This paper asks what the biosphere of the Earth will look like billions of years from now, when the era of life is ending. What biosignatures might we detect from a dying planet?
This paper seeks to provide a theoretical explanation for why gravitational perturbations do not disrupt the Keplerian orbits of Earth’s satellites.
This article uses theoretical modeling to estimate the influence of ice and snow on the habitability of extrasolar planets. This work differentiates itself from past efforts by including the influence of the atmosphere, and by considering planets orbiting M-dwarfs in addition to Sun-like stars.
This paper describes the measurement of the deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio in a Jupiter-family comet, 45P. This ratio is related to the formation history of the comet and helps inform our understanding of the formation of our solar system.
This paper reports that the M-dwarf star GJ667C is orbited by a system of six, maybe seven super-Earths, of which three are in the habitable zone. This is an extraordinarily closely packed system of planets, straight from science fiction!
This paper describes the detection of transits for a planet previously identified via radial velocities (RVs). Measuring the properties of the planet with both the transit and RV method allows the authors to determine the density, which suggests it should have a lot of volatiles (e.g. H2O, CO2, etc). This discovery is particularly exciting because the planet orbits a bright, nearby star: ideal for follow-up observations to characterize its atmosphere!
Caption: H. A. Sawyer loading plates into the Harvard 16” Metcalf Doublet telescope. Picture from http://hea-www.harvard.edu/DASCH/telescopes.php Paper Title: 100-year DASCH Light Curves of Kepler Planet-Candidate Host Stars Authors: S. Tang et al First Author’s Affiliation: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA; Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, CA; California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA […]
Paper Title: Dynamics of Large Fragments in the Tail of Active Asteroid P/2010 A2 Authors: Jessica Agarwal, David Jewitt, and Harold Weaver First Author’s Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany Journal: The Astrophysical Journal (Accepted) Introduction In January 2010, the LINEAR survey make a remarkable detection: it discovered an asteroid with a […]
As we discover exoplanets in droves and the first hints of habitable worlds emerge, astronomers are starting to look to the next step: the search for life on those worlds.