Planetary Systems: Detection, Formation and Habitability of Extrasolar Planets / Edition 1

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Over the past ten years, the discovery of extrasolar planets has opened a new field of astronomy, and this area of research is rapidly growing, from both the observational and theoretical point of view. The presence of many giant exoplanets in the close vicinity of their star shows that these newly discovered planetary systems are very different from the solar system. New theoretical models are being developed in order to understand their formation scenarios, and new observational methods are being implemented to increase the sensitivity of exoplanet detections.

In the present book, the authors address the question of planetary systems from all aspects. Starting from the facts (the detection of more than 290 extraterrestrial planets), they first describe the various methods used for these discoveries and propose a synthetic analysis of their global properties. They then consider the observations of young stars and circumstellar disks and address the case of the solar system as a specific example, different from the newly discovered systems. Then the study of planetary systems and of exoplanets is presented from a more theoretical point of view. The book ends with an outlook to future astronomical projects, and a description of the search for life on exoplanets. This book addresses students and researchers who wish to better understand this newly expanding field of research.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"This volume has a very informative subtitle. The main sections really do deal with detection, properties, formation processes, dynamics, and the search for life (habitability) of what, within the text, are generally called exoplanets … . There are lots of images, graphs, and tables, and a moderate number of equations … . So far I have ‘fair used’ one table and one drawing for instructional purposes and think it likely that you, too, will find useful items in this book." (Virginia Trimble, The Observatory, Vol. 129 (1210), June, 2009)

“The authors have set out to provide a detailed snapshot of this rapidly developing research field at a particularly exciting moment in its evolution. …The book is well written and translated … . The text is illuminated by numerous figures and graphs. … provides an excellent account of the enormous progress that has been made in recent years, together with a discussion of the prospects for the years to come. It is a fascinating book that can be read with interest by any physicist.” (Peter V. E. McClink, Contemporary Physics, Vol. 51 (6), 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783540757474
  • Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • Publication date: 2/13/2009
  • Series: Astronomy and Astrophysics Library Series
  • Edition description: 2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Planetary Systems 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 The Plurality of Worlds: A Question as Old as the Hills 1

1.2.1 From Antiquity to the Copernican Revolution 1

1.2.2 The First Theories on the Formation of the World 3

1.3 First Searches for Other Worlds 5

1.3.1 The First Astrometric Searches 6

1.3.2 The Velocimetry Method 6

1.3.3 The First Results and the Problems Raised 9

1.3.4 Planets Around Pulsars 10

1.3.5 The Search for Protoplanetary Disks 12

1.4 The Solar System: A Typical Planetary System? 13

1.4.1 The Sun as an Average Star 14

1.4.2 Brown Dwarfs: Between Stars and Planets 15

1.4.3 A Specific Planetary System: The Solar System 15

1.4.4 The Formation of the Planets by Nucleation 15

1.4.5 Terrestrial and Giant Planets 18

Bibliography 20

2 Detection Methods 21

2.1 The Extent of the Problem 21

2.1.1 Contrast Between Star and Planet 21

2.1.2 Angular Separation Between the Objects 22

2.1.3 Environment of the Earth and Exoplanets 23

2.2 The Indirect Detection of Exoplanets 24

2.2.1 The Effect of a Planet on the Motion of Its Star 24

2.2.2 The Effect a Planet has on Photometry of Its Star 36

2.2.3 Comparison of the Different Indirect Methods 46

2.3 Direct Detection of Exoplanets 46

2.3.1 Choice of Spectral Region 47

2.3.2 Coronagraphic Methods and Adaptive Optics 48

2.3.3 Interferometry 55

2.3.4 Interferometry and Imagery: Hypertelescopes 62

2.3.5 Detection by Radio 65

Bibliography 67

3 Extrasolar Planets, 12 Years After the First Discovery 69

3.1 Exoplanets and Exoplanetary Systems 70

3.2 The Mass-Distribution of Exoplanets 70

3.3 The Distance-Distribution of Exoplanets 74

3.4 The Relationship Between the Mass of Exoplanets and Their Distance from Their Star 76

3.5 Orbital Eccentricity Among Exoplanets 78

3.6 Exoplanets and Their Parent Stars 80

3.7 Mass/Diameter Ratio 82

3.8 Characteristics of Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres 83

Bibliography 84

4 What we Learn from the Solar System 85

4.3 Observational Methods 85

4.2 The Observational Data 87

4.2.1 Orbits that are Essentially Co-Planar and Concentric 87

4.2.2 Terrestrial Planets and Giant Planets 88

4.2.3 The Small Bodies 89

4.2.4 Dating the Solar System Through Radioactive Decay 91

4.3 The Emergence of a 'Standard Model' 91

4.3.1 The Nebular Theory 91

4.3.2 The Standard Model: The Chronology of Events 92

4.4 The Physical and Chemical Properties of Solar-System Objects 100

4.4.1 The Electromagnetic Spectrum of the Objects in the Solar System 100

4.4.2 Planetary Atmospheres 101

4.4.3 The Terrestrial Planets 106

4.4.4 The Giant Planets 110

4.4.5 Rings and Satellites in the Outer Solar System 120

4.4.6 Small Bodies in the Solar System 125

4.5 Conclusions: The Solar System Compared with Other Planetary Systems 130

4.5.1 The Scenario for the Formation of the Solar System 130

4.5.2 Objects in the Planetary Systems Observable from Earth 131

Bibliography 132

5 Stellar Formation and Protoplanetary Disks 135

5.1 The First Stages in Stellar Formation 135

5.1.1 Properties of the Interstellar Medium 135

5.1.2 The Formation of Molecular Clouds 137

5.1.3 Collapse of a Molecular Cloud 138

5.1.4 Observation of Young Stars 138

5.2 Structure and Evolution of Protoplanetary Disks 141

5.2.1 Observation of Protoplanetary Disks 141

5.2.2 Stellar Accretion Flux 144

5.2.3 The Rotation of T-Tauri Stars 145

5.2.4 The Formation of Binary Systems 146

5.2.5 The Principal Stages of Stellar Formation 147

5.2.6 Later Stages of Stellar Evolution: Evolution Towards the Main Sequence 151

5.2.7 The Structure of Protoplanetary Disks 153

5.2.8 Composition of the Gas and Dust 157

5.3 Planetary Disks and Debris Disks 158

5.3.1 Observation of the Disk of HR 4796A 159

5.3.2 Observation of the Disk of β Pic 160

5.4 The Formation of Planetesimals and Planetary Embryos 163

5.4.1 From Microscopic Particles to Centimetre-Sized Grains 163

5.4.2 From Centimetre-Sized Grains to Kilometre-Sized Bodies 164

5.4.3 From Protoplanets to Planets 165

Bibliography 167

6 The Dynamics of Planetary Systems 171

6.1 Characteristics of the Orbits 171

6.1.1 Calculation of Radial Velocities 171

6.1.2 Orbital Characteristics from Radial-Velocity Curves 172

6.1.3 Multiple Systems Case 174

6.1.4 Exoplanets and Known Multiple Systems 175

6.1.5 Rotation of the Planets 178

6.2 Migration 179

6.2.1 Migration in the Solar System 179

6.2.2 Migration in Exosystems 181

6.2.3 The Different Migration Mechanisms 182

6.2.4 Observational Indications 184

6.2.5 The End of the Migration and Tidal Effects 186

6.3 Stability of Planetary Systems 187

6.3.1 Dynamical Categories 187

6.3.2 The GJ 876 System 189

6.3.3 The HD 82943 System 190

6.3.4 The v Andromedae System 190

6.3.5 The HD 202206 System: A Circumbinary Planet? 191

6.3.6 The HD 69830 System: Three Neptunes and a Ring of Dust 193

6.4 Planetary Systems Around Pulsars 193

6.5 The Dynamics of Debris Disks 195

Bibliography 198

7 Structure and Evolution of an Exoplanet 199

7.1 The Internal Structure of Giant Exoplanets 200

7.1.1 The Observable Features 200

7.1.2 The Equations of Internal Structure 201

7.1.3 Rotation Effects 203

7.1.4 Equations of State 203

7.1.5 Construction of Models of Internal Structure 205

7.1.6 Evolutionary Models 208

7.2 The Internal Structure of Terrestrial-Type Exoplanets and Ocean Planets 210

7.2.1 Terrestrial-Type Exoplanets 211

7.2.2 Ocean Planets 213

7.3 The Atmospheres of Exoplanets: Their Structure, Evolution and Spectral Characteristics 216

7.3.1 Giant Exoplanets 216

7.3.2 Terrestrial Planets and Habitable Planets 227

7.3.3 Hot Neptunes, Super-Earths, and Ocean Planets 241

Bibliography 244

8 Present and Future Instrumental Projects 247

8.1 Indirect Methods of Detection 248

8.1.1 Velocimetry 248

8.1.2 Astrometry 252

8.1.3 The Study of Planetary Transits 257

8.1.4 Searching for Microlensing Events 268

8.2 Direct Methods of Detection 272

8.2.1 Imaging 272

8.2.2 Interferometry 281

8.2.3 Direct Detection of Radio Waves 291

Bibliography 293

9 The Search for Life in Planetary Systems 295

9.1 What is Life? 295

9.1.1 How Should Life be Defined? 295

9.1.2 The Role of Carbon and of Liquid Water 296

9.1.3 The Building-Block of Life: Macromolecules 298

9.1.4 Nucleic Acids 300

9.1.5 The Role of the Cell 300

9.2 Prebiotic Material in the Universe 301

9.2.1 Organic Material in the Universe 301

9.2.2 The Synthesis of Organic Molecules: Miller and Urey's Experiment 302

9.2.3 Transport of Complex Organic Molecules to the Primordial Earth 305

9.3 Stages on the Road to Complexity 308

9.3.1 Polymers and Macromolecules 308

9.3.2 The Formation of Membranes 309

9.3.3 RNA and DNA 311

9.4 The Appearance of Life on the Primitive Earth 311

9.4.1 Favourable Conditions 311

9.4.2 The Environment of the Primitive Earth: The Hydrosphere and Atmosphere 312

9.5 The Search for Habitable Locations in the Solar System 314

9.5.1 The Planet Mars 314

9.5.2 The Satellites of the Outer Planets 318

9.6 The Search for Life on Exoplanets 322

9.6.1 Exoplanets' Habitable Zones 322

9.6.2 How May Life on an Exoplanet be Detected? 324

9.7 The Search for Extraterrestrial Civilisations 327

9.7.1 The Drake and Sagan Equation 327

9.7.2 Communication by Radio Waves 327

9.7.3 The State of SETI and CETI Searches 327

Bibliography 329

Appendix A 331

A.l Star or Planet? 331

A.2 Gravitation and Kepler's Laws 332

A.3 Black-Body Emission - Planck's Radiation Law - Stefan's Law 332

A.4 The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram and the Spectral Classification of Stars 334

A.5 Resonances 336

Index 339

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