Although the reaction wheel failure incapacitates the telescope, we are still finding new Earth-sized planets in the plethora of existing data.
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 [...]
Title: Why Does Nature Form Exoplanet Easily Author: Kevin Heng Institution: University of Bern, Center for Space and Habitability It’s an exciting time for planet hunters. Over the last few years, the search for extrasolar planets (“exoplanets” for short) has become one of the hottest topics in astronomy. During every exoplanet talk that I’ve attended [...]
Faigler et al. apply their BEER algorithm to a collection of stars in the Kepler field and find a hot Jupiter missed by the Kepler Science Team, showing a new way to find and characterize planets without follow-up observations.
It is likely that all exoplanet systems have 4 or more planets orbiting a single star. If we look at the number of specific orbital period ratios for both high multiplicity systems (4 or more transiting planets) and low multiplicity systems (2 transiting planets) we may verify this. We may also make statements about the formation and evolution of planetary systems as well as search for any additional planets.
Astronomers search for radio signals from exoplanets discovered by Kepler. They find nothing. What does this imply about intelligent life elsewhere in the Galaxy?
What were astronomers reading and talking about in their research last year? Check out figures from the top 12 most-cited astronomy papers from 2012 (so far) and find out what researchers were up to and why!
The census of planets for smaller stars—M dwarfs—is now basically complete. In this paper, Courtney Dressing and Dave Charbonneau use this M dwarf advantage to determine the occurrence rate of small planets around M dwarfs.
By looking for variations in the observed periods for eclipsing binary stars, astronomers have found evidence that a sizable fraction of these systems are actually systems of three or more stars.
Do planets form in place, or migrate?
How planets form is still a remarkably open question. We haven’t even figured out definitively whether planets formed in the places they are now, or formed in different places and then migrated to their present locations.