Results tagged “extrasolar”

The dissipation of the tidal energy deposited on eccentric planets may induce a heating of the planet that affects its atmospheric thermal structure.

We review the state of the field of terrestrial planet formation with the goal of understanding the formation of the inner Solar System and low-mass exoplanets.

Cosmic rays may be linked to the formation of volatiles necessary for prebiotic chemistry.

We present narrow-band photometric measurements of the exoplanet GJ 1214b using the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) and the OSIRIS instrument.

The biosignatures of life on Earth do not remain static, but change considerably over the planet's habitable lifetime.

You may have thought that NASA's Kepler spacecraft was finished. Well, think again. A repurposed Kepler Space telescope may soon start searching the sky again.

Charged dust grains in the atmospheres of exoplanets may play a key role in the formation of prebiotic molecules, necessary to the origin of life. Dust grains submerged in an atmospheric plasma become negatively charged and attract a flux of ions that are accelerated from the plasma.

Researchers from Bern have developed a method to simplify the search for Earth-like planets: By using new theoretical models they rule out the possibility of Earth-like conditions, and therefore life, on certain planets outside our solar system -- and limit their search by doing so.

Possible Climates on Terrestrial Exoplanets

What kind of environment may exist on terrestrial planets around other stars? In spite of the lack of direct observations, it may not be premature to speculate on exoplanetary climates, for instance to optimize future telescopic observations, or to assess the probability of habitable worlds.

On the Radius of Habitable Planets

The conditions that a planet must fulfill to be habitable are not precisely known. However, it is comparatively easier to define conditions under which a planet is very likely not habitable.

Planet Packing in Circumbinary Systems

The recent discovery of planets orbiting main sequence binaries will provide crucial constraints for theories of binary and planet formation.

The Kepler space telescope has detected transits of objects as small as the Earth's Moon, and moons as small as 0.2 Earth masses can be detected in the Kepler data by transit timing and transit duration variations of their host planets.

This shows the relative sizes of the orbits and planets in the multi-transiting planetary systems discovered by Kepler up to Nov. 2013. The colors simply go by order from the star (the most colorful is the 7-planet system KOI-351). The terrestrial planets of the Solar System are shown in gray.

NASA's Kepler spacecraft, now crippled and its four-year mission at an end, nevertheless provided enough data to complete its mission objective: to determine how many of the 100 billion stars in our galaxy have potentially habitable planets.

Astronomers have discovered the first Earth-sized planet outside the solar system that has a rocky composition like that of Earth. Kepler-78b whizzes around its host star every 8.5 hours, making it a blazing inferno and not suitable for life as we know it. The results are published in two papers in the journal Nature.

Carbon Worlds May be Waterless

Planets rich in carbon, including so-called diamond planets, may lack oceans, according to NASA-funded theoretical research.

The existence of water in extrasolar planetary systems is of great interest as it constrains the potential for habitable planets and life. Here, we report the identification of a circumstellar disk that resulted from the destruction of a water-rich and rocky, extrasolar minor planet.

Previous attempts to describe circumbinary habitable zones have been concerned with the spatial extent of the zone, calculated analytically according to the combined radiation field of both stars.

We used Keck adaptive optics observations to identify the first planet discovered by microlensing to lie in or near the habitable zone.

Astronomers have found the shattered remains of an asteroid that contained huge amounts of water orbiting an exhausted star, or white dwarf. This suggests that the star GD 61 and its planetary system - located about 150 light years away and at the end of its life - had the potential to contain Earth-like exoplanets.

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