Extrasolar Planets: February 2015

Atmospheres with a high C/O ratio are expected to contain an important quantity of hydrocarbons, including heavy molecules (with more than 2 carbon atoms).

We present an inversion method based on Bayesian analysis to constrain the interior structure of terrestrial exoplanets, in the form of chemical composition of the mantle and core size.

Simulations by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University indicate that Earth-like planets are more likely to be found orbiting Sun-like stars rather than lower-mass stars that are currently targeted, in terms of water contents of planets.

The growth and composition of Earth is a direct consequence of planet formation throughout the Solar System.

In binary star systems, the winds from the two components impact each other, leading to strong shocks and regions of enhanced density and temperature.

As part of a national scientific network 'Pathways to Habitability' the formation of planets and the delivery of water onto these planets is a key question as water is essential for the development of life.

A team of UK scientists and engineers have announced plans for a small satellite, named "Twinkle," that will give radical new insights into the chemistry, formation and evolution of planets orbiting other stars.

Planetary scientists have calculated that there are hundreds of billions of Earth-like planets in our galaxy which might support life.

The first discoveries of exoplanets around Sun-like stars have fueled efforts to find ever smaller worlds evocative of Earth and other terrestrial planets in the Solar System.