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