Extrasolar Planets: May 2016

The recent discovery of three Earth-sized, potentially habitable planets around a nearby cool star, TRAPPIST-1, has provided three key targets for the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

We present a survey on binary star systems with stellar separations less than 100 astronomical units.

An analysis of the currently known exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) of their host stars is of interest in both the wake of the NASA Kepler mission and with prospects for expanding the known planet population through future ground- and space-based projects.

Solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) produce adverse space weather effects at Earth. Planets in the close habitable zone of magnetically active M dwarfs may experience more extreme space weather than at Earth, including frequent CME impacts leading to atmospheric erosion and leaving the surface exposed to extreme flare activity.

Scientists from Princeton University and NASA have confirmed that 1,284 objects observed outside Earth's solar system by NASA's Kepler spacecraft are indeed planets.

Next-generation space telescopes will observe the atmospheres of rocky planets orbiting nearby M-dwarfs. Understanding these observations will require well-developed theory in addition to numerical simulations.

Many observed giant planets lie on eccentric orbits. Such orbits could be the result of strong scatterings with other giant planets. The same dynamical instability that produces giant planet scatterings can also alter the orbits of terrestrial planets.

Ultracool dwarfs (UCD) encompass the population of extremely low mass stars (later than M6-type) and brown dwarfs.

Astronomers using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory have discovered three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth.