Towards Other Earths II. The Star-Planet Connection

The study of extrasolar planets is one of the most active areas of research of modern astronomy. The number of discoveries attests for the importance of a topic that reaches out and captivates the imagination of scientists and public alike.
Central to this research is the characterization of the planet’s host star properties. Several reasons exist for that:

  • Planets form around stars. The planetary properties and the way they evolve with time are thus deeply related to the characteristics of their host (e.g. metallicity, mass, age, binnarity) and to the way the two interact (e.g. tidal effects).
  • Most planetary detection methods are indirect and must be carefully scrutinized for stellar contamination (“noise”) and false positives arising from other astrophysical sources (e.g. activity, blends). Understanding astrophysical sources of noise may be critical for the detection of other Earths.
  • Interestingly, stellar variability also presents an opportunity to enhance our understanding of the planetary systems. The measurement of stellar oscillations will allow us to better characterize the host stars. Star-planet interactions can give us information about the planetary magnetic field and internal structure. In some cases, it is even possible to use stellar activity to improve the knowledge about the planets themselves (e.g. the orbital orientation).
  • Finally, as one pushes both planetary detection and characterization to its limits, one is frequently limited by the uncertainties on the determination of stellar parameters (e.g. stellar radii or mass).

This conference aims at reviewing the state of the art of star-planet connection, with some focus on the detection and characterization of Earth like planets orbiting other stars. We propose to debate how the field of extrasolar planets will evolve in respect to this and how it will face the challenges of the upcoming years.