Speaker: Andrew Howard
Title: Rise of the Super-Earths
Abstract: Planets between the size of Earth and Neptune are commonly found in close-in orbits around Sun-like stars, yet are notably absent from our Solar System. I will review recent progress in our understanding of the properties of these ‘super-Earths’ or ‘sub-Neptunes’, with an emphasis their size and mass distributions, orbital architectures, and inferences we can make about their atmospheres and interiors. I will close with a recent highlight – my team’s recent discovery and upcoming characterization of a planet 1.5 times Earth size orbiting in the habitable zone of a nearby star.