Exoplanetary Scratchpad

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Orange Dwarf Systems

  • HD 189733 System - Planet b (the first nearby Very Hot Jupiter, originally thought to be inflated) is the nearest planet discovered using the transit technique (62.9 ly). This is the first exoplanet to have its temperature mapped and was nicknamed Bull's Eye for its hot spot that is significantly offset from the starward pole. It is also the first exoplanet for which scattered light in the upper atmosphere has been detected and the second exoplanet with water detected and first with Methane and then Carbon Dioxide detected. It later was the first exoplanet whose gasses were detected from Earth-based telescopes. It was also found to spin up its star and magnetically interact with it, causing stellar storms. Hubble found that its atmosphere was a uniform blue haze.

Yellow Dwarf Systems

Sunlike Stars (G1-G3)

  • GSC 03549-02811 System - Contains TrES-2, which was the most massive nearby transiting planet until the discovery of Hat-P-2 b. It has a large radius for a planet not considered inflated. A large ground-based telescope method of observation was pioneered on this planet. Since its in Keplar's field of view, it was observed by it as a test subject and dubbed Kepler1b. A second planet is possibly responsible for fluctuations in the first's inclination. Kepler determined that it is the darkest known planet, blacker than coal, due to its extremely low dimming and brightening detected during transits. It would appear black except for some faint red tinge. This conflicts with current theories, which thought that a Hot Jupiter could only get as dark as Mercury. It appears that the planet is too hot for reflective clouds to form and instead its atmosphere contains light-absorbing chemicals. An off-the-cuff nickname Erebus (Greek god of darkness) has been suggested. It was also the first planet whose phases have been detected.

Cooler Yellow Dwarfs

  • 55 Cancri System - Wide binary star consisting of a sun-like primary (A) and a red-dwarf secondary (B) separated by 1,100 AU, 41 light years away. Star A contains five exoplanets, the first system found with this many. It has three tightly packed eccentric planets close in to the star, including planet e (hot Super Earth/Neptunian), b (hot Jupiter), and c (hot Saturn). Planet e was the first Neptunian discovered. It was later found to be the shortest-period planet discovered (18 hours) and to transit. The planet has about half of Neptune's mass, but is Earth-like in size and density (2.17 Earth Radius). It is composed 70% of rock and the outer 30% is likely an ocean of super-critical water (between a gas and liquid state) that is 3000km thick. This is the hottest and densest super-Earth and the is the most watery planet found to date. It likely possesses a thick atmosphere of CO and CO2. The brightness of the star (also closest known to transit and only known naked eye star to do so) makes it more easily studied than other hot super Earths. Planet f is a very eccentric Saturnian in the habitable zone. Planet d is a super jovian at Jupiter-like distances, which was the first found at true Jupiter distances and still the exoplanet discovered with dopplar spectrometry with the largest known semi-major axis. The distant outer star causes planet d's axis to flip on its axis every million years. Planet d in turn causes the other planets to flip, including its star. The axis tilt of transiting planet e should be determined at some point. "Bode's law" predicts four undiscovered planets.

White Dwarf Systems

White Dwarfs With Planetary Matter in Atmospheres

White dwarf stars have very pristine atmospheres. Contamination are easily observed and often the result of the star absorbing a planet during its red giant phase.
  • PG1225-079 System - White Dwarf that contains evidence of an absorbed dwarf planet. It contains magnesium, iron, and nickel in Earth-like ratios contaminates in its mostly Helium atmosphere. Some contaminants such as Calcium are two or three times greater than Earth.
  • HS2253+8023 System - White Dwarf with evidence that it has absorbed an Earth-like dwarf planet formed in about the same region that the Earth was formed. Contaminents are 85% oxygen, magnesium, silicon, and iron (very Earthlike).
  • NLTT 43806 System - White Dwarf with evidence of a planetary collision similar in scale to a Mars-like planet striking an Earth-like planet, similar to the collision thought to create the Moon. The star is unique in that it is the only white dwarf with very high Aluminum abundance and relatively low Iron abundance. Its theorized that Aluminum, common in the outer parts of a planet, was knocked off during the collision and got swallowed by the star, while the Iron core remained in tact. The collision would have occurred very recently 50 million years ago.

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