Extrasolar Planets


Characterizing Exoplanets for Habitability

Characterizing Exoplanets for Habitability

A habitable exoplanet is a world that can maintain stable liquid water on its surface. Techniques and approaches to characterizing such worlds are essential, as performing a census of Earth-like planets that may or may not have life will inform our understanding of how frequently life originates and is sustained on worlds other than our own.


ESO Signs Agreement with Breakthrough Initiatives: VLT to Search for Planets in Alpha Centauri System

ESO Signs Agreement with Breakthrough Initiatives: VLT to Search for Planets in Alpha Centauri System Video in Story

ESO has signed an agreement with the Breakthrough Initiatives to adapt the Very Large Telescope instrumentation in Chile to conduct a search for planets in the nearby star system Alpha Centauri.


Illusion and Reality in the Atmospheres of Exoplanets

Illusion and Reality in the Atmospheres of Exoplanets

The atmospheres of exoplanets reveal all their properties beyond mass, radius, and orbit. Based on bulk densities, we know that exoplanets larger than 1.5 Earth radii must have gaseous envelopes, hence atmospheres.


Characterization of the Wolf 1061 Planetary System

Characterization of the Wolf 1061 Planetary System

A critical component of exoplanetary studies is an exhaustive characterization of the host star, from which the planetary properties are frequently derived. Of particular value are the radius, temperature, and luminosity, which are key stellar parameters for studies of transit and habitability science.


Searching Through a Sea of Noise to Find Exoplanets

Searching Through a Sea of Noise to Find Exoplanets

Yale researchers have found a data-driven way to detect distant planets and refine the search for worlds similar to Earth.


A Framework to Combine Low- and High-resolution Spectroscopy for the Atmospheres of Transiting Exoplanets

A Framework to Combine Low- and High-resolution Spectroscopy for the Atmospheres of Transiting Exoplanets

Current observations of the atmospheres of close-in exoplanets are predominantly obtained with two techniques: low-resolution spectroscopy with space telescopes and high-resolution spectroscopy from the ground.


Detection of the Atmosphere of the 1.6 Earth Mass Exoplanet GJ 1132b

Detection of the Atmosphere of the 1.6 Earth Mass Exoplanet GJ 1132b

Detecting the atmospheres of low-mass low-temperature exoplanets is a high-priority goal on the path to ultimately detect biosignatures in the atmospheres of habitable exoplanets.


Cloud Formation in Carbon- and Oxygen-rich Environment

Cloud Formation in Carbon- and Oxygen-rich Environment

Recent observations indicate potentially carbon-rich exoplanet atmospheres. Spectral fitting methods for brown dwarfs and exoplanets have invoked the C/O ratio as additional parameter but carbon-rich cloud formation modeling is a challenge for the models applied.


Timing the Shadow of a Potentially Habitable Extrasolar Planet

Timing the Shadow of a Potentially Habitable Extrasolar Planet

A group of researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the University of Tokyo, and the Astrobiology Center among others has observed the transit of a potentially Earth-like extrasolar planet known as K2-3d using the MuSCAT instrument on the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory 188-cm telescope.


Atmospheric Habitable Zones in Y Dwarf Atmospheres

Atmospheric Habitable Zones in Y Dwarf Atmospheres

We use a simple organism lifecycle model to explore the viability of an atmospheric habitable zone (AHZ), with temperatures that could support Earth-centric life, which sits above an environment that does not support life.


On the Possibility of Habitable Trojan Planets in Binary Star Systems

On the Possibility of Habitable Trojan Planets in Binary Star Systems

Approximately 60 percent of all stars in the solar neighbourhood (up to 80 percent in our Milky Way) are members of binary or multiple star systems. This fact led to the speculations that many more planets may exist in binary systems than are currently known.


Effects of Variable Eccentricity on the Climate of an Earth-like World

Effects of Variable Eccentricity on the Climate of an Earth-like World

The Kepler era of exoplanetary discovery has presented the Astronomical community with a cornucopia of planetary systems very different from the one which we inhabit.


Rotation of Planets Hosting Atmospheric Tides: From Venus to Habitable Super-Earths

Rotation of Planets Hosting Atmospheric Tides: From Venus to Habitable Super-Earths

The competition between the torques induced by solid and thermal tides drives the rotational dynamics of Venus-like planets and super-Earths orbiting in the habitable zone of low-mass stars.


Vital Signs: Seismology of Ocean Worlds

Vital Signs: Seismology of Ocean Worlds

Ice covered ocean worlds are probably seismically active. Measuring that activity can provide information about global and local habitability.


Pressure-dependent water absorption cross sections for exoplanets and other atmospheres

Pressure-dependent water absorption cross sections for exoplanets and other atmospheres

Many atmospheres (cool stars, brown dwarfs, giant planets, extrasolar planets) are predominately composed of molecular hydrogen and helium.


Close-in, low-mass planet candidates and evidence of planet accretion in the solar twin HIP 68468

Close-in, low-mass planet candidates and evidence of planet accretion in the solar twin HIP 68468

[Methods]. We obtained high-precision radial velocities with HARPS on the ESO 3.6 m telescope and determined precise stellar elemental abundances (~0.01 dex) using MIKE spectra on the Magellan 6.5m telescope.


Low Mass Stars Likely Have Earth-sized Planets With Lots of Water

Low Mass Stars Likely Have Earth-sized Planets With Lots of Water

Computer simulations by astrophysicists at the University of Bern of the formation of planets orbiting in the habitable zone of low mass stars such as Proxima Centauri show that these planets are most likely to be roughly the size of the Earth and to contain large amounts of water.


Sub-milli-Kelvin Instruments - Radial Velocity Measurements: Tests with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder

Sub-milli-Kelvin Instruments - Radial Velocity Measurements: Tests with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder

Insufficient instrument thermo-mechanical stability is one of the many roadblocks for achieving 10cm/s Doppler radial velocity (RV) precision, the precision needed to detect Earth-twins orbiting Solar-type stars.


The Habitability of Planets Orbiting M-dwarf Stars

The Habitability of Planets Orbiting M-dwarf Stars

The prospects for the habitability of M-dwarf planets have long been debated, due to key differences between the unique stellar and planetary environments around these low-mass stars, as compared to hotter, more luminous Sun-like stars.


A Population of Planetary Systems Characterized by Short-period, Earth-sized Planets

A Population of Planetary Systems Characterized by Short-period, Earth-sized Planets

We analyze data from the Quarter 1-17 Data Release 24 (Q1--Q17 DR24) planet candidate catalog from NASA's Kepler mission, specifically comparing systems with single transiting planets to systems with multiple transiting planets, and identify a distinct population of exoplanets with a necessarily distinct system architecture.



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