Exoplanets and Astrobiology, From Climatic Habitability to The Longterm Evolution of Planetary Systems
October 22, 2012
Abstract: The science of extrasolar planets has blossomed from the dream of a few dedicated planet hunters to one of the core disciplines of astrophysics for the foreseeable future. I will discuss what affects whether potentially Earth-like exoplanets might be good abodes for life, and will comment on the exaggerated Milankovitch-like cycles that could and probably do occur in exoplanetary systems. I will also discuss the longterm evolution of binary systems, including thermal and chemical changes, and orbital evolution. In particular, Jupiter will eventually become a hot Jupiter, and if it were somewhat closer to the Sun it would eventually be tidally engulfed by the future-red-giant Sun.