Super-Earths: Interiors, Atmospheres, and Formation

Fall 2015 Astronomy 734 Tuesdays, 10:20am-noon

Content: Planets between the size of Earth/Venus and Neptune/Uranus are absent from the Solar System by common around others stars. These planets, commonly called 'super-Earths' or 'sub-Neptunes', display a great diversity of physical characteristics (densities, compositions, atmospheres). We will explore the physics of these planets by studying their observed properties and models of their interiors, atmospheres, and formation.

Location and Time: IfA C221 (Fern Room) - Tuesdays 10:20am-noon.

Structure: The course is a reading semimar covering mostly recent papers (the past few years) on the above topics. Participants are expected to read all papers and contribute to every discussion. It is open to students, postdocs, and faculty. We expect to meet for once-per-week for 1 hour, 40 minutes.

Week-by-Week Schedule

Reading Feedback Form: All participants should fill out this form by 9:30am before each class period. Please fill out the form once for each paper (many weeks have >1 paper per class).

Discussion Leaders: Each paper will have two discussion leaders that will be selected in advance. The leaders will spur discussion by guiding the class though each paper, illuminating strengths and weaknesses, making comparisons with other work, finding aspects that are difficult to understand, etc.

Andrew W. Howard   (howard at
Updated: 24 August 2015
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