The Planetary Chemistry Laboratory at Washington University in Saint Louis


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Dr. Fegley and Dr. Lodders apply experimental and theoretical chemistry to key problems in astronomy, cosmochemistry, and planetary science to study a wide range of problems related to the chemistry taking place in these environments:

  • Atmospheres and circumstellar envelopes around cool evolved giant stars and the formation of star-dust
  • Brown dwarfs (“failed stars”, too small to ignite Hydrogen burning)
  • Exoplanets: gas giant and rocky planets
  • Cloud formation in low mass objects: M, L, T, and Y dwarfs, and Exoplanets
  • Abundances of the Chemical Elements and their Condensation
  • The solar nebula
  • Meteorite parent bodies: Origins and Evolution
  • Gas giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus
  • Jupiter’s satellite Io
  • The lower atmosphere and surface of Venus

Some past, recent, and current research topics:

  • atmospheric chemistry of the brown dwarf Gliese 229 B
  • formation of silicon carbide grains around red giant stars
  • iron metal oxidation in the solar nebula
  • the oxygen isotope mixing (OIM) model for the composition of Mars
  • tremolite decomposition on Venus
  • volcanic gas chemistry on Io

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