Extrasolar Planets: December 2015

Secular and mean motion resonances (hearafter MMR) are effective perturbations to shape planetary systems.

In this paper, we explore how the compositions of terrestrial planets are affected by dynamical evolution of giant planets.

Some recently discovered short-period Earth to Neptune sized exoplanets (super Earths) have low observed mean densities which can only be explained by voluminous gaseous atmospheres.

We present deep Herschel-PACS spectroscopy of far-infrared water lines from a sample of four protoplanetary disks around solar-mass stars, selected to have strong water emission at mid-infrared wavelengths.

The planet, more than four times the mass of the Earth, is one of three that the team detected around a red dwarf star called Wolf 1061.

Life on other planets? A recent study by UNLV astrophysicist Jason Steffen is shedding new light on this persistently challenging question.