Using Mineral Physics Theory and Data to Help Constrain Knowledge of Super-Earth Exoplanet Interior Structures and Dynamics With an Eye Towards the Possibility of Life
With new exoplanet detection instruments, such as TESS, yielding a bounty of observations of large terrestrial planets (super-Earths) around other stars, there is a rapidly growing dataset that can be examined with knowledge that has been gained over decades from geophysical theory and modeling and from high-pressure mineral physics theory, computation, and experiment. From an astrobiology perspective, we want to know if other not-too-distant planets have convecting liquid iron-nickel cores, generating magnetic fields protecting from host star wind, while having mantle minerals that convect with plate tectonics recycling elements, and with liquid water at a biohabitable depth. Since the detection instruments cannot directly ascertain exoplanet structure and dynamics, we consider candidates from the NASA Exoplanet Archive that might have a liquid metallic outer core, a convecting mantle, and possible liquid water in deep pores or on the surface.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #233
- Pub Date:
- January 2019