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Why Super-Earths are Not Earth-like

SETI Institute

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (PDT)

Mountain View, CA

Why Super-Earths are Not Earth-like

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Event Details

Tuesday, March 25 2014 - 12:00 pm, PDT

Why SuperEarths are not Earthlike

David Stevenson
California Institute of Technology
Kepler data indicate that there are many planets that could be Earthlike
in the sense of having a similar bulk composition.
Dr. Stevenson will explain why such planets are unlikely to be Earthlike
in other respects, especially if they are superEarths (three or so Earth
masses or more).

There are three main points here:
(1) SuperEarths will not separate core from mantle because they are
likely to be so hot internally that the critical temperature is reached for miscibility of iron alloy and silicate material.

(2) Earth is (so far as we know) special in having a water budget that
(expressed as an ocean) corresponds to water depths ~ mountain heights.

(3) The surface will be hot either from a massive atmosphere or proximity
to the parent star.
Have questions about Why Super-Earths are Not Earth-like? Contact SETI Institute

When & Where


SETI Institute
189 N Bernardo Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (PDT)


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SETI Institute

The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.

We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history — to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.

The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach.

Every week the SETI Institute hosts a lecture series that is open to the public, provides free PB&J's and gives people a unique opportunity to interact with some of the world's leading space scientists.

For past videos, upcoming events and full event details, go to seti.org/talks.

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