Extrasolar Enigmas: From Disintegrating Exoplanets to Exoasteroids

Budaj, Jan; Kabáth, Petr; Palle, Enric
Bibliographical reference

Reviews in Frontiers of Modern Astrophysics; From Space Debris to Cosmology

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Thousands of transiting exoplanets have been discovered to date, thanks in great part to the Kepler space mission. As in all populations, and certainly in the case of exoplanets, one finds unique objects with distinct characteristics. Here we will describe the properties and behaviour of a small group of 'disintegrating' exoplanets discovered over the last few years (KIC 12557548b, K2-22b, and others). They evaporate, lose mass unraveling their naked cores, produce spectacular dusty comet-like tails, and feature highly variable asymmetric transits. Apart from these exoplanets, there is observational evidence for even smaller 'exo-'objects orbiting other stars: exoasteroids and exocomets. Most probably, such objects are also behind the mystery of Boyajian's star. Ongoing and upcoming space missions such as TESS and PLATO will hopefully discover more objects of this kind, and a new era of the exploration of small extrasolar systems bodies will be upon us.
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The search for life in the universe has been driven by recent discoveries of planets around other stars (known as exoplanets), becoming one of the most active fields in modern astrophysics. The growing number of new exoplanets discovered in recent years and the recent advance on the study of their atmospheres are not only providing new valuable

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