Extrasolar Planets: June 2015

The UV environment of a host star affects the photochemistry in the atmosphere, and ultimately the surface UV environment for terrestrial planets and therefore the conditions for the origin and evolution of life.

The prospect of finding ocean-bearing exoplanets has been boosted, thanks to a pioneering new study. An international team of scientists, including from the University of Exeter, has discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen escaping from a Neptune-sized exoplanet.

We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with Teff = 2300K to Teff = 3800K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data.

Understanding whether M-dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research.

We study the origin and escape of catastrophically outgassed volatiles (H2O, CO2) from exomoons with Earth-like densities and masses of 0.1M⊕, 0.5M⊕ and 1M⊕ orbiting an extra-solar gas giant inside the habitable zone of a young active solar-like star.

To sort out the biological intricacies of Earth-like planets, astronomers have developed computer models that examine how ultraviolet radiation from other planets' nearby suns may affect those worlds, according to new research published June 10 in Astrophysical Journal.

By now, observations of exoplanets have found more than 50 binary star systems hosting 71 planets.

Viewed from above, our solar system's planetary orbits around the sun resemble rings around a bulls-eye. Each planet, including Earth, keeps to a roughly circular path, always maintaining the same distance from the sun.