This tag is associated with 172 posts

Herschel’s View of a Neighboring Planetary System

Herschel provides an updated look at the debris disk in the popular planetary system, Tau Ceti.

Migrating Super-Earths vs. Terrestrial Planets

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.

How to destroy a debris disk

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.

Most 1.6 Earth-radius planets are not rocky

Artist’s impressions of exoplanets are often wrong!

Searching for Signs of Plate Tectonics in Polluted White Dwarfs

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.

Nine Earth-like planets

There are nine Earth-like planets detectable in the Kepler data set… better get searching!

Searching for Life via Exoplanet Smog

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.

Kepler-10c: A Huge Rocky Exoplanet

According to planet formation theory, gas giants are more massive than rocky, terrestrial planets. But Kepler-10c is the size of Neptune, and denser than the Earth! Read on to find out more about the discovery of a new class of planets.

A super-precise super-Earth: measuring a planet’s radius to within 120 km

Kepler-93b is a super-Earth with a radius of 1.481 Earth radii, plus or minus Long Island.

Titan’s Cameo as an Exoplanet

This paper uses Cassini’s infrared eyes to watch the Sun appear to pass behind Titan and light up its atmosphere. From these observations, the authors model different components of the thick atmosphere, and gain new insights about how exoplanets with similar hazy atmospheres might look.

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