Welcome to the course webpage for GEO 181: Exoplanetary Science - Characterization.

Class Announcements:

2019-11-12: Juliette's dynamics lecture is available here.

2019-10-10: Note that office hours have changed to Tuesdays right after class.

2019-09-26: Juliette Becker will be visiting November 12.

2019-09-26: As mentioned in class, I will have some unavoidable travel this quarter that will result in the following classes being canceled - 11/7, 11/21. I will make up the missing classes at other times.

2019-09-26: Class announcements will appear here periodically.

Contact details:

  • Instructor: Stephen Kane
  • Office: Pierce Hall 2360
  • Office hours: Tuesdays, 11:20am-1pm
  • Phone: 951-827-6593
  • Email: skane@ucr.edu

Download the class syllabus here.

Class times:

  • Tuesday, 10:00am-11:20am Geology 1444
  • Thursday, 10:00am-11:20am Geology 1444


  • "The Exoplanet Handbook" by Michael Perryman
  • I also recommend "Exoplanets" edited by Sara Seager

Important Dates:

  • October 17: Data Project abstract due
  • November 26: Data Project final report due
  • December 3: Summary class
  • December 5: FINAL EXAM 10:00am-11:20am in class

Useful Links:



  • Homework (40%): There will be four homeworks during the semester. Most problems will require analytic solutions, however there will usually be one problem per assignment that will involve graphing and numerical solution with computer software such as Mathematica, MATLAB, or any programming language.
  • Data Project (30%): Students will be required to complete a project using exoplanet data using the NASA Exoplanet Archive, the Exoplanet Data Explorer, the Habitable Zone Gallery, the Exoplanet Characterization Toolkit, or the Systemic Console. The written report may be up to 5 pages long (including plots). Guidelines on writing lab reports may be found here.
  • Final Exam (30%): The final exam will test on all material covered during the quarter and will be held during the final class. Please arrive on time. If you arrive after someone else has finished the exam, you may not take that exam.

Final Grades:

  • A = 90% to 100%
  • B = 77% to 89%
  • C = 65% to 76%
  • D = 50% to 64%
  • F = below 50%