Extrasolar Planets: September 2019

Direct imaging of exo-Earths and search for life is one of the most exciting and challenging objectives for future space observatories.

University of Washington astrobiologist Rory Barnes has created software that simulates multiple aspects of planetary evolution across billions of years, with an eye toward finding and studying potentially habitable worlds.

The pathways through which incoming energy is distributed between the surface and atmosphere has been analyzed for the Earth. However, the effect of the spectral energy distribution of a host star on the energy budget of an orbiting planet may be significant given the wavelength-dependent absorption properties of atmospheric CO2 and water vapor, and surface ice and snow.

To date a dozen transiting "Tatooines" or circumbinary planets (CBPs) have been discovered, by eye, in the data from the Kepler mission; by contrast, thousands of confirmed circumstellar planets orbiting around single stars have been detected using automated algorithms.