One of the best ways to look for planets around stars is to look for wobbles in the stellar spectrum using state of the art spectrographs. Unfortunately, processes on the star like star spots can also cause shifts in the spectrum. Today’s astrobite uses the Sun to link sunspots to shifts in the solar spectrum. These lessons will help to discover Earth-twins orbiting other stars.
Planets with radii between Earth and Neptune and small radii are the most common in planetary systems. These planets are challenging to explain with classical models of planets. Do planets form instead in-situ in an inside-out manner?
What might be the strangest architecture yet of an exoplanetary system was discovered, and it raises big questions as to how planetary systems form and evolve.
Nearly a year ago, the ALMA collaboration released this stunning image of the young star HL Tau. The sub-millimeter wavelengths of light that ALMA detects revealed a vast disc of gas and dust, several times larger than Neptune’s orbit. Intriguingly, the disc was divided up into a series of well-defined, concentric rings.
The cause of the rings seemed clear: There must be planets around HL Tau, their gravity sculpting the gas and sweeping out the dark gaps in the disc.
When the stars align, you just might catch a planet, a black hole, or a binary star—but it’s hard to measure its mass! What does it take to do so?
There are more moons than planets in our Solar System that harbor liquid water, and these moons may offer us the best chances of finding life off of Earth. Today’s paper takes the search for habitable moons a step further by investigating how telescopes of the near future might allow us to see and characterize these moons around exoplanets.