The Structure of Exoplanets

  • Spiegel D
  • Fortney J
  • Sotin C
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Abstract

The hundreds of exoplanets that have been discovered in the past two decades offer a new perspective on planetary structure. Instead of being the archetypal examples of planets, those of our Solar System are merely possible outcomes of planetary system formation and evolution, and conceivably not even terribly common outcomes (although this remains an open question). Here, we review the diverse range of interior structures that are known to, and speculated to, exist in exoplanetary systems-from mostly degenerate objects that are more than 10 times as massive as Jupiter, to intermediate-mass Neptune-like objects with large cores and moderate hydro-gen/helium envelopes, to rocky objects with roughly the mass of the Earth.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Neptunes
  • gas giants
  • hot Jupiters
  • super-Earths

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Authors

  • David S Spiegel

  • Jonathan J Fortney

  • Christophe Sotin

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