Extrasolar Planets: March 2015

Atmospheric chemical disequilibrium has been proposed as a method for detecting extraterrestrial biospheres from exoplanet observations.

Luke Skywalker's home in "Star Wars" is the desert planet Tatooine, with twin sunsets because it orbits two stars.

Results from exoplanet surveys indicate that small planets (super-Earth size and below) are abundant in our Galaxy. However, little is known about their interiors and atmospheres.

Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets in our galaxy, the Milky Way, using the Kepler satellite and many of them have multiple planets orbiting the host star.

There are four different stable climate states for pure water atmospheres, as might exist on so-called "waterworlds".

The weak orbital-phase dependent reflection signal of an exoplanet contains information on the planet surface, such as the distribution of continents and oceans on terrestrial planets.

tau Ceti (HD10700), a G8 dwarf with solar mass of 0.78, is a close (3.65 pc) sun-like star where 5 possibly terrestrial planet candidates (minimum masses of 2, 3.1, 3.5, 4.3, and 6.7 Earth masses) have recently been discovered.

Absorption lines from water, methane and carbon monoxide are detected in the atmosphere of exoplanet HR8799b.

As telescopes of ever-greater power scan the cosmos looking for life, knowing where to look and where not to waste time looking will be of great value.

We use a planetary albedo model to investigate variations in visible wavelength phase curves of exoplanets. The presence of clouds on these exoplanets significantly alters their planetary albedo spectra.

We investigate the possibility of constraining the sin i degeneracy of alpha Cen B b -- with orbital period P=3.24 d; a = 0.042 AU; msini = 1.1 M_earth -- to estimate the true mass of the newly reported terrestrial exoplanet in the nearest stellar system to our Sun.

In the present study we explore the astrobiological significance of F-type stars of spectral type between F5 V and F9.5 V, which possess Jupiter-type planets within or close to their climatological habitable zones.