Extrasolar Planets: September 2014

Clouds have an important role in the atmospheres of planetary bodies. It is expected that, like all the planetary bodies in our solar system, exoplanet atmospheres will also have substantial cloud coverage, and evidence is mounting for clouds in a number of hot Jupiters.

Exoplanets are now being discovered in profusion. However, to understand their character requires spectral models and data.

We propose a method to distinguish between cloudy, hazy and clearsky (free of clouds and hazes) exoplanet atmospheres that could be applicable to upcoming large aperture space and ground-based telescopes such as JWST and E-ELT.

Studying exoplanets with their parent stars is crucial to understand their population, formation and history. We review some of the key questions regarding their evolution with particular emphasis on giant gaseous exoplanets orbiting close to solar-type stars.

Astronomers using data from three of NASA's space telescopes -- Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler -- have discovered clear skies and steamy water vapor on a gaseous planet outside our solar system.

Future radial velocity, astrometric and direct imaging surveys will find nearby Earth-sized planets within the habitable zone (HZ) in the near future. How can we search for water and oxygen in those non-transiting planets?

In no other field of astrophysics has the impact of new instrumentation been as substantial as in the domain of exoplanets.

ExoEarth yield is a critical science metric for future exoplanet imaging missions. Here we estimate exoEarth candidate yield using single visit completeness for a variety of mission design and astrophysical parameters.

We report on the characterization of the Kepler-101 planetary system, thanks to a combined DE-MCMC analysis of Kepler data and forty radial velocities obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph. This system was previously validated by Rowe et al. (2014) and is composed of a hot super-Neptune, Kepler-101b, and an Earth-sized planet, Kepler-101c.

The detection and atmospheric characterization of super-Earths is one of the major frontiers of exoplanetary science. Currently, extensive efforts are underway to detect molecules, particularly H2O, in super-Earth atmospheres.

Spectroscopic observations of exoplanets are crucial to infer the composition and properties of their atmospheres. HD 189733b is one of the most extensively studied exoplanets and is a corner stone for hot Jupiter models.

A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System.

Several circumbinary planets have recently been discovered. The orbit of a planet around a binary stellar system poses several dynamic constraints.

The principle definition of habitability for exoplanets is whether they can sustain liquid water on their surfaces, i.e. that they orbit within the habitable zone.

A reasonable basis for future astronomical investigations of exoplanets lies in our best knowledge of the planets and satellites in the Solar System.

Detection and characterization of potentially habitable Earth-size extrasolar planets is one of the major goals of contemporary astronomy.

A significant fraction of Kepler systems are closely-packed, largely coplanar and circular. We study the stability of a 6-planet system, Kepler-11, to gain insights on the dynamics and formation history of such systems.

Gliese 667C is an M1.5V star with a multi-planet system, including planet candidates in the habitable zone (HZ).