Extrasolar Planets


Debris Disk of Solar Analogue Tau Ceti

Debris Disk of Solar Analogue Tau Ceti

Tau Ceti is a nearby, mature G-type star very similar to our Sun, with a massive Kuiper Belt analogue (Greaves et al. 2004) and possible multiplanet system (Tuomi et al. 2013) that has been compared to our Solar System.


Using Radio Waves to Detect Exomoons

Using Radio Waves to Detect Exomoons

Scientists hunting for life beyond Earth have discovered more than 1,800 planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, in recent years, but so far, no one has been able to confirm an exomoon.


Terrestrial Planet Formation in the Presence of Migrating Super-earths

Terrestrial Planet Formation in the Presence of Migrating Super-earths

Super-Earths with orbital periods less than 100 days are extremely abundant around Sun-like stars. It is unlikely that these planets formed at their current locations.


Characterizing the Parents: Exoplanets Around Cool Stars

Characterizing the Parents: Exoplanets Around Cool Stars

The large majority of stars in the Milky Way are late-type dwarfs, and the frequency of low-mass exoplanets in orbits around these late-type dwarfs appears to be high.


Companion Planets can Increase Old Worlds' Chance at Life

Companion Planets can Increase Old Worlds' Chance at Life

Having a companion in old age is good for people -- and, it turns out, might extend the chance for life on certain Earth-sized planets in the cosmos as well.


Astrophysical Conditions for Planetary Habitability

Astrophysical Conditions for Planetary Habitability

With the discovery of hundreds of exoplanets and a potentially huge number of Earth-like planets waiting to be discovered, the conditions for their habitability have become a focal point in exoplanetary research.


The Formation of the Kepler-10 Planetary System

The Formation of the Kepler-10 Planetary System

In this paper, we investigate the conditions required for the 3 and 17 Earth mass solid planets in the Kepler-10 system to have formed through collisions and mergers within an initial population of embryos.


Probing the Terrestrial Regions of Planetary Systems: Warm Debris Disks with Emission Features

Probing the Terrestrial Regions of Planetary Systems: Warm Debris Disks with Emission Features

Observations of debris disks allow for the study of planetary systems, even where planets have not been detected.


Searching for Earth-mass planets around α Centauri

Searching for Earth-mass planets around α Centauri

This work is part of an ongoing project which aims to detect terrestrial planets in our neighbouring star system α Centauri using the Doppler method.


Astronomers come up dry in search for water on exoplanets

Astronomers come up dry in search for water on exoplanets

A team of astronomers has made the most precise measurements yet of water vapour in the atmospheres of Jupiter-like planets beyond our Solar System and found them to be much drier worlds than expected.


Atmospheric dynamics of terrestrial exoplanets over a wide range of orbital and atmospheric parameters

Atmospheric dynamics of terrestrial exoplanets over a wide range of orbital and atmospheric parameters

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.


Direct Imaging of Exoplanets in the Habitable Zone with Adaptive Optics

Direct Imaging of Exoplanets in the Habitable Zone with Adaptive Optics

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.


Revision of Earth-sized Kepler Planet Candidate Properties with High Resolution Imaging by Hubble Space Telescope

Revision of Earth-sized Kepler Planet Candidate Properties with High Resolution Imaging by Hubble Space Telescope

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.


Stellar Activity Masquerading as Planets in the Habitable Zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581

Stellar Activity Masquerading as Planets in the Habitable Zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581

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.


Effects of Refraction on Transit Transmission Spectroscopy: Application to Earth-like Exoplanets

Effects of Refraction on Transit Transmission Spectroscopy: Application to Earth-like Exoplanets

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.


Water Vapor in the Spectrum of the Extrasolar Planet HD 189733b

Water Vapor in the Spectrum of the Extrasolar Planet HD 189733b

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.


Friction from Tides Could Make Extrasolar Planets Habitable

Friction from Tides Could Make Extrasolar Planets Habitable

As anybody who has started a campfire by rubbing sticks knows, friction generates heat. Now, computer modeling by NASA scientists shows that friction could be the key to survival for some distant Earth-sized planets traveling in dangerous orbits.


Hubble High Resolution Imaging of Kepler Small and Cool Exoplanet Host Stars

Hubble High Resolution Imaging of Kepler Small and Cool Exoplanet Host Stars

High resolution imaging is an important tool for follow-up study of exoplanet candidates found via transit detection with the Kepler Mission. We discuss here HST imaging with the WFC3 of 23 stars that host particularly interesting Kepler planet candidates based on their small size and cool equilibrium temperature estimates.


Detection of Earth-mass Planets Around Active Stars: The Mass of Kepler-78b

Detection of Earth-mass Planets Around Active Stars: The Mass of Kepler-78b

Kepler-78b is a transiting Earth-mass planet in an 8.5 hr orbit discovered by the Kepler Space Mission. We performed an analysis of the published radial velocity measurements for Kepler-78 in order to derive a refined measurement for the planet mass.


Newly Spotted Frozen World Orbits in a Binary Star System

Newly Spotted Frozen World Orbits in a Binary Star System

A newly discovered planet in a binary star system located 3,000 light-years from Earth is expanding astronomers' notions of where Earth-like--and even potentially habitable--planets can form, and how to find them.



Top stories from August.