Atmospheres of Super earths

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Atmospheres of Super earths

Post by M24 on 9th January 2011, 5:50 pm

I was wondering what the atmospheric compositions of super earths such as HD 40307b, Gliese 581e, and 55 Cancri would be like.

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Re: Atmospheres of Super earths

Post by Lazarus on 9th January 2011, 6:54 pm

Those planets would have quite a range of temperatures.

55 Cnc e, with an orbital period of 0.737 days around a G8/K0-type star would have extreme temperatures, presumably the atmosphere would be vapourised rock. Equilibrium temperature assuming zero albedo and no energy redistribution to the night side is around 2300 K. (CoRoT-7b is in a similar environment.)

HD 40307b has an equilibrium temperature under the same assumptions of about 1000 K or so. Gliese 581e would be around 730 K. On the other hand, tidal heating could be significant on these planets, so might also result in creation of silicate atmospheres, assuming they are indeed rocky planets.

See also this reference.
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Re: Atmospheres of Super earths

Post by M24 on 9th January 2011, 8:17 pm

Thanks for the info. I was thinking that some of the "cooler" planets (Gliese 876d, HD 40307c) would have significant amounts of Carbon Dioxide, and Nitrogen, and higher mass worlds (8.5> Earth masses)might have thick atmospheres.

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