Extrasolar Planets: February 2012

A Workshop on M Dwarf Stars and Their Planets

Maui, June 3-6, 2012

This workshop will provide an introductory but authoritative review of M dwarf stars and the detection, formation, and potential habitability of their planets. It is principally intended for advanced graduate students and junior postdocs, but investigators at all levels are welcome to apply. The workshop will consist of invited lectures, contributed research presentations, and a field trip to the summit and observatory of Haleakala to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun.

Venue: Institute for Astronomy Maui Maikalani/ATRC, Pukalani, Maui

Convenor: Eric Gaidos

Science Organizing Committee: John Rayner (chair), Eric Hilton, Adam Kraus, Jonathan Williams, Nader Haghighipour, Joost van Summeren

The workshop is limited to 45 participants and selection will be based on relevance of applicant's research to the workshop themes, with preference given to advanced graduate students and junior postdocs. There is no workshop fee, but participants are responsible for their travel and accommodations. Economy (dormitory-style) housing may be available for students upon request. Logistical information will be made available on this website.

To apply, send a CV (2 page max) and conference abstract (1 page max) to: before March 1, 2012

For more information:

New from the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo, the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog is an online database for scientists, educators, and the general public focused on potential habitable exoplanet discoveries. The catalog uses various habitability indices and classifications to identify, rank, and compare exoplanets, including potential satellites or exomoons.

The database suggests over 15 exoplanets and 30 exomoons as potential habitable candidates.

Scientists are now starting to identify potential habitable exoplanets after nearly twenty years of the detection of the first planets around other stars. Over 700 exoplanets have been detected and confirmed with thousands more still waiting further confirmation by missions such as NASA Kepler. Most of these are gas giants, similar to Jupiter and Neptune, but orbiting very dangerously close to their stars. Only a few have the right size and orbit to be considered suitable for any life.

Now the Planetary Habitability Laboratory (PHL) of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo (UPR Arecibo) presents a new assessment of the habitability of these worlds as part of its Habitable Exoplanets Catalog (HEC). The catalog not only identifies new potential habitable exoplanets, including exomoons like the Pandora world in the movie Avatar, but also ranks them according to various habitability indices.

For more information:

Date: 24 - 29 June, 2012
Location: Kobe, JAPAN
The objective of the school is to promote education and research in planetary sciences for highly motivated graduate students and young researchers by providing them with an opportunity to interact with leading scientists in a specific field. Note that the term "Planetary Sciences" is used in a broader sense to include astronomy, astrophysics, astrochemistry, astrobiology, astromineralogy, geosciences, space science, cosmology, and other related fields.

For more information visit:

Date: 27 - 31 August, 2012
Location: Beijing, China

*Abstract deadline: February 29, 2012
Early Registration deadline: February 29, 2012*

The past few years have witnessed significant developments in extrasolar planetary science. Several Earth-like planets and super-Earths have been detected in the habitable zones of their host stars and more than 1200 planetary candidates have been announced. On the theoretical front, these discoveries have triggered extensive research on the formation, dynamical evolution, interior dynamics, and atmospheric characteristics of extrasolar habitable planets. The IAU symposium 293 will bring together scientists from around the world to present new discoveries, and discuss ideas on the formation, detection, and characterization of extrasolar habitable planets.

For complete meeting information visit:

Limited number of travel support is available for US and international participants. More information and application can be found at

For more information and questions regarding the conference contact Nader Haghighipour