The recent discoveries of terrestrial exoplanets and super Earths extending over a broad range of orbital and physical parameters suggests that these planets will span a wide range of climatic regimes.
The core accretion theory for giant planet formation predicts enrichment of elemental abundances in planetary envelopes caused by runaway accretion of planetesimals, which is consistent with measured super-solar abundances of C, N, P, S, Xe, and Ar in Jupiter's atmosphere.
Biosignatures & Paleobiology
Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life.
One of the primary goals of exoplanet science is to find and characterize habitable planets, and direct imaging will play a key role in this effort.
New research published today in the journal Astrobiology shows the vital role of oceans in moderating climate on Earth-like planets.
We present the results of our Hubble Space Telescope program and describe how our image analysis methods were used to re-evaluate the habitability of some of the most interesting Kepler planet candidates.
Here we discuss one of the current reservoirs of water on Mars, the regolith and rocks exposed at the surface.
The M dwarf Gliese 581 is believed to host four planets, including one (GJ 581d) near the habitable zone that could possibly support liquid water on its surface if it is a rocky planet.
NASA has issued an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for proposals about science instruments that could be carried aboard a future mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. Selected instruments could address fundamental questions about the icy moon and the search for life beyond Earth.
We quantify the effects of refraction in transit transmission spectroscopy on spectral absorption features and on temporal variations that could be used to obtain altitude-dependent spectra for planets orbiting stars of different stellar types.
We report near-infrared spectroscopy of the gas giant planet HD 189733b in transit. We used the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (HST WFC3) with its G141 grism covering 1.1 um to 1.7 um and spatially scanned the image across the detector at 2\arcsecs−1.
Recent Status Reports