Lowell Observatory Colloquia

Small Stars with Small Planets and Big Consequences

Phil Muirhead, Boston University

Lowell Observatory, Slipher Conference Room, Sept. 23 2013 at 3:30 p.m.

The field of extrasolar planets is rapidly evolving. The quest to discover ever more and ever smaller exoplanets has pushed the field in two primary directions: 1) toward a comprehensive assessment of the frequency and statistics of various types of exoplanets--used to constrain planet formation and evolution theories--and 2) toward characterizing the composition, atmosphere and evolution of individual exoplanets as though they were planets in our own Solar System. I will discuss the importance of low-mass stars in this context, emphasizing the phenomenal results from the NASA's Kepler Mission, and our efforts to characterize individual terrestrial exoplanets orbiting low-mass stars with existing and novel ground-based instrumentation.

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