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iPlex Lunch - fall-2023

Hidden water deep in the interiors of exoplanets

Nov. 3, 2023
noon - 1 p.m.
3814 Geology

Presented By:

  • Caroline Dorn - UCLA
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Abstract: There is a lot of enthusiasm in the exoplanet community for the detection and characterization of super-Earth and sub-Neptunes. There is a lack of similar planets in the Solar System and therefore their origin and atmospheric evolution represent an important challenge for our understanding of planets. Moreover, the majority of current interior models suffer from simplified assumptions of chemically inert interiors and cold rocky interiors in solid-state, as well as the neglect of volatile-exchange at the rock-atmosphere interface. This prevailing view is shifting: (1) the majority of exoplanets are partly molten, i.e., they host global magma oceans; (2) redox reactions between magma and atmospheric volatiles affect bulk composition; and (3) magma oceans represent huge reservoirs for volatiles. The exoplanet community is just beginning to explore new dimensions of these deep volatile reservoirs in exoplanets and their influence on planet structure and evolution.