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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Sep 2;111(35):12622-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304206111. Epub 2013 Dec 30.

Structure of exoplanets.

Author information

1
School of Natural Sciences, Astrophysics Department, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ 08540; dave@ias.edu.
2
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064; and.
3
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109.

Abstract

The hundreds of exoplanets that have been discovered in the past two decades offer a new perspective on planetary structure. Instead of being the archetypal examples of planets, those of our solar system are merely possible outcomes of planetary system formation and evolution, and conceivably not even especially common outcomes (although this remains an open question). Here, we review the diverse range of interior structures that are both known and speculated to exist in exoplanetary systems--from mostly degenerate objects that are more than 10× as massive as Jupiter, to intermediate-mass Neptune-like objects with large cores and moderate hydrogen/helium envelopes, to rocky objects with roughly the mass of Earth.

KEYWORDS:

gas giants; hot Jupiters; super-Earths

PMID:
24379369
PMCID:
PMC4156706
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1304206111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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