Thursday, January 06, 2005

Seager: Towards a Physical Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

Seminar by Sara Seager from DTM on the extrasolar planets. About 130 now known, most discovered using radial velocity method. Now 7 transiting planets - three are new class of very hot Jupitors. All are H/He gas giants. Two (including best studied HD209...) have large radii for their mass. Some sort of internal heating possibly due to another planet pumping their eccentricity then tidal heating. Programs to do transmission, absorption, and reflection spectroscopy of the planetary atmosphere by looking at primary and secondary eclipses.

Lots of work going on characterizing Earth as an extrasolar planet - observations of Earthshine to get spectrum of whole Earth. Work now extending to considering other "Earths" - only bacteria, pangea, slowing rotation,...

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