Exo-solar super Earths: detection, atmospheres and internal structures
Start date: 09 Jan 2009, 23:00
Address: RAS Lecture Theatre, Burlington House, London, United Kingdom
It was only in 1995 that the first detection was made of another planet going around a main sequence star. Other detections swiftly followed, and as transiting objects were added the process of characterising them started. Early targets were, due to the relative ease of observation, close-in Gas Giants, but as detection methods have advanced "Super-Earths" (planets of a terrestrial rocky type, and only a few Earth masses) have begun to be added to the inventory. We can now start to think of characterising and even mapping these intriguing objects. We will look at what it is possible - now and in the foreseeable future - to detect their atmospheres and surfaces, and what modelling is starting to tell us of what we can expect of them.