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).
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.
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.
The growth and composition of Earth is a direct consequence of planet formation throughout the Solar System.
In binary star systems, the winds from the two components impact each other, leading to strong shocks and regions of enhanced density and temperature.
As part of a national scientific network 'Pathways to Habitability' the formation of planets and the delivery of water onto these planets is a key question as water is essential for the development of life.
A team of UK scientists and engineers have announced plans for a small satellite, named "Twinkle," that will give radical new insights into the chemistry, formation and evolution of planets orbiting other stars.
Planetary scientists have calculated that there are hundreds of billions of Earth-like planets in our galaxy which might support life.
The first discoveries of exoplanets around Sun-like stars have fueled efforts to find ever smaller worlds evocative of Earth and other terrestrial planets in the Solar System.
Two phenomena known to inhibit the potential habitability of planets tidal forces and vigorous stellar activity might instead help chances for life on certain planets orbiting low-mass stars, University of Washington astronomers have found.
New laser-driven compression experiments reproduce the conditions deep inside exotic super-Earths and giant planet cores, and the conditions during the violent birth of Earth-like planets, documenting the material properties that determined planets' formation and evolution processes.
Small, cool planets represent the typical end-products of planetary formation. Studying the architectures of these systems, measuring planet masses and radii, and observing these planets' atmospheres during transit directly informs theories of planet assembly, migration, and evolution.
A study by astrophysicists at the University of Toronto suggests that exoplanets - planets outside our solar system - are more likely to have liquid water and be more habitable than we thought.
Future direct-imaging exoplanet missions such as WFIRST/AFTA, Exo-C, and Exo-S will measure the reflectivity of exoplanets at visible wavelengths.
To understand the evolution of planetary systems, it is important to investigate planets in highly evolved stellar systems, and to explore the implications of their observed properties with respect to potential formation scenarios.
In the solar neighborhood, where the typical relaxation timescale is larger than the cosmic age, at least 10% to 15% of Sun-like stars have planetary systems with Jupiter-mass planets. In contrast, dense star clusters, charactered by frequent close encounters, have been found to host very few planets.
Next-generation space telescopes will allow us to characterize terrestrial exoplanets. To do so effectively it will be crucial to make use of all available data.
We present an improved estimate of the occurrence rate of small planets around small stars by searching the full four-year Kepler data set for transiting planets using our own planet detection pipeline and conducting transit injection and recovery simulations to empirically measure the search completeness of our pipeline.
In this paper we present a series of models for the deep water cycle on super-Earths experiencing plate tectonics.
We present an investigation of twelve candidate transiting planets from Kepler with orbital periods ranging from 34 to 207 days, selected from initial indications that they are small and potentially in the habitable zone (HZ) of their parent stars.