What Are Little Exoplanets Made Of?
When: April 19, 2016 3PM PDT
The Kepler spacecraft has enabled the detection of hundreds of transiting exoplanets with small diameters, similar in size to Earth. Only a small fraction of these small planets have masses measured with the Doppler shift method due to the faintness of their stars. I will review recent work in using transit timing to measure the masses of small exoplanets, and discuss what we know about the bulk densities of these planets, and what we speculate their interior compositions to be. These measurements will guide us in the search for potentially habitable, rocky exoplanets.