XVI CANARY ISLANDS WINTER SCHOOL OF ASTROPHYSICS

"Extrasolar Planets "

Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
Puerto de la Cruz,Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)

November 22th - 3rd December, 2004

Programme

Characterizing extrasolar planets
Tim Brown, High Altitude Observatory, USA

Planet detection projects and methods
Laurance Doyle, SETI Institute, USA

The potential for life (habitability)
Jim F. Kasting, Penn State University, USA

From planets to brown dwarfs to stars
Rafael Rebolo, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, SPAIN

The solar system in perspective
Agustín Sánchez-Lavega, Universidad del País Vasco, SPAIN

Can life be detected?
Franck Selsis, Centro de Astrobiología (INTA/CSIC), SPAIN

Properties of extrasolar planets
Stephane Udry, Observatoire de Genève, SWITZERLAND

From clouds to planet systems (formation and evolution)
Günther Wuchterl, Max-Planck-Insitut für extraterrestrische Physik, GERMANY


Characterizing extrasolar planets
Tim Brown, High Altitude Observatory, USA


1. Basic transiting planet ideas.

Important parameters
Light curves
Other observables

2. Measurement techniques.

Observing system requirements
Data acquisition and processing
Stars sampled vs. telescope aperture

3. False Alarms.

System taht can cause false alarms
Relative frequencies
Diagnostic methods

4. Transit Spectroscopy

Theory
HD 209458
Venus

5. Space Missions

MOST, COROT, Kepler, Eddington
Prospects for discoveries
Technical Challenges

Planet detection projects and methods
Laurance Doyle, SETI Institute, USA

We outline the basic approaches and detection limitations of various extrasolar planetary detection methods. This will include detection by periodic radial velocity variations, photometric events caused by gravitational lensing, pulsar timing, astrometry, direct imaging, and direct radio flux detection, along with a few special cases (for example SETI). We will then emphasize in more detail the periodic photometric extrasolar planet detection techniques which include the transit method, detection by reflected light variations, and detection of circum-binary planets by eclipsing binary minima timing. Special attention is given to statistical hypothesis tests of detection in the case of photometric transits, and a detailed look at the expected power spectra in the cases of reflected light variations and eclipsing binary timing analysis. Finally we will discuss how some of these techniques will be applied in near-term ground and space-based projects leading, hopefully, to the remote detection of exobiology within the next several decades.

The potential for life (habitability)
Jim F. Kasting, Penn State University, USA

1. Long-term climate evolution on the Earth
2. Climate evolution on Mars and Venus
3. The rise of atmospheric O2
4. Habitable zones around main sequence stars
5. Searching for life on extrasolar planets with TPF and Darwin

From planets to brown dwarfs to stars
Rafael Rebolo, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, SPAIN

The solar system in perspective
Agustín Sánchez-Lavega, Universidad del País Vasco, SPAIN

1. A Panorama of the Solar System bodies

Description in a comparative way of the characteristics and properties of the different elements of the solar system: planets, satellites, asteroids, comets, meteorites and dust. Past and future space missions to the solar system.

2. Atmospheres of the terrestrial planets and major satellites

Presentation of the current atmospheric composition, thermal structure and dynamics (general circulation and meteorological phenomena) of Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan. Brief description of the nature and properties of tenuous atmospheres (Mercury, Galilean satellites, Triton and Pluto). The perspective of life developping in these bodies.

3. Giant Planets

Presentation of the atmospheric properties and internal structure of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Emphasis will be on the spectra, dynamics and meteorology of their atmospheres.

4. The magnetic environment of the planets

Origin of the magnetic fields in planetary bodies. Magnetic field structure and magnetospheres. Related phenomena: auroras, radio and X-ray emissions.

5. Physical properties of extrasolar giant planets

General structure (atmospheres and interiors). Cloud formation and general circulation. Magnetic fields.

Can life be detected?
Franck Selsis, Centro de Astrobiología (INTA/CSIC), SPAIN

1. Lessons from the solar system

- composition/and photochemistry of the planetary atmospheres
- the search for biosignatures on Mars (and in the S.S,)
- oxygen and ozone in the S.S.
- biosignatures on the present and early Earth

2. simulations of planetary atmospheres

- abiotic production of O2/O3 and "false positive" detection of life
- "false negative" cases
- parameters of the problem (stellar type, orbital parameters, planet size and mass,...)

3. planned strategies for the search for life:

- reflected spectra (TPF-C)
- thermal emission (Darwin/TPF-I)
- input from earlier missions ?

4. More astrobiology with Darwin/TPF:

- measuring planetary radii and temperatures
- signs of habitability
- other biosignatures

5. "Life finders": what instruments after Darwin/TPF ?

Properties of extrasolar planets
Stephane Udry, Observatoire de Genève, SWITZERLAND

From clouds to planet systems (formation and evolution)
Günther Wuchterl, Max-Planck-Insitut für extraterrestrische Physik, GERMANY