Extrasolar Planets: March 2016

Theoretical arguments indicate that close-in terrestial exoplanets may have weak magnetic fields. As described in the companion article (Paper I), a weak magnetic field results in a high flux of galactic cosmic rays to the top of the planetary atmosphere.

We present novel, analytical, equilibrium-chemistry formulae for the abundances of molecules in hot exoplanetary atmospheres that include the carbon, oxygen and nitrogen networks.

Nearly four billion years ago, life arose on Earth. Life appeared because our planet had a rocky surface, liquid water, and a blanketing atmosphere. But life thrived thanks to another necessary ingredient: the presence of a protective magnetic field.

As lower-mass stars often host multiple rocky planets, gravitational interactions among planets can have significant effects on climate and habitability over long timescales.

The temperature and density profiles of protoplanetary discs depend crucially on the mass fraction of micrometre-sized dust grains and on their chemical composition.