Results tagged “exoplanets”

Understanding a planet's atmosphere is a necessary condition for understanding not only the planet itself, but also its formation, structure, evolution, and habitability.

Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, as in the Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population.

The ongoing searches for exoplanetary systems have revealed a wealth of planets with diverse physical properties. Planets even smaller than the Earth have already been detected, and the efforts of future missions are placed on the discovery, and perhaps characterization, of small rocky exoplanets within the habitable zone of their stars.

We present the results of a search for potential transit signals in four years of photometry data acquired by the Kepler Mission. The targets of the search include 111,800 stars which were observed for the entire interval and 85,522 stars which were observed for a subset of the interval.

We use moderate-resolution spectra of nearby late K and M dwarf stars with parallaxes and interferometrically determined radii to refine their effective temperatures, luminosities, and metallicities.

A large fraction of white dwarfs (WDs) may host planets in their habitable zones. These planets may provide our best chance to detect bio-markers on a transiting exoplanet, thanks to the diminished contrast ratio between the Earth-sized WD and its Earth-sized planets.

Observations of the Earth as a planet using the earthshine technique (i.e. looking at the light reflected from the darkside of the Moon), have been used for climate and astrobiology studies.

Astrometry is a powerful technique to study the populations of extrasolar planets around nearby stars. It gives access to a unique parameter space and is therefore required for obtaining a comprehensive picture of the properties, abundances, and architectures of exoplanetary systems.

For much of human history we have wondered how our solar system formed, and whether there are any other planets like ours around other stars. Only in the last 20 years have we had direct evidence for the existence of exoplanets, with the number of known exoplanets dramatically increasing in recent years, especially with the success of the Kepler mission.

Of the many recently discovered worlds orbiting distant stars, very little is yet known of their chemical composition. With the arrival of new transit spectroscopy and direct imaging facilities, the question of molecular detectability as a function of signal-to-noise (SNR), spectral resolving power and type of planets has become critical.

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