LPL Colloquium: Dr. Ofer Cohen

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012
3:45 pm
Location: Kuiper Space Sciences
Room: 308

Dr. Ofer Cohen
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

"The Extreme Space Environment of Close-in Exoplanets"

Since their first discovery, many exoplanets have been found at a close-in orbit around their parent star, where they essentially reside inside the stellar corona. The current search for Earth-like planets is focused on planets orbiting M-dwarf stars, where the habitable zone, (the distance range where liquid water could be found on the planetary surface) is located at a close distance. However, M-dwarfs stars are magnetically active, so it is necessary to investigate how does the harsh space environment of these close-in planets may play a role in the planet's habitability. I will show a series of numerical simulations to study different aspects of the space environment of close-in planets, and the consequences of star-planet magnetic interaction. I will also show how electromagnetic processes in the upper atmospheres of close-in hot-jupiters can contribute to the atmospheric evaporation.

Host: Joe Giacalone