Extrasolar Planets


A Catalog of Stellar Evolution Profiles and the Effects of Variable Composition on Habitable Systems

A Catalog of Stellar Evolution Profiles and the Effects of Variable Composition on Habitable Systems

We present stellar evolution models for 0.5 - 1.2 \Msol at scaled metallicities of 0.1 - 1.5 Z\sol and O/Fe values of 0.44 - 2.28 O/Fe\sol.


3D Climate Modeling of Earth-like Extrasolar Planets Orbiting Different Types of Host Stars

3D Climate Modeling of Earth-like Extrasolar Planets Orbiting Different Types of Host Stars

The potential habitability of a terrestrial planet is usually defined by the possible existence of liquid water on its surface.


Water Ice Lines and Mars-mass Exomoons Around Accreting Super-Jovian Planets

Water Ice Lines and Mars-mass Exomoons Around Accreting Super-Jovian Planets

Exomoon detections might be feasible with NASA's Kepler or ESA's upcoming PLATO mission or the ground-based E-ELT. To use observational resources most efficiently we need to know where the largest, most easily detected moons can form.


NASA's Search for Water and Habitable Planets

NASA's Search for Water and Habitable Planets

NASA Television will air an event from 1 2 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 7, featuring leading science and engineering experts discussing the recent discoveries of water and organics in our solar system, the role our sun plays in water-loss in neighboring planets, and our search for habitable worlds among the stars.


Detecting Biospheres from Thermodynamic Disequilibrium in Planetary Atmospheres

Detecting Biospheres from Thermodynamic Disequilibrium in Planetary Atmospheres

Atmospheric chemical disequilibrium has been proposed as a method for detecting extraterrestrial biospheres from exoplanet observations.


Earth-like Tatooines From Star Wars May Be Common

Earth-like Tatooines From Star Wars May Be Common

Luke Skywalker's home in "Star Wars" is the desert planet Tatooine, with twin sunsets because it orbits two stars.


Hubble Search for Transit of the Earth-mass Exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb

Hubble Search for Transit of the Earth-mass Exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb

Results from exoplanet surveys indicate that small planets (super-Earth size and below) are abundant in our Galaxy. However, little is known about their interiors and atmospheres.


Calculations Show Planets in the Habitable Zone Around Most Stars

Calculations Show Planets in the Habitable Zone Around Most Stars

Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets in our galaxy, the Milky Way, using the Kepler satellite and many of them have multiple planets orbiting the host star.


Habitability of Water Worlds

Habitability of Water Worlds

There are four different stable climate states for pure water atmospheres, as might exist on so-called "waterworlds".


Fourier Spectra From Exoplanets With Polar Caps and Ocean Glint

Fourier Spectra From Exoplanets With Polar Caps and Ocean Glint

The weak orbital-phase dependent reflection signal of an exoplanet contains information on the planet surface, such as the distribution of continents and oceans on terrestrial planets.


Chemical Composition of tau Ceti and Possible Effects on Terrestrial Planets

Chemical Composition of tau Ceti and Possible Effects on Terrestrial Planets

tau Ceti (HD10700), a G8 dwarf with solar mass of 0.78, is a close (3.65 pc) sun-like star where 5 possibly terrestrial planet candidates (minimum masses of 2, 3.1, 3.5, 4.3, and 6.7 Earth masses) have recently been discovered.


Water, Methane and Carbon Monoxide in the Atmosphere of Exoplanet HR8799b

Water, Methane and Carbon Monoxide in the Atmosphere of Exoplanet HR8799b

Absorption lines from water, methane and carbon monoxide are detected in the atmosphere of exoplanet HR8799b.


Some Habitable Exoplanets Could Experience Wildly Unpredictable Climates

Some Habitable Exoplanets Could Experience Wildly Unpredictable Climates

As telescopes of ever-greater power scan the cosmos looking for life, knowing where to look and where not to waste time looking will be of great value.


Varying Cloud Coverage and Reflected-Light Exoplanet Phase Curves

Varying Cloud Coverage and Reflected-Light Exoplanet Phase Curves

We use a planetary albedo model to investigate variations in visible wavelength phase curves of exoplanets. The presence of clouds on these exoplanets significantly alters their planetary albedo spectra.


What Is The Mass of Alpha Cen B b?

What Is The Mass of Alpha Cen B b?

We investigate the possibility of constraining the sin i degeneracy of alpha Cen B b -- with orbital period P=3.24 d; a = 0.042 AU; msini = 1.1 M_earth -- to estimate the true mass of the newly reported terrestrial exoplanet in the nearest stellar system to our Sun.


UV Habitability of Possible Exomoons in Observed F-star Planetary Systems

UV Habitability of Possible Exomoons in Observed F-star Planetary Systems

In the present study we explore the astrobiological significance of F-type stars of spectral type between F5 V and F9.5 V, which possess Jupiter-type planets within or close to their climatological habitable zones.


A New Chemical Scheme to Study Carbon-rich Exoplanet Atmospheres

A New Chemical Scheme to Study Carbon-rich Exoplanet Atmospheres

Atmospheres with a high C/O ratio are expected to contain an important quantity of hydrocarbons, including heavy molecules (with more than 2 carbon atoms).


Determining Interior Structure of Rocky Exoplanets From Mass and Radius Measurements

Determining Interior Structure of Rocky Exoplanets From Mass and Radius Measurements

We present an inversion method based on Bayesian analysis to constrain the interior structure of terrestrial exoplanets, in the form of chemical composition of the mantle and core size.


Earth-like Planets More Likely to Orbit Sun-like stars - Not Lower-mass Stars

Earth-like Planets More Likely to Orbit Sun-like stars - Not Lower-mass Stars

Simulations by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University indicate that Earth-like planets are more likely to be found orbiting Sun-like stars rather than lower-mass stars that are currently targeted, in terms of water contents of planets.


Earth and Terrestrial Planet Formation

Earth and Terrestrial Planet Formation

The growth and composition of Earth is a direct consequence of planet formation throughout the Solar System.



Top stories from April.