From Carbon Planets to Water Planets: The Composition of Low-Mass Extrasolar Planets
When: January 30, 2007 2:30PM PST
A new extrasolar planet is discovered with mass comparable to that
of the Earth. Is it made mostly of silicates like the Earth? Not necessarily.
I will discuss some other strange possibilities: low-mass planets made mostly
from water, iron, carbon compounds, etc. I’ll describe how these possibilities
fit into our current picture of planet formation and suggest how we can
recognize them with upcoming planet search tools.