Migrating Super-Earths vs. Terrestrial Planets

Of all the kinds of planets we’re finding around other stars—hot Jupiters and mini-Neptunes and those dubiously called “Earth-like”—super-Earths orbiting close to their stars are among the most abundant. While planets so close to their stars are poor candidates for habitability, they are important to understanding the possibility of other habitable planets in these seemingly common systems.

Using Mass Loss to Probe Super-Earth Populations

Using Mass Loss to Probe Super-Earth Populations

To characterize the newly-discovered population of small planets, this team from UC Santa Cruz investigated how planets lose mass over their lifetimes, and determined how this loss will affect planet populations. This paper suggests that we can understand the population of small planets using mass loss models, and we make predictions using these models for the masses of irradiated super-Earths.