DIX Planetary Science Seminar
A few weeks ago, the Decadal Survey recommended a Uranus orbiter and probe as the highest-priority NASA flagship mission in the next ten years. In this talk, I will discuss why the ice giants Uranus and Neptune are of such keen interest for the planetary science community. I will present an overview of previous research on Uranus and Neptune, and the clues those systems have already yielded about planet formation, protoplanetary disk processes, atmospheric circulation processes, and exoplanets. I'll focus particularly on my own observation-driven research on the composition and circulation of these planets' atmospheres. The successes and limitations of these observations will provide context for the scientific gains promised by a dedicated orbiter and probe.