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Session 70 - Searching for Other Planetary Systems.
Display session, Wednesday, January 17
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center
Efforts to develop technologies and strategies to search for extrasolar planets are rapidly gaining momentum. Because of their large radius, ample supply of internal heat, and relatively large separation from the central star, giant hydrogen-rich planets with masses of \sim 1\,M_J and above (where M_J is the mass of Jupiter) are more amenable to direct detection than terrestrial planets. To guide the search for extrasolar giant planets and as a tool for interpreting the results of a positive detection, we present the evolution of hydrogen-rich giant planets with 0.3 \le M/M_J \le 15 around main sequence stars of several spectral types. Giant planets with masses above 13\,M_J undergo a phase of thermonuclear fusion of deuterium and are essentially brown dwarfs. We present quantitative results for the luminosity and radius from the first systematic study which bridges the gap between planets and brown dwarfs. We estimate fluxes as a function of mass, age, parent star and orbital separation. These results are interpreted in terms of the potential for direct detection by imaging with several ground- and space-based instruments currently in development.
Program listing for Wednesday