Wednesday 18 Mar 2015Seminar: The Evolution and Compositions of Sub-Neptunes and Super-Earths

Dr Eric Lopez - University of Edinburgh

Physics, 4th floor 14:00-15:00

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a large new population of super-Earth and sub-Neptune sized planets. Understanding these planets poses a fundamental test for models of planet formation and evolution. I will discuss the possible origins and compositions of these planets and the constraints that can be provided by models of planet structure and evolution. I will examine the transition between rocky super-Earths and gaseous sub-Neptunes, the possible compositions of the sub-Neptunes, and the role that atmospheric photo-evaporation plays in sculpting these populations.

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