Extrasolar Planets


Fluctuating Orbital Tilt Does Not Preclude Possibility of Life

Fluctuating Orbital Tilt Does Not Preclude Possibility of Life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, sometimes it helps.


Exoplanet Education Guide

Exoplanet Education Guide

The discovery and characterization of exoplanets is one of the most exciting and fast-changing areas in modern astronomical research.


Atmospheric Pressure on Exoplanets

Atmospheric Pressure on Exoplanets

NAI-funded astrobiologists at the University of Washington have developed a new method of gauging the atmospheric pressure of exoplanets, or worlds beyond the solar system, by looking for a certain type of molecule.


Chemical Abundances of Stars With Brown Dwarf Companions

Chemical Abundances of Stars With Brown Dwarf Companions

It is well-known that stars with giant planets are on average more metal-rich than stars without giant planets, whereas stars with detected low-mass planets do not need to be metal-rich.


The Orbit of the Young Exoplanet beta Pictoris b

The Orbit of the Young Exoplanet beta Pictoris b

We present new astrometry for the young (12-21 Myr) exoplanet beta Pictoris b taken with the Gemini/NICI, Magellan/MagAO+Clio2, and Magellan/MagAO+VisAO instruments between 2009 and 2012.


Aerosol Particles and Planetary Cloud Formation

Aerosol Particles and Planetary Cloud Formation

Scientists recently discovered the source of naturally occurring aerosol particles in Earth's atmosphere that play an important role in cloud formation.


Cosmological Aspects of Planetary Habitability

Cosmological Aspects of Planetary Habitability

The habitable zone (HZ) is defined as the region around a star where a planet can support liquid water on its surface, which, together with an oxygen atmosphere, is presumed to be necessary (and sufficient) to develop and sustain life on the planet.


Water Clouds in Y Dwarfs and Exoplanets

Water Clouds in Y Dwarfs and Exoplanets

The formation of clouds affects brown dwarf and planetary atmospheres of nearly all effective temperatures.


The Gemini Planet Imager: First Light

The Gemini Planet Imager: First Light

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets.


Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory.


Super-Habitable Worlds

Super-Habitable Worlds

Earth is the only known example of an inhabited planet in the universe, so the search for alien life has focused on Earth-like worlds.


Volatile Planetary Evolution and the Possibility of Life

Volatile Planetary Evolution and the Possibility of Life Video in Story

In another step forward in the search for habitable planets, a team of researchers based out of the US and Chile announced that they have located a large swarm of comets and gas moving in a cloud around a nearby star.


Don't Forget F-type Stars in Search for Life

Don't Forget F-type Stars in Search for Life

Scientists searching for habitable planets beyond Earth shouldn't overlook F-type stars in favor of their more abundant, smaller and cooler cousins, according to new research from University of Texas at Arlington physicists.


Hubble Near-IR Transmission Spectroscopy of the Super-Earth HD 9765

Hubble Near-IR Transmission Spectroscopy of the Super-Earth HD 9765

Recent results from the Kepler mission indicate that super-Earths (planets with masses between 1-10 times that of the Earth) are the most common kind of planet around nearby Sun-like stars.


Dynamical Study on Habitability of Terrestrial Exoplanets: Super Earth HD 40307g

Dynamical Study on Habitability of Terrestrial Exoplanets: Super Earth HD 40307g

HARPS and it Kepler results indicate that half of solar-type stars host planets with periods P<100 d and masses M < 30 M_E.


Detecting extrasolar moons akin to Solar System satellites with an Orbital Sampling Effect

Detecting extrasolar moons akin to Solar System satellites with an Orbital Sampling Effect

Despite years of high accuracy observations, none of the available theoretical techniques has yet allowed the confirmation of a moon beyond the Solar System.


The Habitability of Exomoons

The Habitability of Exomoons

When we think of where else life might exist in the universe, we tend to focus on planets. But on a grander cosmic scale, moons could prove the more common life-friendly abode.


NRL Researchers Detect Water Around a Hot Jupiter

NRL Researchers Detect Water Around a Hot Jupiter

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are part of a research team that has detected water vapor in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system.


Effect of Planets Beyond the Ice Line on the Accretion of Volatiles by Habitable-Zone Rocky Planets

Effect of Planets Beyond the Ice Line on the Accretion of Volatiles by Habitable-Zone Rocky Planets

Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses and orbits of terrestrial planets that form.


Search For Earth-mass Planets In The Habitable Zone Of Alpha Centauri

Search For Earth-mass Planets In The Habitable Zone Of Alpha Centauri

The "holy grail" in planet hunting is the detection of an Earth-analog: a planet with similar mass as the Earth and an orbit inside the habitable zone.



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