This tag is associated with 14 posts

Titan’s Cameo as an Exoplanet

This paper uses Cassini’s infrared eyes to watch the Sun appear to pass behind Titan and light up its atmosphere. From these observations, the authors model different components of the thick atmosphere, and gain new insights about how exoplanets with similar hazy atmospheres might look.

Hundreds of new planets announced

The number of confirmed planets existing outside our Solar System just doubled.

UR #13: RR Lyrae and OSCAAR the Exoplanet-Analyzer

This month’s undergraduate research post features an analysis of distance-indicating RR Lyrae stars, and transiting exoplanet science using a code called OSCAAR.

Planet or comet?

KOI 2700b is a planet with an identity crisis: it thinks it is a comet.

Model Transit Light Curve

Mapping Magnetic Fields with Exoplanet Transits

Transit observations can yield a lot of information about exoplanets. If a transiting exoplanet encounters stellar wind, the bow shock created can show up in the transit light curves. In this paper, the authors investigate how the stellar wind of a star can shape the light curves we observe.

New Insight Into A Potentially Evaporating Planet

There is a small planet candidate, likely rocky, that looks like it’s being vaporized. The authors of this paper show evidence that this evaporation might be related to stellar activity, not just the planet’s proximity to its star.

The Influence of Ice and Snow on Habitability (or, On the Habitability of Hoth)

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.

Finding Serenity: Three Habitable Planets around GJ667C?

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!

In Search of the First Habitable Exomoon

The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler project has conducted the first ever search for a moon around a planet in the habitable zone. While they find no evidence for such a moon, they demonstrate that Earth-sized and possibly habitable moons should be easily detectable with the current Kepler data.

Are Exomoons Habitable?

Some exoplanets seem to have walked directly out of the best science fiction movies. Taking these planets into example, the question of habitability seems like a joke. But what if we stopped looking at these extreme worlds and turned our eyes to their moons instead? Surely their moons are less extreme. And given that our own Jupiter hosts 67 moons, surely they’re more abundant. Can such extreme planets host habitable moons? The 36-page paper written by Heller and Barnes attempts to address this question.

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