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Extrasolar Planets: June 2014


The Kepler Space Telescope has discovered a large number of planets up to one year periods and down to terrestrial sizes.

We present an all-sky catalog of 2970 nearby (d≲50 pc), bright ( J<9 ) M- or late K-type dwarf stars, 86% of which have been confirmed by spectroscopy.

We report the detection of GJ 832c, a super-Earth orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of GJ 832, an M dwarf previously known to host a Jupiter analog in a nearly-circular 9.4-year orbit.

Transit and radial velocity searches are two techniques for identifying nearby extrasolar planets to Earth that transit bright stars.

The past twenty years have revealed the diversity of planets that exist in the Universe. It turned out that most of exoplanets are different from the planets of our Solar System and thus, everything about them needs to be explored.

Detecting biomarkers, such as molecular oxygen, in the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets has been a major focus in the search for alien life.

No true extrasolar Earth analog is known. Hundreds of planets have been found around Sun-like stars that are either Earth-sized but on shorter periods, or else on year-long orbits but somewhat larger.

High altitude clouds and hazes are integral to understanding exoplanet observations, and are proposed to explain observed featureless transit spectra.

For planet hunters, this has been a bountiful year. A team lead of astronomers at the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center have used data from NASA's Kepler space telescope to uncover 715 new exoplanets.

We present medium resolution optical and NIR spectral data for components of the newly discovered WISE J104915.57-531906.1AB (Luhman 16AB) brown dwarf binary.

We study the magnetospheric structure and the ionospheric Joule Heating of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars in the habitable zone using a set of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models.

Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown.

Given the central role of carbon in the chemistry of life, it is a fundamental question as to how carbon is supplied to the Earth, in what form and when.

Exoplanets of a few Earth masses can be now detected around nearby low-mass stars using Doppler spectroscopy. In this paper, we investigate the radial velocity variations of Kapteyn's star, which is both a sub-dwarf M-star and the nearest halo object to the Sun.

Life in the universe might be even rarer than we thought. Recently, astronomers looking for potentially habitable worlds have targeted red dwarf stars because they are the most common type of star, comprising 80 percent of the stars in the universe. But a new study shows that harsh space weather might strip the atmosphere of any rocky planet orbiting in a red dwarf's habitable zone.

Astronomers announced today that they have discovered a new type of planet - a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. Theorists believed such a world couldn't form because anything so hefty would grab hydrogen gas as it grew and become a Jupiter-like gas giant. This planet, though, is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered "super-Earths," making it a "mega-Earth."