, using a series of ground and space based telescopes, we have been able to detect the atmospheres of exoplanets. In this talk I will explain how we are able to characterise an atmosphere many light years away, and how this type of research is fundamental in finding a true Earth analog out there.
Paul A. Wilson is an observational exoplanet-astronomer currently undertaking his PhD in the Exeter Astrophysics Group at the University of Exeter. His research involves studying the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets and brown dwarfs using large telescopes on La Palma and in Chile. He has previously worked at the Nordic Optical Telescope and is also interested in astronomy outreach.