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Nick Ballering

Nick Ballering has written 23 posts for astrobites

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″.

Can Scattering Explain Eccentric Planets?

New dynamical simulations show that close-in planets on eccentric orbits can arise from planet-planet scattering — but only if the scattering occurs on larger orbits and is followed by inward migration.

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