Pluto's interaction with the solar wind is unique, study finds

How Do Planets Work?

What factors influence the composition of a planet’s interior, surface, and atmosphere, and what can we detect about these processes across interstellar distances? Many different physical, chemical, and geological processes combine to produce the observable characteristics of a planet’s environment. In the future, some of these characteristics will be visible through powerful NASA telescopes. In order to detect a planet’s distinct traits, however, researchers must better understand how these processes affect each other and change over time.

There are so many important components that make a planet unique, including global circulation dynamics, photochemistry, top-of-atmosphere escape processes, hydrological cycles, volcanism, outgassing, and climate. In order to define a planet’s environment and assess whether it could support life, researchers must develop a complete picture of how these processes interact and evolve over time. To better understand these processes and their observable consequences, SEEC researchers are using a variety of models, including global climate models, photochemical models, and atmospheric escape models.

Related Researchers

Vladimir Airapetian, Giada Arney, Tony Del Genio, Shawn Domagal-Goldman, Thomas Fauchez, Alex Glocer, Scott Guzewich, Wade Henning, Nancy Kiang, Ravi Kopparapu, Weijia Kuang, Avi Mandell, Luke Oman, Alex Pavlov, Jeremy Schnittman, Linda Sohl, Kostas Tsigaridis, Michael Way

Related SEEC Projects

  1. Airapetian et al. - "Measuring Magnetic Field Effects in Hot Gas Giants: Implications for Atmospheric Loss"
  2. Arney et al. - "Atmos: Studies of Exoplanet Atmospheres Enabled by a Versatile 1-D Photochemical-Climate Model"
  3. Fauchez et al. - "Clouds and Hazes: Critical parameters to assess rocky exoplanet habitability with JWST?"
  4. Glocer et al. - "Dynamics of Upper Atmospheres of Terrestrial Exoplanets Around Active K to M dwarfs as a Factor of Habitability"
  5. Guzewich et al. - "Simulating Factors Influencing Habitable Exoplanets with ROCKE3D"
  6. Kiang et al. - "Land Planets: Foundations for Understanding the Distribution of Surface Habitability and Life Inside the Habitable Zone"
  7. Kopparapu et al. - "Determining the Atmospheric Composition and Rotation Rates of Habitable Zone M-dwarfs Planets with Thermal Phase Curves and Transit Spectra"
  8. Kuang et al. – "Habitability of Magnetic Exo Terrestrial Planets"
  9. Lopez et al. - "Steam Worlds not Water Worlds: Assessing The Maximum Size of Habitable Planets"
  10. Lopez et al. - "Photo-evaporative Atmospheric Escape Across Parameter Space"
  11. Pavlov et al. - "Ion molecular reactions in the planetary atmospheres. Applications to current Mars, early Mars, early Earth and exoplanets
  12. Quintana et al. - "Where to Search for Habitable Worlds"
  13. Schnittman et al. - "Modeling eccentricity effects with chemistry-coupled GCM simulations"
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