There does not seem to be enough mass in protoplanetary disks to build the planetary systems we’ve detected. The solution: planet formation might start sooner than previously thought.
Asteroids and volcanoes are familiar harbingers of global doom. But what about Gamma Ray Bursts? Is another doomsday lurking?
The authors break in the new Gemini Planet Imager with spectroscopy of the well-studied but not yet well-explained exoplanets HR 8799 c and d.
Herschel provides an updated look at the debris disk in the popular planetary system, Tau Ceti.
Of all the kinds of planets we’re finding around other stars—hot Jupiters and mini-Neptunes and those dubiously called “Earth-like”—super-Earths orbiting close to their stars are among the most abundant. While planets so close to their stars are poor candidates for habitability, they are important to understanding the possibility of other habitable planets in these seemingly common systems.
Planet-planet scattering can either be a good thing or a bad thing for the planetesimals caught in the crossfire. Like many things in life, the key is moderation. The authors of this paper try to figure out how many exoplanet systems with eccentric planets are likely to still have their debris disks after experiencing a planet-planet scattering event.
Artist’s impressions of exoplanets are often wrong!
Astronomers hope to get lucky and discover the first evidence of plate tectonics on a planet besides Earth: remnants of continental crust in the rocky material that pollutes some white dwarfs.
There are nine Earth-like planets detectable in the Kepler data set… better get searching!
Today’s paper proposes a detection method for technologically advanced life that goes beyond the usual SETI signals: looking at exoplanet atmospheres not just for the presence of life in general, but for the chemical signatures of intelligent life.