Four hundred astronomers just spent the week together in Barcelona, Spain for the 17th Cool Stars conference, discussing stars, brown dwarfs, and planets. Instead of writing about the many exciting talks, splinter sessions, and discussions, I’m going to showcase the graduate student posters at the conference that won awards.
Mars is observed to have sedimentary rocks, which provide proof that liquid water once existed on the Martian surface. However, the surface of Mars would have been too cold to have permanent rivers and lakes; the authors of this paper suggest seasonal snowmelt could create enough liquid water to form these rocks.
To characterize the newly-discovered population of small planets, this team from UC Santa Cruz investigated how planets lose mass over their lifetimes, and determined how this loss will affect planet populations. This paper suggests that we can understand the population of small planets using mass loss models, and we make predictions using these models for the masses of irradiated super-Earths.
This paper demonstrates a brand new method of calculating Hubble’s Constant using the luminosity of HII galaxies.
This paper describes an incredibly variable brown dwarf. To fit this variability with models, a combination of thick clouds and clearer areas are needed. This means that there are big dusty storms that cover large fractions of 2M2139’s surface!