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Origins 2011 – Abstracts

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O4a: Contributed Orals – Exoplanets and Habitability
Time: Tuesday, 05/Jul/2011: 3:15pm - 4:00pm
Session Chair: Stéphane Udry
Location: Auditorium Pasteur


Habitable worlds around M dwarf stars : The Carnegie astrometric planet search program

Alan P. Boss, Guillem Anglada-Escude, Alycia J. Weinberger

Carnegie Institution, United States of America

The Carnegie Astrometric Planet Search program is searching 100 nearby late M, L, and T dwarfs for gas giant planets on orbits wide enough for habitable worlds to orbit interior to them. Over the next decade, this program will provide new constraints on the planetary census around late M dwarf stars, and hence on the suitability of these planetary systems for possibly supporting life.

Magnetic fields in Earth-like exoplanets and implications for habitability of planets around M-dwarfs

Mercedes Lopez-Morales1,3, Natalia Gomez-Perez2,3, Thomas Ruedas3

1Institut de Ciencies de L'Espai (CSIC-IEEC), Spain; 2Universidad de los Andes, Departamento de Fisica, Colombia; 3Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, USA

We present estimations of magnetic moments for terrestrial exoplanets assuming their interiors are similar to Earth. The dipole moment of the planets may add up to 80 times the magnetic moment of Earth, M_E, for at least part of the planets' lifetime. For CoRoT-7b we find that the planet may sustain a magnetic dipole moment ~ 0.9M_E. For Kepler-10b, the magnetic moment can add up to 3.8M_E. Our results indicate that the magnetic moment of terrestrial exoplanets is independent of rotation rate.

Computation of the extension of life supporting zones

David Neubauer1,2, Aron Vrtala2, Johannes J. Leitner1,3, Maria Gertrude Firneis1,3, Regina Hitzenberger1,2

1Research Platform: ExoLife, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; 2Aerosol Physics and Environmental Physics Group, Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; 3Institute of Astronomy, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Widths and locations of life supporting zones (LSZs) for different, alternative solvents (i.e. other than water) are calculated with a radiative convective model. Cloud droplet formation and growth are investigated in the atmospheres of exoplanets as well as hypothetical Earth-like exoplanets using a cloud parcel model and clouds are incorporated into the radiative transfer calculations. Test runs for planets in the solar system show a good agreement with observed values.