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Current and Future Landscape of Small Exoplanet Demographics

Presentation #200.01 in the session “Exoplanets”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Current and Future Landscape of Small Exoplanet Demographics

Now is an exciting, perhaps “revolutionary”, time to be an exoplanet scientist. Kepler provided us with a powerful foundation in exoplanet statistics and occurrence rates, which helped motivate the all-sky TESS Mission that has provided thousands of new, closer-by transiting planet candidates primed for detailed characterization. Spitzer and HST provided tantalizing glimpses of exoplanet atmospheres, allowing us to pose hypotheses about atmospheric origin, evolution, and composition that will be addressed by the upcoming JWST. Furthermore, we are also in the midst of considerable growth in the ground-based detection and characterization of exoplanets via the radial velocity (RV) technique, a felicitous circumstance considering this technique kicked off observational exoplanet science over 25 years ago. In this talk, I will review the current knowledge landscape of small exoplanet demographics — specifically, how and what do we know about the diversity of their compositions? — and outline what I think are the exciting prospects on the horizon as we move farther into the era of exoplanet characterization where observational constraints are more technically challenging and expensive.

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