Recently in the Astronomy Category

No evidence of artificial signals emanating from the object so far detected by the Green Bank Telescope, but monitoring and analysis continue. Initial data are available for public inspection in the Breakthrough Listen archive.

We explore the occurrence and detectability of planet-planet occultations (PPOs) in exoplanet systems. These are events during which a planet occults the disk of another planet in the same system, imparting a small photometric signal as its thermal or reflected light is blocked.

Characterization of Exoplanet-Host Stars

Precise and, if possible, accurate characterization of exoplanets cannot be dissociated from the characterization of their host stars.

The detection of Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zone of their stars, and their spectroscopic characterization in a search for biosignatures, requires starlight suppression that exceeds the current best ground-based performance by orders of magnitude.

The scientific interest in directly image and identifying Earth-like planets within the Habitable Zone (HZ) around nearby stars is driving the design of specialized direct imaging mission such as ACESAT, EXO-C, EXO-S and AFTA-C.

High-precision astrometry at the sub-microarcsecond level opens up a window to study Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars, and to determine their masses.

The National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory and the Planetary Habitability Laboratory of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo joined the Red Dots project in the search for new planets around our nearest stars.

Recently, astronomers announced the discovery that a star called TRAPPIST-1 is orbited by seven Earth-size planets. Three of the planets reside in the "habitable zone," the region around a star where liquid water is most likely to exist on the surface of a rocky planet.

Current observations of the atmospheres of close-in exoplanets are predominantly obtained with two techniques: low-resolution spectroscopy with space telescopes and high-resolution spectroscopy from the ground.

Insufficient instrument thermo-mechanical stability is one of the many roadblocks for achieving 10cm/s Doppler radial velocity (RV) precision, the precision needed to detect Earth-twins orbiting Solar-type stars.