The International Astronomical Union wants you to name a planet! While you ponder what to submit as a planet name, read on to learn the history and politics that led to this exciting opportunity.
One of the major questions among astronomers who study planets around other stars is, “What kinds of atmospheres do exoplanets have?” This question is extremely challenging to answer empirically: not only are most exoplanets too faint and close to their stars for us to see directly (see this post for an exception), but their atmospheres (especially on small, potentially rocky planets) are only a tiny fraction of the planet’s total composition.
Although the reaction wheel failure incapacitates the telescope, we are still finding new Earth-sized planets in the plethora of existing data.
What is it like inside the airplane observatory?
Title: A Paucity of Proto-Hot Jupiters on Super-Eccentric Orbits Authors: Rebekah I. Dawson, Ruth A. Murray-Clay, John Asher Johnson First Author’s Institution: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Note: This post is based in part on a talk by Rebekah Dawson at the UC Berkeley Planet and Star Formation Seminar on Nov. 7, 2012. Introduction How do planets […]
In the sun, subsurface flows are 20-100 times slower than what is predicted in widely used theoretical models.
What if type Ia supernova are not all made the same way? For the first time, a study links type Ia supernova explosions to their parent systems, uncovering evidence for two different ways to produce these purportedly “standard” explosions.
Kepler mission extended to 2016.
Of Kepler’s 2,321 planet candidates, many are in the “habitable zone.”