DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 7. Extra Solar Planets I
Oral, Chairs: R. V. Yelle and R. A. Brown, Tuesday, September 2, 2003, 3:30-5:30pm, DeAnza I-II

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[7.03] Volatile-Rich Earth-Mass Planets in the Habitable Zone

M. J. Kuchner (Princeton University Observatory)

A small planet is not necessarily a terrestrial planet. Planets that form beyond the snow line with too little mass to seed rapid gas accretion (\lesssim 10~M\bigoplus) should be rich in volatile ices like H{}2O and NH{}3. Some of these planets should migrate inward by interacting with a circumstellar disk or with other planets. Such objects can retain their volatiles for billions of years or longer at ~1 AU as their thick steam atmospheres undergo slow hydrodynamic escape. These objects could appear in future surveys for extrasolar Earth analogs.

This work was performed in part under contract with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) through the Michelson Fellowship program funded by NASA as an element of the Planet Finder Program.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.