Found 36 talks width keyword exoplanets

Thursday February 25, 2010
Dr. Eike Günther
Thüringer Landessternwarte, Germany


Up to now more than 400 extrasolar planets have been discovered, about 60 of them are transiting. Transiting extra-solar planets are particularly interesting, because their masses, diameters, densities and orientations of their orbits can be determined. Observations with the CoRoT Satellite have now turned up 10 transiting extrasolar planets. Although most of them are gas giants, it turns out that each of them is very special, and many of them have surprising properties. An unexpected discovery was for example the detection of emission lines from CoRoT 1b. Other interesting discoveries are CoRoT 2b, a planet orbiting a young star, and CoRoT 3b the first transiting brown dwarf orbiting a main sequence star. While the detection of transiting gas giants is interesting, the ultimate goal of CoRoT clearly was the detection of rocky planets. CoRoT has detected a solar-like star which shows transits that are only 0.03% deep. In this talk it it is demonstrated that this planet is in fact the first planet found outside our solar system from which we can firmly say that it is a rocky planet. New observations of this interesting object even constrain the properties of its exosphere.

Wednesday December 2, 2009
Dr. Elisa Delgado Mena
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


The surface abundance of lithium on the Sun is 140 times less than protosolar, yet the temperature at the base of the surface convective zone is not hot enough to burn Li. A large range of Li abundances in solar type stars of the same age, mass and metallicity is observed, but theoretically difficult to understand. An earlier suggestion that Li is more depleted in stars with planets was weakened by the lack of a proper comparison sample of stars without detected planets. Here we report Li abundances for an unbiased sample of solar-analogue stars with and without detected planets. We find that the planet-bearing stars have less than 1 per cent of the primordial Li abundance, while about 50 per cent of the solar analogues without detected planets have on average 10 times more Li. The presence of planets may increase the amount of mixing and deepen the convective zone to such an extent that the Li can be burned. We also present Be abundances for a sample of stars with and without known planets and discuss the possible relation of these light element with the presence of planetary systems.

Friday November 6, 2009
Prof. Kazunari Shibata
Hida Observatories, Kyoto University, Japan


The 3.8m optical and infrared telescope, which is Japan's first segmented mirror telescope, is now being constructed using the world's first super high precision, high speed grinding technology and the world's first truss structure drive system. This is the joint project between Kyoto University, Nagoya University, National Astronomical Observatory, and Nano-Optonics Energy (private company) with the budget of the Nnao-Optonics Energy and Dr Hiroshi Fujiwara (CEO of the Nano-Optonics Energy). The telescope will be completed in 2012 and installed in Okayama, and will become the biggest optical and infrared telescope in east Asia. The technologies for making this telescope such as (1) grinding technology, (2) segmented mirror, and (3) truss structure drive system are also basic technologies for the future extremely large telescope such as the 30m telescope. The scientific objective of the telescope is the search for the transient objects (gamma ray bursts, black hole binaries, stellar flares) and the extra solar planets. How this project has emerged and developed will be discussed in detail, including also the discussion about the possible future international collaboration.

Friday June 12, 2009
Dr. Enric Pallé Bago
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


Of the 342 planets discovered so far orbiting other stars, 58 'transit' the stellar disk, meaning that they can be detected by a periodic decrease in the starlight flux. The light from the star passes through the atmosphere of the planet, and in a few cases the basic atmospheric composition of the planet can be estimated. As we get closer to finding analogues of Earth, an important consideration toward the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres is what the transmission spectrum of our planet looks like. Here we report the optical and near-infrared transmission spectrum of the Earth, obtained during a lunar eclipse. Some biologically relevant atmospheric features that are weak in the reflected spectrum (such as ozone, molecular oxygen, water, carbon dioxide and methane) are much stronger in the transmission spectrum, and indeed stronger than predicted by modeling. We also find the fingerprints of the Earth's ionosphere and of the major atmospheric constituent, diatomic nitrogen (N2), which are missing in the reflected spectrum. Our results indicate that the technique of transit spectroscopy of rocky planets may be a very powerful tool for exoplanet atmospheric characterization, and is likely to provide the first detection of a habitable exobiosphere.

Thursday January 29, 2009
Dr. Christopher Watson
University of Belfast, Northern Ireland


SuperWASP is the UK's leading extra-solar planet detection program, having detected 22 of the 52 transiting planets known to date. This stems from the instruments ability to image ~500 square degrees every 60sec down to 16th mag (equivalent to the whole visible sky every 20 minutes). Recent experiments have shown that the data from SuperWASP can be reduced with 1 min of it being obtained and with further software development we will be able to identify transient sources within minutes of their observation. Detailed analysis of SuperWASP-N data has shown many populations of transient objects, including rapidly variable objects, which seem to correspond to extremely faint objects in the Sloan survey. Spectroscopy of these objects has proved challenging.

Thursday October 30, 2008
Prof. Edward Guinan
Villanova University, USA


Red Dwarf (dM) stars are the most numerous stars in our Galaxy. These faint, cool, long-lived, and low mass stars make up > 80% of all stars in the Universe. Determining the number of red dwarfs with planets and assessing planetary habitability (a planet’s potential to develop and sustain life) are critically important because such studies would indicate how common life is in the universe. Our program - "Living with a Red Dwarf" addresses these questions by investigating the long-term nuclear evolution and magnetic-dynamo coronal and chromospheric X-ray to Ultraviolet properties of red dwarf stars with widely different ages. The major focus of the program is to study the magnetic-dynamo generated X-ray-Ultraviolet emissions and flare properties of red dwarf stars from youth to old age. Emphasized are how the stellar X-UV emissions, flares & winds affect hosted planets and impact their habitability. We have developed age-rotation-activity relations and also are constructing irradiance tables (X-UV fluxes) that can be used to model the effects of X-UV radiation on planetary atmospheres and on possible life on nearby hosted planets. Despite the earlier pessimistic view that red dwarfs stars are not suitable for habitable planets - mainly because their low luminosities require a hosted planet to orbit quite close (r <0.3 AU) to be sufficiently warm to support life. Our initial results indicate that red dwarf stars (in particular the warmer dM stars) can indeed be suitable hosts for habitable planets capable of sustaining life for hundreds of billion years. Some examples of red dwarf stars currently known to host planets are discussed.

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