WorldWideScience

Sample records for extrasolar terrestrial planet

  1. [Extrasolar terrestrial planets and possibility of extraterrestrial life].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ida, Shigeru

    2003-12-01

    Recent development of research on extrasolar planets are reviewed. About 120 extrasolar Jupiter-mass planets have been discovered through the observation of Doppler shift in the light of their host stars that is caused by acceleration due to planet orbital motions. Although the extrasolar planets so far observed may be limited to gas giant planets and their orbits differ from those of giant planets in our Solar system (Jupiter and Saturn), the theoretically predicted probability of existence of extrasolar terrestrial planets that can have liquid water ocean on their surface is comparable to that of detectable gas giant planets. Based on the number of extrasolar gas giants detected so far, about 100 life-sustainable planets may exist within a range of 200 light years. Indirect observation of extrasolar terrestrial planets would be done with space telescopes within several years and direct one may be done within 20 years. The latter can detect biomarkers on these planets as well.

  2. THE COMPOSITIONAL DIVERSITY OF EXTRASOLAR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS. II. MIGRATION SIMULATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O'Brien, David P.; Raymond, Sean N.

    2012-01-01

    Prior work has found that a variety of terrestrial planetary compositions are expected to occur within known extrasolar planetary systems. However, such studies ignored the effects of giant planet migration, which is thought to be very common in extrasolar systems. Here we present calculations of the compositions of terrestrial planets that formed in dynamical simulations incorporating varying degrees of giant planet migration. We used chemical equilibrium models of the solid material present in the disks of five known planetary host stars: the Sun, GJ 777, HD4203, HD19994, and HD213240. Giant planet migration has a strong effect on the compositions of simulated terrestrial planets as the migration results in large-scale mixing between terrestrial planet building blocks that condensed at a range of temperatures. This mixing acts to (1) increase the typical abundance of Mg-rich silicates in the terrestrial planets' feeding zones and thus increase the frequency of planets with Earth-like compositions compared with simulations with static giant planet orbits, and (2) drastically increase the efficiency of the delivery of hydrous phases (water and serpentine) to terrestrial planets and thus produce waterworlds and/or wet Earths. Our results demonstrate that although a wide variety of terrestrial planet compositions can still be produced, planets with Earth-like compositions should be common within extrasolar planetary systems.

  3. The Potential for Volcanism and Tectonics on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Roberge, Aki

    2018-01-01

    JWST and other next-generation space telescopes (e.g., LUVOIR, HabEx, & OST) will usher in a new era of exoplanet characterization that may lead to the identification of habitable, Earth-like worlds. Like the planets and moons in our solar system, the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial exoplanets may be shaped by volcanism and tectonics (Fu et al., 2010; van Summeren et al., 2011; Henning and Hurford, 2014). The magnitude and rate of occurrence of these dynamic processes can either facilitate or preclude the existence of habitable environments. Likewise, it has been suggested that detections of cryovolcanism on icy exoplanets, in the form of geyser-like plumes, could indicate the presence of subsurface oceans (Quick et al., 2017).The presence of volcanic and tectonic activity on solid exoplanets will be intimately linked to planet size and heat output in the form of radiogenic and/or tidal heating. In order to place bounds on the potential for such activity, we estimated the heat output of a variety of exoplanets observed by Kepler. We considered planets whose masses and radii range from 0.067 ME (super-Ganymede) to 8 ME (super-Earth), and 0.5 to 1.8 RE, respectively. These heat output estimates were then compared to those of planets, moons, and dwarf planets in our solar system for which we have direct evidence for the presence/absence of volcanic and tectonic activity. After exoplanet heating rates were estimated, depths to putative molten layers in their interiors were also calculated. For planets such as TRAPPIST-1h, whose densities, orbital parameters, and effective temperatures are consistent with the presence of significant amounts of H2O (Luger et al., 2017), these calculations reveal the depths to internal oceans which may serve as habitable niches beneath surface ice layers.

  4. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plávalová, Eva

    2012-04-01

    When a star is described as a spectral class G2V, we know that the star is similar to our Sun. We know its approximate mass, temperature, age, and size. When working with an extrasolar planet database, it is very useful to have a taxonomy scale (classification) such as, for example, the Harvard classification for stars. The taxonomy has to be easily interpreted and present the most relevant information about extrasolar planets. I propose an extrasolar planet taxonomy scale with four parameters. The first parameter concerns the mass of an extrasolar planet in the form of units of the mass of other known planets, where M represents the mass of Mercury, E that of Earth, N Neptune, and J Jupiter. The second parameter is the planet's distance from its parent star (semimajor axis) described in a logarithm with base 10. The third parameter is the mean Dyson temperature of the extrasolar planet, for which I established four main temperature classes: F represents the Freezing class, W the Water class, G the Gaseous class, and R the Roasters class. I devised one additional class, however: P, the Pulsar class, which concerns extrasolar planets orbiting pulsar stars. The fourth parameter is eccentricity. If the attributes of the surface of the extrasolar planet are known, we are able to establish this additional parameter where t represents a terrestrial planet, g a gaseous planet, and i an ice planet. According to this taxonomy scale, for example, Earth is 1E0W0t, Neptune is 1N1.5F0i, and extrasolar planet 55 Cnc e is 9E-1.8R1.

  5. A Model of the Temporal Variability of Optical Light from Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    OpenAIRE

    Ford, Eric B.; Seager, Sara; Turner, Edwin L.

    2002-01-01

    The light scattered by an extrasolar Earth-like planet's surface and atmosphere will vary in intensity and color as the planet rotates; the resulting light curve will contain information about the planet's properties. Since most of the light comes from a small fraction of the planet's surface, the temporal flux variability can be quite significant, $\\sim$ 10-100%. In addition, for cloudless Earth-like extrasolar planet models, qualitative changes to the surface (such as ocean fraction, ice co...

  6. THE PROJECT: an Observatory / Transport Spaceship for Discovering and Populating Habitable Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilston, S.

    1998-12-01

    Recent extrasolar planet discoveries and related progress in astrophysics have refined our knowledge of the implications of the Drake equation. The Space Interferometry Mission and the planned Terrestrial Planet Finder will deepen this understanding, and begin pointing the way to places we need to explore at closer range. If the correct resolution of the Fermi paradox regarding intelligent extraterrestrials (``where are they?") is found to lie in the actual scarcity of such beings, it may turn out that we are more advanced than most other life-forms in our galaxy. In this case, a main purpose in finding planets may be to find places for us to go: astronomy will once again play a major role in human navigation and migration. We describe a strawman design concept for an astronomical observatory ship designed for launch beyond our solar system within several hundred years. This ship design would employ plausible physics, biology, technology, sociology, and economics to carry one million passengers in a one-G environment shielded from space radiation. A cruising speed under 0.01 c, slower than in many science-fiction concepts, minimizes power requirements and the danger from collisional impacts. The ship would contain all subsystems needed to sustain multi-generational life on a voyage of thousands of years, as well as the observatories to identify for human settlement a habitable extrasolar planet. Even the modestly advanced technology described here could spread intelligent life throughout our galaxy within 40 million years, a very small fraction of the galaxy's age. Motivation for such an ambitious project is three-fold: expanding our knowledge of the universe, enlisting the efforts and enthusiasms of humankind toward a very grand goal which will stimulate progress in all aspects of our cultures and technologies, and participating in the process of spreading life so its survivability and fruition are enhanced.

  7. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Samuel J.

    2011-01-01

    The field of extrasolar planets is still, in comparison with other astrophysical topics, in its infancy. There have been about 300 or so extrasolar planets detected and their detection has been accomplished by various different techniques. Here we present a simple laboratory experiment to show how planets are detected using the transit technique.…

  8. Extrasolar planets: constraints for planet formation models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Nuno C; Benz, Willy; Mayor, Michel

    2005-10-14

    Since 1995, more than 150 extrasolar planets have been discovered, most of them in orbits quite different from those of the giant planets in our own solar system. The number of discovered extrasolar planets demonstrates that planetary systems are common but also that they may possess a large variety of properties. As the number of detections grows, statistical studies of the properties of exoplanets and their host stars can be conducted to unravel some of the key physical and chemical processes leading to the formation of planetary systems.

  9. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-03

    Observational surveys for extrasolar planets probe the diverse outcomes of planet formation and evolution. These surveys measure the frequency of planets with different masses, sizes, orbital characteristics, and host star properties. Small planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune substantially outnumber Jupiter-sized planets. The survey measurements support the core accretion model, in which planets form by the accumulation of solids and then gas in protoplanetary disks. The diversity of exoplanetary characteristics demonstrates that most of the gross features of the solar system are one outcome in a continuum of possibilities. The most common class of planetary system detectable today consists of one or more planets approximately one to three times Earth's size orbiting within a fraction of the Earth-Sun distance.

  10. Possibilities for the detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knacke, Roger F

    2003-01-01

    We consider possibilities for the remote detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets. The Darwin/Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) telescope concepts for observations of terrestrial planets focus on indirect searches for life through the detection of atmospheric gases related to life processes. Direct detection of extraterrestrial life may also be possible through well-designed searches for microbial life forms. Satellites in Earth orbit routinely monitor colonies of terrestrial algae in oceans and lakes by analysis of reflected ocean light in the visible region of the spectrum. These remote sensing techniques suggest strategies for extrasolar searches for signatures of chlorophylls and related photosynthetic compounds associated with life. However, identification of such life-related compounds on extrasolar planets would require observations through strong, interfering absorptions and scattering radiances from the remote atmospheres and landmasses. Techniques for removal of interfering radiances have been extensively developed for remote sensing from Earth orbit. Comparable techniques would have to be developed for extrasolar planet observations also, but doing so would be challenging for a remote planet. Darwin/TPF coronagraph concepts operating in the visible seem to be best suited for searches for extrasolar microbial life forms with instruments that can be projected for the 2010-2020 decades, although resolution and signal-to-noise ratio constraints severely limit detection possibilities on terrestrial-type planets. The generation of telescopes with large apertures and extremely high spatial resolutions that will follow Darwin/TPF could offer striking possibilities for the direct detection of extrasolar microbial life.

  11. The Radiometric Bode's law and Extrasolar Planets

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lazio, T. J; Farrell, W. M; Dietrick, Jill; Greenlees, Elizabeth; Hogan, Emily; Jones, Christopher; Hennig, L. A

    2004-01-01

    We predict the radio flux densities of the extrasolar planets in the current census, making use of an empirical relation the radiometric Bode's law determined from the five "magnetic" planets in the solar system...

  12. Electrodynamics on extrasolar giant planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koskinen, T. T.; Yelle, R. V. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States); Lavvas, P. [Groupe de Spectroscopie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique UMR CNRS 7331, Université Reims Champagne-Ardenne, F-51687 Reims (France); Cho, J. Y-K., E-mail: tommi@lpl.arizona.edu [Astronomy Unit, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom)

    2014-11-20

    Strong ionization on close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) suggests that their atmospheres may be affected by ion drag and resistive heating arising from wind-driven electrodynamics. Recent models of ion drag on these planets, however, are based on thermal ionization only and do not include the upper atmosphere above the 1 mbar level. These models are also based on simplified equations of resistive magnetohydrodynamics that are not always valid in extrasolar planet atmospheres. We show that photoionization dominates over thermal ionization over much of the dayside atmosphere above the 100 mbar level, creating an upper ionosphere dominated by ionization of H and He and a lower ionosphere dominated by ionization of metals such as Na, K, and Mg. The resulting dayside electron densities on close-in exoplanets are higher than those encountered in any planetary ionosphere of the solar system, and the conductivities are comparable to the chromosphere of the Sun. Based on these results and assumed magnetic fields, we constrain the conductivity regimes on close-in EGPs and use a generalized Ohm's law to study the basic effects of electrodynamics in their atmospheres. We find that ion drag is important above the 10 mbar level where it can also significantly alter the energy balance through resistive heating. Due to frequent collisions of the electrons and ions with the neutral atmosphere, however, ion drag is largely negligible in the lower atmosphere below the 10 mbar level for a reasonable range of planetary magnetic moments. We find that the atmospheric conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude in the night side of tidally locked planets, leading to a potentially interesting large-scale dichotomy in electrodynamics between the day and night sides. A combined approach that relies on UV observations of the upper atmosphere, phase curve and Doppler measurements of global dynamics, and visual transit observations to probe the alkali metals can potentially

  13. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macintosh, B

    2005-01-01

    One of the most exciting scientific discoveries in the last decade of the twentieth century was the first detection of planets orbiting a star other than our own. By now more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered indirectly, by observing the gravitational effects of the planet on the radial velocity of its parent star. This technique has fundamental limitations: it is most sensitive to planets close to their star, and it determines only a planet's orbital period and a lower limit on the planet's mass. As a result, all the planetary systems found so far are very different from our own--they have giant Jupiter-sized planets orbiting close to their star, where the terrestrial planets are found in our solar system. Such systems have overturned the conventional paradigm of planet formation, but have no room in them for habitable Earth-like planets. A powerful complement to radial velocity detections of extrasolar planets will be direct imaging--seeing photons from the planet itself. Such a detection would allow photometric measurements to determine the temperature and radius of a planet. Also, direct detection is most sensitive to planets in wide orbits, and hence more capable of seeing solar systems resembling our own, since a giant planet in a wide orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet closer to the star. Direct detection, however, is extremely challenging. Jupiter is roughly a billion times fainter than our sun. Two techniques allowed us to overcome this formidable contrast and attempt to see giant planets directly. The first is adaptive optics (AO) which allows giant earth-based telescopes, such as the 10 meter W.M. Keck telescope, to partially overcome the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence. The second is looking for young planets: by searching in the infrared for companions to young stars, we can see thermal emission from planets that are still warm with the heat of their formation. Together with a UCLA team that leads the

  14. Homes for extraterrestrial life: extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latham, D W

    2001-12-01

    Astronomers are now discovering giant planets orbiting other stars like the sun by the dozens. But none of these appears to be a small rocky planet like the earth, and thus these planets are unlikely to be capable of supporting life as we know it. The recent discovery of a system of three planets is especially significant because it supports the speculation that planetary systems, as opposed to single orbiting planets, may be common. Our ability to detect extrasolar planets will continue to improve, and space missions now in development should be able to detect earth-like planets.

  15. Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using SOFIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

    Topics include: the landscape of extrasolar planets, why focus on transiting planets, some history and Spitzer results, problems in atmospheric structure or hot Jupiters and hot super Earths, what observations are needed to make progress, and what SOFIA can currently do and comments on optimized instruments.

  16. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph; Deming, Drake

    2005-01-01

    The first light from an extrasolar planet was recently detected. These results, obtained for two transiting extrasolar planets at different infrared wavelengths, open a new era in the field of extrasolar planet detection and characterization because for the first time we can now detect planets beyond the solar system directly. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope at 24 microns, we observed the modulation of combined light (star plus planet) from the HD 209458 system as the planet disappeared behind the star during secondary eclipse and later re-emerged, thereby isolating the light from the planet. We obtained a planet-to-star ratio of 0.26% at 24 microns, corresponding to a brightness temperature of 1130 + / - 150 K. We will describe this result in detail, explain what it can tell us about the atmosphere of HD 209458 b, and discuss implications for the field of astrobiology. These results represent a significant step on the path to detecting terrestrial planets around other stars and in understanding their atmospheres in terms of composition and temperature.

  17. Atmospheric dynamics of tidally synchronized extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, James Y-K

    2008-12-13

    Tidally synchronized planets present a new opportunity for enriching our understanding of atmospheric dynamics on planets. Subject to an unusual forcing arrangement (steady irradiation on the same side of the planet throughout its orbit), the dynamics on these planets may be unlike that on any of the Solar System planets. Characterizing the flow pattern and temperature distribution on the extrasolar planets is necessary for reliable interpretation of data currently being collected, as well as for guiding future observations. In this paper, several fundamental concepts from atmospheric dynamics, likely to be central for characterization, are discussed. Theoretical issues that need to be addressed in the near future are also highlighted.

  18. Extrasolar planets searches today and tomorrow

    CERN Multimedia

    2000-01-01

    So far the searches for extrasolar planets have found 40 planetary companions orbiting around nearby stars. In December 1999 a transit has been observed for one of them, providing the first independent confirmation of the reality of close-in planets as well as a measurement of its density. The techniques used to detect planets are limited and the detection threshold is biased but a first picture of the planet diversity and distribution emerges. Results of the search for extra-solar planets and their impacts on planetary formation will be reviewed. Future instruments are foreseen to detect Earth-like planets and possible signatures of organic activity. An overview of these future projects will be presented and more particularly the Darwin-IRSI mission studied by ESA for Horizon 2015.

  19. Polarization Spectra of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, D.M.

    2004-01-01

    We present simulated spectra of the flux and degree of polarization of starlight that is reflected by extrasolar giant planets (EGPs). In particular the polarization depends strongly on the structure of the planetary atmosphere, and appears to be a valuable tool for the characterization of EGPs.

  20. Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet

    OpenAIRE

    Deming, Drake; Seager, Sara; Richardson, L. Jeremy; Harrington, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    A class of extrasolar giant planets - the so-called `hot Jupiters' - orbit within 0.05 AU of their primary stars. These planets should be hot and so emit detectable infrared radiation. The planet HD 209458b is an ideal candidate for the detection and characterization of this infrared light because it is eclipsed by the star. This planet has an anomalously large radius (1.35 times that of Jupiter), which may be the result of ongoing tidal dissipation, but this explanation requires a non-zero o...

  1. Extrasolar planets formation, detection and dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Dvorak, Rudolf

    2008-01-01

    This latest, up-to-date resource for research on extrasolar planets covers formation, dynamics, atmospheres and detection. After a look at the formation of giant planets, the book goes on to discuss the formation and dynamics of planets in resonances, planets in double stars, atmospheres and habitable zones, detection via spectra and transits, and the history and prospects of ESPs as well as satellite projects.Edited by a renowned expert in solar system dynamics with chapters written by the leading experts in the method described -- from the US and Europe -- this is an ideal textbook for g

  2. The Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Rice

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We have now confirmed the existence of > 1800 planets orbiting stars other thanthe Sun; known as extrasolar planets or exoplanets. The different methods for detectingsuch planets are sensitive to different regions of parameter space, and so, we are discoveringa wide diversity of exoplanets and exoplanetary systems. Characterizing such planets isdifficult, but we are starting to be able to determine something of their internal compositionand are beginning to be able to probe their atmospheres, the first step towards the detectionof bio-signatures and, hence, determining if a planet could be habitable or not. Here, Iwill review how we detect exoplanets, how we characterize exoplanetary systems and theexoplanets themselves, where we stand with respect to potentially habitable planets and howwe are progressing towards being able to actually determine if a planet could host life or not.

  3. Reflected Light Curves of Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D.; Matthews, J.; Kuschnig, R.; Seager, S.

    The planned launches of ultra-precise photometric satellites such as MOST, COROT and MONS should provide the first opportunity to study the reflected light curves from extrasolar planets. To predict the capabilities of these missions, we have constructed a series of models of such light curves, improving upon the Monte Carlo simulations by Seager et al. (2000). These models include more realistic features such limb darkening of the star and broad band photometry. For specific models, the resulting planet light curves exhibit unique behavior with the variation of radius, inclination and presence or absence of clouds.

  4. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koskinen, Tommi T; Lavvas, Panayotis; Harris, Matthew J; Yelle, Roger V

    2014-04-28

    The detection of hot atomic hydrogen and heavy atoms and ions at high altitudes around close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) such as HD209458b implies that these planets have hot and rapidly escaping atmospheres that extend to several planetary radii. These characteristics, however, cannot be generalized to all close-in EGPs. The thermal escape mechanism and mass loss rate from EGPs depend on a complex interplay between photochemistry and radiative transfer driven by the stellar UV radiation. In this study, we explore how these processes change under different levels of irradiation on giant planets with different characteristics. We confirm that there are two distinct regimes of thermal escape from EGPs, and that the transition between these regimes is relatively sharp. Our results have implications for thermal mass loss rates from different EGPs that we discuss in the context of currently known planets and the detectability of their upper atmospheres.

  5. IONIZATION OF EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANET ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koskinen, Tommi T.; Cho, James Y-K.; Achilleos, Nicholas; Aylward, Alan D.

    2010-01-01

    Many extrasolar planets orbit close in and are subject to intense ionizing radiation from their host stars. Therefore, we expect them to have strong, and extended, ionospheres. Ionospheres are important because they modulate escape in the upper atmosphere and can modify circulation, as well as leave their signatures, in the lower atmosphere. In this paper, we evaluate the vertical location Z I and extent D I of the EUV ionization peak layer. We find that Z I ∼1-10 nbar-for a wide range of orbital distances (a = 0.047-1 AU) from the host star-and D I /H p ∼>15, where H p is the pressure scale height. At Z I , the plasma frequency is ∼80-450 MHz, depending on a. We also study global ion transport, and its dependence on a, using a three-dimensional thermosphere-ionosphere model. On tidally synchronized planets with weak intrinsic magnetic fields, our model shows only a small, but discernible, difference in electron density from the dayside to the nightside (∼9 x 10 13 m -3 to ∼2 x 10 12 m -3 , respectively) at Z I . On asynchronous planets, the distribution is essentially uniform. These results have consequences for hydrodynamic modeling of the atmospheres of close-in extrasolar giant planets.

  6. Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake; Seager, Sara; Richardson, L Jeremy; Harrington, Joseph

    2005-04-07

    A class of extrasolar giant planets--the so-called 'hot Jupiters' (ref. 1)--orbit within 0.05 au of their primary stars (1 au is the Sun-Earth distance). These planets should be hot and so emit detectable infrared radiation. The planet HD 209458b (refs 3, 4) is an ideal candidate for the detection and characterization of this infrared light because it is eclipsed by the star. This planet has an anomalously large radius (1.35 times that of Jupiter), which may be the result of ongoing tidal dissipation, but this explanation requires a non-zero orbital eccentricity (approximately 0.03; refs 6, 7), maintained by interaction with a hypothetical second planet. Here we report detection of infrared (24 microm) radiation from HD 209458b, by observing the decrement in flux during secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the star. The planet's 24-microm flux is 55 +/- 10 microJy (1sigma), with a brightness temperature of 1,130 +/- 150 K, confirming the predicted heating by stellar irradiation. The secondary eclipse occurs at the midpoint between transits of the planet in front of the star (to within +/- 7 min, 1sigma), which means that a dynamically significant orbital eccentricity is unlikely.

  7. Photometric Detection of Extra-Solar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatzes, Artie P.; Cochran, William D.

    2004-01-01

    This NASA Origins Program grant supported the TEMPEST Texas McDonald Photometric Extrasolar Search for Transits) program at McDonald Observatory, which searches for transits of extrasolar planets across the disks of their parent stars. The basic approach is to use a wide-field ground-based telescope (in our case the McDonald Observatory 0.76m telescope and it s Prime Focus Corrector) to search for transits of short period (1-15 day orbits) of close-in hot-Jupiter planets in orbit around a large sample of field stars. The next task is to search these data streams for possible transit events. We collected our first set of test data for this program using the 0.76 m PFC in the summer of 1998. From those data, we developed the optimal observing procedures, including tailoring the stellar density, exposure times, and filters to best-suit the instrument and project. In the summer of 1999, we obtained the first partial season of data on a dedicated field in the constellation Cygnus. These data were used to develop and refine the reduction and analysis procedures to produce high-precision photometry and search for transits in the resulting light curves. The TeMPEST project subsequently obtained three full seasons of data on six different fields using the McDonald Observatory 0.76m PFC.

  8. Extrasolar Planets Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Cassen, Patrick; Quirrenbach, Andreas

    2006-01-01

    Research on extrasolar planets is one of the most exciting fields of activity in astrophysics. In a decade only, a huge step forward has been made from the early speculations on the existence of planets orbiting "other stars" to the first discoveries and to the characterization of extrasolar planets. This breakthrough is the result of a growing interest of a large community of researchers as well as the development of a wide range of new observational techniques and facilities. Based on their lectures given at the 31st Saas-Fee Advanced Course, Andreas Quirrenbach, Tristan Guillot and Pat Cassen have written up up-to-date comprehensive lecture notes on the "Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets", "Physics of Substellar Objects Interiors, Atmospheres, Evolution" and "Protostellar Disks and Planet Formation". This book will serve graduate students, lecturers and scientists entering the field of extrasolar planets as detailed and comprehensive introduction.

  9. Predicting the Atmospheric Composition of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, A. G.; Moses, J. I.; Friedson, A. J.; Fegley, B., Jr.; Marley, M. S.; Lodders, K.

    2004-01-01

    To date, approximately 120 planet-sized objects have been discovered around other stars, mostly through the radial-velocity technique. This technique can provide information about a planet s minimum mass and its orbital period and distance; however, few other planetary data can be obtained at this point in time unless we are fortunate enough to find an extrasolar giant planet that transits its parent star (i.e., the orbit is edge-on as seen from Earth). In that situation, many physical properties of the planet and its parent star can be determined, including some compositional information. Our prospects of directly obtaining spectra from extrasolar planets may improve in the near future, through missions like NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder. Most of the extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) discovered so far have masses equal to or greater than Jupiter's mass, and roughly 16% have orbital radii less than 0.1 AU - extremely close to the parent star by our own Solar-System standards (note that Mercury is located at a mean distance of 0.39 AU and Jupiter at 5.2 AU from the Sun). Although all EGPs are expected to have hydrogen-dominated atmospheres similar to Jupiter, the orbital distance can strongly affect the planet's temperature, physical, chemical, and spectral properties, and the abundance of minor, detectable atmospheric constituents. Thermochemical equilibrium models can provide good zero-order predictions for the atmospheric composition of EGPs. However, both the composition and spectral properties will depend in large part on disequilibrium processes like photochemistry, chemical kinetics, atmospheric transport, and haze formation. We have developed a photochemical kinetics, radiative transfer, and 1-D vertical transport model to study the atmospheric composition of EGPs. The chemical reaction list contains H-, C-, O-, and N-bearing species and is designed to be valid for atmospheric temperatures ranging from 100-3000 K and pressures up to 50 bar. Here we examine

  10. Extrasolar planets and their host stars

    CERN Document Server

    von Braun, Kaspar

    2017-01-01

    This book explores the relations between physical parameters of extrasolar planets and their respective parent stars. Planetary parameters are often directly dependent upon their stellar counterparts. In addition, the star is almost always the only visible component of the system and contains most of the system mass. Consequently, the parent star heavily influences every aspect of planetary physics and astrophysics. Drs. Kaspar von Braun and Tabetha Boyajian use direct methods to characterize exoplanet host starts that minimize the number of assumptions needed to be made in the process. The book provides a background on interferometric techniques for stellar diameter measurements, illustrates the authors' approach on using additional data to fully characterize the stars, provides a comprehensive update on the current state of the field, and examines in detail a number of historically significant and well-studied exoplanetary systems.

  11. From Extrasolar Planets to Exo-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Debra

    2018-06-01

    The ancient Greeks debated whether the Earth was unique, or innumerable worlds existed around other Suns. Twenty five years ago, technology and human ingenuity enabled the discovery of the first extrasolar planet candidates. The architectures of these first systems, with gas giant planets in star-skirting orbits, were unexpected and again raised an echo of that ancient question: is the Earth typical or unique? We are interested in this seemingly anthropocentric question because with all of our searching and discoveries, Earth is the only place where life has been found. It is the question of whether life exists elsewhere that energizes the search for exoplanets. The trajectory of this field has been stunning. After a steady stream of detections with the radial velocity method, a burst of discovery was made possible with the NASA Kepler mission. While thousands of smaller planets have now been found, true Earth analogs have eluded robust detection. However, we are sharpening the knives of our technology and without a doubt we now stand at the threshold of detecting hundreds of Earth analogs. Using Gaia, TESS, WFIRST, JWST and new ground-based spectrographs, we will learn the names and addresses of the worlds that orbit nearby stars and we will be ready to probe their atmospheres. We will finally resolve the ancient question of whether life is unique or common.

  12. Terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  13. Photometric Defocus Observations of Transiting Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias C. Hinse

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We have carried out photometric follow-up observations of bright transiting extrasolar planets using the CbNUOJ 0.6 m telescope. We have tested the possibility of obtaining high photometric precision by applying the telescope defocus technique, allowing the use of several hundred seconds in exposure time for a single measurement. We demonstrate that this technique is capable of obtaining a root-mean-square scatter of sub-millimagnitude order over several hours for a V ~10 host star, typical for transiting planets detected from ground-based survey facilities. We compared our results with transit observations from a telescope operated in in-focus mode. High photometric precision was obtained due to the collection of a larger amount of photons, resulting in a higher signal compared to other random and systematic noise sources. Accurate telescope tracking is likely to further contribute to lowering systematic noise by exposing the same pixels on the CCD. Furthermore, a longer exposure time helps reduce the effect of scintillation noise which otherwise has a significant effect for small-aperture telescopes operated in in-focus mode. Finally we present the results of modelling four light-curves in which a root-mean-square scatter of 0.70 to 2.3 milli-magnitudes was achieved.

  14. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.

    1981-01-01

    The uneven historical development of terrestrial planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon and Mars - is probably due to the differences in their size, weight and rotational dynamics in association with the internal planet structure, their distance from the Sun, etc. A systematic study of extraterrestrial planets showed that the time span of internal activity was not the same for all bodies. It is assumed that the initial history of all terrestrial planets was marked with catastrophic events connected with the overall dynamic development of the solar system. In view of the fact that the cores of small terrestrial bodies cooled quicker, their geological development almost stagnated after two or three thousand million years. This is what probably happened to the Mercury and the Moon as well as the Mars. Therefore, traces of previous catastrophic events were preserved on the surface of the planets. On the other hand, the Earth is the most metamorphosed terrestrial planet and compared to the other planets appears to be atypical. Its biosphere is significantly developed as well as the other shell components, its hydrosphere and atmosphere, and its crust is considerably differentiated. (J.P.)

  15. ENHANCED INTERFEROMETRIC IDENTIFICATION OF SPECTRA IN HABITABLE EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwartz, Eyal; Lipson, Stephen G.; Ribak, Erez N.

    2012-01-01

    An Earth-like extrasolar planet emits light that is many orders of magnitude fainter than that of the parent star. We propose a method of identifying bio-signature spectral lines in light of known extrasolar planets based on Fourier spectroscopy in the infrared, using an off-center part of a Fourier interferogram only. This results in superior sensitivity to narrower molecular-type spectral bands, which are expected in the planet spectrum but are absent in the parent star. We support this idea by numerical simulations that include photon and thermal noise, and show it to be feasible at a luminosity ratio of 10 –6 for a Sun-like parent star in the infrared. We also carried out a laboratory experiment to illustrate the method. The results suggest that this method should be applicable to real planet searches.

  16. High-Cadence Transit Timing Variation Monitoring of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naef D.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We report ground-based high-cadence transit timing observations of the extrasolar planet WASP-2b. We achieve a typical timing error of 15-30 sec. The data show no significant deviations from the predicted ephemeris.

  17. Direct Imaging Search for Extrasolar Planets in the Pleiades

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yamamoto, K.; et al., [Unknown; Thalmann, C.

    2013-01-01

    We carried out an imaging survey for extrasolar planets around stars in the Pleiades (125 Myr, 135 pc) in the H and KS bands using HiCIAO combined with adaptive optics, AO188, on the Subaru telescope. We found 13 companion candidates fainter than 14.5 mag in the H band around 9 stars. Five of these

  18. Darwin--a mission to detect and search for life on extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C S; Léger, A; Fridlund, M; Herbst, T M; Kaltenegger, L; Absil, O; Beichman, C; Benz, W; Blanc, M; Brack, A; Chelli, A; Colangeli, L; Cottin, H; Coudé du Foresto, F; Danchi, W C; Defrère, D; den Herder, J-W; Eiroa, C; Greaves, J; Henning, T; Johnston, K J; Jones, H; Labadie, L; Lammer, H; Launhardt, R; Lawson, P; Lay, O P; LeDuigou, J-M; Liseau, R; Malbet, F; Martin, S R; Mawet, D; Mourard, D; Moutou, C; Mugnier, L M; Ollivier, M; Paresce, F; Quirrenbach, A; Rabbia, Y D; Raven, J A; Rottgering, H J A; Rouan, D; Santos, N C; Selsis, F; Serabyn, E; Shibai, H; Tamura, M; Thiébaut, E; Westall, F; White, G J

    2009-01-01

    The discovery of extrasolar planets is one of the greatest achievements of modern astronomy. The detection of planets that vary widely in mass demonstrates that extrasolar planets of low mass exist. In this paper, we describe a mission, called Darwin, whose primary goal is the search for, and characterization of, terrestrial extrasolar planets and the search for life. Accomplishing the mission objectives will require collaborative science across disciplines, including astrophysics, planetary sciences, chemistry, and microbiology. Darwin is designed to detect rocky planets similar to Earth and perform spectroscopic analysis at mid-infrared wavelengths (6-20 mum), where an advantageous contrast ratio between star and planet occurs. The baseline mission is projected to last 5 years and consists of approximately 200 individual target stars. Among these, 25-50 planetary systems can be studied spectroscopically, which will include the search for gases such as CO(2), H(2)O, CH(4), and O(3). Many of the key technologies required for the construction of Darwin have already been demonstrated, and the remainder are estimated to be mature in the near future. Darwin is a mission that will ignite intense interest in both the research community and the wider public.

  19. Three regimes of extrasolar planet radius inferred from host star metallicities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high......-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find...... that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (~4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes...

  20. Orbital parameters of extrasolar planets derived from polarimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fluri, D. M.; Berdyugina, S. V.

    2010-03-01

    Context. Polarimetry of extrasolar planets becomes a new tool for their investigation, which requires the development of diagnostic techniques and parameter case studies. Aims: Our goal is to develop a theoretical model which can be applied to interpret polarimetric observations of extrasolar planets. Here we present a theoretical parameter study that shows the influence of the various involved parameters on the polarization curves. Furthermore, we investigate the robustness of the fitting procedure. We focus on the diagnostics of orbital parameters and the estimation of the scattering radius of the planet. Methods: We employ the physics of Rayleigh scattering to obtain polarization curves of an unresolved extrasolar planet. Calculations are made for two cases: (i) assuming an angular distribution for the intensity of the scattered light as from a Lambert sphere and for polarization as from a Rayleigh-type scatterer; and (ii) assuming that both the intensity and polarization of the scattered light are distributed according to the Rayleigh law. We show that the difference between these two cases is negligible for the shapes of the polarization curves. In addition, we take the size of the host star into account, which is relevant for hot Jupiters orbiting giant stars. Results: We discuss the influence of the inclination of the planetary orbit, the position angle of the ascending node, and the eccentricity on the linearly polarized light curves both in Stokes Q/I and U/I. We also analyze errors that arise from the assumption of a point-like star in numerical modeling of polarization as compared to consistent calculations accounting for the finite size of the host star. We find that errors due to the point-like star approximation are reduced with the size of the orbit, but still amount to about 5% for known hot Jupiters. Recovering orbital parameters from simulated data is shown to be very robust even for very noisy data because the polarization curves react

  1. Status of the Calan-Hertfordshire Extrasolar Planet Search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordán Andres

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In these proceedings we give a status update of the Calan-Hertfordshire Extrasolar Planet Search, an international collaboration led from Chile that aims to discover more planets around super metal-rich and Sun-like stars, and then follow these up with precision photometry to hunt for new bright transit planets. We highlight some results from this program, including exoplanet and brown dwarf discoveries, and a possible correlation between metallicity and planetary minimum mass at the lowest planetary masses detectable. Finally we discuss the short-term and long-term future pathways this program can take.

  2. Extrasolar planets as a probe of modified gravity

    OpenAIRE

    Vargas dos Santos, Marcelo; Mota, David F.

    2017-01-01

    We propose a new method to test modified gravity theories, taking advantage of the available data on extrasolar planets. We computed the deviations from the Kepler third law and use that to constrain gravity theories beyond General Relativity. We investigate gravity models which incorporate three screening mechanisms: the Chameleon, the Symmetron and the Vainshtein. We find that data from exoplanets orbits are very sensitive to the screening mechanisms putting strong constraints in the parame...

  3. Detection and characterization of extrasolar planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferlet R.

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The main methods to detect planets orbiting stars other than our Sun are briefly described, together with their present results. Some characteristics of the known systems are emphasized. Particularly interesting are the transiting exoplanets which allow to reveal their atmospheres and ultimately identify biosignatures.

  4. Magnetic Fields of Extrasolar Planets: Planetary Interiors and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, T. Joseph

    2018-06-01

    Ground-based observations showed that Jupiter's radio emission is linked to its planetary-scale magnetic field, and subsequent spacecraft observations have shown that most planets, and some moons, have or had a global magnetic field. Generated by internal dynamos, magnetic fields are one of the few remote sensing means of constraining the properties of planetary interiors. For the Earth, its magnetic field has been speculated to be partially responsible for its habitability, and knowledge of an extrasolar planet's magnetic field may be necessary to assess its habitability. The radio emission from Jupiter and other solar system planets is produced by an electron cyclotron maser, and detections of extrasolar planetary electron cyclotron masers will enable measurements of extrasolar planetary magnetic fields. Based on experience from the solar system, such observations will almost certainly require space-based observations, but they will also be guided by on-going and near-future ground-based observations.This work has benefited from the discussion and participants of the W. M. Keck Institute of Space Studies "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability" and content within a white paper submitted to the National Academy of Science Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  5. THERMAL TIDES IN FLUID EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arras, Phil; Socrates, Aristotle

    2010-01-01

    Asynchronous rotation and orbital eccentricity lead to time-dependent irradiation of the close-in gas giant exoplanets-the hot Jupiters. This time-dependent surface heating gives rise to fluid motions which propagate throughout the planet. We investigate the ability of this 'thermal tide' to produce a quadrupole moment which can couple to the stellar gravitational tidal force. While previous investigations discussed planets with solid surfaces, here we focus on entirely fluid planets in order to understand gas giants with small cores. The Coriolis force, thermal diffusion, and self-gravity of the perturbations are ignored for simplicity. First, we examine the response to thermal forcing through analytic solutions of the fluid equations which treat the forcing frequency as a small parameter. In the 'equilibrium tide' limit of zero frequency, fluid motion is present but does not induce a quadrupole moment. In the next approximation, finite frequency corrections to the equilibrium tide do lead to a nonzero quadrupole moment, the sign of which torques the planet away from synchronous spin. We then numerically solve the boundary value problem for the thermally forced, linear response of a planet with neutrally stratified interior and a stably stratified envelope. The numerical results find quadrupole moments in agreement with the analytic non-resonant result at a sufficiently long forcing period. Surprisingly, in the range of forcing periods of 1-30 days, the induced quadrupole moments can be far larger than the analytic result due to response of internal gravity waves which propagate in the radiative envelope. We discuss the relevance of our results for the spin, eccentricity, and thermal evolution of hot Jupiters.

  6. The Calan-Hertfordshire extrasolar planet search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinfield D.J.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The detailed study of the exoplanetary systems HD189733 and HD209458 has given rise to a wealth of exciting information on the physics of exoplanetary atmospheres. To further our understanding of the make-up and processes within these atmospheres we require a larger sample of bright transiting planets. We have began a project to detect more bright transiting planets in the southern hemisphere by utilising precision radial-velocity measurements. We have observed a constrained sample of bright, inactive and metal-rich stars using the HARPS instrument and here we present the current status of this project, along with our first discoveries which include a brown dwarf/extreme-Jovian exoplanet found in the brown dwarf desert region around the star HD191760 and improved orbits for three other exoplanetary systems HD48265, HD143361 and HD154672. Finally, we briefly discuss the future of this project and the current prospects we have for discovering more bright transiting planets.

  7. Detecting tree-like multicellular life on extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doughty, Christopher E; Wolf, Adam

    2010-11-01

    Over the next two decades, NASA and ESA are planning a series of space-based observatories to find Earth-like planets and determine whether life exists on these planets. Previous studies have assessed the likelihood of detecting life through signs of biogenic gases in the atmosphere or a red edge. Biogenic gases and the red edge could be signs of either single-celled or multicellular life. In this study, we propose a technique with which to determine whether tree-like multicellular life exists on extrasolar planets. For multicellular photosynthetic organisms on Earth, competition for light and the need to transport water and nutrients has led to a tree-like body plan characterized by hierarchical branching networks. This design results in a distinct bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) that causes differing reflectance at different sun/view geometries. BRDF arises from the changing visibility of the shadows cast by objects, and the presence of tree-like structures is clearly distinguishable from flat ground with the same reflectance spectrum. We examined whether the BRDF could detect the existence of tree-like structures on an extrasolar planet by using changes in planetary albedo as a planet orbits its star. We used a semi-empirical BRDF model to simulate vegetation reflectance at different planetary phase angles and both simulated and real cloud cover to calculate disk and rotation-averaged planetary albedo for a vegetated and non-vegetated planet with abundant liquid water. We found that even if the entire planetary albedo were rendered to a single pixel, the rate of increase of albedo as a planet approaches full illumination would be comparatively greater on a vegetated planet than on a non-vegetated planet. Depending on how accurately planetary cloud cover can be resolved and the capabilities of the coronagraph to resolve exoplanets, this technique could theoretically detect tree-like multicellular life on exoplanets in 50 stellar systems.

  8. Views from EPOXI. Colors in Our Solar System as an Analog for Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, Carolyn A.; McFadden, L. A.; Robinson, T.; Livengood, T. A.; Hewagama, T.; Barry, R. K.; Deming, L. D.; Meadows, V.; Lisse, C. M.

    2010-01-01

    With extrasolar planet detection becoming more common place, the frontiers of extrasolar planet science have moved beyond detection to the observations required to determine planetary properties. Once the existing observational challenges have been overcome, the first visible-light studies of extrasolar Earth-sized planets will likely employ filter photometry or low-resolution. spectroscopy to observe disk-integrated radiation from the unresolved planet. While spectroscopy of these targets is highly desirable, and provides the most robust form of characterization. S/N considerations presently limit spectroscopic measurements of extrasolar worlds. Broadband filter photometry will thus serve as a first line of characterization. In this paper we use Extrasolar Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) filter photometry of the Earth. Moon and Mars model spectra. and previous photometric and spectroscopic observations of a range the solar system planets. Titan, and Moon to explore the limitations of using color as a baseline for understanding extrasolar planets

  9. Rapid heating of the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Gregory; Deming, Drake; Langton, Jonathan; Kasen, Daniel; Vogt, Steve; Butler, Paul; Rivera, Eugenio; Meschiari, Stefano

    2009-01-29

    Near-infrared observations of more than a dozen 'hot-Jupiter' extrasolar planets have now been reported. These planets display a wide diversity of properties, yet all are believed to have had their spin periods tidally spin-synchronized with their orbital periods, resulting in permanent star-facing hemispheres and surface flow patterns that are most likely in equilibrium. Planets in significantly eccentric orbits can enable direct measurements of global heating that are largely independent of the details of the hydrodynamic flow. Here we report 8-microm photometric observations of the planet HD 80606b during a 30-hour interval bracketing the periastron passage of its extremely eccentric 111.4-day orbit. As the planet received its strongest irradiation (828 times larger than the flux received at apastron) its maximum 8-microm brightness temperature increased from approximately 800 K to approximately 1,500 K over a six-hour period. We also detected a secondary eclipse for the planet, which implies an orbital inclination of i approximately 90 degrees , fixes the planetary mass at four times the mass of Jupiter, and constrains the planet's tidal luminosity. Our measurement of the global heating rate indicates that the radiative time constant at the planet's 8-microm photosphere is approximately 4.5 h, in comparison with 3-5 days in Earth's stratosphere.

  10. EXTRASOLAR BINARY PLANETS. II. DETECTABILITY BY TRANSIT OBSERVATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, K. M.; Ida, S.; Ochiai, H.; Nagasawa, M.

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the detectability of gravitationally bound pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call “binary planets”) in extrasolar planetary systems that are formed through orbital instability followed by planet–planet dynamical tides during their close encounters, based on the results of N-body simulations by Ochiai et al. (Paper I). Paper I showed that the formation probability of a binary is as much as ∼10% for three giant planet systems that undergo orbital instability, and after post-capture long-term tidal evolution, the typical binary separation is three to five times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. The binary planets are stable during the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars, if the stellarcentric semimajor axis of the binary is larger than 0.3 AU. We show that detecting modulations of transit light curves is the most promising observational method to detect binary planets. Since the likely binary separations are comparable to the stellar diameter, the shape of the transit light curve is different from transit to transit, depending on the phase of the binary’s orbit. The transit durations and depth for binary planet transits are generally longer and deeper than those for the single planet case. We point out that binary planets could exist among the known inflated gas-giant planets or objects classified as false positive detections at orbital radii ≳0.3 AU, propose a binary planet explanation for the CoRoT candidate SRc01 E2 1066, and show that binary planets are likely to be present in, and could be detected using, Kepler-quality data

  11. The Problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations and Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    The problem of extraterrestrial intelligence is the best example of multidisciplinary science. Here philosophy and religion, astronomy, radiophysics, spectrography, space flights and astronautics, geology and planetology, astroecology, chemistry and biology, history and archaeology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, diplomacy, UFOs and peculiar phenomena are involved. Among these many-sided studies, astronomers have probably displayed the most progress by discovering thousands of extrasolar planets. At present, a number of search programs are being accomplished, including those with space telescopes, and planets in so-called "habitable zone" are considered as most important ones, for which various orbital and physical parameters are being calculated. As the discovery of extraterrestrial life is the final goal, a special attention is given to Earth-like planets, for the discovery of which most sensitive technical means are necessary.

  12. ANISOTROPIC WINDS FROM CLOSE-IN EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stone, James M.; Proga, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    We present two-dimensional hydrodynamic models of thermally driven winds from highly irradiated, close-in extrasolar planets. We adopt a very simple treatment of the radiative heating processes at the base of the wind, and instead focus on the differences between the properties of outflows in multidimensions in comparison to spherically symmetric models computed with the same methods. For hot (T ∼> 2 x 10 4 K) or highly ionized gas, we find that strong (supersonic) polar flows are formed above the planet surface which produce weak shocks and outflow on the night side. In comparison to a spherically symmetric wind with the same parameters, the sonic surface on the day side is much closer to the planet surface in multidimensions, and the total mass-loss rate is reduced by almost a factor of 4. We also compute the steady-state structure of interacting planetary and stellar winds. Both winds end in a termination shock, with a parabolic contact discontinuity which is draped over the planet separating the two shocked winds. The planetary wind termination shock and the sonic surface in the wind are well separated, so that the mass-loss rate from the planet is essentially unaffected. However, the confinement of the planetary wind to the small volume bounded by the contact discontinuity greatly enhances the column density close to the planet, which might be important for the interpretation of observations of absorption lines formed by gas surrounding transiting planets.

  13. CALIBRATION OF EQUILIBRIUM TIDE THEORY FOR EXTRASOLAR PLANET SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, Brad M. S.

    2010-01-01

    We provide an 'effective theory' of tidal dissipation in extrasolar planet systems by empirically calibrating a model for the equilibrium tide. The model is valid to high order in eccentricity and parameterized by two constants of bulk dissipation-one for dissipation in the planet and one for dissipation in the host star. We are able to consistently describe the distribution of extrasolar planetary systems in terms of period, eccentricity, and mass (with a lower limit of a Saturn mass) with this simple model. Our model is consistent with the survival of short-period exoplanet systems, but not with the circularization period of equal mass stellar binaries, suggesting that the latter systems experience a higher level of dissipation than exoplanet host stars. Our model is also not consistent with the explanation of inflated planetary radii as resulting from tidal dissipation. The paucity of short-period planets around evolved A stars is explained as the result of enhanced tidal inspiral resulting from the increase in stellar radius with evolution.

  14. An extrasolar planetary system with three Neptune-mass planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Pepe, Francesco; Alibert, Yann; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Correia, Alexandre C M; Laskar, Jacques; Mordasini, Christoph; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno C; Udry, Stéphane; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Sivan, Jean-Pierre

    2006-05-18

    Over the past two years, the search for low-mass extrasolar planets has led to the detection of seven so-called 'hot Neptunes' or 'super-Earths' around Sun-like stars. These planets have masses 5-20 times larger than the Earth and are mainly found on close-in orbits with periods of 2-15 days. Here we report a system of three Neptune-mass planets with periods of 8.67, 31.6 and 197 days, orbiting the nearby star HD 69830. This star was already known to show an infrared excess possibly caused by an asteroid belt within 1 au (the Sun-Earth distance). Simulations show that the system is in a dynamically stable configuration. Theoretical calculations favour a mainly rocky composition for both inner planets, while the outer planet probably has a significant gaseous envelope surrounding its rocky/icy core; the outer planet orbits within the habitable zone of this star.

  15. Planetary Systems Detection, Formation and Habitability of Extrasolar Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Ollivier, Marc; Casoli, Fabienne; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Selsis, Franck

    2009-01-01

    Over the past ten years, the discovery of extrasolar planets has opened a new field of astronomy, and this area of research is rapidly growing, from both the observational and theoretical point of view. The presence of many giant exoplanets in the close vicinity of their star shows that these newly discovered planetary systems are very different from the solar system. New theoretical models are being developed in order to understand their formation scenarios, and new observational methods are being implemented to increase the sensitivity of exoplanet detections. In the present book, the authors address the question of planetary systems from all aspects. Starting from the facts (the detection of more than 300 extraterrestrial planets), they first describe the various methods used for these discoveries and propose a synthetic analysis of their global properties. They then consider the observations of young stars and circumstellar disks and address the case of the solar system as a specific example, different fr...

  16. Using polarimetry to detect and characterize Jupiter-like extrasolar planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, D.M.; Hovenier, J.W.; Waters, L.B.F.M.

    2004-01-01

    Using numerical simulations of flux and polarization spectra of visible to near-infrared starlight reflected by Jupiter-like extrasolar planets, we show that polarimetry can be used both for the detection and for the characterization of extrasolar planets. Polarimetry is valuable for detection

  17. THE SURVIVAL OF WATER WITHIN EXTRASOLAR MINOR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jura, M.; Xu, S.

    2010-01-01

    We compute that extrasolar minor planets can retain much of their internal H 2 O during their host star's red giant evolution. The eventual accretion of a water-rich body or bodies onto a helium white dwarf might supply an observable amount of atmospheric hydrogen, as seems likely for GD 362. More generally, if hydrogen pollution in helium white dwarfs typically results from accretion of large parent bodies rather than interstellar gas as previously supposed, then H 2 O probably constitutes at least 10% of the aggregate mass of extrasolar minor planets. One observational test of this possibility is to examine the atmospheres of externally polluted white dwarfs for oxygen in excess of that likely contributed by oxides such as SiO 2 . The relatively high oxygen abundance previously reported in GD 378 can be explained plausibly but not uniquely by accretion of an H 2 O-rich parent body or bodies. Future ultraviolet observations of white dwarf pollutions can serve to investigate the hypothesis that environments with liquid water that are suitable habitats for extremophiles are widespread in the Milky Way.

  18. Capture of terrestrial-sized moons by gas giant planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Darren M

    2013-04-01

    Terrestrial moons with masses >0.1 M (symbol in text) possibly exist around extrasolar giant planets, and here we consider the energetics of how they might form. Binary-exchange capture can occur if a binary-terrestrial object (BTO) is tidally disrupted during a close encounter with a giant planet and one of the binary members is ejected while the other remains as a moon. Tidal disruption occurs readily in the deep gravity wells of giant planets; however, the large encounter velocities in the wells make binary exchange more difficult than for planets of lesser mass. In addition, successful capture favors massive binaries with large rotational velocities and small component mass ratios. Also, since the interaction tends to leave the captured moons on highly elliptical orbits, permanent capture is only possible around planets with sizable Hill spheres that are well separated from their host stars.

  19. Three regimes of extrasolar planet radius inferred from host star metallicities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchhave, Lars A; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W; Sasselov, Dimitar; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Isaacson, Howard; Juncher, Diana; Marcy, Geoffrey W

    2014-05-29

    Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (∼4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes (radii between 1.7 and 3.9 Earth radii) and ice or gas giant planets (radii greater than 3.9 Earth radii). These transitions correspond well with those inferred from dynamical mass estimates, implying that host star metallicity, which is a proxy for the initial solids inventory of the protoplanetary disk, is a key ingredient regulating the structure of planetary systems.

  20. DETECTING OCEANS ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS USING THE GLINT EFFECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David

    2010-01-01

    Glint, the specular reflection of sunlight off Earth's oceans, may reveal the presence of oceans on an extrasolar planet. As an Earth-like planet nears crescent phases, the size of the ocean glint spot increases relative to the fraction of the illuminated disk, while the reflectivity of this spot increases. Both effects change the planet's visible reflectivity as a function of phase. However, strong forward scattering of radiation by clouds can also produce increases in a planet's reflectivity as it approaches crescent phases, and surface glint can be obscured by Rayleigh scattering and atmospheric absorption. Here, we explore the detectability of glint in the presence of an atmosphere and realistic phase-dependent scattering from oceans and clouds. We use the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model to simulate Earth's broadband visible brightness and reflectivity over an orbit. Our validated simulations successfully reproduce phase-dependent Earthshine observations. We find that the glinting Earth can be as much as 100% brighter at crescent phases than simulations that do not include glint, and that the effect is dependent on both orbital inclination and wavelength, where the latter dependence is caused by Rayleigh scattering limiting sensitivity to the surface. We show that this phenomenon may be observable using the James Webb Space Telescope paired with an external occulter.

  1. Direct Imaging Search for Extrasolar Planets in the Pleiades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Kodai; Matsuo, Taro; Shibai, Hiroshi; Itoh, Yoichi; Konishi, Mihokko; Sudo, Jun; Tanii, Ryoko; Fukagawa, Misato; Sumi, Takahiro; Kudo, Tomoyuki; hide

    2013-01-01

    We carried out an imaging survey for extrasolar planets around stars in the Pleiades (125 Myr, 135 pc) in the H and K(sub S) bands using HiCIAO combined with adaptive optics, AO188, on the Subaru telescope. We found 13 companion candidates fainter than 14.5 mag in the H band around 9 stars. Five of these 13 were confirmed to be background stars by measurement of their proper motion. One was not found in the second epoch observation, and thus was not a background or companion object. One had multi-epoch images, but the precision of its proper motion was not sufficient to conclude whether it was a background object. Four other candidates are waiting for second-epoch observations to determine their proper motion. Finally, the remaining two were confirmed to be 60 M(sub J) brown dwarf companions orbiting around HD 23514 (G0) and HII 1348 (K5), respectively, as had been reported in previous studies. In our observations, the average detection limit for a point source was 20.3 mag in the H band beyond 1.'' 5 from the central star. On the basis of this detection limit, we calculated the detection efficiency to be 90% for a planet with 6 to 12 Jovian masses and a semi-major axis of 50–1000 AU. For this reason we extrapolated the distribution of the planet mass and the semi-major axis derived from radial velocity observations, and adopted the planet evolution model Baraffe et al. (2003, A&A, 402, 701). Since there was no detection of a planet, we estimated the frequency of such planets to be less than 17.9% (2 sigma) around one star of the Pleiades cluster.

  2. Extrasolar planets as a probe of modified gravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Vargas dos Santos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We propose a new method to test modified gravity theories, taking advantage of the available data on extrasolar planets. We computed the deviations from the Kepler third law and use that to constrain gravity theories beyond General Relativity. We investigate gravity models which incorporate three screening mechanisms: the Chameleon, the Symmetron and the Vainshtein. We find that data from exoplanets orbits are very sensitive to the screening mechanisms putting strong constraints in the parameter space for the Chameleon models and the Symmetron, complementary and competitive to other methods, like interferometers and solar system. With the constraints on Vainshtein we are able to work beyond the hypothesis that the crossover scale is of the same order of magnitude than the Hubble radius rc∼H0−1, which makes the screening work automatically, testing how strong this hypothesis is and the viability of other scales.

  3. Extrasolar planets as a probe of modified gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas dos Santos, Marcelo; Mota, David F.

    2017-06-01

    We propose a new method to test modified gravity theories, taking advantage of the available data on extrasolar planets. We computed the deviations from the Kepler third law and use that to constrain gravity theories beyond General Relativity. We investigate gravity models which incorporate three screening mechanisms: the Chameleon, the Symmetron and the Vainshtein. We find that data from exoplanets orbits are very sensitive to the screening mechanisms putting strong constraints in the parameter space for the Chameleon models and the Symmetron, complementary and competitive to other methods, like interferometers and solar system. With the constraints on Vainshtein we are able to work beyond the hypothesis that the crossover scale is of the same order of magnitude than the Hubble radius rc ∼ H0-1, which makes the screening work automatically, testing how strong this hypothesis is and the viability of other scales.

  4. Clouds in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. V. The impact of CO2 ice clouds on the outer boundary of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    Kitzmann, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Clouds have a strong impact on the climate of planetary atmospheres. The potential scattering greenhouse effect of CO2 ice clouds in the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets is of particular interest because it might influence the position and thus the extension of the outer boundary of the classic habitable zone around main sequence stars. Here, the impact of CO2 ice clouds on the surface temperatures of terrestrial planets with CO2 dominated atmospheres, orbiting different types of...

  5. Constitution of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waenke, H.

    1981-01-01

    Reliable estimates of the bulk composition are restricted to the Earth, the Moon and the eucrite parent asteroid. The last, the parent body of the eucrite-diogenite family of meteorites, seems to have an almost chondritic composition except for a considerable depletion of all moderately volatile (Na, K, Rb, F, etc.) and highly volatile (Cl, Br, Cd, Pb, etc.) elements. The moon is also depleted in moderate volatile and volatile elements compared to carbonaceous chondrites of type 1 (C1) and to the Earth. Again normalized to C1 and Si the Earth's mantle and the Moon are slightly enriched in refractory lithophile elements and in magnesium. The striking depletion of the Earth's mantle for the elements V, Cr and Mn can be explained by their partial removal into the core. Apart from their contents of metallic iron, all siderophile elements, moderately volatile and volatile elements, Earth and Moon are chemically very similar. It might well be that, with these exceptions and that of a varying degree of oxidation, all the inner planets have a similar chemistry. The chemical composition of the Earth's mantle, yields important information about the accretion history of the Earth and that of the inner planets. (author)

  6. Thermal-orbital coupled tidal heating and habitability of Martian-sized extrasolar planets around M stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K. [Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan)

    2014-07-01

    M-type stars are good targets in the search for habitable extrasolar planets. Due to their low effective temperatures, the habitable zone of M stars is very close to the stars themselves. For planets that are close to their stars, tidal heating plays an important role in thermal and orbital evolutions, especially when the planet's orbit has a relatively large eccentricity. Although tidal heating interacts with the thermal state and the orbit of the planet, such coupled calculations for extrasolar planets around M stars have not been conducted. We perform coupled calculations using simple structural and orbital models and analyze the thermal state and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Considering this planet to be Martian-sized, the tide heats up and partially melts the mantle, maintaining an equilibrium state if the mass of the star is less than 0.2 times the mass of the Sun and the initial eccentricity of the orbit is more than 0.2. The reduction of heat dissipation due to the melted mantle allows the planet to stay in the habitable zone for more than 10 Gyr even though the orbital distance is small. The surface heat flux at the equilibrium state is between that of Mars and Io. The thermal state of the planet mainly depends on the initial value of the eccentricity and the mass of the star.

  7. Thermal-orbital coupled tidal heating and habitability of Martian-sized extrasolar planets around M stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K.

    2014-01-01

    M-type stars are good targets in the search for habitable extrasolar planets. Due to their low effective temperatures, the habitable zone of M stars is very close to the stars themselves. For planets that are close to their stars, tidal heating plays an important role in thermal and orbital evolutions, especially when the planet's orbit has a relatively large eccentricity. Although tidal heating interacts with the thermal state and the orbit of the planet, such coupled calculations for extrasolar planets around M stars have not been conducted. We perform coupled calculations using simple structural and orbital models and analyze the thermal state and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Considering this planet to be Martian-sized, the tide heats up and partially melts the mantle, maintaining an equilibrium state if the mass of the star is less than 0.2 times the mass of the Sun and the initial eccentricity of the orbit is more than 0.2. The reduction of heat dissipation due to the melted mantle allows the planet to stay in the habitable zone for more than 10 Gyr even though the orbital distance is small. The surface heat flux at the equilibrium state is between that of Mars and Io. The thermal state of the planet mainly depends on the initial value of the eccentricity and the mass of the star.

  8. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS. II. PREDICTIONS FOR OUTER EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2010-01-01

    We develop an idealized dynamical model to predict the typical properties of outer extrasolar planetary systems, at radii comparable to the Jupiter-to-Neptune region of the solar system. The model is based upon the hypothesis that dynamical evolution in outer planetary systems is controlled by a combination of planet-planet scattering and planetary interactions with an exterior disk of small bodies ('planetesimals'). Our results are based on 5000 long duration N-body simulations that follow the evolution of three planets from a few to 10 AU, together with a planetesimal disk containing 50 M + from 10 to 20 AU. For large planet masses (M ∼> M Sat ), the model recovers the observed eccentricity distribution of extrasolar planets. For lower-mass planets, the range of outcomes in models with disks is far greater than that which is seen in isolated planet-planet scattering. Common outcomes include strong scattering among massive planets, sudden jumps in eccentricity due to resonance crossings driven by divergent migration, and re-circularization of scattered low-mass planets in the outer disk. We present the distributions of the eccentricity and inclination that result, and discuss how they vary with planet mass and initial system architecture. In agreement with other studies, we find that the currently observed eccentricity distribution (derived primarily from planets at a ∼ -1 and periods in excess of 10 years will provide constraints on this regime. Finally, we present an analysis of the predicted separation of planets in two-planet systems, and of the population of planets in mean-motion resonances (MMRs). We show that, if there are systems with ∼ Jupiter-mass planets that avoid close encounters, the planetesimal disk acts as a damping mechanism and populates MMRs at a very high rate (50%-80%). In many cases, resonant chains (in particular the 4:2:1 Laplace resonance) are set up among all three planets. We expect such resonant chains to be common among massive

  9. Extrasolar Giant Planet in Earth-like Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-07-01

    Discovery from a Long-term Project at La Silla A new extrasolar planet has been found at the ESO La Silla Observatory as a companion to iota Horologii (iota Hor) . This 5.4-mag solar-type star is located at a distance of 56 light-years and is just visible to the unaided eye in the southern constellation Horologium (The Pendulum Clock). The discovery is the result of a long-term survey of forty solar-type stars that was begun in November 1992. It is based on highly accurate measurements of stellar radial velocities, i.e. the speed with which a star moves along the line of sight. The presence of a planet in orbit around a star is inferred from observed, regular changes of this velocity, as the host star and its planet revolve around a common center of gravity. Since in all cases the star is much heavier than the planet, the resulting velocity variations of the star are always quite small. The team that found the new planet, now designated iota Hor b , consists of Martin Kürster , Michael Endl and Sebastian Els (ESO-Chile), Artie P. Hatzes and William D. Cochran (University of Texas, Austin, USA), and Stefan Döbereiner and Konrad Dennerl (Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany). Iodine cell provides very accurate velocity measurements iota Hor b represents the first discovery of an extrasolar planet with an ESO instrument [1]. The finding is based on data obtained with ESO's highest-resolution spectrograph, the Coudé Echelle Spectrometer (CES) at the 1.4-m Coudé Auxiliary Telescope (CAT). While this telescope has recently been decommissioned, the CES instrument is now coupled via an optical fiber link to the larger ESO 3.6-m telescope, thus permitting the continuation of this survey. The high precision radial velocity measurements that are necessary for a study of this type were achieved by means of a special calibration technique. It incorporates an iodine gas absorption cell and sophisticated data modelling. The cell is used like

  10. Structure of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyttleton, R.A.

    1977-01-01

    Recent reviews (cf. Runcorn, 1968; or Cook, 1972, 1975) on the structure of the planets omit reference to the phase-change hypothesis for the nature of the terrestrial core, despite that numerous prior predictions of the theory based on this hypothesis have subsequently been borne out as correct. These reviews also ignore the existence of theoretical calculations of the internal structure of Venus which can be computed with high accuracy by use of the terrestrial seismic data. Several examples of numerous mistakes committed in these reviews are pointed out. (Auth.)

  11. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2011-06-01

    There exists strong circumstantial evidence from their eccentric orbits that most of the known extra-solar planetary systems are the survivors of violent dynamical instabilities. Here we explore the effect of giant planet instabilities on the formation and survival of terrestrial planets. We numerically simulate the evolution of planetary systems around Sun-like stars that include three components: (i) an inner disk of planetesimals and planetary embryos; (ii) three giant planets at Jupiter-Saturn distances; and (iii) an outer disk of planetesimals comparable to estimates of the primitive Kuiper belt. We calculate the dust production and spectral energy distribution of each system by assuming that each planetesimal particle represents an ensemble of smaller bodies in collisional equilibrium. Our main result is a strong correlation between the evolution of the inner and outer parts of planetary systems, i.e. between the presence of terrestrial planets and debris disks. Strong giant planet instabilities - that produce very eccentric surviving planets - destroy all rocky material in the system, including fully-formed terrestrial planets if the instabilities occur late, and also destroy the icy planetesimal population. Stable or weakly unstable systems allow terrestrial planets to accrete in their inner regions and significant dust to be produced in their outer regions, detectable at mid-infrared wavelengths as debris disks. Stars older than ~100 Myr with bright cold dust emission (in particular at λ ~ 70 μm) signpost dynamically calm environments that were conducive to efficient terrestrial accretion. Such emission is present around ~16% of billion-year old Solar-type stars. Our simulations yield numerous secondary results: 1) the typical eccentricities of as-yet undetected terrestrial planets are ~0.1 but there exists a novel class of terrestrial planet system whose single planet undergoes large amplitude oscillations in orbital eccentricity and inclination; 2) by

  12. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  13. Meteorologies of brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Curtis Steven

    2006-06-01

    This dissertation explores the consequences of atmospheric dynamics for observations of substellar mass objects (SMOs). Discussed first is the growth of cloud particles of various compositions in brown dwarfs of different surface gravities and effective temperatures. The structure of these objects is calculated with a one-dimensional radiative transfer model. To determine particle sizes, the timescales for microphysical growth processes, including nucleation, coagulation, and coalescence, are compared to the timescale for gravitational sedimentation. The model also allows for sustained uplifting of condensable vapor in convective regions. The results show that particle sizes vary greatly over the range of objects studied. In most cases, clouds on brown dwarfs do not dominate the opacity. Rather, they smooth the emergent spectrum and partially redistribute the radiative energy. The focus then shifts to extrasolar giant planets (EGPs). Results are presented from a three-dimensional model of atmospheric dynamics on the transiting Jupiter-like planet HD 209458b. As a close-in orbiter (known as a "roaster"), HD 209458b is super-heated on its dayside. Due to tidal locking of the interior, the dayside hemisphere faces the star in perpetuity, which leads to very different dynamics than is seen on Jupiter. The flow is characterized by an eastward supersonic jet ( u ~ 4 kms - 1 ) extending from the equator to the mid-latitudes. Temperature contrasts are ~500 K at the photosphere. At 220 mbar, winds blow the hottest regions downstream from the substellar point by ~60°, with direct implications for the infrared light curve. These simulations are extended to the study of carbon chemistry in HD 209458b's atmosphere by coupling the CO/CH 4 reaction kinetics to the dynamics. Disequilibrium results from slow reaction rates at low temperatures and pressures. Effective vertical quenching near the ~3 bar level leads to uniformly high concentrations of CO at the photosphere, even in

  14. Extrasolar Planet Transits Observed at Kitt Peak National Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sada, Pedro V.; Jennings, Donald E.; Deming, Drake; Jennings, Donald E.; Jackson, Brian; Hamilton, Catrina M.; Fraine, Jonathan; Peterson, Steven W.; Haase, Flynn; Bays, Kevin; hide

    2012-01-01

    We obtained J-, H-, and JH-band photometry of known extrasolar planet transiting systems at the 2.1 m Kitt Peak National Observatory Telescope using the FLAMINGOS infrared camera between 2008 October and 2011 October. From the derived light curves we have extracted the midtransit times, transit depths and transit durations for these events. The precise midtransit times obtained help improve the orbital periods and also constrain transit-time variations of the systems. For most cases the published system parameters successfully accounted for our observed light curves, but in some instances we derive improved planetary radii and orbital periods. We complemented our 2.1 m infrared observations using CCD z0-band and B-band photometry (plus two H(alpha) filter observations) obtained with the Kitt Peak Visitor Center Telescope, and with four H-band transits observed in 2007 October with the NSO's 1.6 m McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. The principal highlights of our results are (1) Our ensemble of J-band planetary radii agree with optical radii, with the best-fit relation being RpRJ0:0017 0:979RpRvis. (2) We observe starspot crossings during the transit of WASP-11HAT-P-10. (3) We detect starspot crossings by HAT-P-11b (Kepler-3b), thus confirming that the magnetic evolution of the stellar active regions can be monitored even after the Kepler mission has ended. (4) We confirm a grazing transit for HAT-P-27WASP-40. In total, we present 57 individual transits of 32 known exoplanet systems.

  15. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON SURVIVAL OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Ida, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Makiko

    2013-01-01

    The orbital distributions of currently observed extrasolar giant planets allow marginally stable orbits for hypothetical, terrestrial planets. In this paper, we propose that many of these systems may not have additional planets on these ''stable'' orbits, since past dynamical instability among giant planets could have removed them. We numerically investigate the effects of early evolution of multiple giant planets on the orbital stability of the inner, sub-Neptune-like planets which are modeled as test particles, and determine their dynamically unstable region. Previous studies have shown that the majority of such test particles are ejected out of the system as a result of close encounters with giant planets. Here, we show that secular perturbations from giant planets can remove test particles at least down to 10 times smaller than their minimum pericenter distance. Our results indicate that, unless the dynamical instability among giant planets is either absent or quiet like planet-planet collisions, most test particles down to ∼0.1 AU within the orbits of giant planets at a few AU may be gone. In fact, out of ∼30% of survived test particles, about three quarters belong to the planet-planet collision cases. We find a good agreement between our numerical results and the secular theory, and present a semi-analytical formula which estimates the dynamically unstable region of the test particles just from the evolution of giant planets. Finally, our numerical results agree well with the observations, and also predict the existence of hot rocky planets in eccentric giant planet systems.

  16. Characterization of extra-solar planets with direct-imaging techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tinetti, G.; Cash, W.; Glassman, T.; Keller, C.U.; Oakley, P.; Snik, F.; Stam, D.; Turnbull, M.

    2009-01-01

    In order to characterize the physical properties of an extra-solar planet one needs to detect planetary radiation, either visible (VIS) to near-infrared (NIR) reflected starlight or infrared (IR) thermal radiation. Both the reflected and thermal flux depend on the size of the planet, the distance

  17. Views from EPOXI: Colors in Our Solar System as an Analog for Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, Carolyn A.; McFadden, L. A.; Robinson, T.; Meadows, V. S.; Livengood, T. A.; Hewagama, T.; Barry, R. K.; Deming, L. D.; Lisse, C. M.; Wellnitz, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    The first visible-light studies of Earth-sized extrasolar planets will employ photometry or low-resolution spectroscopy. This work uses EPOCh medium-hand filter photometry between 150 and 950 nm obtained with the Deep Impact (DI) High Resolution Instrument (HRI) of Earth, the Moon, and Mars in addition to previous full-disk observations of the other six solar system planets and Titan to analyze the limitations of using photometric colors to characterize extrasolar planets. We determined that the HRI 350, 550, and 850 nm filters are optimal for distinguishing Earth from the other planets and separating planets to first order based on their atmospheric and surface properties. Detailed conclusions that can be drawn about exoplanet atmospheres simply from a color-color plot are limited due to potentially competing physical processes in the atmosphere. The presence of a Rayleigh scattering atmosphere can be detected by an increase in the 350-550 nm brightness ratio, but the absence of Rayleigh scattering cannot be confirmed due to the existence of atmospheric and surface absorbing species in the UV. Methane and ammonia are the only species responsible for strong absorption in the 850 nm filter in our solar system. The combination of physical processes present on extrasolar planets may differ from those we see locally. Nevertheless, a generation of telescopes capable of collecting such photometric observations can serve a critical role in first-order characterization and constraining the population of Earth-like extrasolar planets.

  18. Extrasolar binary planets. I. Formation by tidal capture during planet-planet scattering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochiai, H.; Nagasawa, M.; Ida, S.

    2014-01-01

    We have investigated (1) the formation of gravitationally bounded pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call 'binary planets') from capturing each other through planet-planet dynamical tide during their close encounters and (2) the subsequent long-term orbital evolution due to planet-planet and planet-star quasi-static tides. For the initial evolution in phase 1, we carried out N-body simulations of the systems consisting of three Jupiter-mass planets taking into account the dynamical tide. The formation rate of the binary planets is as much as 10% of the systems that undergo orbital crossing, and this fraction is almost independent of the initial stellarcentric semimajor axes of the planets, while ejection and merging rates sensitively depend on the semimajor axes. As a result of circularization by the planet-planet dynamical tide, typical binary separations are a few times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. After the orbital circularization, the evolution of the binary system is governed by long-term quasi-static tide. We analytically calculated the quasi-static tidal evolution in phase 2. The binary planets first enter the spin-orbit synchronous state by the planet-planet tide. The planet-star tide removes angular momentum of the binary motion, eventually resulting in a collision between the planets. However, we found that the binary planets survive the tidal decay for the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars (∼10 Gyr), if the binary planets are beyond ∼0.3 AU from the central stars. These results suggest that the binary planets can be detected by transit observations at ≳ 0.3 AU.

  19. Habitability in the Solar System and on Extrasolar Planets and Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2015-01-01

    The criteria for a habitable world initially was based on Earth and centered around liquid water on the surface, warmed by a Sun-like star. The moons of the outer Solar System, principally Europa and Enceladus, have demonstrated that liquid water can exist below the surface warmed by tidal forces from a giant planet. Titan demonstrates that surface liquids other than water - liquid methane/ethane - may be common on other worlds. Considering the numerous extrasolar planets so far discovered and the prospect of discovering extrasolar moons it is timely to reconsider the possibilities for habitability in the Solar System and on extrasolar planets and moons and enumerate the attributes and search methods for detecting habitable worlds and evidence of life.

  20. The Blue Dot Workshop: Spectroscopic Search for Life on Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J. (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    This workshop explored the key questions and challenges associated with detecting life on an extrasolar planet. The final product will be a NASA Conference Publication which includes the abstracts from 21 talks, summaries of key findings, and recommendations for future research. The workshop included sessions on three related topics: the biogeochemistry of biogenic gases in the atmosphere, the chemistry and spectroscopy of planetary atmospheres, and the remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and surfaces. With the observation that planetary formation is probably a common phenomenon, together with the advent of the technical capability to locate and describe extrasolar planets, this research area indeed has an exciting future.

  1. Characterization of extra-solar planets with direct-imaging techniques

    OpenAIRE

    Tinetti, G.; Cash, W.; Glassman, T.; Keller, C.U.; Oakley, P.; Snik, F.; Stam, D.; Turnbull, M.

    2009-01-01

    In order to characterize the physical properties of an extra-solar planet one needs to detect planetary radiation, either visible (VIS) to near-infrared (NIR) reflected starlight or infrared (IR) thermal radiation. Both the reflected and thermal flux depend on the size of the planet, the distance between the planet and the star, the distance between the observer and the planet, and the planet’s phase angle (i.e. the angle between the star and the observer as seen from the planet). Moreover, t...

  2. Survival of extrasolar giant planet moons in planet-planet scattering

    Science.gov (United States)

    CIAN HONG, YU; Lunine, Jonathan; Nicholson, Phillip; Raymond, Sean

    2015-12-01

    Planet-planet scattering is the best candidate mechanism for explaining the eccentricity distribution of exoplanets. Here we study the survival and dynamics of exomoons under strong perturbations during giant planet scattering. During close encounters, planets and moons exchange orbital angular momentum and energy. The most common outcomes are the destruction of moons by ejection from the system, collision with the planets and the star, and scattering of moons onto perturbed but still planet-bound orbits. A small percentage of interesting moons can remain bound to ejected (free-floating) planets or be captured by a different planet. Moons' survival rate is correlated with planet observables such as mass, semi-major axis, eccentricity and inclination, as well as the close encounter distance and the number of close encounters. In addition, moons' survival rate and dynamical outcomes are predetermined by the moons' initial semi-major axes. The survival rate drops quickly as moons' distances increase, but simulations predict a good chance of survival for the Galilean moons. Moons with different dynamical outcomes occupy different regions of orbital parameter space, which may enable the study of moons' past evolution. Potential effects of planet obliquity evolution caused by close encounters on the satellites’ stability and dynamics will be reported, as well as detailed and systematic studies of individual close encounter events.

  3. Integrating polarized light over a planetary disk applied to starlight reflected by extrasolar planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, D.M.; de Rooij, W.A.; Cornet, G.; Hovenier, J.W.

    2006-01-01

    We present an efficient numerical method for integrating planetary radiation over a planetary disk, which is especially interesting for simulating signals of extrasolar planets. Our integration method is applicable to calculating the full flux vector of the disk-integrated planetary radiation, i.e.

  4. Scenarios of giant planet formation and evolution and their impact on the formation of habitable terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2014-04-28

    In our Solar System, there is a clear divide between the terrestrial and giant planets. These two categories of planets formed and evolved separately, almost in isolation from each other. This was possible because Jupiter avoided migrating into the inner Solar System, most probably due to the presence of Saturn, and never acquired a large-eccentricity orbit, even during the phase of orbital instability that the giant planets most likely experienced. Thus, the Earth formed on a time scale of several tens of millions of years, by collision of Moon- to Mars-mass planetary embryos, in a gas-free and volatile-depleted environment. We do not expect, however, that this clear cleavage between the giant and terrestrial planets is generic. In many extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date, the giant planets migrated into the vicinity of the parent star and/or acquired eccentric orbits. In this way, the evolution and destiny of the giant and terrestrial planets become intimately linked. This paper discusses several evolutionary patterns for the giant planets, with an emphasis on the consequences for the formation and survival of habitable terrestrial planets. The conclusion is that we should not expect Earth-like planets to be typical in terms of physical and orbital properties and accretion history. Most habitable worlds are probably different, exotic worlds.

  5. Evolutionary tracks of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsui, Takafumi; Abe, Yutaka

    1987-01-01

    On the basis of the model proposed by Matsui and Abe, the authors show that two major factors - distance from the Sun and the efficiency of retention of accretional energy - control the early evolution of the terrestrial planets. A diagram of accretional energy versus the optical depth of a proto-atmosphere provides a means to follow the evolutionary track of surface temperature of the terrestrial planets and an explanation for why the third planet in our solar system is an 'aqua'-planet. 15 refs; 3 figs

  6. Earth as an extrasolar planet: Earth model validation using EPOXI earth observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler D; Meadows, Victoria S; Crisp, David; Deming, Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Livengood, Timothy A; Seager, Sara; Barry, Richard K; Hearty, Thomas; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-06-01

    used to simulate Earth's time-dependent brightness and spectral properties for wavelengths from the far ultraviolet to the far infrared. Key Words: Astrobiology-Extrasolar terrestrial planets-Habitability-Planetary science-Radiative transfer. Astrobiology 11, 393-408.

  7. Extrasolar Planets: Towards Comparative Planetology beyond the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A. H.

    2012-09-01

    Today Scenario planet logy is a very important concept because now days the scientific research finding new and new planets and our work's range becoming too long. In the previous study shows about 10-12 years the research of planet logy now has changed . Few years ago we was talking about Sun planet, Earth planet , Moon ,Mars Jupiter & Venus etc. included but now the time has totally changed the recent studies showed that mono lakes California find the arsenic food use by micro organism that show that our study is very tiny as compare to planet long areas .We have very well known that arsenic is the toxic agent's and the toxic agent's present in the lakes and micro organism developing and life going on it's a unbelievable point for us but nature always play a magical games. In few years ago Aliens was the story no one believe the Aliens origin but now the aliens showed catch by our space craft and shuttle and every one believe that Aliens origin but at the moment's I would like to mention one point's that we have too more work required because our planet logy has a vast field. Most of the time our scientific mission shows that this planet found liquid oxygen ,this planet found hydrogen .I would like to clear that point's that all planet logy depend in to the chemical and these chemical gave the indication of the life but we are not abele to developed the adaptation according to the micro organism . Planet logy compare before study shows that Sun it's a combination of the various gases combination surrounded in a round form and now the central Sun Planets ,moons ,comets and asteroids In other word we can say that Or Sun has a wide range of the physical and Chemical properties in the after the development we can say that all chemical and physical property engaged with a certain environment and form a various contains like asteroids, moon, Comets etc. Few studies shows that other planet life affected to the out living planet .We can assure with the example the life

  8. WFIRST: Retrieval Studies of Directly Imaged Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark; Lupu, Roxana; Lewis, Nikole K.; WFIRST Coronagraph SITs

    2018-01-01

    The typical direct imaging and spectroscopy target for the WFIRST Coronagraph will be a mature Jupiter-mass giant planet at a few AU from an FGK star. The spectra of such planets is expected to be shaped primarily by scattering from H2O clouds and absorption by gaseous NH3 and CH4. We have computed forward model spectra of such typical planets and applied noise models to understand the quality of photometry and spectra we can expect. Using such simulated datasets we have conducted Markov Chain Monte Carlo and MultiNest retrievals to derive atmospheric abundance of CH4, cloud scattering properties, gravity, and other parameters for various planets and observing modes. Our focus has primarily been to understand which combinations of photometry and spectroscopy at what SNR allow retrievals of atmospheric methane mixing ratios to within a factor of ten of the true value. This is a challenging task for directly imaged planets as the planet mass and radius--and thus surface gravity--are not as well constrained as in the case of transiting planets. We find that for plausible planets and datasets of the quality expected to be obtained by WFIRST it should be possible to place such constraints, at least for some planets. We present some examples of our retrieval results and explain how they have been utilized to help set design requirements on the coronagraph camera and integrated field spectrometer.

  9. On the feasibility of detecting extrasolar planets by reflected starlight using the Hubble Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.; Burrows, Christopher J.

    1990-01-01

    The best metrology data extant are presently used to estimate the center and wing point-spread function of the HST, in order to ascertain the implications of an observational criterion according to which a faint source's discovery can occur only when the signal recorded near its image's location is sufficiently larger than would be expected in its absence. After defining the maximum star-planet flux ratio, a figure of merit Q, defined as the contrast ratio between a 'best case' planet and the scattered starlight background, is introduced and shown in the HST's case to be unfavorable for extrasolar planet detection.

  10. Transits of extrasolar moons around luminous giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, R.

    2016-04-01

    Beyond Earth-like planets, moons can be habitable, too. No exomoons have been securely detected, but they could be extremely abundant. Young Jovian planets can be as hot as late M stars, with effective temperatures of up to 2000 K. Transits of their moons might be detectable in their infrared photometric light curves if the planets are sufficiently separated (≳10 AU) from the stars to be directly imaged. The moons will be heated by radiation from their young planets and potentially by tidal friction. Although stellar illumination will be weak beyond 5 AU, these alternative energy sources could liquify surface water on exomoons for hundreds of Myr. A Mars-mass H2O-rich moon around β Pic b would have a transit depth of 1.5 × 10-3, in reach of near-future technology.

  11. Evidence for water in the rocky debris of a disrupted extrasolar minor planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farihi, J; Gänsicke, B T; Koester, D

    2013-10-11

    The existence of water in extrasolar planetary systems is of great interest because it constrains the potential for habitable planets and life. We have identified a circumstellar disk that resulted from the destruction of a water-rich and rocky extrasolar minor planet. The parent body formed and evolved around a star somewhat more massive than the Sun, and the debris now closely orbits the white dwarf remnant of the star. The stellar atmosphere is polluted with metals accreted from the disk, including oxygen in excess of that expected for oxide minerals, indicating that the parent body was originally composed of 26% water by mass. This finding demonstrates that water-bearing planetesimals exist around A- and F-type stars that end their lives as white dwarfs.

  12. The changing phases of extrasolar planet CoRoT-1b.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas A G; de Mooij, Ernst J W; Albrecht, Simon

    2009-05-28

    Hot Jupiters are a class of extrasolar planet that orbit their parent stars at very short distances. They are expected to be tidally locked, which can lead to a large temperature difference between their daysides and nightsides. Infrared observations of eclipsing systems have yielded dayside temperatures for a number of transiting planets. The day-night contrast of the transiting extrasolar planet HD 189733b was 'mapped' using infrared observations. It is expected that the contrast between the daysides and nightsides of hot Jupiters is much higher at visual wavelengths, shorter than that of the peak emission, and could be further enhanced by reflected stellar light. Here we report the analysis of optical photometric data obtained over 36 planetary orbits of the transiting hot Jupiter CoRoT-1b. The data are consistent with the nightside hemisphere of the planet being entirely black, with the dayside flux dominating the optical phase curve. This means that at optical wavelengths the planet's phase variation is just as we see it for the interior planets in the Solar System. The data allow for only a small fraction of reflected light, corresponding to a geometric albedo of <0.20.

  13. Atmospheres of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kivelson, M.G.; Schubert, G.

    1986-01-01

    Properties of the planets are identified - such as size, spin rate, and distance from the sun - that are important in understanding the characteristics of their atmospheres. Venus, earth and Mars have surface-temperature differences only partly explained by the decrease of solar radiation flux with distance from the sun. More significant effects arise from the variations in the degree to which the atmospheres act as absorbers of planetary thermal reradiation. Atmospheric circulation on a global scale also varies markedly among the three planets. 5 references

  14. The DARWIN mission: Search for extra-solar planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenegger, L.; Fridlund, M.

    The direct detection of a planet close to its parent star is challenging because the signal detected from the parent star is between 109 and 106 times brighter than the signal of a planet in the visual and IR respectively. Future space based missions like DARWIN and TPF concentrate on the region between 6μ m to 18μ m, a region that contains the CO2, H2O, O3 spectral features of the atmosphere. The presence or absence of these spectral features would indicate similarities or differences with the atmosphere of telluric planets. The Infra Red Space Interferometer DARWIN is an integral part of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2020 plan, intended for a launch towards the middle of next decade. It is constructed around the new technique of `nulling interferometry', which exploits the wave nature of light to extinguish light from an on-axis bright object (the central star in this case), while at the same time light from a nearby source (the planet) is enhanced. An overview and update of the science of the DARWIN mission is given.

  15. Habitability of extrasolar planets and tidal spin evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Barnes, Rory; Leconte, Jérémy

    2011-12-01

    Stellar radiation has conservatively been used as the key constraint to planetary habitability. We review here the effects of tides, exerted by the host star on the planet, on the evolution of the planetary spin. Tides initially drive the rotation period and the orientation of the rotation axis into an equilibrium state but do not necessarily lead to synchronous rotation. As tides also circularize the orbit, eventually the rotation period does equal the orbital period and one hemisphere will be permanently irradiated by the star. Furthermore, the rotational axis will become perpendicular to the orbit, i.e. the planetary surface will not experience seasonal variations of the insolation. We illustrate here how tides alter the spins of planets in the traditional habitable zone. As an example, we show that, neglecting perturbations due to other companions, the Super-Earth Gl581d performs two rotations per orbit and that any primordial obliquity has been eroded.

  16. Imaging extrasolar planets with the European Extremely Large Telescope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolissaint L.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT is the most ambitious of the ELTs being planned. With a diameter of 42 m and being fully adaptive from the start, the E-ELT will be more than one hundred times more sensitive than the present-day largest optical telescopes. Discovering and characterising planets around other stars will be one of the most important aspects of the E-ELT science programme. We model an extreme adaptive optics instrument on the E-ELT. The resulting contrast curves translate to the detectability of exoplanets.

  17. Testing the Mirror World Hypothesis for the Close-In Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foot, R.

    2004-01-01

    Because planets are not expected to be able to form close to stars due to the high temperatures, it has been suggested that the observed close orbiting (∼ 0.05 AU) large mass planets (∼ M J ) might be mirror worlds - planets composed predominately of mirror matter. The accretion of ordinary matter onto the mirror planet (from e.g. the solar wind from the host star) will make the mirror planet opaque to ordinary radiation with an effective radius R p . It was argued in a previous paper, that this radius was potentially large enough to explain the measured size of the first transiting close-in extrasolar planet, HD209458b. Furthermore, made the rough prediction: R p ∝ √ (T s /M p ), where T s is the surface temperature of the ordinary matter in the mirror planet and M p is the mass of the planet (the latter dependence on M p being the more robust prediction). We compare this prediction with the recently discovered transiting planets, OGLE-TR-56b and OGLE-TR- 113b. (author)

  18. Extrasolar Planets Observed with JWST and the ELTs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, L. Drake

    2010-01-01

    The advent of cryogenic space-borne infrared observatories such as the Spitzer Space Telescope has lead to a revolution in the study of planets and planetary systems orbiting sun-like stars. Already Spitzer has characterized the emergent infrared spectra of close-in giant exoplanets using transit and eclipse techniques. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to extend these studies to superEarth exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars in the near solar neighborhood. The forthcoming ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) will playa key role in these studies, being especially valuable for spectroscopy at higher spectral resolving powers where large photon fluxes are needed. The culmination of this work within the next two decades will be the detection and spectral characterization of the major molecular constituents in the atmosphere of a habitable superEarth orbiting a nearby lower main sequence star.

  19. The Formation of Life-sustaining Planets in Extrasolar Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, J. E.

    2003-01-01

    The spatial exploration is providing us a large quantity of information about the composition of the planets and satellites crusts. However, most of the experiences that are proposed in the guides of activities in Planetary Geology are based exclusively on the images utilization: photographs, maps, models or artistic reconstructions [1,2]. That things help us to recognize shapes and to deduce geological processes, but they says us little about the materials that they are implicated. In order to avoid this dicotomy between shapes and materials, we have designed an experience in the one which, employing of rocks and landscapes of our geological environment more next, the pupils be able to do an exercise of compared planetology analyzing shapes, processes and material of several planetary bodies of the Solar System.

  20. Terrestrial Planet Formation from an Annulus -- Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deienno, Rogerio; Walsh, Kevin J.; Kretke, Katherine A.; Levison, Harold F.

    2018-04-01

    Numerous recent theories of terrestrial planet formation suggest that, in order to reproduce the observed large Earth to Mars mass ratio, planets formed from an annulus of material within 1 au. The success of these models typically rely on a Mars sized embryo being scattered outside 1 au (to ~1.5 au) and starving, while those remaining inside 1 au continue growing, forming Earth and Venus. In some models the scattering is instigated by the migration of giant planets, while in others an embryo-instability naturally occurs due to the dissipation of the gaseous solar nebula. While these models can typically succeed in reproducing the overall mass ratio among the planets, the final angular momentum deficit (AMD) of the present terrestrial planets in our Solar System, and their radial mass concentration (RMC), namely the position where Mars end up in the simulations, are not always well reproduced. Assuming that the gas nebula may not be entirely dissipated when such an embryo-instability happens, here, we study the effects that the time of such an instability can have on the final AMD and RMC. In addition, we also included energy dissipation within embryo-embryo collisions by assuming a given coefficient of restitution for collisions. Our results show that: i) dissipation within embryo-embryo collisions do not play any important role in the final terrestrial planetary system; ii) the final AMD decreases only when the number of final planets formed increases; iii) the RMC tends to always be lower than the present value no matter the number of final planets; and iv) depending on the time that the embryo-instability happen, if too early, with too much gas still present, a second instability will generally happen after the dissipation of the gas nebula.

  1. A Spitzer Infrared Radius for the Transiting Extrasolar Planet HD 209458 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Harrington, Joseph; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake

    2007-01-01

    We have measured the infrared transit of the extrasolar planet HD 209458 b using the Spitzer Space Telescope. We observed two primary eclipse events (one partial and one complete transit) using the 24 micrometer array of the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS). We analyzed a total of 2392 individual images (10-second integrations) of the planetary system, recorded before, during, and after transit. We perform optimal photometry on the images and use the local zodiacal light as a short-term flux reference. At this long wavelength, the transit curve has a simple box-like shape, allowing robust solutions for the stellar and planetary radii independent of stellar limb darkening, which is negligible at 24 micrometers. We derive a stellar radius of R(sub *) = 1.06 plus or minus 0.07 solar radius, a planetary radius of R(sub p) = 1.26 plus or minus 0.08 R(sub J), and a stellar mass of 1.17 solar mass. Within the errors, our results agree with the measurements at visible wavelengths. The 24 micrometer radius of the planet therefore does not differ significantly compared to the visible result. We point out the potential for deriving extrasolar transiting planet radii to high accuracy using transit photometry at slightly shorter IR wavelengths where greater photometric precision is possible.

  2. Fast spin of the young extrasolar planet β Pictoris b.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas A G; Brandl, Bernhard R; de Kok, Remco J; Brogi, Matteo; Birkby, Jayne; Schwarz, Henriette

    2014-05-01

    The spin of a planet arises from the accretion of angular momentum during its formation, but the details of this process are still unclear. In the Solar System, the equatorial rotation velocities and, consequently, spin angular momenta of most of the planets increase with planetary mass; the exceptions to this trend are Mercury and Venus, which, since formation, have significantly spun down because of tidal interactions. Here we report near-infrared spectroscopic observations, at a resolving power of 100,000, of the young extrasolar gas giant planet β Pictoris b (refs 7, 8). The absorption signal from carbon monoxide in the planet's thermal spectrum is found to be blueshifted with respect to that from the parent star by approximately 15 kilometres per second, consistent with a circular orbit. The combined line profile exhibits a rotational broadening of about 25 kilometres per second, meaning that β Pictoris b spins significantly faster than any planet in the Solar System, in line with the extrapolation of the known trend in spin velocity with planet mass.

  3. MIGRATION OF EXTRASOLAR PLANETS: EFFECTS FROM X-WIND ACCRETION DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, Fred C.; Cai, Mike J.; Lizano, Susana

    2009-01-01

    Magnetic fields are dragged in from the interstellar medium during the gravitational collapse that forms star/disk systems. Consideration of mean field magnetohydrodynamics in these disks shows that magnetic effects produce sub-Keplerian rotation curves and truncate the inner disk. This Letter explores the ramifications of these predicted disk properties for the migration of extrasolar planets. Sub-Keplerian flow in gaseous disks drives a new migration mechanism for embedded planets and modifies the gap-opening processes for larger planets. This sub-Keplerian migration mechanism dominates over Type I migration for sufficiently small planets (m P ∼ + ) and/or close orbits (r ∼< 1 AU). Although the inclusion of sub-Keplerian torques shortens the total migration time by only a moderate amount, the mass accreted by migrating planetary cores is significantly reduced. Truncation of the inner disk edge (for typical system parameters) naturally explains final planetary orbits with periods P ∼ 4 days. Planets with shorter periods, P ∼ 2 days, can be explained by migration during FU-Orionis outbursts, when the mass accretion rate is high and the disk edge moves inward. Finally, the midplane density is greatly increased at the inner truncation point of the disk (the X-point); this enhancement, in conjunction with continuing flow of gas and solids through the region, supports the in situ formation of giant planets.

  4. ON THE NOTION OF WELL-DEFINED TECTONIC REGIMES FOR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN THIS SOLAR SYSTEM AND OTHERS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lenardic, A.; Crowley, J. W.

    2012-01-01

    A model of coupled mantle convection and planetary tectonics is used to demonstrate that history dependence can outweigh the effects of a planet's energy content and material parameters in determining its tectonic state. The mantle convection-surface tectonics system allows multiple tectonic modes to exist for equivalent planetary parameter values. The tectonic mode of the system is then determined by its specific geologic and climatic history. This implies that models of tectonics and mantle convection will not be able to uniquely determine the tectonic mode of a terrestrial planet without the addition of historical data. Historical data exists, to variable degrees, for all four terrestrial planets within our solar system. For the Earth, the planet with the largest amount of observational data, debate does still remain regarding the geologic and climatic history of Earth's deep past but constraints are available. For planets in other solar systems, no such constraints exist at present. The existence of multiple tectonic modes, for equivalent parameter values, points to a reason why different groups have reached different conclusions regarding the tectonic state of extrasolar terrestrial planets larger than Earth ( s uper-Earths ) . The region of multiple stable solutions is predicted to widen in parameter space for more energetic mantle convection (as would be expected for larger planets). This means that different groups can find different solutions, all potentially viable and stable, using identical models and identical system parameter values. At a more practical level, the results argue that the question of whether extrasolar terrestrial planets will have plate tectonics is unanswerable and will remain so until the temporal evolution of extrasolar planets can be constrained.

  5. Spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets from ground-, space- and airborne-based observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel

    2010-11-01

    This thesis deals with techniques and results of observations of exoplanets from several platforms. In this work I present and then attempt solutions to particular issues and problems connected to ground- and space-based approaches to spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets. Furthermore, I present the future prospects of the airborne observatory, SOFIA, in this field of astronomy. The first part of this thesis covers results of an exploratory study to use near-infrared integral-field-spectroscopy to observe transiting extrasolar planets. I demonstrate how adaptive-optics assisted integral field spectroscopy compares with other spectroscopic techniques currently applied, foremost being slit spectroscopy. An advanced reduction method using elements of a spectral-differential decorrelation and optimized observation strategies is discussed. This concept was tested with K-Band time series observations of secondary eclipses of HD 209458b and HD 189733b obtained with the SINFONI at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), at spectral resolution of R~3000. In ground-based near infrared (NIR) observations, there is considerable likelihood of confusion between telluric absorption features and spectral features in the targeted object. I describe a detailed method that can cope with such confusion by a forward modelling approach employing Earth transmission models. In space-based transit spectroscopy with Hubble's NICMOS instrument, the main source of systematic noise is the perturbation in the instrument's configuration due to the near Earth orbital motion of the spacecraft. I present an extension to a pre-existing data analysis sequence that has allowed me to extract a NIR transmission spectrum of the hot-Neptune class planet GJ 436b from a data set that was highly corrupted by the above mentioned effects. Satisfyingly, I was able to obtain statistical consistency in spectra (acquired over a broad wavelength grid) over two distinct observing visits by HST. Earlier

  6. Homogeneous Studies of Transiting Extrasolar Planets: Current Status and Future Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, John

    2011-09-01

    We now know of over 500 planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. The jewels in the crown are the transiting planets, for these are the only ones whose masses and radii are measurable. They are fundamental for our understanding of the formation, evolution, structure and atmospheric properties of extrasolar planets. However, their characterization is not straightforward, requiring extremely high-precision photometry and spectroscopy as well as input from theoretical stellar models. I summarize the motivation and current status of a project to measure the physical properties of all known transiting planetary systems using homogeneous techniques (Southworth 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 in preparation). Careful attention is paid to the treatment of limb darkening, contaminating light, correlated noise, numerical integration, orbital eccentricity and orientation, systematic errors from theoretical stellar models, and empirical constraints. Complete error budgets are calculated for each system and can be used to determine which type of observation would be most useful for improving the parameter measurements. Known correlations between the orbital periods, masses, surface gravities, and equilibrium temperatures of transiting planets can be explored more safely due to the homogeneity of the properties. I give a sneak preview of Homogeneous Studies Paper 4, which includes the properties of thirty transiting planetary systems observed by the CoRoT, Kepler and Deep Impact space missions. Future opportunities are discussed, plus remaining problems with our understanding of transiting planets. I acknowledge funding from the UK STFC in the form of an Advanced Fellowship.

  7. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION FROM AN ANNULUS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walsh, Kevin J.; Levison, Harold F., E-mail: kwalsh@boulder.swri.edu [Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut St. Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)

    2016-09-01

    It has been shown that some aspects of the terrestrial planets can be explained, particularly the Earth/Mars mass ratio, when they form from a truncated disk with an outer edge near 1.0 au. This has been previously modeled starting from an intermediate stage of growth utilizing pre-formed planetary embryos. We present simulations that were designed to test this idea by following the growth process from km-sized objects located between 0.7 and 1.0 au up to terrestrial planets. The simulations explore initial conditions where the solids in the disk are planetesimals with radii initially between 3 and 300 km, alternately including effects from a dissipating gaseous solar nebula and collisional fragmentation. We use a new Lagrangian code known as LIPAD, which is a particle-based code that models the fragmentation, accretion, and dynamical evolution of a large number of planetesimals, and can model the entire growth process from km-sizes up to planets. A suite of large (∼ Mars mass) planetary embryos is complete in only ∼1 Myr, containing most of the system mass. A quiescent period then persists for 10–20 Myr characterized by slow diffusion of the orbits and continued accretion of the remaining planetesimals. This is interrupted by an instability that leads to embryos crossing orbits and embryo–embryo impacts that eventually produce the final set of planets. While this evolution is different than that found in other works exploring an annulus, the final planetary systems are similar, with roughly the correct number of planets and good Mars-analogs.

  8. Detecting Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets with the Kepler Photometer via Scattered Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, J. M.; Doyle, L. R.; Kepler Discovery Mission Team

    2003-05-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission will be launched in 2007 primarily to search for transiting Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of solar-like stars. In addition, it will be poised to detect the reflected light component from close-in extrasolar giant planets (CEGPs) similar to 51 Peg b. Here we use the DIARAD/SOHO time series along with models for the reflected light signatures of CEGPs to evaluate Kepler's ability to detect such planets. We examine the detectability as a function of stellar brightness, stellar rotation period, planetary orbital inclination angle, and planetary orbital period, and then estimate the total number of CEGPs that Kepler will detect over its four year mission. The analysis shows that intrinsic stellar variability of solar-like stars is a major obstacle to detecting the reflected light from CEGPs. Monte Carlo trials are used to estimate the detection threshold required to limit the total number of expected false alarms to no more than one for a survey of 100,000 stellar light curves. Kepler will likely detect 100-760 51 Peg b-like planets by reflected light with orbital periods up to 7 days. LRD was supported by the Carl Sagan Chair at the Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, a division of the SETI Institute. JMJ received support from the Kepler Mission Photometer and Science Office at NASA Ames Research Center.

  9. Atmospheric mass-loss of extrasolar planets orbiting magnetically active host stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalitha, Sairam; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.; Dash, Spandan

    2018-06-01

    Magnetic stellar activity of exoplanet hosts can lead to the production of large amounts of high-energy emission, which irradiates extrasolar planets, located in the immediate vicinity of such stars. This radiation is absorbed in the planets' upper atmospheres, which consequently heat up and evaporate, possibly leading to an irradiation-induced mass-loss. We present a study of the high-energy emission in the four magnetically active planet-bearing host stars, Kepler-63, Kepler-210, WASP-19, and HAT-P-11, based on new XMM-Newton observations. We find that the X-ray luminosities of these stars are rather high with orders of magnitude above the level of the active Sun. The total XUV irradiation of these planets is expected to be stronger than that of well-studied hot Jupiters. Using the estimated XUV luminosities as the energy input to the planetary atmospheres, we obtain upper limits for the total mass- loss in these hot Jupiters.

  10. Glimpses of far away places: Intensive atmosphere characterization of extrasolar planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    Exoplanet atmosphere characterization has the potential to reveal the origins, nature, and even habitability of distant worlds. This thesis represents a step towards realizing that potential for a diverse group of four extrasolar planets. Here, I present the results of intensive observational campaigns with the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes to study the atmospheres of the super-Earth GJ 1214b and the hot Jupiters WASP-43b, WASP-12b, and WASP-103b. I measured an unprecedentedly precise near-infrared transmission spectrum for GJ 1214b that definitively reveals the presence of clouds in the planet's atmosphere. For WASP-43b and WASP-12b, I also measured very precise spectra that exhibit water features at high confidence (>7 sigma). The retrieved water abundance for WASP-43b extends the well-known Solar System trend of decreasing atmospheric metallicity with increasing planet mass. The detection of water for WASP-12b marks the first spectroscopic identification of a molecule in the planet's atmosphere and implies that it has solar composition, ruling out carbon-to-oxygen ratios greater than unity. For WASP-103b, I present preliminary results from the new technique of phase-resolved spectroscopy to determine the planet's temperature structure, dynamics, and energy budget. In addition to these observations, I also describe the BATMAN code, an open-source Python package for fast and flexible modeling of transit light curves. Taken together, these results provide a foundation for comparative planetology beyond the Solar System and the investigation of Earth-like, potentially habitable planets with future observing facilities.

  11. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph High Accuracy Optical Propagation, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) project is considering several approaches to discovering planets orbiting stars far from earth and assessing their suitability to...

  12. On the tidal interaction of massive extrasolar planets on highly eccentric orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, P. B.; Papaloizou, J. C. B.

    2004-01-01

    In this paper we develop a theory of disturbances induced by the stellar tidal field in a fully convective slowly rotating planet orbiting on a highly eccentric orbit around a central star. In this case it is appropriate to treat the tidal influence as a succession of impulsive tidal interactions occurring at periastron passage. For a fully convective planet mainly the l= 2 fundamental mode of oscillation is excited. We show that there are two contributions to the mode energy and angular momentum gain due to impulsive tidal interaction: (i) `the quasi-static' contribution, which requires dissipative processes operating in the planet, and (ii) the dynamical contribution associated with excitation of modes of oscillation. These contributions are obtained self-consistently from a single set of the governing equations. We calculate a critical `equilibrium' value of angular velocity of the planet Ωcrit determined by the condition that action of the dynamic tides does not alter the angular velocity at this rotation rate. We show that this can be much larger than the corresponding rate associated with quasi-static tides and that at this angular velocity, the rate of energy exchange is minimized. We also investigate the conditions for the stochastic increase in oscillation energy that may occur if many periastron passages are considered and dissipation is not important. We provide a simple criterion for this instability to occur. Finally, we make some simple estimates of the time-scale of evolution of the orbital semimajor axis and circularization of the initially eccentric orbit due to tides, using a realistic model of the planet and its cooling history, for orbits with periods after circularization typical of those observed for extrasolar planets Pobs>~ 3 d. Quasi-static tides are found to be ineffective for semimajor axes >~0.1 au. On the other hand, dynamic tides could have produced a very large decrease of the semimajor axis of a planet with mass of the order of the

  13. The SOPHIE search for northern extrasolar planets. X. Detection and characterization of giant planets by the dozen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébrard, G.; Arnold, L.; Forveille, T.; Correia, A. C. M.; Laskar, J.; Bonfils, X.; Boisse, I.; Díaz, R. F.; Hagelberg, J.; Sahlmann, J.; Santos, N. C.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Borgniet, S.; Bouchy, F.; Bourrier, V.; Courcol, B.; Delfosse, X.; Deleuil, M.; Demangeon, O.; Ehrenreich, D.; Gregorio, J.; Jovanovic, N.; Labrevoir, O.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Lovis, C.; Lozi, J.; Moutou, C.; Montagnier, G.; Pepe, F.; Rey, J.; Santerne, A.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Vanhuysse, M.; Vigan, A.; Wilson, P. A.

    2016-04-01

    We present new radial velocity measurements of eight stars that were secured with the spectrograph SOPHIE at the 193 cm telescope of the Haute-Provence Observatory. The measurements allow detecting and characterizing new giant extrasolar planets. The host stars are dwarfs of spectral types between F5 and K0 and magnitudes of between 6.7 and 9.6; the planets have minimum masses Mp sin I of between 0.4 to 3.8 MJup and orbitalperiods of several days to several months. The data allow only single planets to be discovered around the first six stars (HD 143105, HIP 109600, HD 35759, HIP 109384, HD 220842, and HD 12484), but one of them shows the signature of an additional substellar companion in the system. The seventh star, HIP 65407, allows the discovery of two giant planets that orbit just outside the 12:5 resonance in weak mutual interaction. The last star, HD 141399, was already known to host a four-planet system; our additional data and analyses allow new constraints to be set on it. We present Keplerian orbits of all systems, together with dynamical analyses of the two multi-planet systems. HD 143105 is one of the brightest stars known to host a hot Jupiter, which could allow numerous follow-up studies to be conducted even though this is not a transiting system. The giant planets HIP 109600b, HIP 109384b, and HD 141399c are located in the habitable zone of their host star. Based on observations collected with the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France, by the SOPHIE Consortium (programs 07A.PNP.CONS to 15A.PNP.CONS).Full version of the SOPHIE measurements (Table 1) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/588/A145

  14. Workshop on Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the Workshop on Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets, July 20-23,2004, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The contents include: 1) Experimental Constraints on Oxygen and Other Light Element Partitioning During Planetary Core Formation; 2) In Situ Determination of Fe(3+)/SigmaFe of Spinels by Electron Microprobe: An Evaluation of the Flank Method; 3) The Effect of Oxygen Fugacity on Large-Strain Deformation and Recrystallization of Olivine; 4) Plagioclase-Liquid Trace Element Oxygen Barometry and Oxygen Behaviour in Closed and Open System Magmatic Processes; 5) Core Formation in the Earth: Constraints from Ni and Co; 6) Oxygen Isotopic Compositions of the Terrestrial Planets; 7) The Effect of Oxygen Fugacity on Electrical Conduction of Olivine and Implications for Earth s Mantle; 8) Redox Chemical Diffusion in Silicate Melts: The Impact of the Semiconductor Condition; 9) Ultra-High Temperature Effects in Earth s Magma Ocean: Pt and W Partitioning; 10) Terrestrial Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotope Variations: Primordial Values, Systematics, Subsolidus Effects, Planetary Comparisons, and the Role of Water; 11) Redox State of the Moon s Interior; 12) How did the Terrestrial Planets Acquire Their Water?; 13) Molecular Oxygen Mixing Ratio and Its Seasonal Variability in the Martian Atmosphere; 14) Exchange Between the Atmosphere and the Regolith of Mars: Discussion of Oxygen and Sulfur Isotope Evidence; 15) Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotope Systematics of Atmospheric Water Vapor and Meteoric Waters: Evidence from North Texas; 16) Implications of Isotopic and Redox Heterogeneities in Silicate Reservoirs on Mars; 17) Oxygen Isotopic Variation of the Terrestrial Planets; 18) Redox Exchanges in Hydrous Magma; 19) Hydrothermal Systems on Terrestrial Planets: Lessons from Earth; 20) Oxygen in Martian Meteorites: A Review of Results from Mineral Equilibria Oxybarometers; 21) Non-Linear Fractionation of Oxygen Isotopes Implanted in

  15. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON THE DELIVERY OF ATMOPHILE ELEMENTS DURING TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsumura, Soko [School of Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics, University of Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland (United Kingdom); Brasser, Ramon; Ida, Shigeru, E-mail: s.matsumura@dundee.ac.uk [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-8550 (Japan)

    2016-02-10

    Recent observations started revealing the compositions of protostellar disks and planets beyond the solar system. In this paper, we explore how the compositions of terrestrial planets are affected by the dynamical evolution of giant planets. We estimate the initial compositions of the building blocks of these rocky planets by using a simple condensation model, and numerically study the compositions of planets formed in a few different formation models of the solar system. We find that the abundances of refractory and moderately volatile elements are nearly independent of formation models, and that all the models could reproduce the abundances of these elements of the Earth. The abundances of atmophile elements, on the other hand, depend on the scattering rate of icy planetesimals into the inner disk, as well as the mixing rate of the inner planetesimal disk. For the classical formation model, neither of these mechanisms are efficient and the accretion of atmophile elements during the final assembly of terrestrial planets appears to be difficult. For the Grand Tack model, both of these mechanisms are efficient, which leads to a relatively uniform accretion of atmophile elements in the inner disk. It is also possible to have a “hybrid” scenario where the mixing is not very efficient but the scattering is efficient. The abundances of atmophile elements in this case increase with orbital radii. Such a scenario may occur in some of the extrasolar planetary systems, which are not accompanied by giant planets or those without strong perturbations from giants. We also confirm that the Grand Tack scenario leads to the distribution of asteroid analogues where rocky planetesimals tend to exist interior to icy ones, and show that their overall compositions are consistent with S-type and C-type chondrites, respectively.

  16. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON THE DELIVERY OF ATMOPHILE ELEMENTS DURING TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Brasser, Ramon; Ida, Shigeru

    2016-01-01

    Recent observations started revealing the compositions of protostellar disks and planets beyond the solar system. In this paper, we explore how the compositions of terrestrial planets are affected by the dynamical evolution of giant planets. We estimate the initial compositions of the building blocks of these rocky planets by using a simple condensation model, and numerically study the compositions of planets formed in a few different formation models of the solar system. We find that the abundances of refractory and moderately volatile elements are nearly independent of formation models, and that all the models could reproduce the abundances of these elements of the Earth. The abundances of atmophile elements, on the other hand, depend on the scattering rate of icy planetesimals into the inner disk, as well as the mixing rate of the inner planetesimal disk. For the classical formation model, neither of these mechanisms are efficient and the accretion of atmophile elements during the final assembly of terrestrial planets appears to be difficult. For the Grand Tack model, both of these mechanisms are efficient, which leads to a relatively uniform accretion of atmophile elements in the inner disk. It is also possible to have a “hybrid” scenario where the mixing is not very efficient but the scattering is efficient. The abundances of atmophile elements in this case increase with orbital radii. Such a scenario may occur in some of the extrasolar planetary systems, which are not accompanied by giant planets or those without strong perturbations from giants. We also confirm that the Grand Tack scenario leads to the distribution of asteroid analogues where rocky planetesimals tend to exist interior to icy ones, and show that their overall compositions are consistent with S-type and C-type chondrites, respectively

  17. Geology and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Fishbaugh, Kathryn E; Raulin, François; Marais, David J; Korablev, Oleg

    2007-01-01

    Given the fundamental importance of and universal interest in whether extraterrestrial life has developed or could eventually develop in our solar system and beyond, it is vital that an examination of planetary habitability goes beyond simple assumptions such as, "Where there is water, there is life." This book has resulted from a workshop at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland (5-9 September 2005) that brought together planetary geologists, geophysicists, atmospheric scientists, and biologists to discuss the multi-faceted problem of how the habitability of a planet co-evolves with the geology of the surface and interior, the atmosphere, and the magnetosphere. Each of the six chapters has been written by authors with a range of expertise so that each chapter is itself multi-disciplinary, comprehensive, and accessible to scientists in all disciplines. These chapters delve into what life needs to exist and ultimately to thrive, the early environments of the young terrestrial pl...

  18. LOW Mg/Si PLANETARY HOST STARS AND THEIR Mg-DEPLETED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O' Brien, David P. [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E. Fort Lowell, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Delgado Mena, Elisa; Israelian, Garik; Gonzalez Hernandez, Jonay I. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Santos, Nuno C., E-mail: j.bond@unsw.edu.au [Centro de Astrofisica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal)

    2012-03-15

    Simulations have shown that a diverse range of extrasolar terrestrial planet bulk compositions are likely to exist based on the observed variations in host star elemental abundances. Based on recent studies, it is expected that a significant proportion of host stars may have Mg/Si ratios below 1. Here we examine this previously neglected group of systems. Planets simulated as forming within these systems are found to be Mg-depleted (compared to Earth), consisting of silicate species such as pyroxene and various feldspars. Planetary carbon abundances also vary in accordance with the host star C/O ratio. The predicted abundances are in keeping with observations of polluted white dwarfs, lending validity to this approach. Further studies are required to determine the full planetary impacts of the bulk compositions predicted here.

  19. Extrasolar planets : - From gaseous giant planets to rocky planets. - Steps towards the detection of life biomarkers.

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2017-01-01

    Today, great efforts are made to detect Earth-mass rocky planets in the so-called habitable zone of their host stars. What are the difficulties, the instrumental projects  and the already detected interesting systems ?

  20. The early evolution of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    CERN Document Server

    Raulin, François; Muller, Christian; Nixon, Conor; Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings : Volume 35

    2013-01-01

    “The Early Evolution of the Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets” presents the main processes participating in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. A group of experts in the different fields provide an update of our current knowledge on this topic. Several papers in this book discuss the key role of nitrogen in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. The earliest setting and evolution of planetary atmospheres of terrestrial planets is directly associated with accretion, chemical differentiation, outgassing, stochastic impacts, and extremely high energy fluxes from their host stars. This book provides an overview of the present knowledge of the initial atmospheric composition of the terrestrial planets. Additionally it includes some papers about the current exoplanet discoveries and provides additional clues to our understanding of Earth’s transition from a hot accretionary phase into a habitable world. All papers included were reviewed by experts in their respective fields. We are ...

  1. AN ANCIENT EXTRASOLAR SYSTEM WITH FIVE SUB-EARTH-SIZE PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Barclay, T.; Huber, D.; Burke, C. J.; Quintana, E. V. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Swift, J. J. [Department of Astronomy and Department of Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Adibekyan, V. Zh. [Centro de Astrofísica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Cochran, W. [Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas at Austin, TX 78712-1205 (United States); Isaacson, H. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Silva Aguirre, V.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Bedding, T. R. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Ragozzine, D. [Department of Physics and Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32901 (United States); Riddle, R. [Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Baranec, C. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Basu, S., E-mail: campante@bison.ph.bham.ac.uk [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); and others

    2015-02-01

    The chemical composition of stars hosting small exoplanets (with radii less than four Earth radii) appears to be more diverse than that of gas-giant hosts, which tend to be metal-rich. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the universe's history when metals were more scarce. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of Kepler-444, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk and the host to a compact system of five transiting planets with sizes between those of Mercury and Venus. We validate this system as a true five-planet system orbiting the target star and provide a detailed characterization of its planetary and orbital parameters based on an analysis of the transit photometry. Kepler-444 is the densest star with detected solar-like oscillations. We use asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that Kepler-444 formed when the universe was less than 20% of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the universe's 13.8 billion year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy. The age of Kepler-444 not only suggests that thick-disk stars were among the hosts to the first Galactic planets, but may also help to pinpoint the beginning of the era of planet formation.

  2. Types of Information Expected from a Photometric Search for Extra-Solar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Bell, James, III; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The current theory postulates that planets are a consequence of the formation of stars from viscous accretion disks. Condensation from the hotter, inner portion of the accretion disk favors the formation of small rocky planets in the inner portion and the formation of gas giants in the cuter, cooler part. Consequently, terrestrial-type planets in inner orbits must be commonplace (Wetheril 1991). From the geometry of the situation (Borucki and Summers 1984), it can be shown that 1% of those planetary systems that resemble our solar system should show transits for Earth-sized (or larger) planets. Thus a photometric satellite that uses a wide field of view telescope and a large CCD array to simultaneously monitor 5000 target stars should detect 50 planetary systems. To verify that regularly recurring transits are occurring rather than statistical fluctuations of the stellar flux, demands observations that extend over several orbital periods so that the constancy of the orbital period, signal amplitude, and duration can be measured. Therefore, to examine the region from Mercury's orbit to that of the Earth requires a duration of three years whereas a search out to the orbit of mars requires about six years. The results of the observations should provide estimates of the distributions of planetary size and orbital radius, and the frequency of planetary systems that have Earth-sized planets in inner orbits. Because approximately one half of the star systems observed will be binary systems, the frequency of planetary systems orbit ' ing either one or both of the stars can also be determined. Furthermore, the complexity of the photometric signature of a planet transiting a pair of stars provides enough information to estimate the eccentricities of the planetary orbits. In summary, the statistical evidence from a photometric search of solar-like stars should be able to either confirm or deny the applicability of the current theory of planet formation and provide new

  3. AN ANCIENT EXTRASOLAR SYSTEM WITH FIVE SUB-EARTH-SIZE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R.; Barclay, T.; Huber, D.; Burke, C. J.; Quintana, E. V.; Swift, J. J.; Adibekyan, V. Zh.; Cochran, W.; Isaacson, H.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Bedding, T. R.; Ragozzine, D.; Riddle, R.; Baranec, C.; Basu, S.

    2015-01-01

    The chemical composition of stars hosting small exoplanets (with radii less than four Earth radii) appears to be more diverse than that of gas-giant hosts, which tend to be metal-rich. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the universe's history when metals were more scarce. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of Kepler-444, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk and the host to a compact system of five transiting planets with sizes between those of Mercury and Venus. We validate this system as a true five-planet system orbiting the target star and provide a detailed characterization of its planetary and orbital parameters based on an analysis of the transit photometry. Kepler-444 is the densest star with detected solar-like oscillations. We use asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that Kepler-444 formed when the universe was less than 20% of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the universe's 13.8 billion year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy. The age of Kepler-444 not only suggests that thick-disk stars were among the hosts to the first Galactic planets, but may also help to pinpoint the beginning of the era of planet formation

  4. Transit detections of extrasolar planets around main-sequence stars. I. Sky maps for hot Jupiters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, R.; Mislis, D.; Antoniadis, J.

    2009-12-01

    Context: The findings of more than 350 extrasolar planets, most of them nontransiting Hot Jupiters, have revealed correlations between the metallicity of the main-sequence (MS) host stars and planetary incidence. This connection can be used to calculate the planet formation probability around other stars, not yet known to have planetary companions. Numerous wide-field surveys have recently been initiated, aiming at the transit detection of extrasolar planets in front of their host stars. Depending on instrumental properties and the planetary distribution probability, the promising transit locations on the celestial plane will differ among these surveys. Aims: We want to locate the promising spots for transit surveys on the celestial plane and strive for absolute values of the expected number of transits in general. Our study will also clarify the impact of instrumental properties such as pixel size, field of view (FOV), and magnitude range on the detection probability. Methods: We used data of the Tycho catalog for ≈1 million objects to locate all the stars with 0^m~≲~m_V~≲~11.5m on the celestial plane. We took several empirical relations between the parameters listed in the Tycho catalog, such as distance to Earth, m_V, and (B-V), and those parameters needed to account for the probability of a star to host an observable, transiting exoplanet. The empirical relations between stellar metallicity and planet occurrence combined with geometrical considerations were used to yield transit probabilities for the MS stars in the Tycho catalog. Magnitude variations in the FOV were simulated to test whether this fluctuations would be detected by BEST, XO, SuperWASP and HATNet. Results: We present a sky map of the expected number of Hot Jupiter transit events on the basis of the Tycho catalog. Conditioned by the accumulation of stars towards the galactic plane, the zone of the highest number of transits follows the same trace, interrupted by spots of very low and high

  5. Spectral Resolution-linked Bias in Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake; Sheppard, Kyle

    2017-05-01

    We re-visit the principles of transmission spectroscopy for transiting extrasolar planets, focusing on the overlap between the planetary spectrum and the illuminating stellar spectrum. Virtually all current models of exoplanetary transmission spectra utilize an approximation that is inaccurate when the spectrum of the illuminating star has a complex line structure, such as molecular bands in M-dwarf spectra. In those cases, it is desirable to model the observations using a coupled stellar-planetary radiative transfer model calculated at high spectral resolving power, followed by convolution to the observed resolution. Not consistently accounting for overlap of stellar M-dwarf and planetary lines at high spectral resolution can bias the modeled amplitude of the exoplanetary transmission spectrum, producing modeled absorption that is too strong. We illustrate this bias using the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1b, as observed using Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3. The bias in this case is about 250 ppm, 12% of the modeled transit absorption. Transit spectroscopy using JWST will have access to longer wavelengths where the water bands are intrinsically stronger, and the observed signal-to-noise ratios will be higher than currently possible. We therefore expect that this resolution-linked bias will be especially important for future JWST observations of TESS-discovered super-Earths and mini-Neptunes transiting M-dwarfs.

  6. BIGRE: A LOW CROSS-TALK INTEGRAL FIELD UNIT TAILORED FOR EXTRASOLAR PLANETS IMAGING SPECTROSCOPY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antichi, Jacopo; Mouillet, David; Puget, Pascal; Beuzit, Jean-Luc; Dohlen, Kjetil; Gratton, Raffaele G.; Mesa, Dino; Claudi, Riccardo U.; Giro, Enrico; Boccaletti, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    Integral field spectroscopy represents a powerful technique for the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets through high-contrast imaging since it allows us to obtain simultaneously a large number of monochromatic images. These can be used to calibrate and then to reduce the impact of speckles, once their chromatic dependence is taken into account. The main concern in designing integral field spectrographs for high-contrast imaging is the impact of the diffraction effects and the noncommon path aberrations together with an efficient use of the detector pixels. We focus our attention on integral field spectrographs based on lenslet arrays, discussing the main features of these designs: the conditions of appropriate spatial and spectral sampling of the resulting spectrograph's slit functions and their related cross-talk terms when the system works at the diffraction limit. We present a new scheme for the integral field unit based on a dual-lenslet device (BIGRE), that solves some of the problems related to the classical Traitement Integral des Galaxies par l'Etude de leurs Rays (TIGER) design when used for such applications. We show that BIGRE provides much lower cross-talk signals than TIGER, allowing a more efficient use of the detector pixels and a considerable saving of the overall cost of a lenslet-based integral field spectrograph.

  7. Spectral Resolution-linked Bias in Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deming, Drake; Sheppard, Kyle [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)

    2017-05-20

    We re-visit the principles of transmission spectroscopy for transiting extrasolar planets, focusing on the overlap between the planetary spectrum and the illuminating stellar spectrum. Virtually all current models of exoplanetary transmission spectra utilize an approximation that is inaccurate when the spectrum of the illuminating star has a complex line structure, such as molecular bands in M-dwarf spectra. In those cases, it is desirable to model the observations using a coupled stellar–planetary radiative transfer model calculated at high spectral resolving power, followed by convolution to the observed resolution. Not consistently accounting for overlap of stellar M-dwarf and planetary lines at high spectral resolution can bias the modeled amplitude of the exoplanetary transmission spectrum, producing modeled absorption that is too strong. We illustrate this bias using the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1b, as observed using Hubble Space Telescope /WFC3. The bias in this case is about 250 ppm, 12% of the modeled transit absorption. Transit spectroscopy using JWST will have access to longer wavelengths where the water bands are intrinsically stronger, and the observed signal-to-noise ratios will be higher than currently possible. We therefore expect that this resolution-linked bias will be especially important for future JWST observations of TESS-discovered super-Earths and mini-Neptunes transiting M-dwarfs.

  8. Spectral Resolution-linked Bias in Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deming, Drake; Sheppard, Kyle

    2017-01-01

    We re-visit the principles of transmission spectroscopy for transiting extrasolar planets, focusing on the overlap between the planetary spectrum and the illuminating stellar spectrum. Virtually all current models of exoplanetary transmission spectra utilize an approximation that is inaccurate when the spectrum of the illuminating star has a complex line structure, such as molecular bands in M-dwarf spectra. In those cases, it is desirable to model the observations using a coupled stellar–planetary radiative transfer model calculated at high spectral resolving power, followed by convolution to the observed resolution. Not consistently accounting for overlap of stellar M-dwarf and planetary lines at high spectral resolution can bias the modeled amplitude of the exoplanetary transmission spectrum, producing modeled absorption that is too strong. We illustrate this bias using the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1b, as observed using Hubble Space Telescope /WFC3. The bias in this case is about 250 ppm, 12% of the modeled transit absorption. Transit spectroscopy using JWST will have access to longer wavelengths where the water bands are intrinsically stronger, and the observed signal-to-noise ratios will be higher than currently possible. We therefore expect that this resolution-linked bias will be especially important for future JWST observations of TESS-discovered super-Earths and mini-Neptunes transiting M-dwarfs.

  9. EUV-driven ionospheres and electron transport on extrasolar giant planets orbiting active stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadney, J. M.; Galand, M.; Koskinen, T. T.; Miller, S.; Sanz-Forcada, J.; Unruh, Y. C.; Yelle, R. V.

    2016-03-01

    The composition and structure of the upper atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) are affected by the high-energy spectrum of their host stars from soft X-rays to the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). This emission depends on the activity level of the star, which is primarily determined by its age. In this study, we focus upon EGPs orbiting K- and M-dwarf stars of different ages - ɛ Eridani, AD Leonis, AU Microscopii - and the Sun. X-ray and EUV (XUV) spectra for these stars are constructed using a coronal model. These spectra are used to drive both a thermospheric model and an ionospheric model, providing densities of neutral and ion species. Ionisation - as a result of stellar radiation deposition - is included through photo-ionisation and electron-impact processes. The former is calculated by solving the Lambert-Beer law, while the latter is calculated from a supra-thermal electron transport model. We find that EGP ionospheres at all orbital distances considered (0.1-1 AU) and around all stars selected are dominated by the long-lived H+ ion. In addition, planets with upper atmospheres where H2 is not substantially dissociated (at large orbital distances) have a layer in which H3+ is the major ion at the base of the ionosphere. For fast-rotating planets, densities of short-lived H3+ undergo significant diurnal variations, with the maximum value being driven by the stellar X-ray flux. In contrast, densities of longer-lived H+ show very little day/night variability and the magnitude is driven by the level of stellar EUV flux. The H3+ peak in EGPs with upper atmospheres where H2 is dissociated (orbiting close to their star) under strong stellar illumination is pushed to altitudes below the homopause, where this ion is likely to be destroyed through reactions with heavy species (e.g. hydrocarbons, water). The inclusion of secondary ionisation processes produces significantly enhanced ion and electron densities at altitudes below the main EUV ionisation peak, as

  10. Sonora: A New Generation Model Atmosphere Grid for Brown Dwarfs and Young Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.; Saumon, Didier; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Morley, Caroline; Lupu, Roxana Elena; Freedman, Richard; Visscher, Channon

    2017-01-01

    Brown dwarf and giant planet atmospheric structure and composition has been studied both by forward models and, increasingly so, by retrieval methods. While indisputably informative, retrieval methods are of greatest value when judged in the context of grid model predictions. Meanwhile retrieval models can test the assumptions inherent in the forward modeling procedure. In order to provide a new, systematic survey of brown dwarf atmospheric structure, emergent spectra, and evolution, we have constructed a new grid of brown dwarf model atmospheres. We ultimately aim for our grid to span substantial ranges of atmospheric metallilcity, C/O ratios, cloud properties, atmospheric mixing, and other parameters. Spectra predicted by our modeling grid can be compared to both observations and retrieval results to aid in the interpretation and planning of future telescopic observations. We thus present Sonora, a new generation of substellar atmosphere models, appropriate for application to studies of L, T, and Y-type brown dwarfs and young extrasolar giant planets. The models describe the expected temperature-pressure profile and emergent spectra of an atmosphere in radiative-convective equilibrium for ranges of effective temperatures and gravities encompassing 200 less than or equal to T(sub eff) less than or equal to 2400 K and 2.5 less than or equal to log g less than or equal to 5.5. In our poster we briefly describe our modeling methodology, enumerate various updates since our group's previous models, and present our initial tranche of models for cloudless, solar metallicity, and solar carbon-to-oxygen ratio, chemical equilibrium atmospheres. These models will be available online and will be updated as opacities and cloud modeling methods continue to improve.

  11. A Program to Detect and Characterize Extra-Solar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor); Noyes, Robert W.

    2003-01-01

    We initiated a significant hardware upgrade to the AFOE, to increase its efficiency for precise radial velocity studies to the level where we can continue to contribute usefully to extrasolar planet research on relatively bright stars. The AFOE, at a 1.5-m telescope, will of course not have the sensitivity of radial velocity instruments at larger telescopes, such as the HIRES on Keck or the Hectochelle on the MMT telescope (about to come on line). However, it has been possible to increase its efficiency for precise radial velocity studies by a factor of 4 to 5, which-combined with the large amount of telescope time available at the 1.5-m telescope-will permit us to do intensive follow-up observations of stars brighter than about 8 magnitude. The AFOE was originally designed primarily for asteroseismology using a ThAr reference. This provided useful wavelength stability over tens of minutes as required for asteroseismology, but we were unable to get a long-term (month-to-month) velocity precision better than about 15 m/s with that setup. Hence, we implemented an iodine cell as a wavelength reference for extrasolar planet studies. However, the optical design of the original AFOE did not completely span the wavelength range covered by the iodine absorption spectrum, and furthermore the optics suffered significant light loss through optical obscuration in the camera secondary. To remedy this, we replaced the AFOE grating with a new one that covered the entire iodine spectral range at somewhat lower spectral resolution, and replaced the camera with a transmitting lens. (The use of a lens was made possible by restricting the spectral range covered by the upgraded AFOE to only the iodine region.) These upgrades were successfully completed, and the instrument was tested for three nights in fall of 2002. The expected improvement in sensitivity by a factor of 4 to 5 was observed: that is, the same velocity precision as previously attained (of order 5 to 7 m/s) was now

  12. Long Term Evolution of Planetary Systems with a Terrestrial Planet and a Giant Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian; Way, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    We study the long term orbital evolution of a terrestrial planet under the gravitational perturbations of a giant planet. In particular, we are interested in situations where the two planets are in the same plane and are relatively close. We examine both possible configurations: the giant planet orbit being either outside or inside the orbit of the smaller planet. The perturbing potential is expanded to high orders and an analytical solution of the terrestrial planetary orbit is derived. The analytical estimates are then compared against results from the numerical integration of the full equations of motion and we find that the analytical solution works reasonably well. An interesting finding is that the new analytical estimates improve greatly the predictions for the timescales of the orbital evolution of the terrestrial planet compared to an octupole order expansion. Finally, we briefly discuss possible applications of the analytical estimates in astrophysical problems.

  13. Cloudless Atmospheres for L/T Dwarfs and Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblin, P.; Amundsen, D. S.; Chabrier, G.; Baraffe, I.; Drummond, B.; Hinkley, S.; Mourier, P.; Venot, O.

    2016-01-01

    The admitted, conventional scenario to explain the complex spectral evolution of brown dwarfs (BDs) since their first detection 20 years ago has always been the key role played by micron-size condensates, called "dust" or "clouds," in their atmosphere. This scenario, however, faces major problems, in particular the J-band brightening and the resurgence of FeH absorption at the L to T transition, and a physical first-principle understanding of this transition is lacking. In this Letter, we propose a new, completely different explanation for BD and extrasolar giant planet (EGP) spectral evolution, without the need to invoke clouds. We show that, due to the slowness of the CO/ CH4 and N2/NH3 chemical reactions, brown dwarf (L and T, respectively) and EGP atmospheres are subject to a thermo-chemical instability similar in nature to the fingering or chemical convective instability present in Earth oceans and at the Earth core/mantle boundary. The induced small-scale turbulent energy transport reduces the temperature gradient in the atmosphere, explaining the observed increase in near-infrared J-H and J-K colors of L dwarfs and hot EGPs, while a warming up of the deep atmosphere along the L to T transition, as the CO/CH4 instability vanishes, naturally solves the two aforementioned puzzles, and provides a physical explanation of the L to T transition. This new picture leads to a drastic revision of our understanding of BD and EGP atmospheres and their evolution.

  14. Climate evolution on the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kasting, J.F.; Toon, O.B.

    1989-01-01

    The present comparative evaluation of the long-term evolution of the Venus, earth, and Mars climates suggests that the earth's climate has remained temperate over most of its history despite a secular solar luminosity increase in virtue of a negative-feedback cycle based on atmospheric CO 2 levels and climate. The examination of planetary climate histories suggests that an earth-sized planet should be able to maintain liquid water on its surface at orbital distances in the 0.9-1.5 AU range, comparable to the orbit of Mars; this, in turn, implies that there may be many other habitable planets within the Galaxy

  15. SEARCHING FOR THE SIGNATURES OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN SOLAR ANALOGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez Hernandez, J. I.; Israelian, G.; Delgado-Mena, E.; Santos, N. C.; Sousa, S.; Neves, V.; Udry, S.

    2010-01-01

    We present a fully differential chemical abundance analysis using very high resolution (λ/δλ ∼> 85, 000) and very high signal-to-noise (S/N ∼800 on average) HARPS and UVES spectra of 7 solar twins and 95 solar analogs, of which 24 are planet hosts and 71 are stars without detected planets. The whole sample of solar analogs provides very accurate Galactic chemical evolution trends in the metallicity range -0.3 < [Fe/H] < 0.5. Solar twins with and without planets show similar mean abundance ratios. We have also analyzed a sub-sample of 28 solar analogs, 14 planet hosts, and 14 stars without known planets, with spectra at S/N ∼850 on average, in the metallicity range 0.14 < [Fe/H] < 0.36, and find the same abundance pattern for both samples of stars with and without planets. This result does not depend on either the planet mass, from 7 Earth masses to 17.4 Jupiter masses, or the orbital period of the planets, from 3 to 4300 days. In addition, we have derived the slope of the abundance ratios as a function of the condensation temperature for each star and again find similar distributions of the slopes for both stars with and without planets. In particular, the peaks of these two distributions are placed at a similar value but with the opposite sign to that expected from a possible signature of terrestrial planets. In particular, two of the planetary systems in this sample, each of them containing a super-Earth-like planet, show slope values very close to these peaks, which may suggest that these abundance patterns are not related to the presence of terrestrial planets.

  16. Abiotic production of methane in terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Marmolejo, Andrés; Segura, Antígona; Escobar-Briones, Elva

    2013-06-01

    On Earth, methane is produced mainly by life, and it has been proposed that, under certain conditions, methane detected in an exoplanetary spectrum may be considered a biosignature. Here, we estimate how much methane may be produced in hydrothermal vent systems by serpentinization, its main geological source, using the kinetic properties of the main reactions involved in methane production by serpentinization. Hydrogen production by serpentinization was calculated as a function of the available FeO in the crust, given the current spreading rates. Carbon dioxide is the limiting reactant for methane formation because it is highly depleted in aqueous form in hydrothermal vent systems. We estimated maximum CH4 surface fluxes of 6.8×10(8) and 1.3×10(9) molecules cm(-2) s(-1) for rocky planets with 1 and 5 M⊕, respectively. Using a 1-D photochemical model, we simulated atmospheres with volume mixing ratios of 0.03 and 0.1 CO2 to calculate atmospheric methane concentrations for the maximum production of this compound by serpentinization. The resulting abundances were 2.5 and 2.1 ppmv for 1 M⊕ planets and 4.1 and 3.7 ppmv for 5 M⊕ planets. Therefore, low atmospheric concentrations of methane may be produced by serpentinization. For habitable planets around Sun-like stars with N2-CO2 atmospheres, methane concentrations larger than 10 ppmv may indicate the presence of life.

  17. Abiotic Production of Methane in Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Marmolejo, Andrés; Escobar-Briones, Elva

    2013-01-01

    Abstract On Earth, methane is produced mainly by life, and it has been proposed that, under certain conditions, methane detected in an exoplanetary spectrum may be considered a biosignature. Here, we estimate how much methane may be produced in hydrothermal vent systems by serpentinization, its main geological source, using the kinetic properties of the main reactions involved in methane production by serpentinization. Hydrogen production by serpentinization was calculated as a function of the available FeO in the crust, given the current spreading rates. Carbon dioxide is the limiting reactant for methane formation because it is highly depleted in aqueous form in hydrothermal vent systems. We estimated maximum CH4 surface fluxes of 6.8×108 and 1.3×109 molecules cm−2 s−1 for rocky planets with 1 and 5 M⊕, respectively. Using a 1-D photochemical model, we simulated atmospheres with volume mixing ratios of 0.03 and 0.1 CO2 to calculate atmospheric methane concentrations for the maximum production of this compound by serpentinization. The resulting abundances were 2.5 and 2.1 ppmv for 1 M⊕ planets and 4.1 and 3.7 ppmv for 5 M⊕ planets. Therefore, low atmospheric concentrations of methane may be produced by serpentinization. For habitable planets around Sun-like stars with N2-CO2 atmospheres, methane concentrations larger than 10 ppmv may indicate the presence of life. Key Words: Serpentinization—Exoplanets—Biosignatures—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 13, 550–559. PMID:23742231

  18. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION DURING THE MIGRATION AND RESONANCE CROSSINGS OF THE GIANT PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lykawka, Patryk Sofia; Ito, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    The newly formed giant planets may have migrated and crossed a number of mutual mean motion resonances (MMRs) when smaller objects (embryos) were accreting to form the terrestrial planets in the planetesimal disk. We investigated the effects of the planetesimal-driven migration of Jupiter and Saturn, and the influence of their mutual 1:2 MMR crossing on terrestrial planet formation for the first time, by performing N-body simulations. These simulations considered distinct timescales of MMR crossing and planet migration. In total, 68 high-resolution simulation runs using 2000 disk planetesimals were performed, which was a significant improvement on previously published results. Even when the effects of the 1:2 MMR crossing and planet migration were included in the system, Venus and Earth analogs (considering both orbits and masses) successfully formed in several runs. In addition, we found that the orbits of planetesimals beyond a ∼ 1.5-2 AU were dynamically depleted by the strengthened sweeping secular resonances associated with Jupiter's and Saturn's more eccentric orbits (relative to the present day) during planet migration. However, this depletion did not prevent the formation of massive Mars analogs (planets with more than 1.5 times Mars's mass). Although late MMR crossings (at t > 30 Myr) could remove such planets, Mars-like small mass planets survived on overly excited orbits (high e and/or i), or were completely lost in these systems. We conclude that the orbital migration and crossing of the mutual 1:2 MMR of Jupiter and Saturn are unlikely to provide suitable orbital conditions for the formation of solar system terrestrial planets. This suggests that to explain Mars's small mass and the absence of other planets between Mars and Jupiter, the outer asteroid belt must have suffered a severe depletion due to interactions with Jupiter/Saturn, or by an alternative mechanism (e.g., rogue super-Earths)

  19. Refractory Abundances of Terrestrial Planets and Their Stars: Testing [Si/Fe] Correlations with TESS and PLATO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfgang, Angie; Fortney, Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    In standard models for planet formation, solid material in protoplanetary disks coagulate and collide to form rocky bodies. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that their chemical composition will follow the abundances of refractory elements, such as Si and Fe, in the host star, which has also accreted material from the disk. Backed by planet formation simulations which validate this assumption, planetary internal structure models have begun to use stellar abundances to break degeneracies in low-mass planet compositions inferred only from mass and radius. Inconveniently, our own Solar System contradicts this approach, as its terrestrial bodies exhibit a range of rock/iron ratios and the Sun's [Si/Fe] ratio is offset from the mean planetary [Si/Fe]. In this work, we explore what number and quality of observations we need to empirically measure the exoplanet-star [Si/Fe] correlation, given future transit missions, RV follow-up, and stellar characterization. Specifically, we generate synthetic datasets of terrestrial planet masses and radii and host star abundances assuming that the planets’ bulk [Si/Fe] ratio exactly tracks that of their host stars. We assign measurement uncertainties corresponding to expected precisions for TESS, PLATO, Gaia, and future RV instrumentation, and then invert the problem to infer the planet-star [Si/Fe] correlation given these observational constraints. Comparing the result to the generated truth, we find that 1% precision on the planet radii is needed to test whether [Si/Fe] ratios are correlated between exoplanet and host star. On the other hand, lower precisions can test for systematic offsets between planet and star [Si/Fe], which can constrain the importance of giant impacts for extrasolar terrestrial planet formation.

  20. A Google Earth Grand Tour of the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Paor, Declan; Coba, Filis; Burgin, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Google Earth is a powerful instructional resource for geoscience education. We have extended the virtual globe to include all terrestrial planets. Downloadable Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files (Google Earth's scripting language) associated with this paper include lessons about Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars. We created "grand…

  1. DECIPHERING THERMAL PHASE CURVES OF DRY, TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koll, Daniel D. B.; Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: dkoll@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2015-03-20

    Next-generation space telescopes will allow us to characterize terrestrial exoplanets. To do so effectively it will be crucial to make use of all available data. We investigate which atmospheric properties can, and cannot, be inferred from the broadband thermal phase curve of a dry and tidally locked terrestrial planet. First, we use dimensional analysis to show that phase curves are controlled by six nondimensional parameters. Second, we use an idealized general circulation model to explore the relative sensitivity of phase curves to these parameters. We find that the feature of phase curves most sensitive to atmospheric parameters is the peak-to-trough amplitude. Moreover, except for hot and rapidly rotating planets, the phase amplitude is primarily sensitive to only two nondimensional parameters: (1) the ratio of dynamical to radiative timescales and (2) the longwave optical depth at the surface. As an application of this technique, we show how phase curve measurements can be combined with transit or emission spectroscopy to yield a new constraint for the surface pressure and atmospheric mass of terrestrial planets. We estimate that a single broadband phase curve, measured over half an orbit with the James Webb Space Telescope, could meaningfully constrain the atmospheric mass of a nearby super-Earth. Such constraints will be important for studying the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial exoplanets as well as characterizing the surface conditions on potentially habitable planets.

  2. Predicting Precession Rates from Secular Dynamics for Extra-solar Multi-planet Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Laerhoven, Christa

    2015-12-01

    Considering the secular dynamics of multi-planet systems provides substantial insight into the interactions between planets in those systems. Secular interactions are those that don't involve knowing where a planet is along its orbit, and they dominate when planets are not involved in mean motion resonances. These interactions exchange angular momentum among the planets, evolving their eccentricities and inclinations. To second order in the planets' eccentricities and inclinations, the eccentricity and inclination perturbations are decoupled. Given the right variable choice, the relevant differential equations are linear and thus the eccentricity and inclination behaviors can be described as a sum of eigenmodes. Since the underlying structure of the secular eigenmodes can be calculated using only the planets' masses and semi-major axes, one can elucidate the eccentricity and inclination behavior of planets in exoplanet systems even without knowing the planets' current eccentricities and inclinations. I have calculated both the eccentricity and inclination secular eigenmodes for the population of known multi-planet systems whose planets have well determined masses and periods and have used this to predict what range of pericenter precession (and nodal regression) rates the planets may have. One might have assumed that in any given system the planets with shorter periods would have faster precession rates, but I show that this is not necessarily the case. Planets that are 'loners' have narrow ranges of possible precession rates, while planets that are 'groupies' can have a wider range of possible precession rates. Several planets are expected to undergo significant precession on few-year timescales and many planets (though not the majority of planets) will undergo significant precession on decade timescales.

  3. Comparative ionospheres: Terrestrial and giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendillo, Michael; Trovato, Jeffrey; Moore, Luke; Müller-Wodarg, Ingo

    2018-03-01

    The study of planetary ionospheres within our solar system offers a variety of settings to probe mechanisms of photo-ionization, chemical loss, and plasma transport. Ionospheres are a minor component of upper atmospheres, and thus their mix of ions observed depends on the neutral gas composition of their parent atmospheres. The same solar irradiance (x-rays and extreme-ultra-violet vs. wavelength) impinges upon each of these atmospheres, with solar flux magnitudes changed only by the inverse square of distance from the Sun. If all planets had the same neutral atmosphere-with ionospheres governed by photochemical equilibrium (production = loss)-their peak electron densities would decrease as the inverse of distance from the Sun, and any changes in solar output would exhibit coherent effects throughout the solar system. Here we examine the outer planet with the most observations of its ionosphere (Saturn) and compare its patterns of electron density with those at Earth under the same-day solar conditions. We show that, while the average magnitudes of the major layers of molecular ions at Earth and Saturn are approximately in accord with distance effects, only minor correlations exist between solar effects and day-to-day electron densities. This is in marked contrast to the strong correlations found between the ionospheres of Earth and Mars. Moreover, the variability observed for Saturn's ionosphere (maximum electron density and total electron content) is much larger than found at Earth and Mars. With solar irradiance changes far too small to cause such effects, we use model results to explore the roles of other agents. We find that water sources from Enceladus at low latitudes, and 'ring rain' at middle latitudes, contribute substantially to variability via water ion chemistry. Thermospheric winds and electrodynamics generated at auroral latitudes are suggested causes of high latitude ionospheric variability, but remain inconclusive due to the lack of relevant

  4. Crustal development in the terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, S. R.

    1985-01-01

    The development of planetary crusts may be divided into primary, resulting from melting during accretion, and secondary crusts developed by partial melting from planetary mantles. The Mercurian crust is probably primary with no compelling evidence of later basaltic extrusions. Reflectance spectral evidence for the existence Fe2(+) is equivocal. The Viking Lander XRF data on Mars indicate basaltic material at both sites 4,000 km apart. Surface aeolian processes would be expected to provide a homogeneous average of the crust, but no evidence of more siliceous material is present. This conclusion is weakly supported by the Russian gamma ray data. No evidence for granite appears from the Russian Venera XRF data which indicates MORB-type and alkali basalt (4% K2O) surface compositions. The highlands of Ishtar Terra and Aphrodite probably owe their elevation to tectonic processes rather than compositional effects. Venus may thus resemble the early Archean Earth. The terrestrial granitic continental crust is a product of episodic multiple partial melting events, probably a consequence of the presence of surface water.

  5. THE EFFECT OF MASS LOSS ON THE TIDAL EVOLUTION OF EXTRASOLAR PLANET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, J. H.

    2010-01-01

    By combining mass loss and tidal evolution of close-in planets, we present a qualitative study on their tidal migrations. We incorporate mass loss in tidal evolution for planets with different masses and find that mass loss could interfere with tidal evolution. In an upper limit case (β = 3), a significant portion of mass may be evaporated in a long evolution timescale. Evidence of greater modification of the planets with an initial separation of about 0.1 AU than those with a = 0.15 AU can be found in this model. With the assumption of a large initial eccentricity, the planets with initial mass ≤1 M J and initial distance of about 0.1 AU could not survive. With the supposition of β = 1.1, we find that the loss process has an effect on the planets with low mass at a ∼ 0.05 AU. In both cases, the effect of evaporation on massive planets can be neglected. Also, heating efficiency and initial eccentricity have significant influence on tidal evolution. We find that even low heating efficiency and initial eccentricity have a significant effect on tidal evolution. Our analysis shows that evaporation on planets with different initial masses can accelerate (decelerate) the tidal evolution due to the increase (decrease) in tide of the planet (star). Consequently, the effect of evaporation cannot be neglected in evolutionary calculations of close-in planets. The physical parameters of HD 209458b can be fitted by our model.

  6. Lunar and terrestrial planet formation in the Grand Tack scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, S. A.; Morbidelli, A.

    2014-01-01

    We present conclusions from a large number of N-body simulations of the giant impact phase of terrestrial planet formation. We focus on new results obtained from the recently proposed Grand Tack model, which couples the gas-driven migration of giant planets to the accretion of the terrestrial planets. The giant impact phase follows the oligarchic growth phase, which builds a bi-modal mass distribution within the disc of embryos and planetesimals. By varying the ratio of the total mass in the embryo population to the total mass in the planetesimal population and the mass of the individual embryos, we explore how different disc conditions control the final planets. The total mass ratio of embryos to planetesimals controls the timing of the last giant (Moon-forming) impact and its violence. The initial embryo mass sets the size of the lunar impactor and the growth rate of Mars. After comparing our simulated outcomes with the actual orbits of the terrestrial planets (angular momentum deficit, mass concentration) and taking into account independent geochemical constraints on the mass accreted by the Earth after the Moon-forming event and on the time scale for the growth of Mars, we conclude that the protoplanetary disc at the beginning of the giant impact phase must have had most of its mass in Mars-sized embryos and only a small fraction of the total disc mass in the planetesimal population. From this, we infer that the Moon-forming event occurred between approximately 60 and approximately 130 Myr after the formation of the first solids and was caused most likely by an object with a mass similar to that of Mars. PMID:25114304

  7. Design and Verification of External Occulters for Direct Imaging of Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cady, Eric

    2011-01-01

    An occulter is an optical element which is placed in front of the telescope to block most of the light from a star before it reaches the optics inside, without blocking the planet.In our case, we use two spacecraft ying in formation: First has its edge shaped to cancel the starlight Second is the telescope which images the star and planet

  8. ABIOTIC OXYGEN-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON TERRESTRIAL HABITABLE ZONE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2014-01-01

    Detection of life on other planets requires identification of biosignatures, i.e., observable planetary properties that robustly indicate the presence of a biosphere. One of the most widely accepted biosignatures for an Earth-like planet is an atmosphere where oxygen is a major constituent. Here we show that lifeless habitable zone terrestrial planets around any star type may develop oxygen-dominated atmospheres as a result of water photolysis, because the cold trap mechanism that protects H 2 O on Earth is ineffective when the atmospheric inventory of non-condensing gases (e.g., N 2 , Ar) is low. Hence the spectral features of O 2 and O 3 alone cannot be regarded as robust signs of extraterrestrial life

  9. Formation of telluric planets and the origin of terrestrial water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Sean

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of planet formation have failed to reproduce Mars’ small mass (compared with Earth for 20 years. Here I will present a solution to the Mars problem that invokes large-scale migration of Jupiter and Saturn while they were still embedded in the gaseous protoplanetary disk. Jupiter first migrated inward, then “tacked” and migrated back outward when Saturn caught up to it and became trapped in resonance. If this tack occurred when Jupiter was at 1.5 AU then the inner disk of rocky planetesimals and embryos is truncated and the masses and orbits of all four terrestrial planet are quantitatively reproduced. As the giant planets migrate back outward they re-populate the asteroid belt from two different source populations, matching the structure of the current belt. C-type material is also scattered inward to the terrestrial planet-forming zone, delivering about the right amount of water to Earth on 10-50 Myr timescales.

  10. Water loss from terrestrial planets with CO2-rich atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Pierrehumbert, R. T.

    2013-01-01

    Water photolysis and hydrogen loss from the upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets is of fundamental importance to climate evolution but remains poorly understood in general. Here we present a range of calculations we performed to study the dependence of water loss rates from terrestrial planets on a range of atmospheric and external parameters. We show that CO 2 can only cause significant water loss by increasing surface temperatures over a narrow range of conditions, with cooling of the middle and upper atmosphere acting as a bottleneck on escape in other circumstances. Around G-stars, efficient loss only occurs on planets with intermediate CO 2 atmospheric partial pressures (0.1-1 bar) that receive a net flux close to the critical runaway greenhouse limit. Because G-star total luminosity increases with time but X-ray and ultraviolet/ultravoilet luminosity decreases, this places strong limits on water loss for planets like Earth. In contrast, for a CO 2 -rich early Venus, diffusion limits on water loss are only important if clouds caused strong cooling, implying that scenarios where the planet never had surface liquid water are indeed plausible. Around M-stars, water loss is primarily a function of orbital distance, with planets that absorb less flux than ∼270 W m –2 (global mean) unlikely to lose more than one Earth ocean of H 2 O over their lifetimes unless they lose all their atmospheric N 2 /CO 2 early on. Because of the variability of H 2 O delivery during accretion, our results suggest that many 'Earth-like' exoplanets in the habitable zone may have ocean-covered surfaces, stable CO 2 /H 2 O-rich atmospheres, and high mean surface temperatures.

  11. Origin and evolution of life on terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, A; Horneck, G; Cockell, C S; Bérces, A; Belisheva, N K; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Liseau, Réne; Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Franck; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The ultimate goal of terrestrial planet-finding missions is not only to discover terrestrial exoplanets inside the habitable zone (HZ) of their host stars but also to address the major question as to whether life may have evolved on a habitable Earth-like exoplanet outside our Solar System. We note that the chemical evolution that finally led to the origin of life on Earth must be studied if we hope to understand the principles of how life might evolve on other terrestrial planets in the Universe. This is not just an anthropocentric point of view: the basic ingredients of terrestrial life, that is, reduced carbon-based molecules and liquid H(2)O, have very specific properties. We discuss the origin of life from the chemical evolution of its precursors to the earliest life-forms and the biological implications of the stellar radiation and energetic particle environments. Likewise, the study of the biological evolution that has generated the various life-forms on Earth provides clues toward the understanding of the interconnectedness of life with its environment.

  12. High Contrast Imaging of Extrasolar Planets with a Vector Vortex Coronagraph

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The discovery of rocky planets orbiting their parent stars in the habitable zone, the area where the temperature is such that water is able to exist in liquid form,...

  13. The effect of host star spectral energy distribution and ice-albedo feedback on the climate of extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Aomawa L; Meadows, Victoria S; Bitz, Cecilia M; Pierrehumbert, Raymond T; Joshi, Manoj M; Robinson, Tyler D

    2013-08-01

    Planetary climate can be affected by the interaction of the host star spectral energy distribution with the wavelength-dependent reflectivity of ice and snow. In this study, we explored this effect with a one-dimensional (1-D), line-by-line, radiative transfer model to calculate broadband planetary albedos as input to a seasonally varying, 1-D energy balance climate model. A three-dimensional (3-D) general circulation model was also used to explore the atmosphere's response to changes in incoming stellar radiation, or instellation, and surface albedo. Using this hierarchy of models, we simulated planets covered by ocean, land, and water-ice of varying grain size, with incident radiation from stars of different spectral types. Terrestrial planets orbiting stars with higher near-UV radiation exhibited a stronger ice-albedo feedback. We found that ice extent was much greater on a planet orbiting an F-dwarf star than on a planet orbiting a G-dwarf star at an equivalent flux distance, and that ice-covered conditions occurred on an F-dwarf planet with only a 2% reduction in instellation relative to the present instellation on Earth, assuming fixed CO(2) (present atmospheric level on Earth). A similar planet orbiting the Sun at an equivalent flux distance required an 8% reduction in instellation, while a planet orbiting an M-dwarf star required an additional 19% reduction in instellation to become ice-covered, equivalent to 73% of the modern solar constant. The reduction in instellation must be larger for planets orbiting cooler stars due in large part to the stronger absorption of longer-wavelength radiation by icy surfaces on these planets in addition to stronger absorption by water vapor and CO(2) in their atmospheres, which provides increased downwelling longwave radiation. Lowering the IR and visible-band surface ice and snow albedos for an M-dwarf planet increased the planet's climate stability against changes in instellation and slowed the descent into global ice

  14. PASTIS: Bayesian extrasolar planet validation - I. General framework, models, and performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, R. F.; Almenara, J. M.; Santerne, A.; Moutou, C.; Lethuillier, A.; Deleuil, M.

    2014-06-01

    A large fraction of the smallest transiting planet candidates discovered by the Kepler and CoRoT space missions cannot be confirmed by a dynamical measurement of the mass using currently available observing facilities. To establish their planetary nature, the concept of planet validation has been advanced. This technique compares the probability of the planetary hypothesis against that of all reasonably conceivable alternative false positive (FP) hypotheses. The candidate is considered as validated if the posterior probability of the planetary hypothesis is sufficiently larger than the sum of the probabilities of all FP scenarios. In this paper, we present PASTIS, the Planet Analysis and Small Transit Investigation Software, a tool designed to perform a rigorous model comparison of the hypotheses involved in the problem of planet validation, and to fully exploit the information available in the candidate light curves. PASTIS self-consistently models the transit light curves and follow-up observations. Its object-oriented structure offers a large flexibility for defining the scenarios to be compared. The performance is explored using artificial transit light curves of planets and FPs with a realistic error distribution obtained from a Kepler light curve. We find that data support the correct hypothesis strongly only when the signal is high enough (transit signal-to-noise ratio above 50 for the planet case) and remain inconclusive otherwise. PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) shall provide transits with high enough signal-to-noise ratio, but to establish the true nature of the vast majority of Kepler and CoRoT transit candidates additional data or strong reliance on hypotheses priors is needed.

  15. Parent Stars of Extrasolar Planets - XIV. Strong Evidence of Li Abundance Deficit

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    We report the results of our analysis of new high resolution spectra of 30 late-F to early-G dwarf field stars for the purpose of deriving their Li abundances. They were selected from the subsample of stars in the Valenti and Fischer compilation that are lacking detected planets. These new data serve to expand our comparison sample used to test whether stars with Doppler-detected giant planets display Li abundance anomalies. Our results continue to show that Li is deficient among stars with p...

  16. High-resolution spectroscopic search for the thermal emission of the extrasolar planet HD 217107 b

    OpenAIRE

    Cubillos, Patricio E.; Rojo, Patricio; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2011-01-01

    We analyzed the combined near-infrared spectrum of a star-planet system with thermal emission atmospheric models, based on the composition and physical parameters of the system. The main objective of this work is to obtain the inclination of the orbit, the mass of the exoplanet, and the planet-to-star flux ratio. We present the results of our routines on the planetary system HD 217107, which was observed with the high-resolution spectrograph Phoenix at 2.14 microns. We revisited and tuned a c...

  17. The Kepler Mission: A Search for Terrestrial Planets - Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, David; Borucki, W.; Mayer, D.; Caldwell, D.; Jenkens, J.; Dunham, E.; Geary, J.; Bachtell, E.; Deininger, W.; Philbrick, R.

    2003-01-01

    We have embarked on a mission to detect terrestrial planets. The space mission has been optimized to search for earth-size planets (0.5 to 10 earth masses) in the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. Given this design, the mission will necessarily be capable of not only detecting Earth analogs, but a wide range of planetary types and characteristics ranging from Mercury-size objects with orbital periods of days to gas-giants in decade long orbits that have undeniable signatures even with only one transit detected. The mission is designed to survey the full range of spectral-type dwarf stars. The approach is to detect the periodic signal of transiting planets. Three or more transits of a star exceeding a combined threshold of eight sigma with a statistically consistent period, brightness change and duration provide a rigorous method of detection. From the relative brightness change the planet size can be calculated. From the period the orbital size can be calculated and its location relative to the HZ determined. Presented here are: the mission goals, the top level system design requirements derived from these goals that drive the flight system design, a number of the trades that have lead to the mission concept, expected photometric performance dependence on stellar brightness and spectral type based on the system 'noise tree' analysis. Updated estimates are presented of the numbers of detectable planets versus size, orbit, stellar spectral type and distances based on a planet frequency hypothesis. The current project schedule and organization are given.

  18. Terrestrial Planet Finder: Coda to 10 Years of Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) was proposed as a mission concept to the 2000 Decadal Survey, and received a very high ranking amongst the major initiatives that were then reviewed. As proposed, it was a formation flying array of four 3-m class mid-infrared telescopes, linked together as an interferometer. Its science goal was to survey 150 nearby stars for the presence of Earth-like planets, to detect signs of life or habitability, and to enable revolutionary advances in high angular resolution astrophysics. The Decadal Survey Committee recommended that $200M be invested to advance TPF technology development in the Decade of 2000-2010. This paper presents the results of NASA's investment.

  19. Characterization of extra-solar planets and their atmospheres (Spectroscopy of transits and atmospheric escape)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bourrier, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Hot Jupiters are exo-planets so close to their star that their atmosphere can lose gas because of hydrodynamic escape. Transiting gaseous giants are an excellent way to understand this mechanism, but it is necessary to study other types of planets to determine its impact on the exo-planetary population. This thesis aims at using transit spectroscopy to observe the atmosphere of several exo-planets, to study their properties and to contribute to the characterization of hydrodynamic escape. UV lines observed with the Hubble telescope are analyzed with the numerical model of upper atmospheres we developed. Using the Ly-α line we identify energetic and dynamical interactions between the atmospheres of the hot Jupiters HD209458b and HD189733b and their stars. We study the dependence of the escape on the environment of a planet and on its physical properties, through the observation of a super-Earth and a warm Jupiter in the 55 Cnc system. Using observations of HD209458b, we show that magnesium lines are a window on the region of formation of hydrodynamic escape. We study the potential of transit spectroscopy in the near-UV to detect new cases of atmospheric escape. This mechanism is fostered by the proximity of a planet to its star, which makes it even more important to understand the formation and migration processes that can be traced in the alignment of a planetary system. Using measures from the spectrographs HARPS-N and SOPHIE we study the alignments of 55 Cnc e and the Kepler candidate KOI 12.01, whose planetary nature we also seek to validate. (author)

  20. Relative locations of the bow shocks of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, C.T.

    1977-01-01

    The observed bow shock encounters at Mercury, Venus and Mars are least square fit using the same technique so that their sizes and shapes can be intercompared. The shock front of Mercury most resembles the terrestrial shock in shape, and the shock stand off distance is consistent with the observed moment. The shapes of the Venus and Mars shock fronts more resemble each other than the earth's and the stand off distances are consistent with direct interaction of the solar wind with the ionosphere on the dayside. The Venus shock is closer to the planet than the Mars shock suggesting more absorption of the solar wind at Venus

  1. Adaptive Annealed Importance Sampling for Multimodal Posterior Exploration and Model Selection with Application to Extrasolar Planet Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bin

    2014-07-01

    We describe an algorithm that can adaptively provide mixture summaries of multimodal posterior distributions. The parameter space of the involved posteriors ranges in size from a few dimensions to dozens of dimensions. This work was motivated by an astrophysical problem called extrasolar planet (exoplanet) detection, wherein the computation of stochastic integrals that are required for Bayesian model comparison is challenging. The difficulty comes from the highly nonlinear models that lead to multimodal posterior distributions. We resort to importance sampling (IS) to estimate the integrals, and thus translate the problem to be how to find a parametric approximation of the posterior. To capture the multimodal structure in the posterior, we initialize a mixture proposal distribution and then tailor its parameters elaborately to make it resemble the posterior to the greatest extent possible. We use the effective sample size (ESS) calculated based on the IS draws to measure the degree of approximation. The bigger the ESS is, the better the proposal resembles the posterior. A difficulty within this tailoring operation lies in the adjustment of the number of mixing components in the mixture proposal. Brute force methods just preset it as a large constant, which leads to an increase in the required computational resources. We provide an iterative delete/merge/add process, which works in tandem with an expectation-maximization step to tailor such a number online. The efficiency of our proposed method is tested via both simulation studies and real exoplanet data analysis.

  2. Statistical Analysis of Hubble/WFC3 Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Guangwei; Deming, Drake; Knutson, Heather; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Mandell, Avi; Fraine, Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    Transmission spectroscopy provides a window to study exoplanetary atmospheres, but that window is fogged by clouds and hazes. Clouds and haze introduce a degeneracy between the strength of gaseous absorption features and planetary physical parameters such as abundances. One way to break that degeneracy is via statistical studies. We collect all published HST/WFC3 transit spectra for 1.1-1.65 micron water vapor absorption, and perform a statistical study on potential correlations between the water absorption feature and planetary parameters. We fit the observed spectra with a template calculated for each planet using the Exo-Transmit code. We express the magnitude of the water absorption in scale heights, thereby removing the known dependence on temperature, surface gravity, and mean molecular weight. We find that the absorption in scale heights has a positive baseline correlation with planetary equilibrium temperature; our hypothesis is that decreasing cloud condensation with increasing temperature is responsible for this baseline slope. However, the observed sample is also intrinsically degenerate in the sense that equilibrium temperature correlates with planetary mass. We compile the distribution of absorption in scale heights, and we find that this distribution is closer to log-normal than Gaussian. However, we also find that the distribution of equilibrium temperatures for the observed planets is similarly log-normal. This indicates that the absorption values are affected by observational bias, whereby observers have not yet targeted a sufficient sample of the hottest planets.

  3. Statistical Analysis of Hubble /WFC3 Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Guangwei; Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Knutson, Heather [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom); Mandell, Avi [Planetary Systems Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Fraine, Jonathan, E-mail: gfu@astro.umd.edu [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2017-10-01

    Transmission spectroscopy provides a window to study exoplanetary atmospheres, but that window is fogged by clouds and hazes. Clouds and haze introduce a degeneracy between the strength of gaseous absorption features and planetary physical parameters such as abundances. One way to break that degeneracy is via statistical studies. We collect all published HST /WFC3 transit spectra for 1.1–1.65 μ m water vapor absorption and perform a statistical study on potential correlations between the water absorption feature and planetary parameters. We fit the observed spectra with a template calculated for each planet using the Exo-transmit code. We express the magnitude of the water absorption in scale heights, thereby removing the known dependence on temperature, surface gravity, and mean molecular weight. We find that the absorption in scale heights has a positive baseline correlation with planetary equilibrium temperature; our hypothesis is that decreasing cloud condensation with increasing temperature is responsible for this baseline slope. However, the observed sample is also intrinsically degenerate in the sense that equilibrium temperature correlates with planetary mass. We compile the distribution of absorption in scale heights, and we find that this distribution is closer to log-normal than Gaussian. However, we also find that the distribution of equilibrium temperatures for the observed planets is similarly log-normal. This indicates that the absorption values are affected by observational bias, whereby observers have not yet targeted a sufficient sample of the hottest planets.

  4. Statistical Analysis of Hubble /WFC3 Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fu, Guangwei; Deming, Drake; Knutson, Heather; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Mandell, Avi; Fraine, Jonathan

    2017-01-01

    Transmission spectroscopy provides a window to study exoplanetary atmospheres, but that window is fogged by clouds and hazes. Clouds and haze introduce a degeneracy between the strength of gaseous absorption features and planetary physical parameters such as abundances. One way to break that degeneracy is via statistical studies. We collect all published HST /WFC3 transit spectra for 1.1–1.65 μ m water vapor absorption and perform a statistical study on potential correlations between the water absorption feature and planetary parameters. We fit the observed spectra with a template calculated for each planet using the Exo-transmit code. We express the magnitude of the water absorption in scale heights, thereby removing the known dependence on temperature, surface gravity, and mean molecular weight. We find that the absorption in scale heights has a positive baseline correlation with planetary equilibrium temperature; our hypothesis is that decreasing cloud condensation with increasing temperature is responsible for this baseline slope. However, the observed sample is also intrinsically degenerate in the sense that equilibrium temperature correlates with planetary mass. We compile the distribution of absorption in scale heights, and we find that this distribution is closer to log-normal than Gaussian. However, we also find that the distribution of equilibrium temperatures for the observed planets is similarly log-normal. This indicates that the absorption values are affected by observational bias, whereby observers have not yet targeted a sufficient sample of the hottest planets.

  5. SPITZER IRAC SECONDARY ECLIPSE PHOTOMETRY OF THE TRANSITING EXTRASOLAR PLANET HAT-P-1b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Todorov, Kamen; Deming, Drake; Harrington, Jospeph; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Bowman, William C.; Nymeyer, Sarah; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Bakos, Gaspar A.

    2010-01-01

    We report Spitzer/IRAC photometry of the transiting giant exoplanet HAT-P-1b during its secondary eclipse. This planet lies near the postulated boundary between the pM and pL-class of hot Jupiters, and is important as a test of models for temperature inversions in hot Jupiter atmospheres. We derive eclipse depths for HAT-P-1b, in units of the stellar flux, that are: 0.080% ± 0.008% [3.6 μm], 0.135% ± 0.022% [4.5 μm], 0.203% ± 0.031% [5.8 μm], and 0.238% ± 0.040% [8.0 μm]. These values are best fit using an atmosphere with a modest temperature inversion, intermediate between the archetype inverted atmosphere (HD 209458b) and a model without an inversion. The observations also suggest that this planet is radiating a large fraction of the available stellar irradiance on its dayside, with little available for redistribution by circulation. This planet has sometimes been speculated to be inflated by tidal dissipation, based on its large radius in discovery observations, and on a non-zero orbital eccentricity allowed by the radial velocity data. The timing of the secondary eclipse is very sensitive to orbital eccentricity, and we find that the central phase of the eclipse is 0.4999 ± 0.0005. The difference between the expected and observed phase indicates that the orbit is close to circular, with a 3σ limit of |e cos ω| < 0.002.

  6. 'Signs of disequilibrium chemistry in extrasolar hot-Jupiter type planets?'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Graca; Swain, Mark; Line, Michael; West, Robert

    2018-01-01

    In the recent years Infrared spectroscopy of hot exoplanets has been revealing their atmospheric composition. For example the spectra of the planet HD189733b exhibits signatures of CH4, CO2, CO and H2O molecules (Swain et al 2008, 2009, etc.). The original 2008 detection of CH4 was a surprise because it is not thermochemically favored at the relatively high temperature (~1300 K) of the atmosphere of HD 189733b. More recent analysis of HD 189733b measurements (Swain, Line, Deroo 2014) implied a CH4 enhancement of ~1000x greater than has been assumed. Significantly more data has recently become available from WFC3 observations (Mccullah et al. 2014, Crozet at al. 2015) of this planet. In the meantime theoretical models by Moses et al. 2011 showed that large enhancement of quenched methane is possible due to transport if vertical eddy diffusion is significant.In this talk we will present results from a new study of CH4 enhancement in the atmosphere of HD189733b. We analysise the transit spectra of this planet obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, combining the shorter wavelength 1.1-1.6 μm data from WFC3 measurements with the 1.5-2.4 μm data from NICMOS measurements. We also introduce a new methodology, implemented within a Bayesian framework, where hypothesis testing is conducted via evidence based model selection. Our analysis indicates, for the first time, that the observed excess of Methane in HD189733b’s atmosphere requires disequilibrium chemistry. However the Evidence has a modest discriminatory power amongst a subset of models. Furthermore our constraints confirm Swain et al. 2014 results with an excess of Methane with a mixing ratio of 10 2.26 ppm with EvidencelogZ=-58.602 +/- 0.109.

  7. Clouds and Chemistry in the Atmosphere of Extrasolar Planet HR8799b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barman, T S; Macintosh, B A; Konopacky, Q M; Marois, C

    2011-03-21

    Using the integral field spectrograph OSIRIS, on the Keck II telescope, broad near-infrared H and K-band spectra of the young exoplanet HR8799b have been obtained. In addition, six new narrow-band photometric measurements have been taken across the H and K bands. These data are combined with previously published photometry for an analysis of the planet's atmospheric properties. Thick photospheric dust cloud opacity is invoked to explain the planet's red near-IR colors and relatively smooth near-IR spectrum. Strong water absorption is detected, indicating a Hydrogen-rich atmosphere. Only weak CH{sub 4} absorption is detected at K band, indicating efficient vertical mixing and a disequilibrium CO/CH{sub 4} ratio at photospheric depths. The H-band spectrum has a distinct triangular shape consistent with low surface gravity. New giant planet atmosphere models are compared to these data with best fitting bulk parameters, T{sub eff} = 1100K {+-} 100 and log(g) = 3.5 {+-} 0.5 (for solar composition). Given the observed luminosity (log L{sub obs}/L{sub {circle_dot}} {approx} -5.1), these values correspond to a radius of 0.75 R{sub Jup{sub 0.12}{sup +0.17}} and mass {approx} 0.72 M{sub Jup{sub -0.6}{sup +2.6}} - strikingly inconsistent with interior/evolution models. Enhanced metallicity (up to {approx} 10 x that of the Sun) along with thick clouds and non-equilibrium chemistry are likely required to reproduce the complete ensemble of spectroscopic and photometric data and the low effective temperatures (< 1000K) required by the evolution models.

  8. Extending Whole-earth Tectonics To The Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, V. R.; Maruyama, S.; Dohm, J. M.

    Based on the need to explain a great many geological and geophysical anomalies on Mars, and stimulated by the new results from the Mars Global Surveyor Mission, we propose a conceptual model of whole-EARTH (Episodic Annular Revolving Thermal Hydrologic) tectonics for the long-term evolution of terrestrial planets. The theory emphasizes (1) the importance of water in planetary evolution, and (2) the physi- cal transitions in modes of mantle convection in relation to planetary heat produc- tion. Depending on their first-order geophysical parameters and following accretion and differentiation from volatile-rich planetessimals, terrestrial planets should evolve through various stages of mantle convection, including magma ocean, plate tectonic, and stagnant lid processes. If a water ocean is able to condense from the planet's early steam atmosphere, an early regime of plate tectonics will follow the initial magma ocean. This definitely happened on earth, probably on Mars, and possibly on Venus. The Mars history led to transfer of large amounts of water to the mantle during the pe- riod of heavy bombardment. Termination of plate tectonics on Mars during the heavy bombardment period led to initiation of superplumes at Tharsis and Elysium, where long-persistent volcanism and water outbursts dominated much of later Martian his- tory. For Venus, warming of the early sun made the surface ocean unstable, eliminating its early plate-tectonic regime. Although Venus now experiences stagnant-lid convec- tion with episodic mantle overturns, the water subducted to its lower mantle during the ancient plate-tectonic regime manifests itself in the initation of volatile-rich plumes that dominate its current tectonic regime.

  9. Removing Activity-Related Radial Velocity Noise to Improve Extrasolar Planet Searches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saar, Steven; Lindstrom, David M. (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    We have made significant progress towards the proposal goals of understanding the causes and effects of magnetic activity-induced radial velocity (v_r) jitter and developing methods for correcting it. In the process, we have also made some significant discoveries in the fields of planet-induced stellar activity, planet detection methods, M dwarf convection, starspot properties, and magnetic dynamo cycles. We have obtained super high resolution (R approximately 200,000), high S / N (greater than 300) echelle study of joint line bisector and radial velocity variations using the McDonald 2-D coude. A long observing run in October 2002 in particular was quite successful (8 clear nights). We now have close to three years of data, which begins to sample a good fraction of the magnetic cycle timescales for some of our targets (e.g., kappa Ceti; P_cyc = 5.6 yrs). This will be very helpful in unraveling the complex relationships between plage and radial velocity (v-r) changes which we have uncovered. Preliminary analysis (Saar et al. 2003) of the data in hand, reveals correlations between median line bisector displacement and v_r. The correlation appears to be specific the the particular star being considered, probably since it is a function of both spectral type and rotation rate. Further analysis and interpretation will be in the context of evolving plage models and is in progress.

  10. Comet and Asteroid Hazard to the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We made computer simulations of orbital evolution for intervals of at least 5-10 Myr of N=2000 Jupiter-crossing objects (JCOs) with initial orbits close to those of real comets with period P less than 10 yr, 500 objects with orbits close to that of Comet 10P, and the asteroids initially located at the 3:1 and 5:2 resonances with Jupiter at initial eccentricity e(sub 0)=0.15 and initial inclination i(sub 0)=10(sup 0). The gravitational influence of all planets, except for Mercury and Pluto, was taken into account (without dissipative factors). We calculated the probabilities of collisions of bodies with the terrestrial planets, using orbital elements obtained with a step equal to 500 yr, and then summarized the results for all bodies, obtaining, the total probability Psigma of collisions with a planet and the total time interval Tsigma during which perihelion distance q of bodies was less than a semimajor axis of the planet. The values of p(sub r) =10(exp 6)Psigma/N and T(sub r)=T/1000 yr (where T=Tsigma/N) are presented in a table together with the ratio r of the total time interval when orbits were of Apollo type (at a greater than 1 AU, q less than 1.017 AU, e less than 0.999) to that of Amor type (1.017 less than q less than 1.33 AU), r(sub 2) is the same as r but for Apollo objects with e less than 0.9. For asteroids we present only results obtained by direct integration, as a symplectic method can give large errors for these resonances.

  11. Water vapor in the spectrum of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b. I. The transit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCullough, P. R.; Crouzet, N.; Deming, D.; Madhusudhan, N.

    2014-01-01

    We report near-infrared spectroscopy of the gas giant planet HD 189733b in transit. We used the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (HST WFC3) with its G141 grism covering 1.1 μm to 1.7 μm and spatially scanned the image across the detector at 2'' s –1 . When smoothed to 75 nm bins, the local maxima of the transit depths in the 1.15 μm and 1.4 μm water vapor features are, respectively, 83 ± 53 ppm and 200 ± 47 ppm greater than the local minimum at 1.3 μm. We compare the WFC3 spectrum with the composite transit spectrum of HD 189733b assembled by Pont et al., extending from 0.3 μm to 24 μm. Although the water vapor features in the WFC3 spectrum are compatible with the model of non-absorbing, Rayleigh-scattering dust in the planetary atmosphere, we also re-interpret the available data with a clear planetary atmosphere. In the latter interpretation, the slope of increasing transit depth with shorter wavelengths from the near infrared, through the visible, and into the ultraviolet is caused by unocculted star spots, with a smaller contribution of Rayleigh scattering by molecular hydrogen in the planet's atmosphere. At relevant pressures along the terminator, our model planetary atmosphere's temperature is ∼700 K, which is below the condensation temperatures of sodium- and potassium-bearing molecules, causing the broad wings of the spectral lines of Na I and K I at 0.589 μm and 0.769 μm to be weak.

  12. Water vapor in the spectrum of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b. I. The transit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCullough, P. R.; Crouzet, N. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Deming, D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Madhusudhan, N., E-mail: pmcc@stsci.edu [Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States)

    2014-08-10

    We report near-infrared spectroscopy of the gas giant planet HD 189733b in transit. We used the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (HST WFC3) with its G141 grism covering 1.1 μm to 1.7 μm and spatially scanned the image across the detector at 2'' s{sup –1}. When smoothed to 75 nm bins, the local maxima of the transit depths in the 1.15 μm and 1.4 μm water vapor features are, respectively, 83 ± 53 ppm and 200 ± 47 ppm greater than the local minimum at 1.3 μm. We compare the WFC3 spectrum with the composite transit spectrum of HD 189733b assembled by Pont et al., extending from 0.3 μm to 24 μm. Although the water vapor features in the WFC3 spectrum are compatible with the model of non-absorbing, Rayleigh-scattering dust in the planetary atmosphere, we also re-interpret the available data with a clear planetary atmosphere. In the latter interpretation, the slope of increasing transit depth with shorter wavelengths from the near infrared, through the visible, and into the ultraviolet is caused by unocculted star spots, with a smaller contribution of Rayleigh scattering by molecular hydrogen in the planet's atmosphere. At relevant pressures along the terminator, our model planetary atmosphere's temperature is ∼700 K, which is below the condensation temperatures of sodium- and potassium-bearing molecules, causing the broad wings of the spectral lines of Na I and K I at 0.589 μm and 0.769 μm to be weak.

  13. Ionization in atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets VI: Properties of large-scale discharge events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bailey, R. L.; Helling, Ch.; Hodosán, G.; Bilger, C.; Stark, C. R., E-mail: ch@leap2010.eu [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9SS (United Kingdom)

    2014-03-20

    Mineral clouds in substellar atmospheres play a special role as a catalyst for a variety of charge processes. If clouds are charged, the surrounding environment becomes electrically activated, and ensembles of charged grains are electrically discharging (e.g., by lightning), which significantly influences the local chemistry creating conditions similar to those thought responsible for life in early planetary atmospheres. We note that such lightning discharges contribute also to the ionization state of the atmosphere. We apply scaling laws for electrical discharge processes from laboratory measurements and numerical experiments to DRIFT-PHOENIX model atmosphere results to model the discharge's propagation downward (as lightning) and upward (as sprites) through the atmospheric clouds. We evaluate the spatial extent and energetics of lightning discharges. The atmospheric volume affected (e.g., by increase of temperature or electron number) is larger in a brown dwarf atmosphere (10{sup 8}-10{sup 10} m{sup 3}) than in a giant gas planet (10{sup 4}-10{sup 6} m{sup 3}). Our results suggest that the total dissipated energy in one event is <10{sup 12} J for all models of initial solar metallicity. First attempts to show the influence of lightning on the local gas phase indicate an increase of small carbohydrate molecules like CH and CH{sub 2} at the expense of CO and CH{sub 4}. Dust-forming molecules are destroyed and the cloud particle properties are frozen in unless enough time is available for complete evaporation. We summarize instruments potentially suitable to observe lightning on extrasolar objects.

  14. IONIZATION IN ATMOSPHERES OF BROWN DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. V. ALFVÉN IONIZATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stark, C. R.; Helling, Ch.; Rimmer, P. B.; Diver, D. A.

    2013-01-01

    Observations of continuous radio and sporadic X-ray emission from low-mass objects suggest they harbor localized plasmas in their atmospheric environments. For low-mass objects, the degree of thermal ionization is insufficient to qualify the ionized component as a plasma, posing the question: what ionization processes can efficiently produce the required plasma that is the source of the radiation? We propose Alfvén ionization as a mechanism for producing localized pockets of ionized gas in the atmosphere, having sufficient degrees of ionization (≥10 –7 ) that they constitute plasmas. We outline the criteria required for Alfvén ionization and demonstrate its applicability in the atmospheres of low-mass objects such as giant gas planets, brown dwarfs, and M dwarfs with both solar and sub-solar metallicities. We find that Alfvén ionization is most efficient at mid to low atmospheric pressures where a seed plasma is easier to magnetize and the pressure gradients needed to drive the required neutral flows are the smallest. For the model atmospheres considered, our results show that degrees of ionization of 10 –6 -1 can be obtained as a result of Alfvén ionization. Observable consequences include continuum bremsstrahlung emission, superimposed with spectral lines from the plasma ion species (e.g., He, Mg, H 2 , or CO lines). Forbidden lines are also expected from the metastable population. The presence of an atmospheric plasma opens the door to a multitude of plasma and chemical processes not yet considered in current atmospheric models. The occurrence of Alfvén ionization may also be applicable to other astrophysical environments such as protoplanetary disks

  15. Conditions of Passage and Entrapment of Terrestrial Planets in Spin-Orbit Resonances

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-10

    May 25 ABSTRACT The dynamical evolution of terrestrial planets resembling Mercury in the vicinity of spin-orbit resonances is investigated using... planet and assuming a zero obliquity. We find that a Mercury -like planet with a current value of orbital eccentricity (0.2056) is always captured in... Mercury rarely fails to align itself into this state of unstable equilibrium before it traverses 2:1 resonance. Key words: celestial mechanics – planets

  16. A low-order model of water vapor, clouds, and thermal emission for tidally locked terrestrial planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jun; Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: junyang28@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2014-04-01

    In the spirit of minimal modeling of complex systems, we develop an idealized two-column model to investigate the climate of tidally locked terrestrial planets with Earth-like atmospheres in the habitable zone of M-dwarf stars. The model is able to approximate the fundamental features of the climate obtained from three-dimensional (3D) atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) simulations. One important reason for the two-column model's success is that it reproduces the high cloud albedo of the GCM simulations, which reduces the planet's temperature and delays the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. The two-column model also clearly illustrates a secondary mechanism for determining the climate: the nightside acts as a 'radiator fin' through which infrared energy can be lost to space easily. This radiator fin is maintained by a temperature inversion and dry air on the nightside, and plays a similar role to the subtropics on modern Earth. Since one-dimensional radiative-convective models cannot capture the effects of the cloud albedo and radiator fin, they are systematically biased toward a narrower habitable zone. We also show that cloud parameters are the most important in the two-column model for determining the day-night thermal emission contrast, which decreases and eventually reverses as the stellar flux increases. This reversal is important because it could be detected by future extrasolar planet characterization missions, which would suggest that the planet has Earth-like water clouds and is potentially habitable.

  17. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation. II. Dependence of exoplanet architectures on giant planet and disk properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2012-05-01

    We present models for the formation of terrestrial planets, and the collisional evolution of debris disks, in planetary systems that contain multiple marginally unstable gas giants. We previously showed that in such systems, the dynamics of the giant planets introduces a correlation between the presence of terrestrial planets and cold dust, i.e., debris disks, which is particularly pronounced at λ ~ 70 μm. Here we present new simulations that show that this connection is qualitatively robust to a range of parameters: the mass distribution of the giant planets, the width and mass distribution of the outer planetesimal disk, and the presence of gas in the disk when the giant planets become unstable. We discuss how variations in these parameters affect the evolution. We find that systems with equal-mass giant planets undergo the most violent instabilities, and that these destroy both terrestrial planets and the outer planetesimal disks that produce debris disks. In contrast, systems with low-mass giant planets efficiently produce both terrestrial planets and debris disks. A large fraction of systems with low-mass (M ≲ 30 M⊕) outermost giant planets have final planetary separations that, scaled to the planets' masses, are as large or larger than the Saturn-Uranus and Uranus-Neptune separations in the solar system. We find that the gaps between these planets are not only dynamically stable to test particles, but are frequently populated by planetesimals. The possibility of planetesimal belts between outer giant planets should be taken into account when interpreting debris disk SEDs. In addition, the presence of ~ Earth-mass "seeds" in outer planetesimal disks causes the disks to radially spread to colder temperatures, and leads to a slow depletion of the outer planetesimal disk from the inside out. We argue that this may explain the very low frequency of >1 Gyr-old solar-type stars with observed 24 μm excesses. Our simulations do not sample the full range of

  18. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, M.

    2007-06-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Discovery mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres around A and F type stars which cannot be found with RV techniques, and observe the inner spatial structure and colors of debris disks. The robust mission design is simple and flexible ensuring mission success while minimizing cost and risk. The science payload consists of a heritage optical telescope assembly (OTA), and visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) instrument.

  19. Beyond the principle of plentitude: a review of terrestrial planet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, E; Deschenes, B; Dundon, L; Fagan, K; Menviel-Hessler, L; Moskovitz, N; Workman, M

    2005-04-01

    We review recent work that directly or indirectly addresses the habitability of terrestrial (rocky) planets like the Earth. Habitability has been traditionally defined in terms of an orbital semimajor axis within a range known as the habitable zone, but it is also well known that the habitability of Earth is due to many other astrophysical, geological, and geochemical factors. We focus this review on (1) recent refinements to habitable zone calculations; (2) the formation and orbital stability of terrestrial planets; (3) the tempo and mode of geologic activity (e.g., plate tectonics) on terrestrial planets; (4) the delivery of water to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone; and (5) the acquisition and loss of terrestrial planet carbon and nitrogen, elements that constitute important atmospheric gases responsible for habitable conditions on Earth's surface as well as being the building blocks of the biosphere itself. Finally, we consider recent work on evidence for the earliest habitable environments and the appearance of life itself on our planet. Such evidence provides us with an important, if nominal, calibration point for our search for other habitable worlds.

  20. The origin of methane and biomolecules from a CO2 cycle on terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Civiš, Svatopluk; Knížek, Antonín; Ivanek, Ondřej; Kubelík, Petr; Zukalová, Markéta; Kavan, Ladislav; Ferus, Martin

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the chemical evolution of newly formed terrestrial planets involves uncertainties in atmospheric chemical composition and assessing the plausibility of biomolecule synthesis. In this study, an original scenario for the origin of methane on Mars and terrestrial planets is suggested. Carbon dioxide in Martian and other planetary atmospheres can be abiotically converted into a mixture of methane and carbon monoxide by `methanogenesis' on porous mineral photoactive surfaces under soft ultraviolet irradiation. On young planets exposed to heavy bombardment by interplanetary matter, this process can be followed by biomolecule synthesis through the reprocessing of reactive reducing atmospheres by impact-induced shock waves. The proposed mechanism of methanogenesis may help to answer the question concerning the formation of methane and carbon monoxide by photochemical processes, the formation of biomolecules on early Earth and other terrestrial planets, and the source and seasonal variation of methane concentrations on Mars.

  1. ANALYSIS OF TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION BY THE GRAND TACK MODEL: SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE AND TACK LOCATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brasser, R.; Ida, S. [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550 (Japan); Matsumura, S. [School of Science and Engineering, Division of Physics, Fulton Building, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN (United Kingdom); Mojzsis, S. J. [Collaborative for Research in Origins (CRiO), Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, UCB 399, 2200 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0399 (United States); Werner, S. C. [The Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, University of Oslo, Sem Saelandsvei 24, NO-0371 Oslo (Norway)

    2016-04-20

    The Grand Tack model of terrestrial planet formation has emerged in recent years as the premier scenario used to account for several observed features of the inner solar system. It relies on the early migration of the giant planets to gravitationally sculpt and mix the planetesimal disk down to ∼1 au, after which the terrestrial planets accrete from material remaining in a narrow circumsolar annulus. Here, we investigate how the model fares under a range of initial conditions and migration course-change (“tack”) locations. We run a large number of N-body simulations with tack locations of 1.5 and 2 au and test initial conditions using equal-mass planetary embryos and a semi-analytical approach to oligarchic growth. We make use of a recent model of the protosolar disk that takes into account viscous heating, includes the full effect of type 1 migration, and employs a realistic mass–radius relation for the growing terrestrial planets. Our results show that the canonical tack location of Jupiter at 1.5 au is inconsistent with the most massive planet residing at 1 au at greater than 95% confidence. This favors a tack farther out at 2 au for the disk model and parameters employed. Of the different initial conditions, we find that the oligarchic case is capable of statistically reproducing the orbital architecture and mass distribution of the terrestrial planets, while the equal-mass embryo case is not.

  2. Emergence of two types of terrestrial planet on solidification of magma ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamano, Keiko; Abe, Yutaka; Genda, Hidenori

    2013-05-30

    Understanding the origins of the diversity in terrestrial planets is a fundamental goal in Earth and planetary sciences. In the Solar System, Venus has a similar size and bulk composition to those of Earth, but it lacks water. Because a richer variety of exoplanets is expected to be discovered, prediction of their atmospheres and surface environments requires a general framework for planetary evolution. Here we show that terrestrial planets can be divided into two distinct types on the basis of their evolutionary history during solidification from the initially hot molten state expected from the standard formation model. Even if, apart from their orbits, they were identical just after formation, the solidified planets can have different characteristics. A type I planet, which is formed beyond a certain critical distance from the host star, solidifies within several million years. If the planet acquires water during formation, most of this water is retained and forms the earliest oceans. In contrast, on a type II planet, which is formed inside the critical distance, a magma ocean can be sustained for longer, even with a larger initial amount of water. Its duration could be as long as 100 million years if the planet is formed together with a mass of water comparable to the total inventory of the modern Earth. Hydrodynamic escape desiccates type II planets during the slow solidification process. Although Earth is categorized as type I, it is not clear which type Venus is because its orbital distance is close to the critical distance. However, because the dryness of the surface and mantle predicted for type II planets is consistent with the characteristics of Venus, it may be representative of type II planets. Also, future observations may have a chance to detect not only terrestrial exoplanets covered with water ocean but also those covered with magma ocean around a young star.

  3. Large impacts around a solar-analog star in the era of terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Huan Y A; Su, Kate Y L; Rieke, George H; Stevenson, David J; Plavchan, Peter; Rujopakarn, Wiphu; Lisse, Carey M; Poshyachinda, Saran; Reichart, Daniel E

    2014-08-29

    The final assembly of terrestrial planets occurs via massive collisions, which can launch copious clouds of dust that are warmed by the star and glow in the infrared. We report the real-time detection of a debris-producing impact in the terrestrial planet zone around a 35-million-year-old solar-analog star. We observed a substantial brightening of the debris disk at a wavelength of 3 to 5 micrometers, followed by a decay over a year, with quasi-periodic modulations of the disk flux. The behavior is consistent with the occurrence of a violent impact that produced vapor out of which a thick cloud of silicate spherules condensed that were then ground into dust by collisions. These results demonstrate how the time domain can become a new dimension for the study of terrestrial planet formation. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  4. WATER TRAPPING ON TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS REQUIRES SPECIAL CONDITIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jun; Abbot, Dorian S. [Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Liu, Yonggang [Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Hu, Yongyun, E-mail: junyang28@uchicago.edu [Laboratory for Climate and Atmosphere-Ocean Studies, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing (China)

    2014-12-01

    Surface liquid water is essential for standard planetary habitability. Calculations of atmospheric circulation on tidally locked planets around M stars suggest that this peculiar orbital configuration lends itself to the trapping of large amounts of water in kilometers-thick ice on the night side, potentially removing all liquid water from the day side where photosynthesis is possible. We study this problem using a global climate model including coupled atmosphere, ocean, land, and sea ice components as well as a continental ice sheet model driven by the climate model output. For a waterworld, we find that surface winds transport sea ice toward the day side and the ocean carries heat toward the night side. As a result, nightside sea ice remains O(10 m) thick and nightside water trapping is insignificant. If a planet has large continents on its night side, they can grow ice sheets O(1000 m) thick if the geothermal heat flux is similar to Earth's or smaller. Planets with a water complement similar to Earth's would therefore experience a large decrease in sea level when plate tectonics drives their continents onto the night side, but would not experience complete dayside dessiccation. Only planets with a geothermal heat flux lower than Earth's, much of their surface covered by continents, and a surface water reservoir O(10%) of Earth's would be susceptible to complete water trapping.

  5. Continuous reorientation of synchronous terrestrial planets due to mantle convection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy

    2018-02-01

    Many known rocky exoplanets are thought to have been spun down by tidal interactions to a state of synchronous rotation, in which a planet's period of rotation is equal to that of its orbit around its host star. Investigations into atmospheric and surface processes occurring on such exoplanets thus commonly assume that day and night sides are fixed with respect to the surface over geological timescales. Here we use an analytical model to show that true polar wander—where a planetary body's spin axis shifts relative to its surface because of changes in mass distribution—can continuously reorient a synchronous rocky exoplanet. As occurs on Earth, we find that even weak mantle convection in a rocky exoplanet can produce density heterogeneities within the mantle sufficient to reorient the planet. Moreover, we show that this reorientation is made very efficient by the slower rotation rate of a synchronous planet when compared with Earth, which limits the stabilizing effect of rotational and tidal deformations. Furthermore, a relatively weak lithosphere limits its ability to support remnant loads and stabilize against reorientation. Although uncertainties exist regarding the mantle and lithospheric evolution of these worlds, we suggest that the axes of smallest and largest moment of inertia of synchronous exoplanets with active mantle convection change continuously over time, but remain closely aligned with the star-planet and orbital axes, respectively.

  6. Terrestrial Planet Formation: Dynamical Shake-up and the Low Mass of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2017-05-01

    We consider a dynamical shake-up model to explain the low mass of Mars and the lack of planets in the asteroid belt. In our scenario, a secular resonance with Jupiter sweeps through the inner solar system as the solar nebula depletes, pitting resonant excitation against collisional damping in the Sun’s protoplanetary disk. We report the outcome of extensive numerical calculations of planet formation from planetesimals in the terrestrial zone, with and without dynamical shake-up. If the Sun’s gas disk within the terrestrial zone depletes in roughly a million years, then the sweeping resonance inhibits planet formation in the asteroid belt and substantially limits the size of Mars. This phenomenon likely occurs around other stars with long-period massive planets, suggesting that asteroid belt analogs are common.

  7. Surface history of Mercury - Implications for terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, B. C.; Strom, R. G.; Trask, N. J.; Gault, D. E.

    1975-01-01

    A plausible surface history of Mercury is presented which is suggested by Mariner 10 television pictures. Five periods are postulated which are delineated by successive variations in the modification of the surface by external and internal processes: accretion and differentiation, terminal heavy bombardment, formation of the Caloris basin, flooding of that basin and other areas, and light cratering accumulated on the smooth plains. Each period is described in detail; the overall history is compared with the surface histories of Venus, Mars, and the moon; and the implications of this history for earth are discussed. It is tentatively concluded that: Mercury is a differentiated planet most likely composed of a large iron core enclosed by a relatively thin silicate layer; heavy surface bombardment occurred about four billion years ago, which probably affected all the inner planets, and was followed by a period of volcanic activity; no surface modifications caused by tectonic, volcanic, or atmospheric processes took place after the volcanic period.

  8. KOI-3158: The oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Campante T. L.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The first discoveries of exoplanets around Sun-like stars have fueled efforts to find ever smaller worlds evocative of Earth and other terrestrial planets in the Solar System. While gas-giant planets appear to form preferentially around metal-rich stars, small planets (with radii less than four Earth radii can form under a wide range of metallicities. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the Universe’s history when metals were far less abundant. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of KOI-3158, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk, which hosts five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus. We used asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that KOI-3158 formed when the Universe was less than 20 % of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the Universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, providing scope for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy.

  9. THE DISCOVERY OF THE MOST METAL-RICH WHITE DWARF: COMPOSITION OF A TIDALLY DISRUPTED EXTRASOLAR DWARF PLANET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dufour, P.; Fontaine, G.; Bergeron, P.; Lachapelle, F.-R.; Kilic, M.; Kleinman, S. J.; Leggett, S. K.

    2010-01-01

    Cool white dwarf stars are usually found to have an outer atmosphere that is practically pure in hydrogen or helium. However, a small fraction have traces of heavy elements that must originate from the accretion of extrinsic material, most probably circumstellar matter. Upon examining thousands of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectra, we discovered that the helium-atmosphere white dwarf SDSS J073842.56+183509.6 shows the most severe metal pollution ever seen in the outermost layers of such stars. We present here a quantitative analysis of this exciting star by combining high signal-to-noise ratio follow-up spectroscopic and photometric observations with model atmospheres and evolutionary models. We determine the global structural properties of our target star, as well as the abundances of the most significant pollutants in its atmosphere, i.e., H, O, Na, Mg, Si, Ca, and Fe. The relative abundances of these elements imply that the source of the accreted material has a composition similar to that of Bulk Earth. We also report the signature of a circumstellar disk revealed through a large infrared excess in JHK photometry. Combined with our inferred estimate of the mass of the accreted material, this strongly suggests that we are witnessing the remains of a tidally disrupted extrasolar body that was as large as Ceres.

  10. THE LICK-CARNEGIE EXOPLANET SURVEY: A URANUS-MASS FOURTH PLANET FOR GJ 876 IN AN EXTRASOLAR LAPLACE CONFIGURATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rivera, Eugenio J.; Laughlin, Gregory; Vogt, Steven S.; Meschiari, Stefano; Butler, R. Paul; Haghighipour, Nader

    2010-01-01

    Continued radial velocity (RV) monitoring of the nearby M4V red dwarf star GJ 876 with Keck/High Resolution Echelle Spectrograph has revealed the presence of a Uranus-mass fourth planetary companion in the system. The new planet has a mean period of P e = 126.6 days (over the 12.6-year baseline of the RV observations), and a minimum mass of m e sin i e = 12.9 ± 1.7 M + . The detection of the new planet has been enabled by significant improvements to our RV data set for GJ 876. The data have been augmented by 36 new high-precision measurements taken over the past five years. In addition, the precision of all of the Doppler measurements have been significantly improved by the incorporation of a high signal-to-noise template spectrum for GJ 876 into the analysis pipeline. Implementation of the new template spectrum improves the internal rms errors for the velocity measurements taken during 1998-2005 from 4.1 m s -1 to 2.5 m s -1 . Self-consistent, N-body fits to the RV data set show that the four-planet system has an invariable plane with an inclination relative to the plane of the sky of i = 59. 0 5. The fit is not significantly improved by the introduction of a mutual inclination between the planets 'b' and 'c', but the new data do confirm a non-zero eccentricity, e d = 0.207 ± 0.055 for the innermost planet, 'd'. In our best-fit coplanar model, the mass of the new component is m e = 14.6 ± 1.7 M + . Our best-fitting model places the new planet in a three-body resonance with the previously known giant planets (which have mean periods of P c = 30.4 and P b = 61.1 days). The critical argument, ψ Laplace = λ c - 3λ b + 2λ e , for the Laplace resonance librates with an amplitude of Δψ Laplace = 40 0 ± 13 0 about ψ Laplace = 0 0 . Numerical integration indicates that the four-planet system is stable for at least a billion years (at least for the coplanar cases). This resonant configuration of three giant planets orbiting an M dwarf primary differs from the

  11. Large-scale impact cratering on the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grieve, R.A.F.

    1982-01-01

    The crater densities on the earth and moon form the basis for a standard flux-time curve that can be used in dating unsampled planetary surfaces and constraining the temporal history of endogenic geologic processes. Abundant evidence is seen not only that impact cratering was an important surface process in planetary history but also that large imapact events produced effects that were crucial in scale. By way of example, it is noted that the formation of multiring basins on the early moon was as important in defining the planetary tectonic framework as plate tectonics is on the earth. Evidence from several planets suggests that the effects of very-large-scale impacts go beyond the simple formation of an impact structure and serve to localize increased endogenic activity over an extended period of geologic time. Even though no longer occurring with the frequency and magnitude of early solar system history, it is noted that large scale impact events continue to affect the local geology of the planets. 92 references

  12. Evolving dynamical regimes during secular cooling of terrestrial planets : insights and inferences from numerical models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thienen, Peter van

    2003-01-01

    Although plate tectonics is the present-day mode of geodynamics on Earth, it is not so on Mars and Venus, and probably also not during the early history of the Earth. In this thesis, the conditions under which plate tectonics may operate on terrestrial planets are investigated. Numerical model

  13. Tc Trends and Terrestrial Planet Formation: The Case of Zeta Reticuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adibekyan, Vardan; Delgado-Mena, Elisa; Figueira, Pedro; Sousa, Sergio; Santos, Nuno; Faria, Joao; González Hernández, Jonay; Israelian, Garik; Harutyunyan, Gohar; Suárez-Andrés, Lucia; Hakobyan, Artur

    2016-11-01

    During the last decade astronomers have been trying to search for chemical signatures of terrestrial planet formation in the atmospheres of the hosting stars. Several studies suggested that the chemical abundance trend with the condensation temperature, Tc, is a signature of rocky planet formation. In particular, it was suggested that the Sun shows 'peculiar' chemical abundances due to the presence of the terrestrial planets in our solar-system. However, the rocky material accretion or the trap of rocky materials in terrestrial planets is not the only explanation for the chemical 'peculiarity' of the Sun, or other Sun-like stars with planets. In this talk I madea very brief review of this topic, and presented our last results for the particular case of Zeta Reticuli binary system: A very interesting and well-known system (known in science fiction and ufology as the world of Grey Aliens, or Reticulans) where one of the components hosts an exo-Kuiper belt, and the other component is a 'single', 'lonely' star.

  14. IMPACT OF η{sub Earth} ON THE CAPABILITIES OF AFFORDABLE SPACE MISSIONS TO DETECT BIOSIGNATURES ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Léger, Alain [IAS, Univ. Paris-Sud, Orsay (France); Defrère, Denis [Steward Observatory, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Malbet, Fabien [UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), UMR 5274, BP 53, F-38041 Grenoble cedex 9 (France); Labadie, Lucas [I. Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, D-50937 Cologne (Germany); Absil, Olivier, E-mail: Alain.Leger@ias.u-psud.fr [Département d’Astrophysique, Géophysique and Océanographie, Université de Liège, 17 Allée du Six Août, B-4000 Liège (Belgium)

    2015-08-01

    We present an analytic model to estimate the capabilities of space missions dedicated to the search for biosignatures in the atmosphere of rocky planets located in the habitable zone of nearby stars. Relations between performance and mission parameters, such as mirror diameter, distance to targets, and radius of planets, are obtained. Two types of instruments are considered: coronagraphs observing in the visible, and nulling interferometers in the thermal infrared. Missions considered are: single-pupil coronagraphs with a 2.4 m primary mirror, and formation-flying interferometers with 4 × 0.75 m collecting mirrors. The numbers of accessible planets are calculated as a function of η{sub Earth}. When Kepler gives its final estimation for η{sub Earth}, the model will permit a precise assessment of the potential of each instrument. Based on current estimations, η{sub Earth} = 10% around FGK stars and 50% around M stars, the coronagraph could study in spectroscopy only ∼1.5 relevant planets, and the interferometer ∼14.0. These numbers are obtained under the major hypothesis that the exozodiacal light around the target stars is low enough for each instrument. In both cases, a prior detection of planets is assumed and a target list established. For the long-term future, building both types of spectroscopic instruments, and using them on the same targets, will be the optimal solution because they provide complementary information. But as a first affordable space mission, the interferometer looks the more promising in terms of biosignature harvest.

  15. Harmonic development of tide-generating potential of terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudryavtsev, Sergey M.

    2008-08-01

    The aim of this study is to obtain high-accurate harmonic developments of the tide-generating potential (TGP) of Mercury, Venus and Mars. The planets’ TGP values have been first calculated on the base of DE/LE-406 numerical planetary/lunar ephemerides over a long period of time and then processed by a new spectral analysis method. According to this method the development is directly made to Poisson series where both amplitudes and arguments of the series’ terms are high-degree polynomials of time. A new harmonic development of Mars TGP is made over the time period 1900 AD 2100 AD and includes 767 second-order Poisson series’ terms of minimum amplitude equal to 10-7 m2 s-2. Analogous series composing both Mercury and Venus TGP harmonic models are built over the time period 1000 AD 3000 AD and include 1,061 and 693 terms, respectively. A modification of the standard HW95 format for representation of the terrestrial planets’ TGP is proposed. The number of terms in the planets’ TGP models transformed to the modified HW95 format is 650 for Mercury, 422 for Venus, and 480 for Mars. The quality of the new developments of the terrestrial planets’ TGP is better than that of the similar developments obtained earlier.

  16. Light-curve analysis of KOI 2700b: the second extrasolar planet with a comet-like tail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garai, Z.

    2018-03-01

    Context. The Kepler object KOI 2700b (KIC 8639908b) was discovered recently as the second exoplanet with a comet-like tail. It exhibits a distinctly asymmetric transit profile, likely indicative of the emission of dusty effluents and reminiscent of KIC 12557548b, the first exoplanet with a comet-like tail. Aim. The scientific goal of this work is to verify the disintegrating-planet scenario of KOI 2700b by modeling its light curve and to put constraints on various tail and planet properties, as was done in the case of KIC 12557548b. Methods: We obtained the phase-folded and binned transit light curve of KOI 2700b, which we subsequently iteratively modeled using the radiative-transfer code SHELLSPEC. We modeled the comet-like tail as part of a ring around the parent star and we also included the solid body of the planet in the model. During the modeling we applied selected species and dust particle sizes. Results: We confirmed the disintegrating-planet scenario of KOI 2700b. Furthermore, via modeling, we derived some interesting features of KOI 2700b and its comet-like tail. It turns out that the orbital plane of the planet and its tail are not edge-on, but the orbital inclination angle is from the interval [85.1, 88.6] deg. In comparison with KIC 12557548b, KOI 2700b exhibits a relatively low dust density decreasing in its tail. We also derived the dust density at the beginning of the ring and the highest optical depth through the tail in front of the star, based on a tail-model with a cross-section of 0.05 × 0.05 R⊙ at the beginning and 0.09 × 0.09 R⊙ at its end. Our results show that the dimension of the planet is Rp/Rs ≤ 0.014 (Rp ≤ 0.871 R⊕, or ≤5551 km). We also estimated the mass-loss rate from KOI 2700b, and we obtained Ṁ values from the interval [5.05 × 107, 4.41 × 1015] g s-1. On the other hand, we could not draw any satisfactory conclusions about the typical grain size in the dust tail.

  17. Strategies for Constraining the Atmospheres of Temperate Terrestrial Planets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Line, Michael R.; Valenti, Jeff; Stevenson, Kevin

    2018-04-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is expected to discover dozens of temperate terrestrial planets orbiting M-dwarfs with atmospheres that could be followed up with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Currently, the TRAPPIST-1 system serves as a benchmark for determining the feasibility and resources required to yield atmospheric constraints. We assess these questions and leverage an information content analysis to determine observing strategies for yielding high-precision spectroscopy in transmission and emission. Our goal is to guide observing strategies of temperate terrestrial planets in preparation for the early JWST cycles. First, we explore JWST’s current capabilities and expected spectral precision for targets near the saturation limits of specific modes. In doing so, we highlight the enhanced capabilities of high-efficiency readout patterns that are being considered for implementation in Cycle 2. We propose a partial saturation strategy to increase the achievable precision of JWST's NIRSpec Prism. We show that JWST has the potential to detect the dominant absorbing gas in the atmospheres of temperate terrestrial planets by the 10th transit using transmission spectroscopy techniques in the near-infrared (NIR). We also show that stacking ⪆10 transmission spectroscopy observations is unlikely to yield significant improvements in determining atmospheric composition. For emission spectroscopy, we show that the MIRI Low Resolution Spectroscopy (LRS) is unlikely to provide robust constraints on the atmospheric composition of temperate terrestrial planets. Higher-precision emission spectroscopy at wavelengths longward of those accessible to MIRI LRS, as proposed in the Origins Space Telescope concept, could help improve the constraints on molecular abundances of temperate terrestrial planets orbiting M-dwarfs.

  18. Filled aperture concepts for the Terrestrial Planet Finder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Stephen T.

    2003-02-01

    Filled aperture telescopes can deliver a real, high Strehl image which is well suited for discrimination of faint planets in the vicinity of bright stars and against an extended exo-zodiacal light. A filled aperture offers a rich variety of PSF control and diffraction suppression techniques. Filled apertures are under consideration for a wide spectral range, including visible and thermal-IR, each of which offers a significant selection of biomarker molecular bands. A filled aperture visible TPF may be simpler in several respects than a thermal-IR nuller. The required aperture size (or baseline) is much smaller, and no cryogenic systems are required. A filled aperture TPF would look and act like a normal telescope - vendors and users alike would be comfortable with its design and operation. Filled aperture telescopes pose significant challenges in production of large primary mirrors, and in very stringent wavefront requirements. Stability of the wavefront control, and hence of the PSF, is a major issue for filled aperture systems. Several groups have concluded that these and other issues can be resolved, and that filled aperture options are competitive for a TPF precursor and/or for the full TPF mission. Ball, Boeing-SVS and TRW have recently returned architecture reviews on filled aperture TPF concepts. In this paper, I will review some of the major considerations underlying these filled aperture concepts, and suggest key issues in a TPF Buyers Guide.

  19. Consequences of intense intermittent astrophysical radiation sources for terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melott, Adrian

    2011-11-01

    Life on Earth has developed in the context of cosmic radiation backgrounds. This in turn can be a base for comparison with other potential life-bearing planets. Many kinds of strong radiation bursts are possible by astrophysical entities ranging from gamma-ray bursts at cosmological distances to the Sun itself. Many of these present potential hazards to the biosphere: on timescales long compared with human history, the probability of an event intense enough to disrupt life on the land surface or in the oceans becomes large. One of the mechanisms which comes into play even at moderate intensities is the ionization of the Earth's atmosphere, which leads through chemical changes (specifically, depletion of stratospheric ozone) to increased ultraviolet-B flux from the Sun reaching the surface. UVB is extremely hazardous to most life due to its strong absorption by the genetic material DNA and subsequent breaking of chemical bonds. We characterize intensities at the Earth and rates or upper limits on rates. We estimate how often a major extinction-level event is probable given the current state of knowledge. Moderate level events are dominated by the Sun, but the far more severe infrequent events are dominated by gamma-ray bursts and supernovae. So-called ``short-hard'' gamma-ray bursts are a substantial threat, comparable in magnitude to supernovae and greater than that of the higher-luminosity long bursts considered in most past work. Short bursts may come with little or no warning.

  20. High Resolution N-Body Simulations of Terrestrial Planet Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark Wallace, Spencer; Quinn, Thomas R.

    2018-04-01

    We investigate planetesimal accretion with a direct N-body simulation of an annulus at 1 AU around a 1 M_sun star. The planetesimal ring, which initially contains N = 106 bodies is evolved through the runaway growth stage into the phase of oligarchic growth. We find that the mass distribution of planetesimals develops a bump around 1022 g shortly after the oligarchs form. This feature is absent in previous lower resolution studies. We find that this bump marks a boundary between growth modes. Below the bump mass, planetesimals are packed tightly enough together to populate first order mean motion resonances with the oligarchs. These resonances act to heat the tightly packed, low mass planetesimals, inhibiting their growth. We examine the eccentricity evolution of a dynamically hot planetary embryo embedded in an annulus of planetesimals and find that dynamical friction acts more strongly on the embryo when the planetesimals are finely resolved. This effect disappears when the annulus is made narrow enough to exclude most of the mean motion resonances. Additionally, we find that the 1022 g bump is significantly less prominent when we follow planetesimal growth with a skinny annulus.This feature, which is reminiscent of the power law break seen in the size distribution of asteroid belt objects may be an important clue for constraining the initial size of planetesimals in planet formation models.

  1. N-body simulations of terrestrial planet formation under the influence of a hot Jupiter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogihara, Masahiro; Kobayashi, Hiroshi; Inutsuka, Shu-ichiro

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the formation of multiple-planet systems in the presence of a hot Jupiter (HJ) using extended N-body simulations that are performed simultaneously with semianalytic calculations. Our primary aims are to describe the planet formation process starting from planetesimals using high-resolution simulations, and to examine the dependences of the architecture of planetary systems on input parameters (e.g., disk mass, disk viscosity). We observe that protoplanets that arise from oligarchic growth and undergo type I migration stop migrating when they join a chain of resonant planets outside the orbit of an HJ. The formation of a resonant chain is almost independent of our model parameters, and is thus a robust process. At the end of our simulations, several terrestrial planets remain at around 0.1 AU. The formed planets are not equal mass; the largest planet constitutes more than 50% of the total mass in the close-in region, which is also less dependent on parameters. In the previous work of this paper, we have found a new physical mechanism of induced migration of the HJ, which is called a crowding-out. If the HJ opens up a wide gap in the disk (e.g., owing to low disk viscosity), crowding-out becomes less efficient and the HJ remains. We also discuss angular momentum transfer between the planets and disk.

  2. Determining Symmetry Properties of Gravitational Fields of Terrestrial Group Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.A. Kascheev

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Numerous models of gravity fields of the Solar system bodies have been constructed recently owing to successful space missions. These models are sets of harmonic coefficients of gravity potential expansion in series of spherical functions, which is Laplace series. The sets of coefficients are different in quantity of numerical parameters, sources and composition of the initial observational data, methods to obtain and process them, and, consequently, in a variety of properties and accuracy characteristics. For this reason, the task of comparison of different models of celestial bodies considered in the paper is of interest and relevant. The main purpose of this study is comparison of the models of gravitational potential of the Earth, Moon, Mars, and Venus with the quantitative criteria of different types of symmetries developed by us. It is assumed that some particular symmetry of the density distribution function of the planetary body causes similar symmetry of its gravitational potential. The symmetry of gravitational potential, in its turn, imposes additional conditions (restrictions, which must be satisfied by the harmonic coefficients. The paper deals with seven main types of symmetries: central, axial, two symmetries specular relative to the equatorial planes and prime meridian, as well as three rotational symmetries (at π angle around the coordinate system axes. According to the results of calculations carried out for the Earth, Moon, Mars, and Venus, the values of the criteria vary considerably for different types of symmetries and for different planets. It means that the specific value of each criterion corresponding to a particular celestial body is indicative of the properties and internal structure characteristics of the latter and, therefore, it can be used as a tool for comparative planetology. On the basis of the performed calculations, it is possible to distinguish two groups of celestial bodies having similar properties of

  3. Large impact events and atmospheric evolution on the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grinspoon, D.H.

    1989-01-01

    The first task undertaken is the characterization of the impact rates in the inner solar system during the present time, and during the first billion years of Solar System history when the flux was changing rapidly. Once defined, these fluxes are used to model the long term cumulative effect of multiple impacts on planetary atmospheres. The implications of cometary impacts on evolution of the water and deuterium abundances on Venus are examined. The short lifetime of water on Venus suggests that the water abundance is in quasi-steady-state balance between loss by escape and replenishment by infall. In addition, the observed deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio on Venus is consistent with a steady state and does not necessarily imply a past water excess. Results are presented of a model incorporating a stochastic cometary source and nonthermal escape of hydrogen that produces the observed water abundance and D/H ratio. The stochastic variability of each of these quantities is shown to be large. Water on Venus is likely to be in a near steady state mediated by large comet impacts. The early history of water on the planet has been obscured by a history of random impacts. A study of the effects of impact-generated dust clouds on the primitive Earth leads to the conclusion that such clouds were significant perturbers of the early climate. The Earth was shrouded by an optically-thick dust cloud for ∼150-250 m.y.. During this time the surface temperature was equal to the planetary equilibrium temperature unless significant heating by impacts or surface heat flow existed beneath the dust cloud. The epoch of continuous dust shrouding was followed by a period of stochastically intermittent dust clouds occurring at greater intervals as the early intense bombardment subsided towards the present day flux

  4. High-dispersion spectroscopy of extrasolar planets: from CO in hot Jupiters to O2 in exo-Earths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas

    2014-04-28

    Ground-based high-dispersion spectroscopy could reveal molecular oxygen as a biomarker gas in the atmospheres of twin-Earths transiting red dwarf stars within the next 25 years. The required contrasts are only a factor of 3 lower than that already achieved for carbon monoxide in hot Jupiter atmospheres today but will need much larger telescopes because the target stars will be orders of magnitude fainter. If extraterrestrial life is very common and can therefore be found on planets around the most nearby red dwarf stars, it may be detectable via transmission spectroscopy with the next-generation extremely large telescopes. However, it is likely that significantly more collecting area is required for this. This can be achieved through the development of low-cost flux collector technology, which combines a large collecting area with a low but sufficient image quality for high-dispersion spectroscopy of bright stars.

  5. Characterizing Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    While the James Webb Space Telescope will detect and characterize extrasolar planets by transit and direct imaging, a new generation of telescopes will be required to detect and characterize extrasolar planets by reflected light imaging. NASA's WFIRST space telescope, now in development, will image dozens of cool giant planets at optical wavelengths and will obtain spectra for several of the best and brightest targets. This mission will pave the way for the detection and characterization of terrestrial planets by the planned LUVOIR or HabEx space telescopes. In my presentation I will discuss the challenges that arise in the interpretation of direct imaging data and present the results of our group's effort to develop methods for maximizing the science yield from these planned missions.

  6. Chemistry in an evolving protoplanetary disk: Effects on terrestrial planet composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moriarty, John; Fischer, Debra; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2014-01-01

    The composition of planets is largely determined by the chemical and dynamical evolution of the disk during planetesimal formation and growth. To predict the diversity of exoplanet compositions, previous works modeled planetesimal composition as the equilibrium chemical composition of a protoplanetary disk at a single time. However, planetesimals form over an extended period of time, during which elements sequentially condense out of the gas as the disk cools and are accreted onto planetesimals. To account for the evolution of the disk during planetesimal formation, we couple models of disk chemistry and dynamics with a prescription for planetesimal formation. We then follow the growth of these planetesimals into terrestrial planets with N-body simulations of late-stage planet formation to evaluate the effect of sequential condensation on the bulk composition of planets. We find that our model produces results similar to those of earlier models for disks with C/O ratios close to the solar value (0.54). However, in disks with C/O ratios greater than 0.8, carbon-rich planetesimals form throughout a much larger radial range of the disk. Furthermore, our model produces carbon-rich planetesimals in disks with C/O ratios as low as ∼0.65, which is not possible in the static equilibrium chemistry case. These results suggest that (1) there may be a large population of short-period carbon-rich planets around moderately carbon-enhanced stars (0.65 < C/O < 0.8) and (2) carbon-rich planets can form throughout the terrestrial planet region around carbon-rich stars (C/O > 0.8).

  7. Stellar aspects of habitability--characterizing target stars for terrestrial planet-finding missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Eiroa, Carlos; Ribas, Ignasi; Paresce, Francesco; Leitzinger, Martin; Odert, Petra; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lammer, Helmut; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Frank; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    We present and discuss the criteria for selecting potential target stars suitable for the search for Earth-like planets, with a special emphasis on the stellar aspects of habitability. Missions that search for terrestrial exoplanets will explore the presence and habitability of Earth-like exoplanets around several hundred nearby stars, mainly F, G, K, and M stars. The evaluation of the list of potential target systems is essential in order to develop mission concepts for a search for terrestrial exoplanets. Using the Darwin All Sky Star Catalogue (DASSC), we discuss the selection criteria, configuration-dependent subcatalogues, and the implication of stellar activity for habitability.

  8. 3.6 AND 4.5 μm PHASE CURVES AND EVIDENCE FOR NON-EQUILIBRIUM CHEMISTRY IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF EXTRASOLAR PLANET HD 189733b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knutson, Heather A.; Lewis, Nikole; Showman, Adam P.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Laughlin, Gregory; Burrows, Adam; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Agol, Eric; Aigrain, Suzanne; Charbonneau, David; Désert, Jean-Michel; Deming, Drake; Henry, Gregory W.; Langton, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    We present new, full-orbit observations of the infrared phase variations of the canonical hot Jupiter HD 189733b obtained in the 3.6 and 4.5 μm bands using the Spitzer Space Telescope. When combined with previous phase curve observations at 8.0 and 24 μm, these data allow us to characterize the exoplanet's emission spectrum as a function of planetary longitude and to search for local variations in its vertical thermal profile and atmospheric composition. We utilize an improved method for removing the effects of intrapixel sensitivity variations and robustly extracting phase curve signals from these data, and we calculate our best-fit parameters and uncertainties using a wavelet-based Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis that accounts for the presence of time-correlated noise in our data. We measure a phase curve amplitude of 0.1242% ± 0.0061% in the 3.6 μm band and 0.0982% ± 0.0089% in the 4.5 μm band, corresponding to brightness temperature contrasts of 503 ± 21 K and 264 ± 24 K, respectively. We find that the times of minimum and maximum flux occur several hours earlier than predicted for an atmosphere in radiative equilibrium, consistent with the eastward advection of gas by an equatorial super-rotating jet. The locations of the flux minima in our new data differ from our previous observations at 8 μm, and we present new evidence indicating that the flux minimum observed in the 8 μm is likely caused by an overshooting effect in the 8 μm array. We obtain improved estimates for HD 189733b's dayside planet-star flux ratio of 0.1466% ± 0.0040% in the 3.6 μm band and 0.1787% ± 0.0038% in the 4.5 μm band, corresponding to brightness temperatures of 1328 ± 11 K and 1192 ± 9 K, respectively; these are the most accurate secondary eclipse depths obtained to date for an extrasolar planet. We compare our new dayside and nightside spectra for HD 189733b to the predictions of one-dimensional radiative transfer models from Burrows et al. and conclude that fits to

  9. 3.6 AND 4.5 {mu}m PHASE CURVES AND EVIDENCE FOR NON-EQUILIBRIUM CHEMISTRY IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF EXTRASOLAR PLANET HD 189733b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knutson, Heather A. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Lewis, Nikole; Showman, Adam P. [Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J.; Laughlin, Gregory [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Cowan, Nicolas B. [CIERA, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Agol, Eric [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Aigrain, Suzanne [Sub-department of Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Henry, Gregory W. [Center of Excellence in Information Systems, Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Box 9501, Nashville, TN 37209 (United States); Langton, Jonathan, E-mail: hknutson@caltech.edu [Department of Physics, Principia College, 1 Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028 (United States)

    2012-07-20

    We present new, full-orbit observations of the infrared phase variations of the canonical hot Jupiter HD 189733b obtained in the 3.6 and 4.5 {mu}m bands using the Spitzer Space Telescope. When combined with previous phase curve observations at 8.0 and 24 {mu}m, these data allow us to characterize the exoplanet's emission spectrum as a function of planetary longitude and to search for local variations in its vertical thermal profile and atmospheric composition. We utilize an improved method for removing the effects of intrapixel sensitivity variations and robustly extracting phase curve signals from these data, and we calculate our best-fit parameters and uncertainties using a wavelet-based Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis that accounts for the presence of time-correlated noise in our data. We measure a phase curve amplitude of 0.1242% {+-} 0.0061% in the 3.6 {mu}m band and 0.0982% {+-} 0.0089% in the 4.5 {mu}m band, corresponding to brightness temperature contrasts of 503 {+-} 21 K and 264 {+-} 24 K, respectively. We find that the times of minimum and maximum flux occur several hours earlier than predicted for an atmosphere in radiative equilibrium, consistent with the eastward advection of gas by an equatorial super-rotating jet. The locations of the flux minima in our new data differ from our previous observations at 8 {mu}m, and we present new evidence indicating that the flux minimum observed in the 8 {mu}m is likely caused by an overshooting effect in the 8 {mu}m array. We obtain improved estimates for HD 189733b's dayside planet-star flux ratio of 0.1466% {+-} 0.0040% in the 3.6 {mu}m band and 0.1787% {+-} 0.0038% in the 4.5 {mu}m band, corresponding to brightness temperatures of 1328 {+-} 11 K and 1192 {+-} 9 K, respectively; these are the most accurate secondary eclipse depths obtained to date for an extrasolar planet. We compare our new dayside and nightside spectra for HD 189733b to the predictions of one-dimensional radiative transfer models

  10. Primordial atmosphere incorporation in planetary embryos and the origin of Neon in terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaupart, Etienne; Charnoz, Sebatien; Moreira, Manuel

    2017-09-01

    The presence of Neon in terrestrial planet mantles may be attributed to the implantation of solar wind in planetary precursors or to the dissolution of primordial solar gases captured from the accretionary disk into an early magma ocean. This is suggested by the Neon isotopic ratio similar to those of the Sun observed in the Earth mantle. Here, we evaluate the second hypothesis. We use general considerations of planetary accretion and atmospheric science. Using current models of terrestrial planet formation, we study the evolution of standard planetary embryos with masses in a range of 0.1-0.2 MEarth, where MEarth is the Earth's mass, in an annular region at distances between 0.5 and 1.5 Astronomical Units from the star. We determine the characteristics of atmospheres that can be captured by such embryos for a wide range of parameters and calculate the maximum amount of Neon that can be dissolved in the planet. Our calculations may be directly transposed to any other planet. However, we only know of the amount of Neon in the Earth's solid mantle. Thus we use Earth to discuss our results. We find that the amount of dissolved Neon is too small to account for the present-day Neon contents of the Earth's mantle, if the nebular gas disk completely disappears before the largest planetary embryos grow to be ∼0.2 MEarth. This leaves solar irradiation as the most likely source of Neon in terrestrial planets for the most standard case of planetary formation models.

  11. Accurate Treatment of Collisions and Water-Delivery in Models of Terrestrial Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Maindl, Thomas; Schaefer, Christoph

    2017-10-01

    It is widely accepted that collisions among solid bodies, ignited by their interactions with planetary embryos is the key process in the formation of terrestrial planets and transport of volatiles and chemical compounds to their accretion zones. Unfortunately, due to computational complexities, these collisions are often treated in a rudimentary way. Impacts are considered to be perfectly inelastic and volatiles are considered to be fully transferred from one object to the other. This perfect-merging assumption has profound effects on the mass and composition of final planetary bodies as it grossly overestimates the masses of these objects and the amounts of volatiles and chemical elements transferred to them. It also entirely neglects collisional-loss of volatiles (e.g., water) and draws an unrealistic connection between these properties and the chemical structure of the protoplanetary disk (i.e., the location of their original carriers). We have developed a new and comprehensive methodology to simulate growth of embryos to planetary bodies where we use a combination of SPH and N-body codes to accurately model collisions as well as the transport/transfer of chemical compounds. Our methodology accounts for the loss of volatiles (e.g., ice sublimation) during the orbital evolution of their careers and accurately tracks their transfer from one body to another. Results of our simulations show that traditional N-body modeling of terrestrial planet formation overestimates the amount of the mass and water contents of the final planets by over 60% implying that not only the amount of water they suggest is far from being realistic, small planets such as Mars can also form in these simulations when collisions are treated properly. We will present details of our methodology and discuss its implications for terrestrial planet formation and water delivery to Earth.

  12. CHEMICAL ABUNDANCES IN THE EXTERNALLY POLLUTED WHITE DWARF GD 40: EVIDENCE OF A ROCKY EXTRASOLAR MINOR PLANET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klein, B.; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.; Melis, C.; Koester, D.

    2010-01-01

    We present Keck/High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer data with model atmosphere analysis of the helium-dominated polluted white dwarf GD 40, in which we measure atmospheric abundances relative to helium of nine elements: H, O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, and Fe. Apart from hydrogen, whose association with the other contaminants is uncertain, this material most likely accreted from GD 40's circumstellar dust disk whose existence is demonstrated by excess infrared emission. The data are best explained by accretion of rocky planetary material, in which heavy elements are largely contained within oxides, derived from a tidally disrupted minor planet at least the mass of Juno, and probably as massive as Vesta. The relatively low hydrogen abundance sets an upper limit of 10% water by mass in the inferred parent body, and the relatively high abundances of refractory elements, Ca and Ti, may indicate high-temperature processing. While the overall constitution of the parent body is similar to the bulk Earth being over 85% by mass composed of oxygen, magnesium, silicon, and iron, we find n(Si)/n(Mg) = 0.30 ± 0.11, significantly smaller than the ratio near unity for the bulk Earth, chondrites, the Sun, and nearby stars. This result suggests that differentiation occurred within the parent body.

  13. The carbonate-silicate cycle and CO2/climate feedbacks on tidally locked terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edson, Adam R; Kasting, James F; Pollard, David; Lee, Sukyoung; Bannon, Peter R

    2012-06-01

    Atmospheric gaseous constituents play an important role in determining the surface temperatures and habitability of a planet. Using a global climate model and a parameterization of the carbonate-silicate cycle, we explored the effect of the location of the substellar point on the atmospheric CO(2) concentration and temperatures of a tidally locked terrestrial planet, using the present Earth continental distribution as an example. We found that the substellar point's location relative to the continents is an important factor in determining weathering and the equilibrium atmospheric CO(2) level. Placing the substellar point over the Atlantic Ocean results in an atmospheric CO(2) concentration of 7 ppmv and a global mean surface air temperature of 247 K, making ∼30% of the planet's surface habitable, whereas placing it over the Pacific Ocean results in a CO(2) concentration of 60,311 ppmv and a global temperature of 282 K, making ∼55% of the surface habitable.

  14. Water loss from terrestrial planets with CO{sub 2}-rich atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Pierrehumbert, R. T., E-mail: rwordsworth@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 60637 IL (United States)

    2013-12-01

    Water photolysis and hydrogen loss from the upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets is of fundamental importance to climate evolution but remains poorly understood in general. Here we present a range of calculations we performed to study the dependence of water loss rates from terrestrial planets on a range of atmospheric and external parameters. We show that CO{sub 2} can only cause significant water loss by increasing surface temperatures over a narrow range of conditions, with cooling of the middle and upper atmosphere acting as a bottleneck on escape in other circumstances. Around G-stars, efficient loss only occurs on planets with intermediate CO{sub 2} atmospheric partial pressures (0.1-1 bar) that receive a net flux close to the critical runaway greenhouse limit. Because G-star total luminosity increases with time but X-ray and ultraviolet/ultravoilet luminosity decreases, this places strong limits on water loss for planets like Earth. In contrast, for a CO{sub 2}-rich early Venus, diffusion limits on water loss are only important if clouds caused strong cooling, implying that scenarios where the planet never had surface liquid water are indeed plausible. Around M-stars, water loss is primarily a function of orbital distance, with planets that absorb less flux than ∼270 W m{sup –2} (global mean) unlikely to lose more than one Earth ocean of H{sub 2}O over their lifetimes unless they lose all their atmospheric N{sub 2}/CO{sub 2} early on. Because of the variability of H{sub 2}O delivery during accretion, our results suggest that many 'Earth-like' exoplanets in the habitable zone may have ocean-covered surfaces, stable CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O-rich atmospheres, and high mean surface temperatures.

  15. Stabilizing Cloud Feedback Dramatically Expands the Habitable Zone of Tidally Locked Planets

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Jun; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2013-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where a planet can sustain surface liquid water. Searching for terrestrial planets in the HZ of nearby stars is the stated goal of ongoing and planned extrasolar planet surveys. Previous estimates of the inner edge of the HZ were based on one-dimensional radiative-convective models. The most serious limitation of these models is the inability to predict cloud behavior. Here we use global climate models with sophisticated cloud schemes to sho...

  16. Atmospheric constraints for the CO2 partial pressure on terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    von Paris, P.; Grenfell, J. L.; Hedelt, P.; Rauer, H.; Selsis, F.; Stracke, B.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, several potentially habitable, probably terrestrial exoplanets and exoplanet candidates have been discovered. The amount of CO2 in their atmosphere is of great importance for surface conditions and habitability. In the absence of detailed information on the geochemistry of the planet, this amount could be considered as a free parameter. Up to now, CO2 partial pressures for terrestrial planets have been obtained assuming an available volatile reservoir and outgassing scenarios...

  17. Terrestrial planet formation in the presence of migrating super-Earths

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Izidoro, André; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N.

    2014-01-01

    Super-Earths with orbital periods less than 100 days are extremely abundant around Sun-like stars. It is unlikely that these planets formed at their current locations. Rather, they likely formed at large distances from the star and subsequently migrated inward. Here we use N-body simulations to study the effect of super-Earths on the accretion of rocky planets. In our simulations, one or more super-Earths migrate inward through a disk of planetary embryos and planetesimals embedded in a gaseous disk. We tested a wide range of migration speeds and configurations. Fast-migrating super-Earths (τ mig ∼ 0.01-0.1 Myr) only have a modest effect on the protoplanetary embryos and planetesimals. Sufficient material survives to form rocky, Earth-like planets on orbits exterior to the super-Earths'. In contrast, slowly migrating super-Earths shepherd rocky material interior to their orbits and strongly deplete the terrestrial planet-forming zone. In this situation any Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone are extremely volatile-rich and are therefore probably not Earth-like.

  18. The thermal state and evolution of the earth and terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tozer, D.C.

    1977-01-01

    In considering the problem of planetary evolution it is suggested that a completely fresh look at the working of the heat transfer process has made it possible to give a general interpretation of many of the recent discoveries of the Earth's present dynamism and past development without appealing to any but very general assumptions about the material behaviour. Once again, the flow properties of rock are in the forefront of the understanding of the Earth's internal heat while the temperature has somewhat receded into the background as a determined rather than a determining characteristic of the behaviour of the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) and the Moon. Misunderstanding about the nature of material properties has made theorists go too far in seeing planets as aggregates of potential laboratory samples, rather than as systems in their own right whose sheer size brings out behaviour requiring distinct ways of describing in situ planetary material. Study of the way in which the evolution of the terrestrial planets becomes regulated by a degree of creep resistance that is quite impossible to measure in the laboratory underlines the similarity of this situation with that which faced attempts to understand stellar evolution. (U.K.)

  19. Differentiation of crusts and cores of the terrestrial planets: lessons for the early Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solomon, S.C.

    1980-01-01

    It now appears probable that all of the terrestrial planets underwent some form of global chemical differentiation to produce crusts, mantles, and cores of variable relative mass fractions. There is direct seismic evidence for a crust on the Moon, and indirect evidence for distinct crusts on Mars and Venus. Substantial portions of these crusts have been in place since the time that heavy bombardment of the inner solar system ceased approximately 4 Ga ago. There is direct evidence for a sizeable core on Mars, indirect evidence for one on Mercury, and bounds on a possible small core for the Moon. Core formation is an important heat source confined to times prior to 4 Ga ago for Mercury and the Earth, but was not closely linked to crustal formation on the Moon nor, apparently, on Mars. The tectonic and volcanic histories of the surfaces of the terrestrial planets Moon, Mars, and Mercury can be used, with simple thermal history models, to restrict the earliest chemical differentiation to be shallow (outer 200-400 km) for the first two bodies and much more extensive for Mercury. Extension of these models to an Earth-size planet leads to the prediction of a hot and vigorously convecting mantle with an easily deformable crust immediately following core formation, and of the gradual development of a lithosphere and of plates with some lateral rigidity in Late Archean-Proterzoic times. (Auth.)

  20. THE INFLUENCE OF THERMAL EVOLUTION IN THE MAGNETIC PROTECTION OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Bustamante, Sebastian; Cuartas, Pablo A. [Instituto de Fisica-FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 67 No. 53-108, Medellin (Colombia); Hoyos, Jaime H., E-mail: jzuluaga@fisica.udea.edu.co, E-mail: sbustama@pegasus.udea.edu.co, E-mail: p.cuartas@fisica.udea.edu.co, E-mail: jhhoyos@udem.edu.co [Departamento de Ciencias Basicas, Universidad de Medellin, Carrera 87 No. 30-65, Medellin (Colombia)

    2013-06-10

    Magnetic protection of potentially habitable planets plays a central role in determining their actual habitability and/or the chances of detecting atmospheric biosignatures. Here we develop a thermal evolution model of potentially habitable Earth-like planets and super-Earths (SEs). Using up-to-date dynamo-scaling laws, we predict the properties of core dynamo magnetic fields and study the influence of thermal evolution on their properties. The level of magnetic protection of tidally locked and unlocked planets is estimated by combining simplified models of the planetary magnetosphere and a phenomenological description of the stellar wind. Thermal evolution introduces a strong dependence of magnetic protection on planetary mass and rotation rate. Tidally locked terrestrial planets with an Earth-like composition would have early dayside magnetopause distances between 1.5 and 4.0 R{sub p} , larger than previously estimated. Unlocked planets with periods of rotation {approx}1 day are protected by magnetospheres extending between 3 and 8 R{sub p} . Our results are robust in comparison with variations in planetary bulk composition and uncertainties in other critical model parameters. For illustration purposes, the thermal evolution and magnetic protection of the potentially habitable SEs GL 581d, GJ 667Cc, and HD 40307g were also studied. Assuming an Earth-like composition, we found that the dynamos of these planets are already extinct or close to being shut down. While GL 581d is the best protected, the protection of HD 40307g cannot be reliably estimated. GJ 667Cc, even under optimistic conditions, seems to be severely exposed to the stellar wind, and, under the conditions of our model, has probably suffered massive atmospheric losses.

  1. CONDITIONS OF PASSAGE AND ENTRAPMENT OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN SPIN-ORBIT RESONANCES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makarov, Valeri V.

    2012-01-01

    The dynamical evolution of terrestrial planets resembling Mercury in the vicinity of spin-orbit resonances is investigated using comprehensive harmonic expansions of the tidal torque taking into account the frequency-dependent quality factors and Love numbers. The torque equations are integrated numerically with a small step in time, including the oscillating triaxial torque components but neglecting the layered structure of the planet and assuming a zero obliquity. We find that a Mercury-like planet with a current value of orbital eccentricity (0.2056) is always captured in 3:2 resonance. The probability of capture in the higher 2:1 resonance is approximately 0.23. These results are confirmed by a semi-analytical estimation of capture probabilities as functions of eccentricity for both prograde and retrograde evolutions of spin rate. As follows from analysis of equilibrium torques, entrapment in 3:2 resonance is inevitable at eccentricities between 0.2 and 0.41. Considering the phase space parameters at the times of periastron, the range of spin rates and phase angles for which an immediate resonance passage is triggered is very narrow, and yet a planet like Mercury rarely fails to align itself into this state of unstable equilibrium before it traverses 2:1 resonance.

  2. Tectonic history of the terrestrial planets. Final technical report, 1 October 1976-30 September 1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solomon, S.C.

    1990-02-01

    It is impossible in a single brief summary to convey the full range of research results that have come from this project over the last 13 years. The sweep of subjects covered ranges widely over the broad areas of the thermal and tectonic evolution of the terrestrial planets. A full list of all publications supported by this grant is presented. The list includes 48 published journal articles, 2 papers currently in press, 3 chapters of books, 4 M.I.T. theses, 1 technical report, and 107 published abstracts and extended abstracts. All of these publications were submitted separately to NASA at the time of publication or submission

  3. The origin of methane and biomolecules from a CO2 cycle on terrestrial planets

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Civiš, Svatopluk; Knížek, Antonín; Ivanek, Ondřej; Kubelík, Petr; Zukalová, Markéta; Kavan, Ladislav; Ferus, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 10 (2017), s. 721-726 E-ISSN 2397-3366 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA17-05076S; GA ČR GA13-07724S Grant - others:Akademie věd - GA AV ČR(CZ) R200401721; Akademie věd - GA AV ČR(CZ) R200401521 Institutional support: RVO:61388955 Keywords : biomolecules * CO2 cycle on terrestrial planets * Mars Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry

  4. ON THE MIGRATION OF JUPITER AND SATURN: CONSTRAINTS FROM LINEAR MODELS OF SECULAR RESONANT COUPLING WITH THE TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agnor, Craig B.; Lin, D. N. C.

    2012-01-01

    We examine how the late divergent migration of Jupiter and Saturn may have perturbed the terrestrial planets. Using a modified secular model we have identified six secular resonances between the ν 5 frequency of Jupiter and Saturn and the four apsidal eigenfrequencies of the terrestrial planets (g 1-4 ). We derive analytic upper limits on the eccentricity and orbital migration timescale of Jupiter and Saturn when these resonances were encountered to avoid perturbing the eccentricities of the terrestrial planets to values larger than the observed ones. Because of the small amplitudes of the j = 2, 3 terrestrial eigenmodes the g 2 – ν 5 and g 3 – ν 5 resonances provide the strongest constraints on giant planet migration. If Jupiter and Saturn migrated with eccentricities comparable to their present-day values, smooth migration with exponential timescales characteristic of planetesimal-driven migration (τ ∼ 5-10 Myr) would have perturbed the eccentricities of the terrestrial planets to values greatly exceeding the observed ones. This excitation may be mitigated if the eccentricity of Jupiter was small during the migration epoch, migration was very rapid (e.g., τ ∼< 0.5 Myr perhaps via planet-planet scattering or instability-driven migration) or the observed small eccentricity amplitudes of the j = 2, 3 terrestrial modes result from low probability cancellation of several large amplitude contributions. Results of orbital integrations show that very short migration timescales (τ < 0.5 Myr), characteristic of instability-driven migration, may also perturb the terrestrial planets' eccentricities by amounts comparable to their observed values. We discuss the implications of these constraints for the relative timing of terrestrial planet formation, giant planet migration, and the origin of the so-called Late Heavy Bombardment of the Moon 3.9 ± 0.1 Ga ago. We suggest that the simplest way to satisfy these dynamical constraints may be for the bulk of any giant

  5. Demarcating Circulation Regimes of Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets within the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob; Wolf, Eric. T.; Joshi, Manoj; Zhang, Xi; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2018-01-01

    We investigate the atmospheric dynamics of terrestrial planets in synchronous rotation within the habitable zone of low-mass stars using the Community Atmosphere Model. The surface temperature contrast between the day and night hemispheres decreases with an increase in incident stellar flux, which is opposite the trend seen in gas giants. We define three dynamical regimes in terms of the equatorial Rossby deformation radius and the Rhines length. The slow rotation regime has a mean zonal circulation that spans from the day to the night sides, which occurs for planets around stars with effective temperatures of 3300–4500 K (rotation period > 20 days), with both the Rossby deformation radius and the Rhines length exceeding the planetary radius. Rapid rotators have a mean zonal circulation that partially spans a hemisphere and with banded cloud formation beneath the substellar point, which occurs for planets orbiting stars with effective temperatures of less than 3000 K (rotation period days), with the Rossby deformation radius less than the planetary radius. In between is the Rhines rotation regime, which retains a thermally direct circulation from the day side to the night side but also features midlatitude turbulence-driven zonal jets. Rhines rotators occur for planets around stars in the range of 3000–3300 K (rotation period ∼5–20 days), where the Rhines length is greater than the planetary radius but the Rossby deformation radius is less than the planetary radius. The dynamical state can be observationally inferred from a comparison of the morphologies of the thermal emission phase curves of synchronously rotating planets.

  6. Climatic Evolution and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets: Perspectives from Coupled Atmosphere-Mantle Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu Sarkar, D.; Moore, W. B.

    2016-12-01

    A multitude of factors including the distance from the host star and the stage of planetary evolution affect planetary climate and habitability. The complex interactions between the atmosphere and dynamics of the deep interior of the planets along with stellar fluxes present a formidable challenge. This work employs simplified approaches to address these complex issues in a systematic way. To be specific, we are investigating the coupled evolution of atmosphere and mantle dynamics. The overarching goal here is to simulate the evolutionary history of the terrestrial planets, for example Venus, Earth and Mars. This research also aims at deciphering the history of Venus-like runaway greenhouse and thus explore the possibility of cataclysmic shifts in climate of Earth-like planets. We focus on volatile cycling within the solid planets to understand the role of carbon/water in climatic and tectonic outcomes of such planets. In doing so, we are considering the feedbacks in the coupled mantle-atmosphere system. The primary feedback between the atmosphere and mantle is the surface temperature established by the greenhouse effect, which regulates the temperature gradient that drives the mantle convection and controls the rate at which volatiles are exchanged through weathering. We start our models with different initial assumptions to determine the final climate outcomes within a reasonable parameter space. Currently, there are very few planetary examples, to sample the climate outcomes, however this will soon change as exoplanets are discovered and examined. Therefore, we will be able to work with a significant number of potential candidates to answer questions like this one: For every Earth is there one Venus? ten? a thousand?

  7. A REVISED ESTIMATE OF THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES AROUND KEPLER M-DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Because of their large numbers, low-mass stars may be the most abundant planet hosts in our Galaxy. Furthermore, terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) around M-dwarfs can potentially be characterized in the near future and hence may be the first such planets to be studied. Recently, Dressing and Charbonneau used Kepler data and calculated the frequency of terrestrial planets in the HZ of cool stars to be 0.15 +0.13 -0.06 per star for Earth-size planets (0.5-1.4 R ⊕ ). However, this estimate was derived using the Kasting et al. HZ limits, which were not valid for stars with effective temperatures lower than 3700 K. Here we update their result using new HZ limits from Kopparapu et al. for stars with effective temperatures between 2600 K and 7200 K, which includes the cool M stars in the Kepler target list. The new HZ boundaries increase the number of planet candidates in the HZ. Assuming Earth-size planets as 0.5-1.4 R ⊕ , when we reanalyze their results, we obtain a terrestrial planet frequency of 0.48 +0.12 -0.24 and 0.53 +0.08 -0.17 planets per M-dwarf star for conservative and optimistic limits of the HZ boundaries, respectively. Assuming Earth-size planets as 0.5-2 R ⊕ , the frequency increases to 0.51 +0.10 -0.20 per star for the conservative estimate and to 0.61 +0.07 -0.15 per star for the optimistic estimate. Within uncertainties, our optimistic estimates are in agreement with a similar optimistic estimate from the radial velocity survey of M-dwarfs (0.41 +0.54 -0.13 ). So, the potential for finding Earth-like planets around M stars may be higher than previously reported.

  8. Abiotic nitrogen fixation on terrestrial planets: reduction of NO to ammonia by FeS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, David P; Basa, Ranor C B; Khare, Bishun; Rodoni, David

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the abiotic fixation of nitrogen and how such fixation can be a supply of prebiotic nitrogen is critical for understanding both the planetary evolution of, and the potential origin of life on, terrestrial planets. As nitrogen is a biochemically essential element, sources of biochemically accessible nitrogen, especially reduced nitrogen, are critical to prebiotic chemistry and the origin of life. Loss of atmospheric nitrogen can result in loss of the ability to sustain liquid water on a planetary surface, which would impact planetary habitability and hydrological processes that shape the surface. It is known that NO can be photochemically converted through a chain of reactions to form nitrate and nitrite, which can be subsequently reduced to ammonia. Here, we show that NO can also be directly reduced, by FeS, to ammonia. In addition to removing nitrogen from the atmosphere, this reaction is particularly important as a source of reduced nitrogen on an early terrestrial planet. By converting NO directly to ammonia in a single step, ammonia is formed with a higher product yield (~50%) than would be possible through the formation of nitrate/nitrite and subsequent conversion to ammonia. In conjunction with the reduction of NO, there is also a catalytic disproportionation at the mineral surface that converts NO to NO₂ and N₂O. The NO₂ is then converted to ammonia, while the N₂O is released back in the gas phase, which provides an abiotic source of nitrous oxide.

  9. What Should the FeO Content of a Terrestrial Planet Be?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, John H.

    2013-01-01

    Basalts from the Earth, the Moon, Mars, and Vesta are strongly depleted in elements that prefer to reside in the metallic state (siderophile elements). Therefore, it is believed that all these bodies have metallic cores. We do not yet have siderophile element analyses of venusian or mercurian basalts, but we assume that Venus, too, as a terrestrial planet, has a metallic core. For the Earth, Moon, Mercury, and Mars, the moments-of-inertia of these bodies are consistent with metallic cores of various sizes. Because Venus rotates so slowly, it may be difficult to determine the moment-of-inertia of Venus in order to confirm this assumption. However, despite many possible complexities, it seems likely that most of the major and minor terrestrial planets have experienced some sort of metal/silicate equilibration, and we will use this as a boundary condition. One immediate contrast between the Earth and Moon is the difference in FeO content between lunar and terrestrial basalts. Both bodies presumably formed near 1 AU and formed from the same feeding zone of planetesimals, judging by their oxygen isotopes [13]. If, for example, the Moon formed from the Earth by a giant impact, then this event must have occurred before high-pressure equilibria had the opportunity to deplete the Earth s mantle in FeO. Alternatively, the bulk silicate Moon may be dominated by material from the impactor. Regardless, it would be useful to know the pressures where FeO incorporation into a metallic core is not of interest. If the Giant Impact hypothesis is correct, this should set an upper limit for the size of the proto-Earth at the time of the impact.

  10. ON THE EFFECT OF GIANT PLANETS ON THE SCATTERING OF PARENT BODIES OF IRON METEORITE FROM THE TERRESTRIAL PLANET REGION INTO THE ASTEROID BELT: A CONCEPT STUDY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Scott, Edward R. D.

    2012-01-01

    In their model for the origin of the parent bodies of iron meteorites, Bottke et al. proposed differentiated planetesimals, formed in 1-2 AU during the first 1.5 Myr, as the parent bodies, and suggested that these objects and their fragments were scattered into the asteroid belt as a result of interactions with planetary embryos. Although viable, this model does not include the effect of a giant planet that might have existed or been growing in the outer regions. We present the results of a concept study where we have examined the effect of a planetary body in the orbit of Jupiter on the early scattering of planetesimals from the terrestrial region into the asteroid belt. We integrated the orbits of a large battery of planetesimals in a disk of planetary embryos and studied their evolutions for different values of the mass of the planet. Results indicate that when the mass of the planet is smaller than 10 M ⊕ , its effects on the interactions among planetesimals and planetary embryos are negligible. However, when the planet mass is between 10 and 50 M ⊕ , simulations point to a transitional regime with ∼50 M ⊕ being the value for which the perturbing effect of the planet can no longer be ignored. Simulations also show that further increase of the mass of the planet strongly reduces the efficiency of the scattering of planetesimals from the terrestrial planet region into the asteroid belt. We present the results of our simulations and discuss their possible implications for the time of giant planet formation.

  11. The chemical composition of the cores of the terrestrial planets and the moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuskov, O. L.; Khitarov, N. I.

    1977-01-01

    Using models of the quasi-chemical theory of solutions, the activity coefficients of silicon are calculated in the melts Fe-Si, Ni-Si, and Fe-Ni-Si. The calculated free energies of solution of liquid nickel and silicon in liquid iron in the interval 0 to 1400 kbar and 1500 to 4000 K, shows that Fe-Ni-Si alloy is stable under the conditions of the outer core of the earth and the cores of the terrestrial planets. The oxidation-reduction conditions are studied, and the fugacity of oxygen in the mantles of the planets and at the core-mantle boundary are calculated. The mechanism of reduction of silicon is analyzed over a broad interval of p and T. The interaction between the matter of the core and mantle is studied, resulting in the extraction of silicon from the mantle and its solution in the material of the core. It is concluded that silicon can enter into the composition of the outer core of the earth and Venus, but probably does not enter into the composition of the cores of Mercury, Mars, and the moon, if in fact the latter possesses one.

  12. Late Impacts and the Origins of the Atmospheres on the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, S.; Stewart, S. T.; Lock, S. J.; Parai, R.; Tucker, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    Models for the origin of terrestrial atmospheres typically require an intricate sequence of events, including hydrodynamic escape, outgassing of mantle volatiles and late delivery. Here we discuss the origin of the atmospheres on the terrestrial planets in light of new ideas about the formation of the Moon, giant impact induced atmospheric loss and recent noble gas measurements. Our new measurements indicate that noble gases in the Earth's atmosphere cannot be derived from any combination of fractionation of a nebular-derived atmosphere followed by outgassing of deep or shallow mantle volatiles. While Ne in the mantle retains a nebular component, the present-day atmosphere has no memory of nebular gases. Rather, atmospheric noble gases have a close affinity to chondrites. On the other hand, Venus's atmosphere has 20 and 70 times higher abundance of 20Ne and 36Ar, respectively, and a 20Ne/22Ne ratio closer to the solar value than Earth's atmosphere. While the present atmosphere of Mars is significantly fractionated in the lighter noble gases due to long term atmospheric escape, the Kr isotopic ratios in Martian atmosphere are identical to solar. Thus, while Earth's atmosphere has no memory of accretion of nebular gases, atmospheres on both Venus and Mars preserve at least a component of nebular gases. To explain the above observations, we propose that a common set of processes operated on the terrestrial planets, and that their subsequent evolutionary divergence is simply explained by planetary size and the stochastic nature of giant impacts. We present geochemical observations and simulations of giant impacts to show that most of Earth's mantle was degassed and the outgassed volatiles were largely lost during the final sequence of giant impacts onto Earth. Earth's noble gases were therefore dominantly derived from late-accreting planetesimals. In contrast, Venus did not suffer substantial atmospheric loss by a late giant impact and retains a higher abundance of

  13. The persistent and pernicious myth of the early CO2-N2 atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, G. H.

    2009-12-01

    The accepted model for early atmospheres of terrestrial planets has settled on a CO2-N2 composition. Unfortunately, while it is largely based on a brilliant geological analysis by Rubey, there is no compelling evidence whatsoever for such a composition as the first “permanent” atmosphere for Earth or any other planet. In fact, geological discoveries of the past 50+ years reveal several problems with a CO2-N2 atmosphere, some of which Rubey recognized in his own analysis. He clearly addressed the problem of timing of degassing, concluding that early massive degassing of CO2 would produce readily observed and profound effects, which are not evident. Modeling and constraints on the timing of planetary accretion and core formation indicate massive early degassing. If early degassing emitted CO2-N2, the effects are concealed. Plate tectonic recycling is not a solution, as conditions would have persisted beyond the time of the earliest rocks, which do not show the effects. Attempts to return degassed CO2 to the mantle are not only ad hoc, but inconsistent with early thermal structure of the Earth. Second, production of prebiotic organic compounds from a CO2-N2 atmosphere has been a nagging problem. At best this has been addressed by invoking hydrogen production from the mantle to provide reducing capacity. While hydrogen may be emitted in volcanic eruptions, it is exceedingly difficult to imagine this process generating enough organics to yield high concentrations in a global ocean. The recent fashion of invoking organic synthesis at deep-sea vents suffers from the same problem: how to achieve sufficient concentrations of organics in a global ocean by abiotic synthesis when hydrothermal activity stirs the solution and carries the prebiotic products off to great dilution? Suggesting life began at deep-sea vents, and continues to carry on chemosynthesis there, begs the question. Unless you get high enough concentrations of prebiotics by abiotic processes, you simply

  14. Terrestrial planet formation in a protoplanetary disk with a local mass depletion: A successful scenario for the formation of Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izidoro, A.; Winter, O. C. [UNESP, Univ. Estadual Paulista - Grupo de Dinâmica Orbital and Planetologia, Guaratinguetá, CEP 12.516-410, São Paulo (Brazil); Haghighipour, N. [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Tsuchida, M., E-mail: izidoro@feg.unesp.br, E-mail: nader@ifa.hawaii.edu [UNESP, Univ. Estadual Paulista, DCCE-IBILCE, São José do Rio Preto, CEP 15.054-000, São Paulo (Brazil)

    2014-02-10

    Models of terrestrial planet formation for our solar system have been successful in producing planets with masses and orbits similar to those of Venus and Earth. However, these models have generally failed to produce Mars-sized objects around 1.5 AU. The body that is usually formed around Mars' semimajor axis is, in general, much more massive than Mars. Only when Jupiter and Saturn are assumed to have initially very eccentric orbits (e ∼ 0.1), which seems fairly unlikely for the solar system, or alternately, if the protoplanetary disk is truncated at 1.0 AU, simulations have been able to produce Mars-like bodies in the correct location. In this paper, we examine an alternative scenario for the formation of Mars in which a local depletion in the density of the protosolar nebula results in a non-uniform formation of planetary embryos and ultimately the formation of Mars-sized planets around 1.5 AU. We have carried out extensive numerical simulations of the formation of terrestrial planets in such a disk for different scales of the local density depletion, and for different orbital configurations of the giant planets. Our simulations point to the possibility of the formation of Mars-sized bodies around 1.5 AU, specifically when the scale of the disk local mass-depletion is moderately high (50%-75%) and Jupiter and Saturn are initially in their current orbits. In these systems, Mars-analogs are formed from the protoplanetary materials that originate in the regions of disk interior or exterior to the local mass-depletion. Results also indicate that Earth-sized planets can form around 1 AU with a substantial amount of water accreted via primitive water-rich planetesimals and planetary embryos. We present the results of our study and discuss their implications for the formation of terrestrial planets in our solar system.

  15. Water and the Interior Structure of Terrestrial Planets and Icy Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteux, J.; Golabek, G. J.; Rubie, D. C.; Tobie, G.; Young, E. D.

    2018-02-01

    Water content and the internal evolution of terrestrial planets and icy bodies are closely linked. The distribution of water in planetary systems is controlled by the temperature structure in the protoplanetary disk and dynamics and migration of planetesimals and planetary embryos. This results in the formation of planetesimals and planetary embryos with a great variety of compositions, water contents and degrees of oxidation. The internal evolution and especially the formation time of planetesimals relative to the timescale of radiogenic heating by short-lived 26Al decay may govern the amount of hydrous silicates and leftover rock-ice mixtures available in the late stages of their evolution. In turn, water content may affect the early internal evolution of the planetesimals and in particular metal-silicate separation processes. Moreover, water content may contribute to an increase of oxygen fugacity and thus affect the concentrations of siderophile elements within the silicate reservoirs of Solar System objects. Finally, the water content strongly influences the differentiation rate of the icy moons, controls their internal evolution and governs the alteration processes occurring in their deep interiors.

  16. Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets through Mean-motion Resonances. II. The Effect of the Planet’s Orbital Eccentricity on Debris Disk Structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tabeshian, Maryam; Wiegert, Paul A., E-mail: mtabeshi@uwo.ca [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 3K7 (Canada)

    2017-09-20

    Structures observed in debris disks may be caused by gravitational interaction with planetary or stellar companions. These perturbed disks are often thought to indicate the presence of planets and offer insights into the properties of both the disk and the perturbing planets. Gaps in debris disks may indicate a planet physically present within the gap, but such gaps can also occur away from the planet’s orbit at mean-motion resonances (MMRs), and this is the focus of our interest here. We extend our study of planet–disk interaction through MMRs, presented in an earlier paper, to systems in which the perturbing planet has moderate orbital eccentricity, a common occurrence in exoplanetary systems. In particular, a new result is that the 3:1 MMR becomes distinct at higher eccentricity, while its effects are absent for circular planetary orbits. We also only consider gravitational interaction with a planetary body of at least 1 M {sub J}. Our earlier work shows that even a 1 Earth mass planet can theoretically open an MMR gap; however, given the narrow gap that can be opened by a low-mass planet, its observability would be questionable. We find that the widths, locations, and shapes of two prominent structures, the 2:1 and 3:1 MMRs, could be used to determine the mass, semimajor axis, and eccentricity of the planetary perturber and present an algorithm for doing so. These MMR structures can be used to narrow the position and even determine the planetary properties (such as mass) of any inferred but as-yet-unseen planets within a debris disk. We also briefly discuss the implications of eccentric disks on brightness asymmetries and their dependence on the wavelengths with which these disks are observed.

  17. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Exoplanet Probe mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature and architecture of a variety of planets in other solar systems. Initially, it will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses and characterize the atmospheres around A and F type stars which cannot be found with RV techniques. It will also observe the inner spatial structure of exozodiacal disks. EPIC has a heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 5 year mission lifetime. The robust mission design is simple and flexible ensuring mission success while minimizing cost and risk. The science payload consists of a heritage optical telescope assembly (OTA), and visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) instrument. The instrument achieves a contrast ratio of 10^9 over a 5 arcsecond field-of-view with an unprecedented inner working angle of 0.13 arcseconds over the spectral range of 440-880 nm. The telescope is a 1.65 meter off-axis Cassegrain with an OTA wavefront error of lambda/9, which when coupled to the VNC greatly reduces the requirements on the large scale optics.

  18. Investigations on physics of planetary atmospheres and small bodies of the Solar system, extrasolar planets and disk structures around the stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.; Delets, O. S.; Dlugach, J. M.; Zakhozhay, O. V.; Kostogryz, N. M.; Krushevska, V. M.; Kuznyetsova, Y. G.; Morozhenko, O. V.; Nevodovskyi, P. V.; Ovsak, O. S.; Rozenbush, O. E.; Romanyuk, Ya. O.; Shavlovskiy, V. I.; Yanovitskij, E. G.

    2015-12-01

    The history and main becoming stages of Planetary system physics Department of the Main astronomical observatory of National academy of Sciences of Ukraine are considered. Fundamental subjects of department researches and science achievements of employees are presented. Fields of theoretical and experimental researches are Solar system planets and their satellites; vertical structures of planet atmospheres; radiative transfer in planet atmospheres; exoplanet systems of Milky Way; stars having disc structures; astronomical engineering. Employees of the department carry out spectral, photometrical and polarimetrical observations of Solar system planets, exoplanet systems and stars with disc structures. 1. From the history of department 2. The main directions of department research 3. Scientific instrumentation 4. Telescopes and observation stations 5. Theoretical studies 6. The results of observations of planets and small Solar system bodies and their interpretation 7. The study of exoplanets around the stars of our galaxy 8. Spectral energy distribution of fragmenting protostellar disks 9. Cooperation with the National Technical University of Ukraine (KPI) and National University of Ukraine "Lviv Polytechnic" to study the impact of stratospheric aerosol changes on weather and climate of the Earth 10. International relations. Scientific and organizational work. Scientific conferences, congresses, symposia 11. The main achievements of the department 12. Current researches 13. Anniversaries and awards

  19. Collisional erosion and the non-chondritic composition of the terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Hugh St C; Palme, Herbert

    2008-11-28

    The compositional variations among the chondrites inform us about cosmochemical fractionation processes during condensation and aggregation of solid matter from the solar nebula. These fractionations include: (i) variable Mg-Si-RLE ratios (RLE: refractory lithophile element), (ii) depletions in elements more volatile than Mg, (iii) a cosmochemical metal-silicate fractionation, and (iv) variations in oxidation state. Moon- to Mars-sized planetary bodies, formed by rapid accretion of chondrite-like planetesimals in local feeding zones within 106 years, may exhibit some of these chemical variations. However, the next stage of planetary accretion is the growth of the terrestrial planets from approximately 102 embryos sourced across wide heliocentric distances, involving energetic collisions, in which material may be lost from a growing planet as well as gained. While this may result in averaging out of the 'chondritic' fractionations, it introduces two non-chondritic chemical fractionation processes: post-nebular volatilization and preferential collisional erosion. In the latter, geochemically enriched crust formed previously is preferentially lost. That post-nebular volatilization was widespread is demonstrated by the non-chondritic Mn/Na ratio in all the small, differentiated, rocky bodies for which we have basaltic samples, including the Moon and Mars. The bulk silicate Earth (BSE) has chondritic Mn/Na, but shows several other compositional features in its pattern of depletion of volatile elements suggestive of non-chondritic fractionation. The whole-Earth Fe/Mg ratio is 2.1+/-0.1, significantly greater than the solar ratio of 1.9+/-0.1, implying net collisional erosion of approximately 10 per cent silicate relative to metal during the Earth's accretion. If this collisional erosion preferentially removed differentiated crust, the assumption of chondritic ratios among all RLEs in the BSE would not be valid, with the BSE depleted in elements according to their

  20. Time-Dependent Simulations of the Formation and Evolution of Disk-Accreted Atmospheres Around Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoekl, Alexander; Dorfi, Ernst

    2014-05-01

    In the early, embedded phase of evolution of terrestrial planets, the planetary core accumulates gas from the circumstellar disk into a planetary envelope. This atmosphere is very significant for the further thermal evolution of the planet by forming an insulation around the rocky core. The disk-captured envelope is also the staring point for the atmospheric evolution where the atmosphere is modified by outgassing from the planetary core and atmospheric mass loss once the planet is exposed to the radiation field of the host star. The final amount of persistent atmosphere around the evolved planet very much characterizes the planet and is a key criterion for habitability. The established way to study disk accumulated atmospheres are hydrostatic models, even though in many cases the assumption of stationarity is unlikely to be fulfilled. We present, for the first time, time-dependent radiation hydrodynamics simulations of the accumulation process and the interaction between the disk-nebula gas and the planetary core. The calculations were performed with the TAPIR-Code (short for The adaptive, implicit RHD-Code) in spherical symmetry solving the equations of hydrodynamics, gray radiative transport, and convective energy transport. The models range from the surface of the solid core up to the Hill radius where the planetary envelope merges into the surrounding protoplanetary disk. Our results show that the time-scale of gas capturing and atmospheric growth strongly depends on the mass of the solid core. The amount of atmosphere accumulated during the lifetime of the protoplanetary disk (typically a few Myr) varies accordingly with the mass of the planet. Thus, a core with Mars-mass will end up with about 10 bar of atmosphere while for an Earth-mass core, the surface pressure reaches several 1000 bar. Even larger planets with several Earth masses quickly capture massive envelopes which in turn become gravitationally unstable leading to runaway accretion and the eventual

  1. Formation of the terrestrial planets in the solar system around 1 au via radial concentration of planetesimals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogihara, Masahiro; Kokubo, Eiichiro; Suzuki, Takeru K.; Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2018-05-01

    Context. No planets exist inside the orbit of Mercury and the terrestrial planets of the solar system exhibit a localized configuration. According to thermal structure calculation of protoplanetary disks, a silicate condensation line ( 1300 K) is located around 0.1 au from the Sun except for the early phase of disk evolution, and planetesimals could have formed inside the orbit of Mercury. A recent study of disk evolution that includes magnetically driven disk winds showed that the gas disk obtains a positive surface density slope inside 1 au from the central star. In a region with positive midplane pressure gradient, planetesimals undergo outward radial drift. Aims: We investigate the radial drift of planetesimals and type I migration of planetary embryos in a disk that viscously evolves with magnetically driven disk winds. We show a case in which no planets remain in the close-in region. Methods: Radial drifts of planetesimals are simulated using a recent disk evolution model that includes effects of disk winds. The late stage of planet formation is also examined by performing N-body simulations of planetary embryos. Results: We demonstrate that in the middle stage of disk evolution, planetesimals can undergo convergent radial drift in a magnetorotational instability (MRI)-inactive disk, in which the pressure maximum is created, and accumulate in a narrow ring-like region with an inner edge at 0.7 au from the Sun. We also show that planetary embryos that may grow from the narrow planetesimal ring do not exhibit significant type I migration in the late stage of disk evolution. Conclusions: The origin of the localized configuration of the terrestrial planets of the solar system, in particular the deficit of close-in planets, can be explained by the convergent radial drift of planetesimals in disks with a positive pressure gradient in the close-in region.

  2. The First 40 Million Years of Circumstellar Disk Evolution: The Signature of Terrestrial Planet Formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meng, Huan Y. A.; Rieke, George H.; Su, Kate Y. L.; Gáspár, András, E-mail: hyameng@lpl.arizona.edu [Steward Observatory, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2017-02-10

    We characterize the first 40 Myr of evolution of circumstellar disks through a unified study of the infrared properties of members of young clusters and associations with ages from 2 Myr up to ∼40 Myr: NGC 1333, NGC 1960, NGC 2232, NGC 2244, NGC 2362, NGC 2547, IC 348, IC 2395, IC 4665, Chamaeleon I, Orion OB1a and OB1b, Taurus, the β Pictoris Moving Group, ρ Ophiuchi, and the associations of Argus, Carina, Columba, Scorpius–Centaurus, and Tucana–Horologium. Our work features: (1) a filtering technique to flag noisy backgrounds; (2) a method based on the probability distribution of deflections, P ( D ), to obtain statistically valid photometry for faint sources; and (3) use of the evolutionary trend of transitional disks to constrain the overall behavior of bright disks. We find that the fraction of disks three or more times brighter than the stellar photospheres at 24 μ m decays relatively slowly initially and then much more rapidly by ∼10 Myr. However, there is a continuing component until ∼35 Myr, probably due primarily to massive clouds of debris generated in giant impacts during the oligarchic/chaotic growth phases of terrestrial planets. If the contribution from primordial disks is excluded, the evolution of the incidence of these oligarchic/chaotic debris disks can be described empirically by a log-normal function with the peak at 12–20 Myr, including ∼13% of the original population, and with a post-peak mean duration of 10–20 Myr.

  3. The First 40 Million Years of Circumstellar Disk Evolution: The Signature of Terrestrial Planet Formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meng, Huan Y. A.; Rieke, George H.; Su, Kate Y. L.; Gáspár, András

    2017-01-01

    We characterize the first 40 Myr of evolution of circumstellar disks through a unified study of the infrared properties of members of young clusters and associations with ages from 2 Myr up to ∼40 Myr: NGC 1333, NGC 1960, NGC 2232, NGC 2244, NGC 2362, NGC 2547, IC 348, IC 2395, IC 4665, Chamaeleon I, Orion OB1a and OB1b, Taurus, the β Pictoris Moving Group, ρ Ophiuchi, and the associations of Argus, Carina, Columba, Scorpius–Centaurus, and Tucana–Horologium. Our work features: (1) a filtering technique to flag noisy backgrounds; (2) a method based on the probability distribution of deflections, P ( D ), to obtain statistically valid photometry for faint sources; and (3) use of the evolutionary trend of transitional disks to constrain the overall behavior of bright disks. We find that the fraction of disks three or more times brighter than the stellar photospheres at 24 μ m decays relatively slowly initially and then much more rapidly by ∼10 Myr. However, there is a continuing component until ∼35 Myr, probably due primarily to massive clouds of debris generated in giant impacts during the oligarchic/chaotic growth phases of terrestrial planets. If the contribution from primordial disks is excluded, the evolution of the incidence of these oligarchic/chaotic debris disks can be described empirically by a log-normal function with the peak at 12–20 Myr, including ∼13% of the original population, and with a post-peak mean duration of 10–20 Myr.

  4. The First 40 Million Years of Circumstellar Disk Evolution: The Signature of Terrestrial Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Huan Y. A.; Rieke, George H.; Su, Kate Y. L.; Gáspár, András

    2017-02-01

    We characterize the first 40 Myr of evolution of circumstellar disks through a unified study of the infrared properties of members of young clusters and associations with ages from 2 Myr up to ˜40 Myr: NGC 1333, NGC 1960, NGC 2232, NGC 2244, NGC 2362, NGC 2547, IC 348, IC 2395, IC 4665, Chamaeleon I, Orion OB1a and OB1b, Taurus, the β Pictoris Moving Group, ρ Ophiuchi, and the associations of Argus, Carina, Columba, Scorpius-Centaurus, and Tucana-Horologium. Our work features: (1) a filtering technique to flag noisy backgrounds; (2) a method based on the probability distribution of deflections, P(D), to obtain statistically valid photometry for faint sources; and (3) use of the evolutionary trend of transitional disks to constrain the overall behavior of bright disks. We find that the fraction of disks three or more times brighter than the stellar photospheres at 24 μm decays relatively slowly initially and then much more rapidly by ˜10 Myr. However, there is a continuing component until ˜35 Myr, probably due primarily to massive clouds of debris generated in giant impacts during the oligarchic/chaotic growth phases of terrestrial planets. If the contribution from primordial disks is excluded, the evolution of the incidence of these oligarchic/chaotic debris disks can be described empirically by a log-normal function with the peak at 12-20 Myr, including ˜13% of the original population, and with a post-peak mean duration of 10-20 Myr.

  5. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Thermal models of Mercury. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    Recent and more complex thermal models of Mercury and the terrestrial planets are discussed or noted. These models isolate a particular aspect of the planet's thermal history in an attempt to understand that parameter. Among these topics are thermal conductivity, convection, radiogenic sources of heat, other heat sources, and the problem of the molten core and regenerative dynamo.

  6. Multilingual Maps of the Terrestrial Planets and their Moons: the East and Central European Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargitai, H.; Berczi, Sz.

    added more details. We also look for a new color-code, since the natural terrestrial map colors scheme can not be used here: colors like blue or green can be misinterpreted easily. The colors on a terrestrial topographic map use a color system that reflects general vegetation cover (green) and the hydrologic system (blue). Part of this color system, however, can also be found in nature: in yellowing leaves (green-yellow-brown). On Mars or the Moon we try to find a color system that reflect the general colors of these planets but also allows discretion of the colors that reflect height or/and terrain type. The maps are available via internet for free pdf download at http://planetologia.elte.hu. References: Hargitai H. I., Rükl A., Gabzdyl P., Roša D., Kundera T., Marjanac T., Ozimkowsky W., Peneva E., Bandrova T., Oreshina L. S., Baeva L. Y, Krasnopevtseva B. V, Shingareva K. B. (2001-2006) Maps of Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Phobos and Deimos, Central European Edition. Budapest 2 Shingareva K. B., J. Zimbelman, M. Buchroithner, H. I. Hargitai (2006): The Realization of ICA Commission Projects on Planetary Cartography Cartographica Volume 40, issue 4. 3

  7. Linear Thermal Expansion Measurements of Lead Magnesium Niobate (PMN) Electroceramic Material for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlmann, Paul B.; Halverson, Peter G.; Peters, Robert D.; Levine, Marie B.; VanBuren, David; Dudik, Matthew J.

    2005-01-01

    Linear thermal expansion measurements of nine samples of Lead Magnesium Niobate (PMN) electroceramic material were recently performed in support of NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (TPF-C) mission. The TPF-C mission is a visible light coronagraph designed to look at roughly 50 stars pre- selected as good candidates for possessing earth-like planets. Upon detection of an earth-like planet, TPF-C will analyze the visible-light signature of the planet's atmosphere for specific spectroscopic indicators that life may exist there. With this focus, the project's primary interest in PMN material is for use as a solid-state actuator for deformable mirrors or compensating optics. The nine test samples were machined from three distinct boules of PMN ceramic manufactured by Xinetics Inc. Thermal expansion measurements were performed in 2005 at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in their Cryogenic Dilatometer Facility. All measurements were performed in vacuum with sample temperature actively controlled over the range of 270K to 3 10K. Expansion and contraction of the test samples with temperature was measured using a JPL developed interferometric system capable of sub-nanometer accuracy. Presented in this paper is a discussion of the sample configuration, test facilities, test method, data analysis, test results, and future plans.

  8. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebauer, S; Grenfell, J L; Stock, J W; Lehmann, R; Godolt, M; von Paris, P; Rauer, H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O 2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O 2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O 2 , whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O 2 is formed abiotically via CO 2 photolysis. The O 2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. ( 2006 ) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH 4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH 4 with increasing O 2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O 2 is unique. Mixing, CH 4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O 2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O 2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases

  9. THE MASS OF Kepler-93b AND THE COMPOSITION OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David; Dumusque, Xavier; Gettel, Sara; Latham, David W.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Johnson, John Asher; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Pepe, Francesco; Udry, Stéphane; Lovis, Christophe [Observatoire Astronomique de l' Université de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix (Switzerland); Collier Cameron, Andrew; Haywood, Raphaëlle D. [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews Fife KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Molinari, Emilio; Cosentino, Rosario; Fiorenzano, Aldo F. M.; Harutyunyan, Avet [INAF - Fundación Galileo Galilei, Rambla José Ana Fernandez Pérez 7, E-38712 Breña Baja (Spain); Affer, Laura [INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, I-90124 Palermo (Italy); Bonomo, Aldo S. [INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Pino Torinese (Italy); Figueira, Pedro, E-mail: cdressing@cfa.harvard.edu [Centro de Astrofìsica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); and others

    2015-02-20

    Kepler-93b is a 1.478 ± 0.019 R {sub ⊕} planet with a 4.7 day period around a bright (V = 10.2), astroseismically characterized host star with a mass of 0.911 ± 0.033 M {sub ☉} and a radius of 0.919 ± 0.011 R {sub ☉}. Based on 86 radial velocity observations obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo and 32 archival Keck/HIRES observations, we present a precise mass estimate of 4.02 ± 0.68 M {sub ⊕}. The corresponding high density of 6.88 ± 1.18 g cm{sup –3} is consistent with a rocky composition of primarily iron and magnesium silicate. We compare Kepler-93b to other dense planets with well-constrained parameters and find that between 1 and 6 M {sub ⊕}, all dense planets including the Earth and Venus are well-described by the same fixed ratio of iron to magnesium silicate. There are as of yet no examples of such planets with masses >6 M {sub ⊕}. All known planets in this mass regime have lower densities requiring significant fractions of volatiles or H/He gas. We also constrain the mass and period of the outer companion in the Kepler-93 system from the long-term radial velocity trend and archival adaptive optics images. As the sample of dense planets with well-constrained masses and radii continues to grow, we will be able to test whether the fixed compositional model found for the seven dense planets considered in this paper extends to the full population of 1-6 M {sub ⊕} planets.

  10. Gas in the Terrestrial Planet Region of Disks: CO Fundamental Emission from T Tauri Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

    planetary systems: protoplanetary disks — stars: variables: other 1. INTRODUCTION As the likely birthplaces of planets, the inner regions of young...both low column density regions, such as disk gaps , and temperature inversion regions in disk atmospheres can produce significant emission. The esti...which planetary systems form. The moti- vation to study inner disks is all the more intense today given the discovery of planets outside the solar system

  11. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Jehin, Emmanuël; Agol, Eric; Deck, Katherine M; Lederer, Susan M; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Ingalls, James G; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Raymond, Sean N; Selsis, Franck; Turbet, Martin; Barkaoui, Khalid; Burgasser, Adam; Burleigh, Matthew R; Carey, Sean J; Chaushev, Aleksander; Copperwheat, Chris M; Delrez, Laetitia; Fernandes, Catarina S; Holdsworth, Daniel L; Kotze, Enrico J; Van Grootel, Valérie; Almleaky, Yaseen; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2017-02-22

    One aim of modern astronomy is to detect temperate, Earth-like exoplanets that are well suited for atmospheric characterization. Recently, three Earth-sized planets were detected that transit (that is, pass in front of) a star with a mass just eight per cent that of the Sun, located 12 parsecs away. The transiting configuration of these planets, combined with the Jupiter-like size of their host star-named TRAPPIST-1-makes possible in-depth studies of their atmospheric properties with present-day and future astronomical facilities. Here we report the results of a photometric monitoring campaign of that star from the ground and space. Our observations reveal that at least seven planets with sizes and masses similar to those of Earth revolve around TRAPPIST-1. The six inner planets form a near-resonant chain, such that their orbital periods (1.51, 2.42, 4.04, 6.06, 9.1 and 12.35 days) are near-ratios of small integers. This architecture suggests that the planets formed farther from the star and migrated inwards. Moreover, the seven planets have equilibrium temperatures low enough to make possible the presence of liquid water on their surfaces.

  12. Energy Balance Models of planetary climate as a tool for investigating the habitability of terrestrial planets and its evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, G.; Murante, G.; Provenzale, A.; Silva, L.; Vladilo, G.

    2012-04-01

    The study of the habitability and potential for life formation of terrestrial planets requires a considerable work of modelization owing to the limited amount of experimental constraints typical of this type of research. As an example, the paucity of experimental Archean data severely limits the study of the habitability of the primitive Earth at the epoch of the origin of life. In the case of exoplanets the amount of experimental information available is quite limited and the need for modelization strong. Here we focus on the modelization of the surface planetary temperature, a key thermodynamical quantity used to define the habitability. Energy Balance Models (EBM) of planetary climate provide a simple way to calculate the temperature-latitude profile of terrestrial planets with a small amount of computing resources. Thanks to this fact EBMs offer an excellent tool to exploring a wide range of parameter space and therefore testing the effects of variations of physical/chemical quantities unconstrained by experimental data. In particular, one can easily probe possible scenarios of habitability at different stages of planetary evolution. We have recently implemented one-dimensional EBMs featuring the possibility of probing variations of astronomical and geophysical parameters, such as stellar luminosity, orbital semi-major axis and eccentricity, obliquity of the planetary axis, planet rotational velocity, land/ocean surface fractions and thermal capacities, and latitudinal heat diffusion. After testing our models against results obtained in previous work (Williams & Kasting 1997, Icarus, 129, 254; Spiegel et al. 2008, ApJ, 681, 1609), we introduced a novel parametrization of the diffusion coefficient as a function of the stellar zenith distance. Our models have been validated using the mean temperature-latitude profiles of the present Earth and its seasonal variations; the global albedo has been used as an additional constraint. In this work we present specific

  13. Formation, habitability, and detection of extrasolar moons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Williams, Darren; Kipping, David; Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin; Greenberg, Richard; Sasaki, Takanori; Bolmont, Emeline; Grasset, Olivier; Lewis, Karen; Barnes, Rory; Zuluaga, Jorge I

    2014-09-01

    The diversity and quantity of moons in the Solar System suggest a manifold population of natural satellites exist around extrasolar planets. Of peculiar interest from an astrobiological perspective, the number of sizable moons in the stellar habitable zones may outnumber planets in these circumstellar regions. With technological and theoretical methods now allowing for the detection of sub-Earth-sized extrasolar planets, the first detection of an extrasolar moon appears feasible. In this review, we summarize formation channels of massive exomoons that are potentially detectable with current or near-future instruments. We discuss the orbital effects that govern exomoon evolution, we present a framework to characterize an exomoon's stellar plus planetary illumination as well as its tidal heating, and we address the techniques that have been proposed to search for exomoons. Most notably, we show that natural satellites in the range of 0.1-0.5 Earth mass (i) are potentially habitable, (ii) can form within the circumplanetary debris and gas disk or via capture from a binary, and (iii) are detectable with current technology.

  14. THE STRUCTURE OF SURFACE H{sub 2}O LAYERS OF ICE-COVERED PLANETS WITH HIGH-PRESSURE ICE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueta, S.; Sasaki, T., E-mail: ueta@geo.titech.ac.jp, E-mail: takanori@geo.titech.ac.jp [Earth and Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551 (Japan)

    2013-10-01

    Many extrasolar (bound) terrestrial planets and free-floating (unbound) planets have been discovered. While the existence of bound and unbound terrestrial planets with liquid water is an important question, of particular importance is the question of these planets' habitability. Even for a globally ice-covered planet, geothermal heat from the planetary interior may melt the interior ice, creating an internal ocean covered by an ice shell. In this paper, we discuss the conditions that terrestrial planets must satisfy for such an internal ocean to exist on the timescale of planetary evolution. The question is addressed in terms of planetary mass, distance from a central star, water abundance, and abundance of radiogenic heat sources. In addition, we investigate the structure of the surface H{sub 2}O layers of ice-covered planets by considering the effects of ice under high pressure (high-pressure ice). As a fiducial case, a 1 M{sub ⊕} planet at 1 AU from its central star and with 0.6-25 times the H{sub 2}O mass of the Earth could have an internal ocean. We find that high-pressure ice layers may appear between the internal ocean and the rock portion on a planet with an H{sub 2}O mass over 25 times that of the Earth. The planetary mass and abundance of surface water strongly restrict the conditions under which an extrasolar terrestrial planet may have an internal ocean with no high-pressure ice under the ocean. Such high-pressure ice layers underlying the internal ocean are likely to affect the habitability of the planet.

  15. EVIDENCE AGAINST AN EDGE-ON DISK AROUND THE EXTRASOLAR PLANET, 2MASS 1207 b AND A NEW THICK-CLOUD EXPLANATION FOR ITS UNDERLUMINOSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Close, Laird M.; Szucs, Laszlo; Apai, Daniel; Pascucci, Ilaria; Biller, Beth A.

    2011-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first directly imaged, planetary-mass object, 2MASS 1207 b, several works have sought to explain a disparity between its observed temperature and luminosity. Given its known age, distance, and spectral type, 2MASS 1207 b is underluminous by a factor of ∼10 (∼2.5 mag) when compared to standard models of brown-dwarf/giant-planet evolution. In this paper, we study three possible sources of 2MASS 1207 b's underluminosity. First, we investigate Mohanty et al.'s hypothesis that a near edge-on disk, comprising large, gray-extincting grains, might be responsible for 2MASS 1207 b's underluminosity. After radiative transfer modeling, we conclude that the hypothesis is unlikely due to the lack of variability seen in multi-epoch photometry and unnecessary due to the increasing sample of underluminous brown dwarfs/giant exoplanets that cannot be explained by an edge-on disk. Next, we test the analogous possibility that a spherical shell of dust could explain 2MASS 1207 b's underluminosity. Models containing enough dust to create ∼2.5 mag of extinction, placed at reasonable radii, are ruled out by our new Gemini/T-ReCS 8.7 μm photometric upper limit for 2MASS 1207 b. Finally, we investigate the possibility that 2MASS 1207 b is intrinsically cooler than the commonly used AMES-DUSTY fits to its spectrum, and thus it is not, in fact, underluminous. New, thick-cloud model grids by Madhusudhan et al. fit 2MASS 1207 b's 1-10 μm spectral energy distribution well, but they do not quite fit its near-infrared spectrum. However, we suggest that with some 'tuning', they might be capable of simultaneously reproducing 2MASS 1207 b's spectral shape and luminosity. In this case, the whole class of young, underluminous brown dwarfs/giant exoplanets might be explained by atmospheres that are able to suspend thick, dusty clouds in their photospheres at temperatures lower than field brown dwarfs.

  16. The Bulk Elemental Composition of any Terrestrial Planets in the Alpha Centauri System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lineweaver, C. H.; Schonberger, B. F. G.; Robles, J. A.

    2010-04-01

    Based on the devolatilization patterns in the solar system, and on the differences in the chemical compositions of the Sun and Alpha Centauri, we make estimates of the chemical composition of any Earth-like planets in the Alpha Centauri system.

  17. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2009-01-01

    We study the final architecture of planetary systems that evolve under the combined effects of planet-planet and planetesimal scattering. Using N-body simulations we investigate the dynamics of marginally unstable systems of gas and ice giants both in isolation and when the planets form interior to a planetesimal belt. The unstable isolated systems evolve under planet-planet scattering to yield an eccentricity distribution that matches that observed for extrasolar planets. When planetesimals are included the outcome depends upon the total mass of the planets. For M tot ∼> 1 M J the final eccentricity distribution remains broad, whereas for M tot ∼ J a combination of divergent orbital evolution and recircularization of scattered planets results in a preponderance of nearly circular final orbits. We also study the fate of marginally stable multiple planet systems in the presence of planetesimal disks, and find that for high planet masses the majority of such systems evolve into resonance. A significant fraction leads to resonant chains that are planetary analogs of Jupiter's Galilean satellites. We predict that a transition from eccentric to near-circular orbits will be observed once extrasolar planet surveys detect sub-Jovian mass planets at orbital radii of a ≅ 5-10 AU.

  18. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets . XXXII. New multi-planet systems in the HARPS volume limited sample: a super-Earth and a Neptune in the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo Curto, G.; Mayor, M.; Benz, W.; Bouchy, F.; Hébrard, G.; Lovis, C.; Moutou, C.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.

    2013-03-01

    The vast diversity of planetary systems detected to date is defying our capability of understanding their formation and evolution. Well-defined volume-limited surveys are the best tool at our disposal to tackle the problem, via the acquisition of robust statistics of the orbital elements. We are using the HARPS spectrograph to conduct our survey of ≈850 nearby solar-type stars, and in the course of the past nine years we have monitored the radial velocity of HD 103774, HD 109271, and BD-061339. In this work we present the detection of five planets orbiting these stars, with msin (i) between 0.6 and 7 Neptune masses, four of which are in two multiple systems, comprising one super-Earth and one planet within the habitable zone of a late-type dwarf. Although for strategic reasons we chose efficiency over precision in this survey, we have the capability to detect planets down to the Neptune and super-Earth mass range as well as multiple systems, provided that enough data points are made available. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla (Chile), under the GTO program ID 072.C-0488 and the regular programs: 085.C-0019, 087.C-0831 and 089.C-0732. RV data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/551/A59

  19. Asteroid impacts on terrestrial planets: the effects of super-Earths and the role of the ν6 resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smallwood, Jeremy L.; Martin, Rebecca G.; Lepp, Stephen; Livio, Mario

    2018-01-01

    With N-body simulations of a planetary system with an asteroid belt, we investigate how the asteroid impact rate on the Earth is affected by the architecture of the planetary system. We find that the ν6 secular resonance plays an important role in the asteroid collision rate with the Earth. Compared to exoplanetary systems, the Solar system is somewhat special in its lack of a super-Earth mass planet in the inner Solar system. We therefore first consider the effects of the presence of a super-Earth in the terrestrial planet region. We find a significant effect for super-Earths with a mass of around 10 M⊕ and a separation greater than about 0.7 au. For a super-Earth which is interior to the Earth's orbit, the number of asteroids colliding with Earth increases the closer the super-Earth is to the Earth's orbit. This is the result of multiple secular resonance locations causing more asteroids to be perturbed on to Earth-crossing orbits. When the super-Earth is placed exterior to Earth's orbit, the collision rate decreases substantially because the ν6 resonance no longer exists in the asteroid belt region. We also find that changing the semimajor axis of Saturn leads to a significant decrease in the asteroid collision rate, though increasing its mass increases the collision rate. These results may have implications for the habitability of exoplanetary systems.

  20. Thermal expansion and thermal stress in the moon and terrestrial planets - Clues to early thermal history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, S. C.; Chaiken, J.

    1976-01-01

    The paper discusses how features of the surface geology of the moon and also Mars and Mercury impose constraints on the volumetric expansion or contraction of a planet and consequently provide a test of thermal history models. The moon has changed very little in volume over the last 3.8 b.y. Thermal models satisfying this constraint involve early heating and perhaps melting of the outer 200 km of the moon and an initially cold interior. Mercury has contracted by about 2 km in radius since emplacement of its present surface, so core formation must predate that surface. A hot initial temperature distribution is implied.

  1. MICROLENS TERRESTRIAL PARALLAX MASS MEASUREMENTS: A RARE PROBE OF ISOLATED BROWN DWARFS AND FREE-FLOATING PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gould, Andrew; Yee, Jennifer C.

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial microlens parallax is one of the very few methods that can measure the mass and number density of isolated dark low-mass objects, such as old free-floating planets and brown dwarfs. Terrestrial microlens parallax can be measured whenever a microlensing event differs substantially as observed from two or more well-separated sites. If the lens also transits the source during the event, then its mass can be measured. We derive an analytic expression for the expected rate of such events and then use this to derive two important conclusions. First, the rate is directly proportional to the number density of a given population, greatly favoring low-mass populations relative to their contribution to the general microlensing rate, which further scales as M 1/2 where M is the lens mass. Second, the rate rises sharply as one probes smaller source stars, despite the fact that the probability of transit falls directly with source size. We propose modifications to current observing strategies that could yield a factor of 100 increase in sensitivity to these rare events.

  2. The ExtraSolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, M.; Lyon, R.

    2010-10-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a 1.65-m telescope employing a visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) to deliver high-contrast images of extrasolar system architectures. EPIC will survey the architectures of exosolar systems, and investigate the physical nature of planets in these solar systems. EPIC will employ a Visible Nulling Coronagraph (VNC), featuring an inner working angle of ≤2λ/D, and offers the ideal balance between performance and feasibility of implementation, while not sacrificing science return. The VNC does not demand unrealistic thermal stability from its telescope optics, achieving its primary mirror surface figure requires no new technology, and pointing stability is within state of the art. The EPIC mission will be launched into a drift-away orbit with a five-year mission lifetime.

  3. Occultation Spectrophotometry of Extrasolar Planets with SOFIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Huber, Klaus F.; Mandell, Avi M.; McElwain, Michael W.; Czesla, Stefan; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2012-01-01

    The NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.5- meter infrared telescope on board a Boeing 747-SP, will conduct 0.3 - 1,600 micrometer photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations from altitudes as high as 45,000 ft., where the average atmospheric transmission is greater than 80 percent. SOFIA's first light cameras and spectrometers, as well as future generations of instruments, will make important contributions to the characterization of the physical properties of exoplanets. Our analysis shows that optical and near-infrared photometric and spectrophotometric follow-up observations during planetary transits and eclipses will be feasible with SOFIA's instrumentation, in particular the HIPOFLITECAM optical/NIR instruments. The airborne-based platform has unique advantages in comparison to ground- and space-based observatories in this field of research which we will outline here. Furthermore we will present two exemplary science cases, that will be conducted in SOFIA's cycle 1.

  4. Towards Understanding the Climate of Venus Applications of Terrestrial Models to Our Sister Planet

    CERN Document Server

    Bonnet, Roger-Maurice; Grinspoon, David; Koumoutsaris, Symeon; Lebonnois, Sebastien; Titov, Dmitri

    2013-01-01

    ESA’s Venus Express Mission has monitored Venus since April 2006, and scientists worldwide have used mathematical models to investigate its atmosphere and model its circulation. This book summarizes recent work to explore and understand the climate of the planet through a research program under the auspices of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland. Some of the unique elements that are discussed are the anomalies with Venus’ surface temperature (the huge greenhouse effect causes the surface to rise to 460°C, without which would plummet as low as -40°C), its unusual lack of solar radiation (despite being closer to the Sun, Venus receives less solar radiation than Earth due to its dense cloud cover reflecting 76% back) and the juxtaposition of its atmosphere and planetary rotation (wind speeds can climb up to 200 m/s, much faster than Venus’ sidereal day of 243 Earth-days).

  5. The provenances of asteroids, and their contributions to the volatile inventories of the terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, C M O'D; Bowden, R; Fogel, M L; Howard, K T; Herd, C D K; Nittler, L R

    2012-08-10

    Determining the source(s) of hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen accreted by Earth is important for understanding the origins of water and life and for constraining dynamical processes that operated during planet formation. Chondritic meteorites are asteroidal fragments that retain records of the first few million years of solar system history. The deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) values of water in carbonaceous chondrites are distinct from those in comets and Saturn's moon Enceladus, implying that they formed in a different region of the solar system, contrary to predictions of recent dynamical models. The D/H values of water in carbonaceous chondrites also argue against an influx of water ice from the outer solar system, which has been invoked to explain the nonsolar oxygen isotopic composition of the inner solar system. The bulk hydrogen and nitrogen isotopic compositions of CI chondrites suggest that they were the principal source of Earth's volatiles.

  6. Pervasive orbital eccentricities dictate the habitability of extrasolar earths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kita, Ryosuke; Rasio, Frederic; Takeda, Genya

    2010-09-01

    The long-term habitability of Earth-like planets requires low orbital eccentricities. A secular perturbation from a distant stellar companion is a very important mechanism in exciting planetary eccentricities, as many of the extrasolar planetary systems are associated with stellar companions. Although the orbital evolution of an Earth-like planet in a stellar binary system is well understood, the effect of a binary perturbation on a more realistic system containing additional gas-giant planets has been very little studied. Here, we provide analytic criteria confirmed by a large ensemble of numerical integrations that identify the initial orbital parameters leading to eccentric orbits. We show that an extrasolar earth is likely to experience a broad range of orbital evolution dictated by the location of a gas-giant planet, which necessitates more focused studies on the effect of eccentricity on the potential for life.

  7. Optimized Strategies for Detecting Extrasolar Space Weather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallinan, Gregg

    2018-06-01

    Fully understanding the implications of space weather for the young solar system, as well as the wider population of planet-hosting stars, requires remote sensing of space weather in other stellar systems. Solar coronal mass ejections can be accompanied by bright radio bursts at low frequencies (typically measurement of the magnetic field strength of the planet, informing on whether the atmosphere of the planet can survive the intense magnetic activity of its host star. However, both stellar and planetary radio emission are highly variable and optimal strategies for detection of these emissions requires the capability to monitor 1000s of nearby stellar/planetary systems simultaneously. I will discuss optimized strategies for both ground and space-based experiments to take advantage of the highly variable nature of the radio emissions powered by extrasolar space weather to enable detection of stellar CMEs and planetary magnetospheres.

  8. A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Amado, Pedro J; Barnes, John; Berdiñas, Zaira M; Butler, R Paul; Coleman, Gavin A L; de la Cueva, Ignacio; Dreizler, Stefan; Endl, Michael; Giesers, Benjamin; Jeffers, Sandra V; Jenkins, James S; Jones, Hugh R A; Kiraga, Marcin; Kürster, Martin; López-González, Marίa J; Marvin, Christopher J; Morales, Nicolás; Morin, Julien; Nelson, Richard P; Ortiz, José L; Ofir, Aviv; Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Reiners, Ansgar; Rodríguez, Eloy; Rodrίguez-López, Cristina; Sarmiento, Luis F; Strachan, John P; Tsapras, Yiannis; Tuomi, Mikko; Zechmeister, Mathias

    2016-08-25

    At a distance of 1.295 parsecs, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri (α Centauri C, GL 551, HIP 70890 or simply Proxima) is the Sun's closest stellar neighbour and one of the best-studied low-mass stars. It has an effective temperature of only around 3,050 kelvin, a luminosity of 0.15 per cent of that of the Sun, a measured radius of 14 per cent of the radius of the Sun and a mass of about 12 per cent of the mass of the Sun. Although Proxima is considered a moderately active star, its rotation period is about 83 days (ref. 3) and its quiescent activity levels and X-ray luminosity are comparable to those of the Sun. Here we report observations that reveal the presence of a small planet with a minimum mass of about 1.3 Earth masses orbiting Proxima with a period of approximately 11.2 days at a semi-major-axis distance of around 0.05 astronomical units. Its equilibrium temperature is within the range where water could be liquid on its surface.

  9. Modulation of Terrestrial Convection by Tropospheric Humidity, and Implications for Other Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genio, Anthony Del

    2013-01-01

    For decades, deep cumulus convection was viewed as consisting partly of undilute plumes that do not interact with their surrounding environment in order to explain their observed tendency to reach or penetrate the tropical tropopause. This behavior was built into all cumulus parameterizations used in terrestrial global climate and numerical weather prediction models, and it still persists in some models today. In the past decade, though, some embarrassing failures of global models have come to light, notably their tendency to rain over land near noon rather than in late afternoon or evening as observed, and the absence in the models of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), the major source of intraseasonal (30-90 day) precipitation variability in the Indian Ocean, West Pacific, and surrounding continental regions. In the past decade it has become clear that an important missing component of parameterizations is strong turbulent entrainment of drier environmental air into cumulus updrafts, which reduces the buoyancy of the updrafts and thus limits their vertical development. Tropospheric humidity thus serves as a throttle on convective penetration to high altitudes and delays the convective response to large-scale destabilizing influences in the environment.

  10. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution: Introduction. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    The relative ages of various geologic units and structures place tight constraints on the origin of the Moon and the planet Mercury, and thus provide a better understanding of the geologic histories of these bodies. Crater statistics, a reexamination of lunar geologic maps, and the compilation of a geologic map of a quarter of Mercury's surface based on plains units dated relative to crater degradation classes were used to determine relative ages. This provided the basis for deducing the origin of intercrater plains and their role in terrestrial planet evolution.

  11. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part I: atmospheric expansion and thermal escape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkaev, Nikolai V; Lammer, Helmut; Odert, Petra; Kulikov, Yuri N; Kislyakova, Kristina G; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Biernat, Helfried

    2013-11-01

    The recently discovered low-density "super-Earths" Kepler-11b, Kepler-11f, Kepler-11d, Kepler-11e, and planets such as GJ 1214b represent the most likely known planets that are surrounded by dense H/He envelopes or contain deep H₂O oceans also surrounded by dense hydrogen envelopes. Although these super-Earths are orbiting relatively close to their host stars, they have not lost their captured nebula-based hydrogen-rich or degassed volatile-rich steam protoatmospheres. Thus, it is interesting to estimate the maximum possible amount of atmospheric hydrogen loss from a terrestrial planet orbiting within the habitable zone of late main sequence host stars. For studying the thermosphere structure and escape, we apply a 1-D hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model that solves the equations of mass, momentum, and energy conservation for a planet with the mass and size of Earth and for a super-Earth with a size of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth). We calculate volume heating rates by the stellar soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) and expansion of the upper atmosphere, its temperature, density, and velocity structure and related thermal escape rates during the planet's lifetime. Moreover, we investigate under which conditions both planets enter the blow-off escape regime and may therefore experience loss rates that are close to the energy-limited escape. Finally, we discuss the results in the context of atmospheric evolution and implications for habitability of terrestrial planets in general.

  12. Terrestrial atmosphere, water and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coradini M.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Primitive life, defined as a chemical system capable to transfer its molecular information via self-replication and also capable to evolve, originated about 4 billion years ago from the processing of organic molecules by liquid water. Terrestrial atmosphere played a key role in the process by allowing the permanent presence of liquid water and by participating in the production of carbon-based molecules. Water molecules exhibit specific properties mainly due to a dense network of hydrogen bonds. The carbon-based molecules were either home made in the atmosphere and/or in submarine hydrothermal systems or delivered by meteorites and micrometeorites. The search for possible places beyond the earth where the trilogy atmosphere/water/life could exist is the main objective of astrobiology. Within the Solar System, exploration missions are dedicated to Mars, Europa, Titan and the icy bodies. The discovery of several hundreds of extrasolar planets opens the quest to the whole Milky Way.

  13. Polyamorphic Transformations in Fe-Ni-C Liquids: Implications for Chemical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets: Fe-Ni-C liquid structural change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lai, Xiaojing [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI USA; Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI USA; Chen, Bin [Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI USA; Wang, Jianwei [Department of Geology and Geophysics, Center for Computation and Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA USA; Kono, Yoshio [HPCAT, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Argonne IL USA; Zhu, Feng [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI USA

    2017-12-01

    During the formation of the Earth's core, the segregation of metallic liquids from silicate mantle should have left behind evident geochemical imprints on both the mantle and the core. Some distinctive geochemical signatures of the mantle-derived rocks likely own their origin to the metal-silicate differentiation of the primitive Earth, setting our planet apart from undifferentiated meteorites as well as terrestrial planets or moons isotopically and compositionally. Understanding the chemical evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies requires knowledge on properties of both liquid iron alloys and silicates equilibrating under physicochemical conditions pertinent to the deep magma ocean. Here we report experimental and computational results on the pressure-induced structural evolution of iron-nickel liquids alloyed with carbon. Our X-ray diffraction experiments up to 7.3 gigapascals (GPa) demonstrate that Fe-Ni (Fe90Ni10) liquids alloyed with 3 and 5 wt % carbon undergo a polyamorphic liquid structure transition at approximately 5 GPa. Corroborating the experimental observations, our first-principles molecular dynamic calculations reveal that the structural transitions result from the marked prevalence of three-atom face-sharing polyhedral connections in the liquids at >5 GPa. The structure and polyamorphic transitions of liquid iron-nickel-carbon alloys govern their physical and chemical properties and may thus cast fresh light on the chemical evolution of terrestrial planets and moons.

  14. Gravitational waves emitted by extrasolar planetary systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berti, E.; Ferrari, V.

    2001-01-01

    The recently discovered Extrasolar Planetary Systems (EPS's) are potentially interesting sources of gravitational waves, since they are very close to Earth (at distances ∼ 10 pc), and their orbital features and positions in the sky are quite well known. As a first estimate, we compute the orbital emission of these systems using the quadrupole formula. Then we show that, in principle, the orbiting planet could resonantly excite the quasi-normal modes of the central star. We use the general-relativistic theory of stellar pulsations to estimate the effects of such a resonance on the gravitational-wave emission of the system. We also consider radiation-reaction effects on the orbital evolution, and give upper limits on the timescales required for a planet to get off-resonance. (author)

  15. Na, Rb and Cs partitioning between metal, silicate and sulfide: Implications for volatile depletion in terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boujibar, A.; Fei, Y.; Du, Z.; Righter, K.; Bullock, E. S.

    2017-12-01

    Inner Solar System materials are known for their depletion in volatile elements, including the moderately volatile alkalis: Na, K, Rb, and Cs. The origin of this depletion is still uncertain, as several processes could have been involved, during the nebular condensation or planetary accretion. Volatile depletion is commonly estimated through comparison of alkali concentrations relatively to those of chondrites, assuming they remain in planetary mantles during core segregation. However, experimental studies show that substantial K can partition into metals that are enriched in sulfur and oxygen. Several models have also suggested that sulfides may have played an important role during episodes of sulfide segregation from a crystallizing magma ocean (sulfide matte) or accretion of S-rich planetary embryos. For Mercury, a sulfide layer could be present between core and mantle, due to immiscibility between Si-rich and S-rich metals. Therefore, here we investigate whether alkali elements (Na, Cs and Rb) could be partly sequestered in planetary cores during their differentiation. We conducted experiments at high pressure and temperature (1 to 5 GPa and up to 1900 °C) to determine partition coefficients of Na, Rb and Cs between metal and silicate. Our results show that pressure, temperature, sulfur and oxygen in metals enhance the partitioning of Na, Rb and Cs into metals, as previously found for K. For all three investigated alkalis (Na, Rb and Cs), we found a maximum partition coefficient of 1 between sulfides containing 13 wt% O and silicate melt. Therefore, S-rich cores or sulfide layers formed due to immiscibility in Fe-S-O systems could have acted as important geochemical reservoirs for alkali elements. Using our experimental data and different assumptions on initial bulk abundances, we evaluate volatile depletion in terrestrial planets, by comparing resulting mantle alkali concentrations after core segregation, with actual concentrations in the Earth's mantle.

  16. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Discussion of the nature, origin and role of the intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    The nature and origin of the intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon as determined through geologic mapping, crater statistics, and remotely sensed data are summarized. Implications of these results regarding scarp formation, absolute ages, and terrestrial planet surfaces are included. The role of the intercrater plains is defined and future work which might lead to a better understanding of these units and terrestrial planet evolution is outlined.

  17. Planet-planet scattering leads to tightly packed planetary systems

    OpenAIRE

    Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory; Veras, Dimitri; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel; Greenberg, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The known extrasolar multiple-planet systems share a surprising dynamical attribute: they cluster just beyond the Hill stability boundary. Here we show that the planet-planet scattering model, which naturally explains the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution, can reproduce the observed distribution of dynamical configurations. We calculated how each of our scattered systems would appear over an appropriate range of viewing geometries; as Hill stability is weakly dependent on the masse...

  18. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-Like Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; hide

    2016-01-01

    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar systems longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere. Here we review current understanding and update the timeline of key processes in early Mars history. We then draw on knowledge of exoplanets and the other solar system terrestrial planets to identify six broad questions of high importance to the development and sustaining of habitability (unprioritized): (1) Is small planetary size fatal? (2) How do magnetic fields influence atmospheric evolution? (3) To what extent does starting composition dictate subsequent evolution, including redox processes and the availability of water and organics? (4) Does early impact bombardment have a net deleterious or beneficial influence? (5) How do planetary climates respond to stellar evolution, e.g., sustaining early liquid water in spite of a faint young Sun? (6) How important are the timescales of climate forcing and their dynamical drivers? Finally, we suggest crucial types of Mars measurements (unprioritized) to address these questions: (1) in situ petrology at multiple units/sites; (2) continued quantification of volatile reservoirs and new isotopic measurements of H, C, N, O, S, Cl, and noble gases in rocks that sample multiple stratigraphic sections; (3) radiometric age dating of units in stratigraphic sections and from key volcanic and impact units; (4) higher-resolution measurements of heat flux, subsurface structure, and magnetic field anomalies coupled with absolute age dating. Understanding the evolution of early Mars will feed forward to

  19. Very high-density planets: a possible remnant of gas giants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocquet, A; Grasset, O; Sotin, C

    2014-04-28

    Data extracted from the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia (see http://exoplanet.eu) show the existence of planets that are more massive than iron cores that would have the same size. After meticulous verification of the data, we conclude that the mass of the smallest of these planets is actually not known. However, the three largest planets, Kepler-52b, Kepler-52c and Kepler-57b, which are between 30 and 100 times the mass of the Earth, have indeed density larger than an iron planet of the same size. This observation triggers this study that investigates under which conditions these planets could represent the naked cores of gas giants that would have lost their atmospheres during their migration towards the star. This study shows that for moderate viscosity values (10(25) Pa s or lower), large values of escape rate and associated unloading stress rate during the atmospheric loss process lead to the explosion of extremely massive planets. However, for moderate escape rate, the bulk viscosity and finite-strain incompressibility of the cores of giant planets can be large enough to retain a very high density during geological time scales. This would make those a new kind of planet, which would help in understanding the interior structure of the gas giants. However, this new family of exoplanets adds some degeneracy for characterizing terrestrial exoplanets.

  20. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC): visible nulling cornagraph testbed results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Clampin, Mark; Melnick, Gary; Tolls, Volker; Woodruff, Robert; Vasudevan, Gopal

    2008-07-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a NASA Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept under study for the upcoming Exoplanet Probe. EPIC's mission would be to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets, and potential super-Earths, in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys and potentially some transits, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres of gas giants around A and F stars, observed the inner spatial structure and colors of inner Spitzer selected debris disks. EPIC would be launched into a heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 3-year mission lifetime (5 year goal) and will revisit planets at least three times. The starlight suppression approach consists of a visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) that enables high order starlight suppression in broadband light. To demonstrate the VNC approach and advance it's technology readiness the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and Lockheed-Martin have developed a laboratory VNC and have demonstrated white light nulling. We will discuss our ongoing VNC work and show the latest results from the VNC testbed.

  1. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph: Visible Nulling Coronagraph Testbed Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Richard G.

    2008-01-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Discovery mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres around A and F stars, observed the inner spatial structure and colors of inner Spitzer selected debris disks. EPIC would be launched to heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 3-year mission lifetime ( 5 year goal) and will revisit planets at least three times at intervals of 9 months. The starlight suppression approach consists of a visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) that enables high order starlight suppression in broadband light. To demonstrate the VNC approach and advance it's technology readiness the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Lockheed-Martin have developed a laboratory VNC and have demonstrated white light nulling. We will discuss our ongoing VNC work and show the latest results from the VNC testbed,

  2. Planets in Binary Star Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Haghighipour, Nader

    2010-01-01

    The discovery of extrasolar planets over the past decade has had major impacts on our understanding of the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. There are features and characteristics unseen in our solar system and unexplainable by the current theories of planet formation and dynamics. Among these new surprises is the discovery of planets in binary and multiple-star systems. The discovery of such "binary-planetary" systems has confronted astrodynamicists with many new challenges, and has led them to re-examine the theories of planet formation and dynamics. Among these challenges are: How are planets formed in binary star systems? What would be the notion of habitability in such systems? Under what conditions can binary star systems have habitable planets? How will volatiles necessary for life appear on such planets? This volume seeks to gather the current research in the area of planets in binary and multistar systems and to familiarize readers with its associated theoretical and observation...

  3. EFFECTS OF STELLAR FLUX ON TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS: DEGREE-1 MANTLE CONVECTION AND LOCAL MAGMA PONDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gelman, S. E.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Seager, S.

    2011-01-01

    We model the geodynamical evolution of super-Earth exoplanets in synchronous rotation about their star. While neglecting the effects of a potential atmosphere, we explore the parameter spaces of both the Rayleigh number and intensity of incoming stellar flux, and identify two main stages of mantle convection evolution. The first is a transient stage in which a lithospheric temperature and thickness dichotomy emerges between the substellar and the antistellar hemispheres, while the style of mantle convection is dictated by the Rayleigh number. The second stage is the development of degree-1 mantle convection. Depending on mantle properties, the timescale of onset of this second stage of mantle evolution varies from order 1 to 100 billion years of simulated planetary evolution. Planets with higher Rayleigh numbers (due to, for instance, larger planetary radii than the Earth) and planets whose incoming stellar flux is high (likely for most detectable exoplanets) will develop degree-1 mantle convection most quickly, on the order of 1 billion years, which is within the age of many planetary systems. Surface temperatures range from 220 K to 830 K, implying the possibility of liquid water in some regions near the surface. These results are discussed in the context of stable molten magma ponds on hotter planets, and the habitability of super-Earths which may lie outside the Habitable Zone.

  4. The science case of the CHEOPS planet finder for VLT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gratton, R.; Feldt, M.; Schmid, H.M.; Brandner, W.; Hippler, S.; Neuhauser, R.; Quirrenbach, A.; Desidera, S.; Turatto, M.; Stam, D.M.; Hasinger, G.; Turner, M.J.L.

    2004-01-01

    The CHEOPS Planet Finder is one of the proposed second generation instruments for the VLT. Its purpose is to image and characterize giant extrasolar planets in different phases of their evolution: young, warm planets as well as old, cold ones. Imaging the last ones is the most challenging task

  5. Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, V. S.; Lustig-Yaeger, J.; Lincowski, A.; Arney, G. N.; Robinson, T. D.; Schwieterman, E. W.; Deming, L. D.; Tovar, G.

    2017-11-01

    We will provide an overview of the measurements, techniques, and upcoming missions required to characterize terrestrial planet environments and evolution, and search for signs of habitability and life.

  6. Planets a very short introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A

    2010-01-01

    Planets: A Very Short Introduction demonstrates the excitement, uncertainties, and challenges faced by planetary scientists, and provides an overview of our Solar System and its origins, nature, and evolution. Terrestrial planets, giant planets, dwarf planets and various other objects such as satellites (moons), asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects, and exoplanets are discussed. Our knowledge about planets has advanced over the centuries, and has expanded at a rapidly growing rate in recent years. Controversial issues are outlined, such as What qualifies as a planet? What conditions are required for a planetary body to be potentially inhabited by life? Why does Pluto no longer have planet status? And Is there life on other planets?

  7. The hottest planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph; Luszcz, Statia; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake; Richardson, L Jeremy

    2007-06-07

    Of the over 200 known extrasolar planets, just 14 pass in front of and behind their parent stars as seen from Earth. This fortuitous geometry allows direct determination of many planetary properties. Previous reports of planetary thermal emission give fluxes that are roughly consistent with predictions based on thermal equilibrium with the planets' received radiation, assuming a Bond albedo of approximately 0.3. Here we report direct detection of thermal emission from the smallest known transiting planet, HD 149026b, that indicates a brightness temperature (an expression of flux) of 2,300 +/- 200 K at 8 microm. The planet's predicted temperature for uniform, spherical, blackbody emission and zero albedo (unprecedented for planets) is 1,741 K. As models with non-zero albedo are cooler, this essentially eliminates uniform blackbody models, and may also require an albedo lower than any measured for a planet, very strong 8 microm emission, strong temporal variability, or a heat source other than stellar radiation. On the other hand, an instantaneous re-emission blackbody model, in which each patch of surface area instantly re-emits all received light, matches the data. This planet is known to be enriched in heavy elements, which may give rise to novel atmospheric properties yet to be investigated.

  8. STABILIZING CLOUD FEEDBACK DRAMATICALLY EXPANDS THE HABITABLE ZONE OF TIDALLY LOCKED PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Jun; Abbot, Dorian S.; Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2013-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where a planet can sustain surface liquid water. Searching for terrestrial planets in the HZ of nearby stars is the stated goal of ongoing and planned extrasolar planet surveys. Previous estimates of the inner edge of the HZ were based on one-dimensional radiative-convective models. The most serious limitation of these models is the inability to predict cloud behavior. Here we use global climate models with sophisticated cloud schemes to show that due to a stabilizing cloud feedback, tidally locked planets can be habitable at twice the stellar flux found by previous studies. This dramatically expands the HZ and roughly doubles the frequency of habitable planets orbiting red dwarf stars. At high stellar flux, strong convection produces thick water clouds near the substellar location that greatly increase the planetary albedo and reduce surface temperatures. Higher insolation produces stronger substellar convection and therefore higher albedo, making this phenomenon a stabilizing climate feedback. Substellar clouds also effectively block outgoing radiation from the surface, reducing or even completely reversing the thermal emission contrast between dayside and nightside. The presence of substellar water clouds and the resulting clement surface conditions will therefore be detectable with the James Webb Space Telescope.

  9. Hydrothermal simulation experiments as a tool for studies of the origin of life on Earth and other terrestrial planets: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Nils G; Andersson, Eva

    2005-08-01

    life on Earth and probably also to the other terrestrial planets.

  10. Three new massive companions in the planet-brown dwarf boundary detected with SOPHIE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santerne A.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We report the detection of three new massive companions to mainsequence stars based on precise radial velocities obtained with the SOPHIE spectrograph, as part of an ongoing programme to search for extrasolar planets. The minimum masses of the detected companions range from around 16 Mjup to around 60 Mjup, and therefore lie at both sides of the boundary between massive extrasolar planets and brown dwarves.

  11. The effect of lunarlike satellites on the orbital infrared light curves of Earth-analog planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas A; Gaidos, Eric; Williams, Darren M

    2009-04-01

    We have investigated the influence of lunarlike satellites on the infrared orbital light curves of Earth-analog extrasolar planets. Such light curves will be obtained by NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and ESA's Darwin missions as a consequence of repeat observations to confirm the companion status of a putative planet and determine its orbit. We used an energy balance model to calculate disk-averaged infrared (bolometric) fluxes from planet-satellite systems over a full orbital period (one year). The satellites are assumed to lack an atmosphere, have a low thermal inertia like that of the Moon, and span a range of plausible radii. The planets are assumed to have thermal and orbital properties that mimic those of Earth, while their obliquities and orbital longitudes of inferior conjunction remain free parameters. Even if the gross thermal properties of the planet can be independently constrained (e.g., via spectroscopy or visible-wavelength detection of specular glint from a surface ocean), only the largest (approximately Mars-sized) lunarlike satellites can be detected by light curve data from a TPF-like instrument (i.e., one that achieves a photometric signal-to-noise ratio of 10 to 20 at infrared wavelengths). Nondetection of a lunarlike satellite can obfuscate the interpretation of a given system's infrared light curve so that it may resemble a single planet with high obliquity, different orbital longitude of vernal equinox relative to inferior conjunction, and in some cases drastically different thermal characteristics. If the thermal properties of the planet are not independently established, then the presence of a lunarlike satellite cannot be inferred from infrared data, which would thus demonstrate that photometric light curves alone can only be used for preliminary study, and the addition of spectroscopic data will be necessary.

  12. Aerosol Properties of the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavvas, P. [Groupe de Spectrométrie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique, UMR CNRS 7331, Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne, Reims (France); Koskinen, T., E-mail: panayotis.lavvas@univ-reims.fr [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2017-09-20

    We use a model of aerosol microphysics to investigate the impact of high-altitude photochemical aerosols on the transmission spectra and atmospheric properties of close-in exoplanets, such as HD 209458 b and HD 189733 b. The results depend strongly on the temperature profiles in the middle and upper atmospheres, which are poorly understood. Nevertheless, our model of HD 189733 b, based on the most recently inferred temperature profiles, produces an aerosol distribution that matches the observed transmission spectrum. We argue that the hotter temperature of HD 209458 b inhibits the production of high-altitude aerosols and leads to the appearance of a clearer atmosphere than on HD 189733 b. The aerosol distribution also depends on the particle composition, photochemical production, and atmospheric mixing. Due to degeneracies among these inputs, current data cannot constrain the aerosol properties in detail. Instead, our work highlights the role of different factors in controlling the aerosol distribution that will prove useful in understanding different observations, including those from future missions. For the atmospheric mixing efficiency suggested by general circulation models, we find that the aerosol particles are small (∼nm) and probably spherical. We further conclude that a composition based on complex hydrocarbons (soots) is the most likely candidate to survive the high temperatures in hot-Jupiter atmospheres. Such particles would have a significant impact on the energy balance of HD 189733 b’s atmosphere and should be incorporated in future studies of atmospheric structure. We also evaluate the contribution of external sources to photochemical aerosol formation and find that their spectral signature is not consistent with observations.

  13. Predicting radio fluxes of extrasolar planets (Griessmeier+, 2007)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griessmeier, J.M.; Zarka, P.; Spreeuw, H.

    2007-01-01

    Expected radio emission from presently known exoplanets. For each of the currently known exoplanets, we list its estimated magnetic moment, maximum radio emission frequency, plasma frequency in the ambient stellar wind, and radio fluxes according to three different models. (1 data file).

  14. Classifying Planets: Nature vs. Nurture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beichman, Charles A.

    2009-05-01

    The idea of a planet was so simple when we learned about the solar system in elementary school. Now students and professional s alike are faced with confusing array of definitions --- from "Brown Dwarfs” to "Super Jupiters", from "Super Earths” to "Terrestrial Planets", and from "Planets” to "Small, Sort-of Round Things That Aren't Really Planets". I will discuss how planets might be defined by how they formed, where they are found, or by the life they might support.

  15. ESPRI: Astrometric planet search with PRIMA at the VLTI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ségransan D.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The ESPRI consortium will conduct an astrometric survey for extrasolar planets, using the PRIMA facility at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. Our scientific goals include determining orbital inclinations and masses for planets already known from radial-velocity surveys, searches for planets around nearby stars of all masses, and around young stars. The consortium has built the PRIMA differential delay lines, developed an astrometric operation and calibration plan, and will deliver astrometric data reduction software.

  16. Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podolak, Morris

    2018-04-01

    Modern observational techniques are still not powerful enough to directly view planet formation, and so it is necessary to rely on theory. However, observations do give two important clues to the formation process. The first is that the most primitive form of material in interstellar space exists as a dilute gas. Some of this gas is unstable against gravitational collapse, and begins to contract. Because the angular momentum of the gas is not zero, it contracts along the spin axis, but remains extended in the plane perpendicular to that axis, so that a disk is formed. Viscous processes in the disk carry most of the mass into the center where a star eventually forms. In the process, almost as a by-product, a planetary system is formed as well. The second clue is the time required. Young stars are indeed observed to have gas disks, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, surrounding them, and observations tell us that these disks dissipate after about 5 to 10 million years. If planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are very rich in hydrogen and helium, are to form in such a disk, they must accrete their gas within 5 million years of the time of the formation of the disk. Any formation scenario one proposes must produce Jupiter in that time, although the terrestrial planets, which don't contain significant amounts of hydrogen and helium, could have taken longer to build. Modern estimates for the formation time of the Earth are of the order of 100 million years. To date there are two main candidate theories for producing Jupiter-like planets. The core accretion (CA) scenario supposes that any solid materials in the disk slowly coagulate into protoplanetary cores with progressively larger masses. If the core remains small enough it won't have a strong enough gravitational force to attract gas from the surrounding disk, and the result will be a terrestrial planet. If the core grows large enough (of the order of ten Earth masses), and the disk has not yet dissipated, then

  17. Habitable Planets Around White and Brown Dwarfs: The Perils of a Cooling Primary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René

    2013-01-01

    Abstract White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10−6. Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 104 K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable. Key Words: Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Habitable zone—Tides—Exoplanets. Astrobiology 13, 279–291. PMID:23537137

  18. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Thermal histories of Mercury and the Moon. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    To determine a planet's thermal history, a wide range of data is necessary. These data include remote sensing results, photogeologic evidence, magnetic field and remanent magnetization data, composition and ages of samples, and physical parameters of the planet and its orbit. Few of these data form unambiguous constraints for thermal models of Mercury. Igneous Chronology as the time history of the differentiation and igneous activity, is defined. Igneous Chronology is used here in the sense of the apparent igneous or relative chronology of geologic events, such as plains formation (through whatever mechanism) relative to the crater production and tectonic history (lineament and scarp formation).

  19. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Alternative thermal histories. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    Interpretations supporting a differentiated, once active Mercury are listed. Alternative scenarios of the planet's thermal history involve: different distributions of accreted materials, including uranium and thorium-rich materials; variations of early melting; and different modes of plains and scarp formation. Arguments are advanced which strongly favor plains formation by volcanism, lack of a primordial surface, and possible identification of remnant tensional features. Studies of remotely sensed data which strongly suggest a modestly homogeneous surface of silicates imply core separation. Reasons for accepting or rejecting various hypotheses for thermal histories of the planet are mentioned.

  20. Radio images of the planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Pater, I.

    1990-01-01

    Observations at radio wavelengths make possible detailed studies of planetary atmospheres, magnetospheres, and surface layers. The paper addresses the question of what can be learned from interferometric radio images of planets. Results from single-element radio observations are also discussed. Observations of both the terrestrial and the giant planets are considered. 106 refs

  1. Extreme Water Loss and Abiotic O2 Buildup on Planets Throughout the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than ∼1 Gyr could have been in runaway greenhouses for several hundred million years following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase, provided they form with abundant surface water. Such prolonged runaway greenhouses can lead to planetary evolution divergent from that of Earth. During this early runaway phase, photolysis of water vapor and hydrogen/oxygen escape to space can lead to the loss of several Earth oceans of water from planets throughout the habitable zone, regardless of whether the escape is energy-limited or diffusion-limited. We find that the amount of water lost scales with the planet mass, since the diffusion-limited hydrogen escape flux is proportional to the planet surface gravity. In addition to undergoing potential desiccation, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bar of abiotically produced O2, resulting in potential false positives for life. The amount of O2 that builds up also scales with the planet mass; we find that O2 builds up at a constant rate that is controlled by diffusion: ∼5 bar/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ∼25 bar/Myr on super-Earths. As a result, some recently discovered super-Earths in the habitable zone such as GJ 667Cc could have built up as many as 2000 bar of O2 due to the loss of up to 10 Earth oceans of water. The fate of a given planet strongly depends on the extreme ultraviolet flux, the duration of the runaway regime, the initial water content, and the rate at which oxygen is absorbed by the surface. In general, we find that the initial phase of high luminosity may compromise the habitability of many terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars. Key Words: Astrobiology—Biosignatures—Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 15, 119–143. PMID:25629240

  2. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Twicken, Joseph D.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey

    2012-03-01

    The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy and astrophysics in the twenty-first century, capturing the public's attention as well as that of the astronomical community. This nascent field was conceived in 1989 with the discovery of a candidate planetary companion to HD114762 [35] and was born in 1995 with the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg-b [37] orbiting a main sequence star. As of March, 2011, over 500 exoplanets have been discovered* and 106 are known to transit or cross their host star, as viewed from Earth. Of these transiting planets, 15 have been announced by the Kepler Mission, which was launched into an Earth-trailing, heliocentric orbit in March, 2009 [1,4,6,15,18,20,22,31,32,34,36,43]. In addition, over 1200 candidate transiting planets have already been detected by Kepler [5], and vigorous follow-up observations are being conducted to vet these candidates. As the false-positive rate for Kepler is expected to be quite low [39], Kepler has effectively tripled the number of known exoplanets. Moreover, Kepler will provide an unprecedented data set in terms of photometric precision, duration, contiguity, and number of stars. Kepler's primary science objective is to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets transiting their Sun-like host stars in the habitable zone, that range of orbital distances for which liquid water would pool on the surface of a terrestrial planet such as Earth, Mars, or Venus. This daunting task demands an instrument capable of measuring the light output from each of over 100,000 stars simultaneously with an unprecedented photometric precision of 20 parts per million (ppm) at 6.5-h intervals. The large number of stars is required because the probability of the geometrical alignment of planetary orbits that permit observation of transits is the ratio of the size of the star to the size of the planetary orbit. For Earth-like planets in 1-astronomical unit (AU) orbits† about sun-like stars

  3. A Demonstration Setup to Simulate Detection of Planets outside the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choopan, W.; Ketpichainarong, W.; Laosinchai, P.; Panijpan, B.

    2011-01-01

    We constructed a simple demonstration setup to simulate an extrasolar planet and its star revolving around the system's centre of mass. Periodic dimming of light from the star by the transiting planet and the star's orbital revolution simulate the two major ways of deducing the presence of an exoplanet near a distant star. Apart from being a…

  4. Microlensing by multiple planets in high-magnification events

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaudi, BS; Sackett, PD

    1998-01-01

    Microlensing is increasingly gaining recognition as a powerful method for the detection and characterization of extrasolar planetary systems. Naively, one might expect that the probability of detecting the influence of more than one planet on any single microlensing light curve would be small.

  5. XUV-Exposed, Non-Hydrostatic Hydrogen-Rich Upper Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets. Part II: Hydrogen Coronae and Ion Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Holmström, Mats; Panchenko, Mykhaylo; Odert, Petra; Erkaev, Nikolai V.; Leitzinger, Martin; Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Kulikov, Yuri N.; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We studied the interactions between the stellar wind plasma flow of a typical M star, such as GJ 436, and the hydrogen-rich upper atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and a “super-Earth” with a radius of 2 REarth and a mass of 10 MEarth, located within the habitable zone at ∼0.24 AU. We investigated the formation of extended atomic hydrogen coronae under the influences of the stellar XUV flux (soft X-rays and EUV), stellar wind density and velocity, shape of a planetary obstacle (e.g., magnetosphere, ionopause), and the loss of planetary pickup ions on the evolution of hydrogen-dominated upper atmospheres. Stellar XUV fluxes that are 1, 10, 50, and 100 times higher compared to that of the present-day Sun were considered, and the formation of high-energy neutral hydrogen clouds around the planets due to the charge-exchange reaction under various stellar conditions was modeled. Charge-exchange between stellar wind protons with planetary hydrogen atoms, and photoionization, lead to the production of initially cold ions of planetary origin. We found that the ion production rates for the studied planets can vary over a wide range, from ∼1.0×1025 s−1 to ∼5.3×1030 s−1, depending on the stellar wind conditions and the assumed XUV exposure of the upper atmosphere. Our findings indicate that most likely the majority of these planetary ions are picked up by the stellar wind and lost from the planet. Finally, we estimated the long-time nonthermal ion pickup escape for the studied planets and compared them with the thermal escape. According to our estimates, nonthermal escape of picked-up ionized hydrogen atoms over a planet's lifetime within the habitable zone of an M dwarf varies between ∼0.4 Earth ocean equivalent amounts of hydrogen (EOH) to stars—Early atmospheres—Earth-like exoplanets—Energetic neutral atoms—Ion escape—Habitability. Astrobiology 13, 1030–1048. PMID:24283926

  6. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part II: hydrogen coronae and ion escape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kislyakova, Kristina G; Lammer, Helmut; Holmström, Mats; Panchenko, Mykhaylo; Odert, Petra; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Leitzinger, Martin; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Kulikov, Yuri N; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold

    2013-11-01

    We studied the interactions between the stellar wind plasma flow of a typical M star, such as GJ 436, and the hydrogen-rich upper atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and a "super-Earth" with a radius of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth), located within the habitable zone at ∼0.24 AU. We investigated the formation of extended atomic hydrogen coronae under the influences of the stellar XUV flux (soft X-rays and EUV), stellar wind density and velocity, shape of a planetary obstacle (e.g., magnetosphere, ionopause), and the loss of planetary pickup ions on the evolution of hydrogen-dominated upper atmospheres. Stellar XUV fluxes that are 1, 10, 50, and 100 times higher compared to that of the present-day Sun were considered, and the formation of high-energy neutral hydrogen clouds around the planets due to the charge-exchange reaction under various stellar conditions was modeled. Charge-exchange between stellar wind protons with planetary hydrogen atoms, and photoionization, lead to the production of initially cold ions of planetary origin. We found that the ion production rates for the studied planets can vary over a wide range, from ∼1.0×10²⁵ s⁻¹ to ∼5.3×10³⁰ s⁻¹, depending on the stellar wind conditions and the assumed XUV exposure of the upper atmosphere. Our findings indicate that most likely the majority of these planetary ions are picked up by the stellar wind and lost from the planet. Finally, we estimated the long-time nonthermal ion pickup escape for the studied planets and compared them with the thermal escape. According to our estimates, nonthermal escape of picked-up ionized hydrogen atoms over a planet's lifetime within the habitable zone of an M dwarf varies between ∼0.4 Earth ocean equivalent amounts of hydrogen (EO(H)) to <3 EO(H) and usually is several times smaller in comparison to the thermal atmospheric escape rates.

  7. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXI. CoRoT-19b: a low density planet orbiting an old inactive F9V-star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guenther, E. W.; Díaz, R. F.; Gazzano, J.-C.

    2012-01-01

    Context. Observations of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance to our understanding of planets because their mass, radius, and mass density can be determined. These measurements indicate that planets of similar mass can have very different radii. For low-density planets, it is gener...

  8. The Planetary Terrestrial Analogues Library (PTAL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, S. C.; Dypvik, H.; Poulet, F.; Rull Perez, F.; Bibring, J.-P.; Bultel, B.; Casanova Roque, C.; Carter, J.; Cousin, A.; Guzman, A.; Hamm, V.; Hellevang, H.; Lantz, C.; Lopez-Reyes, G.; Manrique, J. A.; Maurice, S.; Medina Garcia, J.; Navarro, R.; Negro, J. I.; Neumann, E. R.; Pilorget, C.; Riu, L.; Sætre, C.; Sansano Caramazana, A.; Sanz Arranz, A.; Sobron Grañón, F.; Veneranda, M.; Viennet, J.-C.; PTAL Team

    2018-04-01

    The Planetary Terrestrial Analogues Library project aims to build and exploit a spectral data base for the characterisation of the mineralogical and geological evolution of terrestrial planets and small solar system bodies.

  9. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING LEADS TO TIGHTLY PACKED PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory; Veras, Dimitri; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel; Greenberg, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The known extrasolar multiple-planet systems share a surprising dynamical attribute: they cluster just beyond the Hill stability boundary. Here we show that the planet-planet scattering model, which naturally explains the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution, can reproduce the observed distribution of dynamical configurations. We calculated how each of our scattered systems would appear over an appropriate range of viewing geometries; as Hill stability is weakly dependent on the masses, the mass-inclination degeneracy does not significantly affect our results. We consider a wide range of initial planetary mass distributions and find that some are poor fits to the observed systems. In fact, many of our scattering experiments overproduce systems very close to the stability boundary. The distribution of dynamical configurations of two-planet systems may provide better discrimination between scattering models than the distribution of eccentricity. Our results imply that, at least in their inner regions which are weakly affected by gas or planetesimal disks, planetary systems should be 'packed', with no large gaps between planets.

  10. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Areal measurement of Mercury's first quadrant. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    Various linear and areal measurements of Mercury's first quadrant which were used in geological map preparation, map analysis, and statistical surveys of crater densities are discussed. Accuracy of each method rests on the determination of the scale of the photograph, i.e., the conversion factor between distances on the planet (in km) and distances on the photograph (in cm). Measurement errors arise due to uncertainty in Mercury's radius, poor resolution, poor coverage, high Sun angle illumination in the limb regions, planetary curvature, limited precision in measuring instruments, and inaccuracies in the printed map scales. Estimates are given for these errors.

  11. Elemental compositions of two extrasolar rocky planetesimals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1562 (United States); Koester, D., E-mail: sxu@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: kleinb@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: ben@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: koester@astrophysik.uni-kiel.de [Institut fur Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, University of Kiel, D-24098 Kiel (Germany)

    2014-03-10

    We report Keck/HIRES and Hubble Space Telescope/COS spectroscopic studies of extrasolar rocky planetesimals accreted onto two hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs, G29-38 and GD 133. In G29-38, eight elements are detected, including C, O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, and Fe while in GD 133, O, Si, Ca, and marginally Mg are seen. These two extrasolar planetesimals show a pattern of refractory enhancement and volatile depletion. For G29-38, the observed composition can be best interpreted as a blend of a chondritic object with some refractory-rich material, a result from post-nebular processing. Water is very depleted in the parent body accreted onto G29-38, based on the derived oxygen abundance. The inferred total mass accretion rate in GD 133 is the lowest of all known dusty white dwarfs, possibly due to non-steady state accretion. We continue to find that a variety of extrasolar planetesimals all resemble to zeroth order the elemental composition of bulk Earth.

  12. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Chronology of surface history of Mercury. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    Phases in the history of the planet Mercury include: (1) condensation and accretion; (2) heating; (3) planetary expansion during heavy bombardment; (4) tidal spin-down and lineament formation; (5) P5 plains emplacement; (6) P4 plains emplacement; (7) peak planetary volume in P3 period; (8) scarp formation; (9) Caloris Basin formation, late class 3; (10) scarp formation and P2 plains formation; (11) smooth plains formation in and around large basins; (12) late or local tectonic stress; and (13) quiescent class 1 period. Although the cooling and contraction of the lithosphere are complete, the core remains molten as an active dynamo, producing the magnetic fields detected by Mariner 10. Plains produced since core formation (P3 to P-1) should record its magnetic activity. Cratering during the Class 2 and Class 1 periods is probably not enough to distribute ballistic materials and homogenize any color differences.

  13. Challenges in Discerning Atmospheric Composition in Directly Imaged Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.

    2017-01-01

    One of the justifications motivating efforts to detect and characterize young extrasolar giant planets has been to measure atmospheric composition for comparison with that of the primary star. If the enhancement of heavy elements in the atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets, like it is for their solar system analogs, is inversely proportional to mass, then it is likely that these worlds formed by core accretion. However in practice it has been very difficult to constrain metallicity because of the complex effect of clouds. Cloud opacity varies both vertically and, in some cases, horizontally through the atmosphere. Particle size and composition, both of which impact opacity, are difficult challenges both for forward modeling and retrieval studies. In my presentation I will discuss systematic efforts to improve cloud studies to enable more reliable determinations of atmospheric composition. These efforts are relevant both to discerning composition of directly imaged young planets from ground based telescopes and future space based missions, such as WFIRST and LUVOIR.

  14. Giant Planets: Good Neighbors for Habitable Worlds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Eggl, Siegfried; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian

    2018-04-01

    The presence of giant planets influences potentially habitable worlds in numerous ways. Massive celestial neighbors can facilitate the formation of planetary cores and modify the influx of asteroids and comets toward Earth analogs later on. Furthermore, giant planets can indirectly change the climate of terrestrial worlds by gravitationally altering their orbits. Investigating 147 well-characterized exoplanetary systems known to date that host a main-sequence star and a giant planet, we show that the presence of “giant neighbors” can reduce a terrestrial planet’s chances to remain habitable, even if both planets have stable orbits. In a small fraction of systems, however, giant planets slightly increase the extent of habitable zones provided that the terrestrial world has a high climate inertia. In providing constraints on where giant planets cease to affect the habitable zone size in a detrimental fashion, we identify prime targets in the search for habitable worlds.

  15. A scientometric prediction of the discovery of the first potentially habitable planet with a mass similar to Earth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Arbesman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields.

  16. A scientometric prediction of the discovery of the first potentially habitable planet with a mass similar to Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbesman, Samuel; Laughlin, Gregory

    2010-10-04

    The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields.

  17. LARGER PLANET RADII INFERRED FROM STELLAR ''FLICKER'' BRIGHTNESS VARIATIONS OF BRIGHT PLANET-HOST STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bastien, Fabienne A.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Pepper, Joshua

    2014-01-01

    Most extrasolar planets have been detected by their influence on their parent star, typically either gravitationally (the Doppler method) or by the small dip in brightness as the planet blocks a portion of the star (the transit method). Therefore, the accuracy with which we know the masses and radii of extrasolar planets depends directly on how well we know those of the stars, the latter usually determined from the measured stellar surface gravity, log g. Recent work has demonstrated that the short-timescale brightness variations ( f licker ) of stars can be used to measure log g to a high accuracy of ∼0.1-0.2 dex. Here, we use flicker measurements of 289 bright (Kepmag < 13) candidate planet-hosting stars with T eff = 4500-6650 K to re-assess the stellar parameters and determine the resulting impact on derived planet properties. This re-assessment reveals that for the brightest planet-host stars, Malmquist bias contaminates the stellar sample with evolved stars: nearly 50% of the bright planet-host stars are subgiants. As a result, the stellar radii, and hence the radii of the planets orbiting these stars, are on average 20%-30% larger than previous measurements had suggested

  18. The Gemini Planet Imager: From Science to Design to Construction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B; Graham, J R; Palmer, D; Doyon, R; Dunn, J; Gavel, D; Larkin, J; Oppenheimer, B; Saddlemyer, L; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Wallace, J K; Bauman, B; Erickson, D; Marois, C; Poyneer, L; Soummer, R

    2008-07-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a facility instrument under construction for the 8-m Gemini South telescope. It combines a 1500 subaperture AO system using a MEMS deformable mirror, an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph, a high-accuracy IR interferometer calibration system, and a near-infrared integral field spectrograph to allow detection and characterization of self-luminous extrasolar planets at planet/star contrast ratios of 10{sup -7}. I will discuss the evolution from science requirements through modeling to the final detailed design, provide an overview of the subsystems and show models of the instrument's predicted performance.

  19. Water Loss from Young Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Feng; Güdel, Manuel; Johnstone, Colin P.; Lammer, Helmut; Luger, Rodrigo; Odert, Petra

    2018-04-01

    Good progress has been made in the past few years to better understand the XUV evolution trend of Sun-like stars, the capture and dissipation of hydrogen dominant envelopes of planetary embryos and protoplanets, and water loss from young planets around M dwarfs. This chapter reviews these recent developments. Observations of exoplanets and theoretical works in the near future will significantly advance our understanding of one of the fundamental physical processes shaping the evolution of solar system terrestrial planets.

  20. Giant planet population synthesis: comparing theory with observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benz, W; Mordasini, C; Alibert, Y; Naef, D

    2008-01-01

    The characteristics of the now over 250 known extra-solar giant planets begin to provide a database with which current planet formation theories can be put to the test. To do this, we synthesize the expected planet population based on the core-accretion scenario by sampling initial conditions in a Monte Carlo fashion. We then apply appropriate observational detection biases and compare the resulting population with the one actually detected. Quantitative statistical tests allow us to determine how well the models are reproducing the observed samples. The model can be applied to compute the expected planet population detectable with different techniques (radial velocity measurements, transits, gravitational lensing, etc) or orbiting stars of different masses. In the latter case, we show that forming Jupiter-mass planets orbiting M dwarfs within the lifetime of proto-planetary disks is indeed possible. However, the models predict that with decreasing stellar mass, the ratio of Jupiter- to Neptune-mass planets will sharply decrease

  1. Giant planet population synthesis: comparing theory with observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benz, W.; Mordasini, C.; Alibert, Y.; Naef, D.

    2008-08-01

    The characteristics of the now over 250 known extra-solar giant planets begin to provide a database with which current planet formation theories can be put to the test. To do this, we synthesize the expected planet population based on the core-accretion scenario by sampling initial conditions in a Monte Carlo fashion. We then apply appropriate observational detection biases and compare the resulting population with the one actually detected. Quantitative statistical tests allow us to determine how well the models are reproducing the observed samples. The model can be applied to compute the expected planet population detectable with different techniques (radial velocity measurements, transits, gravitational lensing, etc) or orbiting stars of different masses. In the latter case, we show that forming Jupiter-mass planets orbiting M dwarfs within the lifetime of proto-planetary disks is indeed possible. However, the models predict that with decreasing stellar mass, the ratio of Jupiter- to Neptune-mass planets will sharply decrease.

  2. Stellar oscillations in planet-hosting giant stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hatzes, Artie P; Zechmeister, Mathias [Thueringer Landessternwarte, Sternwarte 5, D-07778 (Germany)], E-mail: artie@tls-tautenburg.de

    2008-10-15

    Recently a number of giant extrasolar planets have been discovered around giant stars. These discoveries are important because many of these giant stars have intermediate masses in the range 1.2-3 Msun. Early-type main sequence stars of this mass range have been avoided by radial velocity planet search surveys due the difficulty of getting the requisite radial velocity precision needed for planet discoveries. Thus, giant stars can tell us about planet formation for stars more massive than the sun. However, the determination of stellar masses for giant stars is difficult due to the fact that evolutionary tracks for stars covering a wide range of masses converge to the same region of the H-R diagram. We report here on stellar oscillations in three planet-hosting giant stars: HD 13189, {beta} Gem, and {iota} Dra. Precise stellar radial velocity measurements for these stars show variations whose periods and amplitudes are consistent with solar-like p-mode oscillations. The implied stellar masses for these objects based on the characteristics of the stellar oscillations are consistent with the predictions of stellar isochrones. An investigation of stellar oscillations in planet hosting giant stars offers us the possibility of getting an independent determination of the stellar mass for these objects which is of crucial importance for extrasolar planet studies.

  3. Magic Planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    2009-01-01

    Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november......Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november...

  4. Rocky Planet Formation: Quick and Neat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Najita, Joan R.; Bromley, Benjamin C.

    2016-11-01

    We reconsider the commonly held assumption that warm debris disks are tracers of terrestrial planet formation. The high occurrence rate inferred for Earth-mass planets around mature solar-type stars based on exoplanet surveys (˜20%) stands in stark contrast to the low incidence rate (≤2%-3%) of warm dusty debris around solar-type stars during the expected epoch of terrestrial planet assembly (˜10 Myr). If Earth-mass planets at au distances are a common outcome of the planet formation process, this discrepancy suggests that rocky planet formation occurs more quickly and/or is much neater than traditionally believed, leaving behind little in the way of a dust signature. Alternatively, the incidence rate of terrestrial planets has been overestimated, or some previously unrecognized physical mechanism removes warm dust efficiently from the terrestrial planet region. A promising removal mechanism is gas drag in a residual gaseous disk with a surface density ≳10-5 of the minimum-mass solar nebula.

  5. THESIS: terrestrial and habitable zone infrared spectroscopy spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasisht, G.; Swain, M. R.; Akeson, R. L.; Burrows, A.; Deming, D.; Grillmair, C. J.; Greene, T. P.

    2008-07-01

    THESIS is a concept for a medium class mission designed for spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets between 2-14 microns. The concept leverages off the recent first-steps made by Spitzer and Hubble in characterizing the atmospheres of alien gas giants. Under favourable circumstances, THESIS is capable of identifying biogenic molecules in habitable-zone planets, thereby determining conditions on worlds where life might exist. By systematically characterizing many worlds, from rocky planets to gas-giants, THESIS would deliver transformational science of profound interest to astronomers and the general public.

  6. The evolution of comets and the detectability of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stern, S.A.

    1989-01-01

    According the standard theory, comets are natural products of solar system formation, ejected to the Oort Cloud by gravitational scattering events during the epoch of giant planet formation. Stored far from the Sun for billions of years, comets almost certainly contain a record of the events which occurred during (and perhaps even before) the epoch of planetary formation. Two themes are examined of the evolutionary processes that affect comets in the Oort Cloud, and a search for evidence of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds (ESOCs). With regard to cometary evolution in the Oort Cloud, it was found that luminous O stars and supernovae have heated the surface layers of all comets on numerous occasions to 20 to 30 K and perhaps once to 50 K. Interstellar medium (ISM) interactions blow small grains out of the Oort Clouds, and erode the upper few hundred g/cu cm of material from cometary surfaces. The findings presented contradict the standard view that comets do not undergo physical change in the Oort Cloud. A logical consequence of the intimate connection between the Oort Cloud and our planetary system is that the detection of comet clouds around other stars would strongly indicate the sites of extant extra-solar planetary systems. A search was conducted for infrared IR emission from debris in ESOCs. After examining 17 stars using the Infrared Astronomical Satellite data base, only upper limits on ESOC emission could be set

  7. Doppler spectroscopy as a path to the detection of Earth-like planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Michel; Lovis, Christophe; Santos, Nuno C

    2014-09-18

    Doppler spectroscopy was the first technique used to reveal the existence of extrasolar planetary systems hosted by solar-type stars. Radial-velocity surveys led to the detection of a rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets. The numerous detected systems revealed a remarkable diversity. Combining Doppler measurements with photometric observations of planets transiting their host stars further provides access to the planet bulk density, a first step towards comparative exoplanetology. The development of new high-precision spectrographs and space-based facilities will ultimately lead us to characterize rocky planets in the habitable zone of our close stellar neighbours.

  8. Planets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  9. Planets, stars and stellar systems

    CERN Document Server

    Bond, Howard; McLean, Ian; Barstow, Martin; Gilmore, Gerard; Keel, William; French, Linda

    2013-01-01

    This is volume 3 of Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems, a six-volume compendium of modern astronomical research covering subjects of key interest to the main fields of contemporary astronomy. This volume on “Solar and Stellar Planetary Systems” edited by Linda French and Paul Kalas presents accessible review chapters From Disks to Planets, Dynamical Evolution of Planetary Systems, The Terrestrial Planets, Gas and Ice Giant Interiors, Atmospheres of Jovian Planets, Planetary Magnetospheres, Planetary Rings, An Overview of the Asteroids and Meteorites, Dusty Planetary Systems and Exoplanet Detection Methods. All chapters of the handbook were written by practicing professionals. They include sufficient background material and references to the current literature to allow readers to learn enough about a specialty within astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology to get started on their own practical research projects. In the spirit of the series Stars and Stellar Systems published by Chicago University Press in...

  10. Terrestrial planets under the young Sun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Airapetian, Vladimir S.

    2018-06-01

    Are we alone in the Universe? Is life unique to Earth or a common phenomenon? These fundamental questions represent major puzzles of contemporary science, and were inspiration for a NASA conference on the prebiotic conditions of the early Solar System.

  11. Terrestrial Planet Space Weather Information: An Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Li, Y.; Lee, C.; Mays, M. L.; Odstrcil, D.; Jian, L.; Galvin, A. B.; Mewaldt, R. A.; von Rosenvinge, T. T.; Russell, C. T.; Halekas, J. S.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Jakosky, B. M.; Thompson, W. T.; Baker, D. N.; Dewey, R. M.; Zheng, Y.; Holmstrom, M.; Futaana, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Space weather research is now a solar system-wide enterprise. While with the end of the Venus Express Express mission and MESSENGER, we lost our 'inside' sentinels, new missions such as Solar Orbiter and SPP, and Bepi-Colombo will soon be launched and operating. In the meantime the combination of L1 resources (ACE,WIND,SOHO) and STEREO-A at 1 AU, and Mars Express and MAVEN missions at ~1.5 AU, provide opportunities. Comparative conditions at the Earth orbit and Mars orbit locations are of special interest because they are separated by the region where most solar wind stream interaction regions develop. These alter the propagation of disturbances including the interplanetary CME-driven shocks that make the space radiation affecting future Human mission planning. We share some observational and modeling results thatillustrate present capabilities, as well as developing ones such as ENLIL-based SEP event models that use a range of available observations.

  12. Constraints on planet formation from Kepler’s multiple planet systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, Elisa V.

    2015-01-01

    The recent haul of hundreds of multiple planet systems discovered by Kepler provides a treasure trove of new clues for planet formation theories. The substantial amount of protoplanetary disk mass needed to form the most commonly observed multi-planet systems - small (Earth-sized to mini-Neptune-sized) planets close to their stars - argues against pure in situ formation and suggests that the planets in these systems must have undergone some form of migration. I will present results from numerical simulations of terrestrial planet formation that aim to reproduce the sizes and architecture of Kepler's multi-planet systems, and will discuss the observed resonances and giant planets (or the lack thereof) associated with these systems.

  13. A dynamical study on extrasolar comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loibnegger, B.; Dvorak, R.

    2017-09-01

    Since the detection of absorption features in spectra of beta Pictoris varying on short time scales it is known that comets exist in other stellar systems. We investigate the dynamics of comets in two differently build systems (HD 10180 and HIP 14810). The outcomes of the scattering process, as there are collisions with the planets, captures and ejections from the systems are analysed statistically. Collisions and close encounters with the planets are investigated in more detail in order to conclude about transport of water and organic material. We will also investigate the possibility of detection of comets in other planetary systems.

  14. Space based microlensing planet searches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tisserand Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of extra-solar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects unite the communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: the proposed ESA M class mission EUCLID and the large space mission WFIRST, top ranked by the Astronomy 2010 Decadal Survey report. The later states that: “Space-based microlensing is the optimal approach to providing a true statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, over a range of likely semi-major axes”. They also add: “This census, combined with that made by the Kepler mission, will determine how common Earth-like planets are over a wide range of orbital parameters”. We will present a status report of the results obtained by microlensing on exoplanets and the new objectives of the next generation of ground based wide field imager networks. We will finally discuss the fantastic prospect offered by space based microlensing at the horizon 2020–2025.

  15. OUTCOMES AND DURATION OF TIDAL EVOLUTION IN A STAR-PLANET-MOON SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sasaki, Takashi; Barnes, Jason W.; O'Brien, David P.

    2012-01-01

    We formulated tidal decay lifetimes for hypothetical moons orbiting extrasolar planets with both lunar and stellar tides. Previous works neglected the effect of lunar tides on planet rotation, and are therefore applicable only to systems in which the moon's mass is much less than that of the planet. This work, in contrast, can be applied to the relatively large moons that might be detected around newly discovered Neptune-mass and super-Earth planets. We conclude that moons are more stable when the planet/moon systems are further from the parent star, the planets are heavier, or the parent stars are lighter. Inclusion of lunar tides allows for significantly longer lifetimes for a massive moon relative to prior formulations. We expect that the semimajor axis of the planet hosting the first detected exomoon around a G-type star is 0.4-0.6 AU and is 0.2-0.4 AU for an M-type star.

  16. Chemical signatures of planets: beyond solar-twins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, I.; Meléndez, J.; Asplund, M.

    2014-01-01

    Context. Elemental abundance studies of solar twin stars suggest that the solar chemical composition contains signatures of the formation of terrestrial planets in the solar system, namely small but significant depletions of the refractory elements. Aims: To test whether these chemical signatures of planets are real, we study stars which, compared to solar twins, have less massive convective envelopes (therefore increasing the amplitude of the predicted effect) or are, arguably, more likely to host planets (thus increasing the frequency of signature detections). Methods: We measure relative atmospheric parameters and elemental abundances of two groups of stars: a "warm" late-F type dwarf sample (52 stars), and a sample of "metal-rich" solar analogs (59 stars). The strict differential approach that we adopt allows us to determine with high precision (errors ~0.01 dex) the degree of refractory element depletion in our stars independently of Galactic chemical evolution. By examining relative abundance ratio versus condensation temperature plots we are able to identify stars with "pristine" composition in each sample and to determine the degree of refractory-element depletion for the rest of our stars. We calculate what mixture of Earth-like and meteorite-like material corresponds to these depletions. Results: We detect refractory-element depletions with amplitudes up to about 0.15 dex. The distribution of depletion amplitudes for stars known to host gas giant planets is not different from that of the rest of stars. The maximum amplitude of depletion increases with effective temperature from 5650 K to 5950 K, while it appears to be constant for warmer stars (up to 6300 K). The depletions observed in solar twin stars have a maximum amplitude that is very similar to that seen here for both of our samples. Conclusions: Gas giant planet formation alone cannot explain the observed distributions of refractory-element depletions, leaving the formation of rocky material as a

  17. Volatile components and continental material of planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Florenskiy, K.P.; Nikolayeva, O.V.

    1984-01-01

    It is shown that the continental material of the terrestrial planets varies in composition from planet to planet according to the abundances and composition of true volatiles (H 2 0, CO 2 , etc.) in the outer shells of the planets. The formation of these shells occurs very early in a planet's evolution when the role of endogenous processes is indistinct and continental materials are subject to melting and vaporizing in the absence of an atmosphere. As a result, the chemical properties of continental materials are related not only to fractionation processes but also to meltability and volatility. For planets retaining a certain quantity of true volatile components, the chemical transformation of continental material is characterized by a close interaction between impact melting vaporization and endogeneous geological processes

  18. A SYSTEMATIC SEARCH FOR TROJAN PLANETS IN THE KEPLER DATA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Janson, Markus, E-mail: janson@astro.princeton.edu [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)

    2013-09-10

    Trojans are circumstellar bodies that reside in characteristic 1:1 orbital resonances with planets. While all the trojans in our solar system are small ({approx}<100 km), stable planet-size trojans may exist in extrasolar planetary systems, and the Kepler telescope constitutes a formidable tool to search for them. Here we report on a systematic search for extrasolar trojan companions to 2244 known Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), with epicyclic orbital characteristics similar to those of the Jovian trojan families. No convincing trojan candidates are found, despite a typical sensitivity down to Earth-size objects. This fact, however, cannot be used to stringently exclude the existence of trojans in this size range, since stable trojans need not necessarily share the same orbital plane as the planet, and thus may not transit. Following this reasoning, we note that if Earth-sized trojans exist at all, they are almost certainly both present and in principle detectable in the full set of Kepler data, although a very substantial computational effort would be required to detect them. Additionally, we also note that some of the existing KOIs could in principle be trojans themselves, with a primary planet orbiting outside of the transiting plane. A few examples are given for which this is a readily testable scenario.

  19. Deciphering the Hot Giant Atmospheres Orbiting Nearby Extrasolar Systems with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afrin Badhan, Mahmuda; Batalha, Natasha; Deming, Drake; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; HEBRARD, Eric; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Irwin, Patrick Gerard Joseph

    2016-10-01

    Unique and exotic planets give us an opportunity to understand how planetary systems form and evolve over their lifetime, by placing our own planetary system in the context of the vastly different extrasolar systems that are being continually discovered by present space missions. With orbital separations that are less than one-tenth of the Mercury-Sun distance, these close-in planets provide us with valuable insights about the host stellar atmosphere and planetary atmospheres subjected to their enormous stellar insolation. Observed spectroscopic signatures reveal all spectrally active species in a planet, along with information about its thermal structure and dynamics, allowing us to characterize the planet's atmosphere. NASA's upcoming missions will give us the high-resolution spectra necessary to constrain the atmospheric properties with unprecedented accuracy. However, to interpret the observed signals from exoplanetary transit events with any certainty, we need reliable atmospheric retrieval tools that can model the expected observables adequately. In my work thus far, I have built a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) convergence scheme, with an analytical radiative equilibrium formulation for the thermal structures, within the NEMESIS atmospheric modeling tool, to allow sufficient (and efficient) exploration of the parameter space. I also augmented the opacity tables to improve the speed and reliability of retrieval models. I then utilized this upgraded version to infer the pressure-temperature (P-T) structures and volume-mixing ratios (VMRs) of major gas species in hot Jupiter dayside atmospheres, from their emission spectra. I have employed a parameterized thermal structure to retrieve plausible P-T profiles, along with altitude-invariant VMRs. Here I show my retrieval results on published datasets of HD189733b, and compare them with both medium and high spectral resolution JWST/NIRSPEC simulations. In preparation for the upcoming JWST mission, my current work

  20. Constraining the volatile fraction of planets from transit observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibert, Y.

    2016-06-01

    Context. The determination of the abundance of volatiles in extrasolar planets is very important as it can provide constraints on transport in protoplanetary disks and on the formation location of planets. However, constraining the internal structure of low-mass planets from transit measurements is known to be a degenerate problem. Aims: Using planetary structure and evolution models, we show how observations of transiting planets can be used to constrain their internal composition, in particular the amount of volatiles in the planetary interior, and consequently the amount of gas (defined in this paper to be only H and He) that the planet harbors. We first explore planets that are located close enough to their star to have lost their gas envelope. We then concentrate on planets at larger distances and show that the observation of transiting planets at different evolutionary ages can provide statistical information on their internal composition, in particular on their volatile fraction. Methods: We computed the evolution of low-mass planets (super-Earths to Neptune-like) for different fractions of volatiles and gas. We used a four-layer model (core, silicate mantle, icy mantle, and gas envelope) and computed the internal structure of planets for different luminosities. With this internal structure model, we computed the internal and gravitational energy of planets, which was then used to derive the time evolution of the planet. Since the total energy of a planet depends on its heat capacity and density distribution and therefore on its composition, planets with different ice fractions have different evolution tracks. Results: We show for low-mass gas-poor planets that are located close to their central star that assuming evaporation has efficiently removed the entire gas envelope, it is possible to constrain the volatile fraction of close-in transiting planets. We illustrate this method on the example of 55 Cnc e and show that under the assumption of the absence of

  1. Investigating Extra-solar Planetary System Qatar-1 through Transit Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Parijat; Mannaday, Vineet Kumar; Jiang, Ing-Guey; Sahu, Devendra Kumar; Chand, Swadesh

    2018-04-01

    We report the results of the transit timing variation (TTV) analysis of the extra-solar planet Qatar-1b using thirty eight light curves. Our analysis combines thirty five previously available transit light curves with three new transits observed by us between June 2016 and September 2016 using the 2-m Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (Hanle, India). From these transit data, the physical and orbital parameters of the Qatar-1 system are determined. In addition to this, the ephemeris for the orbital period and mid-transit time are refined to investigate the possible TTV. We find that the null-TTV model provides the better fit to the (O-C) data. This indicates that there is no evidence for TTVs to confirm the presence of additional planets in the Qatar-1 system. The use of the 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT) operated by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES, Nainital, India) could improve the photometric precision to examine the signature of TTVs in this system with a greater accuracy than in the present work.

  2. WILL THE LARGE SYNOPTIC SURVEY TELESCOPE DETECT EXTRA-SOLAR PLANETESIMALS ENTERING THE SOLAR SYSTEM?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moro-Martin, Amaya; Turner, Edwin L.; Loeb, Abraham

    2009-01-01

    Planetesimal formation is a common by-product of the star formation process. Taking the dynamical history of the solar system as a guideline-in which the planetesimal belts were heavily depleted due to gravitational perturbation with the giant planets-and assuming similar processes have taken place in other planetary systems, one would expect the interstellar space to be filled with extra-solar planetesimals. However, not a single one of these objects has been detected so far entering the solar system, even though it would clearly be distinguishable from a solar system comet due to its highly hyperbolic orbit. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will provide wide coverage maps of the sky to a very high sensitivity, ideal to detect moving objects like comets, both active and inactive. In anticipation of these observations, we estimate how many inactive 'interstellar comets' might be detected during the duration of the survey. The calculation takes into account estimates (from observations and models) of the number density of stars, the amount of solids available to form planetesimals, the frequency of planet and planetesimal formation, the efficiency of planetesimal ejection, and the possible size distribution of these small bodies.

  3. The lonely life of a double planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-01-01

    The paper concerns extraterrestrial intelligence, and the requirements for a terrestrial planet and life. The effect of the Moon on the Earth, the presence of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Earth's molten core, the distance between the sun and Earth where life is possible, and estimates of the number of habitable planets in the galaxies, are all discussed. (U.K.)

  4. Lonely life of a double planet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-08-25

    The paper concerns extraterrestrial intelligence, and the requirements for a terrestrial planet and life. The effect of the Moon on the Earth, the presence of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Earth's molten core, the distance between the sun and Earth where life is possible, and estimates of the number of habitable planets in the galaxies, are all discussed. (U.K.).

  5. Gemini Planet Imager: Preliminary Design Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B

    2007-05-10

    For the first time in history, direct and indirect detection techniques have enabled the exploration of the environments of nearby stars on scales comparable to the size of our solar system. Precision Doppler measurements have led to the discovery of the first extrasolar planets, while high-contrast imaging has revealed new classes of objects including dusty circumstellar debris disks and brown dwarfs. The ability to recover spectrophotometry for a handful of transiting exoplanets through secondary-eclipse measurements has allowed us to begin to study exoplanets as individual entities rather than points on a mass/semi-major-axis diagram and led to new models of planetary atmospheres and interiors, even though such measurements are only available at low SNR and for a handful of planets that are automatically those most modified by their parent star. These discoveries have galvanized public interest in science and technology and have led to profound new insights into the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and they have set the stage for the next steps--direct detection and characterization of extrasolar Jovian planets with instruments such as the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). As discussed in Volume 1, the ability to directly detect Jovian planets opens up new regions of extrasolar planet phase space that in turn will inform our understanding of the processes through which these systems form, while near-IR spectra will advance our understanding of planetary physics. Studies of circumstellar debris disks using GPI's polarimetric mode will trace the presence of otherwise-invisible low-mass planets and measure the build-up and destruction of planetesimals. To accomplish the science mission of GPI will require a dedicated instrument capable of achieving contrast of 10{sup -7} or more. This is vastly better than that delivered by existing astronomical AO systems. Currently achievable contrast, about 10{sup -5} at separations of 1 arc second or larger, is

  6. The effect of planets beyond the ice line on the accretion of volatiles by habitable-zone rocky planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2014-01-01

    Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses, and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star and we include a massive planet (from 1 M ⊕ to 1 M J ) in Jupiter's orbit at ∼5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions of debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore, the results presented here suggest that there may be more habitable planets residing in our galaxy than previously thought.

  7. The effect of planets beyond the ice line on the accretion of volatiles by habitable-zone rocky planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quintana, Elisa V. [SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Suite 100, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Lissauer, Jack J., E-mail: elisa.quintana@nasa.gov [Space Science and Astrobiology Division 245-3, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses, and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star and we include a massive planet (from 1 M {sub ⊕} to 1 M {sub J}) in Jupiter's orbit at ∼5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions of debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore, the results presented here suggest that there may be more habitable planets residing in our galaxy than previously thought.

  8. Terrestrial Zone Exoplanets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Brenda

    2018-01-01

    One of the most exciting results from ALMA has been the detection of significant substructure within protoplanetary disks that can be linked to planet formation processes. For the first time, we are able to observe the process of assembly of material into larger bodies within such disks. It is not possible, however, for ALMA to probe the growth of planets in protoplanetary disks at small radii, i.e., in the terrestrial zone, where we expect rocky terrestrial planets to form. In this regime, the optical depths prohibit observation at the high frequencies observed by ALMA. To probe the effects of planet building processes and detect telltale gaps and signatures of planetary mass bodies at such small separations from the parent star, we require a facility of superior resolution and sensitivity at lower frequencies. The ngVLA is just such a facility. We will present the fundamental science that will be enabled by the ngVLA in protoplanetary disk structure and the formation of planets. In addition, we will discuss the potential for an ngVLA facility to detect the molecules that are the building blocks of life, reaching limits well beyond those reachable with the current generation of telescopes, and also to determine whether such planets will be habitable based on studies of the impact of stars on their nearest planetary neighbours.

  9. Planet Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

  10. Does the Galactic Bulge Have Fewer Planets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-12-01

    The Milky Ways dense central bulge is a very different environment than the surrounding galactic disk in which we live. Do the differences affect the ability of planets to form in the bulge?Exploring Galactic PlanetsSchematic illustrating how gravitational microlensing by an extrasolar planet works. [NASA]Planet formation is a complex process with many aspects that we dont yet understand. Do environmental properties like host star metallicity, the density of nearby stars, or the intensity of the ambient radiation field affect the ability of planets to form? To answer these questions, we will ultimately need to search for planets around stars in a large variety of different environments in our galaxy.One way to detect recently formed, distant planets is by gravitational microlensing. In this process, light from a distant source star is bent by a lens star that is briefly located between us and the source. As the Earth moves, this momentary alignment causes a blip in the sources light curve that we can detect and planets hosted by the lens star can cause an additional observable bump.Artists impression of the Milky Way galaxy. The central bulge is much denserthan the surroundingdisk. [ESO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Kornmesser/R. Hurt]Relative AbundancesMost source stars reside in the galactic bulge, so microlensing events can probe planetary systems at any distance between the Earth and the galactic bulge. This means that planet detections from microlensing could potentially be used to measure the relative abundances of exoplanets in different parts of our galaxy.A team of scientists led by Matthew Penny, a Sagan postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State University, set out to do just that. The group considered a sample of 31 exoplanetary systems detected by microlensing and asked the following question: are the planet abundances in the galactic bulge and the galactic disk the same?A Paucity of PlanetsTo answer this question, Penny and collaborators derived the expected

  11. ROCKY EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY COMPOSITIONS DERIVED FROM EXTERNALLY POLLUTED WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klein, B.; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.; Koester, D.

    2011-01-01

    We report Keck High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer data and model atmosphere analysis of two helium-dominated white dwarfs, PG1225–079 and HS2253+8023, whose heavy pollutions most likely derive from the accretion of terrestrial-type planet(esimal)s. For each system, the minimum accreted mass is ∼10 22 g, that of a large asteroid. In PG1225–079, Mg, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni have abundance ratios similar to bulk Earth values, while we measure four refractory elements, Ca, Sc, Ti, and V, all at a factor of ∼2-3 higher abundance than in the bulk Earth. For HS2253+8023 the swallowed material was compositionally similar to bulk Earth in being more than 85% by mass in the major element species, O, Mg, Si, and Fe, and with abundances in the distinctive proportions of mineral oxides—compelling evidence for an origin in a rocky parent body. Including previous studies we now know of four heavily polluted white dwarfs where the measured oxygen and hydrogen are consistent with the view that the parents' bodies formed with little ice, interior to any snow line in their nebular environments. The growing handful of polluted white dwarf systems with comprehensive abundance measurements form a baseline for characterizing rocky exoplanet compositions that can be compared with bulk Earth.

  12. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Extrasolar planet HD 189733b whitelight curve (Crouzet+, 2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouzet, N.; McCullough, P. R.; Deming, D.; Madhusudhan, N.

    2017-05-01

    We used HST WFC3 with the newly implemented spatial scanning mode, developed in part to enable observations such as these (McCullough & MacKenty, 2012wfc..rept....8M). In this mode, a controlled scan is applied to the telescope during the exposure in a direction perpendicular to the wavelength dispersion direction (Figure 1). This technique is particularly efficient for bright stars such as HD 189733 (see McCullough et al. 2014ApJ...791...55M, for more details). One eclipse of HD 189733b was observed on 2013 June 24. The observations are divided into five HST orbits, the planetary eclipse occurring during the fourth orbit. In total, 159 exposures of 5.97 s each were acquired, corresponding to 32 exposures per orbit (except for the first orbit in which the first image is a direct image). (1 data file).

  13. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Transiting extrasolar planet WASP-33b (Kovacs+, 2013)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, G.; Kovacs, T.; Hartman, J. D.; Bakos, G. A.; Bieryla, A.; Latham, D.; Noyes, R. W.; Regaly, Zs.; Esquerdo, G. A.

    2013-03-01

    Light curves (LCs) used in the time series analysis of WASP-33 are presented. All LCs are on magnitude scale. The material constitutes of: (1) the TFA-filtered/reconstructed (see Kovacs, Bakos & Noyes, 2005MNRAS.356..557K) HATNet LC in approximate Ic (Cousins) color; (2) LCs given in Table 1: except for the FLWO data (lc02) all LCs are corrected for linear trends, shifted to zero magnitude at the out-of-transit level. Time is in Heliocentric Julian Date, colors are given in Table 1. (3) Grand-averaged LC, as shown in Fig. 10 of the paper. (4 data files).

  14. Origins of Solar Systems: Removing Activity-Related Radial Velocity Noise to Improve Extrasolar Planet Searches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saar, Steven; Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    We have continued the super high resolution (R is approximately 200,000), high S/N (> 300) echelle study of joint line bisector and radial velocity variations using the McDonald 2-D coude. A long observing run in October 2002 was quite successful (8 clear nights). We now have close to three years of data, which begins to sample a good fraction of the magnetic cycle timescales for some of our targets (e.g., K Ceti; P(sub cyc)=5.6 yrs). This will be very helpful in unraveling the complex relationships between plage and v(sub r), changes which we have uncovered. A preliminary analysis of the limited data in hand, and find some tantalizing evidence for correlations between median line bisector displacement and radial velocity v(sub r). The correlation appears to be specific to the particular star being considered, probably since it is a function of both spectral type and rotation rate. Additional information regarding progress on the grant is included.

  15. Water vapor in the spectrum of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b. II. The eclipse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crouzet, Nicolas [Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H4 (Canada); McCullough, Peter R. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku, E-mail: crouzet@dunlap.utoronto.ca [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)

    2014-11-10

    Spectroscopic observations of exoplanets are crucial to infer the composition and properties of their atmospheres. HD 189733b is one of the most extensively studied exoplanets and is a cornerstone for hot Jupiter models. In this paper, we report the dayside emission spectrum of HD 189733b in the wavelength range 1.1-1.7 μm obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in spatial scan mode. The quality of the data is such that even a straightforward analysis yields a high-precision Poisson noise-limited spectrum: the median 1σ uncertainty is 57 ppm per 0.02 μm bin. We also build a white-light curve correcting for systematic effects and derive an absolute eclipse depth of 96 ± 39 ppm. The resulting spectrum shows marginal evidence for water vapor absorption, but can also be well explained by a blackbody spectrum. However, the combination of these WFC3 data with previous Spitzer photometric observations is best explained by a dayside atmosphere of HD 189733b with no thermal inversion and a nearly solar or subsolar H{sub 2}O abundance in a cloud-free atmosphere. Alternatively, this apparent subsolar abundance may be the result of clouds or hazes that future studies need to investigate.

  16. DO GIANT PLANETS SURVIVE TYPE II MIGRATION?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro; Ida, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    Planetary migration is one of the most serious problems to systematically understand the observations of exoplanets. We clarify that the theoretically predicted type II, migration (like type I migration) is too fast, by developing detailed analytical arguments in which the timescale of type II migration is compared with the disk lifetime. In the disk-dominated regime, the type II migration timescale is characterized by a local viscous diffusion timescale, while the disk lifetime is characterized by a global diffusion timescale that is much longer than the local one. Even in the planet-dominated regime where the inertia of the planet mass reduces the migration speed, the timescale is still shorter than the disk lifetime except in the final disk evolution stage where the total disk mass decays below the planet mass. This suggests that most giant planets plunge into the central stars within the disk lifetime, and it contradicts the exoplanet observations that gas giants are piled up at r ∼> 1 AU. We examine additional processes that may arise in protoplanetary disks: dead zones, photoevaporation of gas, and gas flow across a gap formed by a type II migrator. Although they make the type II migration timescale closer to the disk lifetime, we show that none of them can act as an effective barrier for rapid type II migration with the current knowledge of these processes. We point out that gas flow across a gap and the fraction of the flow accreted onto the planets are uncertain and they may have the potential to solve the problem. Much more detailed investigation for each process may be needed to explain the observed distribution of gas giants in extrasolar planetary systems

  17. Full exploration of the giant planet population around β Pictoris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagrange, A.-M.; Keppler, M.; Meunier, N.; Lannier, J.; Beust, H.; Milli, J.; Bonnavita, M.; Bonnefoy, M.; Borgniet, S.; Chauvin, G.; Delorme, P.; Galland, F.; Iglesias, D.; Kiefer, F.; Messina, S.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Wilson, P. A.

    2018-05-01

    Context. The search for extrasolar planets has been limited so far to close orbit (typ. ≤5 au) planets around mature solar-type stars on the one hand, and to planets on wide orbits (≥10 au) around young stars on the other hand. To get a better view of the full giant planet population, we have started a survey to search for giant planets around a sample of carefully selected young stars. Aims: This paper aims at exploring the giant planet population around one of our targets, β Pictoris, over a wide range of separations. With a disk and a planet already known, the β Pictoris system is indeed a very precious system for studies of planetary formation and evolution, as well as of planet-disk interactions. Methods: We analyse more than 2000 HARPS high-resolution spectra taken over 13 years as well as NaCo images recorded between 2003 and 2016. We combine these data to compute the detection probabilities of planets throughout the disk, from a fraction of au to a few dozen au. Results: We exclude the presence of planets more massive than 3 MJup closer than 1 au and further than 10 au, with a 90% probability. 15+ MJup companions are excluded throughout the disk except between 3 and 5 au with a 90% probability. In this region, we exclude companions with masses larger than 18 (resp. 30) MJup with probabilities of 60 (resp. 90) %. Based on data obtained with the ESO3.6 m/HARPS spectrograph at La Silla, and with NaCO on the VLT.The RV data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/612/A108

  18. Planet gaps in the dust layer of 3D proto-planetary disks: Observability with ALMA

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez, Jean-François; Pinte, Christophe; Maddison, Sarah T.; Ménard, François

    2013-01-01

    2 pages, 2 figures, to appear in the Proceedings of IAU Symp. 299: Exploring the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems (Victoria, Canada); International audience; Among the numerous known extrasolar planets, only a handful have been imaged directly so far, at large orbital radii and in rather evolved systems. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will have the capacity to observe these wide planetary systems at a younger age, thus bringing a better understanding of th...

  19. On the Radii of Close-in Giant Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrows; Guillot; Hubbard; Marley; Saumon; Lunine; Sudarsky

    2000-05-01

    The recent discovery that the close-in extrasolar giant planet HD 209458b transits its star has provided a first-of-its-kind measurement of the planet's radius and mass. In addition, there is a provocative detection of the light reflected off of the giant planet tau Bootis b. Including the effects of stellar irradiation, we estimate the general behavior of radius/age trajectories for such planets and interpret the large measured radii of HD 209458b and tau Boo b in that context. We find that HD 209458b must be a hydrogen-rich gas giant. Furthermore, the large radius of a close-in gas giant is not due to the thermal expansion of its atmosphere but to the high residual entropy that remains throughout its bulk by dint of its early proximity to a luminous primary. The large stellar flux does not inflate the planet but retards its otherwise inexorable contraction from a more extended configuration at birth. This implies either that such a planet was formed near its current orbital distance or that it migrated in from larger distances (>/=0.5 AU), no later than a few times 107 yr of birth.

  20. Two Earth-sized planets orbiting Kepler-20.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Rowe, Jason F; Charbonneau, David; Rogers, Leslie A; Ballard, Sarah; Batalha, Natalie M; Borucki, William J; Bryson, Stephen T; Buchhave, Lars A; Ciardi, David R; Désert, Jean-Michel; Dressing, Courtney D; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Gautier, Thomas N; Henze, Christopher E; Holman, Matthew J; Howard, Andrew; Howell, Steve B; Jenkins, Jon M; Koch, David G; Latham, David W; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Sasselov, Dimitar D; Seager, Sara; Barclay, Thomas; Mullally, Fergal; Seader, Shawn E; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D; Thompson, Susan E; Uddin, Kamal

    2011-12-20

    Since the discovery of the first extrasolar giant planets around Sun-like stars, evolving observational capabilities have brought us closer to the detection of true Earth analogues. The size of an exoplanet can be determined when it periodically passes in front of (transits) its parent star, causing a decrease in starlight proportional to its radius. The smallest exoplanet hitherto discovered has a radius 1.42 times that of the Earth's radius (R(⊕)), and hence has 2.9 times its volume. Here we report the discovery of two planets, one Earth-sized (1.03R(⊕)) and the other smaller than the Earth (0.87R(⊕)), orbiting the star Kepler-20, which is already known to host three other, larger, transiting planets. The gravitational pull of the new planets on the parent star is too small to measure with current instrumentation. We apply a statistical method to show that the likelihood of the planetary interpretation of the transit signals is more than three orders of magnitude larger than that of the alternative hypothesis that the signals result from an eclipsing binary star. Theoretical considerations imply that these planets are rocky, with a composition of iron and silicate. The outer planet could have developed a thick water vapour atmosphere.

  1. On the Terminal Rotation Rates of Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batygin, Konstantin

    2018-04-01

    Within the general framework of the core-nucleated accretion theory of giant planet formation, the conglomeration of massive gaseous envelopes is facilitated by a transient period of rapid accumulation of nebular material. While the concurrent build-up of angular momentum is expected to leave newly formed planets spinning at near-breakup velocities, Jupiter and Saturn, as well as super-Jovian long-period extrasolar planets, are observed to rotate well below criticality. In this work, we demonstrate that the large luminosity of a young giant planet simultaneously leads to the generation of a strong planetary magnetic field, as well as thermal ionization of the circumplanetary disk. The ensuing magnetic coupling between the planetary interior and the quasi-Keplerian motion of the disk results in efficient braking of planetary rotation, with hydrodynamic circulation of gas within the Hill sphere playing the key role of expelling spin angular momentum to the circumstellar nebula. Our results place early-stage giant planet and stellar rotation within the same evolutionary framework, and motivate further exploration of magnetohydrodynamic phenomena in the context of the final stages of giant planet formation.

  2. Dance of the Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    As students continue their monthly plotting of the planets along the ecliptic they should start to notice differences between inner and outer planet orbital motions, and their relative position or separation from the Sun. Both inner and outer planets have direct eastward motion, as well as retrograde motion. Inner planets Mercury and Venus,…

  3. Discovering transits of HD 209458-b type planets with Hipparcos and FAME photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Timothy Paul

    The motivation and prospects for success of a search for transits of short-period extrasolar planets of late-type main sequence stars in the Hipparcos satellite photometry archive is outlined. Recent extrasolar planet discoveries by the radial velocity (RV) method reveal that 1 in 20 spectral type F, G and K dwarfs possess short-period planets. Careful consideration of the transit detection probability as a function of stellar spectral type and planet orbit size results in the expectation that 6 to 24 transiting planets may be found among the 118,204 Hipparcos catalog stars. A search algorithm based on the known properties of the single known transiting extrasolar planet HD 209458-b was applied to carefully- selected samples of stars. The results of these searches and simulations of the detection efficiency for idealized transits are presented. Statistical and catalog-based methods for discriminating transits from intrinsic stellar variability and eclipses due to stellar companions are developed and described. Candidate lists that are the results of these searches are presented. Each candidate is placed in a color magnitude diagram based on Hipparcos derived distances and absolute magnitudes in order to clearly identify evolved stars. The effect of Lutz-Kelker bias on this main sequence membership determination is discussed in an Appendix. A Hipparcos-photometry-based intrinsic stellar variability determination is performed and compared to ground-based measurements. It is shown that intrinsic stellar variability of late-type main sequence stars is not a major concern for extrasolar jovian planet transit searches. The prospects for transit detection by the higher precision measurements of several hundred thousand main sequence stars to be made by the upcoming Full Sky Astrometric Explorer (FAME) satellite are similarly explored. A novel method for directly determining the mass of a transiting planet's parent star from timing measurements is introduced briefly in an

  4. The metallicities of stars with and without transiting planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Latham, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Host star metallicities have been used to infer observational constraints on planet formation throughout the history of the exoplanet field. The giant planet metallicity correlation has now been widely accepted, but questions remain as to whether the metallicity correlation extends to the small...... terrestrial-sized planets. Here, we report metallicities for a sample of 518 stars in the Kepler field that have no detected transiting planets and compare their metallicity distribution to a sample of stars that hosts small planets (). Importantly, both samples have been analyzed in a homogeneous manner...... using the same set of tools (Stellar Parameters Classification tool). We find the average metallicity of the sample of stars without detected transiting planets to be and the sample of stars hosting small planets to be . The average metallicities of the two samples are indistinguishable within...

  5. A Direct Path to Finding Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heap, Sara R.; Linder, Don J.

    2009-01-01

    As envisaged by the 2000 astrophysics decadal survey panel: The main goal of Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is nothing less than to search for evidence of life on terrestrial planets around nearby stars . Here, we consider how an optical telescope paired with a free-flying occulter blocking light from the star can reach this goal directly, without knowledge of results from prior astrometric, doppler, or transit exoplanet observations. Using design reference missions and other simulations, we explore the potential of TPF-O to find planets in the habitable zone around their central stars, to spectrally characterize the atmospheres of detected planets, and to obtain rudimentary information about their orbits. We emphasize the importance of ozone absorption in the UV spectrum of a planet as a marker of photosynthesis by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

  6. Energy flux determines magnetic field strength of planets and stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Ulrich R; Holzwarth, Volkmar; Reiners, Ansgar

    2009-01-08

    The magnetic fields of Earth and Jupiter, along with those of rapidly rotating, low-mass stars, are generated by convection-driven dynamos that may operate similarly (the slowly rotating Sun generates its field through a different dynamo mechanism). The field strengths of planets and stars vary over three orders of magnitude, but the critical factor causing that variation has hitherto been unclear. Here we report an extension of a scaling law derived from geodynamo models to rapidly rotating stars that have strong density stratification. The unifying principle in the scaling law is that the energy flux available for generating the magnetic field sets the field strength. Our scaling law fits the observed field strengths of Earth, Jupiter, young contracting stars and rapidly rotating low-mass stars, despite vast differences in the physical conditions of the objects. We predict that the field strengths of rapidly rotating brown dwarfs and massive extrasolar planets are high enough to make them observable.

  7. KEPLER-7b: A TRANSITING PLANET WITH UNUSUALLY LOW DENSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Latham, David W.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Furesz, Gabor; Geary, John C.; Borucki, William J.; Koch, David G.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Brown, Timothy M.; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie M.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Cochran, William D.; Dunham, Edward W.; Gautier, Thomas N.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Howell, Steve B.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Monet, David G.

    2010-01-01

    We report on the discovery and confirmation of Kepler-7b, a transiting planet with unusually low density. The mass is less than half that of Jupiter, M P = 0.43 M J , but the radius is 50% larger, R P = 1.48 R J . The resulting density, ρ P = 0.17 g cm -3 , is the second lowest reported so far for an extrasolar planet. The orbital period is fairly long, P = 4.886 days, and the host star is not much hotter than the Sun, T eff = 6000 K. However, it is more massive and considerably larger than the Sun, M * = 1.35 M sun and R * = 1.84 R sun , and must be near the end of its life on the main sequence.

  8. YOUNG SOLAR SYSTEM's FIFTH GIANT PLANET?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nesvorný, David

    2011-01-01

    Studies of solar system formation suggest that the solar system's giant planets formed and migrated in the protoplanetary disk to reach the resonant orbits with all planets inside ∼15 AU from the Sun. After the gas disk's dispersal, Uranus and Neptune were likely scattered by the gas giants, and approached their current orbits while dispersing the transplanetary disk of planetesimals, whose remains survived to this time in the region known as the Kuiper Belt. Here we performed N-body integrations of the scattering phase between giant planets in an attempt to determine which initial states are plausible. We found that the dynamical simulations starting with a resonant system of four giant planets have a low success rate in matching the present orbits of giant planets and various other constraints (e.g., survival of the terrestrial planets). The dynamical evolution is typically too violent, if Jupiter and Saturn start in the 3:2 resonance, and leads to final systems with fewer than four planets. Several initial states stand out in that they show a relatively large likelihood of success in matching the constraints. Some of the statistically best results were obtained when assuming that the solar system initially had five giant planets and one ice giant, with the mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and which was ejected to interstellar space by Jupiter. This possibility appears to be conceivable in view of the recent discovery of a large number of free-floating planets in interstellar space, which indicates that planet ejection should be common.

  9. Young Solar System's Fifth Giant Planet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesvorný, David

    2011-12-01

    Studies of solar system formation suggest that the solar system's giant planets formed and migrated in the protoplanetary disk to reach the resonant orbits with all planets inside ~15 AU from the Sun. After the gas disk's dispersal, Uranus and Neptune were likely scattered by the gas giants, and approached their current orbits while dispersing the transplanetary disk of planetesimals, whose remains survived to this time in the region known as the Kuiper Belt. Here we performed N-body integrations of the scattering phase between giant planets in an attempt to determine which initial states are plausible. We found that the dynamical simulations starting with a resonant system of four giant planets have a low success rate in matching the present orbits of giant planets and various other constraints (e.g., survival of the terrestrial planets). The dynamical evolution is typically too violent, if Jupiter and Saturn start in the 3:2 resonance, and leads to final systems with fewer than four planets. Several initial states stand out in that they show a relatively large likelihood of success in matching the constraints. Some of the statistically best results were obtained when assuming that the solar system initially had five giant planets and one ice giant, with the mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and which was ejected to interstellar space by Jupiter. This possibility appears to be conceivable in view of the recent discovery of a large number of free-floating planets in interstellar space, which indicates that planet ejection should be common.

  10. EVIDENCE FOR GAS FROM A DISINTEGRATING EXTRASOLAR ASTEROID

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.; Dufour, P.

    2016-01-01

    We report high-resolution spectroscopic observations of WD 1145+017—a white dwarf that was recently found to be transitted by multiple asteroid-sized objects within its tidal radius. We discovered numerous circumstellar absorption lines with linewidths of ∼300 km s −1 from Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni, possibly from several gas streams produced by collisions among the actively disintegrating objects. The atmosphere of WD 1145+017 is polluted with 11 heavy elements, including O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, V:, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni. Evidently, we are witnessing the active disintegration and subsequent accretion of an extrasolar asteroid

  11. EVIDENCE FOR GAS FROM A DISINTEGRATING EXTRASOLAR ASTEROID

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, S. [European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles CA 90095-1562 (United States); Dufour, P., E-mail: sxu@eso.org, E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: ben@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: dufourpa@astro.umontreal.ca [Institut de Recherche sur les Exoplanètes (iREx), Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada)

    2016-01-10

    We report high-resolution spectroscopic observations of WD 1145+017—a white dwarf that was recently found to be transitted by multiple asteroid-sized objects within its tidal radius. We discovered numerous circumstellar absorption lines with linewidths of ∼300 km s{sup −1} from Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni, possibly from several gas streams produced by collisions among the actively disintegrating objects. The atmosphere of WD 1145+017 is polluted with 11 heavy elements, including O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, V:, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni. Evidently, we are witnessing the active disintegration and subsequent accretion of an extrasolar asteroid.

  12. Tidally Heated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Wade Garrett

    This work models the surface and internal temperatures for hypothetical terrestrial planets in situations involving extreme tidal heating. The feasibility of such planets is evaluated in terms of the orbital perturbations that may give rise to them, their required proximity to a hoststar, and the potential for the input tidal heating to cause significant partial melting of the mantle. Trapping terrestrial planets into 2:1 resonances with migrating Hot Jupiters is considered as a reasonable way for Earth-like worlds to both maintain high eccentricities and to move to short enough orbital periods (1-20 days) for extreme tidal heating to occur. Secular resonance and secular orbital perturbations may support moderate tidal heating at a low equilibrium eccentricity. At orbital periods below 10-30 days, with eccentricities from 0.01 to 0.1, tidal heat may greatly exceed radiogenic heat production. It is unlikely to exceed insolation, except when orbiting very low luminosity hosts, and thus will have limited surface temperature expression. Observations of such bodies many not be able to detect tidal surface enhancements given a few percent uncertainty in albedo, except on the nightside of spin synchronous airless objects. Otherwise detection may occur via spectral detection of hotspots or high volcanic gas concentrations including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. The most extreme cases may be able to produce magma oceans, or magma slush mantles with up to 40-60% melt fractions. Tides may alter the habitable zones for smaller red dwarf stars, but are generally detrimental. Multiple viscoelastic models, including the Maxwell, Voigt-Kelvin, Standard Anelastic Solid, and Burgers rheologies are explored and applied to objects such as Io and the super-Earth planet GJ 876d. The complex valued Love number for the Burgers rheology is derived and found to be a useful improvement when modeling the low temperature behavior of tidal bodies, particularly during low eccentricity

  13. One or more bound planets per Milky Way star from microlensing observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassan, A; Kubas, D; Beaulieu, J-P; Dominik, M; Horne, K; Greenhill, J; Wambsganss, J; Menzies, J; Williams, A; Jørgensen, U G; Udalski, A; Bennett, D P; Albrow, M D; Batista, V; Brillant, S; Caldwell, J A R; Cole, A; Coutures, Ch; Cook, K H; Dieters, S; Prester, D Dominis; Donatowicz, J; Fouqué, P; Hill, K; Kains, N; Kane, S; Marquette, J-B; Martin, R; Pollard, K R; Sahu, K C; Vinter, C; Warren, D; Watson, B; Zub, M; Sumi, T; Szymański, M K; Kubiak, M; Poleski, R; Soszynski, I; Ulaczyk, K; Pietrzyński, G; Wyrzykowski, L

    2012-01-11

    Most known extrasolar planets (exoplanets) have been discovered using the radial velocity or transit methods. Both are biased towards planets that are relatively close to their parent stars, and studies find that around 17-30% (refs 4, 5) of solar-like stars host a planet. Gravitational microlensing, on the other hand, probes planets that are further away from their stars. Recently, a population of planets that are unbound or very far from their stars was discovered by microlensing. These planets are at least as numerous as the stars in the Milky Way. Here we report a statistical analysis of microlensing data (gathered in 2002-07) that reveals the fraction of bound planets 0.5-10 AU (Sun-Earth distance) from their stars. We find that 17(+6)(-9)% of stars host Jupiter-mass planets (0.3-10 M(J), where M(J) = 318 M(⊕) and M(⊕) is Earth's mass). Cool Neptunes (10-30 M(⊕)) and super-Earths (5-10 M(⊕)) are even more common: their respective abundances per star are 52(+22)(-29)% and 62(+35)(-37)%. We conclude that stars are orbited by planets as a rule, rather than the exception.

  14. A planet in a polar orbit of 1.4 solar-mass star

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guenther E.W.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although more than a thousand transiting extrasolar planets have been discovered, only very few of them orbit stars that are more massive than the Sun. The discovery of such planets is interesting, because they have formed in disks that are more massive but had a shorter life time than those of solar-like stars. Studies of planets more massive than the Sun thus tell us how the properties of the proto-planetary disks effect the formation of planets. Another aspect that makes these planets interesting is that they have kept their original orbital inclinations. By studying them we can thus find out whether the orbital axes planets are initially aligned to the stars rotational axes, or not. Here we report on the discovery of a planet of a 1.4 solar-mass star with a period of 5.6 days in a polar orbit made by CoRoT. This new planet thus is one of the few known close-in planets orbiting a star that is substantially more massive than the Sun.

  15. A search for extra-solar planetary transits in the field of open cluster NGC 6819

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, Rachel Amanda

    The technique of searching for extra-solar planetary transits is investigated. This technique, which relies on detecting the brief, shallow eclipses caused by planets passing across the line of sight to the primary star, requires high-precision time-series photometry of large numbers of stars in order to detect these statistically rare events. Observations of 18000 stars in the field including the intermediate-age open cluster NGC 6819 are presented. This target field constrasts with the stellar environment surveyed by the radial velocity technique, which concentrates on the Solar neighbourhood. I present the data-reduction techniques used to obtain high-precision photometry in a semi-automated fashion for tens of thousands of stars at a time, together with an algorithm designed to search the resulting lightcurves for the transit signatures of hot Jupiter type planets. I describe simulations designed to test the detection efficiency of this algorithm and, for comparison, predict the number of transits expected from this data, assuming that hot Jupiter planets similar to HD 209458 are as common in the field of NGC 6819 as they are in the Solar neighbourhood. While no planetary transits have yet been identified, the detection of several very low amplitude eclipses by stellar companions demonstrates the effectiveness of the method. This study also indicates that stellar activity and particularly blending are significant causes of false detections. A useful additional consequence of studying this time-series photometry is the census it provides of some of the variable stars in the field. I report on the discovery of a variety of newly-discovered variables, including Algol-type detached eclipsing binaries which are likely to consist of M-dwarf stars. Further study of these stars is strongly recommended in order to help constrain models of stellar structure at the very low mass end. I conclude with a summary of this work in the context of other efforts being made in this

  16. Habitable Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen H

    2007-01-01

    ..., and discusses how to search for habitable planets. Interestingly for our time, he also gives an appraisal of the earth as a planet and describes how its habitability would be changed if some of its basic properties were altered...

  17. Observsational Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Ruobing; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Fung, Jeffrey

    2017-06-01

    Planets form in gaseous protoplanetary disks surrounding newborn stars. As such, the most direct way to learn how they form from observations, is to directly watch them forming in disks. In the past, this was very difficult due to a lack of observational capabilities; as such, planet formation was largely a subject of pure theoretical astrophysics. Now, thanks to a fleet of new instruments with unprecedented resolving power that have come online recently, we have just started to unveil features in resolve images of protoplanetary disks, such as gaps and spiral arms, that are most likely associated with embedded (unseen) planets. By comparing observations with theoretical models of planet-disk interactions, the masses and orbits of these still forming planets may be constrained. Such planets may help us to directly test various planet formation models. This marks the onset of a new field — observational planet formation. I will introduce the current status of this field.

  18. TWO EXTRASOLAR ASTEROIDS WITH LOW VOLATILE-ELEMENT MASS FRACTIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jura, M.; Xu, S.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B.; Koester, D.

    2012-01-01

    Using ultraviolet spectra obtained with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope, we extend our previous ground-based optical determinations of the composition of the extrasolar asteroids accreted onto two white dwarfs, GD 40 and G241-6. Combining optical and ultraviolet spectra of these stars with He-dominated atmospheres, 13 and 12 polluting elements are confidently detected in GD 40 and G241-6, respectively. For the material accreted onto GD 40, the volatile elements C and S are deficient by more than a factor of 10 and N by at least a factor of 5 compared to their mass fractions in primitive CI chondrites and approach what is inferred for bulk Earth. A similar pattern is found for G241-6 except that S is undepleted. We have also newly detected or placed meaningful upper limits for the amount of Cl, Al, P, Ni, and Cu in the accreted matter. Extending results from optical studies, the mass fractions of refractory elements in the accreted parent bodies are similar to what is measured for bulk Earth and chondrites. Thermal processing, perhaps interior to a snow line, appears to be of central importance in determining the elemental compositions of these particular extrasolar asteroids.

  19. Search for a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tokovinin, A.A.

    1986-01-01

    The problem of search for star planets is discussed in a popular form. Two methods of search for planets are considered: astrometric and spectral. Both methods complement one another. An assumption is made that potential possessors of planets are in the first place yellow and red dwarfs with slow axial rotation. These stars are the most numerous representatives of Galaxy population

  20. Radioactivity of the moon, planets, and meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surkou, Y. A.; Fedoseyev, G. A.

    1977-01-01

    Analytical data is summarized for the content of natural radioactive elements in meteorites, eruptive terrestrial rocks, and also in lunar samples returned by Apollo missions and the Luna series of automatic stations. The K-U systematics of samples analyzed in the laboratory are combined with data for orbital gamma-ray measurements for Mars (Mars 5) and with the results of direct gamma-ray measurements of the surface of Venus by the Venera 8 lander. Using information about the radioactivity of solar system bodies and evaluations of the content of K, U, and Th in the terrestrial planets, we examine certain aspects of the evolution of material in the protoplanetary gas-dust cloud and then in the planets of the solar system.

  1. Blue Marble: Remote Characterization of Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolf, Neville; Lewis, Brian; Chartres, James; Genova, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    The study of the nature and distribution of habitable environments beyond the Solar System is a key area for Astrobiology research. At the present time, our Earth is the only habitable planet that can be characterized in the same way that we might characterize planets beyond the Solar System. Due to limitations in our current and near-future technology, it is likely that extra-solar planets will be observed as single-pixel objects. To understand this data, we must develop skills in analyzing and interpreting the radiation obtained from a single pixel. These skills must include the study of the time variation of the radiation, and the range of its photometric, spectroscopic and polarimetric properties. In addition, to understand whether we are properly analyzing the single pixel data, we need to compare it with a ground truth of modest resolution images in key spectral bands. This paper discusses the concept for a mission called Blue Marble that would obtain data of the Earth using a combination of spectropolarimetry, spectrophotometry, and selected band imaging. To obtain imagery of the proper resolution, it is desirable to place the Blue Marble spacecraft no closer than the outer region of cis-lunar space. This paper explores a conceptual mission design that takes advantage of low-cost launchers, bus designs and mission elements to provide a cost effective observing platform located at one of the stable Earth-moon Lagrangian points (L4, L5). The mission design allows for the development and use of novel technologies, such as a spinning moon sensor for attitude control, and leverages lessons-learned from previous low-cost spacecraft such as Lunar Prospector to yield a low-risk mission concept.

  2. The Trojan minor planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratt, Christopher E.

    1988-08-01

    There are (March, 1988) 3774 minor planets which have received a permanent number. Of these, there are some whose mean distance to the sun is very nearly equal to that of Jupiter, and whose heliocentric longitudes from that planet are about 60°, so that the three bodies concerned (sun, Jupiter, minor planet) make an approximate equilateral triangle. These minor planets, which occur in two distinct groups, one preceding Jupiter and one following, have received the names of the heroes of the Trojan war. This paper concerns the 49 numbered minor planets of this group.

  3. The formation of planets by disc fragmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stamatellos Dimitris

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available I discuss the role that disc fragmentation plays in the formation of gas giant and terrestrial planets, and how this relates to the formation of brown dwarfs and low-mass stars, and ultimately to the process of star formation. Protostellar discs may fragment, if they are massive enough and can cool fast enough, but most of the objects that form by fragmentation are brown dwarfs. It may be possible that planets also form, if the mass growth of a proto-fragment is stopped (e.g. if this fragment is ejected from the disc, or suppressed and even reversed (e.g by tidal stripping. I will discuss if it is possible to distinguish whether a planet has formed by disc fragmentation or core accretion, and mention of a few examples of observed exoplanets that are suggestive of formation by disc fragmentation.

  4. White dwarf planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonsor Amy

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The recognition that planets may survive the late stages of stellar evolution, and the prospects for finding them around White Dwarfs, are growing. We discuss two aspects governing planetary survival through stellar evolution to the White Dwarf stage. First we discuss the case of a single planet, and its survival under the effects of stellar mass loss, radius expansion, and tidal orbital decay as the star evolves along the Asymptotic Giant Branch. We show that, for stars initially of 1 − 5 M⊙, any planets within about 1 − 5 AU will be engulfed, this distance depending on the stellar and planet masses and the planet's eccentricity. Planets engulfed by the star's envelope are unlikely to survive. Hence, planets surviving the Asymptotic Giant Branch phase will probably be found beyond ∼ 2 AU for a 1  M⊙ progenitor and ∼ 10 AU for a 5 M⊙ progenitor. We then discuss the evolution of two-planet systems around evolving stars. As stars lose mass, planet–planet interactions become stronger, and many systems stable on the Main Sequence become destabilised following evolution of the primary. The outcome of such instabilities is typically the ejection of one planet, with the survivor being left on an eccentric orbit. These eccentric planets could in turn be responsible for feeding planetesimals into the neighbourhood of White Dwarfs, causing observed pollution and circumstellar discs.

  5. Kepler Planets Tend to Have Siblings of the Same Size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-11-01

    After 8.5 years of observations with the Kepler space observatory, weve discovered a large number of close-in, tightly-spaced, multiple-planet systems orbiting distant stars. In the process, weve learned a lot about the properties about these systems and discovered some unexpected behavior. A new study explores one of the properties that has surprised us: planets of the same size tend to live together.Orbital architectures for 25 of the authors multiplanet systems. The dots are sized according to the planets relative radii and colored according to mass. Planets of similar sizes and masses tend to live together in the same system. [Millholland et al. 2017]Ordering of SystemsFrom Keplers observations of extrasolar multiplanet systems, we have seen that the sizes of planets in a given system arent completely random. Systems that contain a large planet, for example, are more likely to contain additional large planets rather than additional planets of random size. So though there is a large spread in the radii weve observed for transiting exoplanets, the spread within any given multiplanet system tends to be much smaller.This odd behavior has led us to ask whether this clustering occurs not just for radius, but also for mass. Since the multiplanet systems discovered by Kepler most often contain super-Earths and mini-Neptunes, which have an extremely large spread in densities, the fact that two such planets have similar radii does not guarantee that they have similar masses.If planets dont cluster in mass within a system, this would raise the question of why planets coordinate only their radii within a given system. If they do cluster in mass, it implies that planets within the same system tend to have similar densities, potentially allowing us to predict the sizes and masses of planets we might find in a given system.Insight into MassesLed by NSF graduate research fellow Sarah Millholland, a team of scientists at Yale University used recently determined masses for

  6. GIANT PLANET MIGRATION, DISK EVOLUTION, AND THE ORIGIN OF TRANSITIONAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, Richard D.; Armitage, Philip J.

    2009-01-01

    We present models of giant planet migration in evolving protoplanetary disks. Our disks evolve subject to viscous transport of angular momentum and photoevaporation, while planets undergo Type II migration. We use a Monte Carlo approach, running large numbers of models with a range in initial conditions. We find that relatively simple models can reproduce both the observed radial distribution of extrasolar giant planets, and the lifetimes and accretion histories of protoplanetary disks. The use of state-of-the-art photoevaporation models results in a degree of coupling between planet formation and disk clearing, which has not been found previously. Some accretion across planetary orbits is necessary if planets are to survive at radii ∼<1.5 AU, and if planets of Jupiter mass or greater are to survive in our models they must be able to form at late times, when the disk surface density in the formation region is low. Our model forms two different types of 'transitional' disks, embedded planets and clearing disks, which show markedly different properties. We find that the observable properties of these systems are broadly consistent with current observations, and highlight useful observational diagnostics. We predict that young transition disks are more likely to contain embedded giant planets, while older transition disks are more likely to be undergoing disk clearing.

  7. A SEARCH FOR MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS USING THE HOBBY-EBERLY TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Endl, Michael; Cochran, William D.; Levison, Harold F.; Henry, Gregory W.

    2009-01-01

    Extrasolar multiple-planet systems provide valuable opportunities for testing theories of planet formation and evolution. The architectures of the known multiple-planet systems demonstrate a fascinating level of diversity, which motivates the search for additional examples of such systems in order to better constrain their formation and dynamical histories. Here we describe a comprehensive investigation of 22 planetary systems in an effort to answer three questions: (1) are there additional planets? (2) where could additional planets reside in stable orbits? and (3) what limits can these observations place on such objects? We find no evidence for additional bodies in any of these systems; indeed, these new data do not support three previously announced planets (HD 20367 b: Udry et al.; HD 74156 d: Bean et al.; and 47 UMa c: Fischer et al.). The dynamical simulations show that nearly all of the 22 systems have large regions in which additional planets could exist in stable orbits. The detection-limit computations indicate that this study is sensitive to close-in Neptune-mass planets for most of the systems targeted. We conclude with a discussion on the implications of these nondetections.

  8. Earthlike planets: Surfaces of Mercury, Venus, earth, moon, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, B.; Malin, M. C.; Greeley, R.

    1981-01-01

    The surfaces of the earth and the other terrestrial planets of the inner solar system are reviewed in light of the results of recent planetary explorations. Past and current views of the origin of the earth, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are discussed, and the surface features characteristic of the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus are outlined. Mechanisms for the modification of planetary surfaces by external factors and from within the planet are examined, including surface cycles, meteoritic impact, gravity, wind, plate tectonics, volcanism and crustal deformation. The origin and evolution of the moon are discussed on the basis of the Apollo results, and current knowledge of Mercury and Mars is examined in detail. Finally, the middle periods in the history of the terrestrial planets are compared, and future prospects for the exploration of the inner planets as well as other rocky bodies in the solar system are discussed.

  9. Terrestrial magnetosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pande, D.C.; Agarwal, D.C.

    1982-01-01

    This paper presents a review about terrestrial magnetosphere. During the last few years considerable investigation have been carried out about the properties of Solar Wind and its interaction with planetary magnetic fields. It is therefore of high importance to accumulate all the investigations in a comprehensive form. The paper reviews the property of earth's magnetosphere, magnetosheath, magneto pause, polar cusps, bow shook and plasma sheath. (author)

  10. Giant Planets in Reflected Light: What Science Can We Expect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Interpreting the reflection spectra of cool giant planets will be a challenge. Spectra of such worlds are expected to be primarily shaped by scattering from clouds and hazes and punctuated by absorption bands of methane, water, and ammonia. While the warmest giants may be cloudless, their atmospheres will almost certainly sport substantial photochemical hazes. Furthermore the masses of most direct imaging targets will be constrained by radial velocity observations, their radii, and thus atmospheric gravity, will be imperfectly known. The uncertainty in planet radius and gravity will compound with uncertain aerosol properties to make estimation of key absorber abundances difficult. To address such concerns our group is developing atmospheric retrieval tools to constrain quantities of interest, particular gas mixing ratios. We have applied our Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods to simulated data of the quality expected from the WFIRST CGI instrument and found that given sufficiently high SNR data we can confidentially identify and constrain the abundance of methane, cloud top pressures, gravity, and the star-planet-observer phase angle. In my presentation I will explain the expected characteristics of cool extrasolar giant planet reflection spectra, discuss these and other challenges in their interpretation, and summarize the science results we can expect from direct imaging observations.

  11. Final Report: "Recreating Planet Cores in the Laboratory"

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeanloz, Raymond [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2017-06-02

    The grant supported a combination of experimental and theoretical research characterizing materials at high pressures (above 0.1-1 TPa = 1-10 million atmospheres) and modest temperatures (below 20,000-100,000 K). This is the “warm dense” (sub-nuclear) regime relevant to understanding the properties of planets, and also to characterizing the chemical bonding forces between atoms. As such, the experiments provide important validation and extensions of theoretical simulations based on quantum mechanics, and offer new insights into the nature and evolution of planets, including the thousands of recently discovered extra-solar planets. In particular, our experiments have documented that: 1) helium can separate from hydrogen at conditions existing inside Jupiter and Saturn, providing much of these planets’ internal energy hence observed luminosities; 2) water ice is likely present in a superionic state with mobile protons inside Uranus and Neptune; 3) rock (oxides) can become metallic at conditions inside “super-Earths” and other large planets, thereby contributing to their magnetic fields; and 4) the “statistical atom” regime that provides the theoretical foundation for characterizing materials at planetary and astrophysical conditions is now accessible to experimental testing.

  12. The role of carbon in extrasolar planetary geodynamics and habitability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Kabbes, Jason E.; Pigott, Jeffrey S.; Panero, Wendy R. [School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43202 (United States); Reaman, Daniel M., E-mail: unterborn.1@buckeyemail.osu.edu [US Army Research Laboratory, RDRL-WML-B (Bldg. 390), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005 (United States)

    2014-10-01

    The proportions of oxygen, carbon, and major rock-forming elements (e.g., Mg, Fe, Si) determine a planet's dominant mineralogy. Variation in a planet's mineralogy subsequently affects planetary mantle dynamics as well as any deep water or carbon cycle. Through thermodynamic models and high pressure diamond anvil cell experiments, we demonstrate that the oxidation potential of C is above that of Fe at all pressures and temperatures, indicative of 0.1-2 Earth-mass planets. This means that for a planet with (Mg+2Si+Fe+2C)/O > 1, excess C in the mantle will be in the form of diamond. We find that an increase in C, and thus diamond, concentration slows convection relative to a silicate-dominated planet, due to diamond's ∼3 order of magnitude increase in both viscosity and thermal conductivity. We assert then that in the C-(Mg+2Si+Fe)-O system, there is a compositional range in which a planet can be habitable. Planets outside of this range will be dynamically sluggish or stagnant, thus having limited carbon or water cycles leading to surface conditions inhospitable to life as we know it.

  13. The role of carbon in extrasolar planetary geodynamics and habitability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Kabbes, Jason E.; Pigott, Jeffrey S.; Panero, Wendy R.; Reaman, Daniel M.

    2014-01-01

    The proportions of oxygen, carbon, and major rock-forming elements (e.g., Mg, Fe, Si) determine a planet's dominant mineralogy. Variation in a planet's mineralogy subsequently affects planetary mantle dynamics as well as any deep water or carbon cycle. Through thermodynamic models and high pressure diamond anvil cell experiments, we demonstrate that the oxidation potential of C is above that of Fe at all pressures and temperatures, indicative of 0.1-2 Earth-mass planets. This means that for a planet with (Mg+2Si+Fe+2C)/O > 1, excess C in the mantle will be in the form of diamond. We find that an increase in C, and thus diamond, concentration slows convection relative to a silicate-dominated planet, due to diamond's ∼3 order of magnitude increase in both viscosity and thermal conductivity. We assert then that in the C-(Mg+2Si+Fe)-O system, there is a compositional range in which a planet can be habitable. Planets outside of this range will be dynamically sluggish or stagnant, thus having limited carbon or water cycles leading to surface conditions inhospitable to life as we know it.

  14. Prospects for Detecting Thermal Emission from Terrestrial Exoplanets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    2018-01-01

    A plethora of nearby, terrestrial exoplanets has been discovered recently by ground-based surveys. Excitingly, some of these are in the habitable zones of their host stars, and may be hospitable for life. However, all the planets orbit small, cool stars and have considerably different irradiation environments from the Earth, making them vulnerable to atmospheric escape, erosion and collapse. Atmosphere characterization is therefore critical to assessing the planets' habitability. I will discuss possible JWST thermal emission measurements to determine the atmospheric properties of nearby terrestrial planets. I will focus on prospects for detecting physically motivated atmospheres for planets orbiting LHS 1140, GJ 1132, and TRAPPIST-1. I will also discuss the potential for using phase curve observations to determine whether an atmosphere has survived on the non-transiting planet Proxima b.

  15. Planet formation in Binaries

    OpenAIRE

    Thebault, Ph.; Haghighipour, N.

    2014-01-01

    Spurred by the discovery of numerous exoplanets in multiple systems, binaries have become in recent years one of the main topics in planet formation research. Numerous studies have investigated to what extent the presence of a stellar companion can affect the planet formation process. Such studies have implications that can reach beyond the sole context of binaries, as they allow to test certain aspects of the planet formation scenario by submitting them to extreme environments. We review her...

  16. Taking the Temperature of a Lava Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura; Lopez, Eric; Cowan, Nick; Lupu, Roxana; Stevenson, Kevin; Louden, Tom; Malavolta, Luca

    2018-05-01

    Ultra-short period rocky planets (USPs) are an exotic class of planet found around less than 1% of stars. With orbital periods shorter than 24 hours, these worlds are blasted with stellar radiation that is expected to obliterate any traces of a primordial atmosphere and melt the dayside surface into a magma ocean. Observations of USPs have yielded several surprising results, including the measurement of an offset hotspot in the thermal phase curve of 55 Cancri e (which may indicate a thick atmosphere has survived), and a high Bond albedo for Kepler-10b, which suggests the presence of unusually reflective lava on its surface. To further explore the properties of USPs and put these results in context, we propose to observe a thermal phase curve of the newly discovered USP K2- 141b. This planet is a rocky world in a 6.7 hour orbit around a bright, nearby star. When combined with optical phase curve measured by K2, our observations will uniquely determine the planet's Bond albedo, precisely measure the offset of the thermal curve, and determine the temperature of the dayside surface. These results will cement Spitzer's role as a pioneer in the study of terrestrial planets beyond the Solar System, and provide a critical foundation for pursuing the optimal follow-up strategy for K2-141b with JWST.

  17. Exploring Disks Around Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    Giant planets are thought to form in circumstellar disks surrounding young stars, but material may also accrete into a smaller disk around the planet. Weve never detected one of these circumplanetary disks before but thanks to new simulations, we now have a better idea of what to look for.Image from previous work simulating a Jupiter-mass planet forming inside a circumstellar disk. The planet has its own circumplanetary disk of accreted material. [Frdric Masset]Elusive DisksIn the formation of giant planets, we think the final phase consists of accretion onto the planet from a disk that surrounds it. This circumplanetary disk is important to understand, since it both regulates the late gas accretion and forms the birthplace of future satellites of the planet.Weve yet to detect a circumplanetary disk thus far, because the resolution needed to spot one has been out of reach. Now, however, were entering an era where the disk and its kinematics may be observable with high-powered telescopes (like the Atacama Large Millimeter Array).To prepare for such observations, we need models that predict the basic characteristics of these disks like the mass, temperature, and kinematic properties. Now a researcher at the ETH Zrich Institute for Astronomy in Switzerland, Judit Szulgyi, has worked toward this goal.Simulating CoolingSzulgyi performs a series of 3D global radiative hydrodynamic simulations of 1, 3, 5, and 10 Jupiter-mass (MJ) giant planets and their surrounding circumplanetary disks, embedded within the larger circumstellar disk around the central star.Density (left column), temperature (center), and normalized angular momentum (right) for a 1 MJ planet over temperatures cooling from 10,000 K (top) to 1,000 K (bottom). At high temperatures, a spherical circumplanetary envelope surrounds the planet, but as the planet cools, the envelope transitions around 64,000 K to a flattened disk. [Szulgyi 2017]This work explores the effects of different planet temperatures and

  18. The Contingency of Success: Operations for Deep Impact's Planet Hunt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieber, Richard R.; Sharrow, Robert F.

    2009-01-01

    The Deep Impact Flyby spacecraft completed its prime mission in August 2005. It was reactivated for a mission of opportunity add-on called EPOXI on September 25, 2007. The first portion of EPOXI, called EPOCh (Extra-solar Planetary Observation & CHaracterization), occurred from January 21, 2008 through August 31, 2008. Its purpose was to characterize transiting hot-Jupiters by measuring the effects the planet has on the luminosity of its parent star. These observations entailed using the spacecraft in ways it was never intended. A new green-light, success-oriented operational strategy was devised that entailed high amounts of automation and minimal intervention from the ground. The specifics, techniques, and key challenges to obtaining the 172,209 usable science images from EPOCh are discussed in detail.

  19. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forget, F; Leconte, J

    2014-04-28

    What kind of environment may exist on terrestrial planets around other stars? In spite of the lack of direct observations, it may not be premature to speculate on exoplanetary climates, for instance, to optimize future telescopic observations or to assess the probability of habitable worlds. To begin with, climate primarily depends on (i) the atmospheric composition and the volatile inventory; (ii) the incident stellar flux; and (iii) the tidal evolution of the planetary spin, which can notably lock a planet with a permanent night side. The atmospheric composition and mass depends on complex processes, which are difficult to model: origins of volatiles, atmospheric escape, geochemistry, photochemistry, etc. We discuss physical constraints, which can help us to speculate on the possible type of atmosphere, depending on the planet size, its final distance for its star and the star type. Assuming that the atmosphere is known, the possible climates can be explored using global climate models analogous to the ones developed to simulate the Earth as well as the other telluric atmospheres in the solar system. Our experience with Mars, Titan and Venus suggests that realistic climate simulators can be developed by combining components, such as a 'dynamical core', a radiative transfer solver, a parametrization of subgrid-scale turbulence and convection, a thermal ground model and a volatile phase change code. On this basis, we can aspire to build reliable climate predictors for exoplanets. However, whatever the accuracy of the models, predicting the actual climate regime on a specific planet will remain challenging because climate systems are affected by strong positive feedbacks. They can drive planets with very similar forcing and volatile inventory to completely different states. For instance, the coupling among temperature, volatile phase changes and radiative properties results in instabilities, such as runaway glaciations and runaway greenhouse effect.

  20. A STELLAR-MASS-DEPENDENT DROP IN PLANET OCCURRENCE RATES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mulders, Gijs D.; Pascucci, Ilaria; Apai, Dániel

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler spacecraft has discovered a large number of planets with up to one-year periods and down to terrestrial sizes. While the majority of the target stars are main-sequence dwarfs of spectral type F, G, and K, Kepler covers stars with effective temperatures as low as 2500 K, which corresponds to M stars. These cooler stars allow characterization of small planets near the habitable zone, yet it is not clear if this population is representative of that around FGK stars. In this paper, we calculate the occurrence of planets around stars of different spectral types as a function of planet radius and distance from the star and show that they are significantly different from each other. We further identify two trends. First, the occurrence of Earth- to Neptune-sized planets (1-4 R ⊕ ) is successively higher toward later spectral types at all orbital periods probed by Kepler; planets around M stars occur twice as frequently as around G stars, and thrice as frequently as around F stars. Second, a drop in planet occurrence is evident at all spectral types inward of a ∼10 day orbital period, with a plateau further out. By assigning to each spectral type a median stellar mass, we show that the distance from the star where this drop occurs is stellar mass dependent, and scales with semi-major axis as the cube root of stellar mass. By comparing different mechanisms of planet formation, trapping, and destruction, we find that this scaling best matches the location of the pre-main-sequence co-rotation radius, indicating efficient trapping of migrating planets or planetary building blocks close to the star. These results demonstrate the stellar-mass dependence of the planet population, both in terms of occurrence rate and of orbital distribution. The prominent stellar-mass dependence of the inner boundary of the planet population shows that the formation or migration of planets is sensitive to the stellar parameters

  1. FORMING HABITABLE PLANETS AROUND DWARF STARS: APPLICATION TO OGLE-06-109L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Su; Zhou Jilin

    2011-01-01

    Dwarf stars are believed to have a small protostar disk where planets may grow up. During the planet formation stage, embryos undergoing type I migration are expected to be stalled at an inner edge of the magnetically inactive disk (a crit ∼ 0.2-0.3 AU). This mechanism makes the location around a crit a 'sweet spot' for forming planets. In dwarf stars with masses ∼0.5 M sun , a crit is roughly inside the habitable zone of the system. In this paper, we study the formation of habitable planets due to this mechanism using model system OGLE-06-109L, which has a 0.51 M sun dwarf star with two giant planets in 2.3 and 4.6 AU observed by microlensing. We model the embryos undergoing type I migration in the gas disk with a constant disk-accretion rate ( M-dot ). Giant planets in outside orbits affect the formation of habitable planets through secular perturbations at the early stage and secular resonance at the late stage. We find that the existence and the masses of the habitable planets in the OGLE-06-109L system depend on both M-dot and the speed of type I migration. If planets are formed earlier, so that M-dot is larger (∼10 -7 M sun yr -1 ), terrestrial planets cannot survive unless the type I migration rate is an order of magnitude less. If planets are formed later, so that M-dot is smaller (∼10 -8 M sun yr -1 ), single and high-mass terrestrial planets with high water contents (∼5%) will be formed by inward migration of outer planet cores. A slower-speed migration will result in several planets via collisions of embryos, and thus their water contents will be low (∼2%). Mean motion resonances or apsidal resonances among planets may be observed if multiple planets survive in the inner system.

  2. The occurrence of Jovian planets and the habitability of planetary systems

    OpenAIRE

    Lunine, Jonathan I.

    2001-01-01

    Planets of mass comparable to or larger than Jupiter's have been detected around over 50 stars, and for one such object a definitive test of its nature as a gas giant has been accomplished with data from an observed planetary transit. By virtue of their strong gravitational pull, giant planets define the dynamical and collisional environment within which terrestrial planets form. In our solar system, the position and timing of the formation of Jupiter determined the am...

  3. Terrestrial ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    The main effort of the Terrestrial Ecology Division has been redirected to a comprehensive study of the Espiritu Santo Drainage Basin located in northeastern Puerto Rico. The general objective are to provide baseline ecological data for future environmental assessment studies at the local and regional levels, and to provide through an ecosystem approach data for the development of management alternatives for the wise utilization of energy, water, and land resources. The interrelationships among climate, vegetation, soils, and man, and their combined influence upon the hydrologic cycle will be described and evaluated. Environmental management involves planning and decision making, and both require an adequate data base. At present, little is known about the interworkings of a complete, integrated system such as a drainage basin. A literature survey of the main research areas confirmed that, although many individual ecologically oriented studies have been carried out in a tropical environment, few if any provide the data base required for environmental management. In view of rapidly changing socio-economic conditions and natural resources limitations, management urgently requires data from these systems: physical (climatological), biological, and cultural. This integrated drainage basin study has been designed to provide such data. The scope of this program covers the hydrologic cycle as it is affected by the interactions of the physical, biological, and cultural systems

  4. Kepler's first rocky planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batalha, N.M.; Borucki, W.J.; Bryson, S.T.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission uses transit photometry to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The mission reached a milestone toward meeting that goal: the discovery of its first rocky planet, Kepler-10b. Two distinct sets of transit events were...... tests on the photometric and pixel flux time series established the viability of the planet candidates triggering ground-based follow-up observations. Forty precision Doppler measurements were used to confirm that the short-period transit event is due to a planetary companion. The parent star is bright...

  5. MIGRATION OF PLANETS EMBEDDED IN A CIRCUMSTELLAR DISK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2011-01-01

    Planetary migration poses a serious challenge to theories of planet formation. In gaseous and planetesimal disks, migration can remove planets as quickly as they form. To explore migration in a planetesimal disk, we combine analytic and numerical approaches. After deriving general analytic migration rates for isolated planets, we use N-body simulations to confirm these results for fast and slow migration modes. Migration rates scale as m -1 (for massive planets) and (1 + (e H /3) 3 ) -1 , where m is the mass of a planet and e H is the eccentricity of the background planetesimals in Hill units. When multiple planets stir the disk, our simulations yield the new result that large-scale migration ceases. Thus, growing planets do not migrate through planetesimal disks. To extend these results to migration in gaseous disks, we compare physical interactions and rates. Although migration through a gaseous disk is an important issue for the formation of gas giants, we conclude that migration has little impact on the formation of terrestrial planets.

  6. Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen; Asimov, Isaac

    2007-01-01

    "Planets for Man" was written at the height of the space race, a few years before the first moon landing, when it was assumed that in the not-too-distant future human beings "will be able to travel...

  7. Jupiter: as a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The planet Jupiter, its planetary mass and atmosphere, radio waves emitted from Jupiter, thermal radiation, internal structure of Jupiter, and the possibility of life on Jupiter are discussed. Educational study projects are included

  8. Jupiter and planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of Jupiter and Earth are discussed along with their atmospheres, the radiation belts around both planets, natural satellites, the evolution of life, and the Pioneer 10. Educational study projects are also included

  9. CoRoT’s first seven planets: An overview*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barge P.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The up to 150 day uninterrupted high-precision photometry of about 100000 stars – provided so far by the exoplanet channel of the CoRoT space telescope – gave a new perspective on the planet population of our galactic neighbourhood. The seven planets with very accurate parameters widen the range of known planet properties in almost any respect. Giant planets have been detected at low metallicity, rapidly rotating and active, spotted stars. CoRoT-3 populated the brown dwarf desert and closed the gap of measured physical properties between standard giant planets and very low mass stars. CoRoT extended the known range of planet masses down-to 5 Earth masses and up to 21 Jupiter masses, the radii to less than 2 Earth radii and up to the most inflated hot Jupiter found so far, and the periods of planets discovered by transits to 9 days. Two CoRoT planets have host stars with the lowest content of heavy elements known to show a transit hinting towards a different planet-host-star-metallicity relation then the one found by radial-velocity search programs. Finally the properties of the CoRoT-7b prove that terrestrial planets with a density close to Earth exist outside the Solar System. The detection of the secondary transit of CoRoT-1 at the 10−5-level and the very clear detection of the 1.7 Earth radii of CoRoT-7b at 3.5 10−4 relative flux are promising evidence of CoRoT being able to detect even smaller, Earth sized planets.

  10. Differential melt scaling for oblique impacts on terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramov, Oleg; Wong, Stephanie M. Wong; Kring, David A. Kring

    2012-01-01

    Analytical estimates of melt volumes produced by a given projectile and contained in a given impact crater are derived as a function of impact velocity, impact angle, planetary gravity, target and projectile densities, and specific internal energy of melting. Applications to impact events and impact craters on the Earth, Moon, and Mars are demonstrated and discussed. The most probable oblique impact (45°) produces ∼1.6 times less melt volume than a vertical impact, and ∼1.6 and 3.7 times more melt volume than impacts with 30° and 15° trajectories, respectively. The melt volume for a particular crater diameter increases with planetary gravity, so a crater on Earth should have more melt than similar-size craters on Mars and the Moon. The melt volume for a particular projectile diameter does not depend on gravity, but has a strong dependence on impact velocity, so the melt generated by a given projectile on the Moon is significantly larger than on Mars. Higher surface temperatures and geothermal gradients increase melt production, as do lower energies of melting. Collectively, the results imply thinner central melt sheets and a smaller proportion of melt particles in impact breccias on the Moon and Mars than on Earth. These effects are illustrated in a comparison of the Chicxulub crater on Earth, linked to the Cretaceous–Tertiary mass extinction, Gusev crater on Mars, where the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit landed, and Tsiolkovsky crater on the Moon. The results are comparable to those obtained from field and spacecraft observations, other analytical expressions, and hydrocode simulations.

  11. Kepler: A Search for Terrestrial Planets. K2 Handbook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Bryson, Steve

    2017-01-01

    The Kepler spacecraft was repurposed for the K2 mission a year after the failure of the second of Kepler's four reaction wheels in 2013 May. The purpose of this document, the K2 Handbook (K2H), is to describe features of K2 operations, performance, data analysis, and archive products which are common to most K2 campaigns, but different in degree or kind from the corresponding features of the Kepler mission.The K2 Handbook is meant to be read with the following companion documents, which are all publicly available:1. Kepler Instrument Handbook (KSCI-19033) provides information about the design, performance and operational constraints of the instrument and an overview of the types of pixel data that are available.2. Kepler Data Processing Handbook (KSCI-19081) describes how pixels downloaded from the spacecraft are converted by the Kepler Data Processing Pipeline into the data products available at the MAST archive3. Kepler Archive Manual (KDMC-100008) describes the format and content of the data products and how to search for them.4. Kepler Data Characteristics Handbook (KSCI-19040) describes recurring non-astrophysical features of the Kepler data due to instrument signatures, spacecraft events or solar activity and explains how these characteristics are handled by the Kepler pipeline.5. The Ecliptic Plane Input Catalog describes the provenance of the positions and Kepler magnitudes used for target management and aperature photometry.6. K2 Data Release Notes (DRN) are on-line documents available on the K2 science website which describe the data inventory, instrumental signatures and events peculiar to individual observing campaigns.

  12. Kepler: A Search for Terrestrial Planets - Kepler Data Characterization Handbook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Christiansen, J. L.; Jenkins, J. M.; Caldwell, D. A.; Barclay, T.; Bryson, S. T.; Burke, C. J.; Campbell, J.; Catanzarite, J.; Clarke, B. D.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Kepler Data Characteristics Handbook (KDCH) provides a description of all phenomena identified in the Kepler data throughout the mission, and an explanation for how these characteristics are handled by the final version of the Kepler Data Processing Pipeline (SOC 9.3).The KDCH complements the Kepler Data Release Notes (KDRNs), which document phenomena and processing unique to a data release. The original motivation for this separation into static, explanatory text and a more journalistic set of figures and tables in the KDRN was for the user to become familiar with the Data Characteristics Handbook, then peruse the short Notes for a new quarter, referring back to the Handbook when necessary. With the completion of the Kepler mission and the final Data Release 25, both the KDCH and the DRN encompass the entire Kepler mission, so the distinction between them is in the level of exposition, not the extent of the time interval discussed.

  13. Solar Evolution and Climate on the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, J. F.

    2008-12-01

    Venus, Earth, and Mars followed different evolutionary paths, partly because of their relative distance from the Sun, and partly because of the differences in their masses. Venus was too close to the Sun to retain its water, despite reduced solar luminosity early in Solar System history (1). The loss of water, followed by the buildup of CO2 in its atmosphere, led to the atmosphere that we see today. Earth was within the liquid water regime throughout its history. However, it must have had a larger greenhouse effect in the past in order to compensate for the faint young Sun. A combination of CO2, H2O, CH4, and C2H6 may have helped keep it warm (2,3). Mars' surface appears to have been wet early in its history, although opinions differ on how warm it must have been (4-6). CO2 and H2O alone could not have kept Mars' surface above freezing during Mars' early history when most of the large-scale fluvial features are thought to have formed (7). SO2 has been suggested as an additional greenhouse gas (8), but new calculations show that it would likely have been insufficient. Other mechanisms for warming early Mars may exist, however. Mars' albedo could have been significantly lowered by the presence of trace gases that absorb visible sunlight. NO2, which has a broad absorption peak centered at 400 nm, is a good candidate. A 3- bar CO2 atmosphere containing 30 ppm of NO2 could have kept Mars' mean surface temperature well above the freezing point of water at 3.8 Ga. Plausible sources of nitrogen oxides on early Mars include lightning and impacts. Other visible/UV-absorbing trace gases may have added to this warming. Thus, a complex mixture of gases could have helped keep early Mars warm. References: 1. J.F. Kasting, Icarus 74, 472 (1988). 2. A.A. Pavlov et al., J. Geophys. Res. 105, 11 (2000). 3. J.D. Haqq-Misra et al., Astrobiol. (in press). 4. J.B. Pollack et al., Icarus 71, 203 (1987). 5. T.L. Segura, O.B. Toon, A. Colaprete et al., Science 298, 1977 (2002). 6. C.P. McKay, J. Phys. IV 121, 283 (2004). 7. J.F. Kasting, Icarus 94, 1 (1991). 8. I. Halevy et al. Science 318, 1903 (2007).

  14. Magnetism and thermal evolution of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stevenson, D.J.; Spohn, T.; Schubert, G.

    1983-01-01

    The absence in the cases of Venus and Mars of the substantial intrinsic magnetic fields of the earth and Mercury is considered, in light of thermal history calculations which suggest that, while the cores of Mercury and the earth are continuing to freeze, the cores of Venus and Mars may still be completely liquid. It is noted that completely fluid cores, lacking intrinsic heat sources, are not likely to sustain thermal convection for the age of the solar system, but cool to a subadiabatic, conductive state that cannot maintain a dynamo because of the gravitational energy release and the chemically driven convection that accompany inner core growth. The models presented include realistic pressure- and composition-dependent freezing curves for the core, and material parameters are chosen so that correct present-day values of heat outflow, upper mantle temperature and viscosity, and inner core radius, are obtained for the earth. 116 references

  15. Comparative Planetology of the Terrestrial Inner Planets: Implications for Astrobiology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulze-Makuch, D.; Dohm, J.M.; Fairén, A.G.; Baker, V.R.; Strom, R.G.

    2004-01-01

    Venus and Mars had likely liquid water on their surface for long periods of time during their history from which life could have originated and then adapted to live in ecological niches such as the subsurface for Mars and the atmosphere for Venus.

  16. Magnetism and thermal evolution of the terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, D. J.; Spohn, T.; Schubert, G.

    1983-01-01

    The absence in the cases of Venus and Mars of the substantial intrinsic magnetic fields of the earth and Mercury is considered, in light of thermal history calculations which suggest that, while the cores of Mercury and the earth are continuing to freeze, the cores of Venus and Mars may still be completely liquid. It is noted that completely fluid cores, lacking intrinsic heat sources, are not likely to sustain thermal convection for the age of the solar system, but cool to a subadiabatic, conductive state that cannot maintain a dynamo because of the gravitational energy release and the chemically driven convection that accompany inner core growth. The models presented include realistic pressure- and composition-dependent freezing curves for the core, and material parameters are chosen so that correct present-day values of heat outflow, upper mantle temperature and viscosity, and inner core radius, are obtained for the earth.

  17. The planet Mercury (1971)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    The physical properties of the planet Mercury, its surface, and atmosphere are presented for space vehicle design criteria. The mass, dimensions, mean density, and orbital and rotational motions are described. The gravity field, magnetic field, electromagnetic radiation, and charged particles in the planet's orbit are discussed. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, and composition data are given along with the surface composition, soil mechanical properties, and topography, and the surface electromagnetic and temperature properties.

  18. Electromagnetic behaviour of the earth and planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCarthy, A.J.

    2002-01-01

    Forecast problems of global warming, rising sea-levels, UV enhancement, and solar disruptions of power grids and satellite communications, have been widely discussed. Added to these calamities is the steady decay of the Earth's magnetic radiation shield against high energy particles. A system of solar-induced aperiodic electromagnetic resonances, referred to here as the Debye resonances, is resurrected as the preferred basis for describing the electromagnetic behaviour of the Earth and planets. Debye's two basic solutions to the spherical vector wave equation provide foundations for electromagnetic modes of the terrestrial and gaseous planets respectively in contrast with the separate electric and magnetic approaches usually taken. For those engaged in radiation protection issues, this paper provides the first published account of how the Sun apparently triggers an Earth magnetic shield against its own harmful radiation. Disturbances from the Sun - which are random in terms of polarity, polarisation, amplitude, and occurrence - are considered here to trigger the Debye modes and generate observed planetary electric and magnetic fields. Snapping or reconnection of solar or interplanetary field lines, acting together with the newly conceived magnetospheric transmission lines of recent literature, is suspected as the excitation mechanism. Virtual replacement of free space by plasma, places the electromagnetic behaviour of the Earth and planets under greatly enhanced control from the Sun. From a radiation protection viewpoint, modal theory based on solar-terrestrial coupling provides a new insight into the origin of the Earth's magnetic radiation shield, greater understanding of which is essential to development of global cosmic radiation protection strategies. Should man-made influences unduly increase conductivities of the Earth's magnetosphere, planet Earth could be left with no magnetic radiation shield whatsoever. Copyright (2002) Australasian Radiation Protection

  19. GEODYNAMICS AND RATE OF VOLCANISM ON MASSIVE EARTH-LIKE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kite, E. S.; Manga, M.; Gaidos, E.

    2009-01-01

    We provide estimates of volcanism versus time for planets with Earth-like composition and masses 0.25-25 M + , as a step toward predicting atmospheric mass on extrasolar rocky planets. Volcanism requires melting of the silicate mantle. We use a thermal evolution model, calibrated against Earth, in combination with standard melting models, to explore the dependence of convection-driven decompression mantle melting on planet mass. We show that (1) volcanism is likely to proceed on massive planets with plate tectonics over the main-sequence lifetime of the parent star; (2) crustal thickness (and melting rate normalized to planet mass) is weakly dependent on planet mass; (3) stagnant lid planets live fast (they have higher rates of melting than their plate tectonic counterparts early in their thermal evolution), but die young (melting shuts down after a few Gyr); (4) plate tectonics may not operate on high-mass planets because of the production of buoyant crust which is difficult to subduct; and (5) melting is necessary but insufficient for efficient volcanic degassing-volatiles partition into the earliest, deepest melts, which may be denser than the residue and sink to the base of the mantle on young, massive planets. Magma must also crystallize at or near the surface, and the pressure of overlying volatiles must be fairly low, if volatiles are to reach the surface. If volcanism is detected in the 10 Gyr-old τ Ceti system, and tidal forcing can be shown to be weak, this would be evidence for plate tectonics.

  20. CROWDING-OUT OF GIANTS BY DWARFS: AN ORIGIN FOR THE LACK OF COMPANION PLANETS IN HOT JUPITER SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogihara, Masahiro; Inutsuka, Shu-ichiro; Kobayashi, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the formation of close-in terrestrial planets from planetary embryos under the influence of a hot Jupiter (HJ) using gravitational N-body simulations that include gravitational interactions between the gas disk and the terrestrial planet (e.g., type I migration). Our simulations show that several terrestrial planets efficiently form outside the orbit of the HJ, making a chain of planets, and all of them gravitationally interact directly or indirectly with the HJ through resonance, which leads to inward migration of the HJ. We call this mechanism of induced migration of the HJ ''crowding-out''. The HJ is eventually lost through collision with the central star, and only several terrestrial planets remain. We also find that the efficiency of the crowding-out effect depends on the model parameters; for example, the heavier the disk is, the more efficient the crowding-out is. When planet formation occurs in a massive disk, the HJ can be lost to the central star and is never observed. On the other hand, for a less massive disk, the HJ and terrestrial planets can coexist; however, the companion planets may be below the detection limit of current observations. In both cases, systems with a HJ and terrestrial planets have little chance of detection. Therefore, our model naturally explains the lack of companion planets in HJ systems regardless of the disk mass. In effect, our model provides a theoretical prediction for future observations; additional planets can be discovered just outside the HJ, and their masses should generally be small

  1. THE REFLECTION EFFECT IN INTERACTING BINARIES OR IN PLANET-STAR SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Budaj, J.

    2011-01-01

    There are many similarities between interacting binary stars and stars with a close-in giant extrasolar planet. The reflection effect is a well-known example. Although the generally accepted treatment of this effect in interacting binaries is successful in fitting light curves of eclipsing binaries, it is not very suitable for studying cold objects irradiated by hot objects or extrasolar planets. The aim of this paper is to develop a model of the reflection effect which could be easily incorporated into the present codes for modeling of interacting binaries so that these can be used to study the aforementioned objects. Our model of the reflection effect takes into account the reflection (scattering), heating, and heat redistribution over the surface of the irradiated object. The shape of the object is described by the non-spherical Roche potential expected for close objects. Limb and gravity darkening are included in the calculations of the light output from the system. The model also accounts for the orbital revolution and rotation of the exoplanet with appropriate Doppler shifts for the scattered and thermal radiation. Subsequently, light curves and/or spectra of several exoplanets have been modeled and the effects of the heat redistribution, limb darkening/brightening, (non-)gray albedo, and non-spherical shape have been studied. Recent observations of planet-to-star flux ratio of HD189733b, WASP12b, and WASP-19b at various phases were reproduced with very good accuracy. It was found that HD189733b has a low Bond albedo and intense heat redistribution, while WASP-19b has a low Bond albedo and low heat redistribution. The exact Roche geometries and temperature distributions over the surface of all 78 transiting extrasolar planets have been determined. Departures from the spherical shape may vary considerably but departures of about 1% in the radius are common within the sample. In some cases, these departures can reach 8%, 12%, or 14%, for WASP-33b, WASP-19b, and

  2. Planets in a Room

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomini, l.; Aloisi, F.; De Angelis, I.

    2017-09-01

    Teaching planetary science using a spherical projector to show the planets' surfaces is a very effective but usually very expensive idea. Whatsmore, it usually assumes the availability of a dedicated space and a trained user. "Planets in a room" is a prototypal low cost version of a small, spherical projector that teachers, museum, planetary scientists and other individuals can easily build and use on their own, to show and teach the planets The project of "Planets in a Room" was made by the italian non-profit association Speak Science with the collaboration of INAF-IAPS of Rome and the Roma Tre University (Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica). This proposal was funded by the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme in 2016. "Planets in a room" will be presented during EPSC 2017 to give birth to the second phase of the project, when the outreach and research community will be involved and schools from all over Europe will be invited to participate with the aim of bringing planetary science to a larger audience.

  3. Planet Detectability in the Alpha Centauri System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lily; Fischer, Debra A.; Brewer, John; Giguere, Matt; Rojas-Ayala, Bárbara

    2018-01-01

    We use more than a decade of radial-velocity measurements for α {Cen} A, B, and Proxima Centauri from the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, CTIO High Resolution Spectrograph, and the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph to identify the M\\sin i and orbital periods of planets that could have been detected if they existed. At each point in a mass–period grid, we sample a simulated, Keplerian signal with the precision and cadence of existing data and assess the probability that the signal could have been produced by noise alone. Existing data places detection thresholds in the classically defined habitable zones at about M\\sin i of 53 {M}\\oplus for α {Cen} A, 8.4 {M}\\oplus for α {Cen} B, and 0.47 {M}\\oplus for Proxima Centauri. Additionally, we examine the impact of systematic errors, or “red noise” in the data. A comparison of white- and red-noise simulations highlights quasi-periodic variability in the radial velocities that may be caused by systematic errors, photospheric velocity signals, or planetary signals. For example, the red-noise simulations show a peak above white-noise simulations at the period of Proxima Centauri b. We also carry out a spectroscopic analysis of the chemical composition of the α {Centauri} stars. The stars have super-solar metallicity with ratios of C/O and Mg/Si that are similar to the Sun, suggesting that any small planets in the α {Cen} system may be compositionally similar to our terrestrial planets. Although the small projected separation of α {Cen} A and B currently hampers extreme-precision radial-velocity measurements, the angular separation is now increasing. By 2019, α {Cen} A and B will be ideal targets for renewed Doppler planet surveys.

  4. Beyond the Wobbles: Teaching Students About Detecting Planets with the Transit and Gravitational Microlensing Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, Edward E.; Wallace, Colin Scott; Chambers, Timothy G.; Brissenden, Gina; Traub, Wesley A.; Greene, W. M.; Biferno, Anya A.; Rodriguez, Joshua

    2015-01-01

    Members of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory in collaboration with JPL scientists, visualization experts, and education and public outreach professionals with the Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) have recently completed classroom field-testing of a new suite of educational materials to help learners better understand how extrasolar planets are detected using the transit and gravitational microlensing techniques. This collaboration has created a set of evidence-based Think-Pair-Share questions, Lecture-Tutorials, animations, presentation slides, and instrucotrs guide that can be used together or separately to actively engage learners in reasoning about the data and scientific representations associated with these exciting new extrasolar planet detection methods. In this talk we present several of the conceptually challenging collaborative learning tasks that students encounter with this new suite of educational materials and some of the assessment questions we are using to assess the efficacy of their use in general education, college-level astronomy courses.

  5. Recipes for planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Michael R.

    2009-11-01

    Anyone who has ever used baking soda instead of baking powder when trying to make a cake knows a simple truth: ingredients matter. The same is true for planet formation. Planets are made from the materials that coalesce in a rotating disk around young stars - essentially the "leftovers" from when the stars themselves formed through the gravitational collapse of rotating clouds of gas and dust. The planet-making disk should therefore initially have the same gas-to-dust ratio as the interstellar medium: about 100 to 1, by mass. Similarly, it seems logical that the elemental composition of the disk should match that of the star, reflecting the initial conditions at that particular spot in the galaxy.

  6. Planetesimals and Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, John

    The first step in the standard model for planet formation is the growth of gravitationally bound bodies called ``planetesimals'' from dust grains in a protoplanetary disk. Currently, we do not know how planetesimals form, how long they take to form, or what their sizes and mechanical properties are. The goal of this proposal is to assess how these uncertainties affect subsequent stages of planetary growth and the kind of planetary systems that form. The work will address three particular questions: (i) Can the properties of small body populations in the modern Solar System constrain the properties of planetesimals? (ii) How do the properties of planetesimals affect the formation of giant planets? (iii) How does the presence of a water ice condensation front (the ``snow line'') in a disk affect planetesimal formation and the later stages of planetary growth? These questions will be examined with computer simulations of planet formation using new computer codes to be developed as part of the proposal. The first question will be addressed using a statistical model for planetesimal coagulation and fragmentation. This code will be merged with the proposer's Mercury N-body integrator code to model the dynamics of large protoplanets in order to address the second question. Finally, a self- consistent model of disk evolution and the radial transport of water ice and vapour will be added to examine the third question. A theoretical understanding of how planets form is one of the key goals of NASA and the Origins of Solar Systems programme. Researchers have carried out many studies designed to address this goal, but the questions of how planetesimals form and how their properties affect planet formation have received relatively little attention. The proposed work will help address these unsolved questions, and place other research in context by assessing the importance of planetesimal origins and properties for planet formation.

  7. Accretion of Planetesimals and the Formation of Rocky Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, John E.; O'Brien, David P.; Davis, Andrew M.

    2010-02-01

    Here we describe the formation of rocky planets and asteroids in the context of the planetesimal hypothesis. Small dust grains in protoplanetary disks readily stick together forming mm-to-cm-sized aggregates, many of which experience brief heating episodes causing melting. Growth to km-sized planetesimals might proceed via continued pairwise sticking, turbulent concentration, or gravitational instability of a thin particle layer. Gravitational interactions between planetesimals lead to rapid runaway and oligarchic growth forming lunar-to-Mars-sized protoplanets in 10^5 to 10^6 years. Giant impacts between protoplanets form Earth-mass planets in 10^7 to 10^8 years, and occasionally lead to the formation of large satellites. Protoplanets may migrate far from their formation locations due to tidal interactions with the surrounding disk. Radioactive decay and impact heating cause melting and differentiation of planetesimals and protoplanets, forming iron-rich cores and silicate mantles, and leading to some loss of volatiles. Dynamical perturbations from giant planets eject most planetesimals and protoplanets from regions near orbital resonances, leading to asteroid-belt formation. Some of this scattered material will collide with growing terrestrial planets, altering their composition as a result. Numerical simulations and radioisotope dating indicate that the terrestrial planets of the Solar System were essentially fully formed in 100-200 million years.

  8. Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilford, Shelby G.; Asrar, Ghassem; Backlund, Peter W.

    1994-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the Earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic Earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the Earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the Earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment.

  9. Mission to Planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, G.S.; Backlund, P.W.

    1992-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment. 8 refs

  10. Developing New Pedagogy to Teach Planet Formation to Undergraduate Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Molly; Impey, Chris David; Buxner, Sanlyn

    2016-06-01

    A first order understanding of planet formation and the scientific concepts therein is critical in order for undergraduate students to understand our place in the Universe. Furthermore, planet formation integrates the topics of gravity, angular momentum, migration, and condensation in a “story-book” fashion where students can apply these concepts to a specific event. We collected syllabi and course topics from over 30 undergraduate general-education astrobiology courses from around the globe in order to determine the extent to which professors address planet formation. Additionally, we were looking to see if faculty had developed specific or original pedagogy to teach this topic. We find on average, instructors spend ½ of a lecture discussing planet formation or they leave it out all together. In the classes where planet formation is taught more extensively, instructors use PowerPoint slides or occasional videos to teach the topic. We aim to develop new pedagogy that will allow us to better determine learning gains and student understanding of this critical topic. If students in an astrobiology class are unable to understand how our own Solar System forms, it is significantly more challenging to make parallels (or find differences) between our home in the Universe and extrasolar planetary systems.

  11. Strong water absorption in the dayside emission spectrum of the planet HD 189733b.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grillmair, Carl J; Burrows, Adam; Charbonneau, David; Armus, Lee; Stauffer, John; Meadows, Victoria; van Cleve, Jeffrey; von Braun, Kaspar; Levine, Deborah

    2008-12-11

    Recent observations of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b did not reveal the presence of water in the emission spectrum of the planet. Yet models of such 'hot-Jupiter' planets predict an abundance of atmospheric water vapour. Validating and constraining these models is crucial to understanding the physics and chemistry of planetary atmospheres in extreme environments. Indications of the presence of water in the atmosphere of HD 189733b have recently been found in transmission spectra, where the planet's atmosphere selectively absorbs the light of the parent star, and in broadband photometry. Here we report the detection of strong water absorption in a high-signal-to-noise, mid-infrared emission spectrum of the planet itself. We find both a strong downturn in the flux ratio below 10 microm and discrete spectral features that are characteristic of strong absorption by water vapour. The differences between these and previous observations are significant and admit the possibility that predicted planetary-scale dynamical weather structures may alter the emission spectrum over time. Models that match the observed spectrum and the broadband photometry suggest that heat redistribution from the dayside to the nightside is weak. Reconciling this with the high nightside temperature will require a better understanding of atmospheric circulation or possible additional energy sources.

  12. Intrinsic luminosities of the Jovian planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hubbard, W.B.

    1980-01-01

    We review available data and theories on the size and nature of interior power sources in the Jovian planets. Broad band infrared measurements indicate that Jupiter and Saturn have interior heat fluxes about 150 and 50 times larger, respectively, than the terrestrial value. While Neptune has a modest heat flux (approx.5 times terrestrial), it is clearly detected by earth-based measurements. Only Uranus seems to lack a detectable interior heat flow. Various models, ranging from simple cooling to gravitational layering to radioactivity, are discussed. Current evidence seems to favor a cooling model in which the escape of heat is regulated by the atmosphere. This model seems capable of explaining phenomena such as the uniformity of effective temperature over Jupiter's surface and the different emission rates of Uranus and Neptune. In such a model the heat radiated from the atmosphere may derived from depletion of a thermal reservoir in the interior, or it may derive from separation of chemical elements during formation of a core. Calculations indicate that in the earlier stages of cooling, Jupiter and Saturn may have more homogeneous abundances of hydrogen and helium and radiate energy derived from simple cooling. At a subsequent phase (which may be later than the present time), hydrogen and helium will separate and supply grativational energy. Either model is consistent with a hot, high-luminosity origin for the Jovian Planets

  13. Protected urban planet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pereira Roders, A.R.; Veldpaus, L.; Verbruggen, R.C.

    2012-01-01

    PUP, abbreviation to Protected Urban Planet, is the first tool developed for visualizing, mapping and contributing to information exchange on the evolution of protected urban areas worldwide. Besides locating them, it also provides communities with means to disseminate and raise awareness for their

  14. Life in other planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, S.N.

    1977-01-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high temperature fusion reactions taking place in it, is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection etc. are briefly touched upon. (K.B.)

  15. Life in other planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghosh, S N [Calcutta Univ. (India). Dept. of Applied Physics

    1977-12-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high-temperature fusion reactions taking place in it is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection, etc., are briefly touched upon.

  16. Characterizing the X-ray Radiation Field in the Earth-like Planet Forming ExoSystem HD 113766

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, Carey

    2010-09-01

    We propose a 100 ksec ACIS-S observation of the 12 Myr old system HD 113766, the site of on-going terrestrial planet formation (Lisse et al. 2008), in order to determine the spectrum of x-ray radiation in the fledgling system, its origin in the stellar coronae and proto-planetary disk, and its potential impact on the nascent planet.

  17. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R. [Department of Physical Sciences, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Bagnulo, S. [Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG (United Kingdom); Kowalski, P. M. [GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam (Germany); Shulyak, D. V. [Institute of Astrophysics, Georg-August-University, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, D-37077 Goettingen (Germany); Sterzik, M. F., E-mail: l.fossati@open.ac.uk, E-mail: C.A.Haswell@open.ac.uk, E-mail: M.R.Patel@open.ac.uk, E-mail: r.busuttil@open.ac.uk, E-mail: sba@arm.ac.uk, E-mail: kowalski@gfz-potsdam.de, E-mail: denis.shulyak@gmail.com, E-mail: msterzik@eso.org [European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 (Chile)

    2012-09-20

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for {approx}8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10{sup 2} (10{sup 4}) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M{sub Sun} white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  18. STABILITY OF ADDITIONAL PLANETS IN AND AROUND THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE HD 47186 PLANETARY SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory

    2009-01-01

    We study the dynamical stability of an additional, potentially habitable planet in the HD 47186 planetary system. Two planets are currently known in this system: a 'hot Neptune' with a period of 4.08 days and a Saturn-mass planet with a period of 3.7 years. Here we consider the possibility that one or more undetected planets exist between the two known planets and possibly within the habitable zone (HZ) in this system. Given the relatively low masses of the known planets, additional planets could have masses ∼ + , and hence be terrestrial-like and further improving potential habitability. We perform N-body simulations to identify the stable zone between planets b and c and find that much of the inner HZ can harbor a 10 M + planet. With the current radial velocity threshold of ∼1 m s -1 , an additional planet should be detectable if it lies at the inner edge of the habitable zone at 0.8 AU. We also show that the stable zone could contain two additional planets of 10 M + each if their eccentricities are lower than ∼0.3.

  19. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R.; Bagnulo, S.; Kowalski, P. M.; Shulyak, D. V.; Sterzik, M. F.

    2012-01-01

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for ∼8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10 2 (10 4 ) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M ☉ white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  20. Estrellas, ríos, planetas, bacterias y telescopios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauas, P.

    2016-08-01

    In this paper I present a summary of the research areas I was involved over the years: stellar atmospheric models, solar and stellar activity, impact of solar activity on terrestrial climate, astrobiology and extrasolar planets.

  1. Factors Affecting the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria; NAI-Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team

    2014-03-01

    Habitability is a measure of an environment's potential to support life. For exoplanets, the concept of habitability can be used broadly - to inform our calculations of the possibility and distribution of life elsewhere - or as a practical tool to inform mission designs and to prioritize specific targets in the search for extrasolar life. Although a planet's habitability does depend critically on the effect of stellar type and planetary semi-major axis on climate balance, work in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology has identified many additional factors that can affect a planet's environment and its potential ability to support life. Life requires material for metabolism and structures, a liquid medium for chemical transport, and an energy source to drive metabolism and other life processes. Whether a planet's surface or sub-surface can provide these requirements is the result of numerous planetary and astrophysical processes that affect the planet's formation and evolution. Many of these factors are interdependent, and fall into three main categories: stellar effects, planetary effects and planetary system effects. Key abiotic processes affecting the resultant planetary environment include photochemistry (e.g. Segura et al., 2003; 2005), stellar effects on climate balance (e.g. Joshii et al., 2012; Shields et al., 2013), atmospheric loss (e.g. Lopez and Fortney, 2013), and gravitational interactions with the star (e.g. Barnes et al., 2013). In many cases, the effect of these processes is strongly dependent on a specific planet's existing environmental properties. Examples include the resultant UV flux at a planetary surface as a product of stellar activity and the strength of a planet's atmospheric UV shield (Segura et al., 2010); and the amount of tidal energy available to a planet to drive plate tectonics and heat the surface (Barnes et al., 2009), which is in turn due to a combination of stellar mass, planetary mass and composition, planetary orbital

  2. ALMOST ALL OF KEPLER'S MULTIPLE-PLANET CANDIDATES ARE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kinemuchi, Karen; Koch, David G.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Adams, Elisabeth; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C.; Gilliland, Ronald L.

    2012-01-01

    We present a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) indeed represent true, physically associated transiting planets. Binary stars provide the primary source of false positives among Kepler planet candidates, implying that false positives should be nearly randomly distributed among Kepler targets. In contrast, true transiting planets would appear clustered around a smaller number of Kepler targets if detectable planets tend to come in systems and/or if the orbital planes of planets encircling the same star are correlated. There are more than one hundred times as many Kepler planet candidates in multi-candidate systems as would be predicted from a random distribution of candidates, implying that the vast majority are true planets. Most of these multis are multiple-planet systems orbiting the Kepler target star, but there are likely cases where (1) the planetary system orbits a fainter star, and the planets are thus significantly larger than has been estimated, or (2) the planets orbit different stars within a binary/multiple star system. We use the low overall false-positive rate among Kepler multis, together with analysis of Kepler spacecraft and ground-based data, to validate the closely packed Kepler-33 planetary system, which orbits a star that has evolved somewhat off of the main sequence. Kepler-33 hosts five transiting planets, with periods ranging from 5.67 to 41 days.

  3. TERRESTRIAL, HABITABLE-ZONE EXOPLANET FREQUENCY FROM KEPLER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2012-01-01

    Data from Kepler's first 136 days of operation are analyzed to determine the distribution of exoplanets with respect to radius, period, and host-star spectral type. The analysis is extrapolated to estimate the percentage of terrestrial, habitable-zone (HZ) exoplanets. The Kepler census is assumed to be complete for bright stars (magnitude 0.5 Earth radius and periods β–1 , with β ≅ 0.71 ± 0.08; and an extrapolation to longer periods gives the frequency of terrestrial planets in the HZs of FGK stars as η ⊕ ≅ (34 ± 14)%. Thus about one-third of FGK stars are predicted to have at least one terrestrial, HZ planet.

  4. DETECTABILITY OF FREE FLOATING PLANETS IN OPEN CLUSTERS WITH THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea; D'Onghia, Elena

    2013-01-01

    Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, such as in Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population. The large stellar density, and corresponding high close-encounter event rate, may induce strong perturbations of planetary orbits with large semimajor axes. Here we present a set of N-body simulations implementing a novel scheme to treat the tidal effects of external stellar perturbers on planetary orbit eccentricity and inclination. By simulating five nearby open clusters, we determine the rate of occurrence of bodies extracted from their parent stellar system by quasi-impulsive tidal interactions. We find that the specific free-floating planet production rate N-dot o (total number of free-floating planets per unit of time, normalized by the total number of stars), is proportional to the stellar density ρ * of the cluster: N-dot o =αρ ⋆ , with α = (23 ± 5) × 10 –6 pc 3 Myr –1 . For the Pleiades (M45), we predict that ∼26% of stars should have lost their planets. This raises the exciting possibility of directly observing these wandering planets with the James Webb Space Telescope in the near-infrared band. Assuming a surface temperature for the planet of ∼500 K, a free-floating planet of Jupiter size inside the Pleiades would have a specific flux of F ν (4.4 μm) ≈4 × 10 2  nJy, which would lead to a very clear detection (S/N ∼ 100) in only one hour of integration

  5. Detectability of Free Floating Planets in Open Clusters with the James Webb Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea; D'Onghia, Elena

    2013-12-01

    Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, such as in Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population. The large stellar density, and corresponding high close-encounter event rate, may induce strong perturbations of planetary orbits with large semimajor axes. Here we present a set of N-body simulations implementing a novel scheme to treat the tidal effects of external stellar perturbers on planetary orbit eccentricity and inclination. By simulating five nearby open clusters, we determine the rate of occurrence of bodies extracted from their parent stellar system by quasi-impulsive tidal interactions. We find that the specific free-floating planet production rate \\dot{N}_o (total number of free-floating planets per unit of time, normalized by the total number of stars), is proportional to the stellar density ρsstarf of the cluster: \\dot{N}_o = \\alpha \\rho _\\star, with α = (23 ± 5) × 10-6 pc3 Myr-1. For the Pleiades (M45), we predict that ~26% of stars should have lost their planets. This raises the exciting possibility of directly observing these wandering planets with the James Webb Space Telescope in the near-infrared band. Assuming a surface temperature for the planet of ~500 K, a free-floating planet of Jupiter size inside the Pleiades would have a specific flux of F ν (4.4 μm) ≈4 × 102 nJy, which would lead to a very clear detection (S/N ~ 100) in only one hour of integration.

  6. DETECTABILITY OF FREE FLOATING PLANETS IN OPEN CLUSTERS WITH THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea [Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, I-56126 Pisa (Italy); D' Onghia, Elena [University of Wisconsin, 475 Charter St., Madison, WI 53706 (United States)

    2013-12-01

    Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, such as in Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population. The large stellar density, and corresponding high close-encounter event rate, may induce strong perturbations of planetary orbits with large semimajor axes. Here we present a set of N-body simulations implementing a novel scheme to treat the tidal effects of external stellar perturbers on planetary orbit eccentricity and inclination. By simulating five nearby open clusters, we determine the rate of occurrence of bodies extracted from their parent stellar system by quasi-impulsive tidal interactions. We find that the specific free-floating planet production rate N-dot {sub o} (total number of free-floating planets per unit of time, normalized by the total number of stars), is proportional to the stellar density ρ{sub *} of the cluster: N-dot {sub o}=αρ{sub ⋆}, with α = (23 ± 5) × 10{sup –6} pc{sup 3} Myr{sup –1}. For the Pleiades (M45), we predict that ∼26% of stars should have lost their planets. This raises the exciting possibility of directly observing these wandering planets with the James Webb Space Telescope in the near-infrared band. Assuming a surface temperature for the planet of ∼500 K, a free-floating planet of Jupiter size inside the Pleiades would have a specific flux of F {sub ν} (4.4 μm) ≈4 × 10{sup 2} nJy, which would lead to a very clear detection (S/N ∼ 100) in only one hour of integration.

  7. TPS for Outer Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Ellerby, D.; Gage, P.; Gasch, M.; Hwang, H.; Prabhu, D.; Stackpoole, M.; Wercinski, Paul

    2018-01-01

    This invited talk will provide an assessment of the TPS needs for Outer Planet In-situ missions to destinations with atmosphere. The talk will outline the drivers for TPS from destination, science, mission architecture and entry environment. An assessment of the readiness of the TPS, both currently available and under development, for Saturn, Titan, Uranus and Neptune are provided. The challenges related to sustainability of the TPS for future missions are discussed.

  8. Planets in Inuit Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, John

    2018-02-01

    phenomenon of the "polar night." For several reasons, the role of planets in Inuit astronomy is difficult to determine, due, in part, to the characteristics of the planets themselves. Naked-eye differentiation between the major visible planets is by no means straightforward, and for observers living north of the Arctic Circle, the continuous or semicontinuous periods of daylight/twilight obtaining throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall effectively prevent year-round viewing of the night sky, making much planetary movement unobservable, far less an appreciation of the planets' predictable synodic and sidereal periods. Mitigating against the significant use of planets in Inuit culture is also the principle that their applied astronomy, along with its cosmology and mythologies depend principally on—apart from the sun and the moon—the predictability of the "fixed stars." Inuit of course did see the major planets and took note of them when they moved through their familiar asterisms or appeared, irregularly, as markers of solstice, or harbingers of daylight after winter's dark. Generally, however, planets seem to have been little regarded until after the introduction of Christianity, when, in parts of the Canadian eastern Arctic, Venus, in particular, became associated with Christmas. While there are anecdotal accounts that some of the planets, again especially Venus, may have had a place in Greenlandic mythology, this assertion is far from certain. Furthermore, reports from Alaska and Greenland suggesting that the appearance of Venus was a regular marker of the new year, or a predictor of sun's return, need qualification, given the apparent irregularity of Venus's appearances above the horizon. A survey of relevant literature, including oral history, pertaining either directly or peripherally to Inuit astronomical traditions, reveals few bona fide mention of planets. References to planets in Inuit mythology and astronomy are usually speculative, typically lacking

  9. Mercury - Introduction to an end-member planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chapman, C.R.

    1988-01-01

    This chapter introduces the major themes of this book. In many ways, Mercury is an extreme planet, and thus it provides a unique benchmark for testing our theories about the origin and evolution of other (particularly terrestrial) planets. Emphasis is given to synthesizing and critiquing the book's chapters on the planet's origin, its metal-rich composition, its thermal and geophysical evolution, and its cratering history; these topics are complex and controversial, and this book contains a variety of new perspectives on them. Mercury's geology, atmosphere and magnetosphere are discussed more briefly. The study of Mercury is placed in its historical context and in the context of the spacecraft exploration program, both past and future

  10. Studies of Planet Formation using a Hybrid N-body + Planetesimal Code

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Bromley, Benjamin C.; Salamon, Michael (Technical Monitor)

    2005-01-01

    The goal of our proposal was to use a hybrid multi-annulus planetesimal/n-body code to examine the planetesimal theory, one of the two main theories of planet formation. We developed this code to follow the evolution of numerous 1 m to 1 km planetesimals as they collide, merge, and grow into full-fledged planets. Our goal was to apply the code to several well-posed, topical problems in planet formation and to derive observational consequences of the models. We planned to construct detailed models to address two fundamental issues: 1) icy planets - models for icy planet formation will demonstrate how the physical properties of debris disks, including the Kuiper Belt in our solar system, depend on initial conditions and input physics; and 2) terrestrial planets - calculations following the evolution of 1-10 km planetesimals into Earth-mass planets and rings of dust will provide a better understanding of how terrestrial planets form and interact with their environment. During the past year, we made progress on each issue. Papers published in 2004 are summarized. Summaries of work to be completed during the first half of 2005 and work planned for the second half of 2005 are included.

  11. THE NASA-UC ETA-EARTH PROGRAM. II. A PLANET ORBITING HD 156668 WITH A MINIMUM MASS OF FOUR EARTH MASSES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Johnson, John Asher; Fischer, Debra A.; Wright, Jason T.; Henry, Gregory W.; Valenti, Jeff A.; Anderson, Jay; Piskunov, Nikolai E.

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of HD 156668 b, an extrasolar planet with a minimum mass of M P sin i = 4.15 M + . This planet was discovered through Keplerian modeling of precise radial velocities from Keck-HIRES and is the second super-Earth to emerge from the NASA-UC Eta-Earth Survey. The best-fit orbit is consistent with circular and has a period of P = 4.6455 days. The Doppler semi-amplitude of this planet, K = 1.89 m s -1 , is among the lowest ever detected, on par with the detection of GJ 581 e using HARPS. A longer period (P ∼ 2.3 years), low-amplitude signal of unknown origin was also detected in the radial velocities and was filtered out of the data while fitting the short-period planet. Additional data are required to determine if the long-period signal is due to a second planet, stellar activity, or another source. Photometric observations using the Automated Photometric Telescopes at Fairborn Observatory show that HD 156668 (an old, quiet K3 dwarf) is photometrically constant over the radial velocity period to 0.1 mmag, supporting the existence of the planet. No transits were detected down to a photometric limit of ∼3 mmag, ruling out transiting planets dominated by extremely bloated atmospheres, but not precluding a transiting solid/liquid planet with a modest atmosphere.

  12. The Scattering Outcomes of Kepler Circumbinary Planets: Planet Mass Ratio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gong, Yan-Xiang; Ji, Jianghui, E-mail: yxgong@pmo.ac.cn, E-mail: jijh@pmo.ac.cn [CAS Key Laboratory of Planetary Sciences, Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China)

    2017-11-01

    Recent studies reveal that the free eccentricities of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b are much larger than their forced eccentricities, implying that scattering events may take place in their formation. The observed orbital configuration of Kepler-34b cannot be well reproduced in disk-driven migration models, whereas a two-planet scattering scenario can play a significant role of shaping the planetary configuration. These studies indicate that circumbinary planets discovered by Kepler may have experienced scattering process. In this work, we extensively investigate the scattering outcomes of circumbinary planets focusing on the effects of planet mass ratio . We find that the planetary mass ratio and the the initial relative locations of planets act as two important parameters that affect the eccentricity distribution of the surviving planets. As an application of our model, we discuss the observed orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b. We first adopt the results from the disk-driven models as the initial conditions, then simulate the scattering process that occurs in the late evolution stage of circumbinary planets. We show that the present orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b can be well reproduced when considering a two unequal-mass planet ejection model. Our work further suggests that some of the currently discovered circumbinary single-planet systems may be survivors of original multiple-planet systems. The disk-driven migration and scattering events occurring in the late stage both play an irreplaceable role in sculpting the final systems.

  13. Properties of an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star: Earth observed by the EPOXI mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livengood, Timothy A; Deming, L Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Meadows, Victoria S; Robinson, Tyler D; Seager, Sara; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-11-01

    NASA's EPOXI mission observed the disc-integrated Earth and Moon to test techniques for reconnoitering extrasolar terrestrial planets, using the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to observe Earth at the beginning and end of Northern Hemisphere spring, 2008, from a range of ∼1/6 to 1/3 AU. These observations furnish high-precision and high-cadence empirical photometry and spectroscopy of Earth, suitable as "ground truth" for numerically simulating realistic observational scenarios for an Earth-like exoplanet with finite signal-to-noise ratio. Earth was observed at near-equatorial sub-spacecraft latitude on 18-19 March, 28-29 May, and 4-5 June (UT), in the range of 372-4540 nm wavelength with low visible resolving power (λ/Δλ=5-13) and moderate IR resolving power (λ/Δλ=215-730). Spectrophotometry in seven filters yields light curves at ∼372-948 nm filter-averaged wavelength, modulated by Earth's rotation with peak-to-peak amplitude of ≤20%. The spatially resolved Sun glint is a minor contributor to disc-integrated reflectance. Spectroscopy at 1100-4540 nm reveals gaseous water and carbon dioxide, with minor features of molecular oxygen, methane, and nitrous oxide. One-day changes in global cloud cover resulted in differences between the light curve beginning and end of ≤5%. The light curve of a lunar transit of Earth on 29 May is color-dependent due to the Moon's red spectrum partially occulting Earth's relatively blue spectrum. The "vegetation red edge" spectral contrast observed between two long-wavelength visible/near-IR bands is ambiguous, not clearly distinguishing between the verdant Earth diluted by cloud cover versus the desolate mineral regolith of the Moon. Spectrophotometry in at least one other comparison band at short wavelength is required to distinguish between Earth-like and Moon-like surfaces in reconnaissance observations. However, measurements at 850 nm alone, the high-reflectance side of the red edge, could be sufficient to

  14. A SEARCH FOR ADDITIONAL PLANETS IN THE NASA EPOXI OBSERVATIONS OF THE EXOPLANET SYSTEM GJ 436

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballard, Sarah; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Charbonneau, David; Holman, Matthew J.; Fabrycky, Daniel; Deming, Drake; Barry, Richard K.; Kuchner, Marc J.; Livengood, Timothy A.; Hewagama, Tilak; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Hampton, Don L.; Lisse, Carey M.; Seager, Sara; Veverka, Joseph F.

    2010-01-01

    We present time series photometry of the M dwarf transiting exoplanet system GJ 436 obtained with the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) component of the NASA EPOXI mission. We conduct a search of the high-precision time series for additional planets around GJ 436, which could be revealed either directly through their photometric transits or indirectly through the variations these second planets induce on the transits of the previously known planet. In the case of GJ 436, the presence of a second planet is perhaps indicated by the residual orbital eccentricity of the known hot Neptune companion. We find no candidate transits with significance higher than our detection limit. From Monte Carlo tests of the time series, we rule out transiting planets larger than 1.5 R + interior to GJ 436b with 95% confidence and larger than 1.25 R + with 80% confidence. Assuming coplanarity of additional planets with the orbit of GJ 436b, we cannot expect that putative planets with orbital periods longer than about 3.4 days will transit. However, if such a planet were to transit, we would rule out planets larger than 2.0 R + with orbital periods less than 8.5 days with 95% confidence. We also place dynamical constraints on additional bodies in the GJ 436 system, independent of radial velocity measurements. Our analysis should serve as a useful guide for similar analyses of transiting exoplanets for which radial velocity measurements are not available, such as those discovered by the Kepler mission. From the lack of observed secular perturbations, we set upper limits on the mass of a second planet as small as 10 M + in coplanar orbits and 1 M + in non-coplanar orbits close to GJ 436b. We present refined estimates of the system parameters for GJ 436. We find P = 2.64389579 ± 0.00000080 d, R * = 0.437 ± 0.016 R sun , and R p = 3.880 ± 0.147 R + . We also report a sinusoidal modulation in the GJ 436 light curve that we attribute to star spots. This signal is

  15. HPF: The Habitable Zone Planet Finder at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Jason T.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Hearty, Fred; Monson, Andy; Stefansson, Gudmundur; Ramsey, Larry; Ninan, Joe; Bender, Chad; Kaplan, Kyle; Roy, Arpita; Terrien, Ryan; Robertson, Paul; Halverson, Sam; Schwab, Christian; Kanodia, Shubham

    2018-01-01

    The Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF) is an ultra-stable NIR (ZYJ) high resolution echelle spectrograph on the 10-m Hobby-Eberly Telescope capable of 1-3 m/s Doppler velocimetry on nearby late M dwarfs (M4-M9). This precision is sufficient to detect terrestrial planets in the Habitable Zones of these relatively unexplored stars. Here we present its capabilities and early commissioning results.

  16. RADIAL VELOCITY PLANETS DE-ALIASED: A NEW, SHORT PERIOD FOR SUPER-EARTH 55 Cnc e

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.

    2010-01-01

    Radial velocity measurements of stellar reflex motion have revealed many extrasolar planets, but gaps in the observations produce aliases, spurious frequencies that are frequently confused with the planets' orbital frequencies. In the case of Gl 581 d, the distinction between an alias and the true frequency was the distinction between a frozen, dead planet and a planet possibly hospitable to life. To improve the characterization of planetary systems, we describe how aliases originate and present a new approach for distinguishing between orbital frequencies and their aliases. Our approach harnesses features in the spectral window function to compare the amplitude and phase of predicted aliases with peaks present in the data. We apply it to confirm prior alias distinctions for the planets GJ 876 d and HD 75898 b. We find that the true periods of Gl 581 d and HD 73526 b/c remain ambiguous. We revise the periods of HD 156668 b and 55 Cnc e, which were afflicted by daily aliases. For HD 156668 b, the correct period is 1.2699 days and the minimum mass is (3.1 ± 0.4) M + . For 55 Cnc e, the correct period is 0.7365 days-the shortest of any known planet-and the minimum mass is (8.3 ± 0.3) M + . This revision produces a significantly improved five-planet Keplerian fit for 55 Cnc, and a self-consistent dynamical fit describes the data just as well. As radial velocity techniques push to ever-smaller planets, often found in systems of multiple planets, distinguishing true periods from aliases will become increasingly important.

  17. ON THE VALIDITY OF THE 'HILL RADIUS CRITERION' FOR THE EJECTION OF PLANETS FROM STELLAR HABITABLE ZONES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cuntz, M.; Yeager, K. E.

    2009-01-01

    We challenge the customary assumption that the entering of an Earth-mass planet into the Hill radius (or multiples of the Hill radius) of a giant planet is a valid criterion for its ejection from the star-planet system. This assumption has widely been used in previous studies, especially those with an astrobiological focus. As intriguing examples, we explore the dynamics of the systems HD 20782 and HD 188015. Each system possesses a giant planet that remains in or crosses into the stellar habitable zone, thus effectively thwarting the possibility of habitable terrestrial planets. In the case of HD 188015, the orbit of the giant planet is almost circular, whereas in the case of HD 20782, it is extremely elliptical. Although it is found that Earth-mass planets are eventually ejected from the habitable zones of these systems, the 'Hill Radius Criterion' is identified as invalid for the prediction of when the ejection is actually occurring.

  18. Galactic cosmic ray-induced radiation dose on terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atri, Dimitra; Hariharan, B; Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias

    2013-10-01

    This past decade has seen tremendous advancements in the study of extrasolar planets. Observations are now made with increasing sophistication from both ground- and space-based instruments, and exoplanets are characterized with increasing precision. There is a class of particularly interesting exoplanets that reside in the habitable zone, which is defined as the area around a star where the planet is capable of supporting liquid water on its surface. Planetary systems around M dwarfs are considered to be prime candidates to search for life beyond the Solar System. Such planets are likely to be tidally locked and have close-in habitable zones. Theoretical calculations also suggest that close-in exoplanets are more likely to have weaker planetary magnetic fields, especially in the case of super-Earths. Such exoplanets are subjected to a high flux of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) due to their weak magnetic moments. GCRs are energetic particles of astrophysical origin that strike the planetary atmosphere and produce secondary particles, including muons, which are highly penetrating. Some of these particles reach the planetary surface and contribute to the radiation dose. Along with the magnetic field, another factor governing the radiation dose is the depth of the planetary atmosphere. The higher the depth of the planetary atmosphere, the lower the flux of secondary particles will be on the surface. If the secondary particles are energetic enough, and their flux is sufficiently high, the radiation from muons can also impact the subsurface regions, such as in the case of Mars. If the radiation dose is too high, the chances of sustaining a long-term biosphere on the planet are very low. We have examined the dependence of the GCR-induced radiation dose on the strength of the planetary magnetic field and its atmospheric depth, and found that the latter is the decisive factor for the protection of a planetary biosphere.

  19. DETECTABILITY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS IN CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE ZONES OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS WITH SUN-LIKE COMPONENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Haghighipour, Nader

    2013-01-01

    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the α Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of α Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the α Centauri system.

  20. DETECTABILITY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS IN CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE ZONES OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS WITH SUN-LIKE COMPONENTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke [University of Vienna, Institute for Astrophysics, Tuerkenschanzstr. 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Haghighipour, Nader, E-mail: siegfried.eggl@univie.ac.at [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2013-02-20

    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the {alpha} Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of {alpha} Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the {alpha} Centauri system.

  1. Stars and Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neta, Miguel

    2014-05-01

    'Estrelas e Planetas' (Stars and Planets) project was developed during the academic year 2009/2010 and was tested on three 3rd grade classes of one school in Quarteira, Portugal. The aim was to encourage the learning of science and the natural and physical phenomena through the construction and manipulation of materials that promote these themes - in this case astronomy. Throughout the project the students built a small book containing three themes of astronomy: differences between stars and planets, the solar system and the phases of the Moon. To each topic was devoted two sessions of about an hour each: the first to teach the theoretical aspects of the theme and the second session to assembly two pages of the book. All materials used (for theoretical sessions and for the construction of the book) and videos of the finished book are available for free use in www.miguelneta.pt/estrelaseplanetas. So far there is only a Portuguese version but soon will be published in English as well. This project won the Excellency Prize 2011 of Casa das Ciências, a portuguese site for teachers supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Fundation (www.casadasciencias.org).

  2. The ocean planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichsen, D

    1998-01-01

    The Blue Planet is 70% water, and all but 3% of it is salt water. Life on earth first evolved in the primordial soup of ancient seas, and though today's seas provide 99% of all living space on the planet, little is known about the world's oceans. However, the fact that the greatest threats to the integrity of our oceans come from land-based activities is becoming clear. Humankind is in the process of annihilating the coastal and ocean ecosystems and the wealth of biodiversity they harbor. Mounting population and development pressures have taken a grim toll on coastal and ocean resources. The trend arising from such growth is the chronic overexploitation of marine resources, whereby rapidly expanding coastal populations and the growth of cities have contributed to a rising tide of pollution in nearly all of the world's seas. This crisis is made worse by government inaction and a frustrating inability to enforce existing coastal and ocean management regulations. Such inability is mainly because concerned areas contain so many different types of regulations and involve so many levels of government, that rational planning and coordination of efforts are rendered impossible. Concerted efforts are needed by national governments and the international community to start preserving the ultimate source of all life on earth.

  3. Ancient Terrestrial Carbon: Lost and Found

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, K. H.

    2017-12-01

    terrestrial archives. Mechanistic-based understanding of climate's role in the extensive loss of carbon within both deep and shallow ancient soil horizons has implications for predicting modern carbon budgets on a rapidly warming planet.

  4. Starting a Planet Protectors Club

    Science.gov (United States)

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007

    2007-01-01

    If your mission is to teach children how to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste and create the next generation of Planet Protectors, perhaps leading a Planet Protectors Club is part of your future challenges. You don't have to be an expert in waste reduction and recycling to lead a a Planet Protectors Club. You don't even have to be a teacher. You do…

  5. The hunt for Planet X

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Croswell, Ken.

    1990-01-01

    This article examines the hypothesis that an, as yet unobserved, planet, beyond the orbit of Pluto is responsible for peculiarities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. A brief overview of the discovery and observation of the outer planets is offered. The evidence for and against the proposition is noted, and the work of two present day scientists, is mentioned both of whom agree with the idea, and are searching for optical proof of the planet's existence. U.K

  6. Professor: The Animal Planet Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Satish Gajawada

    2014-01-01

    This paper is dedicated to everyone who is interested in making this planet a better place to live. In the past, researchers have explored behavior of several animals separately. But there is scope to explore in the direction where various artificial animals together solve the optimization problem. In this paper, Satish Gajawada proposed The AnimalPlanet Optimization. The concept of this paper is to imitate all the animals on this planet. The idea is to solve the optimization problem where al...

  7. MMT/AO 5 μm IMAGING CONSTRAINTS ON THE EXISTENCE OF GIANT PLANETS ORBITING FOMALHAUT AT ∼13-40 AU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kenworthy, Matthew A.; Hinz, Philip M.; Meyer, Michael R.; Miller, Douglas L.; Sivanandam, Suresh; Freed, Melanie; Mamajek, Eric E.; Heinze, Aren N.

    2009-01-01

    A candidate ∼ Jup extrasolar planet was recently imaged by Kalas et al. using Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys and Keck II at 12.''7 (96 AU) separation from the nearby (d = 7.7 pc) young (∼200 Myr) A2V star Fomalhaut. Here, we report results from M-band (4.8 μm) imaging of Fomalhaut on 2006 December 5 using the Clio IR imager on the 6.5 m MMT with the adaptive secondary mirror. Our images are sensitive to giant planets at orbital radii comparable to the outer solar system (∼10-40 AU). Comparing our 5σ M-band photometric limits to theoretical evolutionary tracks for substellar objects, our results rule out the existence of planets with masses >2 M Jup from ∼13 to 40 AU and objects >13 M Jup from ∼8 to 40 AU.

  8. Characterizing the Variable Dust Permeability of Planet-induced Gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Philipp; Benítez-Llambay, Pablo; Gressel, Oliver; Krapp, Leonardo; Pessah, Martin E.

    2018-02-01

    Aerodynamic theory predicts that dust grains in protoplanetary disks will drift radially inward on comparatively short timescales. In this context, it has long been known that the presence of a gap opened by a planet can significantly alter the dust dynamics. In this paper, we carry out a systematic study employing long-term numerical simulations aimed at characterizing the critical particle size for retention outside a gap as a function of particle size, as well as various key parameters defining the protoplanetary disk model. To this end, we perform multifluid hydrodynamical simulations in two dimensions, including different dust species, which we treat as pressureless fluids. We initialize the dust outside of the planet’s orbit and study under which conditions dust grains are able to cross the gap carved by the planet. In agreement with previous work, we find that the permeability of the gap depends both on dust dynamical properties and the gas disk structure: while small dust follows the viscously accreting gas through the gap, dust grains approaching a critical size are progressively filtered out. Moreover, we introduce and compute a depletion factor that enables us to quantify the way in which higher viscosity, smaller planet mass, or a more massive disk can shift this critical size to larger values. Our results indicate that gap-opening planets may act to deplete the inner reaches of protoplanetary disks of large dust grains—potentially limiting the accretion of solids onto forming terrestrial planets.

  9. Chances for earth-like planets and life around metal-poor stars

    OpenAIRE

    Zinnecker, Hans

    2003-01-01

    We discuss the difficulties of forming earth-like planets in metal-poor environments, such as those prevailing in the Galactic halo (Pop II), the Magellanic Clouds, and the early universe. We suggest that, with less heavy elements available, terrestrial planets will be smaller size and lower mass than in our solar system (solar metallicity). Such planets may not be able to sustain life as we know it. Therefore, the chances of very old lifeforms in the universe are slim, and a threshold metall...

  10. Kepler planet-detection mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borucki...[], William J.; Koch, David; Buchhave, Lars C. Astrup

    2010-01-01

    The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet’s surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler...... is one of the lowest-density planets (~0.17 gram per cubic centimeter) yet detected. Kepler-5b, -6b, and -8b confirm the existence of planets with densities lower than those predicted for gas giant planets....

  11. TESTING THE METAL OF LATE-TYPE KEPLER PLANET HOSTS WITH IRON-CLAD METHODS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mann, Andrew W.; Hilton, Eric J.; Gaidos, Eric; Kraus, Adam

    2013-01-01

    It has been shown that F, G, and early K dwarf hosts of Neptune-sized planets are not preferentially metal-rich. However, it is less clear whether the same holds for late K and M dwarf planet hosts. We report metallicities of Kepler targets and candidate transiting planet hosts with effective temperatures below 4500 K. We use new metallicity calibrations to determine [Fe/H] from visible and near-infrared spectra. We find that the metallicity distribution of late K and M dwarfs monitored by Kepler is consistent with that of the solar neighborhood. Further, we show that hosts of Earth- to Neptune-sized planets have metallicities consistent with those lacking detected planets and rule out a previously claimed 0.2 dex offset between the two distributions at 6σ confidence. We also demonstrate that the metallicities of late K and M dwarfs hosting multiple detected planets are consistent with those lacking detected planets. Our results indicate that multiple terrestrial and Neptune-sized planets can form around late K and M dwarfs with metallicities as low as 0.25 solar. The presence of Neptune-sized planets orbiting such low-metallicity M dwarfs suggests that accreting planets collect most or all of the solids from the disk and that the potential cores of giant planets can readily form around M dwarfs. The paucity of giant planets around M dwarfs compared to solar-type stars must be due to relatively rapid disk evaporation or a slower rate of planet accretion, rather than insufficient solids to form a core.

  12. TESTING THE METAL OF LATE-TYPE KEPLER PLANET HOSTS WITH IRON-CLAD METHODS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mann, Andrew W.; Hilton, Eric J. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Dr, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Gaidos, Eric [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Kraus, Adam [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2013-06-10

    It has been shown that F, G, and early K dwarf hosts of Neptune-sized planets are not preferentially metal-rich. However, it is less clear whether the same holds for late K and M dwarf planet hosts. We report metallicities of Kepler targets and candidate transiting planet hosts with effective temperatures below 4500 K. We use new metallicity calibrations to determine [Fe/H] from visible and near-infrared spectra. We find that the metallicity distribution of late K and M dwarfs monitored by Kepler is consistent with that of the solar neighborhood. Further, we show that hosts of Earth- to Neptune-sized planets have metallicities consistent with those lacking detected planets and rule out a previously claimed 0.2 dex offset between the two distributions at 6{sigma} confidence. We also demonstrate that the metallicities of late K and M dwarfs hosting multiple detected planets are consistent with those lacking detected planets. Our results indicate that multiple terrestrial and Neptune-sized planets can form around late K and M dwarfs with metallicities as low as 0.25 solar. The presence of Neptune-sized planets orbiting such low-metallicity M dwarfs suggests that accreting planets collect most or all of the solids from the disk and that the potential cores of giant planets can readily form around M dwarfs. The paucity of giant planets around M dwarfs compared to solar-type stars must be due to relatively rapid disk evaporation or a slower rate of planet accretion, rather than insufficient solids to form a core.

  13. From Disks to Planets: The Making of Planets and Their Early Atmospheres. An Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Blanc, Michel

    2018-03-01

    This paper is an introduction to volume 56 of the Space Science Series of ISSI, "From disks to planets—the making of planets and their proto-atmospheres", a key subject in our quest for the origins and evolutionary paths of planets, and for the causes of their diversity. Indeed, as exoplanet discoveries progressively accumulated and their characterization made spectacular progress, it became evident that the diversity of observed exoplanets can in no way be reduced to the two classes of planets that we are used to identify in the solar system, namely terrestrial planets and gas or ice giants: the exoplanet reality is just much broader. This fact is no doubt the result of the exceptional diversity of the evolutionary paths linking planetary systems as a whole as well as individual exoplanets and their proto-atmospheres to their parent circumstellar disks: this diversity and its causes are exactly what this paper explores. For each of the main phases of the formation and evolution of planetary systems and of individual planets, we summarize what we believe we understand and what are the important open questions needing further in-depth examination, and offer some suggestions on ways towards solutions. We start with the formation mechanisms of circumstellar disks, with their gas and disk components in which chemical composition plays a very important role in planet formation. We summarize how dust accretion within the disk generates planet cores, while gas accretion on these cores can lead to the diversity of their fluid envelopes. The temporal evolution of the parent disk itself, and its final dissipation, put strong constraints on how and how far planetary formation can proceed. The radiation output of the central star also plays an important role in this whole story. This early phase of planet evolution, from disk formation to dissipation, is characterized by a co-evolution of the disk and its daughter planets. During this co-evolution, planets and their

  14. Tidal effects on Earth, Planets, Sun by far visiting moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fargion, Daniele

    2016-07-01

    The Earth has been formed by a huge mini-planet collision forming our Earth surface and our Moon today. Such a central collision hit was statistically rare. A much probable skimming or nearby encounter by other moons or planets had to occur. Indeed Recent observations suggest that many planetary-mass objects may be present in the outer solar system between the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. Gravitational perturbations may occasionally bring them into the inner solar system. Their passage near Earth could have generated gigantic tidal waves, large volcanic eruptions, sea regressions, large meteoritic impacts and drastic changes in global climate. They could have caused the major biological mass extinctions in the past in the geological records. For instance a ten times a terrestrial radius nearby impact scattering by a peripherical encounter by a small moon-like object will force huge tidal waves (hundred meter height), able to lead to huge tsunami and Earth-quake. Moreover the historical cumulative planet hits in larger and wider planets as Juppiter, Saturn, Uranus will leave a trace, as observed, in their tilted spin axis. Finally a large fraction of counter rotating moons in our solar system probe and test such a visiting mini-planet captur origination. In addition the Earth day duration variability in the early past did show a rare discountinuity, very probably indebt to such a visiting planet crossing event. These far planets in rare trajectory to our Sun may, in thousands event capture, also explain sudden historical and recent temperature changes.

  15. V. Terrestrial vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean Pearson; Deborah Finch

    2011-01-01

    Within the Interior West, terrestrial vertebrates do not represent a large number of invasive species relative to invasive weeds, aquatic vertebrates, and invertebrates. However, several invasive terrestrial vertebrate species do cause substantial economic and ecological damage in the U.S. and in this region (Pimental 2000, 2007; Bergman and others 2002; Finch and...

  16. The Detection Of Planets In The 1:1 Resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, R.; Schneider, J.; Schwarz, R.; Lhotka, C.; Sandor, Z.

    Orbits in the mean motion resonance are of special interest for asteroids in our Solar System. It is due to the fact that in a region 60° before Jupiter and 60° behind the largest planet a large number of asteroids are there. Many analytical and numerical work has been devoted to the stability of these two `clouds` of asteroids, which are named after the warriors of the Trojan war. The Trojans librate about these two stable equilibrium points in the so-called tadpole orbits having two well distinct periods. The 'exchange orbits' in the general three body problem can be described as follows: Two small but massive bodies are moving on nearly circular orbits with almost the same semimajor axes around a much more massive host. Because of the 3rd Keplerian law the one with the inner orbit is faster and approaches the outer body from behind. Before they meet, the inner body is shifted to the orbit of the outer and vice-versa the former outer body moves to an orbit with a smaller semimajor axis: they have changed their orbits and their semimajor axis! In the satellite system of Saturn the two moons Janus and Epimetheus (the orbits of these two moons differ only by 50 km; the respective semimajor axes are 151472 km and 151422 km and have themselves diameters of more than 100 km) have exactly these kinds of orbits. We postulate that this kind of orbits may also exist in extrasolar planetary systems.

  17. Inside-out planet formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chatterjee, Sourav; Tan, Jonathan C.

    2014-01-01

    The compact multi-transiting planet systems discovered by Kepler challenge planet formation theories. Formation in situ from disks with radial mass surface density, Σ, profiles similar to the minimum mass solar nebula but boosted in normalization by factors ≳ 10 has been suggested. We propose that a more natural way to create these planets in the inner disk is formation sequentially from the inside-out via creation of successive gravitationally unstable rings fed from a continuous stream of small (∼cm-m size) 'pebbles', drifting inward via gas drag. Pebbles collect at the pressure maximum associated with the transition from a magnetorotational instability (MRI)-inactive ('dead zone') region to an inner MRI-active zone. A pebble ring builds up until it either becomes gravitationally unstable to form an ∼1 M ⊕ planet directly or induces gradual planet formation via core accretion. The planet may undergo Type I migration into the active region, allowing a new pebble ring and planet to form behind it. Alternatively, if migration is inefficient, the planet may continue to accrete from the disk until it becomes massive enough to isolate itself from the accretion flow. A variety of densities may result depending on the relative importance of residual gas accretion as the planet approaches its isolation mass. The process can repeat with a new pebble ring gathering at the new pressure maximum associated with the retreating dead-zone boundary. Our simple analytical model for this scenario of inside-out planet formation yields planetary masses, relative mass scalings with orbital radius, and minimum orbital separations consistent with those seen by Kepler. It provides an explanation of how massive planets can form with tightly packed and well-aligned system architectures, starting from typical protoplanetary disk properties.

  18. Spectral fingerprints of Earth-like planets around FGK stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rugheimer, Sarah; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Zsom, Andras; Segura, Antígona; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2013-03-01

    We present model atmospheres for an Earth-like planet orbiting the entire grid of main sequence FGK stars with effective temperatures ranging from Teff=4250 K to Teff=7000 K in 250 K intervals. We have modeled the remotely detectable spectra of Earth-like planets for clear and cloudy atmospheres at the 1 AU equivalent distance from the VIS to IR (0.4 to 20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges in accordance with the James Webb Space Telescope and future design concepts to characterize exo-Earths. We have also explored the effect of the stellar UV levels as well as spectral energy distribution on a terrestrial atmosphere, concentrating on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. The increase in UV dominates changes of O3, OH, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl, whereas the increase in stellar temperature dominates changes in H2O. The overall effect as stellar effective temperatures and corresponding UV increase is a lower surface temperature of the planet due to a bigger part of the stellar flux being reflected at short wavelengths, as well as increased photolysis. Earth-like atmosphere models show more O3 and OH but less stratospheric CH4, N2O, CH3Cl, and tropospheric H2O (but more stratospheric H2O) with increasing effective temperature of main sequence stars. The corresponding detectable spectral features, on the other hand, show different detectability depending on the wavelength observed. We concentrate on directly imaged planets here as a framework to interpret future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone at varying orbital positions.

  19. From Pixels to Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was launched in 2009 as NASAs first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. Its telescope consists of a 1.5-m primary mirror and a 0.95-m aperture. The 42 charge-coupled devices in its focal plane are read out every half hour, compressed, and then downlinked monthly. After four years, the second of four reaction wheels failed, ending the original mission. Back on earth, the Science Operations Center developed the Science Pipeline to analyze about 200,000 target stars in Keplers field of view, looking for evidence of periodic dimming suggesting that one or more planets had crossed the face of its host star. The Pipeline comprises several steps, from pixel-level calibration, through noise and artifact removal, to detection of transit-like signals and the construction of a suite of diagnostic tests to guard against false positives. The Kepler Science Pipeline consists of a pipeline infrastructure written in the Java programming language, which marshals data input to and output from MATLAB applications that are executed as external processes. The pipeline modules, which underwent continuous development and refinement even after data started arriving, employ several analytic techniques, many developed for the Kepler Project. Because of the large number of targets, the large amount of data per target and the complexity of the pipeline algorithms, the processing demands are daunting. Some pipeline modules require days to weeks to process all of their targets, even when run on NASA's 128-node Pleiades supercomputer. The software developers are still seeking ways to increase the throughput. To date, the Kepler project has discovered more than 4000 planetary candidates, of which more than 1000 have been independently confirmed or validated to be exoplanets. Funding for this mission is provided by NASAs Science Mission Directorate.

  20. THREE PLANETS ORBITING WOLF 1061

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, D. J.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Tinney, C. G.; Bentley, J. S.; Zhao, Jinglin, E-mail: duncan.wright@unsw.edu.au [Department of Astronomy and Australian Centre for Astrobiology, School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052 (Australia)

    2016-02-01

    We use archival HARPS spectra to detect three planets orbiting the M3 dwarf Wolf 1061 (GJ 628). We detect a 1.36 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with an orbital period P = 4.888 days (Wolf 1061b), a 4.25 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 17.867 days (Wolf 1061c), and a likely 5.21 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 67.274 days (Wolf 1061d). All of the planets are of sufficiently low mass that they may be rocky in nature. The 17.867 day planet falls within the habitable zone for Wolf 1061 and the 67.274 day planet falls just outside the outer boundary of the habitable zone. There are no signs of activity observed in the bisector spans, cross-correlation FWHMs, calcium H and K indices, NaD indices, or Hα indices near the planetary periods. We use custom methods to generate a cross-correlation template tailored to the star. The resulting velocities do not suffer the strong annual variation observed in the HARPS DRS velocities. This differential technique should deliver better exploitation of the archival HARPS data for the detection of planets at extremely low amplitudes.

  1. The fate of scattered planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bromley, Benjamin C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 S 1400 E, Rm 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J., E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2014-12-01

    As gas giant planets evolve, they may scatter other planets far from their original orbits to produce hot Jupiters or rogue planets that are not gravitationally bound to any star. Here, we consider planets cast out to large orbital distances on eccentric, bound orbits through a gaseous disk. With simple numerical models, we show that super-Earths can interact with the gas through dynamical friction to settle in the remote outer regions of a planetary system. Outcomes depend on planet mass, the initial scattered orbit, and the evolution of the time-dependent disk. Efficient orbital damping by dynamical friction requires planets at least as massive as the Earth. More massive, longer-lived disks damp eccentricities more efficiently than less massive, short-lived ones. Transition disks with an expanding inner cavity can circularize orbits at larger distances than disks that experience a global (homologous) decay in surface density. Thus, orbits of remote planets may reveal the evolutionary history of their primordial gas disks. A remote planet with an orbital distance ∼100 AU from the Sun is plausible and might explain correlations in the orbital parameters of several distant trans-Neptunian objects.

  2. Migration of accreting giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crida, A.; Bitsch, B.; Raibaldi, A.

    2016-12-01

    We present the results of 2D hydro simulations of giant planets in proto-planetary discs, which accrete gas at a more or less high rate. First, starting from a solid core of 20 Earth masses, we show that as soon as the runaway accretion of gas turns on, the planet is saved from type I migration : the gap opening mass is reached before the planet is lost into its host star. Furthermore, gas accretion helps opening the gap in low mass discs. Consequently, if the accretion rate is limited to the disc supply, then the planet is already inside a gap and in type II migration. We further show that the type II migration of a Jupiter mass planet actually depends on its accretion rate. Only when the accretion is high do we retrieve the classical picture where no gas crosses the gap and the planet follows the disc spreading. These results impact our understanding of planet migration and planet population synthesis models. The e-poster presenting these results in French can be found here: L'e-poster présentant ces résultats en français est disponible à cette adresse: http://sf2a.eu/semaine-sf2a/2016/posterpdfs/156_179_49.pdf.

  3. WTS1 b: The first planet detected in the WFCAM Transit Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cruz P.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We report the discovery of WTS1 b, the first extrasolar planet found by the WFCAM Transit Survey. For one of the most promising transiting candidates, high-resolution spectra taken at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET allowed us to estimate the spectroscopic parameters of the host star, a late-F main sequence dwarf (V = 16.13, and to measure its radial velocity variations. The combined analysis of the light curves and spectroscopic data resulted in an orbital period of the companion of 3.35 days, a planetary mass of 4.01 ± 0.35 MJ, and a planetary radius of 1.49 +0.16-0.18 RJ. WTS1 b has one of the largest radius anomalies among the known hot Jupiters in the mass range 3–5 MJ.

  4. WHY ARE PULSAR PLANETS RARE?