Extrasolar Planets: August 2021

(Abridged) We characterize a series of neutral vanadium atomic absorption lines in the 800--910nm wavelength region of high signal-to-noise, high-resolution, telluric-corrected M-dwarf spectra from the CARMENES survey. Many of these lines are prominent and exhibit a distinctive broad and flat-bottom shape, which is a result of hyperfine structure (HFS).

Central stages in the evolution of rocky, potentially habitable planets may play out under atmospheric conditions with a large inventory of non-dilute condensable components. Variations in condensate retention and accompanying changes in local lapse rate may substantially affect planetary climate and surface conditions, but there is currently no general theory to effectively describe such atmospheres.

In recent years, numerical models that were developed for Earth have been adapted to study exoplanetary climates to understand how the broad range of possible exoplanetary properties affects their climate state.

All-sky imaging surveys have identified several dozen isolated planetary-mass objects (IPMOs), far away from any star. Here, we examine the prospects for detecting transiting moons around these objects.

Pandora is a SmallSat mission designed to study the atmospheres of exoplanets, and was selected as part of NASA's Astrophysics Pioneers Program.

The advent of a new generation of radial velocity instruments has allowed us to break the one Earth-mass barrier. We report a new milestone in this context with the detection of the lowest-mass planet measured so far using radial velocities: L 98-59 b, a rocky planet with half the mass of Venus.

A team of astronomers have used the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) in Chile to shed new light on planets around a nearby star, L 98-59, that resemble those in the inner Solar System. Amongst the findings are a planet with half the mass of Venus -- the lightest exoplanet ever to be measured using the radial velocity technique -- an ocean world, and a possible planet in the habitable zone.

Spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability are general features in planetary weather and climate, due to the effects of planetary rotation, uneven stellar flux distribution, fluid motion instability, etc.