Extrasolar Planets: July 2016

Clouds form on extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs where lightning could occur. Lightning is a tracer of atmospheric convection, cloud formation and ionization processes as known from the Solar System, and may be significant for the formation of prebiotic molecules.

Polarized scattering in planetary atmospheres is computed in the context of exoplanets. The problem of polarized radiative transfer is solved for a general case of absorption and scattering, while Rayleigh and Mie polarized scattering are considered as most relevant examples.

Normally computers speed up calculations. But with his new pen-and-paper formula Kevin Heng of the University of Bern gets his results thousands of times faster than using conventional computer codes.

Star-like objects with effective temperatures of less than 2,700 kelvin are referred to as ultracool dwarfs.

We investigate how night side cooling and surface friction impact surface temperatures and large scale circulation for tidally locked Earth-like planets.

We present a model of early planetary atmospheres which represents the cumulative gaseous chemical species that are accreted onto planets forming by core accretion from an evolving protoplanetary disk.

Proxima Centauri is an M dwarf approximately 15,000 AU from the Alpha Centauri binary, comoving and likely in a loosely bound orbit.

Young stars are often surrounded by dense, rotating discs of gas and dust, known as protoplanetary discs, from which planets are born.

We present 1.3 mm observations of the Sun-like star τ Ceti with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) that probe angular scales of ∼1'' (4 AU).

The detection of anomalies in gravitational microlensing events is nowadays one of the main goals among the microlensing community.

Should we expect most habitable planets to share the Earth's marbled appearance? Terrestrial planets within the habitable zone are thought to display a broad range of water compositions, due to the stochastic nature of water delivery.

Since its detection in 2014, the brown dwarf known as WISE 0855 has fascinated astronomers. Only 7.2 light-years from Earth, it is the coldest known object outside of our solar system and is just barely visible at infrared wavelengths with the largest ground-based telescopes.

Super Earths are the largest population of exoplanets and are seen to exhibit a rich diversity of compositions as inferred through their mean densities.