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Extrasolar Planets: September 2015


The internal thermal and magnetic evolution of rocky exoplanets is critical to their habitability. We focus on the thermal-orbital evolution of Earth-mass planets around low mass M stars whose radiative habitable zone overlaps with the "tidal zone".

Recent discoveries of circumbinary planets by Kepler mission provide motivation for understanding their birthplaces - protoplanetary disks around stellar binaries with separations <1 AU.

Earth-like planets orbiting close to small stars probably have magnetic fields that protect them from stellar radiation and help maintain surface conditions that could be conducive to life.

In two recently published articles researchers from Instituto de Astrofsica e Cincias do Espao (IA3) show that the ratio of some heavy elements in a star, like Magnesium (Mg), Silicon (Si) and Iron (Fe), have a crucial influence in the composition of rocky exoplanets.

The Earth's atmosphere contains oxygen because plants continuously produce it through photosynthesis. This abundant supply of oxygen allows life forms like animals to flourish.

We used a sample of super-Earth-like planets detected by the Doppler spectroscopy and transit techniques to explore the dependence of orbital parameters of the planets on the metallicity of their host stars.

Characterizing the bulk atmosphere of a terrestrial planet is important for determining surface pressure and potential habitability.

It is well known that newly formed planetary systems undergo processes of orbital reconfiguration and planetary migration.

The detectability of planetesimal impacts on imaged exoplanets can be measured using Jupiter during the 1994 comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 events as a proxy.

The long-term carbon cycle is vital for maintaining liquid water oceans on rocky planets due to the negative climate feedbacks involved in silicate weathering.

We report a detection of water vapor in the protoplanetary disk around DoAr 44 with the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrograph - a visitor instrument on the Gemini north telescope.