Extrasolar Planets: August 2014

It may seem like magic, but astronomers have worked out a scheme that will allow them to detect and measure particles ten times smaller than the width of a human hair, even at many light-years distance.

We address disequilibrum abundances of some simple molecules in the atmospheres of solar composition brown dwarfs and self-luminous extrasolar giant planets using a kinetics-based 1D atmospheric chemistry model.

The diversity and quantity of moons in the Solar System suggest a manifold population of natural satellites exist around extrasolar planets.

Recently, the Kepler Space Telescope has detected several planets in orbit around a close binary star system.

Tau Ceti is a nearby, mature G-type star very similar to our Sun, with a massive Kuiper Belt analogue (Greaves et al. 2004) and possible multiplanet system (Tuomi et al. 2013) that has been compared to our Solar System.

Scientists hunting for life beyond Earth have discovered more than 1,800 planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, in recent years, but so far, no one has been able to confirm an exomoon.

Super-Earths with orbital periods less than 100 days are extremely abundant around Sun-like stars. It is unlikely that these planets formed at their current locations.

The large majority of stars in the Milky Way are late-type dwarfs, and the frequency of low-mass exoplanets in orbits around these late-type dwarfs appears to be high.

Having a companion in old age is good for people -- and, it turns out, might extend the chance for life on certain Earth-sized planets in the cosmos as well.