Also in News Cartaiko Climate Comparative Planetology exoplanets Kepler-186f Kepler-62f Seasons 

More Clues That Earth-Like Exoplanets Are Indeed Earth-Like

Artist’s depiction of Kepler-62f. Image credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle Kepler-186f is the first identified Earth-sized planet outside the solar system orbiting a star in the habitable zone. This means it’s the proper distance from its host star for liquid water to pool on the surface. The Georgia Tech study used simulations to analyze and identify the exoplanet’s spin axis dynamics. Those dynamics determine how much a planet tilts on its axis and how that tilt angle evolves over time. Axial tilt contributes to seasons and climate because it affects how…

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Also in News Cartaiko Comparative Planetology exoplanet atmosphere exoplanets WASP-12b 

Where Medical Technology and Astrophysics Meet

Artist’s concept of the exoplanet WASP-12b.Credit: NASA/ESA/G. Bacon At the University of Bern, astrophysicists of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) teamed up with medical technology researchers to develop a new method to analyse spectra of atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system. The unusual collaboration applied an artificial intelligence tool to study the chemistry of exoplanetary atmospheres. “The way Raphael Sznitman and his team look at images is very similar to the way astronomers are analysing images and we even speak roughly the same technical language,” Kevin Heng…

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Also in News Cartaiko Comparative Planetology exoplanets VLT 

Hunting molecules to find new planets

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Credit: G. Hüdepohl/ESO Each exoplanet revolves around a star, like the Earth around the Sun. This is why it is generally impossible to obtain images of an exoplanet, so dazzling is the light of its star. However, a team of astronomers, led by a researcher from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and member of NCCR PlanetS, had the idea of detecting certain molecules that are present in  the planet’s atmosphere  in order to make it visible, provided that these same molecules are absent…

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Also in News Cartaiko Comparative Planetology exoplanets hot Saturn WASP-96b 

Astronomers find exoplanet atmosphere free of clouds

This is an artist rendition of ‘hot Saturn’ WASP-96b. A distant observer would see WASP-96b blueish in color, because sodium would absorb the yellow-orange light from the planet’s full spectrum. Credit: Engine House Scientists have detected an exoplanet atmosphere that is free of clouds, marking a pivotal breakthrough in the quest for greater understanding of the planets beyond our solar system. An international team of astronomers, led by Dr Nikolay Nikolov from the University of Exeter, have found that the atmosphere of the ‘hot Saturn’ WASP-96b is cloud-free. Using Europe’s…

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Also in News Cartaiko Comparative Planetology exoplanets Helium Hubble Space WASP-107b 

Hubble detects helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time

The exoplanet WASP-107b is a gas giant, orbiting a highly active K-type main sequence star. Image credit: NASA, ESA Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have detected helium in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-107b. This is the first time this element has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside the Solar System. The discovery demonstrates the ability to use infrared spectra to study exoplanet extended atmospheres. The international team of astronomers, led by Jessica Spake, a PhD student at the University of Exeter in the UK,…

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Also in News Cartaiko Comparative Planetology exoplanet atmosphere exoplanets james webb space telescope Sarah Hörst 

JHU Performs First Lab Simulation of Exoplanet Atmospheric Chemistry

Lead author Sarah Hörst, right, and assistant research scientist Chao He examine samples of simulated atmospheres in a dry nitrogen glove box, where they are stored to avoid contamination from Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: Will Kirk/JHU) Scientists have conducted the first lab experiments on haze formation in simulated exoplanet atmospheres, an important step for understanding upcoming observations of planets outside the solar system with the James Webb Space Telescope. The simulations are necessary to establish models of the atmospheres of far-distant worlds, models that can be used to look for signs…

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Also in News Cartaiko Comparative Planetology exoplanets hot Saturn planet formation WASP-39b 

NASA Finds a Large Amount of Water in an Exoplanet’s Atmosphere

Using Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, scientists studied the “hot Saturn” called WASP-39b – a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass exoplanet located about 700 light-years from Earth. Credits: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon and A. Feild (STScI), and H. Wakeford (STScI/Univ. of Exeter) Much like detectives who study fingerprints to identify the culprit, scientists used NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to find the “fingerprints” of water in the atmosphere of a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass exoplanet some 700 light-years away. And, they found a lot of water. In fact, the planet, known as…

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ALMA Also in News Cartaiko Comparative Planetology Proxima Centauri red dwarfs space weather Stellar Flares 

Powerful flare from star Proxima Centauri detected with ALMA

Artist impression of a red dwarf star like Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our sun. New analysis of ALMA observations reveal that Proxima Centauri emitted a powerful flare that would have created inhospitable conditions for planets in that system. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; D. Berry Space weather emitted by Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our sun, may make that system rather inhospitable to life after all. Using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a team of astronomers discovered that a powerful stellar flare erupted from Proxima Centauri last…

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Also in News Cartaiko Comparative Planetology exoplanets GJ 9827 Kepler Space Telescope super-earth 

Are you rocky or are you gassy? Astronomers help unlock the mysteries of super-Earths

An artist’s impression of a stellar system with three super-Earths. Courtesy of ESO. A star about 100 light years away in the Pisces constellation, GJ 9827, hosts what may be one of the most massive and dense super-Earth planets detected to date according to new research led by Carnegie’s Johanna Teske. This new information provides evidence to help astronomers better understand the process by which such planets form. The GJ 9827 star actually hosts a trio of planets, discovered by NASA’s exoplanet-hunting Kepler/K2 mission, and all three are slightly larger…

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Also in News Cartaiko Comparative Planetology exoplanets TRAPPIST-1 

New Clues to Compositions of TRAPPIST-1 Planets

This illustration shows the seven Earth-size planets of TRAPPIST-1. The image does not show the planets’ orbits to scale, but highlights possibilities for how the surfaces of these intriguing worlds might look. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech The seven Earth-size planets of TRAPPIST-1 are all mostly made of rock, with some having the potential to hold more water than Earth, according to a new study published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. The planets’ densities, now known much more precisely than before, suggest that some planets could have up to 5 percent…

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