AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 38. Solar Systems: Ours and Theirs
Invited, Monday, January 6, 2003, 3:40-5:10pm, 6AB

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[38.02] Characterizing Extrasolar Planets

S. Seager (Carnegie Institution of Washington)

One hundred extrasolar giant planets are known to orbit nearby sun-like stars. These planets were discovered by the highly successful radial velocity method, and so we know their minimum masses and orbital parameters. In 1999 one of these planets, HD209458b, was found to transit its parent star. This, the only known transiting extrasolar planet, moved extrasolar planets into the realm of physical characterization with an absolute mass, measured radius---which is essential to constrain evolution and atmosphere models, and later the first detection of an extrasolar planet atmosphere via transit transmission spectroscopy. Extrasolar planet characterization is on the verge of entering a new era, with the impending discovery of more transiting planets and many current and near future attempts to detect spectra of extrasolar planet atmospheres. I will discuss what we know about the physical characteristics of extrasolar planets, the significance of observations with an emphasis on their theoretical interpretation, and what the near future holds for extrasolar planets.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.ciw.edu/seager/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: seager@dtm.ciw.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
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