CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2004
 18 March 2004

18 March 2004

Speaker: Sara Seager (Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Title: Bok Prize Lecture (shared)
Towards a Physical Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

Abstract: We have entered a new era in planetary astrophysics with well over 100 giant planets now known to orbit nearby sun-like stars. Recent theoretical and observational advances have given us new constraints on the physical characteristics of extrasolar planets, while ongoing and proposed observing programs and space missions hold great promise for the future of extrasolar planet science. I will discuss the emerging understanding of the extrasolar transiting planet HD209458b, tying together several recent observational constraints as well as key upcoming measurements. I will also briefly review scientific highlights and prospects for the future detection and study of Earth-like extrasolar planets.

References for students:

  1. astro-ph/0305337
    Title: The Search for Extrasolar Earth-like planets
    Authors: S. Seager (Carnegie DTM and IAS)
    Comments: 10 pages, invited review paper, Earth and Planetary Science Letters Frontiers, preprint version--see Journal ref for final version
    Journal-ref: Earth Planet.Sci.Lett. 208 (2003) 113-124
  2. astro-ph/0305338
    Title: The Significance of the Sodium Detection in the Extrasolar Planet HD209458b Atmosphere
    Authors: S. Seager
    Journal-ref: Scientific Frontiers on Research in Extrasolar Planets, ASP Conf Ser., eds. D. Deming and S. Seager, 2003, 294, 457-465


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