Extrasolar Planets: March 2018

From wispy gas giants on the verge of disruption to tiny rocky bodies already falling apart, short-period exoplanets pose a severe puzzle to theories of planet formation and orbital evolution.

The past decade has seen major progress in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation. Yet key questions remain.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will measure exoplanet transmission and eclipse spectroscopy at un-precedented precisions to better understand planet structure, dynamics, chemistry and formation.

Exoplanets mass measurements will be a critical next step to assess the habitability of Earth-like planets: a key aspect of the 2020 vision in the previous decadal survey and also central to NASA's strategic priorities.

In support of the National Acadamies' Exoplanet Science Strategy, this whitepaper outlines key technology challenges for studying the diversity of worlds in the Galaxy and in searching for habitable planets.

Astronomers at Yale University, in collaboration with Lowell Observatory, are embarking on a search that will answer one of the oldest questions in astronomy: Are there planets similar to Earth orbiting other stars?

EarthFinder is a Probe Mission concept selected for study by NASA for input to the 2020 astronomy decadal survey.

Scientists report the existence of 15 new planets -- including one 'super-Earth' that could harbor liquid water -- orbiting small, cool stars near our solar system.