07/03/2012 – 14h00 – Auditório G – IAG/USP

Nader Haghighipour

University of Hawaii

Título/Title: Habitable Extrasolar Planets: From Theory to Observation


The discovery of planets around other stars is undoubtedly one of the most significant achievements of modern astronomy. The detection of more than 700 extrasolar planets combined with more than 2000 planetary candidates identified by the Kepler space telescope has proven the fact that our solar systems is not unique and many planets, in particular those similar to our Earth, may exist elsewhere in the universe. Although the detection of an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star is still a far- reaching task, astronomers have been able to identify slightly larger objects known as super-Earths in the habitable zones of cool, and small stars. These objects, with their capability in retaining a moderate atmosphere, a possible dynamics interior, and a magnetic field, present promising venues for searching for habitable planets. I will present the results of our recent discoveries of super-Earths in the habitable zones of M stars, and explain the models of their formation, dynamical evolution, interior dynamics, and atmospheric circulations in relation to their habitability.

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