Nick Ballering

Nick Ballering has written 24 posts for astrobites

Most Asteroids are Not in the Asteroid Belt

Simulations show that the Oort cloud contains eight billion asteroids (in addition to hundreds of billions of comets). Do these asteroids pose a threat to Earth?

Planet Formation on a Budget

There does not seem to be enough mass in protoplanetary disks to build the planetary systems we’ve detected. The solution: planet formation might start sooner than previously thought.

Rethinking the Planet Formation Deadline

Observational biases may significantly underestimate the lifetime of protoplanetary disks.

Herschel’s View of a Neighboring Planetary System

Herschel provides an updated look at the debris disk in the popular planetary system, Tau Ceti.

Can Icelines Explain Uranus and Neptune?

A new hypothesis posits that the ice giant planets formed between the CO and N2 icelines in the Solar System’s protoplanetary disk.

A Lunar Mystery Solved, with the Earth as the Culprit

Heat from the proto-Earth may have caused the difference in the Moon’s far- and near-side crust thicknesses.

How Easily Do Carbon-Rich Planets Form?

A new model simulates the composition of growing planetesimals in an evolving protoplanetary disk. The model predicts that carbon-rich terrestrial planets can form more easily than previously thought.

Kepler Discovers a Self-Lensing Star System

Kepler finds the signature of a transiting white dwarf. Instead blocking the light of its companion star, the white dwarf magnifies it, creating a light curve that periodically brightens.

Can Planets Maintain Vega’s Debris Disks?

Vega’s system of debris disks can be explained by a series of planets that constantly transport material inwards towards the star.

Kepler 2.0

The Kepler Space Telescope gets a promising second chance with a new mission called “K2″.

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