The Kepler Space Telescope gets a promising second chance with a new mission called “K2″.
Planets orbiting close to type-M dwarf stars are in the habitable zone, but if their orbits are in a 3:2 spin resonance, do their long, strange days and nights have a chance of supporting photosynthetic life?
Tune in now for the first extrasolar weather map of a nearby brown dwarf, made using Doppler imaging.
Close encounters with a passing star can excite a planet into an eccentric or inclined orbit. But a circumstellar disk can damp a planet’s eccentricity and inclination. Who wins? Find out when the authors of this paper model a stellar flyby with two circumstellar disks!
A simple and elegant (but hard) alternative method for measuring exoplanet masses.
This month’s undergraduate research post features an intriguingly-shaped disk harboring planets, and a study to unmask sneaky, previously-misclassified AGN.
For planets too old for plate tectonics, a companion planet could drive tidal heating to keep conditions primed for life.
New dynamical simulations show that close-in planets on eccentric orbits can arise from planet-planet scattering — but only if the scattering occurs on larger orbits and is followed by inward migration.
Title: Superhabitable Worlds Authors: René Heller and John Armstrong First Author’s Institution: McMaster University Status: Published in Astrobiology Note: This journal article covers two topics that we thought each deserved its own astrobite. Yesterday’s astrobite discussed the first half of the paper, about the effects of tidal heating on habitability. Today’s astrobite explores the concept […]
Today’s paper is too awesome to be contained in merely one astrobite, so we’ve split it into two parts. In Part 1, find out how you can keep warm even if you’re far outside your star’s habitable zone (if “you” are a planet or moon, that is). Tune in tomorrow for Part 2: Superhabitability and You!