Institute of Astronomy

Space-based Characterization of super-Earth exoplanets

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Brice-Olivier Demory29 July 2014Across HR 2014 Talks


Very little is known about those super-Earths that have been discovered so far. Their interiors are largely unconstrained due to compositional degeneracies while no super-EarthÂ’s atmosphere has been detected to date. I will present the results of a new program employing both Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes to better understand super-Earths properties, by combining observations obtained in different wavelength regimes. We find that close-in super-Earths have large geometric albedos in the Kepler bandpass, possibly due to clouds or reflective surfaces. We also find that some super-Earths initially thought to be volatile-rich exhibit circulation patterns matching a rocky composition, requiring new developments regarding our knowledge of super-Earth interiors.