Volatile-rich Earth-Mass Planets in the Habitable Zone

  title={Volatile-rich Earth-Mass Planets in the Habitable Zone},
  author={Marc J. Kuchner},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal Letters},
  pages={L105 - L108}
  • M. Kuchner
  • Published 9 March 2003
  • Geology, Physics
  • The Astrophysical Journal Letters
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 (≲10 M⊕) should be rich in volatile ices like H2O and NH3. 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… 

Figures from this paper

Massive terrestrial planets (super-Earths): detailed physics of their interiors

Planets in the mass range of 1–12 Earth masses do not exist in our Solar System, but now there is direct evidence that they orbit other stars. Near-future experiments will allow determination of

Survival of Terrestrial Planets in the Presence of Giant Planet Migration

The presence of "hot Jupiters," Jovian-mass planets with very short orbital periods orbiting nearby main-sequence stars, has been proposed to be primarily due to the orbital migration of planets

Hot Neptunes and super Earths

The recent discoveries of planetary systems in orbit around other stars have uncovered several types of planetary objects which are not represented in our own solar system. In addition to the well


Extrasolar planet host stars have been found to be enriched in key planet-building elements. These enrichments have the potential to drastically alter the composition of material available for

Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets.

The evolution of Earth-like habitable planets is a complex process that depends on the geodynamical and geophysical environments. In particular, it is necessary that plate tectonics remain active

New Worlds on the Horizon: Earth-Sized Planets Close to Other Stars

Many of the planets the authors discover may be quite unlike Earth in their surface temperature and composition, but their study will nonetheless inform us about the process of planet formation and the frequency of Earth-like planets around other stars.

A new family of planets? Ocean-Planets

Water in Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Habitability

Exoplanet detection missions have found thousands of planets or planet candidates outside of the Solar System—some of which are in the habitable zone, where liquid water is possible at the surface.

On the possibility of terrestrial planet formation in hot-Jupiter systems

About a fifth of the exoplanetary systems that have been discovered contain a so-called hot-Jupiter – a giant planet orbiting within 0.1 AU of the central star. Since these stars are typically of the

Could we identify hot ocean-planets with CoRoT, Kepler and Doppler velocimetry?




Dynamical Instabilities and the Formation of Extrasolar Planetary Systems

The existence of a dominant massive planet, Jupiter, in our solar system, although perhaps essential for long-term dynamical stability and the development of life, may not be typical of planetary

Survival of Planetary Systems

Gravitational interactions (i.e., disk tides) between a newly formed protoplanet and its precursor disk give rise to a net torque that drains angular momentum from the protoplanet's orbit. As a

Protostars and Planets VI

Various papers on the formation of stars and planets are presented. The general topics addressed include: molecular clouds and star formation, young stellar objects and circumstellar disks, chemistry

A Jupiter-mass companion to a solar-type star

The presence of a Jupiter-mass companion to the star 51 Pegasi is inferred from observations of periodic variations in the star's radial velocity. The companion lies only about eight million

Formation of the Giant Planets by Concurrent Accretion of Solids and Gas

New numerical simulations of the formation of the giant of the second phase. planets are presented, in which for the first time both the gas and The actual rates at which the giant planets accreted

The formation of an impact‐generated H2O atmosphere and its implications for the early thermal history of the Earth

During accretion of the earth by planetesimal impacts, shock degassing of volatile materials occurs, and a proto-atmosphere is formed. Once such an impact-generated atmosphere is formed, the surface

Impact erosion of terrestrial planetary atmospheres

The idea that planetary atmospheres can erode as a result of impact, and thus lose mass along with solid and molten high velocity ejecta during accretional infall of planetesimals follows from such

Impact-induced atmospheres and oceans on Earth and Venus

High-velocity impacts of planetesimals onto a growing planet result in the impact-degassing of volatiles and the formation of an impact-induced atmosphere. Because of the blanketing effect of such an