Validation and compilation of Kepler habitable zone candidates

The last decade has witnessed an extraordinary progression in the field of exoplanetary science. The rate of exoplanet discovery has continued to increase as the sensitivity to smaller planets has dramatically improved. The discoveries of the Kepler mission have had a major impact on our understanding of exoplanet orbit, size, and multiplicity distributions. These discoveries have shown that the frequency of planets increases to smaller sizes.

The significance of a terrestrial-planet-rich universe is fully realized in the study of habitability. The Kepler mission has a primary science goal of determining the frequency of terrestrial planets in the Habitable Zone (HZ). Commonly referred to as η-Earth, the frequency of HZ terrestrial planets has become a major focus of interpreting Kepler results. The process of determining η-Earth requires a reliable list of HZ candidates whose properties have been adequately vetted to produce robust planetary and stellar properties. The latter constitutes the main task of the Kepler HZ Working Group. The purpose of this special session is to present the results of the working group's activities and to serve as a venue for discussing the habitability of extrasolar planets through contributions from the members of the community.


Hour Title Contributor
14:00-14:10 Welcome and introduction to joint satellite meeting Kepler's HZWG and Part I Nader Haghighipur
14:10-14:40 Kepler's HZWG Habitable worlds around ultracool dwarfs? (invited talk) Franck Selsis
(U-Bordeaux, France)
14:40-14:55 Habitable zones around main-sequence stars: current estimates and applications (contributed talk) Ravi K. Kopparapu
14:55-15:10 The need for follow-up observations in transit surveys - More than just for planet validation (contributed talk) David R. Ciardi
(Caltech, CA, USA)
15:10-15:40 Statistical validation of habitable-zone planets: techniques and challenges (invited talk) Guillermo Torres
(Harvard, MA, USA)
15:40-16:10 Part I: From habitable planets...
16:10-16:30 Kepler Habitable Zone Working Group and η-Earth (open discussion) Convenors, contributors, all. Moderators: Nader Haghighipur, Stephen R. Kane and Ravi K. Kopparapu

Contact for Kepler's HZWG.