Sample records for extra solar planets

  1. Search for extra-solar planets (United States)

    Skuljan, J.


    A number of different observational techniques are used today for the detection of planets beyond our solar system. Most of them are indirect methods, based on dynamical or photometric effects induced by the planet and measured on the parent star. The most successful technique so far has been the Doppler (radial-velocity) method, based on precise measurements of small variations in the radial velocity of the parent star. About one hundred extra-solar planets have been discovered by this technique. Other methods are based on astrometric measurements, direct imaging, photometry, interferometry and gravitational microlensing. Some of these techniques are already able to produce positive results, but many of them are future projects needing more advanced instrumentation. In this paper the most important techniques for extra-solar planet detection will be reviewed and their results summarized. In the second part, two different projects carried out at Mt John University Observatory, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand will be presented, both involved in planet hunting. One is the HERCULES radial-velocity programme and the other is the MOA microlensing project.

  2. Direct imaging of extra-solar planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olivier, S.S.; Max, V.E.; Brase, J.M.; Caffano, C.J.; Gavel, D.T.; Macintosh, B.A.


    Direct imaging of extra-solar planets may be possible with the new generation of large ground-based telescopes equipped with state- of- the-art adaptive optics (AO) systems to compensate for the blurring effect of the Earth`s atmosphere. The first of these systems is scheduled to begin operation in 1998 on the 10 in Keck II telescope. In this paper, general formulas for high-contrast imaging with AO systems are presented and used to calculate the sensitivity of the Keck AO system. The results of these calculations show that the Keck AO system should achieve the sensitivity necessary to detect giant planets around several nearby bright stars.

  3. From urban air pollution to extra-solar planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boutron, C.F. (ed.)


    Urban air pollution, the history of the Earth's atmosphere, comets and extra-solar planets are some of the subjects of interest for a wide range of readers which are treated in this new volume of the ERCA book series. Particular emphasis is placed on urban and indoor air pollution, radiative transfer processes, the physics of clouds, the role of the oceans in the climate system, the history of the Earth's atmosphere, the carbon and heavy metals global cycles, lidar techniques for atmospheric studies, the physics of the high atmosphere, comets and Kuiper belt objects, extra-solar planets and the chemistry of the interstellar medium. Contents: 1. Photo-oxidants in the urban environment, 2. Optical techniques for air pollution monitoring, 3. Indoor pollution, 4. Health effects and air pollution, 5. Individual exposure to air pollutants and its relevance to evaluate human health risk, 6. Introduction to radiation transfer modeling in geophysical media, 7. Aerosols, gases and micro-physics of clouds, 8. The ocean in the climate system, 9. From Daisyworld to GCMs: using models to understand the regulation of climate, 10. History or earth atmosphere over geological times, 11. The global carbon cycle, 12. Global atmospheric metal pollution, 13. Speciation analysis of organo-lead compounds in archives of atmospheric pollution, 14. Monitoring the middle atmosphere at OHP using remote sensing techniques, 15. Contribution of lidar measurements to the study of the middle atmospheric dynamics, 16. Atmospheric tides in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere of the earth, 17. Kinetic/fluid approaches coupling: application to the dynamics of the high latitude ionosphere, 18. An introduction to magnetospheric physics, 19. Comets and Kuiper belt objects: planet formation unveiled, 20. Climate and habitability of terrestrial planets around other stars, 21. Spectroscopic probes of interstellar clouds.

  4. Characterization of extra-solar planets with direct-imaging techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tinetti, G.; Cash, W.; Glassman, T.; Keller, C.U.; Oakley, P.; Snik, F.; Stam, D.; Turnbull, M.


    In order to characterize the physical properties of an extra-solar planet one needs to detect planetary radiation, either visible (VIS) to near-infrared (NIR) reflected starlight or infrared (IR) thermal radiation. Both the reflected and thermal flux depend on the size of the planet, the distance

  5. Interaction of extra solar planets with their host star (United States)

    Silva, Douglas; Valio, Adriana


    Transit is the passage of the planet in front of its star. During one of these transits, the planet may occult a spot on the photosphere of the star, causing small variations in its light curve. By detecting the same spot in a later transit, it is possible to estimate the stellar rotation period. The comparison between the rotation period of star at the equator and the planets orbital period showed the existence of resonances between these periods. Two types of mechanisms are proposed in the literature: electromagnetic interaction between the stellar and planetary fields and gravitational interaction. Our results have shown that for planets CoRoT-2b, CoRoT-5b and CoRoT-8b, tidal effects seem to dominate, whereas for planets CoRoT-4b and CoRoT-6b electromagnetic interaction dominates over tidal effects. A distinct characteristic of these last two systems is that the orbital period is larger than the rotation period of the star.

  6. The Darwin mission: Search for extra-solar planets (United States)

    Kaltenegger, L.; Fridlund, M.

    The direct detection of an Earth-like planet close to its parent star is challenging because the signal detected from the parent star is between 10 9 and 10 6 times brighter than the signal of a planet in the visual and IR respectively. Future space based missions like Darwin and TPF-I concentrate on the mid-IR region between 6 and 20 μm, a region that contains the CO 2, H 2O, O 3 spectral features of biomarkers in Earth's atmosphere. The InfraRed Space Interferometer Darwin is an integral part of ESAs Cosmic Vision 2020 plan, intended for a launch towards the middle of the next decade. It has been the subject of a feasibility study and is now undergoing technological development. It is focused on the search for, and characterization of Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. A secondary objective is to carry out imaging of astrophysical objects with unprecedented spatial resolution. The implementation is based on the new technique of 'nulling interferometry'. New designs have been developed that will be implemented on four spacecrafts and search for planets around a minimum of 165 stars within the mission lifetime.

  7. Hydrogen Fluoride: an unexpected calalyst in the search for extra-solar planets (United States)

    Walker, Gordon A.


    In the 1970s we developed low light level digital TV systems at UBC for the DAO 1.2-m telescope coudé spectrograph. John Glaspey eliminated reading-beam jitter using telluric water vapor lines as fiducials. Later, when we switched to solid state diode arrays, I suggested to Bruce Campbell that we could look for extra-solar planets using telluric lines to eliminate RV errors induced by irregular slit illumination. He went a step further by introducing a deployable absorption cell of hot HF gas. In December 1978 he and I demonstrated that an RV precision ~10 m/s was possible from observations of the Sun! Sufficient precision to detect the reflex acceleration of a solar-type star accompanied by a Jupiter. Bruce moved to CFHT in 1979 where the coudé spectrograph was a replica of that at DAO. He built an HF cell and gas handling system and we were granted some 6 to 8 nights per year. Modeling the line spread function proved critical in the reductions while, at the telescope, isolation of the telescope exit pupil and estimation of the epoch of the weighted mean exposure time were key. The program lasted some 12 years with, initially, little to show by way of results other than demonstrating the technique worked and so it attracted little interest but ample skepticism.

  8. The Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST): A Search for Terrestrial Extra-solar Planets via Gravitational Microlensing (United States)

    Bennett, D. P.; Clampin, M.; Cook, K. H.; Drake, A.; Gould, A.; Horne, K.; Horner, S.; Jewitt, D.; Langston, G.; Lauer, T.; Lumsdaine, A.; Minniti, D.; Peale, S.; Rhie, S. H.; Shao, M.; Stevenson, R.; Tenerelli, D.; Tytler, D.; Woolf, N.


    GEST is a comprehensive extra-solar planet search mission sensitive to planets with masses as low as that of Mars. GEST will monitor the Galactic bulge for 8 months per year for three years to detect planets via gravitational microlensing and transits. GEST's microlensing survey will detect low-mass planets at separations of > 0.6 AU via high signal-to-noise variations of gravitational microlensing light curves. These planetary signals do not require follow-up observations to confirm the planetary interpretation, and they yield direct measurements of the star:planet mass ratio. GEST will be able to detect 100 Earth-mass planets at 1 AU (assuming 1 such planet per star) and will detect its first Earth-mass planets within a few months of launch. The GEST microlensing survey is the only proposed planet search program sensitive to old, free-floating planets. GEST's transit survey will search ~ 108 Galactic bulge stars for giant planets at separations of GEST will survey ~ 1200 square degrees for Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and operate a Participating Scienctist Program (PSP) with observational programs selected via competitive proposals. The KBO survey should discover 100,000 new KBOs.

  9. The Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST): A Search for Extra-Solar Planets via Gravitational Microlensing and Transits (United States)

    Rhie, S. H.; Bennett, D. P.; Clampin, M.; Cook, K. H.; Drake, A. J.; Gould, A.; Horne, K.; Horner, S. D.; Jewitt, D. C.; Langston, G. I.; Lauer, T. R.; Lumsdaine, A.; Minniti, D.; Peale, S. J.; Shao, M.; Stevenson, R. L.; Tenerelli, D.; Tytler, D.; Woolf, N. J.


    GEST is a comprehensive extra-solar planet search mission sensitive to planets with masses as low as that of Mars. GEST will monitor the Galactic bulge for 8 months per year for three years to detect planets via gravitational microlensing and transits. GEST's microlensing survey will detect low-mass planets via high signal-to-noise variations of gravitational microlensing light curves. These planetary signals do not require follow-up observations to confirm the planetary interpretation, and they yield direct measurements of the star:planet mass ratio. GEST will be able to detect ~ 100 Earth-mass planets at 1 AU (assuming ~ 1 such planet per star) and will detect its first Earth-mass planets within a few months of launch. GEST's survey of the Galactic bulge will also detect ~ 50,000 planets via transits. When the Galactic bulge is not visible, GEST will do a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) survey and operate a Participating Scienctist Program (PSP) with observational programs selected via competitive proposals. It is expected that 100,000 new KBOs will be discovered. The GEST mission can be accomplished at low risk with established technology, and a GEST proposal has been submitted to the current Discovery Competition.

  10. Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST): A Proposed Space-Based Microlensing Survey for Terrestrial Extra-Solar Planets (United States)

    Bennett, D.; Rhie, S. H.

    We present a conceptual design for a space based Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST) which will use the gravitational microlensing technique to detect extra solar planets with masses as low as that of Mars at all separations >~ 1 AU. The microlensing data would be collected by a diffraction limited, wide field imaging telescope of ~ 1.5m aperture equipped with a large array of red-optimized CCD detectors. Such a system would be able to monitor $\\sim 2\\times 10^8$ stars in $\\sim 6$ square degrees of the Galactic bulge at intervals of 20-30 minutes, and it would observe $\\sim 12000$ microlensing events in three bulge seasons. If planetary systems like our own are common, GEST should be able to detect $\\sim 5000$ planets over a 2.5 year lifetime. If gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn are rare, then GEST would detect $\\sim 1300$ planets in a 2.5 year mission if we assume that most planetary systems are dominated by planets of about Neptune's' mass. Such a mission would also discover $\\sim 100$ planets of an Earth mass or smaller if such planets are common. This is a factor of $\\sim 50$ better than the most ambitious ground based programs that have been proposed. GEST will also be sensitive to planets which have been separated from their parent stars.

  11. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XL. Searching for Neptunes around metal-poor stars (United States)

    Faria, J. P.; Santos, N. C.; Figueira, P.; Mortier, A.; Dumusque, X.; Boisse, I.; Lo Curto, G.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Melo, C.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santerne, A.; Ségransan, D.; Sousa, S. G.; Sozzetti, A.; Udry, S.


    Context. As a probe of the metallicity of proto-planetary disks, stellar metallicity is an important ingredient for giant planet formation, most likely through its effect on the timescales in which rocky or icy planet cores can form. Giant planets have been found to be more frequent around metal-rich stars, in agreement with predictions based on the core-accretion theory. In the metal-poor regime, however, the frequency of planets, especially low-mass planets, and the way it depends on metallicity are still largely unknown. Aims: As part of a planet search programme focused on metal-poor stars, we study the targets from this survey that were observed with HARPS on more than 75 nights. The main goals are to assess the presence of low-mass planets and provide a first estimate of the frequency of Neptunes and super-Earths around metal-poor stars. Methods: We performed a systematic search for planetary companions, both by analysing the periodograms of the radial-velocities and by comparing, in a statistically meaningful way, models with an increasing number of Keplerians. Results: A first constraint on the frequency of planets in our metal-poor sample is calculated considering the previous detection (in our sample) of a Neptune-sized planet around HD 175607 and one candidate planet (with an orbital period of 68.42 d and minimum mass Mpsini = 11.14 ± 2.47 M⊕) for HD 87838, announced in the present study. This frequency is determined to be close to 13% and is compared with results for solar-metallicity stars. Based on observations collected at ESO facilities under programs 082.C-0212, 085.C-0063, 086.C-0284, and 190.C-0027 (with the HARPS spectrograph at the ESO 3.6-m telescope, La Silla-Paranal Observatory).

  12. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XLII. A system of Earth-mass planets around the nearby M dwarf YZ Ceti (United States)

    Astudillo-Defru, N.; Díaz, R. F.; Bonfils, X.; Almenara, J. M.; Delisle, J.-B.; Bouchy, F.; Delfosse, X.; Forveille, T.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Murgas, F.; Pepe, F.; Santos, N. C.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Wünsche, A.


    Exoplanet surveys have shown that systems with multiple low-mass planets on compact orbits are common. Except for a few cases, however, the masses of these planets are generally unknown. At the very end of the main sequence, host stars have the lowest mass and hence offer the largest reflect motion for a given planet. In this context, we monitored the low-mass (0.13 M⊙) M dwarf YZ Cet (GJ 54.1, HIP 5643) intensively and obtained radial velocities and stellar-activity indicators derived from spectroscopy and photometry, respectively. We find strong evidence that it is orbited by at least three planets in compact orbits (POrb = 1.97, 3.06, 4.66 days), with the inner two near a 2:3 mean-motion resonance. The minimum masses are comparable to the mass of Earth (M sin I = 0.75 ± 0.13, 0.98 ± 0.14, and 1.14 ± 0.17 M⊕), and they are also the lowest masses measured by radial velocity so far. We note the possibility for a fourth planet with an even lower mass of M sin I = 0.472 ± 0.096 M⊕ at POrb = 1.04 days. An n-body dynamical model is used to place further constraints on the system parameters. At 3.6 parsecs, YZ Cet is the nearest multi-planet system detected to date. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope under the program IDs 180.C-0886(A), 183.C-0437(A), and 191.C-0873(A) at Cerro La Silla (Chile).Radial velocity data (Table B.4) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

  13. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XLI. A dozen planets around the M dwarfs GJ 3138, GJ 3323, GJ 273, GJ 628, and GJ 3293 (United States)

    Astudillo-Defru, N.; Forveille, T.; Bonfils, X.; Ségransan, D.; Bouchy, F.; Delfosse, X.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Murgas, F.; Pepe, F.; Santos, N. C.; Udry, S.; Wünsche, A.


    Context. Low-mass stars are currently the best targets when searching for rocky planets in the habitable zone of their host star. Over the last 13 yr, precise radial velocities measured with the HARPS spectrograph have identified over a dozen super-Earths and Earth-mass planets (msini ≤ 10M⊕) around M dwarfs, with a well-understood selection function. This well-defined sample provides information on their frequency of occurrence and on the distribution of their orbital parameters, and therefore already constrains our understanding of planetary formation. The subset of these low-mass planets that were found within the habitable zone of their host star also provide prized targets for future searches of atmospheric biomarkers. Aims: We are working to extend this planetary sample to lower masses and longer periods through dense and long-term monitoring of the radial velocity of a small M dwarf sample. Methods: We obtained large numbers of HARPS spectra for the M dwarfs GJ 3138, GJ 3323, GJ 273, GJ 628, and GJ 3293, from which we derived radial velocities (RVs) and spectroscopic activity indicators. We searched for variabilities, periodicities, Keplerian modulations, and correlations, and attribute the radial-velocity variations to combinations of planetary companions and stellar activity. Results: We detect 12 planets, 9 of which are new with masses ranging from 1.17 to 10.5 M⊕. These planets have relatively short orbital periods (P< 40 d), except for two that have periods of 217.6 and 257.8 days. Among these systems, GJ 273 harbor two planets with masses close to the Earth's. With a distance of only 3.8 parsec, GJ 273 is the second nearest known planetary system - after Proxima Centauri - with a planet orbiting the circumstellar habitable zone. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope under the program IDs 180.C-0886(A), 183.C-0437(A), and 191.C-0873(A) at Cerro La Silla (Chile).Radial velocity data (full Tables A.1-A.5

  14. Our Solar System Features Eight Planets (United States)


    Our solar system features eight planets, seen in this artist's diagram. Although there is some debate within the science community as to whether Pluto should be classified as a Planet or a dwarf planet, the International Astronomical Union has decided on the term plutoid as a name for dwarf planets like Pluto. This representation is intentionally fanciful, as the planets are depicted far closer together than they really are. Similarly, the bodies' relative sizes are inaccurate. This is done for the purpose of being able to depict the solar system and still represent the bodies with some detail. (Otherwise the Sun would be a mere speck, and the planets even the majestic Jupiter would be far too small to be seen.)

  15. A Ninth Planet in Our Solar System? (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    The recent discovery that the orbits of some Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) share properties has proved puzzling. A pair of scientists have now proposed a bold explanation: there may be a planet-sized object yet undetected in our solar system.Mysterious ClusteringKBOs, the population of mainly small objects beyond Neptune, have proven an especially interesting subject of study in the last decade as many small, distant bodies (such as Eris, the object that led to the demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet) have been discovered.Previous studies have recently discovered that some especially distant KBOs those that orbit with semimajor axes of a 150 AU, nearly four times that of Pluto all cross the ecliptic at a similar phase in their elliptical trajectories. This is unexpected, since gravitational tugs from the giant planets should have randomized this parameter over our solar systems multi-billion-year lifespan.Physical alignment of the orbits of Kuiper belt objects with a 250 AU (and two objects with a 150 AU that are dynamically stable). [Batygin Brown 2016]Two scientists at California Institute of Technology, Konstantin Batygin and Michael Brown (you might recognize Brown as the man who killed Pluto) have now increased the mystery. In a recently published a study, they demonstrate that for KBOs that have orbits with a 250 AU, the orbits are actually physically aligned.To explain this unexpected alignment which Batygin and Brown calculate has only a 0.007% probability of having occurred by chance the authors ask an exciting question: could this be caused by the presence of an unseen, large, perturbing body further out in the solar system?Simulating a Ninth PlanetThe authors test this hypothesis by carrying out both analytical calculations and numerical N-body simulations designed to determine if the gravitational influence of a distant, planetary-mass companion can explain the behavior we observe from the large-orbit KBOs.Simulation of the effect of a distant planet (M = 10

  16. How Planet Nine could change the fate of the Solar system (United States)

    Veras, D.


    The potential existence of a distant planet ('Planet Nine') in the Solar system has prompted a re-think about the evolution of planetary systems. As the Sun transitions from a main-sequence star into a white dwarf, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are currently assumed to survive in expanded but otherwise unchanged orbits. However, a sufficiently distant and sufficiently massive extra planet would alter this quiescent end scenario through the combined effects of Solar giant branch mass-loss and Galactic tides. Here I estimate bounds for the mass and orbit of a distant extra planet that would incite future instability in systems with a Sun-like star and giant planets with masses and orbits equivalent to those of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. I find that this boundary is diffuse and strongly dependent on each of the distant planet's orbital parameters. Nevertheless, I claim that instability occurs more often than not when the planet is as massive as Jupiter and harbours a semimajor axis exceeding about 300 au, or has a mass of a super-Earth and a semimajor axis exceeding about 3000 au. These results hold for orbital pericentres ranging from 100 to at least 400 au. This instability scenario might represent a common occurrence, as potentially evidenced by the ubiquity of metal pollution in white dwarf atmospheres throughout the Galaxy.

  17. The fates of Solar system analogues with one additional distant planet (United States)

    Veras, Dimitri


    The potential existence of a distant planet (`Planet Nine') in the Solar system has prompted a re-think about the evolution of planetary systems. As the Sun transitions from a main-sequence star into a white dwarf, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are currently assumed to survive in expanded but otherwise unchanged orbits. However, a sufficiently distant and sufficiently massive extra planet would alter this quiescent end scenario through the combined effects of Solar giant branch mass-loss and Galactic tides. Here, I estimate bounds for the mass and orbit of a distant extra planet that would incite future instability in systems with a Sun-like star and giant planets with masses and orbits equivalent to those of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. I find that this boundary is diffuse and strongly dependent on each of the distant planet's orbital parameters. Nevertheless, I claim that instability occurs more often than not when the planet is as massive as Jupiter and harbours a semimajor axis exceeding about 300 au, or has a mass of a super-Earth and a semimajor axis exceeding about 3000 au. These results hold for orbital pericentres ranging from 100 to at least 400 au. This instability scenario might represent a common occurrence, as potentially evidenced by the ubiquity of metal pollution in white dwarf atmospheres throughout the Galaxy.

  18. Transit visibility zones of the Solar system planets (United States)

    Wells, R.; Poppenhaeger, K.; Watson, C. A.; Heller, R.


    The detection of thousands of extrasolar planets by the transit method naturally raises the question of whether potential extrasolar observers could detect the transits of the Solar system planets. We present a comprehensive analysis of the regions in the sky from where transit events of the Solar system planets can be detected. We specify how many different Solar system planets can be observed from any given point in the sky, and find the maximum number to be three. We report the probabilities of a randomly positioned external observer to be able to observe single and multiple Solar system planet transits; specifically, we find a probability of 2.518 per cent to be able to observe at least one transiting planet, 0.229 per cent for at least two transiting planets, and 0.027 per cent for three transiting planets. We identify 68 known exoplanets that have a favourable geometric perspective to allow transit detections in the Solar system and we show how the ongoing K2 mission will extend this list. We use occurrence rates of exoplanets to estimate that there are 3.2 ± 1.2 and 6.6^{+1.3}_{-0.8} temperate Earth-sized planets orbiting GK and M dwarf stars brighter than V = 13 and 16, respectively, that are located in the Earth's transit zone.

  19. The planets of the Solar System (United States)

    Marov, M. Y.


    This book is intended both for the lay person and the would-be scientist. The planets are discussed with a comparision of their basic natural features: mechanical characteristics and parameters of movement, surfaces, inner structure, physical properties of the atmosphere and meteorology. Also general problems of planetary cosmogony, thermal history and climatic evolution are considered briefly. The book is based on Soviet and foreign material, data from spacecraft, Earth optical and radio astronomical measurements and also data obtained from theoretical models.

  20. Tandem planet formation for solar system-like planetary systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Imaeda


    Full Text Available We present a new united theory of planet formation, which includes magneto-rotational instability (MRI and porous aggregation of solid particles in a consistent way. We show that the “tandem planet formation” regime is likely to result in solar system-like planetary systems. In the tandem planet formation regime, planetesimals form at two distinct sites: the outer and inner edges of the MRI suppressed region. The former is likely to be the source of the outer gas giants, and the latter is the source for the inner volatile-free rocky planets. Our study spans disks with a various range of accretion rates, and we find that tandem planet formation can occur for M˙=10−7.3-10−6.9M⊙yr−1. The rocky planets form between 0.4–2 AU, while the icy planets form between 6–30 AU; no planets form in 2–6 AU region for any accretion rate. This is consistent with the gap in the solid component distribution in the solar system, which has only a relatively small Mars and a very small amount of material in the main asteroid belt from 2–6 AU. The tandem regime is consistent with the idea that the Earth was initially formed as a completely volatile-free planet. Water and other volatile elements came later through the accretion of icy material by occasional inward scattering from the outer regions. Reactions between reductive minerals, such as schreibersite (Fe3P, and water are essential to supply energy and nutrients for primitive life on Earth.

  1. On Migration of the Solar System Giant Planets (United States)

    Chepurova, V. M.


    The paper begins with a very brief overview of the contribution of Soviet scientists in the second half of the twentieth century in the study of the dynamic evolution of the solar system. The second part of the paper contains a brief overview of modern hypotheses of West-European and American planetologists, that intent to explain the discrepancies between the state of the Solar System and extrasolar systems on the base of Otto Schmidt theory of planet formation.

  2. The Solar Twin Planet Search. V. Close-in, low-mass planet candidates and evidence of planet accretion in the solar twin HIP 68468 (United States)

    Meléndez, Jorge; Bedell, Megan; Bean, Jacob L.; Ramírez, Iván; Asplund, Martin; Dreizler, Stefan; Yan, Hong-Liang; Shi, Jian-Rong; Lind, Karin; Ferraz-Mello, Sylvio; Galarza, Jhon Yana; dos Santos, Leonardo; Spina, Lorenzo; Maia, Marcelo Tucci; Alves-Brito, Alan; Monroe, TalaWanda; Casagrande, Luca


    Context. More than two thousand exoplanets have been discovered to date. Of these, only a small fraction have been detected around solar twins, which are key stars because we can obtain accurate elemental abundances especially for them, which is crucial for studying the planet-star chemical connection with the highest precision. Aims: We aim to use solar twins to characterise the relationship between planet architecture and stellar chemical composition. Methods: We obtained high-precision (1 m s-1) radial velocities with the HARPS spectrograph on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla Observatory and determined precise stellar elemental abundances ( 0.01 dex) using spectra obtained with the MIKE spectrograph on the Magellan 6.5 m telescope. Results: Our data indicate the presence of a planet with a minimum mass of 26 ± 4 Earth masses around the solar twin HIP 68468. The planet is more massive than Neptune (17 Earth masses), but unlike the distant Neptune in our solar system (30 AU), HIP 68468c is close-in, with a semi-major axis of 0.66 AU, similar to that of Venus. The data also suggest the presence of a super-Earth with a minimum mass of 2.9 ± 0.8 Earth masses at 0.03 AU; if the planet is confirmed, it will be the fifth least massive radial velocity planet candidate discovery to date and the first super-Earth around a solar twin. Both isochrones (5.9 ± 0.4 Gyr) and the abundance ratio [Y/Mg] (6.4 ± 0.8 Gyr) indicate an age of about 6 billion years. The star is enhanced in refractory elements when compared to the Sun, and the refractory enrichment is even stronger after corrections for Galactic chemical evolution. We determined a nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium Li abundance of 1.52 ± 0.03 dex, which is four times higher than what would be expected for the age of HIP 68468. The older age is also supported by the low log () (-5.05) and low jitter (lithium and the refractory elements. Conclusions: The super-Neptune planet candidate is too massive for in situ

  3. Exploring planets and moons in our Solar System

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva


    The lecture series comprises 5 lectures starting with the interplanetary medium, the solar wind and its interaction with magnetized planets. Knowledge on the magnetically dominated ‘spheres’ around the Giant Planets have been obtained by the Grand Tour of both Voyager spacecraft to Jupiter, Saturn, with the continuation of Voyager 2 to Uranus, and Neptune, in the late seventies and eighties of last century. These findings are now extensively supported and complemented by Cassini/Huygens to the Saturnian system. This will be discussed in detail in lecture 2. Specific aspects of magnetospheric physics, in particular radio emissions from the planets, observed in-situ and by remote sensing techniques, will be addressed in the following lecture 3. Of high importance are also the recent scientific results on planetary satellites, specifically those comprising active phenomena like volcanoes and geysirs, (as on Io, Enceladus, and Triton), with the explanation of some ring phenomena, to be addressed in lecture 4....

  4. Academic Training - Exploring Planets and Moons in our Solar System

    CERN Multimedia

    Françoise Benz


    2005-2006 ACADEMIC TRAINING PROGRAMME LECTURE SERIES 6, 7, 8, 9 June 11:00-12:00. On the 8 June from 10:00 to 12:00 - Auditorium, bldg 500 Exploring Planets and Moons in our Solar System H.O. RUCKER / Space Research Institut, Graz The lecture series comprises 5 lectures starting with the interplanetary medium, the solar wind and its interaction with magnetized planets. Knowledge on the magnetically dominated 'spheres'around the Giant Planets have been obtained by the Grand Tour of both Voyager spacecraft to Jupiter, Saturn, with the continuation of Voyager 2 to Uranus, and Neptune, in the late seventies and eighties of last century. These findings are now extensively supported and complemented by Cassini/Huygens to the Saturnian system. This will be discussed in detail in lecture 2. Specific aspects of magnetospheric physics, in particular radio emissions from the planets, observed in-situ and by remote sensing techniques, will be addressed in the following lecture 3. Of high importance are also the rec...

  5. Apparent Relations Between Solar Activity and Solar Tides Caused by the Planets (United States)

    Hung, Ching-Cheh


    A solar storm is a storm of ions and electrons from the Sun. Large solar storms are usually preceded by solar flares, phenomena that can be characterized quantitatively from Earth. Twenty-five of the thirty-eight largest known solar flares were observed to start when one or more tide-producing planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Jupiter) were either nearly above the event positions (less than 10 deg. longitude) or at the opposing side of the Sun. The probability for this to happen at random is 0.039 percent. This supports the hypothesis that the force or momentum balance (between the solar atmospheric pressure, the gravity field, and magnetic field) on plasma in the looping magnetic field lines in solar corona could be disturbed by tides, resulting in magnetic field reconnection, solar flares, and solar storms. Separately, from the daily position data of Venus, Earth, and Jupiter, an 11-year planet alignment cycle is observed to approximately match the sunspot cycle. This observation supports the hypothesis that the resonance and beat between the solar tide cycle and nontidal solar activity cycle influences the sunspot cycle and its varying magnitudes. The above relations between the unpredictable solar flares and the predictable solar tidal effects could be used and further developed to forecast the dangerous space weather and therefore reduce its destructive power against the humans in space and satellites controlling mobile phones and global positioning satellite (GPS) systems.

  6. MHD effects of the solar wind flow around planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. K. Biernat


    Full Text Available The study of the interaction of the solar wind with magnetized and unmagnetized planets forms a central topic of space research. Focussing on planetary magnetosheaths, we review some major developments in this field. Magnetosheath structures depend crucially on the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field, the solar wind Alfvén Mach number, the shape of the obstacle (axisymmetric/non-axisymmetric, etc., the boundary conditions at the magnetopause (low/high magnetic shear, and the degree of thermal anisotropy of the plasma. We illustrate the cases of Earth, Jupiter and Venus. The terrestrial magnetosphere is axisymmetric and has been probed in-situ by many spacecraft. Jupiter's magnetosphere is highly non-axisymmetric. Furthermore, we study magnetohydrodynamic effects in the Venus magnetosheath.

  7. Magnetic fields in the solar system planets, moons and solar wind interactions

    CERN Document Server

    Wicht, Johannes; Gilder, Stuart; Holschneider, Matthias


    This book addresses and reviews many of the still little understood questions related to the processes underlying planetary magnetic fields and their interaction with the solar wind. With focus on research carried out within the German Priority Program ”PlanetMag”, it also provides an overview of the most recent research in the field. Magnetic fields play an important role in making a planet habitable by protecting the environment from the solar wind. Without the geomagnetic field, for example, life on Earth as we know it would not be possible. And results from recent space missions to Mars and Venus strongly indicate that planetary magnetic fields play a vital role in preventing atmospheric erosion by the solar wind. However, very little is known about the underlying interaction between the solar wind and a planet’s magnetic field. The book takes a synergistic interdisciplinary approach that combines newly developed tools for data acquisition and analysis, computer simulations of planetary interiors an...

  8. Planet Occurrence within 0.25 AU of Solar-type Stars from Kepler

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Howard, A.W.; Geoffrey, G.W.; Bryson, S.T.


    We report the distribution of planets as a function of planet radius, orbital period, and stellar effective temperature for orbital periods less than 50 days around solar-type (GK) stars. These results are based on the 1235 planets (formally "planet candidates") from the Kepler mission that include...... a nearly complete set of detected planets as small as 2 R ⊕. For each of the 156,000 target stars, we assess the detectability of planets as a function of planet radius, R p, and orbital period, P, using a measure of the detection efficiency for each star. We also correct for the geometric probability...... of transit, R /a. We consider first Kepler target stars within the "solar subset" having T eff = 4100-6100 K, log g = 4.0-4.9, and Kepler magnitude Kp planets down to 2 R...

  9. Electromagnetic heating of minor planets in the early solar system (United States)

    Herbert, F.; Sonett, C. P.


    Electromagnetic processes occurring in the primordial solar system are likely to have significantly affected planetary evolution. In particular, electrical coupling of the kinetic energy of a dense T-Tauri-like solar wind into the interior of the smaller planets could have been a major driver of thermal metamorphism. Accordingly a grid of asteroid models of various sizes and solar distances was constructed using dc transverse magnetic induction theory. Plausible parameterizations with no requirement for a high environmental temperature led to complete melting for Vesta with no melting for Pallas and Ceres. High temperatures were reached in the Pallas model, perhaps implying nonmelting thermal metamorphosis as a cause of its anomalous spectrum. A reversal of this temperature sequence seems implausible, suggesting that the Ceres-Pallas-Vesta dichotomy is a natural outcome of the induction mechanism. Highly localized heating is expected to arise due to an instability in the temperature-controlled current distribution. Localized metamorphosis resulting from this effect may be relevant to the production and evolution of pallasites, the large presumed metal component of S object spectra, and the formation of the lunar magma ocean.

  10. Extra-Zodiacal-Cloud Astronomy via Solar Electric Propulsion (United States)

    Benson, Scott W.; Falck, Robert D.; Oleson, Steven R.; Greenhouse, Matthew A.; Kruk, Jeffrey W.; Gardner, Jonathan P.; Thronson, Harley A.; Vaughn, Frank J.; Fixsen, Dale J.


    Solar electric propulsion (SEP) is often considered as primary propulsion for robotic planetary missions, providing the opportunity to deliver more payload mass to difficult, high-delta-velocity destinations. However, SEP application to astrophysics has not been well studied. This research identifies and assesses a new application of SEP as primary propulsion for low-cost high-performance robotic astrophysics missions. The performance of an optical/infrared space observatory in Earth orbit or at the Sun-Earth L2 point (SEL2) is limited by background emission from the Zodiacal dust cloud that has a disk morphology along the ecliptic plane. By delivering an observatory to a inclined heliocentric orbit, most of this background emission can be avoided, resulting in a very substantial increase in science performance. This advantage enabled by SEP allows a small-aperture telescope to rival the performance of much larger telescopes located at SEL2. In this paper, we describe a novel mission architecture in which SEP technology is used to enable unprecedented telescope sensitivity performance per unit collecting area. This extra-zodiacal mission architecture will enable a new class of high-performance, short-development time, Explorer missions whose sensitivity and survey speed can rival flagship-class SEL2 facilities, thus providing new programmatic flexibility for NASA's astronomy mission portfolio. A mission concept study was conducted to evaluate this application of SEP. Trajectory analyses determined that a 700 kg-class science payload could be delivered in just over 2 years to a 2 AU mission orbit inclined 15 to the ecliptic using a 13 kW-class NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) SEP system. A mission architecture trade resulted in a SEP stage architecture, in which the science spacecraft separates from the stage after delivery to the mission orbit. The SEP stage and science spacecraft concepts were defined in collaborative engineering environment studies. The

  11. Studies of Constraints from the Terrestrial Planets, Asteroid Belt and Giant Planet Obliquities on the Early Solar System Instability (United States)

    Nesvorny, David

    The planetary instability has been invoked as a convenient way to explain several observables in the present Solar System. This theory, frequently referred to under a broad and somewhat ill-defined umbrella as the ‘Nice model’, postulates that at least one of the ice giants suffered scattering encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. This could explain several things, including the excitation of the proper eccentric mode in Jupiter's orbit, survival of the terrestrial planets during giant planet migration, and, if the instability was conveniently delayed, also the Late Heavy Bombardment of the Moon. These properties/events would be unexpected if the migration histories of the outer planets were ideally smooth (at least no comprehensive model has yet been fully developed to collectively explain them). Additional support for the planetary instability comes from the dynamical properties of the asteroid and Kuiper belts, Trojans, and planetary satellites. We created a large database of dynamical evolutions of the outer planets through and 100 Myr past the instability (Nesvorny and Morbidelli 2012. Many of these dynamical histories have been found to match constraints from the orbits of the outer planets themselves. We now propose to test these different scenarios using constraints from the terrestrial planets, asteroid belt and giant planet obliquities. As we explain in the proposal narrative, we will bring all these constraints together in an attempt to develop a comprehensive model of early Solar System's evolution. This will be a significant improvement over the past work, where different constraints were considered piecewise and in various approximations. Our work has the potential to generate support for the Nice-type instability, or to rule it out, which could help in sparking interest in developing better models. RELEVANCE The proposed research is fundamental to understanding the formation and early evolution of the Solar System. This is a central theme of NASA

  12. Constraints on planet X/Nemesis from Solar System's inner dynamics


    Iorio, Lorenzo


    We put full 3D constraints on a putative planet X by using the dynamics of the inner planets of the solar system. In particular, we compute the mimium distance of X as a function of its heliocentric latitude and longitude for different values of its mass.

  13. A planet in a polar orbit of 1.4 solar-mass star

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guenther E.W.


    Full Text Available Although more than a thousand transiting extrasolar planets have been discovered, only very few of them orbit stars that are more massive than the Sun. The discovery of such planets is interesting, because they have formed in disks that are more massive but had a shorter life time than those of solar-like stars. Studies of planets more massive than the Sun thus tell us how the properties of the proto-planetary disks effect the formation of planets. Another aspect that makes these planets interesting is that they have kept their original orbital inclinations. By studying them we can thus find out whether the orbital axes planets are initially aligned to the stars rotational axes, or not. Here we report on the discovery of a planet of a 1.4 solar-mass star with a period of 5.6 days in a polar orbit made by CoRoT. This new planet thus is one of the few known close-in planets orbiting a star that is substantially more massive than the Sun.

  14. What makes a planet habitable, and how to search for habitable planets in other solar systems. (United States)

    Papagiannis, M D


    The availability of liquid water is the most important factor that makes a planet habitable, because water is a very effective polar molecule and hence an excellent solvent and facilitator for the complex chemistry of life. Its presence presupposes a planet with a significant mass that guarantees the presence of a substantial atmosphere, and a reasonable spinning rate to avoid overheating. It also implies that the planet is at moderate distances from its central star, a range that is called the Ecosphere or the Habitable Zone. Since the evolution of life to high intelligence seems to take billions of years, it requires also that the central star must be neither too massive, that will produce a lot of lethal UV radiation and will have too short a life-span to allow life to evolve, nor of very small mass which will be producing too feeble a radiation to sustain life. The detection of free Oxygen in the atmosphere of a planet is a very strong evidence for the presence of life, because Oxygen is highly reactive and would rapidly disappear by combining with other elements, unless it is continuously replenished by life as the by-product of the process of photosynthesis that builds food for life (sugars) from CO2 and H2O.

  15. Signatures of Exo-Solar Planets in Dust Debris Disks (United States)

    Ozernoy, Leonid M.; Gorkavyi, Nick N.; Mather, John C.; Taidakova, Tanya A.


    We have developed a new numerical approach to the dynamics of minor bodies and dust particles, which enables us to increase, without using a supercomputer, the number of employed particle positions in each model up to 10(exp 10) - 10(exp 11), a factor of 10(exp 6) - 10(exp 7) higher than existing numerical simulations. We apply this powerful approach to the high-resolution modeling of the structure and emission of circumstellar dust disks, incorporating all relevant physical processes. In this Letter, we examine the resonant structure of a dusty disk induced by the presence of one planet of mass in the range of (5 x 10(exp -5) - 5 x 10(exp -3))M. It is shown that the planet, via resonances and gravitational scattering, produces (i) a central cavity void of dust; (ii) a trailing (sometimes leading) off-center cavity; and (iii) an asymmetric resonant dust belt with one, two, or more clumps. These features can serve as indicators of planet(s) embedded in the circumstellar dust disk and, moreover, can be used to determine the mass of the planet and even some of its orbital parameters. The results of our study reveal a remarkable similarity with various types of highly asymmetric circumstellar disks observed with the JCMT around Epsilon Eridani and Vega.

  16. Giant Planets of Our Solar System Atmospheres, Composition, and Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Irwin, Patrick G. J


    This book reviews the current state of knowledge of the atmospheres of the giant gaseous planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The current theories of their formation are reviewed and their recently observed temperature, composition and cloud structures are contrasted and compared with simple thermodynamic, radiative transfer and dynamical models. The instruments and techniques that have been used to remotely measure their atmospheric properties are also reviewed, and the likely development of outer planet observations over the next two decades is outlined. This second edition has been extensively updated following the Cassini mission results for Jupiter/Saturn and the newest ground-based measurements for Uranus/Neptune as well as on the latest development in the theories on planet formation.

  17. Addressing the statistical mechanics of planet orbits in the solar system (United States)

    Mogavero, Federico


    The chaotic nature of planet dynamics in the solar system suggests the relevance of a statistical approach to planetary orbits. In such a statistical description, the time-dependent position and velocity of the planets are replaced by the probability density function (PDF) of their orbital elements. It is natural to set up this kind of approach in the framework of statistical mechanics. In the present paper, I focus on the collisionless excitation of eccentricities and inclinations via gravitational interactions in a planetary system. The future planet trajectories in the solar system constitute the prototype of this kind of dynamics. I thus address the statistical mechanics of the solar system planet orbits and try to reproduce the PDFs numerically constructed by Laskar (2008, Icarus, 196, 1). I show that the microcanonical ensemble of the Laplace-Lagrange theory accurately reproduces the statistics of the giant planet orbits. To model the inner planets I then investigate the ansatz of equiprobability in the phase space constrained by the secular integrals of motion. The eccentricity and inclination PDFs of Earth and Venus are reproduced with no free parameters. Within the limitations of a stationary model, the predictions also show a reasonable agreement with Mars PDFs and that of Mercury inclination. The eccentricity of Mercury demands in contrast a deeper analysis. I finally revisit the random walk approach of Laskar to the time dependence of the inner planet PDFs. Such a statistical theory could be combined with direct numerical simulations of planet trajectories in the context of planet formation, which is likely to be a chaotic process.

  18. Evaluating the Dynamical Stability of Outer Solar System Objects in the Presence of Planet Nine (United States)

    Becker, Juliette; Adams, Fred C.; Khain, Tali; Hamilton, Stephanie; Gerdes, David W.


    We present the results of an N-body analysis of the dynamical stability of a selection of outer solar system objects in the presence of the proposed new Solar System member Planet Nine. Our simulations show that some combinations of orbital elements ($a,e$) result in Planet Nine acting as a stabilizing influence on the TNOs, which can otherwise be destabilized by interactions with Neptune. We also see that some TNOs transition between several different mean-motion resonances during their lifetimes while still retaining approximate apsidal anti-alignment with Planet Nine. This behavior suggests that remaining in one particular orbit is not a requirement for orbital stability. As one product of our simulations, we present an {\\it a posteriori} probability distribution for the semi-major axis and eccentricity of the proposed Planet Nine based on TNO stability. We discuss this result in the broader context of the Planet Nine debate and the dynamical stability of the detached Kuiper Belt. We also announce the discovery of a new large semi-major axis, highly-inclined TNO, found in the Dark Energy Survey (DES) data. This new object’s orbit places it in the same population as was used to predict the existence of Planet Nine, and so this new object also helps constrain the orbital elements of the proposed Planet Nine.

  19. PVOL2 (The Planetary Virtual Observatory and Laboratory): An improved database of amateur observations of Solar system planets (United States)

    Hueso, R.; Juaristi, J.; Legarreta, J.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.; Erard, S.; Cecconi, B.; Le Sidaner, P.


    We present a database of amateur observations of Solar System planets and other major objects. The database is used by different research teams as an important resource for their scientific research. Publications partially based on amateur data available in this database encompass a large range of topics typically related with the temporal evolution of atmospherics systems in solar system planets.

  20. A Measurement of the Shape of the Solar Disk: The Solar Quadrupole Moment, the Solar Octopole Moment, and the Advance of Perihelion of the Planet Mercury (United States)

    Lydon, T. J.; Sofia, S.


    The Solar Disk Sextant experiment has measured the solar angular diameter for a variety of solar latitudes. Combined with solar surface angular rotation data, the solar quadrupole moment J2 and the solar octopole moment J4 have been derived first by assuming constant internal angular rotation on cylinders and then by assuming constant internal angular rotation on cones. We have derived values of 1.8×10-7 for J2 and 9.8×10-7 for J4. We conclude with a discussion of errors and address the prediction of general relativity for the rate of advance of perihelion of the planet Mercury.

  1. Habitability in the Solar System and on Extrasolar Planets and Moons (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.


    The criteria for a habitable world initially was based on Earth and centered around liquid water on the surface, warmed by a Sun-like star. The moons of the outer Solar System, principally Europa and Enceladus, have demonstrated that liquid water can exist below the surface warmed by tidal forces from a giant planet. Titan demonstrates that surface liquids other than water - liquid methane/ethane - may be common on other worlds. Considering the numerous extrasolar planets so far discovered and the prospect of discovering extrasolar moons it is timely to reconsider the possibilities for habitability in the Solar System and on extrasolar planets and moons and enumerate the attributes and search methods for detecting habitable worlds and evidence of life.

  2. Long-range order between the planets in the Solar system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohr, Jakob; Olsen, Kasper


    The Solar System is investigated for positional correlations between the planets using a logarithmic distance scale. The pair correlation function for the logarithm of the semimajor axis shows a regular distribution with 5-7 consecutive peaks, and the Fourier transform hereof shows reciprocal peaks...... of first and second order. A procedure involving random permutations for the shuffling of the inter--logarithmic distances is employed to check for the significance of the presence of order of longer range than neighbor planets correlations. The use of permutations is a particular helpful analysis when...... the number of data points is small. The pair correlation function of the permutated planets lacks the sequence of equidistant peaks and its Fourier transform has no second order peak. This analysis demonstrates the existence of longer ranged correlations in the Solar System....

  3. Resonance phenomena of solar activity. [Influence of two planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Romanchuk, P.R.; D' iachenko, I.G.


    Convective element motion is considered under the action of two planets. The solution of the equation of motion admits the existence of the resonance strengthening of the convective motions. The proper period of the convective motions is determined by the turbulent viscosity coefficient by the homogeneous atmosphere height and the velocity of an element. The response of convective zone is changed from cycle to cycle and reaches a maximum, on the average, every 80 to 90 years. A model of processes proceeding in the convective zone is proposed. The model is confirmed by the observations.

  4. SPHERE: A Planet Finder Instrument for the VLT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beuzit, J.L.; Feldt, M.; Dohlen, K.; Mouillet, D.; Puget, P.; Antichi, J.; Baudoz, P.; Boccaletti, A.; Carbillet, M.; Charton, J.; Claudi, R.; Fusco, T.; Gratton, R.; Henning, T.; Hubin, N.; Joos, F.; Kasper, M.; Langlois, M.; Moutou, C.; Pragt, J.; Rabou, P.; Saisse, M.; Schmid, H.M.; Turatto, M.; Udry, S.; Vakili, F.; Waters, R.; Wildi, F.


    Direct detection and spectral characterization of extra-solar planets is one of the most exciting but also one of the most challenging areas in modern astronomy. For its second generation instrumentation on the VLT, ESO has supported two phase A studies for a so-called Planet Finder dedicated

  5. SPHERE: A planet finder instrument for the VLT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beuzit, J.-L.; Feldt, M.; Dohlen, K.; Mouillet, D.; Puget, P.; Wildi, F.; Abe, L.; Antichi, J.; Baruffolo, A.; Baudoz, P.; Boccaletti, A.; Carbillet, M.; Charton, J.; Claudi, R.; Downing, M.; Fabron, C.; Feautrier, P.; Fedrigo, E.; Fusco, T.; Gach, J.-L.; Gratton, R.; Henning, T.; Hubin, N.; Joos, F.; Kasper, M.; Langlois, M.; Lenzen, R.; Moutou, C.; Pavlov, A.; Petit, C.; Pragt, J.; Rabou, P.; Rigal, F.; Roelfsema, R.; Rousset, G.; Saisse, M.; Schmid, H.-M.; Stadler, E.; Thalmann, C.; Turatto, M.; Udry, S.; Vakili, F.; Waters, R.


    Direct detection and spectral characterization of extra-solar planets is one of the most exciting but also one of the most challenging areas in modern astronomy. The challenge consists in the very large contrast between the host star and the planet, larger than 12.5 magnitudes at very small angular

  6. First solar system solids to proto-planets: A Rapid growth in a few million years (United States)

    Goswami, Jitendranath


    First solar system solids to proto-planets: A Rapid growth in a few million years J. N. Goswami Physical Research Laboratory Ahmedabad-380009, India Collapse of a dense molecular cloud led to the formation of the proto-Sun surrounded by a high temperature gaseous nebula. The nebula settled down to the mid-plane and formation of the first solar system solids, refractory oxides and silicates, such as Corundum, Perovskite, Melilite took place, that was followed by formation of more common silicate minerals. Laboratory studies of primitive meteorites support this scenario and also provide evidence for correlated presence of several now-extinct short-lived nuclides (e.g. 41Ca, 26Al, 60Fe) at the time of formation of the first solar system solids. Presence of 60Fe in early solar system solids suggests injection of freshly synthesized nuclides from a stellar source (a supernova) into the proto-solar cloud that also triggered its collapse and led to formation of our solar system. Presence of 41Ca (half-life: 0.1Ma) in early solar system solids suggest a time scale of less than a million years for the collapse of the proto-solar cloud and formation of proto-Sun and the first solar system solids. The gradual evolution of larger solar system objects, up to planetesimals (represented by the asteroids), took place at a rapid pace within a time scale of a few million years. Some of the asteroids retain their pristine nature (e.g. parent bodies of carbonaceous chondrite), while others, underwent melting and differentiation due to internal heating. Harold Urey proposed radioactive 26Al as a possible heat source that was confirmed by experiment only in 1999. Irons and stony iron meteorites are fragments from core regions of differentiated asteroids. Extensive computer simulation studies suggest that an explosive stellar event (e.g. supernova) can indeed trigger the collapse of the proto-solar cloud and also inject freshly synthesized short-lived nuclides into it within a relatively

  7. Factors Influencing Solar Electric Propulsion Vehicle Payload Delivery for Outer Planet Missions (United States)

    Cupples, Michael; Green, Shaun; Coverstone, Victoria


    Systems analyses were performed for missions utilizing solar electric propulsion systems to deliver payloads to outer-planet destinations. A range of mission and systems factors and their affect on the delivery capability of the solar electric propulsion system was examined. The effect of varying the destination, the trip time, the launch vehicle, and gravity-assist boundary conditions was investigated. In addition, the affects of selecting propulsion system and power systems characteristics (including primary array power variation, number of thrusters, thruster throttling mode, and thruster Isp) on delivered payload was examined.

  8. The prominent 1.6-year periodicity in solar motion due to the inner planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Charvátová


    Full Text Available The solar motion due to the inner (terrestrial planets (Mercury, Me; Venus, V; Earth, E; Mars, Ma has been calculated (here for the years 1868–2030. The author found these basic properties of this motion: the toroidal volume in which the Sun moves has the inner radius of 101.3 km and the outer radius of 808.2 km. The solar orbit due to the inner (terrestrial planets is "heart-shaped". The orbital points which are the closest to the centre lie at the time distance of 1.6 years (584 days, on the average, and approximately coincide with the moments of the oppositions of V and E. The spectrum of periods shows the dominant period of 1.6 years (V-E and further periods of 2.13 years (E-Ma (25.6 months, QBO, 0.91 years (V-Ma, 0.8 years ((V-E/2 and 6.4 years. All the periods are above the 99% confidence level. A possible connection of this solar motion with the mid-term quasi-periodicities (MTQP, i.e. 1.5–1.7 years in solar and solar-terrestrial indices can be proposed.

  9. Decrease in Hysteresis of Planetary Climate for Planets with Long Solar Days (United States)

    Abbot, Dorian S.; Bloch-Johnson, Jonah; Checlair, Jade; Farahat, Navah X.; Graham, R. J.; Plotkin, David; Popovic, Predrag; Spaulding-Astudillo, Francisco


    The ice-albedo feedback on rapidly rotating terrestrial planets in the habitable zone can lead to abrupt transitions (bifurcations) between a warm and a snowball (ice-covered) state, bistability between these states, and hysteresis in planetary climate. This is important for planetary habitability because snowball events may trigger rises in the complexity of life, but could also endanger complex life that already exists. Recent work has shown that planets tidally locked in synchronous rotation states will transition smoothly into the snowball state rather than experiencing bifurcations. Here we investigate the structure of snowball bifurcations on planets that are tidally influenced, but not synchronously rotating, so that they experience long solar days. We use PlaSIM, an intermediate-complexity global climate model, with a thermodynamic mixed layer ocean and the Sun’s spectrum. We find that the amount of hysteresis (the range in stellar flux for which there is bistability in climate) is significantly reduced for solar days with lengths of tens of Earth days, and disappears for solar days of hundreds of Earth days. These results suggest that tidally influenced planets orbiting M and K stars that are not synchronously rotating could have much less hysteresis associated with the snowball bifurcations than they would if they were rapidly rotating. This implies that the amount of time it takes them to escape a snowball state via CO2 outgassing would be greatly reduced, as would the period of cycling between the warm and snowball state if they have low CO2 outgassing rates.

  10. The Next Generation of Observations of Planets Beyond Our Solar System (United States)

    Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Fischer, D. A.; Gaudi, B. S.; Peterson, B. M.; Roberge, A.; Mennesson, B.; Seager, S.; Arney, G. N.; Mandell, A. M.; Kopparapu, R. K.


    This presentation will give an overview of the planetary and exoplanetary observing capabilities of future astrophysics flagship missions that are under study in advance of the next Astrophysics Decadal Survey in the United States. This includes the UVOptical-Infrared (LUVOIR) Surveyor, and the Habitable Planet Explorer (HabEx). Both missions are general-purpose space-based observatories with a wavelength range spanning from the far-UV to the near-infrared. The two missions differ in their levels of quantitative ambition, but either would enable revolutions in many areas of astronomy, including planetary science within and beyond our Solar System.

  11. Long-term influence of asteroids on planet longitudes and chaotic dynamics of the solar system (United States)

    Woillez, E.; Bouchet, F.


    Over timescales much longer than an orbital period, the solar system exhibits large-scale chaotic behavior and can thus be viewed as a stochastic dynamical system. The aim of the present paper is to compare different sources of stochasticity in the solar system. More precisely we studied the importance of the long term influence of asteroids on the chaotic dynamics of the solar system. We show that the effects of asteroids on planets is similar to a white noise process, when those effects are considered on a timescale much larger than the correlation time τϕ ≃ 104 yr of asteroid trajectories. We computed the timescale τe after which the effects of the stochastic evolution of the asteroids lead to a loss of information for the initial conditions of the perturbed Laplace-Lagrange secular dynamics. The order of magnitude of this timescale is precisely determined by theoretical argument, and we find that τe ≃ 104 Myr. Although comparable to the full main-sequence lifetime of the sun, this timescale is considerably longer than the Lyapunov time τI ≃ 10 Myr of the solar system without asteroids. This shows that the external sources of chaos arise as a small perturbation in the stochastic secular behavior of the solar system, rather due to intrinsic chaos.

  12. How to read the solar system a guide to the stars and planets

    CERN Document Server

    Abel, Paul


    A fresh and essential guide to understanding and interpreting the wonders of our solar system, from two intrepid young astronomers who are the hosts of the popular BBC television series, "The Sky at Night." What exactly is the solar system? We've all learned the basics at school but do we really understand what we are seeing in the night sky? Expert astronomers Chris North and Paul Abel, provide a fascinating guided tour of our Solar System and explain its many wonders. They look at all the major players, including our more familiar cosmic neighbors―the Sun, the planets and their moons―as well as the occasional visitors to our planet―asteroids, meteors and comets―in addition to distant stars and what might lie beyond our Solar System, including the mysterious Earth Mark II? North and Abel recount the history of how our Solar System came to be, and the myths that once shaped astronomy. Through their cogent explanations of the latest scientific discoveries, they reveal how any amateur astronomer can v...

  13. q1 Eridani: a solar-type star with a planet and a dust belt (United States)

    Liseau, R.; Risacher, C.; Brandeker, A.; Eiroa, C.; Fridlund, M.; Nilsson, R.; Olofsson, G.; Pilbratt, G. L.; Thébault, P.


    Context: Far-infrared excess emission from main-sequence stars is due to dust produced by orbiting minor bodies. In these disks, larger bodies, such as planets, may also be present and the understanding of their incidence and influence currently presents a challenge. Aims: Only very few solar-type stars exhibiting an infrared excess and harbouring planets are known to date. Indeed, merely a single case of a star-planet-disk system has previously been detected at submillimeter (submm) wavelengths. Consequently, one of our aims is to understand the reasons for these poor statistics, i.e., whether these results reflected the composition and/or the physics of the planetary disks or were simply due to observational bias and selection effects. Finding more examples would be very significant. Methods: The selected target, q1 Eri, is a solar-type star, which was known to possess a planet, q1 Eri b, and to exhibit excess emission at IRAS wavelengths, but had remained undetected in the millimeter regime. Therefore, submm flux densities would be needed to better constrain the physical characteristics of the planetary disk. Consequently, we performed submm imaging observations of q1 Eri. Results: The detected dust toward q1 Eri at 870 μm exhibits the remarkable fact that the entire SED, from the IR to mm-wavelengths, is fit by a single-temperature blackbody function (60 K). This would imply that the emitting regions are confined to a narrow region (ring) at radial distances much larger than the orbital distance of q1 Eri b, and that the emitting particles are considerably larger than some hundred micron. However, the 870 μm source is extended, with a full-width-half-maximum of roughly 600 AU. Therefore, a physically more compelling model also invokes a belt of cold dust (17 K), located at 300 AU from the star and about 60 AU wide. Conclusions: The minimum mass of 0.04 M⊕ (3 M_Moon) of 1 mm-size icy ring-particles is considerable, given the stellar age of ⪆ 1 Gyr. These

  14. Extrasolar planets searches today and tomorrow

    CERN Multimedia


    So far the searches for extrasolar planets have found 40 planetary companions orbiting around nearby stars. In December 1999 a transit has been observed for one of them, providing the first independent confirmation of the reality of close-in planets as well as a measurement of its density. The techniques used to detect planets are limited and the detection threshold is biased but a first picture of the planet diversity and distribution emerges. Results of the search for extra-solar planets and their impacts on planetary formation will be reviewed. Future instruments are foreseen to detect Earth-like planets and possible signatures of organic activity. An overview of these future projects will be presented and more particularly the Darwin-IRSI mission studied by ESA for Horizon 2015.

  15. Solar system constraints on a Rindler-type extra-acceleration from modified gravity at large distances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iorio, L., E-mail: [Ministero dell' Istruzione, dell' Università e della Ricerca (M.I.U.R.), Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (F.R.A.S.), viale Unità d' Italia 68, 70125 Bari (Italy)


    We analytically work out the orbital effects caused by a Rindler-type extra-acceleration A{sub Rin} which naturally arises in some recent models of modified gravity at large distances. In particular, we focus on the perturbations induced by it on the two-body range ρ and range-rate ρ-dot which are commonly used in satellite and planetary investigations as primary observable quantities. The constraints obtained for A{sub Rin} by comparing our calculations with the currently available range and range-rate residuals for some of the major bodies of the solar system, obtained without explicitly modeling A{sub Rin}, are 1–2 × 10{sup −13} m s{sup −2} (Mercury and Venus), 1 × 10{sup −14} m s{sup −2} (Saturn), 1 × 10{sup −15} m s{sup −2} (Mars), while for a terrestrial Rindler acceleration we have an upper bound of 5 × 10{sup −16} m s{sup −2} (Moon). The constraints inferred from the planets' range and range-rate residuals are confirmed also by the latest empirical determinations of the corrections Δdot varpi to the usual Newtonian/Einsteinian secular precessions of the planetary longitudes of perihelia varpi: moreover, the Earth yields A{sub Rin} ≤ 7 × 10{sup −16} m s{sup −2}. Another approach which could be followed consists of taking into account A{sub Rin} in re-processing all the available data sets with accordingly modified dynamical models, and estimating a dedicated solve-for parameter explicitly accounting for it. Anyway, such a method is time-consuming. A preliminary analysis likely performed in such a way by a different author yields A ≤ 8 × 10{sup −14} m s{sup −2} at Mars' distance and A ≤ 1 × 10{sup −14} m s{sup −2} at Saturn's distance. The method adopted here can be easily and straightforwardly extended to other long-range modified models of gravity as well.

  16. Solar System Exploration Augmented by Lunar and Outer Planet Resource Utilization: Historical Perspectives and Future Possibilities (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan


    Establishing a lunar presence and creating an industrial capability on the Moon may lead to important new discoveries for all of human kind. Historical studies of lunar exploration, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and industrialization all point to the vast resources on the Moon and its links to future human and robotic exploration. In the historical work, a broad range of technological innovations are described and analyzed. These studies depict program planning for future human missions throughout the solar system, lunar launched nuclear rockets, and future human settlements on the Moon, respectively. Updated analyses based on the visions presented are presented. While advanced propulsion systems were proposed in these historical studies, further investigation of nuclear options using high power nuclear thermal propulsion, nuclear surface power, as well as advanced chemical propulsion can significantly enhance these scenarios. Robotic and human outer planet exploration options are described in many detailed and extensive studies. Nuclear propulsion options for fast trips to the outer planets are discussed. To refuel such vehicles, atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has also been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as helium 3 (3He) and hydrogen (H2) can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and H2 (deuterium, etc.) were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses have investigated resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. These analyses included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. With these two additional

  17. Solar system a visual exploration of the planets, moons, and other heavenly bodies that orbit our sun

    CERN Document Server

    Chown, Marcus


    Based on the latest ebook sensation developed by Theodore Gray and his company Touch Press, this beautiful print book presents a new and fascinating way to experience the wonders of the solar system Following the stunning success of both the print edition and the app of The Elements, Black Dog & Leventhal and Touch Press have teamed up again. Solar System is something completely new under the sun. Never before have the wonders of our solar system—all its planets, dwarf planets, the sun, moons, rocky Asteroid Belt, and icy Kuiper Belt—been so immediately accessible to readers of all ages. Beginning with a fascinating overview and then organized by planet, in order of its distance from the sun, Solar System takes us on a trip across time and space that includes a front-row seat to the explosive birth of the solar system, a journey to (and then deep inside) each of its eight planets, and even an in-depth exploration of asteroids and comets. With hundreds of gorgeous images produced especially for this...

  18. Constraints on planet X/Nemesis from Solar System's inner dynamics (United States)

    Iorio, L.


    We use the corrections to the standard Newtonian/Einsteinian perihelion precessions of the inner planets of the Solar system, recently estimated by E.V. Pitjeva by fitting a huge planetary data set with the dynamical models of the EPM ephemerides, to put constraints on the position of a putative, yet undiscovered large body X of mass MX, not modelled in the EPM software. The direct action of X on the inner planets can be approximated by a elastic Hooke-type radial acceleration plus a term of comparable magnitude having a fixed direction in space pointing towards X. The perihelion precessions induced by them can be analytically worked out only for some particular positions of X in the sky; in general, numerical calculations are used. We show that the indirect effects of X on the inner planets through its action on the outer ones can be neglected, given the present-day level of accuracy in knowing . As a result, we find that Mars yields the tightest constraints, with the tidal parameter . To constrain rX we consider the case of a rock-ice planet with the mass of Mars and the Earth, a giant planet with the mass of Jupiter, a brown dwarf with MX = 80mJupiter, a red dwarf with M = 0.5Msolar and a Sun-mass body. For each of them we plot rminX as a function of the heliocentric latitude β and longitude λ. We also determine the forbidden spatial region for X by plotting its boundary surface in the three-dimensional space; it shows significant departures from spherical symmetry. A Mars-sized body can be found at not less than 70-85 au: such bounds are 147-175 au, 1006-1200 au, 4334-5170 au, 8113-9524 au and 10222-12000 au for a body with a mass equal to that of the Earth, Jupiter, a brown dwarf, red dwarf and the Sun, respectively.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lenardic, A. [Department of Earth Science, Rice University, MS 126, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251-1892 (United States); Crowley, J. W., E-mail:, E-mail: [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Harvard University, 20 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)


    A model of coupled mantle convection and planetary tectonics is used to demonstrate that history dependence can outweigh the effects of a planet's energy content and material parameters in determining its tectonic state. The mantle convection-surface tectonics system allows multiple tectonic modes to exist for equivalent planetary parameter values. The tectonic mode of the system is then determined by its specific geologic and climatic history. This implies that models of tectonics and mantle convection will not be able to uniquely determine the tectonic mode of a terrestrial planet without the addition of historical data. Historical data exists, to variable degrees, for all four terrestrial planets within our solar system. For the Earth, the planet with the largest amount of observational data, debate does still remain regarding the geologic and climatic history of Earth's deep past but constraints are available. For planets in other solar systems, no such constraints exist at present. The existence of multiple tectonic modes, for equivalent parameter values, points to a reason why different groups have reached different conclusions regarding the tectonic state of extrasolar terrestrial planets larger than Earth ({sup s}uper-Earths{sup )}. The region of multiple stable solutions is predicted to widen in parameter space for more energetic mantle convection (as would be expected for larger planets). This means that different groups can find different solutions, all potentially viable and stable, using identical models and identical system parameter values. At a more practical level, the results argue that the question of whether extrasolar terrestrial planets will have plate tectonics is unanswerable and will remain so until the temporal evolution of extrasolar planets can be constrained.

  20. A Search for slowly moving planets in the distant Solar System (United States)

    Ashton, Edward; Jones, R.; Krughoff, K. Simon; Kavelaars, J. J.; Gladman, Brett


    Objects beyond several hundred AU from the Sun move so slowly that even at opposition their tiny apparent sky motions result in them not being detected in common search algorithms applied to imaging spaced at roughly hourly intervals. We are searching roughly 160 square degrees of imaging data from the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS) running on CFHT, which has a usable multi-night cadence. In that data, objects beyond about 300 AU appear to be stationary (within tolerances) on the sky on a given 2 hour period, but will move between days. Our search will thus be senstive to objects in the 300-1000 AU distance range (with rough corresponding minimum diameters, respectively, of 2,000-30,000 km). This will be acheived by creating catalogue of sources that are stationary in three images spaced an hour apart (known as a triplet) and matching it in catalogues of sources in nights that are up to two months either side of the triplet. Absence outside the triplet night yields candidates that could be very slowly moving planetary scale objects. Obviously dozens of planets are needed in the 300-1000 AU distance range if the expected number of found planets is one. We report our progress in this effort.

  1. Planetary Accretion in the Inner Solar System: Dependence on Nebula Surface Density Profile and Giant Planet Eccentricities (United States)

    Chambers, J. E.; Cassen, P.


    We present 32 N-body simulations of planetary accretion in the inner Solar System, examining the effect of nebula surface density profile and initial eccentricities of Jupiter and Saturn on the compositions and orbits of the inner planets. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  2. UCLA, British astronomers discover wake of planet around nearby star. Strong evidence for solar system like ours

    CERN Multimedia


    "An international team of astronomers reports the first strong evidence for the existence of massive planets on wide orbits - like those of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - around many stars. The new research provides some of the strongest evidence so far that solar systems similar to our own, or even larger, are likely to exist: (1 page).

  3. Building the Terrestrial Planets: Constraining Planetary Accretion in the inner Solar System (United States)

    Raymond, Sean N.; O'Brien, D. P.; Morbidelli, A.; Kaib, N. A.


    We present results of N-body simulations of planetary accretion with the goal of reproducing the inner Solar System. Planetary embryos and planetesimals evolve and grow under the influence of Jupiter and Saturn, which are assumed to have formed during the short gaseous phase of the Solar Nebula. We compare the results of these simulations to the current Solar System in order to constrain the configuration of Jupiter and Saturn at early times, analyzing cases that are both consistent and contrary to the 'Nice model.' We attempt to reproduce 1) the masses and orbits of Venus, Earth and Mars -- Mars' relatively small mass in particular has not been adequately reproduced in previous simulations; 2) the structure of the asteroid belt -- we show that a remnant embryo larger than the Moon is inconsistent with the main belt structure; and 3) the water content of the Earth, assuming that it was delivered in the form of water-rich primitive asteroidal material. We find that Jupiter and Saturn are the most important factor in the outcome, exciting asteroidal bodies via secular and mean motion resonances. A configuration with the giant planets on circular orbits can form a water-rich Earth and Venus but Mars' mass is too large by a factor of 5-10. A configuration with Jupiter and Saturn in their current locations but with slightly higher eccentricities produces Earth, Venus, Mars and the asteroid belt, but does not allow water delivery to Earth. Further simulations with a range of configurations of Jupiter and Saturn are currently underway in order to better reproduce all of the above characteristics of the inner Solar System. This will allow us to constrain Jupiter and Saturn's orbits at early times and test the validity of scenarios such as the 'Nice model.'

  4. Review of the works on the orbital evolution of solar system major planets (United States)

    Kholshevnikov, K. V.; Kuznetsov, E. D.


    The cognition history of the basic laws of motion of Solar system major planets is presented. Before Newton, the description of motion was purely kinematic, without relying on physics in view of its underdevelopment. From the standpoint of the modern mathematical theory of approximation, all of the models from Ptolemy’s predecessors to Kepler inclusive differ only in details. The mathematical theory worked on an infinite time scale; the motion was represented by P. Bohl’s quasi-periodic functions (a special case of H. Bohr’s quasi-periodic functions). After Newton, the mathematical description of motion came to be based on physical principles and took the form of ordinary differential equations. The advent of General Relativity (GR) and other relativistic theories of gravitation in the 20th century changed little the mathematical situation in the field under consideration. Indeed, the GR effects in the Solar system are so small that the post-post-Newtonian approximation is sufficient. Therefore, the mathematical description using ordinary differential equations is retained. Moreover, the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian forms of the equations are retained. From the 18th century until the mid-20th century, all the theories of planetary motion needed for practice were constructed analytically by the small parameter method. In the early 20th century, Lyapunov and Poincaré established the convergence of the corresponding series for a sufficiently small time interval. Subsequently, K. Kholshevnikov estimated this interval to be on the order of several tens of thousands of years, which is in agreement with numerical experiments. The first works describing analytically (in the first approximation) the evolution on cosmogonic time scales appeared in the first half of the 19th century (Laplace, Lagrange, Gauss, Poisson). The averaging method was developed in the early 20th century based on these works. Powerful analytical and numerical methods that have allowed us to make

  5. Telescopes and recording systems used by amateurs for studying planets in our solar system - an overview (United States)

    Kowollik, S.; Gaehrken, B.; Fiedler, M.; Gerstheimer, R.; Sohl, F.; Koschny, D.


    During the last couple of years, engaged amateur astronomers have benefited by the rapid development in the field of commercial CCD cameras, video techniques, and the availability of mirror telescopes with high quality. Until recently, such technical equipment and the related handling experience had been reserved to research institutes. This contribution presents the potential capabilities of amateur astronomers and describes the approach to the production of data. The quality of the used telescopes is described with respect to aperture and resolving power; as well as the quantum efficiency of the used sensitive b/w CCD cameras with respect to the detectable wavelength. Beyond these facts the necessary exposure times for CCD images using special filters are discussed. Today's amateur astronomers are able to image the bodies of the solar system in the wavelength range between 340 and 1050 nm [1], [2], [3], [4]. This covers a wide range of the spectrum which is investigated with cameras on board of space telescopes or planetary probes. While space probes usually obtain high-resolution images of individual Surface or atmospheric features of the planets, the images of amateur astronomers show the entire surface of the observed planet. Both datasets together permit a more comprehensive analysis of the data aquired in each case. The "Venus Amateur Observing Project" of the European Space Agency [5] is a first step into a successful co-operation between amateur astronomers and planetary scientists. Individual CCD images captured through the turbulent atmosphere of the Earth usually show characteristic distortions of the arriving wave fronts. If one captures hundreds or thousands of images on a video stream in very short time, there will be always also undistorted images within the data. Computer programmes are available to identify and retrieve these undistorted images and store them for further processing [7]. This method is called "Lucky Imaging" and it allows to

  6. Satellite Collectors of Solar Energy for Earth and Colonized Planet Habitats (United States)

    Kusiolek, Richard

    solar energy for thermal heating, desalination, lighting, and electricity. Further, • Clean energy means jobs. For example, the American Solar Energy Society released a report that the 8.5 million Americans working in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries today can grow to 40 million jobs by 2020 (estimated at 200 million globally). • The EU, Asia Pacific, and North America need carbon-free, local, renewable energy now to fuel their economies. • The solution to global warming can be found in the transition to a sustainable energy economy. Methods and Materials This satellite collector study was undertaken using research methodology using primary and secondary research which began with the Science and Environmental Policy Project, Institute for Energy Research, Hoover Institution, Stanford University and the University of Michigan. The study on using betavoltiacs was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team included researchers from the University of Rochester, the University of Toronto, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and BetaBatt Inc of Houston, Texas and was supported by grants from the NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Results Less than 2 Discussion Our planet is heading towards a catastrophe unless emissions of greenhouse gas in space and in the earth's atmosphere are substantially reduced. The results of this study are significant for it demonstrates that existing technologies found in the space technologies are being side-stepped in order to support the antiquated land-based energy systems that have focused on oil and gas, wind power, atomic, and water power. All along, the solar system has all the answers to lessen global warming and to create cheap energy that is free of the bureaucracies of global governments.

  7. Using Schumann Resonance Measurements for Constraining the Water Abundance on the Giant Planets - Implications for the Solar System Formation (United States)

    Simoes, Fernando; Pfaff, Robert; Hamelin, Michel; Klenzing, Jeffrey; Freudenreich, Henry; Beghin, Christian; Berthelier, Jean-Jacques; Bromund, Kenneth; Grard, Rejean; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; hide


    The formation and evolution of the Solar System is closely related to the abundance of volatiles, namely water, ammonia, and methane in the protoplanetary disk. Accurate measurement of volatiles in the Solar System is therefore important to understand not only the nebular hypothesis and origin of life but also planetary cosmogony as a whole. In this work, we propose a new, remote sensing technique to infer the outer planets water content by measuring Tremendously and Extremely Low Frequency (TLF-ELF) electromagnetic wave characteristics (Schumann resonances) excited by lightning in their gaseous envelopes. Schumann resonance detection can be potentially used for constraining the uncertainty of volatiles of the giant planets, mainly Uranus and Neptune, because such TLF-ELF wave signatures are closely related to the electric conductivity profile and water content.

  8. Limits on surface gravities of Kepler planet-candidate host stars from non-detection of solar-like oscillations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campante, T. L.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R.; Miglio, A.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y. P. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Lund, M. N.; Arentoft, T.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Karoff, C.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lundkvist, M. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Huber, D. [NASA Ames Research Center, MS 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Hekker, S. [Astronomical Institute, " Anton Pannekoek," University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Netherlands); García, R. A. [Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM-CNRS-Université Paris Diderot (France); IRFU/SAp, Centre de Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Corsaro, E. [Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium); Basu, S. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); Bedding, T. R. [Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, University of Sydney, Sydney (Australia); Gilliland, R. L. [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Kawaler, S. D., E-mail: [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 (United States); and others


    We present a novel method for estimating lower-limit surface gravities (log g) of Kepler targets whose data do not allow the detection of solar-like oscillations. The method is tested using an ensemble of solar-type stars observed in the context of the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium. We then proceed to estimate lower-limit log g for a cohort of Kepler solar-type planet-candidate host stars with no detected oscillations. Limits on fundamental stellar properties, as provided by this work, are likely to be useful in the characterization of the corresponding candidate planetary systems. Furthermore, an important byproduct of the current work is the confirmation that amplitudes of solar-like oscillations are suppressed in stars with increased levels of surface magnetic activity.

  9. Selection effects in Doppler velocity planet searches (United States)

    O'Toole, Simon; Tinney, Chris; Jones, Hugh


    The majority of extra-solar planets have been discovered by measuring the Doppler velocities of the host star. Like all exoplanet detection methods, the Doppler method is rife with observational biases. Before any robust comparison of mass, orbital period and eccentricity distributions can be made with theory, a detailed understanding of these selection effects is required, something which up to now is lacking. We present here a progress report on our analysis of the selection effects present in Anglo-Australian Planet Search data, including the methodology used and some preliminary results.

  10. Open and partially closed models of the solar wind interaction with outer planet magnetospheres: the case of Saturn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. S. Belenkaya


    Full Text Available A wide variety of interactions take place between the magnetized solar wind plasma outflow from the Sun and celestial bodies within the solar system. Magnetized planets form magnetospheres in the solar wind, with the planetary field creating an obstacle in the flow. The reconnection efficiency of the solar-wind-magnetized planet interaction depends on the conditions in the magnetized plasma flow passing the planet. When the reconnection efficiency is very low, the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF does not penetrate the magnetosphere, a condition that has been widely discussed in the recent literature for the case of Saturn. In the present paper, we study this issue for Saturn using Cassini magnetometer data, images of Saturn's ultraviolet aurora obtained by the HST, and the paraboloid model of Saturn's magnetospheric magnetic field. Two models are considered: first, an open model in which the IMF penetrates the magnetosphere, and second, a partially closed model in which field lines from the ionosphere go to the distant tail and interact with the solar wind at its end. We conclude that the open model is preferable, which is more obvious for southward IMF. For northward IMF, the model calculations do not allow us to reach definite conclusions. However, analysis of the observations available in the literature provides evidence in favor of the open model in this case too. The difference in magnetospheric structure for these two IMF orientations is due to the fact that the reconnection topology and location depend on the relative orientation of the IMF vector and the planetary dipole magnetic moment. When these vectors are parallel, two-dimensional reconnection occurs at the low-latitude neutral line. When they are antiparallel, three-dimensional reconnection takes place in the cusp regions. Different magnetospheric topologies determine different mapping of the open-closed boundary in the ionosphere, which can be considered as a proxy for the

  11. Characterizing Cold Giant Planets in Reflected Light: Lessons from 50 Years of Outer Solar System Exploration and Observation (United States)

    Marley, Mark Scott; Hammel, Heidi


    A space based coronagraph, whether as part of the WFIRST/AFTA mission or on a dedicated space telescope such as Exo-C or -S, will be able to obtain photometry and spectra of multiple gas giant planets around nearby stars, including many known from radial velocity detections. Such observations will constrain the masses, atmospheric compositions, clouds, and photochemistry of these worlds. Giant planet albedo models, such as those of Cahoy et al. (2010) and Lewis et al. (this meeting), will be crucial for mission planning and interpreting the data. However it is equally important that insights gleaned from decades of solar system imaging and spectroscopy of giant planets be leveraged to optimize both instrument design and data interpretation. To illustrate these points we will draw on examples from solar system observations, by both HST and ground based telescopes, as well as by Voyager, Galileo, and Cassini, to demonstrate the importance clouds, photochemical hazes, and various molecular absorbers play in sculpting the light scattered by solar system giant planets. We will demonstrate how measurements of the relative depths of multiple methane absorption bands of varying strengths have been key to disentangling the competing effects of gas column abundances, variations in cloud height and opacity, and scattering by high altitude photochemical hazes. We will highlight both the successes, such as the accurate remote determination of the atmospheric methane abundance of Jupiter, and a few failures from these types of observations. These lessons provide insights into technical issues facing spacecraft designers, from the selection of the most valuable camera filters to carry to the required capabilities of the flight spectrometer, as well as mission design questions such as choosing the most favorable phase angles for atmospheric characterization.

  12. No planet for HD 166435


    Queloz, D.; Henry, G. W.; Sivan, J. P.; Baliunas, S. L.; Beuzit, J. L.; Mayor, R. A. Donahue M.; Naef, D.; Perrier, C.; Udry, S.


    The G0V star HD166435 has been observed by the fiber-fed spectrograph ELODIE as one of the targets in the large extra-solar planet survey that we are conducting at the Observatory of Haute-Provence. We detected coherent, low-amplitude, radial-velocity variations with a period of 3.7987days, suggesting a possible close-in planetary companion. Subsequently, we initiated a series of high-precision photometric observations to search for possible planetary transits and an additional series of CaII...

  13. A Demonstration Setup to Simulate Detection of Planets outside the Solar System (United States)

    Choopan, W.; Ketpichainarong, W.; Laosinchai, P.; Panijpan, B.


    We constructed a simple demonstration setup to simulate an extrasolar planet and its star revolving around the system's centre of mass. Periodic dimming of light from the star by the transiting planet and the star's orbital revolution simulate the two major ways of deducing the presence of an exoplanet near a distant star. Apart from being a…

  14. Evidence for a distant unseen solar system planet: Assessing the observational biases in the extreme Kuiper belt population (United States)

    Volk, Kathryn; Malhotra, Renu


    Several recent studies have appealed to peculiarities in the observed distribution of very distant, extreme Kuiper belt objects (eKBOs) to argue for the existence of an Earth-mass or larger planet in the distant solar system. Trujillo and Sheppard (2014) noted that the arguments of perihelion of the observed eKBOs cluster near 0, and Batygin & Brown (2016) noted that the eKBOs also have clustered orbit poles and eccentricity vectors (which result in clustered longitudes of perihelion and longitudes of ascending node). Both papers argue that observational biases are unlikely to explain the observed clustering. Because the observed population of eKBOs is far from complete, a thorough assessment of the observational biases in the population is warranted. Very accurate assessment of observational biases is only possible for objects discovered by well-characterized surveys, but the number of eKBOs found by such surveys is small. We instead use the set of observed KBOs in the Minor Planet Center catalog along with published survey pointings and limiting magnitudes to approximately reconstruct the biases in the observed eKBO population. We will report on the role of observational biases in either strengthening or weakening the case for a distant unseen planet in our solar system. This research was supported by NASA (grant NNX14AG93G).

  15. A variety of radars designed to explore the hidden structures and properties of the Solar System's planets and bodies (United States)

    Ciarletti, Valérie


    Since the very first observations of the Moon from the Earth with radar in 1946, radars are more and more frequently selected to be part of the payload of exploration missions in the Solar System. They are, in fact, able to collect information on the surface structure of bodies or planets hidden by opaque atmospheres, to probe the planet subsurface or even to reveal the internal structure of a small body comet nucleus. A brief review of radars designed for the Solar System planets and bodies' exploration is presented in the paper. This review does not aim at being exhaustive but will focus on the major results obtained. The variety of radars that have been or are currently designed in terms of frequency or operational modes will be highlighted. xml:lang="fr" Une revue non exhaustive des radars scientifiques développés pour l'exploration des planètes et autres corps du système solaire est présentée dans cet article. Quelques résultats majeurs sont présentés. L'accent est mis sur la variété des radars qui ont été et sont actuellement conçus en terme de fréquence ou de mode opératoire en fonction des contraintes de la mission et des objectifs visés.

  16. Measuring the masses of the habitable planets around the 50 closest solar-type stars with Theia (United States)

    Malbet, Fabien; Leger, Alain; Anglada-Escude, Guillem; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Crouzier, Antooine; Theia Consortium


    A major goal of exoplanetary science is the search for possible biosignatures on planets where life similar to ours would have emerged and modified the atmosphere. These planets can be detected by remote sensing using spectroscopic observation of O2, O3, H2O, CO2, and CH4 gases, but in the present context of funding, only missions in the range B$1-2 are seen as feasible for the next decades. This cost cap imposes serious constraints on the number of accessible targets limiting the exploration to the 20 nearest systems with space coronagraphy in the visible wavelength range and 40 systems with space interferometers working in thermal IR. It is thus imperative that promising target be identified ahead of time, to minimize several classes of risks intrinsic to the 'blind search' approach. Furthermore, the masses and the three-dimensional orbits of such habitable planets are key elements for deriving exobiological statements in the future, even the most basic ones. The mission called Theia has been submitted to the ESA call for M4 mission in 2015. Theia is a space observatory able to carry out high precision differential astrometry at the sub-microarcsecond level that allows mass determination of Earth-mass habitable planets around the 50 closest Solar-type stars using 15 - 20 % of the time of a three years mission. Theia is a single telescope designed to perform high accuracy astrometry using interferometric calibration and operating in L2. We will present the mission and its capability to measure the mass and orbit characteristics of the 50 closest planetary systems down to the Earth mass in the habitable zone of solar-type stars.

  17. Searching for potentially habitable extra solar planets: a directed-study using real data from the NASA Kepler-Mission (United States)

    LoPresto, Michael C.; Ochoa, Hector


    What follows is a description of the procedure for a directed-study in which a student, guided by a faculty member, attempted to identify potentially habitable exoplanets using actual data available online from NASA’s Kepler Mission.

  18. Searching for Potentially Habitable Extra Solar Planets: A Directed-Study Using Real Data from the NASA "Kepler"-Mission (United States)

    LoPresto, Michael C.; Ochoa, Hector


    What follows is a description of the procedure for a directed-study in which a student, guided by a faculty member, attempted to identify potentially habitable exoplanets using actual data available online from NASA's "Kepler" Mission.

  19. Recent Variability Observations of Solar System Giant Planets: Fresh Context for Understanding Exoplanet and Brown Dwarf Weather (United States)

    Marley, Mark Scott


    Over the past several years a number of high cadence photometric observations of solar system giant planets have been acquired by various platforms. Such observations are of interest as they provide points of comparison to the already expansive set of brown dwarf variability observations and the small, but growing, set of exoplanet variability observations. By measuring how rapidly the integrated light from solar system giant planets can evolve, variability observations of substellar objects that are unlikely to ever be resolved can be placed in a fuller context. Examples of brown dwarf variability observations include extensive work from the ground (e.g., Radigen et al. 2014), Spitzer (e.g., Metchev et al. 2015), Kepler (Gizis et al. 2015), and HST (Yang et al. 2015).Variability has been measured on the planetary mass companion to the brown dwarf 2MASS 1207b (Zhou et al. 2016) and further searches are planned in thermal emission for the known directly imaged planets with ground based telescopes (Apai et al. 2016) and in reflected light with future space based telescopes. Recent solar system variability observations include Kepler monitoring of Neptune (Simon et al. 2016) and Uranus, Spitzer observations of Neptune (Stauffer et al. 2016), and Cassini observations of Jupiter (West et al. in prep). The Cassini observations are of particular interest as they measured the variability of Jupiter at a phase angle of approximately 60 deg, comparable to the viewing geometry expected for space based direct imaging of cool extrasolar Jupiters in reflected light. These solar system analog observations capture many of the characteristics seen in brown dwarf variability, including large amplitudes and rapid light curve evolution on timescales as short as a few rotation periods. Simon et al. (2016) attribute such variations at Neptune to a combination of large scale, stable cloud structures along with smaller, more rapidly varying, cloud patches. The observed brown dwarf and

  20. The ELODIE survey for northern extra-solar planets II. A Jovian planet on a long-period orbit around GJ 777 A


    Naef, D.; Mayor, M.; Korzennik, S. G.; Queloz, D.; Udry, S.; Nisenson, P.; Noyes, R. W.; Brown, T. M.; Beuzit, J. L.; Perrier, C.; Sivan, J. P.


    We present radial-velocity measurements obtained with the ELODIE and AFOE spectrographs for GJ 777 A (HD 190360), a metal-rich ([Fe/H]=0.25) nearby (d=15.9 pc) star in a stellar binary system. A long-period low radial-velocity amplitude variation is detected revealing the presence of a Jovian planetary companion. Some of the orbital elements remain weakly constrained because of the smallness of the signal compared to our instrumental precision. The detailed orbital shape is therefore not well...

  1. SDSS-III: Massive Spectroscopic Surveys of the Distant Universe, the Milky Way Galaxy, and Extra-Solar Planetary Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eisenstein, Daniel J.; /Arizona U., Astron. Dept. - Steward Observ. /Harvard U., Phys. Dept.; Weinberg, David H.; /Ohio State U.; Agol, Eric; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Aihara, Hiroaki; /Tokyo U.; Prieto, Carlos Allende; /Laguna U., Tenerife; Anderson, Scott F.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Arns, James A.; /Michigan U.; Aubourg, Eric; /APC, Paris /DAPNIA, Saclay; Bailey, Stephen; /LBL, Berkeley; Balbinot, Eduardo; /Rio Grande do Sul U. /Rio de Janeiro Observ.; Barkhouser, Robert; /Johns Hopkins U. /Michigan State U.


    Building on the legacy of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-I and II), SDSS-III is a program of four spectroscopic surveys on three scientific themes: dark energy and cosmological parameters, the history and structure of the Milky Way, and the population of giant planets around other stars. The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) will measure redshifts of 1.5 million massive galaxies and Ly{alpha} forest spectra of 150,000 quasars, using the baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) feature of large scale structure to obtain percent-level determinations of the distance scale and Hubble expansion rate at z < 0.7 and at z {approx} 2.5. SEGUE-2, a now-completed continuation of the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration, measured medium-resolution (R = {lambda}/{Delta}{lambda} 1800) optical spectra of 118,000 stars in a variety of target categories, probing chemical evolution, stellar kinematics and substructure, and the mass profile of the dark matter halo from the solar neighborhood to distances of 100 kpc. APOGEE, the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment, will obtain high-resolution (R {approx} 30,000), high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N {ge} 100 per resolution element), H-band (1.51 {micro}m < {lambda} < 1.70 {micro}m) spectra of 10{sup 5} evolved, late-type stars, measuring separate abundances for {approx} 15 elements per star and creating the first high-precision spectroscopic survey of all Galactic stellar populations (bulge, bar, disks, halo) with a uniform set of stellar tracers and spectral diagnostics. The Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Large-area Survey (MARVELS) will monitor radial velocities of more than 8000 FGK stars with the sensitivity and cadence (10-40 m s{sup -1}, {approx} 24 visits per star) needed to detect giant planets with periods up to two years, providing an unprecedented data set for understanding the formation and dynamical evolution of giant planet systems. As of January 2011, SDSS-III has obtained

  2. The Homotopy Perturbation Method for Accurate Orbits of the Planets in the Solar System: The Elliptical Kepler Equation (United States)

    Alshaery, Aisha


    Accurate trajectories for the orbits of the planets in our solar system depends on obtaining an accurate solution for the elliptical Kepler equation. This equation is solved in this article using the homotopy perturbation method. Several properties of the periodicity of the obtained approximate solutions are introduced through some lemmas. Numerically, our calculations demonstrated the applicability of the obtained approximate solutions for all the planets in the solar system and also in the whole domain of eccentricity and mean anomaly. In the whole domain of the mean anomaly, 0≤M≤2π, and by using the different approximate solutions, the residuals were less than 4×10-17 for e∈[0, 0.06], 4×10-9 for e∈[0.06, 0.25], 3×10-8 for e∈[0.25, 0.40], 3×10-7 for e∈[0.40, 0.50], and 10-6 for e∈[0.50, 1.0]. Also, the approximate solutions were compared with the Bessel-Fourier series solution in the literature. In addition, the approximate homotopy solutions for the eccentric anomaly are used to show the convergence and periodicity of the approximate radial distances of Mercury and Pluto for three and five periods, respectively, as confirmation for some given lemmas. It has also been shown that the present analysis can be successfully applied to the orbit of Halley's comet with a significant eccentricity.

  3. A Search for Transiting Neptune-Mass Extrasolar Planets in High-Precision Photometry of Solar-Type Stars (United States)

    Henry, Stephen M.; Gillman, Amelie r.; Henry, Gregory W.


    Tennessee State University operates several automatic photometric telescopes (APTs) at Fairborn Observatory in southern Arizona. Four 0.8 m APTs have been dedicated to measuring subtle luminosity variations that accompany magnetic cycles in solar-type stars. Over 1000 program and comparison stars have been observed every clear night in this program for up to 12 years with a precision of approximately 0.0015 mag for a single observation. We have developed a transit-search algorithm, based on fitting a computed transit template for each trial period, and have used it to search our photometric database for transits of unknown companions. Extensive simulations with the APT data have shown that we can reliably recover transits with periods under 10 days as long as the transits have a depth of at least 0.0024 mag, or about 1.6 times the scatter in the photometric observations. Thus, due to our high photometric precision, we are sensitive to transits of possible short-period Neptune-mass planets that likely would have escaped detection by current radial velocity techniques. Our search of the APT data sets for 1087 program and comparison stars revealed no new transiting planets. However, the detection of several unknown grazing eclipsing binaries from among our comparison stars, with eclipse depths of only a few millimags, illustrates the success of our technique. We have used this negative result to place limits on the frequency of Neptune-mass planets in close orbits around solar-type stars in the Sun's vicinity.

  4. The prominent 1.6-year periodicity in solar motion due to the inner planets

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Charvátová, Ivanka


    Roč. 25, č. 5 (2007), s. 1227-1232 ISSN 0992-7689 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA300120608 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : solar-planetary relationships * solar physics * celestial mechanis Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 1.427, year: 2007

  5. Chemical Signatures of Interstellar Dusts Preserved in Primitive Chondrites and Inner Planets of the Solar System (United States)

    Yin, Qing-Zhu


    We show that the inheritance of interstellar materials by the solar system is not only documented by the presence of presolar grains, various isotopic anomalies, but also expressed in the chemical element distribution in the inner solar system. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  6. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"? (United States)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Araújo, M. S. T.


    In August 2006 during the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), taken place in Prague, Czech Republic, new parameters to define a planet were established. According to this new definition Pluto will be no more the ninth planet of the Solar System but it will be changed to be a "dwarf planet". This reclassification of Pluto by the academic community clearly illustrates how dynamic science is and how knowledge of different areas can be changed and evolves through the time, allowing to perceive Science as a human construction in a constant transformation, subject to political, social and historical contexts. These epistemological characteristics of Science and, in this case, of Astronomy, constitute important elements to be discussed in the lessons, so that this work contributes to enable Science and Physics teachers who perform a basic education to be always up to date on this important astronomical fact and, thereby, carry useful information to their teaching.

  7. Revisiting the Microlensing Event OGLE 2012-BLG-0026: A Solar Mass Star with Two Cold Giant Planets (United States)

    Beaulieu, J.-P.; Bennett, D. P.; Batista, V.; Fukui, A.; Marquette, J.-B.; Brillant, S.; Cole, A. A.; Rogers, L. A.; Sumi, T.; Abe, F.


    Two cold gas giant planets orbiting a G-type main-sequence star in the galactic disk were previously discovered in the high-magnification microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0026. Here, we present revised host star flux measurements and a refined model for the two-planet system using additional light curve data. We performed high angular resolution adaptive optics imaging with the Keck and Subaru telescopes at two epochs while the source star was still amplified. We detected the lens flux, H = 16.39 +/- 0.08. The lens, a disk star, is brighter than predicted from the modeling in the original study. We revisited the light curve modeling using additional photometric data from the B and C telescope in New Zealand and CTIO 1.3 m H-band light curve. We then include the Keck and Subaru adaptive optic observation constraints. The system is composed of an approximately 4-9 Gyr lens star of M(sub lens) = 1.06 +/- 0.05 solar mass at a distance of D(sub lens) = 4.0 +/- 0.3 kpc, orbited by two giant planets of 0.145 +/- 0.008 M(sub Jup) and 0.86 +/- 0.06 M(sub Jup), with projected separations of 4.0 +/- 0.5 au and 4.8 +/- 0.7 au, respectively. Because the lens is brighter than the source star by 16 +/- 8% in H, with no other blend within one arcsec, it will be possible to estimate its metallicity using subsequent IR spectroscopy with 8-10 m class telescopes. By adding a constraint on the metallicity it will be possible to refine the age of the system.

  8. MHD simulations of the interaction of the solar wind with a fast-rotating planet (e.g. Saturn or Uranus) (United States)

    Griton, L.; Pantellini, F.


    We present 3D magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations (on a spherical grid) of the interaction of the solar wind with a fast rotating magnetized planet, with arbitrary orientation of magnetic and spin axis. The large-scale flow in fast-rotating magnetospheres (e.g. the giant planets of the solar system) is described here for different orientations of the interplanetary magnetic field. We present in particular the effects of rotation on the configuration of the planet-connected magnetic field lines and on the flow pattern. We adapted the MPI-AMRVAC code to allow for any possible orientation of spin and magnetic axis using a background/residual decomposition of the magnetic field. The Saturn-like case is briefly discussed.

  9. Moon, Mars and Mundus: primary school children discover the nature and science of planet Earth from experimentation and extra-terrestrial perspectives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleinhans, M.g.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/217675123; Verkade, A.j.; Van Wessel, T.; Bastings, M.a.s.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/133948676; Marra, W.a.; Van Gog, T.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/294304975; Van Westrenen, W.; Reichwein, M.

    Like earth and planetary scientists, most children are curious about the world, the solar system and the rest of the universe. However, for various reasons primary schools emphasise language and calculus rather than natural sciences. When science is taught, examination systems often favour knowledge

  10. Planets a very short introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A


    Planets: A Very Short Introduction demonstrates the excitement, uncertainties, and challenges faced by planetary scientists, and provides an overview of our Solar System and its origins, nature, and evolution. Terrestrial planets, giant planets, dwarf planets and various other objects such as satellites (moons), asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects, and exoplanets are discussed. Our knowledge about planets has advanced over the centuries, and has expanded at a rapidly growing rate in recent years. Controversial issues are outlined, such as What qualifies as a planet? What conditions are required for a planetary body to be potentially inhabited by life? Why does Pluto no longer have planet status? And Is there life on other planets?

  11. Time of Formation and Chemical Alteration of Planetesimals, Icy Satellites, and Dwarf Planets in the Outer Solar System (United States)

    Castillo-Rogez, J.; Johnson, T.; Matson, D.; Vance, S.; Choukroun, M.; Lunine, J.


    We consider various scenarios for the early chronology of outer solar system icy objects (e.g., planetesimals, satellites, dwarf planets) depending on the time at which these objects formed with respect to the production of calcium-aluminum inclusions. The latter is our time of reference for computing the amount of short-lived radioisotopes accreted in these objects. We especially focus on hydrothermal activity that could have taken place in icy planetesimals and the consequences on the early history of bigger objects depending on the time and duration of accretion, i.e. whether or not short-lived radioisotopes were still in significant abundance in planetesimals when icy satellites and dwarf planets formed. Chemical alteration as a result of 26Al-triggered differentiation has been studied in the case of meteorite parent bodies, but the consequences of such a phenomenon in the case of outer Solar system objects has not been thoroughly addressed. However, various recent observations suggest that the outer Solar system could have formed in a few My after the beginning of the Solar system. In such conditions meteorite parent bodies and icy objects (from planetesimals to large icy objects) could have had a similar early history. Early melting is accompanied by hydrothermal circulation and resulting aqueous alteration and redistribution of major elements between the rock phase and the volatile phase. This can result in partial hydration of the silicate phase, formation of salt compounds in small objects from which molecular hydrogen can easily escape, as well as leaching of long-lived radioisotopes from the rock phase. Melting can also result in the destabilization of clathrate hydrates and thus degassing of major species predicted by cosmochemical models, with implications for the diversity of compositions of planetesimals in the early outer Solar System. We consider several classes of planetesimals, characterized by their size, time of formation, initial rock mass

  12. The Potential of Planets Orbiting Red Dwarf Stars to Support Oxygenic Photosynthesis and Complex Life


    Gale, Joseph; Wandel, Amri


    We review the latest findings on extra-solar planets and their potential to support Earth-like life. Focusing on planets orbiting Red Dwarf (RD) stars, the most abundant stellar type, we show that including RDs as potential host stars could increase the probability of finding biotic planets by a factor of up to a thousand, and reduce the estimate of the distance to our nearest biotic neighbor by up to 10. We argue that binary and multiple star systems need to be taken into account when discus...

  13. Origins of Inner Solar Systems (United States)

    Dawson, Rebekah Ilene


    Over the past couple decades, thousands of extra-solar planetshave been discovered orbiting other stars. The exoplanets discovered to date exhibit a wide variety of orbital and compositional properties; most are dramatically different from the planets in our own Solar System. Our classical theories for the origins of planetary systems were crafted to account for the Solar System and fail to account for the diversity of planets now known. We are working to establish a new blueprint for the origin of planetary systems and identify the key parameters of planet formation and evolution that establish the distribution of planetary properties observed today. The new blueprint must account for the properties of planets in inner solar systems, regions of planetary systems closer to their star than Earth’s separation from the Sun and home to most exoplanets detected to data. I present work combining simulations and theory with data analysis and statistics of observed planets to test theories of the origins of inner solars, including hot Jupiters, warm Jupiters, and tightly-packed systems of super-Earths. Ultimately a comprehensive blueprint for planetary systems will allow us to better situate discovered planets in the context of their system’s formation and evolution, important factors in whether the planets may harbor life.

  14. Spectroscopic binaries in the Solar Twin Planet Search program: from substellar-mass to M dwarf companions (United States)

    dos Santos, Leonardo A.; Meléndez, Jorge; Bedell, Megan; Bean, Jacob L.; Spina, Lorenzo; Alves-Brito, Alan; Dreizler, Stefan; Ramírez, Iván; Asplund, Martin


    Previous studies on the rotation of Sun-like stars revealed that the rotational rates of young stars converge towards a well-defined evolution that follows a power-law decay. It seems, however, that some binary stars do not obey this relation, often by displaying enhanced rotational rates and activity. In the Solar Twin Planet Search program, we observed several solar twin binaries, and found a multiplicity fraction of 42 per cent ± 6 per cent in the whole sample; moreover, at least three of these binaries (HIP 19911, HIP 67620 and HIP 103983) clearly exhibit the aforementioned anomalies. We investigated the configuration of the binaries in the program, and discovered new companions for HIP 6407, HIP 54582, HIP 62039 and HIP 30037, of which the latter is orbited by a 0.06 M⊙ brown dwarf in a 1 m long orbit. We report the orbital parameters of the systems with well-sampled orbits and, in addition, the lower limits of parameters for the companions that only display a curvature in their radial velocities. For the linear trend binaries, we report an estimate of the masses of their companions when their observed separation is available, and a minimum mass otherwise. We conclude that solar twin binaries with low-mass stellar companions at moderate orbital periods do not display signs of a distinct rotational evolution when compared to single stars. We confirm that the three peculiar stars are double-lined binaries, and that their companions are polluting their spectra, which explains the observed anomalies.

  15. Atmospheric Dynamics of Irradiated Planets (United States)

    Dobbs-Dixon, Ian


    Close-in gas giant planets are now familiar members of the growing family of extra-solar planets. Their short period orbits and proclivity for transiting has made them the target of numerous observational campaigns, and our knowledge of their structure and composition has increased dramatically over the past few years. However, despite their prevalence and important role in constraining a wide range of planetary models, fundamental questions about the dynamical behavior of their atmospheres remain, crucial for interpreting observations. I will discuss three-dimensional radiative hydrodynamical simulations of atmospheric flows on a wide variety of such objects, ranging from the well-known HD209458b to the more exotic rapidly rotating or highly eccentric objects. Such objects exhibit a range of unusual behavior including supersonic winds, shocks and instabilities, and time dependent behavior. I will review the results from models we have developed to study these processes with the goal of both explaining individual objects and the observed diversity among this class of planets.

  16. A possible mechanism for the capture of microparticles by the earth and other planets of the solar system. [planetary gravitation effects on cosmic dust particles (United States)

    Dibenedetto, F.


    By application of Lyttleton's theory for the formation of comets, it is shown that a possible mechanism for the origin and formation of a concentration of cosmic particles around the earth and the other planets of the solar system exists. In the vicinity of the neutral point, where the velocity of colliding particles is not greater than 6 km/s, it is found that if the solid particles after collision must remain in a solid state, there can be no possibility of accretion for Mercury, Mars, and the Moon, where the maximum value of the distance of the center of the planet to the asymptotic trajectory is less than the radius of the planet. On the other hand, the capture radii of microparticles in solid form varies from a minimum of 2.95 planetary radii for Venus and 3.47 for the Earth, to about 986 for Jupiter.

  17. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Outer Planet Orbital Transfer and Lander Analyses (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan


    Atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as Helium 3 (3He) and deuterium can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and deuterium were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses were undertaken to investigate resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. This included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. Analyses of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), landers, and the issues with in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) mining factories are included. Preliminary observations are presented on near-optimal selections of moon base orbital locations, OTV power levels, and OTV and lander rendezvous points. For analyses of round trip OTV flights from Uranus to Miranda or Titania, a 10- Megawatt electric (MWe) OTV power level and a 200 metricton (MT) lander payload were selected based on a relative short OTV trip time and minimization of the number of lander flights. A similar optimum power level is suggested for OTVs flying from low orbit around Neptune to Thalassa or Triton. Several moon base sites at Uranus and Neptune and the OTV requirements to support them are also addressed.

  18. Extensions of the CDPP/Propagation tool to the case of comets, giant planet auroral emissions, and catalogues of solar wind disturbances (United States)

    André, N.; Génot, V.; Rouillard, A.; Bouchemit, M.; Caussarieu, S.; Beigbeder, L.; Toniutti, J.-P.; Popescu, D.


    For this PSWS service we has extended the Propagation Tool available at CDPP ( to the case of comets, giant planet auroral emissions, and catalogues of solar wind disturbances. The service provides new plug-ins including selection of comets as targets, visualization of their trajectories, projection onto solar maps, projection onto J-maps (maps of solar wind outflows obtained from the Heliospheric Imagers onboard STEREO spacecraft, in which multiple elongation profiles along a constant position angle are stacked in time, building an image in which radially propagating transients form curved tracks in the J-map; it will enable the user to use catalogue of solar wind disturbances in order to identify those that have impacted the planetary environments.

  19. Terrestrial planet formation. (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P


    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  20. Lessons from our Own Solar System: Generation Mechanisms of Radio Emissions from Earth, Saturn and Jupiter and Atmospheric Loss from Magnetized versus non-magnetized planets (United States)

    Brandt, Pontus


    The understanding of the engines and mechanisms behind kilometric and decametric radio emissions from the planets in our own solar system have taken great leaps with missions such as the NASA/Cassini, IMAGE and Galileo missions. The periodic Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR), the Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR) at Earth and the periodic decametric radio emissions from Jupiter all point to the same generation mechanisms: very large-scale explosive plasma heating events in the magnetotail of each of the planets. The character and periodicity of the associated radio emissions not only tells us about the presence of a magnetic field but also about the plasma content and size of the planetary magnetosphere, and the nature of the interaction with the solar wind.The presence of a planetary magnetic field, as could be established for exoplanets by the positive detection of low-frequency exoplanetary radio emissions, has been thought to shield a planet from atmospheric loss to space. However, recent data from Mars Express, MAVEN, and Venus Express, together with the wealth of terrestrial measurements of atmospheric escape to space has brought a surprising question in to light: Does a planetary magnetic field suppress or enhance atmospheric loss? While at the non-magnetized planets such as Mars and Venus, the solar wind has a more direct access to the ionized upper atmosphere, these planets do set up self shielding currents that do limit escape. Furthermore, it is not clear if Mars have lost the majority of its atmosphere by condensation in to surface and sub-surface frost, or through atmospheric escape. At Earth, the geomagnetic field sets up a relatively large cross section to the solar wind, that allows the induced solar-wind electric field to transfer substantial energy to the upper ionosphere and atmosphere resulting in substantial loss. It is therefore not clear how a planetary magnetic field correlates to the atmospheric loss, or if it does at all.In this

  1. Planet X - Fact or fiction? (United States)

    Anderson, John


    The search for a possible tenth planet in our solar system is examined. The history of the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are reviewed. Searches of the sky with telescopes and theoretical studies of the gravitational influences on the orbits of known objects in the solar system are discussed. Information obtained during the Pioneer 10 and 11 missions which could suggest the presence of an undiscovered planet and computer simulations of the possible orbit of a tenth planet are presented.

  2. Planet X - ract or fiction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, J.


    The search for a possible tenth planet in our solar system is examined. The history of the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are reviewed. Searches of the sky with telescopes and theoretical studies of the gravitational influences on the orbits of known objects in the solar system are discussed. Information obtained during the Pioneer 10 and 11 missions which could suggest the presence of an undiscovered planet and computer simulations of the possible orbit of a tenth planet are presented.

  3. Planet X - Fact or fiction? (United States)

    Anderson, John


    The search for a possible tenth planet in our solar system is examined. The history of the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are reviewed. Searches of the sky with telescopes and theoretical studies of the gravitational influences on the orbits of known objects in the solar system are discussed. Information obtained during the Pioneer 10 and 11 missions which could suggest the presence of an undiscovered planet and computer simulations of the possible orbit of a tenth planet are presented.

  4. Classifying Planets: Nature vs. Nurture (United States)

    Beichman, Charles A.


    The idea of a planet was so simple when we learned about the solar system in elementary school. Now students and professional s alike are faced with confusing array of definitions --- from "Brown Dwarfs” to "Super Jupiters", from "Super Earths” to "Terrestrial Planets", and from "Planets” to "Small, Sort-of Round Things That Aren't Really Planets". I will discuss how planets might be defined by how they formed, where they are found, or by the life they might support.

  5. Role of the ionosphere for the atmospheric evolution of planets. (United States)

    Yamauchi, Masatoshi; Wahlund, Jan-Erik


    We have synthesized current understanding, mainly observations, with regard to ion escape mechanisms to space from the ionosphere and exosphere of Titan and Earth-type planets, with the intent to provide an improved input for models of atmospheric evolution on early Earth and Earth-type planets and exoplanets. We focus on the role of the ionosphere and its non-linear response to solar parameters, all of which have been underestimated in current models of ancient atmospheric escape (4 billion years ago). Factors that have been overlooked include the following: (1) Much larger variation of O(+) outflow than H(+) outflow from the terrestrial ionosphere, depending on solar and geomagnetic activities (an important consideration when attempting to determine the oxidized state of the atmosphere of early Earth); (2) magnetization of the ionopause, which keeps ionospheric ions from escaping and controls many other escape processes; (3) extra ionization by, for example, the critical ionization velocity mechanism, which expands the ionosphere to greater altitudes than current models predict; and (4) the large escape of cold ions from the dense, expanded ionosphere of Titan. Here we offer, as a guideline for quantitative simulations, a qualitative diagnosis of increases or decreases of non-thermal escape related to the ionosphere for magnetized and unmagnetized planets in response to changes in solar parameters (i.e., solar EUV/FUV flux, solar wind dynamic pressure, and interplanetary magnetic field).

  6. Space based microlensing planet searches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tisserand Patrick


    Full Text Available The discovery of extra-solar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects unite the communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: the proposed ESA M class mission EUCLID and the large space mission WFIRST, top ranked by the Astronomy 2010 Decadal Survey report. The later states that: “Space-based microlensing is the optimal approach to providing a true statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, over a range of likely semi-major axes”. They also add: “This census, combined with that made by the Kepler mission, will determine how common Earth-like planets are over a wide range of orbital parameters”. We will present a status report of the results obtained by microlensing on exoplanets and the new objectives of the next generation of ground based wide field imager networks. We will finally discuss the fantastic prospect offered by space based microlensing at the horizon 2020–2025.

  7. Planets in Binary Star Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Haghighipour, Nader


    The discovery of extrasolar planets over the past decade has had major impacts on our understanding of the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. There are features and characteristics unseen in our solar system and unexplainable by the current theories of planet formation and dynamics. Among these new surprises is the discovery of planets in binary and multiple-star systems. The discovery of such "binary-planetary" systems has confronted astrodynamicists with many new challenges, and has led them to re-examine the theories of planet formation and dynamics. Among these challenges are: How are planets formed in binary star systems? What would be the notion of habitability in such systems? Under what conditions can binary star systems have habitable planets? How will volatiles necessary for life appear on such planets? This volume seeks to gather the current research in the area of planets in binary and multistar systems and to familiarize readers with its associated theoretical and observation...

  8. Theory of Giant Planets (United States)

    Hubbard, W. B.; Burrows, A.; Lunine, J. I.

    Giant planet research has moved from the study of a handful of solar system objects to that of a class of bodies with dozens of known members. Since the original 1995 discovery of the first extrasolar giant planets (EGPs), the total number of known examples has increased to ~80 (circa November 2001). Current theoretical studies of giant planets emphasize predicted observable properties, such as luminosity, effective temperature, radius, external gravity field, atmospheric composition, and emergent spectra as a function of mass and age. This review focuses on the general theory of hydrogen-rich giant planets; smaller giant planets with the mass and composition of Uranus and Neptune are not covered. We discuss the status of the theory of the nonideal thermodynamics of hydrogen and hydrogen-helium mixtures under the conditions found in giant-planet interiors, and the experimental constraints on it. We provide an overview of observations of extrasolar giant planets and our own giant planets by which the theory can be validated.

  9. On the evidence of extra mixing in models of 8 M⊙ computed with the new solar abundances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scuflaire R.


    Full Text Available Stars more massive than about 3M⊙ are known to experience loops in the HR diagram during their core helium burning phase. Except for very massive stars the extent of their loops increases with the stellar mass. We show that a stellar evolution track for a 8M⊙ star computed with the new solar abundances [2] shows only a very tiny loop located near the red giant branch. An overshooting below the convective envelope is required to obtain a H-discontinuity located deep enough in the μ-gradient region and thus to allow the development of a loop in the HR diagram.

  10. Shaded Spacecraft Radiators to Be Used on the Daytime Surface of the Mercury Planet, the Moon, and Asteroids of the Solar System Inner Part

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Igrickii


    Full Text Available During the daytime a surface of the Moon, Mercury planet, and asteroids of the Solar system inner part, significantly heats up, and infrared radiation of the local soil becomes essential. At the same time direct solar radiation and reflected from the surface solar radiation reach the maximum too. These radiation fluxes can significantly decrease the efficiency of spacecraft radiators in the daytime. This effect is especially strong on the Mercury surface where direct solar radiation is 10 times stronger than solar radiation near the Earth. As a result, on the daytime surface of the Mercury the conventional low-temperature radiators become completely disabled.The article describes the development of the special shaded spacecraft radiators to be used in daytime on the Mercury and other atmosphereless bodies of the Solar system inner part. To solve this task are used mirror shades. The shape of these shades is developed to improve operation conditions of the spacecraft radiator through the appropriate scheme of radiation reflection. The task is discussed in 2D and 3D cases. A new design of shaded spacecraft radiators is proposed, and reasonable proportions of radiators are determined. The performance capability of proposed radiators for environments of the Mercury and the Moon is estimated using the zonal method in view of partial mirror reflection. The calculations showed that the developed shaded spacecraft radiators are capable to work on the Mercury surface as the low-temperature radiators even during the daytime. New radiators provide minimum accepted operating temperature of 241К (-32°С, meanwhile radiators of common design have minimum operating temperature of 479К (206°С. Using such radiators on the Moon enables us to increase effectiveness of spacecraft radiators and to decrease their minimum operating temperature from 270К (-3°С to 137К (-136°С.

  11. Observed properties of extrasolar planets. (United States)

    Howard, Andrew W


    Observational surveys for extrasolar planets probe the diverse outcomes of planet formation and evolution. These surveys measure the frequency of planets with different masses, sizes, orbital characteristics, and host star properties. Small planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune substantially outnumber Jupiter-sized planets. The survey measurements support the core accretion model, in which planets form by the accumulation of solids and then gas in protoplanetary disks. The diversity of exoplanetary characteristics demonstrates that most of the gross features of the solar system are one outcome in a continuum of possibilities. The most common class of planetary system detectable today consists of one or more planets approximately one to three times Earth's size orbiting within a fraction of the Earth-Sun distance.

  12. Redox Variations in Early Solar System Materials and Implications for Late Stage Planetary Accretion and Planet Formation (United States)

    Righter, K.


    Oxygen fugacity plays an important role in determining the detailed physical and chemical aspects of planets and their building blocks. Basic chemical properties such as the amount of oxidized Fe in a mantle (as FeO), the nature of alloying elements in the core (S, C, H, O, Si), and the solubility of various volatile elements in the silicate and metallic portions of embryos and planets can influence physical properties such as the size of the core, the liquidus and solidus of the mantle and core, and the speciation of volatile compounds contributing to atmospheres. This paper will provide an overview of the range of fO2 variation observed in primitive and differentiated materials that may have participated in accretion (cosmic dust, Star-dust and meteorites), a comparison to observations of planetary fO2 (Mercury, Mars and Earth), and a discus-sion of timing of variation of fO2 within both early and later accreted materials. This overview is meant to promote discussion and interaction between students of these two stages of planet formation to identify areas where more work is needed.

  13. Status of the accretion flow solution in the Golden Jubilee year of the discovery of extra-solar X-ray sources (United States)

    Chakrabarti, S. K.

    Fifty years have just passed since the first discovery of the extra-solar X-ray sources by Giacconi and his team which we know today to be some stellar mass black holes. By 1973, not only a catalog of these enigmatic objects were made, and their spectra were obtained. Today, forty years have passed since the revolutionary idea of the thin, axisymmetric, Keplerian, disk model by Shakura and Sunyaev was published. Yet, the complete predictability of their radiative properties remains as illusive as ever. The only available and self-consistent solution to date is the generalized viscous transonic flow solutions where both heating and cooling effects are included. I demonstrate that the latest `Avatar' of the accretion/outflow picture, the Generalized Two Component Advective Flow (GTCAF), is capable of explaining almost all the black hole observational results, when the results of the time dependent simulation of viscous and radiative processes are also taken into consideration. I also discuss the problems with predictability and argue that understanding companion's behaviour in terms of its habit of mass loss, ellipticity of its orbit, magnetic properties, etc. is extremely important for the prediction of emission properties of the accretion flow.

  14. Kepler-77b: a very low albedo, Saturn-mass transiting planet around a metal-rich solar-like star (United States)

    Gandolfi, D.; Parviainen, H.; Fridlund, M.; Hatzes, A. P.; Deeg, H. J.; Frasca, A.; Lanza, A. F.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Tognelli, E.; McQuillan, A.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Antoci, V.; Cabrera, J.; Carone, L.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Djupvik, A. A.; Guenther, E. W.; Jessen-Hansen, J.; Ofir, A.; Telting, J.


    We report the discovery of Kepler-77b (alias KOI-127.01), a Saturn-mass transiting planet in a 3.6-day orbit around a metal-rich solar-like star. We combined the publicly available Kepler photometry (quarters 1-13) with high-resolution spectroscopy from the Sandiford at McDonald and FIES at NOT spectrographs. We derived the system parameters via a simultaneous joint fit to the photometric and radial velocity measurements. Our analysis is based on the Bayesian approach and is carried out by sampling the parameter posterior distributions using a Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation. Kepler-77b is a moderately inflated planet with a mass of Mp = 0.430 ± 0.032 MJup, a radius of Rp = 0.960 ± 0.016 RJup, and a bulk density of ρp = 0.603 ± 0.055 g cm-3. It orbits a slowly rotating (Prot = 36 ± 6 days) G5 V star with M⋆ = 0.95 ± 0.04 M⊙, R⋆ = 0.99 ± 0.02 R⊙, Teff = 5520 ± 60 K, [M/H] = 0.20 ± 0.05 dex, that has an age of 7.5 ± 2.0 Gyr. The lack of detectable planetary occultation with a depth higher than ~10 ppm implies a planet geometric and Bond albedo of Ag ≤ 0.087 ± 0.008 and AB ≤ 0.058 ± 0.006, respectively, placing Kepler-77b among the gas-giant planets with the lowest albedo known so far. We found neither additional planetary transit signals nor transit-timing variations at a level of ~0.5 min, in accordance with the trend that close-in gas giant planets seem to belong to single-planet systems. The 106 transitsobserved in short-cadence mode by Kepler for nearly 1.2 years show no detectable signatures of the planet's passage in front of starspots. We explored the implications of the absence of detectable spot-crossing events for the inclination of the stellar spin-axis, the sky-projected spin-orbit obliquity, and the latitude of magnetically active regions. Based on observations obtained with the 2.1-m Otto Struve telescope at McDonald Observatory, Texas, USA.Based on observations obtained with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the

  15. The potential of planets orbiting red dwarf stars to support oxygenic photosynthesis and complex life (United States)

    Gale, Joseph; Wandel, Amri


    We review the latest findings on extra-solar planets and their potential of having environmental conditions that could support Earth-like life. Focusing on planets orbiting red dwarf (RD) stars, the most abundant stellar type in the Milky Way, we show that including RDs as potential life supporting host stars could increase the probability of finding biotic planets by a factor of up to a thousand, and reduce the estimate of the distance to our nearest biotic neighbour by up to 10. We argue that binary and multiple star systems need to be taken into account when discussing habitability and the abundance of biotic exoplanets, in particular RDs in such systems. Early considerations indicated that conditions on RD planets would be inimical to life, as their habitable zones would be so close to the host star as to make planets tidally locked. This was thought to cause an erratic climate and expose life forms to flares of ionizing radiation. Recent calculations show that these negative factors are less severe than originally thought. It has also been argued that the lesser photon energy of the radiation of the relatively cool RDs would not suffice for oxygenic photosynthesis (OP) and other related energy expending reactions. Numerous authors suggest that OP on RD planets may evolve to utilize photons in the infrared. We however argue, by analogy to the evolution of OP and the environmental physiology and distribution of land-based vegetation on Earth, that the evolutionary pressure to utilize infrared radiation would be small. This is because vegetation on RD planets could enjoy continuous illumination of moderate intensity, containing a significant component of photosynthetic 400-700 nm radiation. We conclude that conditions for OP could exist on RD planets and consequently the evolution of complex life might be possible. Furthermore, the huge number and the long lifetime of RDs make it more likely to find planets with photosynthesis and life around RDs than around

  16. Magic Planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland


    Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november......Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november...

  17. We too may find new planets (United States)

    Diaz-Merced, Wanda Liz Liz


    Significant Scintillation of Radio Waves is caused by Plasma Instabilities. Radio Frequency radiation is emitted by a large amount extra-terrestrial sources. These radio waves contains information about these objects through the large portion of the electromagnetic spectra. Propagation of electromagnetic waves, like optical or radio waves, through a medium with random fluctuations in Refractive Index results in amplitude and phase fluctuations. In this poster we will present an amateur project exploring the possible different mechanisms of the influence of a central star or solar activity on a possible planet (e.g magnetospheric, atmospheric etc) parameters( Perez-Peraza 2007). Examples of sonified spectral analysis techniques , (using earth and our sun as a probe) for the amateur astronomer are demonstrated following strict accessibility guidelines. Sunspot and magnetometer data (interplanetary magnetic field (ACE satellite) and geomagnetic field (GOES satellite)) as well as decametric antenna signals are analyzed in context of the Sun-Earth connection. Those are compared with the predictions of theoretical models of the influence of Solar activity on a possible atmosphere (Perez-Peraza 2007): our amateur results and methodologies confirm the relationship between the variations of geomagnetic/atmospheric parameters and variations of galactic and solar cosmic rays modelled by Perez-Peraza 2007.

  18. Venus and Mercury as Planets (United States)


    A general evolutionary history of the solar planetary system is given. The previously observed characteristics of Venus and Mercury (i.e. length of day, solar orbit, temperature) are discussed. The role of the Mariner 10 space probe in gathering scientific information on the two planets is briefly described.

  19. Atmospheric dynamics of tidally synchronized extrasolar planets. (United States)

    Cho, James Y-K


    Tidally synchronized planets present a new opportunity for enriching our understanding of atmospheric dynamics on planets. Subject to an unusual forcing arrangement (steady irradiation on the same side of the planet throughout its orbit), the dynamics on these planets may be unlike that on any of the Solar System planets. Characterizing the flow pattern and temperature distribution on the extrasolar planets is necessary for reliable interpretation of data currently being collected, as well as for guiding future observations. In this paper, several fundamental concepts from atmospheric dynamics, likely to be central for characterization, are discussed. Theoretical issues that need to be addressed in the near future are also highlighted.

  20. Formation of Outer Planets: Overview (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack


    An overview of current theories of planetary formation, with emphasis on giant planets is presented. The most detailed models are based upon observation of our own Solar System and of young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believe to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. According to the prevailing core instability model, giant planets begin their growth by the accumulation of small solid bodies, as do terrestrial planets. However, unlike terrestrial planets, the growing giant cores become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk disspates. The primary questions regarding the core instability model is whether planets with small cores can accrete gaseous enveloples within the lifetimes of gaseous protoplanetary disks. The main alternative giant planet formation model is the disk instability model, in which gaseous planets form directly via gravitational instabilities within protoplanetary disks. Formation of giant planets via gas instability has never been demonstrated for realistic disk conditions. Moreover, this model has difficulty explaining the supersolar abundances of heavy elements in Jupiter and Saturn, and it does not explain the orgin of planets like Uranus and Neptune.

  1. Final Report: "Recreating Planet Cores in the Laboratory"

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeanloz, Raymond [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)


    The grant supported a combination of experimental and theoretical research characterizing materials at high pressures (above 0.1-1 TPa = 1-10 million atmospheres) and modest temperatures (below 20,000-100,000 K). This is the “warm dense” (sub-nuclear) regime relevant to understanding the properties of planets, and also to characterizing the chemical bonding forces between atoms. As such, the experiments provide important validation and extensions of theoretical simulations based on quantum mechanics, and offer new insights into the nature and evolution of planets, including the thousands of recently discovered extra-solar planets. In particular, our experiments have documented that: 1) helium can separate from hydrogen at conditions existing inside Jupiter and Saturn, providing much of these planets’ internal energy hence observed luminosities; 2) water ice is likely present in a superionic state with mobile protons inside Uranus and Neptune; 3) rock (oxides) can become metallic at conditions inside “super-Earths” and other large planets, thereby contributing to their magnetic fields; and 4) the “statistical atom” regime that provides the theoretical foundation for characterizing materials at planetary and astrophysical conditions is now accessible to experimental testing.

  2. Protostars and Planets VI (United States)

    Beuther, Henrik; Klessen, Ralf S.; Dullemond, Cornelis P.; Henning, Thomas

    The Protostars and Planets book and conference series has been a long-standing tradition that commenced with the first meeting led by Tom Gehrels and held in Tucson, Arizona, in 1978. The goal then, as it still is today, was to bridge the gap between the fields of star and planet formation as well as the investigation of planetary systems and planets. As Tom Gehrels stated in the preface to the first Protostars and Planets book, "Cross-fertilization of information and understanding is bound to occur when investigators who are familiar with the stellar and interstellar phases meet with those who study the early phases of solar system formation." The central goal remained the same for the subsequent editions of the books and conferences Protostars and Planets II in 1984, Protostars and Planets III in 1990, Protostars and Planets IV in 1998, and Protostars and Planets V in 2005, but has now been greatly expanded by the flood of new discoveries in the field of exoplanet science. The original concept of the Protostars and Planets series also formed the basis for the sixth conference in the series, which took place on July 15-20, 2013. It was held for the first time outside of the United States in the bustling university town of Heidelberg, Germany. The meeting attracted 852 participants from 32 countries, and was centered around 38 review talks and more than 600 posters. The review talks were expanded to form the 38 chapters of this book, written by a total of 250 contributing authors. This Protostars and Planets volume reflects the current state-of-the-art in star and planet formation, and tightly connects the fields with each other. It is structured into four sections covering key aspects of molecular cloud and star formation, disk formation and evolution, planetary systems, and astrophysical conditions for life. All poster presentations from the conference can be found at In the eight years that have passed since the fifth conference and book in the

  3. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Outer Planet In-Space Bases and Moon Bases for Resource Processing (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan


    Atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as Helium 3 (3He) and deuterium can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and deuterium were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses were undertaken to investigate resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. This included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. The propulsion and transportation requirements for all of the major moons of Uranus and Neptune are presented. Analyses of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), landers, factories, and the issues with in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) low gravity processing factories are included. Preliminary observations are presented on near-optimal selections of moon base orbital locations, OTV power levels, and OTV and lander rendezvous points. Several artificial gravity in-space base designs and orbital sites at Uranus and Neptune and the OTV requirements to support them are also addressed.

  4. Formation of Extrasolar Giant Planets by Core Nucleated Accretion (United States)

    Bodenheimer, Peter

    Central objectives: Improving our understanding of extra-solar gas giant planet formation through the Core-Nucleated Accretion model, based on constraints derived from extrasolar planet observations. More specifically, we will determine: (1) the physical conditions in a protoplanetary disk, at various distances from the star, that may lead to the formation of gas giant planets; (2) the effects of planetary migration, due to resonant torques, on realistic planet formation models, when disk evolution is taken into account; (3) luminosities, surface temperatures, and other observable properties of giant planets formed through core-nucleated accretion, which will help in the characterization of young planet candidates detected via imaging techniques. Methods and techniques: We will pursue these objectives mainly by means of numerical modeling. A number of state-of-the-art codes will be employed to model in detail different processes at various stages of the planet's growth. (1) A multi-zone accretion code will be used to model accretion of planetesimals onto the solid core. This approach will allow us to account for the evolution of the size distribution of the planetesimals, the variations of their velocity distribution relative to the planet's core, the orbital spacing of potential competing cores, and a time variable rate of accretion of small planetesimals with a range of sizes as well as of stochastic impacts of larger bodies. All these effects will provide a more accurate determination of the time scales for the growth of a giant planet's solid core. (2) A planet formation code that includes a large number of physical effects, calculated in a detailed manner, will be used to model the planet evolution until gas accretion ends. The code computes the interaction of the planetesimals with the protoplanet's envelope and determines whether the planetesimals reach the core or are dissolved in the envelope. The calculation of the thermal structure of the envelope takes

  5. New views of the solar system

    CERN Document Server


    Is your library up to date on the Solar System? When the International Astronomical Union redefined the term "planet," Pluto was stripped of its designation as the solar system''s ninth planet. New Views of the Solar System looks at scientists'' changing perspectives on the solar system, with articles on Pluto, the eight chief planets, and dwarf planets. Brilliant photos and drawings showcase the planets, asteroids, comets, and more, providing a stunning collection of vivid and detailed images of the solar system.

  6. A New Family of Planets ? "Ocean Planets"


    Leger, A.; Selsis, F.; Sotin, C.; Guillot, T.; Despois, D.; Lammer, H.; Ollivier, M.; Brachet, F.; Labeque, A.; Valette, C.


    A new family of planets is considered which is between rochy terrestrial planets and gaseous giant ones: "Ocean-Planets". We present the possible formation, composition and internal models of these putative planets, including that of their ocean, as well as their possible Exobiology interest. These planets should be detectable by planet detection missions such as Eddington and Kepler, and possibly COROT (lauch scheduled in 2006). They would be ideal targets for spectroscopic missions such as ...

  7. [Extrasolar terrestrial planets and possibility of extraterrestrial life]. (United States)

    Ida, Shigeru


    Recent development of research on extrasolar planets are reviewed. About 120 extrasolar Jupiter-mass planets have been discovered through the observation of Doppler shift in the light of their host stars that is caused by acceleration due to planet orbital motions. Although the extrasolar planets so far observed may be limited to gas giant planets and their orbits differ from those of giant planets in our Solar system (Jupiter and Saturn), the theoretically predicted probability of existence of extrasolar terrestrial planets that can have liquid water ocean on their surface is comparable to that of detectable gas giant planets. Based on the number of extrasolar gas giants detected so far, about 100 life-sustainable planets may exist within a range of 200 light years. Indirect observation of extrasolar terrestrial planets would be done with space telescopes within several years and direct one may be done within 20 years. The latter can detect biomarkers on these planets as well.

  8. Planets, stars and stellar systems

    CERN Document Server

    Bond, Howard; McLean, Ian; Barstow, Martin; Gilmore, Gerard; Keel, William; French, Linda


    This is volume 3 of Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems, a six-volume compendium of modern astronomical research covering subjects of key interest to the main fields of contemporary astronomy. This volume on “Solar and Stellar Planetary Systems” edited by Linda French and Paul Kalas presents accessible review chapters From Disks to Planets, Dynamical Evolution of Planetary Systems, The Terrestrial Planets, Gas and Ice Giant Interiors, Atmospheres of Jovian Planets, Planetary Magnetospheres, Planetary Rings, An Overview of the Asteroids and Meteorites, Dusty Planetary Systems and Exoplanet Detection Methods. All chapters of the handbook were written by practicing professionals. They include sufficient background material and references to the current literature to allow readers to learn enough about a specialty within astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology to get started on their own practical research projects. In the spirit of the series Stars and Stellar Systems published by Chicago University Press in...

  9. Gravitational Microlensing of Earth-mass Planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpsøe, Kennet Bomann West

    It was only 17 years ago that the first planet outside of our own solar system was detected in the form of 51 Pegasi b. This planet is unlike anything in our own solar system. In fact, this planet was the first representative of a class of planets later known as “hot Jupiters”– gas giants......, i.e. it is much easier to detect high mass planets in close orbits. With these two methods it is hard to detect planets in an exo-solar system with a structure similar to our own solar system; specifically, it is hard to detect Earth-like planets in Earth-like orbits. It is presently unknown how...... common such planets are in our galaxy. There are a few other known methods for detecting exoplanets which have very different bias patterns. This thesis has been divided into two parts, treating two of these other methods. Part I is dedicated to the method of gravitational microlensing, a method...

  10. BINARY MINOR PLANETS V1.0 (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We present a data table giving basic physical and orbital parameters for known binary minor planets in the Solar System (and Pluto/Charon) based on published...

  11. Astronomy: Ring detected around a dwarf planet (United States)

    Sickafoose, Amanda A.


    Observations of the distant dwarf planet Haumea constrain its size, shape and density, and reveal an encircling planetary ring. The discovery suggests that rings are not as rare in the Solar System as previously thought. See Letter p.219

  12. Astronomers find distant planet like Jupiter

    CERN Multimedia


    Astronomers searching for planetary systems like our solar system have found a planet similar to Jupiter orbiting a nearby star similar to our Sun, about 90 light-years from Earth, according to researchers (1/2 page).

  13. Monster telescope hunts blue planets

    CERN Multimedia

    Leake, J


    BRITAIN is to back a project to build the world's biggest telescope - so powerful that it could see life-bearing planets in other solar systems. It will need the largest mirror ever built at about 100 metres in diameter (1/2 page).

  14. Evolution of Earth Like Planets (United States)

    Monroy-Rodríguez, M. A.; Vega, K. M.


    In order to study and explain the evolution of our own planet we have done a review of works related to the evolution of Earth-like planets. From the stage of proto-planet to the loss of its atmosphere. The planetary formation from the gas and dust of the proto-planetary disk, considering the accretion by the process of migration, implies that the material on the proto-planet is very mixed. The newborn planet is hot and compact, it begins its process of stratification by gravity separation forming a super dense nucleus, an intermediate layer of convective mantle and an upper mantle that is less dense, with material that emerges from zones at very high pressure The surface with low pressure, in this process the planet expands and cools. This process also releases gas to the surface, forming the atmosphere, with the gas gravitationally bounded. The most important thing for the life of the planet is the layer of convective mantle, which produces the magnetic field, when it stops the magnetic field disappears, as well as the rings of van allen and the solar wind evaporates the atmosphere, accelerating the evolution and cooling of the planet. In a natural cycle of cataclysms and mass extinctions, the solar system crosses the galactic disk every 30 million years or so, the increase in the meteorite fall triggers the volcanic activity and the increase in the release of CO2 into the atmosphere reaching critical levels (4000 billion tons) leads us to an extinction by overheating that last 100 000 years, the time it takes CO2 to sediment to the ocean floor. Human activity will lead us to reach critical levels of CO2 in approximately 300 years.

  15. Thermal elastic deformations of the planet Mercury. (United States)

    Liu, H.-S.


    The variation in solar heating due to the resonance rotation of Mercury produces periodic elastic deformations on the surface of the planet. The thermal stress and strain fields under Mercury's surface are calculated after certain simplifications. It is found that deformations penetrate to a greater depth than the variation of solar heating, and that the thermal strain on the surface of the planet pulsates with an amplitude of .004 and a period of 176 days.

  16. The case against Planet X. (United States)

    Goldreich, P.; Ward, W. R.


    The dynamical consequences of the hypothetical trans-Plutonian planet suggested by Brady (1972) are considered. It is concluded that the combination of large mass and unusual orbital inclination would have two serious effects on the solar system. The angle between the solar axis and the normal to the ecliptic would suffer large variations with a period of a few times ten million years, and the coplanar configuration of the outer solar system would be disrupted on a time scale of 1 m.y. The large residuals in the orbit of Halley's comet which prompted the suggestion of a trans-Plutonian planet can be explained in terms of nongravitation forces and the weak orbital binding energy of this object.

  17. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B


    One of the most exciting scientific discoveries in the last decade of the twentieth century was the first detection of planets orbiting a star other than our own. By now more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered indirectly, by observing the gravitational effects of the planet on the radial velocity of its parent star. This technique has fundamental limitations: it is most sensitive to planets close to their star, and it determines only a planet's orbital period and a lower limit on the planet's mass. As a result, all the planetary systems found so far are very different from our own--they have giant Jupiter-sized planets orbiting close to their star, where the terrestrial planets are found in our solar system. Such systems have overturned the conventional paradigm of planet formation, but have no room in them for habitable Earth-like planets. A powerful complement to radial velocity detections of extrasolar planets will be direct imaging--seeing photons from the planet itself. Such a detection would allow photometric measurements to determine the temperature and radius of a planet. Also, direct detection is most sensitive to planets in wide orbits, and hence more capable of seeing solar systems resembling our own, since a giant planet in a wide orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet closer to the star. Direct detection, however, is extremely challenging. Jupiter is roughly a billion times fainter than our sun. Two techniques allowed us to overcome this formidable contrast and attempt to see giant planets directly. The first is adaptive optics (AO) which allows giant earth-based telescopes, such as the 10 meter W.M. Keck telescope, to partially overcome the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence. The second is looking for young planets: by searching in the infrared for companions to young stars, we can see thermal emission from planets that are still warm with the heat of their formation. Together with a UCLA team that

  18. Planet Ocean (United States)

    Afonso, Isabel


    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

  19. Meteority svidetel'stvuyut: v solnechnoj sisteme byla eshche odna krupnaya planeta %t Meteorites testify: there was one more planet in solar system (United States)

    Rezanov, I. A.

    In agreement with the theory developed in the middle of the 20th century by R. Dely, V. G. Fesenkov and A. N. Zavaritsky the author shows that all types of meteorites were formed from a single planet in two stages. At the first stage, the achondrite crust consisted of eucrite and diogenite was disintegrated. The drop of pressure in remaining part of the planet stimulated melting of the planet mantle under active hydrogen degassing. This process created a chondrite magma with anomalous oxygen isotope composition. The bacterial form of life conceived on the culled surface of the remaining part of the planet. At the second stage, the planet was completely disintegrated after about 50 million year, and its melted fragment became drop-like asteroid. The evidence that all meteorites were formed from the single planet is a presence of the fragments of one type of meteorites in another type; for example achondrite in chondrite, chondrite in iron meteorite and etc. The cause of Phaethon disintegration was a result of pressure drop due dissipation of the thick original hydrogen atmosphere.

  20. Extrasolar planets formation, detection and dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Dvorak, Rudolf


    This latest, up-to-date resource for research on extrasolar planets covers formation, dynamics, atmospheres and detection. After a look at the formation of giant planets, the book goes on to discuss the formation and dynamics of planets in resonances, planets in double stars, atmospheres and habitable zones, detection via spectra and transits, and the history and prospects of ESPs as well as satellite projects.Edited by a renowned expert in solar system dynamics with chapters written by the leading experts in the method described -- from the US and Europe -- this is an ideal textbook for g

  1. Evolution of Motion of a Binary Planet (United States)

    Vil'ke, V. G.; Shatina, A. V.


    A model of a binary planet, consisting of a material point of small mass and a deformable viscoelastic sphere, is suggested. The center of mass of the binary planet moves in the gravitational field of a central body in the plane, which contains planets forming the binary planet. A deformable spherical planet rotates around the axis orthogonal to the plane of planetary motion. Planet deformations are described by the linear theory of viscoelasticity. It is shown that with an appropriate approximation of the gravitational potential, there is a class of quasicircular orbits, when the eccentricities of an orbit of the center of mass of a binary planet and an orbit, describing mutual planet motion, are equal to zero. The further evolution of motion is investigated in this class of orbits with the use of the canonical Poincare-Andoyer variables. Corresponding averaged equations are found, and phase pictures are constructed; the stability of stationary solutions is investigated on the basis of equations in variations. For the Solar system planets with their satellites, forming binary planets, the application of the presented model allows us to conclude that satellites sooner or later will fall on the corresponding planets.

  2. Planet-Planet Scattering and White Dwarf Pollution (United States)

    Joasil, Arielle; Payne, Matthew John; Veras, Dimitri


    About one-quarter to one-half of white dwarfs are observed to have polluted atmospheres. White dwarfs (WD) are expected to be chemically stratified, with heavy elements rapidly sinking. The frequent observation of heavy element pollution in WD atmospheres indicates that there must be a copious and frequent supply of rocky material from remnant planetary systems acting as a pollutant. Recently, the white dwarf WD 1145+017 has been observed to have been transited by a rocky body apparently in the process of disintegrating (Vanderburg et al. 2015).Post-main sequence expansion may render the planetary system unstable (Veras 2016). Planets orbiting the white dwarf may perturb and scatter one another. If this scattering happens, any moons can be scattered about the system. As such, one possible source of the material polluting WDs is destabilized exomoons (Payne et al. 2016a, 2016b). Moons offer a plausible source of pollution due to their large total mass (in the Solar system), and their generally rocky composition that matches that found in the atmospheric pollution of WDs. During a planet-planet scattering event, the probability that a moon will be ejected from its parent planet is a function of the velocity of the perturbing planet and the distance between the perturbed moon and the perturbing planet (as well as the initial orbit of the moon). We review the results of Payne et al. (2016a, 2016b) and present new results illustrating the probability of moon ejection as a function of these key parameters. We demonstrate the utility of these results for (a) the pollution and WDs, and for (b) general planet-planet scattering scenarios around main-sequence stars.

  3. Journey to a Star Rich with Planets (United States)


    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for movie of Journey to a Star Rich with Planets This artist's animation takes us on a journey to 55 Cancri, a star with a family of five known planets - the most planets discovered so far around a star besides our own. The animation begins on Earth, with a view of the night sky and 55 Cancri (flashing dot), located 41 light-years away in the constellation Cancer. It then zooms through our solar system, passing our asteroids and planets, until finally arriving at the outskirts of 55 Cancri. The first planet to appear is the farthest out from the star -- a giant planet, probably made of gas, with a mass four times that of Jupiter. This planet orbits its star every 14 years, similar to Jupiter's 11.9-year orbit. As the movie continues, the three inner planets are shown, the closest of which is about 10 to 13 times the mass of Earth with an orbital period of less than three days. Zooming out, the animation highlights the newest member of the 55 Cancri family - a massive planet, likely made of gas, water and rock, about 45 times the mass of Earth and orbiting the star every 260 days. This planet is the fourth out from the star, and lies in the system's habitable zone (green). A habitable zone is the place around a star where liquid water would persist. Though the newest planet probably has a thick gaseous envelope, astronomers speculate that it could have one or more moons. In our own solar system, moons are common, so it seems likely that they also orbit planets in other solar systems. If such moons do exist, and if they are as large as Mars or Earth, astronomers speculate that they would retain atmospheres and surface liquid water that might make interesting environments for the development of life. The animation ends with a comparison between 55 Cancri and our solar system. The colors of the illustrated planets were chosen to resemble those of our own solar system. Astronomers do not know what the

  4. Auroral Spectra as a Tool for Detecting Extra-Etrrestrial Life (United States)

    Akasofu, S.; Lummerzheim, D.; Frey, H. U.


    One of the most prominent emissions from the aurora is the greenish-white light from oxygen atoms, while the Jovian aurora contains atomic hydrogen emissions. The oxygen emission, the so-called "green line" (557.7 nm), of the terrestrial aurora, arises mostly from the fact that plants release abundant free oxygen into the atmosphere by the photosynthesis process. Thus, the green line shows that plant life exists on Earth. It was recently reported that Upsilon Andromedae, has three planets. This star is a solar-type star. This discovery and many others in recent years are significant because they show the planetary system, like the solar system, is not quite unique. It is expected that a number of stars are accompanied by several planets, and it may not be too long before the aurora on such planets can be discovered. One possible way to detect plant life on such planets is to examine their auroral emissions. If the strong line emission at 557.7 nm and other UV/EUV emissions from oxygen can be detected among other emissions in the planetary aurora, the possibility of the presence of plant life is high. Further, if plant life exists, animal life, whether lower or higher, can also exist there. The Earth-like auroral processes leading to the oxygen emissions require, in addition to plant life, both stellar wind and planetary magnetism. It is highly probable that solar-type stars have stellar wind. If such a planet does not have a strong dipole-like magnetic field, the stellar wind can cause atmospheric glow in which the oxygen emissions may be present. In any case, if the oxygen emissions are detected in the planetary auroral spectra, the possibility of plant life there is high. The dissociation of CO2 can also release oxygen. However, if the condition of the planets is similar to that of the Earth, its contribution is very small. It is expected that auroral science will evolve in a variety of ways in the future. It is suggested that the subject dealt with here is such

  5. Stars and Planets (United States)

    Neta, Miguel


    'Estrelas e Planetas' (Stars and Planets) project was developed during the academic year 2009/2010 and was tested on three 3rd grade classes of one school in Quarteira, Portugal. The aim was to encourage the learning of science and the natural and physical phenomena through the construction and manipulation of materials that promote these themes - in this case astronomy. Throughout the project the students built a small book containing three themes of astronomy: differences between stars and planets, the solar system and the phases of the Moon. To each topic was devoted two sessions of about an hour each: the first to teach the theoretical aspects of the theme and the second session to assembly two pages of the book. All materials used (for theoretical sessions and for the construction of the book) and videos of the finished book are available for free use in So far there is only a Portuguese version but soon will be published in English as well. This project won the Excellency Prize 2011 of Casa das Ciências, a portuguese site for teachers supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Fundation (

  6. Adding an extra storey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelmark, Jesper; Dahl, Torben; Melgaard, Ebbe


    of them had to be renovated after a shorter period. In stead of just replacing the original roof with a new one, it is now a days rather common to ad an extra storey where that is possible according to local planning. The reason is as a rule based on economical benefits, but very often this extra storey...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.V. Savich


    Full Text Available The cores of the Solar System planets and the Sun are magnetized bodies, with the field of S-intensity, molten by the temperature of over million degrees. As similarly charged bodies, they interact with each other via repulsive forces that are considered, in the mechanism of gravitational attraction action, as resultant forces retaining the planets on the orbits at their inertial motion about the Sun.

  8. Radio emission of the sun and planets

    CERN Document Server

    Zheleznyakov, V V


    International Series of Monographs in Natural Philosophy, Volume 25: Radio Emission of the Sun and Planets presents the origin of the radio emission of the planets. This book examines the outstanding triumphs achieved by radio astronomy of the solar system. Comprised of 10 chapters, this volume begins with an overview of the physical conditions in the upper layers of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets. This text then examines the three characteristics of radio emission, namely, the frequency spectrum, the polarization, and the angular spectrum. Other chapters consider the measurements of the i

  9. The New Solar System (United States)

    Wilkinson, John


    Since 2006, the details of bodies making up our solar system have been revised. This was largely as a result of new discoveries of a number of planet-like objects beyond the orbit of Pluto. The International Astronomical Union redefined what constituted a planet and established two new classifications--dwarf planets and plutoids. As a result, the…

  10. Introduction to Extra Dimensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rizzo, Thomas G.; /SLAC


    Extra dimensions provide a very useful tool in addressing a number of the fundamental problems faced by the Standard Model. The following provides a very basic introduction to this very broad subject area as given at the VIII School of the Gravitational and Mathematical Physics Division of the Mexican Physical Society in December 2009. Some prospects for extra dimensional searches at the 7 TeV LHC with {approx}1 fb{sup -1} of integrated luminosity are provided.

  11. A septet of Earth-sized planets (United States)

    Triaud, Amaury; SPECULOOS Team; TRAPPIST-1 Team


    Understanding the astronomical requirements for life to emerge, and to persist, on a planet is one of the most important and exciting scientific endeavours, yet without empirical answers. To resolve this, multiple planets whose sizes and surface temperatures are similar to the Earth, need to be discovered. Those planets also need to possess properties enabling detailed atmospheric characterisation with forthcoming facilities, from which chemical traces produced by biological activity can in principle be identified.I will describe a dedicated search for such planets called SPECULOOS. Our first detection is the TRAPPIST-1 system. Intensive ground-based and space-based observations have revealed that at least seven planets populate this system. We measured their radii and obtained first estimates of their masses thanks to transit-timing variations. I will describe our on-going observational efforts aiming to reduce our uncertainties on the planet properties. The incident flux on the planets ranges from Mercury to Ceres, comprising the Earth, and permitting climatic comparisons between each of those worlds such as is not possible within our Solar system. All seven planets have the potential to harbour liquid water on at least a fraction of their surfaces, given some atmospheric and geological conditions.

  12. Planet Formation Instrument for the Thirty Meter Telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B; Troy, M; Graham, J; Doyon, R


    In the closing years of the 20th Century humankind began its exploration of the planetary systems in the solar neighborhood. Precision radial velocity measurements have now yielded the discovery of over 160 planets. Direct imaging of these planets, as opposed to detection of the effects of orbital motion on their parent star, is now feasible, and the first young planet in a wide orbit may have been detected using adaptive optics systems. Gemini and the VLT are building the first generation of high contrast adaptive optics systems, which deliver planet-imaging performance within few Airy rings of the host star. These systems will make the first surveys of the outer regions of solar systems by detecting the self-luminous radiation of young planets. These instruments will establish whether Jovian planets form predominantly through 'top-down' (global gravitational instability) or 'bottom-up' (core accretion) processes. The 8-m 'extreme' AO systems cannot see close enough to the host stars to image Doppler planets, and they cannot reach the relatively distant, young clusters and associations where planets are forming. The Planet Formation Instrument will use the nearly four-fold improved angular resolution of TMT to peer into the inner solar systems of Doppler-planet bearing stars to yield a unified sample of planets with known Keplerian orbital elements and atmospheric properties. In star formation regions, where T Tauri stars (young solar type stars) are found in abundance, PFI can see into the snow line, where the icy cores of planets like Jupiter must have formed. Thus, TMT will be the first facility to witness the formation of new planets.

  13. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-Like Worlds (United States)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; hide


    understanding the factors driving the divergent evolutionary paths of the Earth, Venus, and thousands of small rocky extra solar planets yet to be discovered.

  14. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets (United States)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  15. Extra dimensions round the corner?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abel, S. [Theory Division, CERN, Geneva (Switzerland)


    How many dimensions are we living in? This question is fundamental and yet, astonishingly, it remains unresolved. Of course, on the everyday level it appears that we are living in four dimensions three space plus one time dimension. But in recent months theoretical physicists have discovered that collisions between high-energy particles at accelerators may reveal the presence of extra space-time dimensions. On scales where we can measure the acceleration of falling objects due to gravity or study the orbital motion of planets or satellites, the gravitational force seems to be described by a 1/r{sup 2} law. The most sensitive direct tests of the gravitational law are based on torsion-balance experiments that were first performed by Henry Cavendish in 1798. However, the smallest scales on which this type of experiment can be performed are roughly 1 mm (see J C Long, H W Chan and J C Price 1999 Nucl. Phys. B 539 23). At smaller distances, objects could be gravitating in five or more dimensions that are rolled up or ''compactified'' - an idea that is bread-and-butter to string theorists. Most string theorists however believe that the gravitational effects of compact extra dimensions are too small to be observed. Now Nima Arkani-Hamed from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in the US, Savas Dimopoulos at Stanford University and Gia Dvali, who is now at New York University, suggest differently (Phys. Lett. B 1998 429 263). They advanced earlier ideas from string theory in which the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces are confined to membranes, like dirt particles trapped in soap bubbles, while the gravitational force operates in the entire higher-dimensional volume. In their theory extra dimensions should have observable effects inside particle colliders such as the Tevatron accelerator at Fermilab in the US or at the future Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The effect will show up as an excess of events in which a single jet of particles


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ingraham, Patrick; Macintosh, Bruce [Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Marley, Mark S. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Saumon, Didier [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Marois, Christian; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren [NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7 (Canada); Barman, Travis [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721-0092 (United States); Bauman, Brian [Lawrence Livermore National Lab, 7000 East Avenue, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; Fitzgerald, Michael P. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); De Rosa, Robert J. [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, PO Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States); Dillon, Daren; Gavel, Donald [Department of Astronomy, UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Doyon, René [Department de Physique, Université de Montréal, Montréal QC H3C 3J7 (Canada); Goodsell, Stephen J.; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale [Gemini Observatory, Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile); Graham, James R. [Department of Astronomy, UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA, 94720 (United States); and others


    During the first-light run of the Gemini Planet Imager we obtained K-band spectra of exoplanets HR 8799 c and d. Analysis of the spectra indicates that planet d may be warmer than planet c. Comparisons to recent patchy cloud models and previously obtained observations over multiple wavelengths confirm that thick clouds combined with horizontal variation in the cloud cover generally reproduce the planets' spectral energy distributions. When combined with the 3 to 4 μm photometric data points, the observations provide strong constraints on the atmospheric methane content for both planets. The data also provide further evidence that future modeling efforts must include cloud opacity, possibly including cloud holes, disequilibrium chemistry, and super-solar metallicity.

  17. White dwarf planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonsor Amy


    Full Text Available The recognition that planets may survive the late stages of stellar evolution, and the prospects for finding them around White Dwarfs, are growing. We discuss two aspects governing planetary survival through stellar evolution to the White Dwarf stage. First we discuss the case of a single planet, and its survival under the effects of stellar mass loss, radius expansion, and tidal orbital decay as the star evolves along the Asymptotic Giant Branch. We show that, for stars initially of 1 − 5 M⊙, any planets within about 1 − 5 AU will be engulfed, this distance depending on the stellar and planet masses and the planet's eccentricity. Planets engulfed by the star's envelope are unlikely to survive. Hence, planets surviving the Asymptotic Giant Branch phase will probably be found beyond ∼ 2 AU for a 1  M⊙ progenitor and ∼ 10 AU for a 5 M⊙ progenitor. We then discuss the evolution of two-planet systems around evolving stars. As stars lose mass, planet–planet interactions become stronger, and many systems stable on the Main Sequence become destabilised following evolution of the primary. The outcome of such instabilities is typically the ejection of one planet, with the survivor being left on an eccentric orbit. These eccentric planets could in turn be responsible for feeding planetesimals into the neighbourhood of White Dwarfs, causing observed pollution and circumstellar discs.

  18. MESSENGER: Exploring the Innermost Planet (United States)

    Solomon, S. C.


    One of Earth's closest planetary neighbors, Mercury remained comparatively unexplored for the more than three decades that followed the three flybys of the innermost planet by the Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974-75. Mariner 10 imaged 45% of Mercury's surface at about 1 km/pixel average resolution, confirmed Mercury's anomalously high bulk density and implied large fractional core size, discovered Mercury's internal magnetic field, documented that H and He are present in the planet's tenuous exosphere, and made the first exploration of Mercury's magnetosphere and solar wind environment. Ground-based astronomers later reported Na, K, and Ca in Mercury's exosphere; the presence of deposits in the floors of polar craters having radar characteristics best matched by water ice; and strong evidence from the planet's forced libration amplitude that Mercury has a fluid outer core. Spacecraft exploration of Mercury resumed with the selection for flight, under NASA's Discovery Program, of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission. Launched in 2004, MESSENGER flew by the innermost planet three times in 2008-2009 en route to becoming the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury in March of this year. MESSENGER's first chemical remote sensing measurements of Mercury's surface indicate that the planet's bulk silicate fraction differs from those of the other inner planets, with a low-Fe surface composition intermediate between basalts and ultramafic rocks and best matched among terrestrial rocks by komatiites. Moreover, surface materials are richer in the volatile constituents S and K than predicted by most planetary formation models. Global image mosaics and targeted high-resolution images (to resolutions of 10 m/pixel) reveal that Mercury experienced globally extensive volcanism, including large expanses of plains emplaced as flood lavas and widespread examples of pyroclastic deposits likely emplaced during explosive eruptions of volatile

  19. Planetary exploration through year 2000: An augmented program. Part two of a report by the Solar System Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council (United States)


    In 1982, the NASA Solar System Exploration Committee (SSEC) published a report on a Core Program of planetary missions, representing the minimum-level program that could be carried out in a cost effective manner, and would yield a continuing return of basic scientific results. This is the second part of the SSEC report, describing missions of the highest scientific merit that lie outside the scope of the previously recommended Core Program because of their cost and technical challenge. These missions include the autonomous operation of a mobile scientific rover on the surface of Mars, the automated collection and return of samples from that planet, the return to Earth of samples from asteroids and comets, projects needed to lay the groundwork for the eventual utilization of near-Earth resources, outer planet missions, observation programs for extra-solar planets, and technological developments essential to make these missions possible.

  20. Evidence for extra radiation?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamann, J.


    A number of recent analyses of cosmological data have reported hints for the presence of extra radiation beyond the standard model expectation. In order to test the robustness of these claims under different methods of constructing parameter constraints, we perform a Bayesian posterior-based and ...

  1. Study of Power Options for Jupiter and Outer Planet Missions (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Fincannon, James


    Power for missions to Jupiter and beyond presents a challenging goal for photovoltaic power systems, but NASA missions including Juno and the upcoming Europa Clipper mission have shown that it is possible to operate solar arrays at Jupiter. This work analyzes photovoltaic technologies for use in Jupiter and outer planet missions, including both conventional arrays, as well as analyzing the advantages of advanced solar cells, concentrator arrays, and thin film technologies. Index Terms - space exploration, spacecraft solar arrays, solar electric propulsion, photovoltaic cells, concentrator, Fresnel lens, Jupiter missions, outer planets.

  2. Simulação MHD Bi-Dimensional da interação do vento solar com magnetosferas planetárias


    Flávia Reis Cardoso


    O clima espacial é um termo que se refere `as condições no Sol, vento solar, magnetosfera e ionosfera, condições estas que podem influenciar o funcionamento e a confiabilidade de sistemas tecnológicos terrestres, além de poder afetar a vida e a saúde humana. O estudo das magnetosferas é de grande interesse científico, por serem laboratórios ideais para o estudo do comportamento de plasmas, os quais possuem importância crescente na questão de novas fontes de energia. O tamanho da magnetosfera ...

  3. Wandering stars about planets and exo-planets : an introductory notebook

    CERN Document Server

    Cole, George H A


    The space vehicle spectaculars of recent years have been revealing the full scope and beauty of our own solar system but have also shown that a growing number of other stars too have planetary bodies orbiting around them. The study of these systems is just beginning. It seems that our galaxy contains untold numbers of planets, and presumably other galaxies will be similar to our own. Our solar system contains life, on Earth: do others as well? Such questions excite modern planetary scientists and astro-biologists. This situation is a far cry from ancient times when the five planets that can be

  4. The Giant Planet Satellite Exospheres (United States)

    McGrath, M. A.


    Exospheres are relatively common in the outer solar system among the moons of the gas giant planets. They span the range from very tenuous, surface-bounded exospheres (e.g., Rhea, Dione) to quite robust exospheres with exobase above the surface (e.g., Io, Triton), and include many intermediate cases (e.g., Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus). The exospheres of these moons exhibit an interesting variety of sources, from surface sputtering, to frost sublimation, to active plumes, and also well illustrate another common characteristic of the outer planet satellite exospheres, namely, that the primary species often exists both as a gas in atmosphere, and a condensate (frost or ice) on the surface. As described by Yelle et al. (1995) for Triton, "The interchange of matter between gas and solid phases on these bodies has profound effects on the physical state of the surface and the structure of the atmosphere." A brief overview of the exospheres of the outer planet satellites will be presented, including an inter-comparison of these satellites exospheres with each other, and with the exospheres of the Moon and Mercury.

  5. The Evaporation Valley in the Kepler Planets (United States)

    Owen, James E.; Wu, Yanqin


    A new piece of evidence supporting the photoevaporation-driven evolution model for low-mass, close-in exoplanets was recently presented by the California-Kepler Survey. The radius distribution of the Kepler planets is shown to be bimodal, with a “valley” separating two peaks at 1.3 and 2.6 R ⊕. Such an “evaporation valley” had been predicted by numerical models previously. Here, we develop a minimal model to demonstrate that this valley results from the following fact: the timescale for envelope erosion is the longest for those planets with hydrogen/helium-rich envelopes that, while only a few percent in weight, double its radius. The timescale falls for envelopes lighter than this because the planet’s radius remains largely constant for tenuous envelopes. The timescale also drops for heavier envelopes because the planet swells up faster than the addition of envelope mass. Photoevaporation therefore herds planets into either bare cores (˜1.3 R ⊕), or those with double the core’s radius (˜2.6 R ⊕). This process mostly occurs during the first 100 Myr when the stars’ high-energy fluxes are high and nearly constant. The observed radius distribution further requires the Kepler planets to be clustered around 3 M ⊕ in mass, born with H/He envelopes more than a few percent in mass, and that their cores are similar to the Earth in composition. Such envelopes must have been accreted before the dispersal of the gas disks, while the core composition indicates formation inside the ice line. Lastly, the photoevaporation model fails to account for bare planets beyond ˜30-60 days; if these planets are abundant, they may point to a significant second channel for planet formation, resembling the solar system terrestrial planets.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lykawka, Patryk Sofia [Astronomy Group, Faculty of Social and Natural Sciences, Kinki University, Shinkamikosaka 228-3, Higashiosaka-shi, Osaka 577-0813 (Japan); Ito, Takashi, E-mail: [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Osawa 2-21-1, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)


    The newly formed giant planets may have migrated and crossed a number of mutual mean motion resonances (MMRs) when smaller objects (embryos) were accreting to form the terrestrial planets in the planetesimal disk. We investigated the effects of the planetesimal-driven migration of Jupiter and Saturn, and the influence of their mutual 1:2 MMR crossing on terrestrial planet formation for the first time, by performing N-body simulations. These simulations considered distinct timescales of MMR crossing and planet migration. In total, 68 high-resolution simulation runs using 2000 disk planetesimals were performed, which was a significant improvement on previously published results. Even when the effects of the 1:2 MMR crossing and planet migration were included in the system, Venus and Earth analogs (considering both orbits and masses) successfully formed in several runs. In addition, we found that the orbits of planetesimals beyond a {approx} 1.5-2 AU were dynamically depleted by the strengthened sweeping secular resonances associated with Jupiter's and Saturn's more eccentric orbits (relative to the present day) during planet migration. However, this depletion did not prevent the formation of massive Mars analogs (planets with more than 1.5 times Mars's mass). Although late MMR crossings (at t > 30 Myr) could remove such planets, Mars-like small mass planets survived on overly excited orbits (high e and/or i), or were completely lost in these systems. We conclude that the orbital migration and crossing of the mutual 1:2 MMR of Jupiter and Saturn are unlikely to provide suitable orbital conditions for the formation of solar system terrestrial planets. This suggests that to explain Mars's small mass and the absence of other planets between Mars and Jupiter, the outer asteroid belt must have suffered a severe depletion due to interactions with Jupiter/Saturn, or by an alternative mechanism (e.g., rogue super-Earths)

  7. Richest Planetary System Discovered - Up to seven planets orbiting a Sun-like star (United States)


    content of its host star. All very massive planetary systems are found around massive and metal-rich stars, while the four lowest-mass systems are found around lower-mass and metal-poor stars [5]. Such properties confirm current theoretical models. The discovery is announced today at the international colloquium "Detection and dynamics of transiting exoplanets", at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France. Notes [1] Using the radial velocity method, astronomers can only estimate a minimum mass for a planet as the mass estimate also depends on the tilt of the orbital plane relative to the line of sight, which is unknown. From a statistical point of view, this minimum mass is however often close to the real mass of the planet. [2] (added 30 August 2010) HD 10180b would be the lowest mass exoplanet discovered orbiting a "normal" star like our Sun. However, lower mass exoplanets have been previously discovered orbiting the pulsar PSR B1257+12 (a highly magnetised rotating neutron star). [3] On average the planets in the inner region of the HD 10180 system have 20 times the mass of the Earth, whereas the inner planets in our own Solar System (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) have an average mass of half that of the Earth. [4] The Titius-Bode law states that the distances of the planets from the Sun follow a simple pattern. For the outer planets, each planet is predicted to be roughly twice as far away from the Sun as the previous object. The hypothesis correctly predicted the orbits of Ceres and Uranus, but failed as a predictor of Neptune's orbit. [5] According to the definition used in astronomy, "metals" are all the elements other than hydrogen and helium. Such metals, except for a very few minor light chemical elements, have all been created by the various generations of stars. Rocky planets are made of "metals". More information This research was presented in a paper submitted to Astronomy and Astrophysics ("The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXVII. Up to

  8. Star-Planet Interactions in X-rays


    Poppenhaeger, K.


    We investigated the coronal activity of planet-hosting stars by means of statistical analysis for a complete sample of stars in the solar neighborhood. We find no observational evidence that Star-Planet Interactions are at work in this sample, at least not at the sensitivity levels of our observations. We additionally test the upsilon Andromedae system, an F8V star with a Hot Jupiter and two other known planets, for signatures of Star-Planet Interactions in the chromosphere, but only detect v...

  9. Searching for extragalactic planets


    Baltz, Edward A.; Gondolo, Paolo


    Are there other planetary systems in our Universe? Indirect evidence has been found for planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy: the gravity of orbiting planets makes the star wobble, and the resulting periodic Doppler shifts have been detected for about a dozen stars. But are there planets in other galaxies, millions of light years away? Here we suggest a method to search for extragalactic planetary systems: gravitational microlensing of unresolved stars. This technique may allow us to di...

  10. SDSS-III MARVELS Planet Candidate RV Follow-up (United States)

    Ge, Jian; Thomas, Neil; Ma, Bo; Li, Rui; SIthajan, Sirinrat


    Planetary systems, discovered by the radial velocity (RV) surveys, reveal strong correlations between the planet frequency and stellar properties, such as metallicity and mass, and a greater diversity in planets than found in the solar system. However, due to the sample sizes of extant surveys (~100 to a few hundreds of stars) and their heterogeneity, many key questions remained to be addressed: Do metal poor stars obey the same trends for planet occurrence as metal rich stars? What is the distribution of giant planets around intermediate- mass stars and binaries? Is the ``planet desert'' within 0.6 AU in the planet orbital distribution of intermediate-mass stars real? The MARVELS survey has produced the largest homogeneous RV measurements of 3300 V=7.6-12 FGK stars. The latest data pipeline effort at UF has been able to remove long term systematic errors suffered in the earlier data pipeline. 18 high confident giant planet candidates have been identified among newly processed data. We propose to follow up these giant planet candidates with the KPNO EXPERT instrument to confirm the detection and also characterize their orbits. The confirmed planets will be used to measure occurrence rates, distributions and multiplicity of giants planets around F,G,K stars with a broad range of mass (~0.6-2.5 M_⊙) and metallicity ([Fe/H]~-1.5-0.5). The well defined MARVELS survey cadence allows robust determinations of completeness limits for rigorously testing giant planet formation theories and constraining models.

  11. Escaping in extra dimensions

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva. Audiovisual Unit


    Recent progress in the formulation of fundamental theories for a Universe with more than 4 dimensions will be reviewed. Particular emphasis will be given to theories predicting the existence of extra dimensions at distance scales within the reach of current or forthcoming experiments. The phenomenological implications of these theories, ranging from detectable deviations from Newton's law at sub-millimeter scales, to phenomena of cosmological and astrophysical interest, as well as to high-energy laboratory experiments, will be discussed.

  12. Exploring Disks Around Planets (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Giant planets are thought to form in circumstellar disks surrounding young stars, but material may also accrete into a smaller disk around the planet. Weve never detected one of these circumplanetary disks before but thanks to new simulations, we now have a better idea of what to look for.Image from previous work simulating a Jupiter-mass planet forming inside a circumstellar disk. The planet has its own circumplanetary disk of accreted material. [Frdric Masset]Elusive DisksIn the formation of giant planets, we think the final phase consists of accretion onto the planet from a disk that surrounds it. This circumplanetary disk is important to understand, since it both regulates the late gas accretion and forms the birthplace of future satellites of the planet.Weve yet to detect a circumplanetary disk thus far, because the resolution needed to spot one has been out of reach. Now, however, were entering an era where the disk and its kinematics may be observable with high-powered telescopes (like the Atacama Large Millimeter Array).To prepare for such observations, we need models that predict the basic characteristics of these disks like the mass, temperature, and kinematic properties. Now a researcher at the ETH Zrich Institute for Astronomy in Switzerland, Judit Szulgyi, has worked toward this goal.Simulating CoolingSzulgyi performs a series of 3D global radiative hydrodynamic simulations of 1, 3, 5, and 10 Jupiter-mass (MJ) giant planets and their surrounding circumplanetary disks, embedded within the larger circumstellar disk around the central star.Density (left column), temperature (center), and normalized angular momentum (right) for a 1 MJ planet over temperatures cooling from 10,000 K (top) to 1,000 K (bottom). At high temperatures, a spherical circumplanetary envelope surrounds the planet, but as the planet cools, the envelope transitions around 64,000 K to a flattened disk. [Szulgyi 2017]This work explores the effects of different planet temperatures and

  13. New views of the solar system

    CERN Document Server


    Suitable for ages 10-17, this work takes a look at the developments in research about the solar system, including articles on Pluto, the eight chief planets, and dwarf planets. It includes photos and drawings that showcase the planets, asteroids, comets, and also a collection of images of the solar system.

  14. The archaeal diversity in a cave system and its implications for life on other planets (United States)

    Leuko, Stefan; Rettberg, Petra; De Waele, Jo; Bessone, Loredana; Sauro, Francesco; Sanna, Laura

    The quest of exploring and looking for life in new places is a human desire since centuries. Nowadays, we are not only looking on planet Earth any more, but our endeavours focus on nearby planets in our solar system. At this point in time, we are not able to send manned missions to other planets, but to be ready and prepared for the day, training today is pivotal. Developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2008, these CAVES missions (Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills), prepare astronauts to work safely and effectively and solve problems as a multicultural team while exploring uncharted underground natural areas (i.e. caves) using space procedures. The hypogean environment is also of great interest for astrobiological research as cave conditions may resemble those in extra-terrestrial environments. Besides the main focus of exploration and skill training, future astronauts are also trained in taking microbiological samples for analysis during the exploration and for further analysis in the lab. During the 2013 mission, astronauts collected soil samples and employed flocked swaps to sample areas with little or no visible soil. Microscopic analysis back in the lab revealed a diverse spectrum of different cell shapes and sizes. Samples were further analysed employing molecular tools such as RFLP analysis, 16s rRNA clone libraries and sequence analysis. RFLP pattern analysis revealed that the community can be divided in 9 main groups and several single patterns. The largest group (40% of all analysed clones) belong to the clade of ammonia oxidizing archaea Nitrosopumilus spp.. Dividing the results by sampling point, it showed that the highest diversity of organisms was located on the flocked swaps, which is interesting as the sample was taken from a rock surface with no visible organic matter. By analysis low energy systems like a cave, we may be able to find clues for what could be necessary to survive on a

  15. Using NIRISS to study the formation and evolution of stars, disks, and planets (United States)

    Johnstone, Doug I.; JWST NIRISS GTO Team


    NIRISS on JWST is a powerful instrument for the study of star, disk, and planet formation and evolution. In this talk I will highlight the Wide Field Slitless Spectroscopy (WFSS) and Aperture Masking Interferometry (AMI) modes of NIRISS, along with lessons learned determining optimal observing strategies and project implementation in APT. The NIRISS WFSS mode uses a grism to provide modest resolution (R ~ 150) spectra of all sources within the observed field of view. Cold low-mass objects are distinct at NIRISS wavelengths (1.5 and 2.0 microns, in this case), and can be characterized through their speactra by their temperature and surface gravity sensitive molecular absorption features. Thus, WFSS observations will be an efficient way to locate and enumerate the young brown dwarfs and rogue planets in nearby star-forming regions. Alternatively, the NIRISS AMI mode offers the highest spatial resolution available on JWST at wavelengths greater than 2.5 micron, 70 - 400 mas, and modest inner working angle contrast, dm ~ 10, for individual bright sources. A significant advantage of observing from space is that, along with the phase closure, the interferometric phase amplitudes can also be recovered allowing some reconstruction of extended emission. Observations with AMI will be made of candidate and postulated planets forming within transition disks around young stars and for somewhat older planets in known extra-solar planetary systems. The AMI mode will also be used to study the zodiacal light in a bright debris disk system and to search for binary companions of Y dwarfs.

  16. Life in the solar system and beyond

    CERN Document Server

    Jones, Barrie W


    In Life in the Solar System and Beyond, Professor Jones has written a broad introduction to the subject, addressing important topics such as, what is life?, the origins of life and where to look for extraterrestrial life The chapters are arranged as follows Chapter 1 is a broad introduction to the cosmos, with an emphasis on where we might find life In Chapters 2 and 3 Professor Jones discusses life on Earth, the one place we know to be inhabited Chapter 4 is a brief tour of the Solar system, leading us in Chapters 5 and 6 to two promising potential habitats, Mars and Europa In Chapter 7 the author discusses the fate of life in the Solar system, which gives us extra reason to consider life further afield Chapter 8 focuses on the types of stars that might host habitable planets, and where in the Galaxy these might be concentrated Chapters 9 and 10 describe the instruments and techniques being employed to discover planets around other stars (exoplanetary systems), and those that will be employed in the near fut...

  17. The HARPS-N Rocky Planet Search

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Motalebi, F.; Udry, S.; Gillon, M.


    We know now from radial velocity surveys and transit space missions that planets only a few times more massive than our Earth are frequent around solar-type stars. Fundamental questions about their formation history, physical properties, internal structure, and atmosphere composition are, however......, still to be solved. We present here the detection of a system of four low-mass planets around the bright (V = 5.5) and close-by (6.5 pc) star HD 219134. This is the first result of the Rocky Planet Search programme with HARPS-N on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in La Palma. The inner planet orbits...... the star in 3.0935 ± 0.0003 days, on a quasi-circular orbit with a semi-major axis of 0.0382 ± 0.0003 AU. Spitzer observations allowed us to detect the transit of the planet in front of the star making HD 219134 b the nearest known transiting planet to date. From the amplitude of the radial velocity...

  18. Scenarios of giant planet formation and evolution and their impact on the formation of habitable terrestrial planets. (United States)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro


    In our Solar System, there is a clear divide between the terrestrial and giant planets. These two categories of planets formed and evolved separately, almost in isolation from each other. This was possible because Jupiter avoided migrating into the inner Solar System, most probably due to the presence of Saturn, and never acquired a large-eccentricity orbit, even during the phase of orbital instability that the giant planets most likely experienced. Thus, the Earth formed on a time scale of several tens of millions of years, by collision of Moon- to Mars-mass planetary embryos, in a gas-free and volatile-depleted environment. We do not expect, however, that this clear cleavage between the giant and terrestrial planets is generic. In many extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date, the giant planets migrated into the vicinity of the parent star and/or acquired eccentric orbits. In this way, the evolution and destiny of the giant and terrestrial planets become intimately linked. This paper discusses several evolutionary patterns for the giant planets, with an emphasis on the consequences for the formation and survival of habitable terrestrial planets. The conclusion is that we should not expect Earth-like planets to be typical in terms of physical and orbital properties and accretion history. Most habitable worlds are probably different, exotic worlds.

  19. The origin of high eccentricity planets: The dispersed planet formation regime for weakly magnetized disks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Imaeda


    Full Text Available In the tandem planet formation regime, planets form at two distinct sites where solid particles are densely accumulated due to the on/off state of the magnetorotational instability (MRI. We found that tandem planet formation can reproduce the solid component distribution of the Solar System and tends to produce a smaller number of large planets through continuous pebble flow into the planet formation sites. In the present paper, we investigate the dependence of tandem planet formation on the vertical magnetic field of the protoplanetary disk. We calculated two cases of Bz=3.4×10−3 G and Bz=3.4×10−5 G at 100 AU as well as the canonical case of Bz=3.4×10−4 G. We found that tandem planet formation holds up well in the case of the strong magnetic field (Bz=3.4×10−3 G. On the other hand, in the case of a weak magnetic field (Bz=3.4×10−5 G at 100 AU, a new regime of planetary growth is realized: the planets grow independently at different places in the dispersed area of the MRI-suppressed region of r=8−30 AU at a lower accretion rate of M˙<10−7.4 M⊙yr−1. We call this the “dispersed planet formation” regime. This may lead to a system with a larger number of smaller planets that gain high eccentricity through mutual collisions.

  20. Kepler-36: a pair of planets with neighboring orbits and dissimilar densities. (United States)

    Carter, Joshua A; Agol, Eric; Chaplin, William J; Basu, Sarbani; Bedding, Timothy R; Buchhave, Lars A; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Deck, Katherine M; Elsworth, Yvonne; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan J; Hale, Steven J; Handberg, Rasmus; Hekker, Saskia; Holman, Matthew J; Huber, Daniel; Karoff, Christopher; Kawaler, Steven D; Kjeldsen, Hans; Lissauer, Jack J; Lopez, Eric D; Lund, Mikkel N; Lundkvist, Mia; Metcalfe, Travis S; Miglio, Andrea; Rogers, Leslie A; Stello, Dennis; Borucki, William J; Bryson, Steve; Christiansen, Jessie L; Cochran, William D; Geary, John C; Gilliland, Ronald L; Haas, Michael R; Hall, Jennifer; Howard, Andrew W; Jenkins, Jon M; Klaus, Todd; Koch, David G; Latham, David W; MacQueen, Phillip J; Sasselov, Dimitar; Steffen, Jason H; Twicken, Joseph D; Winn, Joshua N


    In the solar system, the planets' compositions vary with orbital distance, with rocky planets in close orbits and lower-density gas giants in wider orbits. The detection of close-in giant planets around other stars was the first clue that this pattern is not universal and that planets' orbits can change substantially after their formation. Here, we report another violation of the orbit-composition pattern: two planets orbiting the same star with orbital distances differing by only 10% and densities differing by a factor of 8. One planet is likely a rocky "super-Earth," whereas the other is more akin to Neptune. These planets are 20 times more closely spaced and have a larger density contrast than any adjacent pair of planets in the solar system.

  1. Understanding divergent evolution of Earth-like planets: the case for a Venus exploration program (United States)

    Crisp, D.


    Here, we propose a Venus exploration program designed to explain the origin and divergent evolution of the interiors, surfaces, and atmospheres of the terrestrial planets in our solar system, and provide greater insight into the conditions that may affect the habitability of terrestrial planets in other solar systems.

  2. The Freezing Conditions of Planets: Effect of Obliquity (United States)

    Abe, Y.; Abe-Ouchi, A.


    Condition for the occurrence of the completely frozen state (a "snow-ball" state) might be a critical measure related to the habitability of the planet. It is investigated with a particular reference to the obliquity for both a land planet case and an aqua planet case. Obliquity change may cause freezing and unfreezing of planet if the freezing condition depends on the obliquity. Effect of obliquity on the freezing is also an important issue for the investigation of the paleo-Mars. Here we investigated the freezing condition by a general circulation model, CCSR/NIES AGCM 5.4g. We applied the Earth condition, but assumed no topography and applied a bucket model with the saturation depth of 10 cm for ground water calculation for the land planet case and 50m slab ocean for the aqua planet case. The results are summarized as follows: 1. A land planet shows stronger resistance to the complete freezing than an aqua planet. 2. A land planet in an oblique regime falls in the completely frozen state at a smaller solar constant than an upright regime. 3. On a land planet in an oblique regime, low latitude area is more susceptible to freezing than the mid latitude area. Implication for the paleo-Mars will be discussed in the presentation.

  3. The effect of planets beyond the ice line on the accretion of volatiles by habitable-zone rocky planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quintana, Elisa V. [SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Suite 100, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Lissauer, Jack J., E-mail: [Space Science and Astrobiology Division 245-3, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)


    Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses, and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star and we include a massive planet (from 1 M {sub ⊕} to 1 M {sub J}) in Jupiter's orbit at ∼5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions of debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore, the results presented here suggest that there may be more habitable planets residing in our galaxy than previously thought.

  4. Planetesimals early differentiation and consequences for planets

    CERN Document Server

    Weiss, Benjamin P


    Processes governing the evolution of planetesimals are critical to understanding how rocky planets are formed, how water is delivered to them, the origin of planetary atmospheres, how cores and magnetic dynamos develop, and ultimately, which planets have the potential to be habitable. Theoretical advances and new data from asteroid and meteorite observations, coupled with spacecraft missions such as Rosetta and Dawn, have led to major advances in this field over the last decade. This transdisciplinary volume presents an authoritative overview of the latest in our understanding of the processes of planet formation. Combining meteorite, asteroid and icy body observations with theory and modelling of accretion and orbital dynamics, this text also provides insights into the exoplanetary system and the search for habitable worlds. This is an essential reference for those interested in planetary formation, solar system dynamics, exoplanets and planetary habitability.

  5. Worlds beyond our own the search for habitable planets

    CERN Document Server

    Sengupta, Sujan


    This is a book on planets: Solar system planets and dwarf planets. And planets outside our solar system – exoplanets. How did they form? What types of planets are there and what do they have in common? How do they differ? What do we know about their atmospheres – if they have one? What are the conditions for life and on which planets may they be met? And what’s the origin of life on Earth and how did it form? You will understand how rare the solar system, the Earth and hence life is. This is also a book on stars. The first and second generation of stars in the Universe. But in particular also on the link between planets and stars – brown dwarfs. Their atmospheric properties and similarities with giant exoplanets. All these fascinating questions will be answered in a non-technical manner. But those of you who want to know a bit more may look up the relevant mathematical relationships in appendices.

  6. Highest volcanoes on terrestrial planets and dwarf-planets adorn the deepest depressions of their respective bodies (United States)

    Kochemasov, G. G.


    Four highest volcanoes of the inner solar system tower above four largest and deepest hemispheric depressions of the Earth, Moon, Mars, and Vesta. Of course, this is not a mere coincidence; behind of this fundamental fact stays an equally fundamental planetary regulation. The wave planetology based on elliptical keplerian orbits of cosmic bodies evoking their wave warping shows that the fundamental wave 1 inevitably produces hemispheric tectonic dichotomy. One hemisphere rises, the opposite falls. The uprising half increases its planetary radius and space and thus is intensively cut by numerous faults and rifts. The antipodean subsiding half decreases its radius and space and thus is intensively compacted and affected by folds and faults. Forming extra material finds its way out in form of volcanic ridges and volcanoes. The strongest compaction caused by the wave 1 subsidence produces most voluminous eruptions. That is why the relation exists between the largest and deepest hemispheric basins and the highest basic volcanoes having mantle roots [1-4]. On the Earth's Pacific Ocean floor stay the Hawaiian volcanoes; on the lunar Procellarum Ocean occurs Crater Copernicus (erroneously taken as an impact feature); Martian Vastitas Borealis is adorned with Olympus Mons; Vestan Reasilvia Basin (obviously tectonic not impact feature) has the central mountain -the highest volcanic peak in the Solar system (Fig. 1-4). A regular row of increasing heights of these largest volcanoes extends in the outward direction. A study of the dwarf-planet Ceres only begins(DAWN project). Already the first distant images of this globe about 950 km in diameter have shown that it is, as was predicted [5], tectonically two-faced or dichotomous body (Fig. 5, 6). It seems that on its relatively even subsided hemisphere there are some elevated locations often bright white in color (Fig. 6). They could represent prominent "edifices" covered with frozen ices -degassing traces [6].

  7. New views of the solar system

    CERN Document Server


    Are you up to date on the solar system?  When the International Astronomical Union redefined the term ""planet,"" Pluto was downgraded to a lower status. New Views of the Solar System 2013 looks at scientists' changing perspectives, with articles on Pluto, the eight chief planets, and dwarf planets, new missions, updates for ongoing missions, newly-discovered moons, and updated tables. Brilliant photos and drawings showcase the planets, asteroids, comets, and more, providing a stunning collection of vivid images.

  8. New views of the solar system

    CERN Document Server


    Are you up to date on the solar system? When the International Astronomical Union redefined the term ""planet,"" Pluto was downgraded to a lower status. New Views of the Solar System looks at scientists' changing perspectives, with articles on Pluto, the eight chief planets, and dwarf planets. Brilliant photos and drawings showcase the planets, asteroids, comets, and more, providing a stunning collection of vivid images.

  9. Kepler's first rocky planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batalha, N.M.; Borucki, W.J.; Bryson, S.T.


    NASA's Kepler Mission uses transit photometry to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The mission reached a milestone toward meeting that goal: the discovery of its first rocky planet, Kepler-10b. Two distinct sets of transit events were...... tests on the photometric and pixel flux time series established the viability of the planet candidates triggering ground-based follow-up observations. Forty precision Doppler measurements were used to confirm that the short-period transit event is due to a planetary companion. The parent star is bright...

  10. Delivery of Volatiles to Habitable Planets in Extrasolar Planetary Systems (United States)

    Chambers, John E.; Kress, Monika E.; Bell, K. Robbins; Cash, Michele; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)


    The Earth can support life because: (1) its orbit lies in the Sun's habitable zone', and (2) it contains enough volatile material (e.g. water and organics) for life to flourish. However, it seems likely that the Earth was drier when it formed because it accreted in a part of the Sun's protoplanetary nebula that was too hot for volatiles to condense. If this is correct, water and organics must have been delivered to the habitable zone, after dissipation of the solar nebula, from a 'wet zone' in the asteroid belt or the outer solar system, where the nebula was cool enough for volatiles to condense. Material from the wet zone would have been delivered to the Earth by Jupiter and Saturn. Gravitational perturbations from these giant planets made much of the wet zone unstable, scattering volatile-rich planetesimals and protoplanets across the Solar System. Some of these objects ultimately collided with the inner Planets which themselves lie in a stable part of the Solar System. Giant planets are now being discovered orbiting other sunlike stars. To date, these planets have orbits and masses very different from Jupiter and Saturn, such that few if any of these systems is likely to have terrestrial planets in the star's habitable zone. However, new discoveries are anticipated due to improved detector sensitivity and the increase in the timespan of observations. Here we present numerical experiments examining the range of giant-planet characteristics that: (1) allow stable terrestrial Planets to exist in a star's habitable zone, and (2) make a large part of the star's wet zone weakly unstable, thus delivering volatiles to the terrestrial planets over an extended period of time after the dissipation of the solar nebula.

  11. Compositional constraints on giant planet formation (United States)

    Owen, Tobias; Encrenaz, Therese


    Using Ockham's razor as a guide, we have tried to find the simplest model for the formation of giant planets that can explain current observations of atmospheric composition. While this "top-down" approach is far from sufficient to define such models, it establishes a set of boundary conditions whose satisfaction is necessary. Using Jupiter as the prototype, we find that a simple model for giant planet formation that begins with a solar nebula of uniform composition and relies on accretion of low temperature icy planetesimals plus collapse of surrounding solar nebula gas supplies that satisfaction. We compare the resulting predictions of elemental abundances and isotope ratios in the atmospheres of the other giants with those from contrasting models and suggest some key measurements to make further progress.

  12. Radioactivity of the moon, planets, and meteorites (United States)

    Surkou, Y. A.; Fedoseyev, G. A.


    Analytical data is summarized for the content of natural radioactive elements in meteorites, eruptive terrestrial rocks, and also in lunar samples returned by Apollo missions and the Luna series of automatic stations. The K-U systematics of samples analyzed in the laboratory are combined with data for orbital gamma-ray measurements for Mars (Mars 5) and with the results of direct gamma-ray measurements of the surface of Venus by the Venera 8 lander. Using information about the radioactivity of solar system bodies and evaluations of the content of K, U, and Th in the terrestrial planets, we examine certain aspects of the evolution of material in the protoplanetary gas-dust cloud and then in the planets of the solar system.

  13. Phenomenology of Extra Dimensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hewett, J.L.; /SLAC


    If the structure of spacetime is different than that readily observed, gravitational physics, particle physics and cosmology are all immediately affected. The physics of extra dimensions offers new insights and solutions to fundamental questions arising in these fields. Novel ideas and frameworks are continuously born and evolved. They make use of string theoretical features and tools and they may reveal if and how the 11-dimensional string theory is relevant to our four-dimensional world. We have outlined some of the experimental observations in particle and gravitational physics as well as astrophysical and cosmological considerations that can constrain or confirm these scenarios. These developing ideas and the wide interdisciplinary experimental program that is charted out to investigate them mark a renewed effort to describe the dynamics behind spacetime. We look forward to the discovery of a higher dimensional spacetime.

  14. Introduction - The sun, the solar nebula, and the planetary system (United States)

    Wasson, J. T.; Kivelson, M. G.

    An overview of the solar system is given placing the subsequent subjects in context. Asteroids, comets, planets and assorted moons make up 0.13 percent of the mass of the solar system. Pluto's status as a planet is called into question by the fact that its mass is only one-fifth that of the moon. Other topics include: elliptical orbits, the origin of the planets, the HR diagram, star formation, planet formation and composition of the inner planets.

  15. BINARY MINOR PLANETS (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The data set lists orbital and physical properties for well-observed or suspected binary/multiple minor planets including the Pluto system, compiled from the...

  16. Students Discover Unique Planet (United States)


    Three undergraduate students, from Leiden University in the Netherlands, have discovered an extrasolar planet. The extraordinary find, which turned up during their research project, is about five times as massive as Jupiter. This is also the first planet discovered orbiting a fast-rotating hot star. Omega Centauri ESO PR Photo 45a/08 A planet around a hot star The students were testing a method of investigating the light fluctuations of thousands of stars in the OGLE database in an automated way. The brightness of one of the stars was found to decrease for two hours every 2.5 days by about one percent. Follow-up observations, taken with ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile, confirmed that this phenomenon is caused by a planet passing in front of the star, blocking part of the starlight at regular intervals. According to Ignas Snellen, supervisor of the research project, the discovery was a complete surprise. "The project was actually meant to teach the students how to develop search algorithms. But they did so well that there was time to test their algorithm on a so far unexplored database. At some point they came into my office and showed me this light curve. I was completely taken aback!" The students, Meta de Hoon, Remco van der Burg, and Francis Vuijsje, are very enthusiastic. "It is exciting not just to find a planet, but to find one as unusual as this one; it turns out to be the first planet discovered around a fast rotating star, and it's also the hottest star found with a planet," says Meta. "The computer needed more than a thousand hours to do all the calculations," continues Remco. The planet is given the prosaic name OGLE2-TR-L9b. "But amongst ourselves we call it ReMeFra-1, after Remco, Meta, and myself," says Francis. The planet was discovered by looking at the brightness variations of about 15 700 stars, which had been observed by the OGLE survey once or twice per night for about four years between 1997 and 2000. Because the data had been made public

  17. Biases in Cometary Catalogues and Planet X


    Horner, J.; Evans, N. W.


    Two sets of investigators -- Murray (1999) and Matese, Whitman & Whitmire (1999) -- have recently claimed evidence for an undiscovered Solar System planet from possible great circle alignments in the aphelia directions of the long period comets. However, comet discoveries are bedevilled by selection effects. These include anomalies caused by the excess of observers in the northern as against the southern hemisphere, seasonal and diurnal biases, directional effects which make it harder to disc...

  18. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (United States)

    Macintosh, Bruce

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation coronagraph constructed for the Gemini Observatory. GPI will see first light this fall. It will be the most advanced planet-imaging system in operation - an order of magnitude more sensitive than any current instrument, capable of detecting and spectroscopically characterizing young Jovian planets 107 times fainter than their parent star at separations of 0.2 arcseconds. GPI was built from the beginning as a facility-class survey instrument, and the observatory will employ it that way. Our team has been selected by Gemini Observatory to carry out an 890-hour program - the GPI Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) campaign from 2014-2017. We will observe 600 stars spanning spectral types A-M. We will use published young association catalogs and a proprietary list in preparation that adds several hundred new young (adolescent (view of the nature of wide-orbit planetary companions, informing our knowledge of solar system formation to guide future NASA planet hunting missions, while simultaneously offering a real- world program using the techniques - from integral field spectroscopy to advanced coronagraphy - that will someday be used to directly image Earthlike planets from space.

  19. A giant planet around HD95086 ? (United States)

    Rameau, Julien; Chauvin, Gaël; Lagrange, Anne-Marie; Meshkat, Tiffany; Boccaletti, Anthony; Quanz, Sascha P.; Bonnefoy, Mickaël; Bailey, Vanessa; Kenworthy, Matthew; Currie, Thayne; Girard, Julien H.; Delorme, Philippe; Desidera, Silvano; Dumas, Christophe; Mordasini, Christoph; Klahr, Hubert; Bonavita, Mariangela


    Understanding planetary systems formation and evolution has become one of the challenges in as- tronomy, since the discovery of the first exoplanet around the solar-type star 51 Peg in the 90's. While more than 800 planets (mostly giants) closer than a few AU have been identified with radial velocity and transit techniques, very few have been imaged and definitely confirmed around stars, at separations below a hundred of astronomical units. Direct imaging detection of exoplanet is indeed a major frontier in planetary astrophysics. It surveys a region of semi-major axes (> 5 AU) that is almost inaccessible to other methods. Moreover, the planets imaged so far orbit young stars; indeed the young planets are still hot and the planet-star contrasts are compatible with the detection limits currently achievable, in contrast with similar planets in older systems. Noticeably, the stars are of early-types, and surrounded by debris disks, i.e. disks populated at least by small grains with lifetimes so short that they must be permanently produced, probably by destruction (evaporation, collisions) of larger solid bodies. Consequently, every single discovery has a tremendous impact on the understanding of the formation, the dynamical evolution, and the physics of giant planets. In this context, I will present our recent discovery of one faint companion to a nearby, dusty, and young A-type star (at 56 AU projected separation). Background contaminants are rejected with high confidence level based on both astrometry and photometry with three dataset at more than a year-time-laps and two different wavelength regimes. From the system age (10 to 17 Myr) and from model-dependent luminosity estimates, we derive mass of 4 to 5 Jupiter mass. This planet is therefore the one with the lowest mass ever imaged around a star. Given its orbital and physical properties, I will discuss the implication on its atmosphere with respect to other imaged companions but also on its formation.

  20. Probing the Solar System (United States)

    Wilkinson, John


    Humans have always had the vision to one day live on other planets. This vision existed even before the first person was put into orbit. Since the early space missions of putting humans into orbit around Earth, many advances have been made in space technology. We have now sent many space probes deep into the Solar system to explore the planets and…

  1. The planet Mercury (1971) (United States)


    The physical properties of the planet Mercury, its surface, and atmosphere are presented for space vehicle design criteria. The mass, dimensions, mean density, and orbital and rotational motions are described. The gravity field, magnetic field, electromagnetic radiation, and charged particles in the planet's orbit are discussed. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, and composition data are given along with the surface composition, soil mechanical properties, and topography, and the surface electromagnetic and temperature properties.

  2. The magnetodiscs and aurorae of giant planets

    CERN Document Server

    Achilleos, Nicholas; Arridge, Chris; Badman, Sarah; Delamere, Peter; Grodent, Denis; Kivelson, Margaret; Louarn, Philippe


    Readers will find grouped together here the most recent observations, current theoretical models and present understanding of the coupled atmosphere, magnetosphere and solar wind system. The book begins with a general discussion of mass, energy and momentum transport in magnetodiscs. The physics of partially ionized plasmas of the giant planet magnetodiscs is of general interest throughout the field of space physics, heliophysics and astrophysical plasmas; therefore, understanding the basic physical processes associated with magnetodiscs has universal applications. The second chapter characterizes the solar wind interaction and auroral responses to solar wind driven dynamics. The third chapter describes the role of magnetic reconnection and the effects on plasma transport. Finally, the last chapter characterizes the spectral and spatial properties of auroral emissions, distinguishing between solar wind drivers and internal driving mechanisms. The in-depth reviews provide an excellent reference for future re...

  3. Hidden Photons in Extra Dimensions


    Wallace, Chris J.; Jaeckel, Joerg; Roy, Sabyasachi


    Additional U(1) gauge symmetries and corresponding vector bosons, called hidden photons, interacting with the regular photon via kinetic mixing are well motivated in extensions of the Standard Model. Such extensions often exhibit extra spatial dimensions. In this note we investigate the effects of hidden photons living in extra dimensions. In four dimensions such a hidden photon is only detectable if it has a mass or if there exists additional matter charged under it. We note that in extra di...

  4. Mars’ Growth Stunted by an Early Giant Planet Instability (United States)

    Clement, Matthew; Kaib, Nathan A.; Raymond, Sean N.; Walsh, Kevin J.


    Many dynamical aspects of the solar system can be explained by the outer planets experiencing a period of orbital instability. Though often correlated with a perceived delayed spike in the lunar cratering record known as the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB), recent work suggests that this event may have occurred during the epoch of terrestrial planet formation. Though current simulations of terrestrial accretion can reproduce many observed qualities of the solar system, replicating the small mass of Mars requires modification to standard planet formation models. Here we use direct numerical simulations to show that an early instability in the outer solar system regularly yields properly sized Mars analogues. In 80% of simulations, we produce a Mars of the appropriate mass. Our most successful outcomes occur when the terrestrial planets evolve 10 million years (Myr), and accrete several Mars sized embryos in the Mars forming region before the instability takes place. Mars is left behind as a stranded embryo, while the remainder of these bodies are either ejected from the system or scattered towards the inner solar system where they deliver water to Earth. An early giant planet instability can thus replicate both the inner and outer solar system in a single model.

  5. Characterizing Young Giant Planets with the Gemini Planet Imager: An Iterative Approach to Planet Characterization (United States)

    Marley, Mark


    After discovery, the first task of exoplanet science is characterization. However experience has shown that the limited spectral range and resolution of most directly imaged exoplanet data requires an iterative approach to spectral modeling. Simple, brown dwarf-like models, must first be tested to ascertain if they are both adequate to reproduce the available data and consistent with additional constraints, including the age of the system and available limits on the planet's mass and luminosity, if any. When agreement is lacking, progressively more complex solutions must be considered, including non-solar composition, partial cloudiness, and disequilibrium chemistry. Such additional complexity must be balanced against an understanding of the limitations of the atmospheric models themselves. For example while great strides have been made in improving the opacities of important molecules, particularly NH3 and CH4, at high temperatures, much more work is needed to understand the opacity of atomic Na and K. The highly pressure broadened fundamental band of Na and K in the optical stretches into the near-infrared, strongly influencing the spectral shape of Y and J spectral bands. Discerning gravity and atmospheric composition is difficult, if not impossible, without both good atomic opacities as well as an excellent understanding of the relevant atmospheric chemistry. I will present examples of the iterative process of directly imaged exoplanet characterization as applied to both known and potentially newly discovered exoplanets with a focus on constraints provided by GPI spectra. If a new GPI planet is lacking, as a case study I will discuss HR 8799 c and d will explain why some solutions, such as spatially inhomogeneous cloudiness, introduce their own additional layers of complexity. If spectra of new planets from GPI are available I will explain the modeling process in the context of understanding these new worlds.

  6. Probing LSST's Ability to Detect Planets Around White Dwarfs (United States)

    Cortes, Jorge; Kipping, David


    Over the last four years more than 2,000 planets outside our solar system have been discovered, motivating us to search for and characterize potentially habitable worlds. Most planets orbit Sun-like stars, but more exotic stars can also host planets. Debris disks and disintegrating planetary bodies have been detected around white dwarf stars, the inert, Earth-sized cores of once-thriving stars like our Sun. These detections are clues that planets may exist around white dwarfs. Due to the faintness of white dwarfs and the potential rarity of planets around them, a vast survey is required to have a chance at detecting these planetary systems. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), scheduled to commence operations in 2023, will image the entire southern sky every few nights for 10 years, providing our first real opportunity to detect planets around white dwarfs. We characterized LSST’s ability to detect planets around white dwarfs through simulations that incorporate realistic models for LSST’s observing strategy and the white dwarf distribution within the Milky Way galaxy. This was done through the use of LSST's Operations Simulator (OpSim) and Catalog Simulator (CatSim). Our preliminary results indicate that, if all white dwarfs were to possess a planet, LSST would yield a detection for every 100 observed white dwarfs. In the future, a larger set of ongoing simulations will help us quantify the number of planets LSST could potentially find.

  7. A resonant chain of four transiting, sub-Neptune planets. (United States)

    Mills, Sean M; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Migaszewski, Cezary; Ford, Eric B; Petigura, Erik; Isaacson, Howard


    Surveys have revealed many multi-planet systems containing super-Earths and Neptunes in orbits of a few days to a few months. There is debate whether in situ assembly or inward migration is the dominant mechanism of the formation of such planetary systems. Simulations suggest that migration creates tightly packed systems with planets whose orbital periods may be expressed as ratios of small integers (resonances), often in a many-planet series (chain). In the hundreds of multi-planet systems of sub-Neptunes, more planet pairs are observed near resonances than would generally be expected, but no individual system has hitherto been identified that must have been formed by migration. Proximity to resonance enables the detection of planets perturbing each other. Here we report transit timing variations of the four planets in the Kepler-223 system, model these variations as resonant-angle librations, and compute the long-term stability of the resonant chain. The architecture of Kepler-223 is too finely tuned to have been formed by scattering, and our numerical simulations demonstrate that its properties are natural outcomes of the migration hypothesis. Similar systems could be destabilized by any of several mechanisms, contributing to the observed orbital-period distribution, where many planets are not in resonances. Planetesimal interactions in particular are thought to be responsible for establishing the current orbits of the four giant planets in the Solar System by disrupting a theoretical initial resonant chain similar to that observed in Kepler-223.

  8. "Osiris"(HD209458b), an Evaporating Planet (United States)

    Vidal-Madjar, A.; Lecavelier des Etangs, A.


    Three transits of the planet orbiting the solar type star HD 209458 were observed in the far UV at the wavelength of the HI Lyα line. The planet size at this wavelength is equal to 4.3 RJup, i.e. larger than the planet Roche radius (3.6 RJup). Absorbing hydrogen atoms were found to be blueshifted by up to --130 km.s-1, exceeding the planet escape velocity. This implies that hydrogen atoms are escaping this ``hot Jupiter'' planet. An escape flux of ⪆1010 g.s-1 is needed to explain the observations. Taking into account the tidal forces and the temperature rise expected in the upper atmosphere, theoretical evaluations are in good agreement with the observed rate. Lifetime of planets closer to their star could be shorter than stellar lifetimes suggesting that this evaporating phenomenon may explain the lack of planets with very short orbital distance. This evaporating planet could be represented by the Egyptian god ``Osiris'' cut into pieces and having lost one of them. This would give us a much easier way to name that planet and replace the unpleasant ``HD209458b'' name used so far.

  9. Theories of the origin and evolution of the giant planets (United States)

    Pollack, J. B.; Bodenheimer, P.


    Following the accretion of solids and gases in the solar nebula, the giant planets contracted to their present sizes over the age of the solar system. It is presently hypothesized that this contraction was rapid, but not hydrodynamic; at a later stage, a nebular disk out of which the regular satellites formed may have been spun out of the outer envelope of the contracting giant planets due to a combination of total angular momentum conservation and the outward transfer of specific angular momentum in the envelope. If these hypotheses are true, the composition of the irregular satellites directly reflects the composition of planetesimals from which the giant planets formed, while the composition of the regular satellites is indicative of the composition of the less volatile components of the outer envelopes of the giant planets.

  10. Earthlike planets: Surfaces of Mercury, Venus, earth, moon, Mars (United States)

    Murray, B.; Malin, M. C.; Greeley, R.


    The surfaces of the earth and the other terrestrial planets of the inner solar system are reviewed in light of the results of recent planetary explorations. Past and current views of the origin of the earth, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are discussed, and the surface features characteristic of the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus are outlined. Mechanisms for the modification of planetary surfaces by external factors and from within the planet are examined, including surface cycles, meteoritic impact, gravity, wind, plate tectonics, volcanism and crustal deformation. The origin and evolution of the moon are discussed on the basis of the Apollo results, and current knowledge of Mercury and Mars is examined in detail. Finally, the middle periods in the history of the terrestrial planets are compared, and future prospects for the exploration of the inner planets as well as other rocky bodies in the solar system are discussed.

  11. More Planets in the Hyades Cluster (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    A few weeks ago, Astrobites reported on a Neptune-sized planet discovered orbiting a star in the Hyades cluster. A separate study submitted at the same time, however, reveals that there may be even more planets lurking in this system.Thanks, KeplerArtists impression of the Kepler spacecraft and the mapping of the fields of the current K2 mission. [NASA]As we learn about the formation and evolution of planets outside of our own solar system, its important that we search for planets throughout different types of star clusters; observing both old and young clusters, for instance, can tell us about planets in different stages of their evolutionary histories. Luckily for us, we have a tool that has been doing exactly this: the Kepler mission.In true holiday spirit, Kepler is the gift that just keeps on giving. Though two of its reaction wheels have failed, Kepler now as its reincarnation, K2 just keeps detecting more planet transits. Whats more, detailed analysis of past Kepler/K2 data with ever more powerful techniques as well as the addition of high-precision parallaxes for stars from Gaia in the near future ensures that the Kepler data set will continue to reveal new exoplanet transits for many years to come.Image of the Hyades cluster, a star cluster that is only 800 million years old. [NASA/ESA/STScI]Hunting in the Young HyadesTwo studies using K2 data were recently submitted on exoplanet discoveries around EPIC 247589423 in the Hyades cluster, a nearby star cluster that is only 800 million years old. Astrobites reported on the first study in October and discussed details about the newly discovered mini-Neptune presented in that study.The second study, led by Andrew Mann (University of Texas at Austin and NASA Hubble Fellow at Columbia University), was published this week. This study presented a slightly different outcome: the authors detect the presence of not just the one, but three exoplanets orbiting EPIC 247589423.New DiscoveriesMann and collaborators searched

  12. Direct imaging of multiple planets orbiting the star HR 8799

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marois, C; Macintosh, B; Barman, T; Zuckerman, B; Song, I; Patience, J; Lafreniere, D; Doyon, R


    Direct imaging of exoplanetary systems is a powerful technique that can reveal Jupiter-like planets in wide orbits, can enable detailed characterization of planetary atmospheres, and is a key step towards imaging Earth-like planets. Imaging detections are challenging due to the combined effect of small angular separation and large luminosity contrast between a planet and its host star. High-contrast observations with the Keck and Gemini telescopes have revealed three planets orbiting the star HR 8799, with projected separations of 24, 38, and 68 astronomical units. Multi-epoch data show counter-clockwise orbital motion for all three imaged planets. The low luminosity of the companions and the estimated age of the system imply planetary masses between 5 and 13 times that of Jupiter. This system resembles a scaled-up version of the outer portion of our Solar System.

  13. Extra Low ENergy Antiproton

    CERN Multimedia

    To produce dense antiproton beams at very low energies (110 keV), it has been proposed to install a small decelerator ring between the existing AD ring and the experimental area. Phase-space blowup during deceleration is compensated by electron cooling such that the final emittances are comparable to the 5MeV beam presently delivered by the AD. An immediate consequence is a significant increase in the number of trapped antiprotons at the experiments as outlined in the proposal CERN/SPSC-2009-026; SPCS-P-338. This report describes the machine parameters and layout of the proposal ELENA (Extra Low ENergy Antiproton)ring also gives an approximate estimate of cost and manpower needs. Since the initial estimate, published in 2007 (CERN-AB-2007-079), the ELENA design has evolved considerably. This is due to a new location in the AD hall to acommodate for the possibility of another experimental zone, as suggested by the SPCS, and also due to improvements in the ring optics and layout. The cost estimate that is prese...

  14. Planets in a Room (United States)

    Giacomini, l.; Aloisi, F.; De Angelis, I.


    Teaching planetary science using a spherical projector to show the planets' surfaces is a very effective but usually very expensive idea. Whatsmore, it usually assumes the availability of a dedicated space and a trained user. "Planets in a room" is a prototypal low cost version of a small, spherical projector that teachers, museum, planetary scientists and other individuals can easily build and use on their own, to show and teach the planets The project of "Planets in a Room" was made by the italian non-profit association Speak Science with the collaboration of INAF-IAPS of Rome and the Roma Tre University (Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica). This proposal was funded by the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme in 2016. "Planets in a room" will be presented during EPSC 2017 to give birth to the second phase of the project, when the outreach and research community will be involved and schools from all over Europe will be invited to participate with the aim of bringing planetary science to a larger audience.

  15. Water in Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Habitability (United States)

    Noack, Lena; Snellen, Ignas; Rauer, Heike


    Exoplanet detection missions have found thousands of planets or planet candidates outside of the Solar System—some of which are in the habitable zone, where liquid water is possible at the surface. We give an overview of the recent progress in observations of water-rich exoplanets, detection of water in the atmosphere of gas giants and less-massive targets, and modelling of the interior and evolution of water layers in exoplanets. We summarise the possible habitability of water-rich planets and discuss the potential of future missions and telescopes towards the detection of water in the atmosphere of low-mass exoplanets or on their surface.

  16. Comets Captured in the Main Asteroid Belt: Evidence for a Lost Neptune-Like Planet (United States)

    Bottke, W. F., Jr.


    The Nice model describes a family of solutions where the giant planets started in a different configuration, experienced a dynamical instability, and reached their final configuration via interactions with a sea of leftover comet-like planetesimals. The most successful version of this model assumes there were five planets between 5-20 AU: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and a Neptune-like body. The extra Neptune-like body was ejected via a Jupiter encounter but not before it helped populate stable niches with disk planetesimals across the Solar System (e.g., Trojans, irregular satellites). Here we use numerical simulations to show that the Neptune-like body directly interacted with the main belt for several tens of thousands of years, enough to help capture numerous disk planetesimals into the asteroid belt and the first-order mean motion resonances with Jupiter. We find our model runs produce the right proportion of large P- and D-type asteroids in the inner, central, and outer main belt, while also populating the Hilda and Thule populations in Jupiter's 3/2 and 4/3 resonances. For example, in the central main belt between 2.5-2.8 AU, we predict the largest P/D types should be 180 ± 25 km, compared to the D 177 km diameter P-type (409) Aspasia, while there should be 20 (+20, -10) D > 150 km bodies, compared to 17 known such bodies. Our model does produce a factor of a few overabundance of D > 10 km P/D-types in the main belt, though this mismatch is likely explained by removal mechanisms not yet explored (e.g., thermal destruction of D > 10 km disk planetesimals en route to the inner solar system, collision evolution in the main belt over 4 Gyr, dynamical losses in the main belt via Yarkovsky thermal forces over 4 Gyr). Overall, our five-planet instability model not only reproduces the major trends identified by Levison et al. (2009), but it also provides a more satisfying match to constraints. Accordingly, it provides us with strong supporting evidence that

  17. Exploring the planets a memoir

    CERN Document Server

    Taylor, Fred


    This book is an informal, semi-autobiographical history, from the particular viewpoint of someone who was involved, of the exploration of the Solar System using spacecraft. The author is a Northumbrian, a Liverpudlian, a Californian, and an Oxford Don with half a century of experience of devising and deploying experiments to study the Earth and the planets, moons, and small bodies of the Solar System. Along with memories and anecdotes about his experiences as a participant in the space programme from its earliest days to the present, he describes in non-technical terms the science goals that drove the projects as well as the politics, pressures, and problems that had to be addressed and overcome on the way. The theme is the scientific intent of these ambitious voyages of discovery, and the joys and hardships of working to see them achieved. The narrative gives a first-hand account of things like how Earth satellites came to revolutionize weather forecasting, starting in the 1960s; how observations from space ...

  18. Recipes for planet formation (United States)

    Meyer, Michael R.


    Anyone who has ever used baking soda instead of baking powder when trying to make a cake knows a simple truth: ingredients matter. The same is true for planet formation. Planets are made from the materials that coalesce in a rotating disk around young stars - essentially the "leftovers" from when the stars themselves formed through the gravitational collapse of rotating clouds of gas and dust. The planet-making disk should therefore initially have the same gas-to-dust ratio as the interstellar medium: about 100 to 1, by mass. Similarly, it seems logical that the elemental composition of the disk should match that of the star, reflecting the initial conditions at that particular spot in the galaxy.

  19. Views of the solar system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamilton, C.


    Views of the Solar System has been created as an educational tour of the solar system. It contains images and information about the Sun, planets, moons, asteroids and comets found within the solar system. The image processing for many of the images was done by the author. This tour uses hypertext to allow space travel by simply clicking on a desired planet. This causes information and images about the planet to appear on screen. While on a planet page, hyperlinks travel to pages about the moons and other relevant available resources. Unusual terms are linked to and defined in the Glossary page. Statistical information of the planets and satellites can be browsed through lists sorted by name, radius and distance. History of Space Exploration contains information about rocket history, early astronauts, space missions, spacecraft and detailed chronology tables of space exploration. The Table of Contents page has links to all of the various pages within Views Of the Solar System.

  20. Location of Planet X

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrington, R.S.


    Observed positions of Uranus and Neptune along with residuals in right ascension and declination are used to constrain the location of a postulated tenth planet. The residuals are converted into residuals in ecliptic longitude and latitude. The results are then combined into seasonal normal points, producing average geocentric residuals spaced slightly more than a year apart that are assumed to represent the equivalent heliocentric average residuals for the observed oppositions. Such a planet is found to most likely reside in the region of Scorpius, with considerably less likelihood that it is in Taurus. 8 references.

  1. Planetary Consequences of Sub-Alfvenic Space Environment in Close-in Planets (United States)

    Cohen, Ofer; Drake, Jeremy J.; Garraffo, Cecilia; Kashyap, Vinay; Gombosi, Tamas


    Close-in gas giant planets, as well as close-in terrestrial planets may reside in a sub-Alfvenic environment, at which the surrounding plasma's speed is slower than the local Alfven speed. Such an environment is very different from the typical space environment near the Earth and the other solar system planets. I will review the unique conditions of this situation and will point out crucial consequences in the context of star-planet interaction, detectibility, radio emissions, and planet habitability.

  2. The Nature of Inhabited Planets and their Inhabitants

    CERN Document Server

    Simpson, Fergus


    Earth-like planets are expected to provide the greatest opportunity for the detection of life beyond the Solar System. This notion stems from an assumption that the Earth constitutes a simple random sample amongst inhabited planets. However, in the event that other intelligent species exist, our planet should not be considered a fair sample. Just as a person's country of origin is a biased sample among countries, so too their planet of origin is a biased sample among planets. The strength of this effect can be substantial: over 98% of the world's population live in a country larger than the median. Any variable which influences either the population size or birth rate is susceptible to selection bias. In the context of a simple model where the mean population density is invariant to planet size, we infer that an inhabited planet selected at random (such as our nearest neighbour) has a radius r<1.2 r_Earth (95% confidence bound). If the range of habitable radii is sufficiently broad, most inhabited planets ...

  3. CoRoT’s first seven planets: An overview*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barge P.


    Full Text Available The up to 150 day uninterrupted high-precision photometry of about 100000 stars – provided so far by the exoplanet channel of the CoRoT space telescope – gave a new perspective on the planet population of our galactic neighbourhood. The seven planets with very accurate parameters widen the range of known planet properties in almost any respect. Giant planets have been detected at low metallicity, rapidly rotating and active, spotted stars. CoRoT-3 populated the brown dwarf desert and closed the gap of measured physical properties between standard giant planets and very low mass stars. CoRoT extended the known range of planet masses down-to 5 Earth masses and up to 21 Jupiter masses, the radii to less than 2 Earth radii and up to the most inflated hot Jupiter found so far, and the periods of planets discovered by transits to 9 days. Two CoRoT planets have host stars with the lowest content of heavy elements known to show a transit hinting towards a different planet-host-star-metallicity relation then the one found by radial-velocity search programs. Finally the properties of the CoRoT-7b prove that terrestrial planets with a density close to Earth exist outside the Solar System. The detection of the secondary transit of CoRoT-1 at the 10−5-level and the very clear detection of the 1.7 Earth radii of CoRoT-7b at 3.5 10−4 relative flux are promising evidence of CoRoT being able to detect even smaller, Earth sized planets.

  4. Observational evidence for two distinct giant planet populations (United States)

    Santos, N. C.; Adibekyan, V.; Figueira, P.; Andreasen, D. T.; Barros, S. C. C.; Delgado-Mena, E.; Demangeon, O.; Faria, J. P.; Oshagh, M.; Sousa, S. G.; Viana, P. T. P.; Ferreira, A. C. S.


    Context. Analysis of the statistical properties of exoplanets, together with those of their host stars, are providing a unique view into the process of planet formation and evolution. Aims: In this paper we explore the properties of the mass distribution of giant planet companions to solar-type stars, in a quest for clues about their formation process. Methods: With this goal in mind we studied, with the help of standard statistical tests, the mass distribution of giant planets using data from the catalog and the SWEET-Cat database of stellar parameters for stars with planets. Results: We show that the mass distribution of giant planet companions is likely to present more than one population with a change in regime around 4 MJup. Above this value host stars tend to be more metal poor and more massive and have [Fe/H] distributions that are statistically similar to those observed in field stars of similar mass. On the other hand, stars that host planets below this limit show the well-known metallicity-giant planet frequency correlation. Conclusions: We discuss these results in light of various planet formation models and explore the implications they may have on our understanding of the formation of giant planets. In particular, we discuss the possibility that the existence of two separate populations of giant planets indicates that two different processes of formation are at play. A table with the planet and stellar parameters is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

  5. Observing the Spectra of MEarth and TRAPPIST Planets with JWST (United States)

    Morley, Caroline; Kreidberg, Laura; Rustamkulov, Zafar; Robinson, Tyler D.; Fortney, Jonathan J.


    During the past two years, nine planets close to Earth in radius have been discovered around nearby M dwarfs cooler than 3300 K. These planets include the 7 planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system and two planets discovered by the MEarth survey, GJ 1132b and LHS 1140b (Dittmann et al. 2017; Berta-Thompson et al. 2015; Gillon et al. 2017). These planets are the smallest planets discovered to date that will be amenable to atmospheric characterization with JWST. They span equilibrium temperatures from ˜130 K to >500 K, and radii from 0.7 to 1.43 Earth radii. Some of these planets orbit as distances potentially amenable to surface liquid water, though the actual surface temperatures will depend strongly on the albedo of the planet and the thickness and composition of its atmosphere. The stars they orbit also vary in activity levels, from the quiet LHS 1140b host star to the more active TRAPPIST-1 host star. This set of planets will form the testbed for our first chance to study the diversity of atmospheres around Earth-sized planets. Here, we will present model spectra of these 9 planets, varying the composition and the surface pressure of the atmosphere. We base our elemental compositions on three outcomes of planetary atmosphere evolution in our own solar system: Earth, Titan, and Venus. We calculate the molecular compositions in chemical equilibrium. We present both thermal emission spectra and transmission spectra for each of these objects, and make predictions for the observability of these spectra with different instrument modes with JWST.

  6. Planets and satellites galore (United States)

    Marsden, B. G.


    The facts and controversies surrounding the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and their satellites are reviewed. Earth-approaching and earth-crossing minor planets are discussed with attention to the work of Helin and Giclas. The problems attending satellite discoveries are examined, and the criteria for 1978 P 1 is evaluated.

  7. The Planet Formation Imager (United States)

    Kraus, S.; Buscher, D. F.; Monnier, J. D.; PFI Science, the; Technical Working Group


    Among the most fascinating and hotly-debated areas in contemporary astrophysics are the means by which planetary systems are assembled from the large rotating disks of gas and dust which attend a stellar birth. Although important work is being done both in theory and observation, a full understanding of the physics of planet formation can only be achieved by opening observational windows able to directly witness the process in action. The key requirement is then to probe planet-forming systems at the natural spatial scales over which material is being assembled. By definition, this is the so-called Hill Sphere which delineates the region of influence of a gravitating body within its surrounding environment. The Planet Formation Imager project has crystallized around this challenging goal: to deliver resolved images of Hill-Sphere-sized structures within candidate planet-hosting disks in the nearest star-forming regions. In this contribution we outline the primary science case of PFI and discuss how PFI could significantly advance our understanding of the architecture and potential habitability of planetary systems. We present radiation-hydrodynamics simulations from which we derive preliminary specifications that guide the design of the facility. Finally, we give an overview about the interferometric and non-interferometric technologies that we are investigating in order to meet the specifications.

  8. The Planet Venus (United States)


    Physical features of the planet Venus, including its rotational characteristics and the surface properties observed by NASA's Deep Space Network radar scanner and Soviet spacecraft are examined. Atmospheric composition and circulation and the nature of the Venus clouds are also discussed in this instructional pamphlet. A reading list and student projects are included.

  9. Planets and Pucks. (United States)

    Brueningsen, Christopher; Krawiec, Wesley


    Presents a simple activity designed to allow students to experimentally verify Kepler's second law, sometimes called the law of equal areas. It states that areas swept out by a planet as it orbits the Sun are equal for equal time intervals. (PR)

  10. Planet hunters. VI. An independent characterization of KOI-351 and several long period planet candidates from the Kepler archival data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Moriarty, John C.; Boyajian, Tabetha S. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Omohundro, Mark R.; Winarski, Troy; Goodman, Samuel Jon; Jebson, Tony; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Paterson, David A.; Schwamb, Megan E. [Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, 11F of Astronomy-Mathematics Building, National Taiwan University. No.1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert [Oxford Astrophysics, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael [Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 (United States); Schawinski, Kevin, E-mail: [Institute for Astronomy, Department of Physics, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 16, CH-8093 Zurich (Switzerland); and others


    We report the discovery of 14 new transiting planet candidates in the Kepler field from the Planet Hunters citizen science program. None of these candidates overlapped with Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) at the time of submission. We report the discovery of one more addition to the six planet candidate system around KOI-351, making it the only seven planet candidate system from Kepler. Additionally, KOI-351 bears some resemblance to our own solar system, with the inner five planets ranging from Earth to mini-Neptune radii and the outer planets being gas giants; however, this system is very compact, with all seven planet candidates orbiting ≲ 1 AU from their host star. A Hill stability test and an orbital integration of the system shows that the system is stable. Furthermore, we significantly add to the population of long period transiting planets; periods range from 124 to 904 days, eight of them more than one Earth year long. Seven of these 14 candidates reside in their host star's habitable zone.

  11. Add Fiber without Extra Calories (United States)

    ... Add Fiber Without Extra Calories How to fill up, not ... 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? According to the National Fiber ...

  12. PLATO: a multiple telescope spacecraft for exo-planets hunting (United States)

    Ragazzoni, Roberto; Magrin, Demetrio; Rauer, Heike; Pagano, Isabella; Nascimbeni, Valerio; Piotto, Giampaolo; Piazza, Daniele; Levacher, Patrick; Schweitzer, Mario; Basso, Stefano; Bandy, Timothy; Benz, Willy; Bergomi, Maria; Biondi, Federico; Boerner, Anko; Borsa, Francesco; Brandeker, Alexis; Brändli, Mathias; Bruno, Giordano; Cabrera, Juan; Chinellato, Simonetta; De Roche, Thierry; Dima, Marco; Erikson, Anders; Farinato, Jacopo; Munari, Matteo; Ghigo, Mauro; Greggio, Davide; Gullieuszik, Marco; Klebor, Maximilian; Marafatto, Luca; Mogulsky, Valery; Peter, Gisbert; Rieder, Martin; Sicilia, Daniela; Spiga, Daniele; Viotto, Valentina; Wieser, Matthias; Heras, Ana Maria; Gondoin, Philippe; Bodin, Pierre; Catala, Claude


    PLATO stands for PLAnetary Transits and Oscillation of stars and is a Medium sized mission selected as M3 by the European Space Agency as part of the Cosmic Vision program. The strategy behind is to scrutinize a large fraction of the sky collecting lightcurves of a large number of stars and detecting transits of exo-planets whose apparent orbit allow for the transit to be visible from the Earth. Furthermore, as the transit is basically able to provide the ratio of the size of the transiting planet to the host star, the latter is being characterized by asteroseismology, allowing to provide accurate masses, radii and hence density of a large sample of extra solar bodies. In order to be able to then follow up from the ground via spectroscopy radial velocity measurements these candidates the search must be confined to rather bright stars. To comply with the statistical rate of the occurrence of such transits around these kind of stars one needs a telescope with a moderate aperture of the order of one meter but with a Field of View that is of the order of 50 degrees in diameter. This is achieved by splitting the optical aperture into a few dozens identical telescopes with partially overlapping Field of View to build up a mixed ensemble of differently covered area of the sky to comply with various classes of magnitude stars. The single telescopes are refractive optical systems with an internally located pupil defined by a CaF2 lens, and comprising an aspheric front lens and a strong field flattener optical element close to the detectors mosaic. In order to continuously monitor for a few years with the aim to detect planetary transits similar to an hypothetical twin of the Earth, with the same revolution period, the spacecraft is going to be operated while orbiting around the L2 Lagrangian point of the Earth-Sun system so that the Earth disk is no longer a constraints potentially interfering with such a wide field continuous uninterrupted survey.

  13. Extra Dimensions at the LHC

    CERN Document Server

    Kong, Kyoungchul; Servant, Geraldine


    We discuss the motivation and the phenomenology of models with either flat or warped extra dimensions. We describe the typical mass spectrum and discovery signatures of such models at the LHC. We also review several proposed methods for discriminating the usual low-energy supersymmetry from a model with flat (universal) extra dimensions. (For the official website of the book, see .)

  14. Evolution of the rotation of a viscoelastic planet on a circular orbit in a central force field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vil' ke, V.G.; Kopylov, S.A.; Markov, Y.G.


    Approximate equations describing the evolution of the rotational motion of a viscoelastic planet in a central Newtonian force field are obtained by an averaging method. The equations are written in Andoyer canonical variables. The evolution of the planet's rotation is investigated on the basis of the averaged equations. When energy dissipation is present the motion of a deformable planet can serve as a model of tidal phenomena in the motion of planets of the solar system.

  15. Exploring the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Bond, Peter


    The exploration of our solar system is one of humanity's greatest scientific achievements. The last fifty years in particular have seen huge steps forward in our understanding of the planets, the sun, and other objects in the solar system. Whilst planetary science is now a mature discipline - involving geoscientists, astronomers, physicists, and others - many profound mysteries remain, and there is indeed still the tantalizing possibility that we may find evidence of life on another planet in our system.Drawing upon the latest results from the second golden age of Solar System exploration, aut

  16. Trojan twin planets (United States)

    Dvorak, R.; Loibnegger, B.; Schwarz, R.


    The Trojan asteroids are moving in the vicinity of the stable Lagrange points L_4 and L_5 of the gas giants Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. Their motion can be described and understood with the aid of the restricted three-body problem. As an extension of this problem we investigate how stable motion close to the Lagrange points of two massive bodies can exist. This configuration can be described as the Trojan Twin Problem when we regard the two additional bodies as having a mass significantly smaller than the the two primary bodies: a star in the center (m_1) and an additional Jupiter-like mass (m_2). Using this 4-body problem we have undertaken numerical investigations concerning possible stable "twin orbits". However, these two bodies (m_3 and m_4) in Trojan-like orbits may have quite different masses. We decided to choose 6 different scenaria for this problem: as primary body, m2, we have taken a Jupiter-like planet, a Saturn-like one, and a super-Earth with 10 Earthmasses (m_{Earth}) respectively. As quasi twin planets, we have used different mass ratios namely objects for m3 and m4 from 10m_{Earth} to Moon like ones. We found different stable configurations depending on the involved masses and the initial distances between the twins (always close to the Lagrange point). Although the formation of such a configuration seems to be not very probable we should not exclude that it exists regarding the huge number of planets even in our own galaxy. This model is of special interest when the most massive planet (m_2) is moving on an orbit in the habitable zone around a main sequence star. One can use our results of stable orbits of Trojan Twin Planets (or asteroids) for extrasolar systems having as second primary a Jupiter-like, a Saturn-like or a super-Earth like planet around a star similar to our Sun.

  17. Archaeology of Extrasolar Rocky Minor Planets (United States)

    Farihi, Jay


    Recent and ongoing work has demonstrated that empirical constraints on the frequency and chemistry of rocky planet formation around other stars, and signatures of water therein, can be found via the asteroidal debris orbiting and polluting white dwarf stars. These stellar remnants yield observable information that can be acquired no other way: the frequency, bulk chemical composition, and minimum mass of rocky minor planets around other stars. Asteroids are ancient planetesimals, the building blocks of the terrestrial planets. In the Solar System, we indirectly measure the composition of asteroids by studying meteorites. Analogously, we can obtain a picture of terrestrial planet formation at A- and F-type stars by studying the composition of extant asteroids as they fall onto and chemically pollute their white dwarf remnants. Critically, it is possible to identify significant amounts of water in these asteroidal systems, providing an indication of (current or prior) habitable environments as well as extrasolar testing grounds for models of water delivery to the Earth. I will present the latest and new developments in this area of research. I hope to include some results of an ongoing HST COS effort to study asteroidal debris as a function of post-main sequence age and main-sequence progenitor mass. Other highlights are two stars polluted by the debris of rocky planetary bodies sufficiently large to have been differentiated, and thus at least as large as Vesta or Ceres, the two largest asteroids in the Solar System. Currently, there is at least one compelling case for the accretion of water-rich, asteroidal debris, while the totality of known polluted white dwarfs hints at a significant population of water-rich asteroid analogs orbiting other stars.

  18. Planet formation around millisecond pulsars (United States)

    Banit, Menashe; Ruderman, Malvin; Shaham, Jacob


    We present a model for the formation of planets in circular orbits around millisecond pulsars. We propose that the planets originate from a circumbinary excretion disk around a binary millisecond pulsar and show how physical conditions in such a disk lead to the eventual formation of planets.

  19. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom (United States)

    George, Samuel J.


    The field of extrasolar planets is still, in comparison with other astrophysical topics, in its infancy. There have been about 300 or so extrasolar planets detected and their detection has been accomplished by various different techniques. Here we present a simple laboratory experiment to show how planets are detected using the transit technique.…

  20. Planet Detectability in the Alpha Centauri System (United States)

    Zhao, Lily; Fischer, Debra A.; Brewer, John; Giguere, Matt; Rojas-Ayala, Bárbara


    We use more than a decade of radial-velocity measurements for α {Cen} A, B, and Proxima Centauri from the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, CTIO High Resolution Spectrograph, and the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph to identify the M\\sin i and orbital periods of planets that could have been detected if they existed. At each point in a mass–period grid, we sample a simulated, Keplerian signal with the precision and cadence of existing data and assess the probability that the signal could have been produced by noise alone. Existing data places detection thresholds in the classically defined habitable zones at about M\\sin i of 53 {M}\\oplus for α {Cen} A, 8.4 {M}\\oplus for α {Cen} B, and 0.47 {M}\\oplus for Proxima Centauri. Additionally, we examine the impact of systematic errors, or “red noise” in the data. A comparison of white- and red-noise simulations highlights quasi-periodic variability in the radial velocities that may be caused by systematic errors, photospheric velocity signals, or planetary signals. For example, the red-noise simulations show a peak above white-noise simulations at the period of Proxima Centauri b. We also carry out a spectroscopic analysis of the chemical composition of the α {Centauri} stars. The stars have super-solar metallicity with ratios of C/O and Mg/Si that are similar to the Sun, suggesting that any small planets in the α {Cen} system may be compositionally similar to our terrestrial planets. Although the small projected separation of α {Cen} A and B currently hampers extreme-precision radial-velocity measurements, the angular separation is now increasing. By 2019, α {Cen} A and B will be ideal targets for renewed Doppler planet surveys.

  1. What is a Planet?-Categorizing Objects (United States)

    Lebofsky, Larry A.


    Observing, communicating, comparing, organizing, relating, and inferring are fundamental to scientific thinking processes. Teaching this way, rather than just teaching "the facts,” is also important for developing the critical thinking skills of our future generations of a scientifically literate society. Since the IAU started its discussions on a definition of a planet in 2005, I have been presenting a hands-on activity called "What is a Planet?” at the annual meeting of the DPS. This activity has been designed for short (20 minute) to long (two hour) presentations depending on the venue and the audience. This has been presented to elementary-grade students, middle school students, K-12 teachers, and scientists and educators. Depending on the amount of time available, I show students how people, as well as scientists group or categorize things such as plants and animals, cats and dog, etc. The students are then broken up into groups. Science is usually done by teams of scientists working together, not as individuals working alone. I assess their prior knowledge (how many planets, their names, their properties, etc.). They also do a hands-on group activity where they group/categorize ten spheres by their properties (size, color, etc.). Finally we discuss the process by which the IAU came up with a definition of a planet. I then discuss with them why some scientists, including myself, do not agree with this definition: as with the spheres, there may be more than one "right” answer. There are many ways to look at the properties of objects in the Solar System and group them into planets and other designations. This is the way that science should be done, to look at all of the properties of an object and categorize them in a meaningful way. There may be more than one right answer.

  2. Noble gases in meteorites and terrestrial planets (United States)

    Wacker, J. F.


    Terrestrial planets and chondrites have noble gas platforms that are sufficiently alike, especially Ne/Ar, that they may have acquired their noble gases by similar processes. Meteorites presumably obtained their noble gases during formation in the solar nebula. Adsorption onto C - the major gas carrier in chondrites - is the likely mechanism for trapping noble gases; recent laboratory simulations support this hypothesis. The story is more complex for planets. An attractive possibility is that the planets acquired their noble gases in a late accreting veneer of chondritic material. In chondrites, noble gases correlate with C, N, H, and volatile metals; by Occam's Razor, we would expect a similar coupling in planets. Indeed, the Earth's crust and mantle contain chondritic like trace volatiles and PL group metals, respectively and the Earth's oceans resemble C chondrites in their enrichment of D (8X vs 8-10X of the galactic D/H ratio). Models have been proposed to explain some of the specific noble gas patterns in planets. These include: (1) noble gases may have been directly trapped by preplanetary material instead of arriving in a veneer; (2) for Venus, irradiation of preplanetary material, followed by diffusive loss of Ne, could explain the high concentration of AR-36; (3) the Earth and Venus may have initially had similar abundances of noble gases, but the Earth lost its share during the Moon forming event; (4) noble gases could have been captured by planetestimals, possibly leading to gravitational fractionation, particularly of Xe isotopes and (5) noble gases may have been dissolved in the hot outer portion of the Earth during contact with a primordial atmosphere.

  3. The sun,the planets and life on Earth (United States)

    Claudia, Tacu Cristina


    We all knowthat Earth,our planet,it's not alone in the Universe.We will discover together a few of its secrets: 0 The influence of the sun on our planet is very important.It provides us thelight ,the warnith and the enery without whice life on Earth wouldn't be possible. 0 Thank to the Sun and the endless spinning of our planet around its own axe and, at the same time around this star,we receive as a gift the day,the night,the seasons. 0In our Solar System there are other spheres appart from the Sun and planets -the asteroids ,wandering pieces of stone.It is said that many milions of years ago it they made a lot of plants and animals disappear. If I have arisen your curiosity,let's go!

  4. The quest for very low-mass planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayor, M; Udry, S [Geneva Observatory, Geneva University, 51 ch des Maillettes, CH-1290 Versoix (Switzerland)], E-mail:


    The statistical results gathered on exoplanet properties over the past decade provide strong constraints for planet-formation models. They now prove to be especially important for the new category of very low-mass solid planets recently revealed by improved radial velocities, obtained mainly with the HARPS spectrograph. We review here the emerging properties of this newly discovered population, in the light of results from state-of-the-art planet-formation models. We also discuss the limitations of the radial-velocity method and the associated optimistic perspectives for the future detection of Earth-like planets in the Habitable Zone of solar-type stars, with radial velocities alone or in complement to space photometry.

  5. Kepler-36: a pair of planets with neighboring orbits and dissimilar densities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carter, J.A.; Agol, E.; Chaplin, W.J.; Basu, S.; Bedding, T.R.; Buchhave, L.A.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Deck, K.M.; Elsworth, Y.; Fabrycky, D.C.; Ford, E.B.; Fortney, J.J.; Hale, S.J.; Handberg, R.; Hekker, S.; Holman, M.J.; Huber, D.; Karoff, C.; Kawaler, S.D.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lissauer, J.J.; Lopez, E.D.; Lund, M.N.; Lundkvist, M.; Metcalfe, T.S.; Miglio, A.; Rogers, L.A.; Stello, D.; Borucki, W.J.; Bryson, S.; Christiansen, J.L.; Cochran, W.D.; Geary, J.C.; Gilliland, R.L.; Haas, M.R.; Hall, J.; Howard, A.W.; Jenkins, J.M.; Klaus, T.; Koch, D.G.; Latham, D.W.; MacQueen, P.J.; Sasselov, D.; Steffen, J.H.; Twicken, J.D.; Winn, J.N.


    In the solar system, the planets’ compositions vary with orbital distance, with rocky planets in close orbits and lower-density gas giants in wider orbits. The detection of close-in giant planets around other stars was the first clue that this pattern is not universal and that planets’ orbits can

  6. Constraints from Comets on the Formation and Volatile Acquisition of the Planets and Satellites (United States)

    Mandt, K. E.; Mousis, O.; Marty, B.; Cavalié, T.; Harris, W.; Hartogh, P.; Willacy, K.


    Comets play a dual role in understanding the formation and evolution of the solar system. First, the composition of comets provides information about the origin of the giant planets and their moons because comets formed early and their composition is not expected to have evolved significantly since formation. They, therefore serve as a record of conditions during the early stages of solar system formation. Once comets had formed, their orbits were perturbed allowing them to travel into the inner solar system and impact the planets. In this way they contributed to the volatile inventory of planetary atmospheres. We review here how knowledge of comet composition up to the time of the Rosetta mission has contributed to understanding the formation processes of the giant planets, their moons and small icy bodies in the solar system. We also discuss how comets contributed to the volatile inventories of the giant and terrestrial planets.

  7. What can we learn from atmospheres of transitioning low-mass towards habitable planets? (United States)

    Ikoma, Masahiro


    Transit observations with the Kepler space telescope revealed that planets smaller than Neptune are much more abundant than gas giants beyond our Solar System. The observed mass-radius relationships for such small planets are known to be diverse, which may mean that the amount of the atmospheric gas differs from planet to planet. Also, recent observational characterization of atmospheres of some transiting low-mass exoplanets suggests that the atmospheric composition is also diverse. Thus, understanding the diversity of atmospheres of transiting low-mass planets and their origins must be a key to predicting possible diversity of planets in habitable zones. In this paper, I will overview recent theories of the formation and evolution of planetary atmosphere. I will also discuss what we can learn from on-going and future observations for characterizing transiting planet atmospheres.

  8. Origin of noble gases in the terrestrial planets (United States)

    Pepin, Robert O.


    Current models of the origin of noble gases in the terrestrial planets are reviewed. Primary solar system volatile sources and processes are examined along with the current data base on noble gases and its applications to evolutionary processing. Models of atmospheric evolution by hydrodynamic escape are addressed.

  9. Spectropolarimetric signatures of Earth-like extrasolar planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, D.M.


    We present results of numerical simulations of flux F and degree of polarization P of light that is reflected by Earth–like extrasolar planets orbiting solar type stars. Our results are presented as functions of the wavelength (from 0.3 to 1.0 ?m, with 0.001 ?m spectral resolution) and as functions

  10. Venus bow shocks at unusually large distances from the planet (United States)

    Steinolfson, R. S.; Cable, S.


    Recent analysis of data from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) has shown that the bow shock often travels to unusually large distances from the planet when the solar wind magnetosonic Mach number is near unity. We suggest that distant bow shocks can be explained as an integral part of the response of the global solar wind/Venus interaction to the anomalous local solar wind conditions that existed during the time of these observations. The lower-than-normal plasma beta and magnetosonic Mach number are in a parameter regime for which the usual fast-mode bow shock close to the planet may not provide the necessary compression and deflection of the solar wind. Using MHD simulations we show that, for these conditions, the usual fast shock is replaced by a bow shock consisting of an intermediate shock near the Sun-Venus line and a fast shock at large distances from the Sun-Venus line. This composite bow shock propagates upstream away from the planet at a low speed and appears to be approaching a new equilibrium stand-off location at a large distance from the planet.

  11. Urey Prize Lecture: Orbital Dynamics of Extrasolar Planets, Large and Small (United States)

    Ford, Eric B.


    For centuries, planet formation theories were fine tuned to explain the details of solar system. Since 1999, the Doppler technique has discovered dozens of multiple planet systems. The diversity of architectures of systems with giant planets challenged previous theories and led to insights into planet formation, orbital migration and the excitation of orbital eccentricities and inclinations. Recently, NASA's Kepler mission has identified over 300 systems with multiple transiting planet candidates, including many potentially rocky planets. Precise measurements of the orbital period and phase constrain the significance of mutual gravitational interactions and potential orbital resonances. For systems that are tightly-packed or near an orbital resonance, measurements of transit timing variations provide a new means for confirming transiting planets and detecting non-transiting planets in multiple planet systems, even around faint target stars. Over the course of the extended mission, Kepler is poised to measure the gravitational effects of mutual planetary perturbations for 200 planets, providing precise (but complex) constraints on planetary masses, densities and orbits. I will survey the systems with multiple transiting planet candidates identified by Kepler and discuss early efforts to translate these observations into new constraints on the formation and orbital evolution of planetary systems with low-mass planets.

  12. How to Pluck a Spectrum from a Planet (United States)


    This diagram illustrates how astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope can capture the elusive spectra of hot-Jupiter planets. Spectra are an object's light spread apart into its basic components, or wavelengths. By dissecting light in this way, scientists can sort through it and uncover clues about the composition of the object giving off the light. To obtain a spectrum for an object, one first needs to capture its light. Hot-Jupiter planets are so close to their stars that even the most powerful telescopes can't distinguish their light from the light of their much brighter stars. But, there are a few planetary systems that allow astronomers to measure the light from just the planet by using a clever technique. Such 'transiting' systems are oriented in such a way that, from our vantage point, the planets' orbits are seen edge-on and cross directly in front of and behind their stars. In this technique, known as the secondary eclipse method, changes in the total infrared light from a star system are measured as its planet transits behind the star, vanishing from our Earthly point of view. The dip in observed light can then be attributed to the planet alone. To capture a spectrum of the planet, Spitzer must observe the system twice. It takes a spectrum of the star together with the planet (first panel), then, as the planet disappears from view, a spectrum of just the star (second panel). By subtracting the star's spectrum from the combined spectrum of the star plus the planet, it is able to get the spectrum for just the planet (third panel). This ground-breaking technique was used by Spitzer to obtain the first-ever spectra of two planets beyond our solar system, HD 209458b and HD 189733b. The results suggest that the hot planets are socked in with dry clouds high up in the planet's stratospheres. In addition, HD 209458b showed hints of silicates, indicating those high clouds might be made of very fine sand-like particles.

  13. The Spherical Bolometric Albedo of Planet Mercury


    Mallama, Anthony


    Published reflectance data covering several different wavelength intervals has been combined and analyzed in order to determine the spherical bolometric albedo of Mercury. The resulting value of 0.088 +/- 0.003 spans wavelengths from 0 to 4 {\\mu}m which includes over 99% of the solar flux. This bolometric result is greater than the value determined between 0.43 and 1.01 {\\mu}m by Domingue et al. (2011, Planet. Space Sci., 59, 1853-1872). The difference is due to higher reflectivity at wavelen...

  14. The Scattering Outcomes of Kepler Circumbinary Planets: Planet Mass Ratio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gong, Yan-Xiang; Ji, Jianghui, E-mail:, E-mail: [CAS Key Laboratory of Planetary Sciences, Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China)


    Recent studies reveal that the free eccentricities of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b are much larger than their forced eccentricities, implying that scattering events may take place in their formation. The observed orbital configuration of Kepler-34b cannot be well reproduced in disk-driven migration models, whereas a two-planet scattering scenario can play a significant role of shaping the planetary configuration. These studies indicate that circumbinary planets discovered by Kepler may have experienced scattering process. In this work, we extensively investigate the scattering outcomes of circumbinary planets focusing on the effects of planet mass ratio . We find that the planetary mass ratio and the the initial relative locations of planets act as two important parameters that affect the eccentricity distribution of the surviving planets. As an application of our model, we discuss the observed orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b. We first adopt the results from the disk-driven models as the initial conditions, then simulate the scattering process that occurs in the late evolution stage of circumbinary planets. We show that the present orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b can be well reproduced when considering a two unequal-mass planet ejection model. Our work further suggests that some of the currently discovered circumbinary single-planet systems may be survivors of original multiple-planet systems. The disk-driven migration and scattering events occurring in the late stage both play an irreplaceable role in sculpting the final systems.

  15. Microlensing Discovery of an Earth-Mass Planet (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    . The peak in the curve in (a) shows the main microlensing by the lens star. An additional blip just after the peak, shown in detail in inset (b), shows the additional lensing by the planet. [Shvartzvald et al. 2017]A team of scientists led by Yossi Shvartzvald (NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) have now presented the discovery of planet OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, which was made using both ground-based (the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network) and space-based (Spitzer) observations of a microlensing event. The combination of these observations allowed the team to determine a number of properties of the system.The teams models indicate that the host is a 0.072 solar-mass ( 74 Jupiter-mass) star, which if it has the same metallicity as the Sun likely lies just below the hydrogen-burning mass limit. A 1.3 Earth-mass planet is orbiting it at a projected separation of 1.11 AU. The system lies in the galactic disk, roughly 13,700 light-years away.Looking to the FutureThis discovery confirms that the protoplanetary disks of ultracool dwarfs do, in fact, contain enough mass to form terrestrial planets. In addition, the find represents a remarkable technical achievement. OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb is the lowest-mass planet ever detected using gravitational microlensing, which bodeswell for continued and future microlensing campaigns with high cadences and high detection sensitivity. With luck well soon be able to expand our sample of planets discovered around these unusual hosts, allowing us to build statistics and better understand how and where these planets form.CitationY. Shvartzvald et al 2017 ApJL 840 L3. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa6d09

  16. Observations at the planet Mercury by the plasma electron experiment - Mariner 10 (United States)

    Ogilvie, K. W.; Scudder, J. D.; Vasyliunas, V. M.; Hartle, R. E.; Siscoe, G. L.


    Two nightside encounters with Mercury's magnetosphere by Mariner 10 revealed bow shock and magnetosheath signatures in the plasma electron data that are entirely consistent with the geometry expected for an interaction between a planet-centered magnetic dipole and the solar wind. The geometrically determined distance between the planet's center and the solar wind stagnation point is 1.4 plus or minus 0.1 R sub M. Both diffuse and sharp shock crossings were observed on the two magnetosphere encounters.

  17. Black Holes in the Framework of the Metric Tensor Exterior to the Sun and Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chifu E.N.


    Full Text Available The conditions for the Sun and oblate spheroidal planets in the solar system to reduce to black holes is investigated. The metric tensor exterior to oblate spheroidal masses indicates that for the Sun to reduce to a black hole, its mass must condense by a factor of 2 : 32250 10 5 . Using Schwarzschild’s metric, this factor is obtained as 2 : 3649 10 5 . Similar results are obtained for oblate spheroidal planets in the solar system.

  18. ARTEMiS (Automated Robotic Terrestrial Exoplanet Microlensing Search): A possible expert-system based cooperative effort to hunt for planets of Earth mass and below (United States)

    Dominik, M.; Horne, K.; Allan, A.; Rattenbury, N. J.; Tsapras, Y.; Snodgrass, C.; Bode, M. F.; Burgdorf, M. J.; Fraser, S. N.; Kerins, E.; Mottram, C. J.; Steele, I. A.; Street, R. A.; Wheatley, P. J.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.


    -wide efforts are being undertaken to make sure that sufficient data are obtained, since there is no second chance. Real-time modelling offers the opportunity of live discovery of extra-solar planets, thereby providing ``Science live to your home''.

  19. Flavor Models In Extra Dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Valadez, J


    This thesis consists of implementing flavor symmetries in the context of extra dimensions. To the particle content of the Standard Model we add an additional scalar (flavon) field and we assume that all the fields propagate in the extra-dimensional space-time. When the flavon field acquires a vacuum expectation value the flavor symmetry is effectively broken thus generating the Yukawa textures associated with the particles. An specific model in 5D that reproduces all fermion masses, mixing angles and ratios is presented.

  20. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet. (United States)

    Plávalová, Eva


    When a star is described as a spectral class G2V, we know that the star is similar to our Sun. We know its approximate mass, temperature, age, and size. When working with an extrasolar planet database, it is very useful to have a taxonomy scale (classification) such as, for example, the Harvard classification for stars. The taxonomy has to be easily interpreted and present the most relevant information about extrasolar planets. I propose an extrasolar planet taxonomy scale with four parameters. The first parameter concerns the mass of an extrasolar planet in the form of units of the mass of other known planets, where M represents the mass of Mercury, E that of Earth, N Neptune, and J Jupiter. The second parameter is the planet's distance from its parent star (semimajor axis) described in a logarithm with base 10. The third parameter is the mean Dyson temperature of the extrasolar planet, for which I established four main temperature classes: F represents the Freezing class, W the Water class, G the Gaseous class, and R the Roasters class. I devised one additional class, however: P, the Pulsar class, which concerns extrasolar planets orbiting pulsar stars. The fourth parameter is eccentricity. If the attributes of the surface of the extrasolar planet are known, we are able to establish this additional parameter where t represents a terrestrial planet, g a gaseous planet, and i an ice planet. According to this taxonomy scale, for example, Earth is 1E0W0t, Neptune is 1N1.5F0i, and extrasolar planet 55 Cnc e is 9E-1.8R1.

  1. Almost All of Kepler's Multiple-planet Candidates Are Planets


    Lissauer, Jack J.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Adams, Elisabeth; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Holman, Matthew J.; Howell, Steve B.


    We present a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) indeed represent true, physically associated transiting planets. Binary stars provide the primary source of false positives among Kepler planet candidates, implying that false positives should be nearly randomly distributed among Kepler targets. In contrast, true transiting planets would appear clustered around a smaller number of Kepler targets if detect...

  2. Wandering stars. About planets and exo-planets: an introductory notebook (United States)

    Cole, George H. A.

    pt. I. Observations reveal gravity. 1. Early observations. 1.1. Stars and planets. 1.2. Interpretations of the observations. 1.3. Sun, moon and earth. 1.4. The shapes of the orbits. 1.5. Kepler's laws of planetary motion. 1.6. Galileo's law of inertia: Newton's laws of motion. 1.7. Newton's law of gravitation. 1.8. A passing encounter without capture. 2. A planet and a sun: the role of gravity. 2.1. Specification of an elliptic orbit. 2.2. Equal areas in equal times. 2.3. Consequences of an elliptical path: the inverse square force law. 2.4. The semi-major axis and the period of the orbit: the 3rd law. 2.5. Two immediate consequences. 2.6. The energy in an elliptic orbit. 2.7. Specifying the orbit from observations. 2.8. The different possible orbits -- 3. Several planets: the centre of mass. 3.1. More than one planet. 3.2. Jupiter, Mars and the asteroids. 3.3. The centre of mass: two masses. 3.4. Transfer orbits. 3.5. Tidal forces. 3.6. The Roche limit. 4. The general structure of a planet. 4.1. Several energies. 4.2. Packing atoms together. 4.3. The mass-radius relation. 4.4. Maximum size and mass. 4.5. Defining a planetary body. 4.6. Cosmic bodies. 4.7. Planets and satellites: planetary bodies. 5. Fluid flows and magnetism. 5.1. The fluid state. 5.2. The importance of time scales. 5.3. Specifying fluid behaviour. 5.4. Isothermal insulating fluids. 5.5. Thermal insulating fluid flows. 5.6. Natural convection: volcanic activities. 5.7. Boundary conditions. 5.8. Electrically conducting fluids. 5.9. Application to planetary magnetic fields -- pt. II. General features of the Solar System. 6. The larger members of the Solar System. 6.1. The sun. 6.2. The planets. 6.3. Satellites. 6.4. Planetary rings. 6.5. Angular momentum. 6.6. Magnetism and rotation. 7. Smaller members: asteroids, comets and meteorites. 7.1. Asteriods. 7.2. Comets and meteor showers. 7.3. Meteorites. 7.4. The Edgeworth-Kuiper belt. 7.5. The Oort cloud. 8. The material of the Solar System. 8.1. The

  3. Origin of the 'Extra Entropy' (United States)

    Mushotzky, R.


    I will discuss how one can determine the origin of the 'extra entropy' in groups and clusters and the feedback needed in models of galaxy formation. I will stress the use of x-ray spectroscopy and imaging and the critical value that Con-X has in this regard.

  4. supersymmetry breaking with extra dimensions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    physics pp. 497-511 supersymmetry breaking with extra dimensions. FABIO ZWIRNER. Theory Division, CERN, CH-1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland. On leave from: Physics ... theory which accounts for all the observed interactions at the presently available ... For some standard reviews of sUsY and of the MssM, with lists.

  5. Physics with large extra dimensions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Early motivation for large extra dimensions. Attempts to construct a consistent theory for quantum gravity have led only to one candidate: the string theory. The only vacuum of string theory free of any pathologies are supersymmetric. Not being observed in nature, supersymmetry should be broken. In contrast to ordinary ...

  6. Cosmology With Dynamical Extra Dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Erickson, J K


    Nearly every attempt to unify the fundamental forces incorporates the idea of compact extra dimensions. The notion was introduced by Kaluza and Klein in the 1920s and is an essential part of contemporary string theory and M-theory. In most treatments the extra dimensions are static. We consider the consequences of extra dimensions with time-varying radii. The radii are modeled by light scalar fields. These may have unusual properties which produce observable effects, such as non-canonical kinetic energies, couplings to matter and radiation, and non- minimal coupling to gravity. Extra dimensions may be responsible for dark energy in the late universe. The simplest model of dark energy is characterized by its equation of state. We show that constraints placed on realistic models by the universality of free fall, variation of fundamental constants and metric tests of gravity are often stricter than bounds on the equation of state. Testing the equivalence principle maybe an effective way of distinguishing some qu...

  7. Pedagogical Introduction to Extra Dimensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rizzo, T


    Extra dimensions provide a new window on a number of problems faced by the Standard Model. The following provides an introduction to this very broad subject aimed at experimental graduate students and post-docs based on a lecture given at the 2004 SLAC Summer Institute.

  8. Wormholes leading to extra dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Bronnikov, K A


    In 6D general relativity with a scalar field as a source of gravity, a new type of static wormhole solutions is presented: such wormholes connect our universe with a small 2D extra subspace with a universe where this extra subspace is large, and the whole space-time is effectively 6-dimensional. We consider manifolds with the structure M0 x M1 x M2 , where M0 is 2D Lorentzian space-time while each of M1 an M2 can be a 2-sphere or a 2-torus. After selecting possible asymptotic behaviors of the metric functions compatible with the field equations, we give two explicit examples of wormhole solutions with spherical symmetry in our space-time and toroidal extra dimensions. In one example, with a massless scalar field (it is a special case of a well-known more general solution), the extra dimensions have a large constant size at the "far end"; the other example contains a nonzero potential $V(\\phi)$ which provides a 6D anti-de Sitter asymptotic, where all spatial dimensions are infinite.

  9. Dawn of small worlds dwarf planets, asteroids, comets

    CERN Document Server

    Moltenbrey, Michael


    This book gives a detailed introduction to the thousands and thousands of smaller bodies in the solar system. Written for interested laymen, amateur astronomers and students it describes the nature and origin of asteroids, dwarf planets and comets, and gives detailed information about their role in the solar system. The author nicely reviews the history of small-world-exploration and describes past, current and future space craft missions studying small worlds, and presents their results. Readers will learn that small solar system worlds have a dramatically different nature and appearance than the planets. Even though research activity on small worlds has increased in the recent past many of their properties are still in the dark and need further research.

  10. Double Planet Meets Triple Star (United States)


    High-Resolution VLT Image of Pluto Event on July 20, 2002 A rare celestial phenomenon involving the distant planet Pluto has occurred twice within the past month. Seen from the Earth, this planet moved in front of two different stars on July 20 and August 21, respectively, providing observers at various observatories in South America and in the Pacific area with a long awaited and most welcome opportunity to learn more about the tenuous atmosphere of that cold planet. On the first date, a series of very sharp images of a small sky field with Pluto and the star was obtained with the NAOS-CONICA (NACO) adaptive optics (AO) camera mounted on the ESO VLT 8.2-m YEPUN telescope at the Paranal Observatory. With a diameter of about 2300 km, Pluto is about six times smaller than the Earth. Like our own planet, it possesses a relatively large moon, Charon , measuring 1200 km across and circling Pluto at a distance of about 19,600 km once every 6.4 days. In fact, because of the similarity of the two bodies, the Pluto-Charon system is often referred to as a double planet . At the current distance of nearly 4,500 million km from the Earth, Pluto's disk subtends a very small angle in the sky, 0.107 arcsec. It is therefore very seldom that Pluto - during its orbital motion - passes exactly in front of a comparatively bright star. Such events are known as "occultations" , and it is difficult to predict exactly when and where on the Earth's surface they are visible. Stellar occultations When Pluto moves in front of a star, it casts a "shadow" on the Earth's surface within which an observer cannot see the star, much like the Earth's Moon hides the Sun during a total solar eclipse. During the occultation event, Pluto's "shadow" also moves across the Earth's surface. The width of this shadow is equal to Pluto's diameter, i.e. about 2300 km. One such occultation event was observed in 1988, and two others were expected to occur in 2002, according to predictions published in 2000 by

  11. Specification of Limits of Possible Existence of Satellites in the Gravitational Field of Planets (United States)

    Yasenev, S. O.; Radchenko, K. O.


    It is known that the satellites of the planets may exist in the area, which is bounded on one side by Rocha limit, on the other - Hill sphere. The article deals with the determination of the Rocha limits and Hill sphere of satellites of some planets in the solar system. This analysis revealed some features and identified the main factors influencing the setting of these parameters. Roche limits and Hill sphere parameters of the largest satellites of the planets of the solar system have been specified.

  12. The hydrostatic equilibrium and its implications on the mechanical properties of planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Under the hypothesis of hydrostatic equilibrium the planets of the solar system are represented on the plane (J"2, w2 a?/MG (J2 = second term of the gravitational potential, w = rotation rate of the planet, a — equatorial radius, M — mass of the planet, G = gravitational constant. Since the points representing the planets lie on a straight line it is possible to obtain informations on the giration moment and the moment of inertia of Uranus and Pluto.

  13. The hunt for Planet X

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Croswell, Ken


    This article examines the hypothesis that an, as yet unobserved, planet, beyond the orbit of Pluto is responsible for peculiarities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. A brief overview of the discovery and observation of the outer planets is offered. The evidence for and against the proposition is noted, and the work of two present day scientists, is mentioned both of whom agree with the idea, and are searching for optical proof of the planet's existence. U.K.

  14. Professor: The Animal Planet Optimization


    Satish Gajawada


    This paper is dedicated to everyone who is interested in making this planet a better place to live. In the past, researchers have explored behavior of several animals separately. But there is scope to explore in the direction where various artificial animals together solve the optimization problem. In this paper, Satish Gajawada proposed The AnimalPlanet Optimization. The concept of this paper is to imitate all the animals on this planet. The idea is to solve the optimization problem where al...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schlaufman, Kevin C., E-mail: [Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)


    It has long been known that stars with high metallicity are more likely to host giant planets than stars with low metallicity. Yet the connection between host star metallicity and the properties of small planets is only just beginning to be investigated. It has recently been argued that the metallicity distribution of stars with exoplanet candidates identified by Kepler provides evidence for three distinct clusters of exoplanets, distinguished by planet radius boundaries at 1.7 R{sub ⨁} and 3.9 R{sub ⨁}. This would suggest that there are three distinct planet formation pathways for super-Earths, mini-Neptunes, and giant planets. However, as I show through three independent analyses, there is actually no evidence for the proposed radius boundary at 1.7 R{sub ⨁}. On the other hand, a more rigorous calculation demonstrates that a single, continuous relationship between planet radius and metallicity is a better fit to the data. The planet radius and metallicity data therefore provides no evidence for distinct categories of small planets. This suggests that the planet formation process in a typical protoplanetary disk produces a continuum of planet sizes between 1 R{sub ⨁} and 4 R{sub ⨁}. As a result, the currently available planet radius and metallicity data for solar-metallicity F and G stars give no reason to expect that the amount of solid material in a protoplanetary disk determines whether super-Earths or mini-Neptunes are formed.

  16. Kepler planet-detection mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borucki...[], William J.; Koch, David; Buchhave, Lars C. Astrup


    The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet’s surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler...... is one of the lowest-density planets (~0.17 gram per cubic centimeter) yet detected. Kepler-5b, -6b, and -8b confirm the existence of planets with densities lower than those predicted for gas giant planets....

  17. Giant Planet Formation and Migration (United States)

    Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Johansen, Anders


    Planets form in circumstellar discs around young stars. Starting with sub-micron sized dust particles, giant planet formation is all about growing 14 orders of magnitude in size. It has become increasingly clear over the past decades that during all stages of giant planet formation, the building blocks are extremely mobile and can change their semimajor axis by substantial amounts. In this chapter, we aim to give a basic overview of the physical processes thought to govern giant planet formation and migration, and to highlight possible links to water delivery.

  18. Modelling the dynamics of a hypothetical Planet X by way of gravitational N-body simulator (United States)

    Cowley, Michael; Hughes, Stephen


    This paper describes a novel activity to model the dynamics of a Jupiter-mass, trans-Neptunian planet of a highly eccentric orbit. Despite a history rooted in modern astronomy, ‘Planet X’, a hypothesised hidden planet lurking in our outer Solar System, has often been touted by conspiracy theorists as the cause of past mass extinction events on Earth, as well as other modern-day doomsday scenarios. Frequently dismissed as pseudoscience by astronomers, these stories continue to draw the attention of the public by provoking mass media coverage. Targeted at junior undergraduate levels, this activity allows students to debunk some of the myths surrounding Planet X by using simulation software to demonstrate that such a large-mass planet with extreme eccentricity would be unable to enter our Solar System unnoticed, let alone maintain a stable orbit.

  19. Stable and habitable systems with two giant planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dobos, Vera; Orgovanyi, Judit [Eoetvoes University, Pazmany Peter setany 1/A, 1117 Budapest (Hungary); Nagy, Imre, E-mail: [Physical Geodesy and Geodesical Research Group of the HAS, Technical University, Muegyetem rakpart 3, 1111 Budapest (Hungary)


    We have studied planetary systems which are similar to the Solar System and built up from three inner rocky planets (Venus, Earth, Mars) and two outer gas giants. The stability of the orbits of the inner planets is discussed in the cases of different masses of the gas planets. To demonstrate the results stability maps were made and it was found that Jupiter could be four times and Saturn could be three times more massive while the orbits of the inner planets stay stable. Similar calculations were made by changing the mass of the Sun. In this case the position of the rocky planets and the extension of the liquid water habitable and the UV habitable zones were studied for different masses of the Sun. It was found that the orbits of the planets were stable for values greater than 0.33 M{sub s}un where M{sub s}un is the mass of the Sun and at lower masses of the Sun (at about 0.8 M{sub s}un) only Venus, but for higher mass values (at about 1.2 Msun) Earth and also Mars are located in both habitable zones.

  20. Guide to the universe asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets

    CERN Document Server

    Rivkin, Andrew


    This volume in the Greenwood Guides to the Universe series covers asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets-those small bodies that revolve the Sun-and provides readers with the most up-to-date understanding of the current state of scientific knowledge about them. Scientifically sound, but written with the student in mind, Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets is an excellent first step for researching the exciting scientific discoveries of the smallest celestial bodies in the solar system.||The book will introduce students to all of the areas of research surrounding the subject, answering many intr

  1. PLANET TOPERS: Planets, Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their ReservoirS (United States)

    Dehant, Veronique; Breuer, Doris; Claeys, Philippe; Debaille, Vinciane; De Keyser, Johan; Javaux, Emmanuelle; Goderis, Steven; Karatekin, Ozgur; Mattielli, Nadine; Noack, Lena; Spohn, Tilman; Carine Vandaele, Ann; Vanhaecke, Frank; Van Hoolst, Tim; Wilquet, Valerie


    The PLANET TOPERS (Planets, Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their ReservoirS) group is an Inter-university attraction pole (IAP) addressing the question of habitability in our Solar System. Habitability is commonly understood as "the potential of an environment (past or present) to support life of any kind" (Steele et al., 2005, Based on the only known example of Earth, the concept refers to whether environmental conditions are available that could eventually support life, even if life does not currently exist (Javaux and Dehant, 2010, Astron. Astrophys. Rev., 18, 383-416, DOI: 10.1007/s00159-010-0030-4). Life includes properties such as consuming nutrients and producing waste, the ability to reproduce and grow, pass on genetic information, evolve, and adapt to the varying conditions on a planet (Sagan, 1970, Encyclopedia Britannica, 22, 964-981). Terrestrial life requires liquid water. The stability of liquid water at the surface of a planet defines a habitable zone (HZ) around a star. In the Solar System, it stretches between Venus and Mars, but excludes these two planets. If the greenhouse effect is taken into account, the habitable zone may have included early Mars while the case for Venus is still debated. Important geodynamic processes affect the habitability conditions of a planet. As envisaged by the group, this IAP develops and closely integrates the geophysical, geological, and biological aspects of habitability with a particular focus on Earth neighboring planets, Mars and Venus. It works in an interdisciplinary approach to understand habitability and in close collaboration with another group, the Helmholtz Alliance "Life and Planet Evolution", which has similar objectives. The dynamic processes, e.g. internal dynamo, magnetic field, atmosphere, plate tectonics, mantle convection, volcanism, thermo-tectonic evolution, meteorite impacts, and erosion, modify the planetary surface

  2. Planeta Ol'bersa: istoriya eshche ne zakonchena! %t Olbers' planet: the history continues indeed (United States)

    Bagrov, A. V.

    Astronomical arguments provided by V. A. Bronshten and concerned with Olbers' hypothesis on the existence of another planet in the solar system long ago are too unsure. The usage of orbital parameter distributions among asteroids of the Main Belt implies too far extrapolation into the past. In the same manner the extrapolation of laboratory conditions to the scale of billion years can hardly be accepted as an argument against Olbers' conception. Practically all arguments against Olbers' planet are not trustworthy. So it is obvious that there is no generally accepted theory of the solar system origin and evolution. Here a new cosmogony scenario is brought forth. It is based upon the assumption that planets were formed when Sun was a cold protostar. The whole protoplanet nebula was rich with hydrogen, massive and viscous. The conditions produced low-velocity collisions between planetesimals, and reduced the characteristic times of planet growth. All planets had thick atmospheres, that provided thermal protection against internal heating of planet's core by short-living isotopes. The Phaeton planet had been almost entirely melted when it was destroyed in collision with an interstellar Moon-size body. Drops of this practically liquid planet scattered in all directions, but its inner parts remained near the initial orbit and formed the Main Asteroid Belt. Their multiple collisions caused surface craters rather than their breaking apart. Little drops that moved to the periphery of the protoplanet disk could attract frozen gases on the way and transformed into cometary cores that remain on distant orbits. About the same time the Sun became a star and its radiation heated the solar system and expelled hydrogen and other light gases from the atmospheres of Earth-like planets. This scenario should be checked by means of exact calculations yet. In any case the hypothesis of a planet destruction in the beginning of the solar system history seems to give better explanations of

  3. Search for planet X (United States)

    Harrington, Robert S.


    The observation of the region of the sky in which it is believed Planet X should now be, based on perturbations observed in the motions of Uranus and Neptune, was determined, and there was no reason to update that determination. A limited area of that region was photographed, and that will be continued. A given area is photographed with the twin 20 cm astrograph in New Zealand on two successive nights near the time that area is in opposition, and these plates are blinked in Washington to identify anything that has moved. The predicted region is in the south, which requires observations from a southern station, and it is in opposition in the April to June period, which means observations have not yet started for the year. Blinking will be done as soon as the plates are received in Washington.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsumura, Soko [School of Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics, University of Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland (United Kingdom); Brasser, Ramon; Ida, Shigeru, E-mail: [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-8550 (Japan)


    Recent observations started revealing the compositions of protostellar disks and planets beyond the solar system. In this paper, we explore how the compositions of terrestrial planets are affected by the dynamical evolution of giant planets. We estimate the initial compositions of the building blocks of these rocky planets by using a simple condensation model, and numerically study the compositions of planets formed in a few different formation models of the solar system. We find that the abundances of refractory and moderately volatile elements are nearly independent of formation models, and that all the models could reproduce the abundances of these elements of the Earth. The abundances of atmophile elements, on the other hand, depend on the scattering rate of icy planetesimals into the inner disk, as well as the mixing rate of the inner planetesimal disk. For the classical formation model, neither of these mechanisms are efficient and the accretion of atmophile elements during the final assembly of terrestrial planets appears to be difficult. For the Grand Tack model, both of these mechanisms are efficient, which leads to a relatively uniform accretion of atmophile elements in the inner disk. It is also possible to have a “hybrid” scenario where the mixing is not very efficient but the scattering is efficient. The abundances of atmophile elements in this case increase with orbital radii. Such a scenario may occur in some of the extrasolar planetary systems, which are not accompanied by giant planets or those without strong perturbations from giants. We also confirm that the Grand Tack scenario leads to the distribution of asteroid analogues where rocky planetesimals tend to exist interior to icy ones, and show that their overall compositions are consistent with S-type and C-type chondrites, respectively.

  5. From Pixels to Planets (United States)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.


    The Kepler Mission was launched in 2009 as NASAs first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. Its telescope consists of a 1.5-m primary mirror and a 0.95-m aperture. The 42 charge-coupled devices in its focal plane are read out every half hour, compressed, and then downlinked monthly. After four years, the second of four reaction wheels failed, ending the original mission. Back on earth, the Science Operations Center developed the Science Pipeline to analyze about 200,000 target stars in Keplers field of view, looking for evidence of periodic dimming suggesting that one or more planets had crossed the face of its host star. The Pipeline comprises several steps, from pixel-level calibration, through noise and artifact removal, to detection of transit-like signals and the construction of a suite of diagnostic tests to guard against false positives. The Kepler Science Pipeline consists of a pipeline infrastructure written in the Java programming language, which marshals data input to and output from MATLAB applications that are executed as external processes. The pipeline modules, which underwent continuous development and refinement even after data started arriving, employ several analytic techniques, many developed for the Kepler Project. Because of the large number of targets, the large amount of data per target and the complexity of the pipeline algorithms, the processing demands are daunting. Some pipeline modules require days to weeks to process all of their targets, even when run on NASA's 128-node Pleiades supercomputer. The software developers are still seeking ways to increase the throughput. To date, the Kepler project has discovered more than 4000 planetary candidates, of which more than 1000 have been independently confirmed or validated to be exoplanets. Funding for this mission is provided by NASAs Science Mission Directorate.

  6. The role of disc self-gravity in circumbinary planet systems - II. Planet evolution (United States)

    Mutter, Matthew M.; Pierens, Arnaud; Nelson, Richard P.


    We present the results of hydrodynamic simulations examining migration and growth of planets embedded in self-gravitating circumbinary discs. The binary star parameters are chosen to mimic those of the Kepler-16, -34 and -35 systems; the aim of this study is to examine the role of disc mass in determining the stopping locations of migrating planets at the edge of the cavity created by the central binary. Disc self-gravity can cause significant shrinkage of the cavity for disc masses in excess of 5-10 × the minimum mass solar nebula model. Planets forming early in the disc lifetime can migrate through the disc and stall at locations closer to the central star than is normally the case for lower mass discs, resulting in closer agreement between simulated and observed orbital architecture. The presence of a planet orbiting in the cavity of a massive disc can prevent the cavity size from expanding to the size of a lower mass disc. As the disc mass reduces over long time-scales, this indicates that circumbinary planet systems retain memory of their initial conditions. Our simulations produce planetary orbits in good agreement with Keper-16b without the need for self-gravity; Kepler-34 analogue systems produce wide and highly eccentric cavities, and self-gravity improves the agreement between simulations and data. Kepler-35b is more difficult to explain in detail due to its relatively low mass, which results in the simulated stopping location being at a larger radius than that observed.

  7. Maximum Number of Habitable Planets at the Time of Earth's Origin: New Hints for Panspermia? (United States)

    von Bloh, Werner; Franck, Siegfried; Bounama, Christine; Schellnhuber, Hans-Joachim


    New discoveries have fuelled the ongoing discussion of panspermia, i.e. the transport of life from one planet to another within the solar system (interplanetary panspermia) or even between different planetary systems (interstellar panspermia). The main factor for the probability of interstellar panspermia is the average density of stellar systems containing habitable planets. The combination of recent results for the formation rate of Earth-like planets with our estimations of extrasolar habitable zones allows us to determine the number of habitable planets in the Milky Way over cosmological time scales. We find that there was a maximum number of habitable planets around the time of Earth's origin. If at all, interstellar panspermia was most probable at that time and may have kick-started life on our planet.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, D. J.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Tinney, C. G.; Bentley, J. S.; Zhao, Jinglin, E-mail: [Department of Astronomy and Australian Centre for Astrobiology, School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052 (Australia)


    We use archival HARPS spectra to detect three planets orbiting the M3 dwarf Wolf 1061 (GJ 628). We detect a 1.36 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with an orbital period P = 4.888 days (Wolf 1061b), a 4.25 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 17.867 days (Wolf 1061c), and a likely 5.21 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 67.274 days (Wolf 1061d). All of the planets are of sufficiently low mass that they may be rocky in nature. The 17.867 day planet falls within the habitable zone for Wolf 1061 and the 67.274 day planet falls just outside the outer boundary of the habitable zone. There are no signs of activity observed in the bisector spans, cross-correlation FWHMs, calcium H and K indices, NaD indices, or Hα indices near the planetary periods. We use custom methods to generate a cross-correlation template tailored to the star. The resulting velocities do not suffer the strong annual variation observed in the HARPS DRS velocities. This differential technique should deliver better exploitation of the archival HARPS data for the detection of planets at extremely low amplitudes.

  9. Chemical kinetics on extrasolar planets. (United States)

    Moses, Julianne I


    Chemical kinetics plays an important role in controlling the atmospheric composition of all planetary atmospheres, including those of extrasolar planets. For the hottest exoplanets, the composition can closely follow thermochemical-equilibrium predictions, at least in the visible and infrared photosphere at dayside (eclipse) conditions. However, for atmospheric temperatures approximately planets.

  10. Very Low-mass Stellar and Substellar Companions to Solar-like Stars from MARVELS. VI. A Giant Planet and a Brown Dwarf Candidate in a Close Binary System HD 87646 (United States)

    Ma, Bo; Ge, Jian; Wolszczan, Alex; Muterspaugh, Matthew W.; Lee, Brian; Henry, Gregory W.; Schneider, Donald P.; Martín, Eduardo L.; Niedzielski, Andrzej; Xie, Jiwei; Fleming, Scott W.; Thomas, Neil; Williamson, Michael; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Agol, Eric; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Nicolaci da Costa, Luiz; Jiang, Peng; Martinez Fiorenzano, A. F.; González Hernández, Jonay I.; Guo, Pengcheng; Grieves, Nolan; Li, Rui; Liu, Jane; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Mazeh, Tsevi; Nguyen, Duy Cuong; Paegert, Martin; Sithajan, Sirinrat; Stassun, Keivan; Thirupathi, Sivarani; van Eyken, Julian C.; Wan, Xiaoke; Wang, Ji; Wisniewski, John P.; Zhao, Bo; Zucker, Shay


    We report the detections of a giant planet (MARVELS-7b) and a brown dwarf (BD) candidate (MARVELS-7c) around the primary star in the close binary system, HD 87646. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first close binary system with more than one substellar circumprimary companion that has been discovered. The detection of this giant planet was accomplished using the first multi-object Doppler instrument (KeckET) at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope. Subsequent radial velocity observations using the Exoplanet Tracker at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, the High Resolution Spectrograph at the Hobby Eberley telescope, the “Classic” spectrograph at the Automatic Spectroscopic Telescope at the Fairborn Observatory, and MARVELS from SDSS-III confirmed this giant planet discovery and revealed the existence of a long-period BD in this binary. HD 87646 is a close binary with a separation of ˜22 au between the two stars, estimated using the Hipparcos catalog and our newly acquired AO image from PALAO on the 200 inch Hale Telescope at Palomar. The primary star in the binary, HD 87646A, has {T}{eff} = 5770 ± 80 K, log g = 4.1 ± 0.1, and [Fe/H] = -0.17 ± 0.08. The derived minimum masses of the two substellar companions of HD 87646A are 12.4 ± 0.7 {M}{Jup} and 57.0 ± 3.7 {M}{Jup}. The periods are 13.481 ± 0.001 days and 674 ± 4 days and the measured eccentricities are 0.05 ± 0.02 and 0.50 ± 0.02 respectively. Our dynamical simulations show that the system is stable if the binary orbit has a large semimajor axis and a low eccentricity, which can be verified with future astrometry observations.

  11. Planet occurrence in the sub-Neptune photoevaporation desert (United States)

    McDonald, George; Kreidberg, Laura; Lopez, Eric


    Data from the Kepler mission have shown that sub-Neptunes are the most common group of currently known exoplanets. These planets have a large range of bulk densities indicative of a group spanning purely rocky planets to those with substantial hydrogen/helium atmospheres. This diversity may represent a population that has been sculpted by photoevaporation, wherein planets close to their host stars are stripped of their primordial hydrogen/helium atmospheres by impinging stellar X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) radiation. This would present itself observationally as a rarity of ~1.8 - 4 Earth radii planets with orbital periods of ~10 days or less (Lopez et al. 2013). Evidence for a lack of these planets has been suggested in the Kepler dataset, in the form of an absence of planets between 2.2 and 3.8 Earth radii, with incident bolometric fluxes greater than 650 times the solar constant (Sanchis-Ojeda et al. 2014, Lundkvist et al. 2016). However, physically, one would expect the desert to be a function of time-integrated XUV flux, which is directly responsible for photoevaporation, not present-day bolometric flux. We first examine how time-integrated X-ray flux for a planet at fixed semi-major axis varies for mid M-dwarfs to early F-type stars, with the finding that for an integration time of 5 billion years, the integrated X-ray flux varies by only ~1 order of magnitude, compared to the 2 order of magnitude change in stellar luminosity across these star types. We then investigate evidence for a photoevaporation desert by calculating lifetime-integrated X-ray fluxes for the full Kepler sample. We calculate planet occurrence in this integrated X-ray flux parameter space, with the finding that the transition between the desert and non-desert areas may be sharper when compared to the orbital period parameter space.

  12. search of extra space dimensions with ATLAs

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. If extra spatial dimensions were to exist, they could provide a solution to the hierarchy problem. The studies done by the ATLAS Collaboration on the sensitivity of the detector to various extra dimension models are reported in this document.

  13. Search for Extra Dimensions at CDF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wynne, Sara-Madge; /Liverpool U.


    This poster, presented at the 2006 Duke Hadron Collider Symposium, presents the results from searches for large extra dimensions, as proposed by Arkani-Hamed, Dimopoulos and Dvali (ADD), and Randall-Sundrum (RS) model warped extra dimensions, at CDF.

  14. Atmospheric Electrification in Dusty, Reactive Gases in the Solar System and Beyond

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helling, C. (Christiane); Harrison, R.G. (R. Giles); Honary, F. (Farideh); Diver, D.A. (Declan A.); Aplin, K. (Karen); Dobbs-Dixon, I. (Ian); U. Ebert (Ute); Inutsuka, S.-I. (Shu-ichiro); F.J. Gordillo-Vazquez (Francisco); Littlefair, S. (Stuart)


    textabstractDetailed observations of the solar system planets reveal a wide variety of local atmospheric conditions. Astronomical observations have revealed a variety of extrasolar planets none of which resembles any of the solar system planets in full. Instead, the most massive amongst the

  15. The Dependence of Signal-To-Noise Ratio (S/N) Between Star Brightness and Background on the Filter Used in Images Taken by the Vulcan Photometric Planet Search Camera (United States)

    Mena-Werth, Jose


    The Vulcan Photometric Planet Search is the ground-based counterpart of Kepler Mission Proposal. The Kepler Proposal calls for the launch of telescope to look intently at a small patch of sky for four year. The mission is designed to look for extra-solar planets that transit sun-like stars. The Kepler Mission should be able to detect Earth-size planets. This goal requires an instrument and software capable of detecting photometric changes of several parts per hundred thousand in the flux of a star. The goal also requires the continuous monitoring of about a hundred thousand stars. The Kepler Mission is a NASA Discovery Class proposal similar in cost to the Lunar Prospector. The Vulcan Search is also a NASA project but based at Lick Observatory. A small wide-field telescope monitors various star fields successively during the year. Dozens of images, each containing tens of thousands of stars, are taken any night that weather permits. The images are then monitored for photometric changes of the order of one part in a thousand. These changes would reveal the transit of an inner-orbit Jupiter-size planet similar to those discovered recently in spectroscopic searches. In order to achieve a one part in one thousand photometric precision even the choice of a filter used in taking an exposure can be critical. The ultimate purpose of an filter is to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of one's observation. Ideally, filters reduce the sky glow cause by street lights and, thereby, make the star images more distinct. The higher the S/N, the higher is the chance to observe a transit signal that indicates the presence of a new planet. It is, therefore, important to select the filter that maximizes the S/N.

  16. Origins and Destinations: Tracking Planet Composition through Planet Formation Simulations (United States)

    Chance, Quadry


    There are now several thousand confirmed exoplanets, a number which far exceeds our resources to study them all in detail. In particular, planets around M dwarfs provide the best opportunity for in-depth study of their atmospheres by telescopes in the near future. The question of which M dwarf planets most merit follow-up resources is a pressing one, given that NASA’s TESS mission will soon find hundreds of such planets orbiting stars bright enough for both ground and spaced-based observation.Our work aims to predict the approximate composition of planets around these stars through n-body simulations of the last stage of planet formation. With a variety of initial disk conditions, we investigate how the relative abundances of both refractory and volatile compounds in the primordial planetesimals are mapped to the final planet outcomes. These predictions will serve to provide a basis for making an educated guess about (a) which planets to observe with precious resources like JWST and (b) how to identify them based on dynamical clues.

  17. The building blocks of planets within the `terrestrial' region of protoplanetary disks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Boekel, R.J.H.M.; Min, M.; Leinert, C.; Waters, L.B.F.M.; Richichi, A.; Chesneau, O.; Dominik, C.; Jaffe, W.; Dutrey, A.; Graser, U.; Henning, T.; de Jong, J.; Köhler, R.; de Koter, A.; Lopez, B.; Malbet, F.; Morel, S.; Paresce, F.; Perrin, G.; Preibisch, T.; Przygodda, F.; Schöller, M.; Wittkowski, M.


    Our Solar System was formed from a cloud of gas and dust. Most of the dust mass is contained in amorphous silicates, yet crystalline silicates are abundant throughout the Solar System, reflecting the thermal and chemical alteration of solids during planet formation. (Even primitive bodies such as

  18. Gemini Planet Imager: Preliminary Design Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B


    For the first time in history, direct and indirect detection techniques have enabled the exploration of the environments of nearby stars on scales comparable to the size of our solar system. Precision Doppler measurements have led to the discovery of the first extrasolar planets, while high-contrast imaging has revealed new classes of objects including dusty circumstellar debris disks and brown dwarfs. The ability to recover spectrophotometry for a handful of transiting exoplanets through secondary-eclipse measurements has allowed us to begin to study exoplanets as individual entities rather than points on a mass/semi-major-axis diagram and led to new models of planetary atmospheres and interiors, even though such measurements are only available at low SNR and for a handful of planets that are automatically those most modified by their parent star. These discoveries have galvanized public interest in science and technology and have led to profound new insights into the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and they have set the stage for the next steps--direct detection and characterization of extrasolar Jovian planets with instruments such as the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). As discussed in Volume 1, the ability to directly detect Jovian planets opens up new regions of extrasolar planet phase space that in turn will inform our understanding of the processes through which these systems form, while near-IR spectra will advance our understanding of planetary physics. Studies of circumstellar debris disks using GPI's polarimetric mode will trace the presence of otherwise-invisible low-mass planets and measure the build-up and destruction of planetesimals. To accomplish the science mission of GPI will require a dedicated instrument capable of achieving contrast of 10{sup -7} or more. This is vastly better than that delivered by existing astronomical AO systems. Currently achievable contrast, about 10{sup -5} at separations of 1 arc second or larger, is

  19. HD 106315 and GJ 9827: Understanding the Formation and Evolution of Small Planets (United States)

    Rodriguez, Joseph; Vanderburg, Andrew; Eastman, Jason; Zhou, George


    The success of ground-based transit and RV surveys, and the Kepler/K2 mission, has shifted the exoplanet field from pure discovery to a combination of discovery, demographic analysis, and atmospheres, with the goal of understanding how planets form and evolve. The discovery of super Earth and sub-Neptune sized planets, planets with no analogue in our own solar system, span a known transition from dense rock composition to thick gaseous atmospheres. Recently, we have discovered two exoplanet systems using data from the K2 mission which provide a great opportunity to understand how small planets form and evolve. HD 106315 hosts a sub-Neptune size planet on a 9.5 day period and a Neptune on a 21 day period. The host star’s brightness and higher than typical rotation period make HD 106315c one of the best small planets known to measure its spin-orbit alignment. This measurement may provide insight into its formation history as misaligned planets suggest a dynamical migration history. GJ 9827 hosts three super Earth planets that span the known rock to gas transition. From studying the atmospheres of these planets, we may better understand the mechanisms involved in creating the observed dichotomy at 1.6 Earth radii. I will discuss our recent results on these two systems and their importance to understanding the formation and evolution of small planets.

  20. The sun, the solar wind, and the heliosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Miralles, Mari Paz


    This volume presents a concise, up-to-date overview of current research on the observations, theoretical interpretations, and empirical and physical descriptions of the Sun, the Solar Wind, and the Heliosphere, from the solar interior outward to the planets.

  1. Kepler-62: a five-planet system with planets of 1.4 and 1.6 Earth radii in the habitable zone. (United States)

    Borucki, William J; Agol, Eric; Fressin, Francois; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Rowe, Jason; Isaacson, Howard; Fischer, Debra; Batalha, Natalie; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Fabrycky, Daniel; Désert, Jean-Michel; Bryson, Stephen T; Barclay, Thomas; Bastien, Fabienne; Boss, Alan; Brugamyer, Erik; Buchhave, Lars A; Burke, Chris; Caldwell, Douglas A; Carter, Josh; Charbonneau, David; Crepp, Justin R; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Christiansen, Jessie L; Ciardi, David; Cochran, William D; DeVore, Edna; Doyle, Laurance; Dupree, Andrea K; Endl, Michael; Everett, Mark E; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan; Gautier, Thomas N; Geary, John C; Gould, Alan; Haas, Michael; Henze, Christopher; Howard, Andrew W; Howell, Steve B; Huber, Daniel; Jenkins, Jon M; Kjeldsen, Hans; Kolbl, Rea; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery; Latham, David W; Lee, Brian L; Lopez, Eric; Mullally, Fergal; Orosz, Jerome A; Prsa, Andrej; Quintana, Elisa V; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Sasselov, Dimitar; Seader, Shawn; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H; Still, Martin; Tenenbaum, Peter; Thompson, Susan E; Torres, Guillermo; Twicken, Joseph D; Welsh, William F; Winn, Joshua N


    We present the detection of five planets--Kepler-62b, c, d, e, and f--of size 1.31, 0.54, 1.95, 1.61 and 1.41 Earth radii (R⊕), orbiting a K2V star at periods of 5.7, 12.4, 18.2, 122.4, and 267.3 days, respectively. The outermost planets, Kepler-62e and -62f, are super-Earth-size (1.25 R⊕ planet radius ≤ 2.0 R⊕) planets in the habitable zone of their host star, respectively receiving 1.2 ± 0.2 times and 0.41 ± 0.05 times the solar flux at Earth's orbit. Theoretical models of Kepler-62e and -62f for a stellar age of ~7 billion years suggest that both planets could be solid, either with a rocky composition or composed of mostly solid water in their bulk.

  2. On the origin of the obliquities of the outer planets (United States)

    Tremaine, S.


    It is presently suggested that if the collapse of a molecular cloud core results in the formation of a protostar surrounded by a protoplanetary disk, and that collapse is nonaxisymmetric, the disk and protostar angular momentum vectors may twist in the process over the course of 0.5 Myr. Should the outer planets form before completion of the infall, their spins may not follow the twist; nonzero obliquities can thereby naturally arise during solar system formation. The excitation of the inclinations and eccentricities of planetary orbits by a twist depends on the characteristics of the twist. The two most directly twist-excited planets are Pluto and Mercury; these are in fact the two planets with greatest inclinations and eccentricities.

  3. Challenges in Discerning Atmospheric Composition in Directly Imaged Planets (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.


    One of the justifications motivating efforts to detect and characterize young extrasolar giant planets has been to measure atmospheric composition for comparison with that of the primary star. If the enhancement of heavy elements in the atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets, like it is for their solar system analogs, is inversely proportional to mass, then it is likely that these worlds formed by core accretion. However in practice it has been very difficult to constrain metallicity because of the complex effect of clouds. Cloud opacity varies both vertically and, in some cases, horizontally through the atmosphere. Particle size and composition, both of which impact opacity, are difficult challenges both for forward modeling and retrieval studies. In my presentation I will discuss systematic efforts to improve cloud studies to enable more reliable determinations of atmospheric composition. These efforts are relevant both to discerning composition of directly imaged young planets from ground based telescopes and future space based missions, such as WFIRST and LUVOIR.

  4. Masses, Radii, and Cloud Properties of the HR 8799 Planets (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.; Saumon, Didier; Cushing, Michael; Ackerman, Andrew S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Freedman, Richard


    The near-infrared colors of the planets directly imaged around the A star HR 8799 are much redder than most field brown dwarfs of the same effective temperature. Previous theoretical studies of these objects have compared the photometric and limited spectral data of the planets to the predictions of various atmosphere and evolution models and concluded that the atmospheres of planets b, c, and d are unusually cloudy or have unusual cloud properties. Most studies have also found that the inferred radii of some or all of the planets disagree with expectations of standard giant planet evolution models. Here we compare the available data to the predictions of our own set of atmospheric and evolution models that have been extensively tested against field L and T dwarfs, including the reddest L dwarfs. Unlike almost all previous studies we specify mutually self-consistent choices for effective temperature, gravity, cloud properties, and planetary radius. This procedure yields plausible and self-consistent values for the masses, effective temperatures, and cloud properties of all three planets. We find that the cloud properties of the HR 8799 planets are in fact not unusual but rather follow previously recognized trends including a gravity dependence on the temperature of the L to T spectral transition, some reasons for which we discuss. We find that the inferred mass of planet b is highly sensitive to the H and K band spectrum. Solutions for planets c and particularly d are less certain but are consistent with the generally accepted constraints on the age of the primary star and orbital dynamics. We also confirm that as for L and T dwarfs and solar system giant planets, non-equilibrium chemistry driven by atmospheric mixing is also important for these objects. Given the preponderance of data suggesting that the L to T spectral type transition is gravity dependent, we present a new evolution calculation that predicts cooling tracks on the near-infrared color

  5. Birth of an Earth-like Planet (Artist concept) (United States)


    This artist's conception shows a binary-star, or two-star, system, called HD 113766, where astronomers suspect a rocky Earth-like planet is forming around one of the stars. At approximately 10 to 16 million years old, astronomers suspect this star is at just the right age for forming rocky planets. The system is located approximately 424 light-years away from Earth. The two yellow spots in the image represent the system's two stars. The brown ring of material circling closest to the central star depicts a huge belt of dusty material, more than 100 times as much as in our asteroid belt, or enough to build a Mars-size planet or larger. The rocky material in the belt represents the early stages of planet formation, when dust grains clump together to form rocks, and rocks collide to form even more massive rocky bodies called planetesimals. The belt is located in the middle of the system's terrestrial habitable zone, or the region around a star where liquid water could exist on any rocky planets that might form. Earth is located in the middle of our sun's terrestrial habitable zone. Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers learned that the belt material in HD 113866 is more processed than the snowball-like stuff that makes up infant solar systems and comets, which contain pristine ingredients from the early solar system. However, it is not as processed as the stuff found in mature planets and asteroids. This means that the dust belt is made out of just the right mix of materials to be forming an Earth-like planet. It is composed mainly of rocky silicates and metal sulfides (like fool's gold), similar to the material found in lava flows. The white outer ring shows a concentration of icy dust also detected in the system. This material is at the equivalent position of the asteroid belt in our solar system, but only contains about one-sixth as much material as the inner ring. Astronomers say it is not clear from the Spitzer observations if anything is occurring in

  6. A Solar Sailcraft Simulation Application (United States)

    Celeda, Tomáš


    An application was created to encourage students' practical knowledge of gravitational fields, the law of conservation of energy and other phenomena, such as gravitational slingshots. The educational software simulates the flight of a solar sail spacecraft between two planets of the Solar System using the laws of gravity and radiation…

  7. Exploring the diversity of Jupiter-class planets. (United States)

    Fletcher, Leigh N; Irwin, Patrick G J; Barstow, Joanna K; de Kok, Remco J; Lee, Jae-Min; Aigrain, Suzanne


    Of the 900+ confirmed exoplanets discovered since 1995 for which we have constraints on their mass (i.e. not including Kepler candidates), 75% have masses larger than Saturn (0.3 MJ), 53% are more massive than Jupiter and 67% are within 1 AU of their host stars. When Kepler candidates are included, Neptune-sized giant planets could form the majority of the planetary population. And yet the term 'hot Jupiter' fails to account for the incredible diversity of this class of astrophysical object, which exists on a continuum of giant planets from the cool jovians of our own Solar System to the highly irradiated, tidally locked hot roasters. We review theoretical expectations for the temperatures, molecular composition and cloud properties of hydrogen-dominated Jupiter-class objects under a variety of different conditions. We discuss the classification schemes for these Jupiter-class planets proposed to date, including the implications for our own Solar System giant planets and the pitfalls associated with compositional classification at this early stage of exoplanetary spectroscopy. We discuss the range of planetary types described by previous authors, accounting for (i) thermochemical equilibrium expectations for cloud condensation and favoured chemical stability fields; (ii) the metallicity and formation mechanism for these giant planets; (iii) the importance of optical absorbers for energy partitioning and the generation of a temperature inversion; (iv) the favoured photochemical pathways and expectations for minor species (e.g. saturated hydrocarbons and nitriles); (v) the unexpected presence of molecules owing to vertical mixing of species above their quench levels; and (vi) methods for energy and material redistribution throughout the atmosphere (e.g. away from the highly irradiated daysides of close-in giants). Finally, we discuss the benefits and potential flaws of retrieval techniques for establishing a family of atmospheric solutions that reproduce the

  8. The Potential for Volcanism and Tectonics on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets (United States)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Roberge, Aki


    JWST and other next-generation space telescopes (e.g., LUVOIR, HabEx, & OST) will usher in a new era of exoplanet characterization that may lead to the identification of habitable, Earth-like worlds. Like the planets and moons in our solar system, the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial exoplanets may be shaped by volcanism and tectonics (Fu et al., 2010; van Summeren et al., 2011; Henning and Hurford, 2014). The magnitude and rate of occurrence of these dynamic processes can either facilitate or preclude the existence of habitable environments. Likewise, it has been suggested that detections of cryovolcanism on icy exoplanets, in the form of geyser-like plumes, could indicate the presence of subsurface oceans (Quick et al., 2017).The presence of volcanic and tectonic activity on solid exoplanets will be intimately linked to planet size and heat output in the form of radiogenic and/or tidal heating. In order to place bounds on the potential for such activity, we estimated the heat output of a variety of exoplanets observed by Kepler. We considered planets whose masses and radii range from 0.067 ME (super-Ganymede) to 8 ME (super-Earth), and 0.5 to 1.8 RE, respectively. These heat output estimates were then compared to those of planets, moons, and dwarf planets in our solar system for which we have direct evidence for the presence/absence of volcanic and tectonic activity. After exoplanet heating rates were estimated, depths to putative molten layers in their interiors were also calculated. For planets such as TRAPPIST-1h, whose densities, orbital parameters, and effective temperatures are consistent with the presence of significant amounts of H2O (Luger et al., 2017), these calculations reveal the depths to internal oceans which may serve as habitable niches beneath surface ice layers.

  9. The evolution of the translational-rotational motion of a viscoelastic planet in a central force field (United States)

    Vilke, V. G.; Markov, Y. G.


    The averaging method has been applied to obtain approximate equations describing the evolution of translation-rotational motion of a viscoelastic planet in the plane case. The equations are written down in the form using known Delaunay-Andoyer canonical variables. The described motion of a deformed planet in presence of energy dissipation can serve to simulate the tidal phenomena in the motion of a planet of the solar system.

  10. Magnetotails in the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Keiling, Andreas; Delamere, Peter


    All magnetized planets in our solar system (Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) interact strongly with the solar wind and possess well developed magnetotails. It is not only the strongly magnetized planets that have magnetotails. Mars and Venus have no global intrinsic magnetic field, yet they possess induced magnetotails. Comets have magnetotails that are formed by the draping of the interplanetary magnetic field. In the case of planetary  satellites (moons), the magnetotail refers to the wake region behind the satellite in the flow of either the solar wind or the magnetosp

  11. Molecules from Clouds to Planets: Sweet Results from Alma (United States)

    van Dishoeck, Ewine


    One of the most exciting developments in astronomy is the discovery of thousands of planets around stars other than our Sun. But how do these exo-planets form, and which chemical ingredients are available to build them? Thanks to powerful new telescopes, especially the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers are starting to address these age-old questions scientifically. Stars and planets are born in the cold and tenuous clouds between the stars in the Milky Way. In spite of the extremely low temperatures and densities, a surprisingly rich and interesting chemistry occurs in these interstellar clouds, as evidenced by the detection of more than 180 different molecules. Highly accurate spectroscopic data are key to their identification, and examples of the continued need and close interaction between laboratory work and astronomical observations will be given. ALMA now allows us to zoom in on solar system construction for the first time. Spectral scans of the birth sites of young stars contain tens of thousands of rotational lines. Water and a surprisingly rich variety of organic materials are found, including simple sugars and high abundances of deuterated species. How are these molecules formed? Can these pre-biotic molecules end up on new planets and form the basis for life elsewhere in the universe? Stay tuned for the latest analyses and also a comparison with recent results from the Rosetta mission to comet 67 P/C-G in our own Solar System.

  12. Planetary Systems Detection, Formation and Habitability of Extrasolar Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Ollivier, Marc; Casoli, Fabienne; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Selsis, Franck


    Over the past ten years, the discovery of extrasolar planets has opened a new field of astronomy, and this area of research is rapidly growing, from both the observational and theoretical point of view. The presence of many giant exoplanets in the close vicinity of their star shows that these newly discovered planetary systems are very different from the solar system. New theoretical models are being developed in order to understand their formation scenarios, and new observational methods are being implemented to increase the sensitivity of exoplanet detections. In the present book, the authors address the question of planetary systems from all aspects. Starting from the facts (the detection of more than 300 extraterrestrial planets), they first describe the various methods used for these discoveries and propose a synthetic analysis of their global properties. They then consider the observations of young stars and circumstellar disks and address the case of the solar system as a specific example, different fr...

  13. Unstable Roche-Lobe Overflow of Gaseous Planets (United States)

    Jackson, Brian

    provide a glimpse inside gas giants. If our study corroborates the unstable RLO hypothesis, the properties of USPs may represent those of gaseous planet cores, which are almost entirely unconstrained. Even in our own solar system, estimates of the core masses for Jupiter (between 0 and 14 Earth masses) and Saturn (between 8 and 25 Earth masses) have large uncertainties. The upcoming Juno mission will clarify the situation for Jupiter, but it's unclear whether these constraints will directly bear on other planetary systems. -The TESS mission will probably find hundreds of ultra-short-period planets. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will launch in 2017 and look for shortperiod rocky planets around 500,000 nearby stars. Roughly 0.1% of Sun-like stars host USPs, so TESS should find hundreds of USPs. These planets would be ideal for followup, and a clear framework for their origins would motivate and guide additional TESS observations. -Even if we show they are not remnants of gaseous planets, ultra-short-period planets may serve as probes of the innermost protoplanetary gas disk and betray the presence of additional planets in their host systems. As we discuss below, one other obvious origin scenario involves dynamical interactions in a multi-planet system. Many USPs do not have observed siblings, so this scenario requires that there are additional, unseen planets in those systems. The exact location of USPs may be set, in part, by the inner edge of their maternal gas disk, a sensitive function of the host star's youthful properties.

  14. The Demographics of Rocky Free-floating Planets and their Detectability by WFIRST (United States)

    Barclay, Thomas; Quintana, Elisa V.; Raymond, Sean N.; Penny, Matthew T.


    Planets are thought to form via accretion from a remnant disk of gas and solids around a newly formed star. During this process, material in the disk either remains bound to the star as part of either a planet, a smaller celestial body, or makes up part of the the interplanetary medium; falls into the star; or is ejected from the system. Herein we use dynamical models to probe the abundance and properties of ejected material during late-stage planet formation and estimate their contribution to the free-floating planet population. We present 300 N-body simulations of terrestrial planet formation around a solar-type star, with and without giant planets present, using a model that accounts for collisional fragmentation. In simulations with Jupiter and Saturn analogs, about one-third of the initial (˜5 M ⊕) disk mass is ejected, about half in planets more massive than Mercury but with a mass lower than 0.3 M ⊕, and the remainder in smaller bodies. Most ejections occur within 25 Myr, which is shorter than the timescale typically required for Earth-mass planets to grow (30-100 Myr). When giant planets are omitted from our simulations, almost no material is ejected within 200 Myr and only about 1% of the initial disk is ejected by 2 Gyr. We show that about 2.5 terrestrial-mass planets are ejected per star in the Galaxy. We predict that the space-borne microlensing search for free-floating planets from the Wide-Field Infra-Red Space Telescope will discover up to 15 Mars-mass planets, but few free-floating Earth-mass planets.

  15. Higgs Bosons in Extra Dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Quiros, Mariano


    In this paper, motivated by the recent discovery of a Higgs-like boson at the LHC with a mass m_H\\simeq 126 GeV, we review different models where the hierarchy problem is solved by means of a warped extra dimension. In the Randall-Sundrum model electroweak observables provide very strong bounds on the mass of KK modes which motivates extensions to overcome this problem. Two extensions are briefly discussed. One particular extension is based on the deformation of the metric such that it strongly departs from the AdS_5 structure in the IR region while it goes asymptotically to AdS_5 in the UV brane. This model has the IR brane close to a naked metric singularity (which is outside the physical interval) characteristic of soft-walls constructions. The proximity of the singularity provides a strong wave-function renormalization for the Higgs field which suppresses the T and S parameters. The second class of considered extensions are based on the introduction of an extra gauge group in the bulk such that the custod...

  16. A flat inner disc model as an alternative to the Kepler dichotomy in the Q1-Q16 planet population (United States)

    Bovaird, T.; Lineweaver, C. H.


    We use simulated planetary systems to model the planet multiplicity of Kepler stars. Previous studies have underproduced single planet systems and invoked the so-called Kepler dichotomy, where the planet forming ability of a Kepler star is dichotomous, producing either few or many transiting planets. In this paper, we show that the Kepler dichotomy is only required when the inner part of planetary discs are just assumed to be flared. When the inner part of planetary discs are flat, we reproduce the observed planet multiplicity of Kepler stars without the need to invoke a dichotomy. We find that independent of the disc model assumed, the mean number of planets per star μ ≈ 2 for orbital periods between 3 and 200 d, and for planetary radii between 1 and 5 Earth radii. This contrasts with the Solar system where no planets occupy the same parameter space.

  17. Armenian Names of the Planets (United States)

    Harutyunian, Haik A.


    Striking similarities between the Armenian names of visible to the naked eye planets and their ancient Greek names used before 6 - 5 centuries BC are presented. Mercury, for instance, was called Stilbon in Greece which means “the Gleaming” and coincides with Armenian Paylatsou. One of the names of Venus was Phosphoros and in Armenia it is called Lusaber - both of these terms meaning the “Bringer of Light”. Ancient Greeks named the fourth planet Pyroeis meaning “fiery”. The Armenian name of this planet Hrat consists of the word “hur” meaning fire and a suffix “at”. Jupiter's and Saturn's ancient names are considered as well. Moreover, the term planet has its Armenian version being in the use more than 2500 years.

  18. Dictionary of Minor Planet Names

    CERN Document Server

    Schmadel, Lutz D


    Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, Fifth Edition, is the official reference for the field of the IAU, which serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and any surface features on them. The accelerating rate of the discovery of minor planets has not only made a new edition of this established compendium necessary but has also significantly altered its scope: this thoroughly revised edition concentrates on the approximately 10,000 minor planets that carry a name. It provides authoritative information about the basis for all names of minor planets. In addition to being of practical value for identification purposes, this collection provides a most interesting historical insight into the work of those astronomers who over two centuries vested their affinities in a rich and colorful variety of ingenious names, from heavenly goddesses to more prosaic constructions. The fifth edition serves as the primary reference, with plans for complementary booklets with newl...

  19. Geologic Exploration of the Planets: The First 50 Years (United States)

    Carr, Michael H.


    Fifty years ago, on 14 December 1962, the Mariner 2 spacecraft flew by Venus and inaugurated the modern era of planetary exploration. Since that first Venus flyby, roughly 80 spacecraft have successfully probed, orbited, flown by, landed on, or roved on other planets, satellites, asteroids, and comets. As Carl Sagan used to say, only one generation of humankind can be the first explorers of the solar system, and we are that generation.

  20. Urey Prize Lecture: Binary Minor Planets (United States)

    Margot, J. L.


    The discovery of binary systems in the near-Earth, main belt, and Kuiper belt populations provides an abundance of new data that expand our knowledge of the physics and chemistry of the solar system. Binary minor planets form as a result of collisional, tidal, and capture processes that are important to study as they play major roles in the formation and evolution of planetary systems. The frequency of occurrence of such processes directly reflects the dynamical environment in the various populations. Observations of binaries provide a powerful way to measure the bulk properties of small bodies, which in turn lead to inferences about their composition and internal structure. These data may offer a rare glimpse of what physical and chemical conditions prevailed when protoplanets formed, and what subsequent evolution took place. In the case of the Kuiper Belt, the study of a handful of binaries forces us to rethink how dense and how bright these bodies are, and to significantly revise our current mass estimates for the entire population. The number of known binary minor planets has increased dramatically over the past few years, with roughly ten new discoveries each year. I will attempt to summarize recent developments, with examples drawn from my observations with the Hubble, Palomar, Keck, Arecibo and Goldstone telescopes.

  1. Nicolaus Copernicus - Making the Earth a Planet (United States)

    Gingerich, Owen; MacLachlan, James


    Born in Poland in 1473, Nicolaus Copernicus launched a quiet revolution. No scientist so radically transformed our understanding of our place in the universe as this curious bishop's doctor and church official. In his quest to discover a beautiful and coherent system to describe the motions of the planets, Copernicus placed the sun in the center of the system and made the earth a planet traveling around the sun. Today it is hard to imagine our solar system any other way, but for his time Copernicus's idea was earthshaking. In 1616 the church banned his book Revolutions because it contradicted the accepted notion that God placed Earth in the center of the universe. Even though those who knew of his work considered his idea dangerous, Revolutions remained of interest only to other scientists for many years. It took almost two hundred years for his concept of a sun-centered system to reach the general public. None the less, what Copernicus set out in his remarkable text truly revolutionized science. For this, Copernicus, a quiet doctor who made a tremendous leap of imagination, is considered the father of the Scientific Revolution.

  2. Geology and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Fishbaugh, Kathryn E; Raulin, François; Marais, David J; Korablev, Oleg


    Given the fundamental importance of and universal interest in whether extraterrestrial life has developed or could eventually develop in our solar system and beyond, it is vital that an examination of planetary habitability goes beyond simple assumptions such as, "Where there is water, there is life." This book has resulted from a workshop at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland (5-9 September 2005) that brought together planetary geologists, geophysicists, atmospheric scientists, and biologists to discuss the multi-faceted problem of how the habitability of a planet co-evolves with the geology of the surface and interior, the atmosphere, and the magnetosphere. Each of the six chapters has been written by authors with a range of expertise so that each chapter is itself multi-disciplinary, comprehensive, and accessible to scientists in all disciplines. These chapters delve into what life needs to exist and ultimately to thrive, the early environments of the young terrestrial pl...

  3. Spectral Astrometry Mission for Planets Detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Erskine, D J; Edelstein, J


    The Spectral Astrometry Mission is a space-mission concept that uses simultaneous, multiple-star differential astrometry to measure exo-solar planet masses. The goal of SAM is to measure the reflex motions of hundreds of nearby ({approx}50 pc) F, G and K stars, relative to adjacent stars, with a resolution of 2.5 {micro}-arcsec. SAM is a new application of Spectral Interferometry (SI), also called Externally Dispersed Interferometry (EDI), that can simultaneously measure the angular difference between the target and multiple reference stars. SI has demonstrated the ability to measure a {lambda}/20,000 white-light fringe shift with only {lambda}/3 baseline control. SAM's structural stability and compensation requirements are therefore dramatically reduced compared to existing long-arm balanced-arm interferometric astrometry methods. We describe the SAM's mission concept, long-baseline SI astrometry method, and technical challenges to achieving the mission.

  4. Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets (United States)

    Gonzalez, Guillermo


    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. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes discussions of processes occurring in astrophysical, geophysical and climatic contexts, as well as the temporal evolution of planetary habitability. Special attention is given to recent observations of exoplanets and their host stars and the theories proposed to explain the observed trends. Recent theories about the early evolution of the Solar System and how they relate to its habitability are also summarized. Unresolved issues requiring additional research are pointed out, and a framework is provided for estimating the number of habitable planets in the Universe. PMID:25370028

  5. Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Gonzalez


    Full Text Available 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. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes discussions of processes occurring in astrophysical, geophysical and climatic contexts, as well as the temporal evolution of planetary habitability. Special attention is given to recent observations of exoplanets and their host stars and the theories proposed to explain the observed trends. Recent theories about the early evolution of the Solar System and how they relate to its habitability are also summarized. Unresolved issues requiring additional research are pointed out, and a framework is provided for estimating the number of habitable planets in the Universe.

  6. Forthcoming Occultations of Astrometric Radio Sources by Planets (United States)

    L'vov, Victor; Malkin, Zinovy; Tsekmeister, Svetlana


    Astrometric observations of radio source occultations by solar system bodies may be of large interest for testing gravity theories, dynamical astronomy, and planetary physics. In this paper, we present an updated list of the occultations of astrometric radio sources by planets expected in the coming years. Such events, like solar eclipses, generally speaking can only be observed in a limited region. A map of the shadow path is provided for the events that will occurr in regions with several VLBI stations and hence will be the most interesting for radio astronomy experiments.

  7. Small-body surveys and the Minor Planet Center perspective (United States)

    Spahr, T.


    Surveys for small bodies in the Solar System have dramatically expanded capacity and capability over the last two decades; the principal reason being the shift from photographic to digital imaging and reduction techniques. This talk will discuss our current knowledge of minor planet and comet populations, as well as the main surveys responsible for the discovery of these objects. Amateur and professional contributions to the Solar System inventory will be discussed as well. Lastly there will be a discussion of future surveys, with an emphasis on the lessons learned from Pan-STARRS and NEOWISE.

  8. Planet X - No dynamical evidence in the optical observations (United States)

    Standish, E. M., Jr.


    It is shown that the alleged 'unexplained anomalies in the motion of Uranus' disappear when one properly accounts for the correct value of the mass of Neptune and properly adjusts the orbit of Uranus to the observational data. Also, it is shown that each of the 'irregularities in the measured positions of Neptune' has a complete explanation within the framework of the presently known solar system. As a check of certainty, an actual planetary ephemeris is integrated which well fits the observations of Uranus. Minor systematic errors do remain in the data, but they are very small; they are easily explained by a number of uncertainties in the observations themselves. There is now known to be a mass concentration of significant size in the outer solar system - 1992 QB1. In comparison to any of the major planets, though, this object is miniscule. For the meridian circle observations, there is still no evidence which requires or even indicates the existence of any planet-sized object; there remains no need to hypothesize the existence of a tenth planet in the solar system.

  9. Baby Solar System (United States)

    Currie, Thayne; Grady, Carol


    What did our solar system look like in its infancy,...... when the planets were forming? We cannot travel back in time to take an image of the early solar system, but in principle we can have the next best thing: images of infant planetary systems around Sun-like stars with ages of 1 to 5 million years, the time we think it took for the giant planets to form. Infant exoplanetary systems are critically important because they can help us understand how our solar system fits within the context of planet formation in general. More than 80% of stars are born with gas- and dust-rich disks, and thus have the potential to form planets. Through many methods we have identified more than 760 planetary systems around middle-aged stars like the Sun, but many of these have architectures that look nothing like our solar system. Young planetary systems are important missing links between various endpoints and may help us understand how and when these differences emerge. Well-known star-forming regions in Taurus, Scorpius. and Orion contain stars that could have infant planetary systems. But these stars are much more distant than our nearest neighbors such as Alpha Centauri or Sirius, making it extremely challenging to produce clear images of systems that can reveal signs of recent planet formation, let alone reveal the planets themselves. Recently, a star with the unassuming name LkCa 15 may have given us our first detailed "baby picture" of a young planetary system similar to our solar system. Located about 450 light-years away in the Taurus starforming region. LkCa 15 has a mass comparable to the Sun (0.97 solar mass) and an age of l to 5 million years, comparable to the time at which Saturn and perhaps Jupiter formed. The star is surrounded by a gas-rich disk similar in structure to the one in our solar system from which the planets formed. With new technologies and observing strategies, we have confirmed suspicions that LkCa 15's disk harbors a young planetary system.

  10. 3D climate simulations of an Earth-like circumbinary planet (United States)

    Popp, Max; Eggl, Siegfried


    Planets orbiting close binary-star systems experience strong variations in insolation that are due to the non-trivial evolution of the distance between the planet and the two stars. Previous studies have suggested that these variations in insolation could influence the habitability of Earth-like circumbinary planets. In contrast to previous work using one-dimensional models that lack important climate dynamics, we performed for the first time simulations of a hypothetical Earth-like circumbinary planet with a three-dimensional atmospheric general circulation model coupled to an analytical orbital propagator. We choose a Kepler-35-like setup without the gas-giant that is present in the actual system in order to investigate the effects of the variable total solar irradiance (TSI) originating from the double star on the planet's climate. For fixed CO2 concentrations we find that an aqua-planet (a fully water-covered planet) can maintain a habitable climate at TSI values similar to those an identical planet receives orbiting our sun. The variations in TSI have, however, various effects on the climate of the planet. Signatures of these periodic variations are clearly visible in important climate indicators such as surface temperature and precipitation. Moreover, the periodic forcing leads to a cooling of the mean climate, especially in cold climate regimes.

  11. One or more bound planets per Milky Way star from microlensing observations. (United States)

    Cassan, A; Kubas, D; Beaulieu, J-P; Dominik, M; Horne, K; Greenhill, J; Wambsganss, J; Menzies, J; Williams, A; Jørgensen, U G; Udalski, A; Bennett, D P; Albrow, M D; Batista, V; Brillant, S; Caldwell, J A R; Cole, A; Coutures, Ch; Cook, K H; Dieters, S; Prester, D Dominis; Donatowicz, J; Fouqué, P; Hill, K; Kains, N; Kane, S; Marquette, J-B; Martin, R; Pollard, K R; Sahu, K C; Vinter, C; Warren, D; Watson, B; Zub, M; Sumi, T; Szymański, M K; Kubiak, M; Poleski, R; Soszynski, I; Ulaczyk, K; Pietrzyński, G; Wyrzykowski, L


    Most known extrasolar planets (exoplanets) have been discovered using the radial velocity or transit methods. Both are biased towards planets that are relatively close to their parent stars, and studies find that around 17-30% (refs 4, 5) of solar-like stars host a planet. Gravitational microlensing, on the other hand, probes planets that are further away from their stars. Recently, a population of planets that are unbound or very far from their stars was discovered by microlensing. These planets are at least as numerous as the stars in the Milky Way. Here we report a statistical analysis of microlensing data (gathered in 2002-07) that reveals the fraction of bound planets 0.5-10 AU (Sun-Earth distance) from their stars. We find that 17(+6)(-9)% of stars host Jupiter-mass planets (0.3-10 M(J), where M(J) = 318 M(⊕) and M(⊕) is Earth's mass). Cool Neptunes (10-30 M(⊕)) and super-Earths (5-10 M(⊕)) are even more common: their respective abundances per star are 52(+22)(-29)% and 62(+35)(-37)%. We conclude that stars are orbited by planets as a rule, rather than the exception.

  12. Library of Giant Planet Reflection Spectra for WFirst and Future Space Telescopes (United States)

    Smith, Adam J. R. W.; Fortney, Jonathan; Morley, Caroline; Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.


    Future large space space telescopes will be able to directly image exoplanets in optical light. The optical light of a resolved planet is due to stellar flux reflected by Rayleigh scattering or cloud scattering, with absorption features imprinted due to molecular bands in the planetary atmosphere. To aid in the design of such missions, and to better understand a wide range of giant planet atmospheres, we have built a library of model giant planet reflection spectra, for the purpose of determining effective methods of spectral analysis as well as for comparison with actual imaged objects. This library covers a wide range of parameters: objects are modeled at ten orbital distances between 0.5 AU and 5.0 AU, which ranges from planets too warm for water clouds, out to those that are true Jupiter analogs. These calculations include six metalicities between solar and 100x solar, with a variety of different cloud thickness parameters, and across all possible phase angles.

  13. Materia extraña

    CERN Document Server

    Gómez Cadenas, J J


    Enero, 1999. Unas extrañas burbujas se han colocado en el acelerador de particulas del CERN (Ginebra). Ante el riesgo de que esto desencadene una catástrofe a escala mundial, el centro ordena detener el experimento. Años después, Irene, una joven y promotedora científica, es contratada en la división de Física Teórica del CERN. Allí coincide con el mayor Espinosa, destinado a la sede suiza de la ONU para trabajar en un proyecto contra la proliferación de armas nucleares. La misión de Espinosa resulta ser mucho más arriesgada de lo que parecía. Irene ambiciosa y rebelde, toma una decisión de efectos imprevisibles.

  14. Flavour physics from extra dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Martinelli, G; Scrucca, C A; Silvestrini, L


    We discuss the possibility of introducing an SU(2) global flavour symmetry in the context of flat extra dimensions. In particular we concentrate on the 5-dimensional case and we study how to obtain the flavour structure of the Standard Model quark sector compacti(ying the fifth dimension on the orbifold St/Z2 a la Scberk-Scbwarz (SS). We show that in this case it is possible to justify the five orders of magnitude among the values of the quark masses with only one parameter: the SS flavour parameter. The non-local nature of the SS symmetry breaking mechanism allows to realize this without introducing new instabilities in the theory.

  15. Physics with large extra dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Antoniadis, Ignatios


    The recent understanding of string theory opens the possibility that the string scale can be as low as a few TeV. The apparent weakness of gravitational interactions can then be accounted by the existence of large internal dimensions, in the submillimeter region. Furthermore, our world must be confined to live on a brane transverse to these large dimensions, with which it interacts only gravitationally. In my lecture, I describe briefly this scenario which gives a new theoretical framework for solving the gauge hierarchy problem and the unification of all interactions. I also discuss its main properties and implications for observations at both future particle colliders, and in non-accelerator gravity experiments. Such e®ects are for instance the production of Kaluza-Klein resonances, graviton emission in the bulk of extra dimensions, and a radical change of gravitational forces in the submillimeter range.

  16. Physics with large extra dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Antoniadis, Ignatios


    The recent understanding of string theory opens the possibility that the string scale can be as low as a few TeV. The apparent weakness of gravitational interactions can then be accounted by the existence of large internal dimensions, in the submillimeter region. Furthermore, our world must be confined to live on a brane transverse to these large dimensions, with which it interacts only gravitationally. In my lecture, I describe briefly this scenario which gives a new theoretical framework for solving the gauge hierarchy problem and the unification of all interactions. I also discuss its main properties and implications for observations at both future particle colliders, and in non-accelerator gravity experiments. Such effects are for instance the production of Kaluza-Klein resonances, graviton emission in the bulk of extra dimensions, and a radical change of gravitational forces in the submillimeter range.

  17. K2-106, a system containing a metal-rich planet and a planet of lower density (United States)

    Guenther, E. W.; Barragán, O.; Dai, F.; Gandolfi, D.; Hirano, T.; Fridlund, M.; Fossati, L.; Chau, A.; Helled, R.; Korth, J.; Prieto-Arranz, J.; Nespral, D.; Antoniciello, G.; Deeg, H.; Hjorth, M.; Grziwa, S.; Albrecht, S.; Hatzes, A. P.; Rauer, H.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Smith, A. M. S.; Cabrera, J.; Narita, N.; Arriagada, P.; Burt, J.; Butler, R. P.; Cochran, W. D.; Crane, J. D.; Eigmüller, Ph.; Erikson, A.; Johnson, J. A.; Kiilerich, A.; Kubyshkina, D.; Palle, E.; Persson, C. M.; Pätzold, M.; Sabotta, S.; Sato, B.; Shectman, St. A.; Teske, J. K.; Thompson, I. B.; Van Eylen, V.; Nowak, G.; Vanderburg, A.; Winn, J. N.; Wittenmyer, R. A.


    Aims: Planets in the mass range from 2 to 15 M⊕ are very diverse. Some of them have low densities, while others are very dense. By measuring the masses and radii, the mean densities, structure, and composition of the planets are constrained. These parameters also give us important information about their formation and evolution, and about possible processes for atmospheric loss. Methods: We determined the masses, radii, and mean densities for the two transiting planets orbiting K2-106. The inner planet has an ultra-short period of 0.57 days. The period of the outer planet is 13.3 days. Results: Although the two planets have similar masses, their densities are very different. For K2-106b we derive Mb=8.36-0.94+0.96 M⊕, Rb = 1.52 ± 0.16 R⊕, and a high density of 13.1-3.6+5.4 g cm-3. For K2-106c, we find Mc=5.8-3.0+3.3 M⊕, Rc=2.50-0.26+0.27 R⊕ and a relatively low density of 2.0-1.1+1.6 g cm-3. Conclusions: Since the system contains two planets of almost the same mass, but different distances from the host star, it is an excellent laboratory to study atmospheric escape. In agreement with the theory of atmospheric-loss processes, it is likely that the outer planet has a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere. The mass and radius of the inner planet is in agreement with theoretical models predicting an iron core containing 80-30+20% of its mass. Such a high metal content is surprising, particularly given that the star has an ordinary (solar) metal abundance. We discuss various possible formation scenarios for this unusual planet. The results are partly based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory at Paranal, Chile in program 098.C-0860(A). This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. The article is also partly based on observations with the TNG, NOT. This work has also made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (http

  18. Homes for extraterrestrial life: extrasolar planets. (United States)

    Latham, D W


    Astronomers are now discovering giant planets orbiting other stars like the sun by the dozens. But none of these appears to be a small rocky planet like the earth, and thus these planets are unlikely to be capable of supporting life as we know it. The recent discovery of a system of three planets is especially significant because it supports the speculation that planetary systems, as opposed to single orbiting planets, may be common. Our ability to detect extrasolar planets will continue to improve, and space missions now in development should be able to detect earth-like planets.

  19. An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star. (United States)

    Quintana, Elisa V; Barclay, Thomas; Raymond, Sean N; Rowe, Jason F; Bolmont, Emeline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Howell, Steve B; Kane, Stephen R; Huber, Daniel; Crepp, Justin R; Lissauer, Jack J; Ciardi, David R; Coughlin, Jeffrey L; Everett, Mark E; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Ford, Eric B; Adams, Fred C; Still, Martin; Hunter, Roger C; Quarles, Billy; Selsis, Franck


    The quest for Earth-like planets is a major focus of current exoplanet research. Although planets that are Earth-sized and smaller have been detected, these planets reside in orbits that are too close to their host star to allow liquid water on their surfaces. We present the detection of Kepler-186f, a 1.11 ± 0.14 Earth-radius planet that is the outermost of five planets, all roughly Earth-sized, that transit a 0.47 ± 0.05 solar-radius star. The intensity and spectrum of the star's radiation place Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone, implying that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and water at its surface, then some of this water is likely to be in liquid form.

  20. SKARPS: The Search for Kuiper Belts around Radial-Velocity Planet Stars (United States)

    Bryden, Geoffrey; Marshall, Jonathan; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Su, Kate; Wyatt, Mark


    The Search for Kuiper belts Around Radial-velocity Planet Stars - SKARPS -is a Herschel survey of solar-type stars known to have orbiting planets. When complete, the 100-star SKARPS sample will be large enough for a meaningful statistical comparison against stars not known to have planets. (This control sample has already been observed by Herschel's DUst around NEarby Stars - DUNES - key program). Initial results include previously known disks that are resolved for the first time and newly discovered disks that are fainter and colder than those typically detected by Spitzer. So far, with only half of the sample in hand, there is no measured correlation between inner RV planets and cold outer debris. While this is consistent with the results from Spitzer, it is in contrast with the relationship suggested by the prominent debris disks in imaged-planet systems.

  1. An introduction to planets ours and others : from Earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Encrenaz, Thérèse


    What is a planet? The answer seems obvious, but nonetheless the definition of a planet has continuously evolved over the centuries, and their number has changed following successive discoveries. The decision endorsed by the International Astronomical Union to remove Pluto from the list of planets in 2006 well illustrates the difficulty associated with their definition. The recent discovery of hundreds of exoplanets around nearby stars of our Galaxy opens a new and spectacular dimension to astrophysics. We presently know very little about the physical nature of exoplanets. In contrast, our knowledge of Solar System planets has made huge progress over the past decades, thanks, especially, to space planetary exploration. The purpose of this book is first to characterize what planets are, in their global properties and in their diversity. Then, this knowledge is used to try to imagine the physical nature of exoplanets, starting from the few parameters we know about them. Throughout this book, as we explore the su...

  2. The Sun and its Planets as detectors for invisible matter (United States)

    Bertolucci, Sergio; Zioutas, Konstantin; Hofmann, Sebastian; Maroudas, Marios


    Gravitational lensing of invisible streaming matter towards the Sun with speeds around 10-4 to 10-3 c could be the explanation of the puzzling solar flares and the unexplained solar emission in the EUV. Assuming that this invisible massive matter has some form of interaction with normal matter and that preferred directions exist in its flow, then one would expect a more pronounced solar activity at certain planetary heliocentric longitudes. This is best demonstrated in the case of the Earth and the two inner planets, considering their relatively short revolution time (365, 225 and 88 days) in comparison to a solar cycle of about 11 years. We have analyzed the solar flares as well as the EUV emission in the periods 1976-2015 and 1999-2015, respectively. The results derived from each data set mutually exclude systematics as the cause of the observed planetary correlations. We observe statistically significant signals when one or more planets have heliocentric longitudes mainly between 230° and 300°. We also analyzed daily data of the global ionization degree of the dynamic Earth atmosphere taken in the period 1995-2012. Again here, we observe a correlation between the total atmospheric electron content (TEC) and the orbital position of the inner three planets. Remarkably, the strongest correlation appears with the phase of the Moon. The broad velocity spectrum of the assumed constituents makes it difficult at this stage to identify its source(s) in space. More refined analyses might in the future increase the precision in the determination of the stream(s) direction and possibly allow to infer some properties of its constituents. Presently, no firmly established model of massive streaming particles exists, although in the literature there are abundant examples of hypotheses. Among them, the anti-quark nuggets model for dark matter seems the better suited to explain our observations and deserves further study.

  3. Heat-pipe planets (United States)

    Moore, William B.; Simon, Justin I.; Webb, A. Alexander G.


    Observations of the surfaces of all terrestrial bodies other than Earth reveal remarkable but unexplained similarities: endogenic resurfacing is dominated by plains-forming volcanism with few identifiable centers, magma compositions are highly magnesian (mafic to ultra-mafic), tectonic structures are dominantly contractional, and ancient topographic and gravity anomalies are preserved to the present. Here we show that cooling via volcanic heat pipes may explain these observations and provide a universal model of the way terrestrial bodies transition from a magma-ocean state into subsequent single-plate, stagnant-lid convection or plate tectonic phases. In the heat-pipe cooling mode, magma moves from a high melt-fraction asthenosphere through the lithosphere to erupt and cool at the surface via narrow channels. Despite high surface heat flow, the rapid volcanic resurfacing produces a thick, cold, and strong lithosphere which undergoes contractional strain forced by downward advection of the surface toward smaller radii. We hypothesize that heat-pipe cooling is the last significant endogenic resurfacing process experienced by most terrestrial bodies in the solar system, because subsequent stagnant-lid convection produces only weak tectonic deformation. Terrestrial exoplanets appreciably larger than Earth may remain in heat-pipe mode for much of the lifespan of a Sun-like star.

  4. Solar System Evolution through Planetesmial Collisions (United States)

    Trierweiler, Isabella; Laughlin, Greg


    Understanding planet formation is crucial to unraveling the history of our Solar System. Refining our theory of planet formation has become particularly important as the discovery of exoplanet systems through missions like Kepler have indicated that our system is incredibly unique. Compared to other systems around Sun-like stars, we are missing a significant amount of mass in the inner region of our solar system.A leading explanation for the low mass of the terrestrial planets is Jupiter’s Grand Tack. In this theory, the existence of the rocky planets is thought to be the result of the migration of Jupiter through the inner solar system. This migration could spark a collisional cascade of planetesimals, allowing planetesimals to drift inwards and shepherd an original set of massive planets into the Sun, thus explaining the absence of massive planets in our current system. The remnants of the planetesimals would them become the building blocks for a new generation of smaller, rocky planets.Using the N-body simulator REBOUND, we investigate the dynamics of the Grand Tack. We focus in particular on collisional cascades, which are thought to cause the inward planetesimal drift. We first modify the simulator to account for fragmentation outcomes in planetesimal collisions. Modeling disks of varying initial conditions, we then characterize the disk conditions needed to begin a cascade and shed light on the solar system’s dynamics just prior to the formation of the terrestrial planets.

  5. Late veneer and late accretion to the terrestrial planets (United States)

    Brasser, R.; Mojzsis, S. J.; Werner, S. C.; Matsumura, S.; Ida, S.


    It is generally accepted that silicate-metal ('rocky') planet formation relies on coagulation from a mixture of sub-Mars sized planetary embryos and (smaller) planetesimals that dynamically emerge from the evolving circum-solar disc in the first few million years of our Solar System. Once the planets have, for the most part, assembled after a giant impact phase, they continue to be bombarded by a multitude of planetesimals left over from accretion. Here we place limits on the mass and evolution of these planetesimals based on constraints from the highly siderophile element (HSE) budget of the Moon. Outcomes from a combination of N-body and Monte Carlo simulations of planet formation lead us to four key conclusions about the nature of this early epoch. First, matching the terrestrial to lunar HSE ratio requires either that the late veneer on Earth consisted of a single lunar-size impactor striking the Earth before 4.45 Ga, or that it originated from the impact that created the Moon. An added complication is that analysis of lunar samples indicates the Moon does not preserve convincing evidence for a late veneer like Earth. Second, the expected chondritic veneer component on Mars is 0.06 weight percent. Third, the flux of terrestrial impactors must have been low (≲10-6 M⊕ Myr-1) to avoid wholesale melting of Earth's crust after 4.4 Ga, and to simultaneously match the number of observed lunar basins. This conclusion leads to an Hadean eon which is more clement than assumed previously. Last, after the terrestrial planets had fully formed, the mass in remnant planetesimals was ∼10-3 M⊕, lower by at least an order of magnitude than most previous models suggest. Our dynamically and geochemically self-consistent scenario requires that future N-body simulations of rocky planet formation either directly incorporate collisional grinding or rely on pebble accretion.

  6. Tectonic evolution of terrestrial planets (United States)

    Head, J. W.; Solomon, S. C.


    The tectonic style of each terrestrial planet, referring to the thickness and division of its lithosphere, can be inferred from surface features and compared to models of planetary thermal history. Factors governing planetary tectonic evolution are planet diameter, chemistry, and external and internal heat sources, all of which determine how a planet generates and rids itself of heat. The earth is distinguished by its distinct, mobile plates, which are recycled into the mantle and show large-scale lateral movements, whereas the moon, Mars, and Mercury are single spherical shells, showing no evidence of destruction and renewal of the lithospheric plates over the latter 80% of their history. Their smaller volume to surface area results in a more rapid cooling, formation, and thickening of the lithosphere. Vertical tectonics, due to lithospheric loading, is controlled by the local thickness and rheology of the lithosphere. Further studies of Venus, which displays both the craterlike surface features of the one-plate planets, and the rifts and plateaus of earth, may indicate which factors are most important in controlling the tectonic evolution of terrestrial planets.

  7. Dictionary of Minor Planet Names

    CERN Document Server

    Schmadel, Lutz


    The quantity of numbered minor planets has now well exceeded a quarter million. The new sixth edition of the Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, which is the IAU’s official reference work for the field, now covers more than 17,000 named minor planets. In addition to being of practical value for identification purposes, the Dictionary of Minor Planet Names provides authoritative information on the basis of the rich and colorful variety of ingenious names, from heavenly goddesses to artists, from scientists to Nobel laureates, from historical or political figures to ordinary women and men, from mountains to buildings, as well as a variety of compound terms and curiosities. This sixth edition of the Dictionary of Minor Planet Names has grown by more than 7,000 entries compared to the fifth edition and by more than 2,000 compared to the fifth edition, including its two addenda published in 2006 and 2009. In addition, there are many  corrections, revisions and updates to the entries published in earlier editions....

  8. The outer solar system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Encrenaz T.


    Full Text Available The outer solar system extends beyond a heliocentric distance of 5 AU. It contains the giant planets and their systems (rings and satellites, the Kuiper belt, the comets (except those which approach episodically the inner solar system and, at its outer edge, the Oort cloud. The outer solar system physically corresponds to the region located outside the « snow line » which corresponded to the distance of ice condensation in the protodolar disk, and thus made the frontier between the terrestrial and the giant planets at the time of the planets’ formation. The outer solar system is charaterized by a very large variety of ob jects, even within a given class of ob jects. Each of the giant planet has its own properties, as well as each of the outer satellites and the ring systems ; all are the products of specific conditions which determined their formation and evolution processes. The existence of the Kuiper belt, suspected on theoretical bases since the 1940s, has been confirmed since 1992 with the observation of over 1200 trans-neptunian ob jects. Thanks to the the developments of more and more performing groundbased instrumentation and the use of large telescopes, these ob jects are now studies in a statistical way, both dynamically and physically, and these studies are precious for constraining the early formation models of the solar system.

  9. On the Solar System-Debris Disk Connecction


    Moro-Martin, Amaya


    This paper emphasizes the connection between solar and extra-solar debris disks: how models and observations of the Solar System are helping us understand the debris disk phenomenon, and vice versa, how debris disks are helping us place our Solar System into context.

  10. Enhanced lithium depletion in Sun-like stars with orbiting planets. (United States)

    Israelian, Garik; Mena, Elisa Delgado; Santos, Nuno C; Sousa, Sergio G; Mayor, Michel; Udry, Stephane; Cerdeña, Carolina Domínguez; Rebolo, Rafael; Randich, Sofia


    The surface abundance of lithium on the Sun is 140 times less than the protosolar value, yet the temperature at the base of the surface convective zone is not hot enough to burn-and hence deplete-Li (refs 2, 3). A large range of Li abundances is observed in solar-type stars of the same age, mass and metallicity as the Sun, but such a range is theoretically difficult to understand. An earlier suggestion that Li is more depleted in stars with planets was weakened by the lack of a proper comparison sample of stars without detected planets. Here we report Li abundances for an unbiased sample of solar-analogue stars with and without detected planets. We find that the planet-bearing stars have less than one per cent of the primordial Li abundance, while about 50 per cent of the solar analogues without detected planets have on average ten times more Li. The presence of planets may increase the amount of mixing and deepen the convective zone to such an extent that the Li can be burned.

  11. On the origin of planets by means of natural simple processes

    CERN Document Server

    Woolfson, Michael M


    The book begins with a historical review of four major theories for the origin of the Solar System in particular, or of planets in general, which highlight the major problems that need to be solved by any plausible theory. In many theories, including that which form the major theme of this book, the formation of planets and stars is intimately linked, so four chapters are devoted to the processes that can be described as the birth, life and death of stars. Recent observations that have revealed the existence of planets around many Sun-like stars are described in detail, followed by a clear exp

  12. Self-organizing systems in planetary physics: Harmonic resonances of planet and moon orbits (United States)

    Aschwanden, Markus J.


    The geometric arrangement of planet and moon orbits into a regularly spaced pattern of distances is the result of a self-organizing system. The positive feedback mechanism that operates a self-organizing system is accomplished by harmonic orbit resonances, leading to long-term stable planet and moon orbits in solar or stellar systems. The distance pattern of planets was originally described by the empirical Titius-Bode law, and by a generalized version with a constant geometric progression factor (corresponding to logarithmic spacing). We find that the orbital periods Ti and planet distances Ri from the Sun are not consistent with logarithmic spacing, but rather follow the quantized scaling (Ri + 1 /Ri) =(Ti + 1 /Ti) 2 / 3 =(Hi + 1 /Hi) 2 / 3 , where the harmonic ratios are given by five dominant resonances, namely (Hi + 1 :Hi) =(3 : 2) ,(5 : 3) ,(2 : 1) ,(5 : 2) ,(3 : 1) . We find that the orbital period ratios tend to follow the quantized harmonic ratios in increasing order. We apply this harmonic orbit resonance model to the planets and moons in our solar system, and to the exo-planets of 55 Cnc and HD 10180 planetary systems. The model allows us a prediction of missing planets in each planetary system, based on the quasi-regular self-organizing pattern of harmonic orbit resonance zones. We predict 7 (and 4) missing exo-planets around the star 55 Cnc (and HD 10180). The accuracy of the predicted planet and moon distances amounts to a few percents. All analyzed systems are found to have ≈ 10 resonant zones that can be occupied with planets (or moons) in long-term stable orbits.

  13. A Preliminary Analysis of College Students’ Preinstructional Ideas About Planet Formation (United States)

    Simon, Molly; Impey, Chris David; Buxner, Sanlyn


    From as early as nursery school, children are taught about planet Earth and “our place in space.” Learning about the Solar System transcends K-12 education, and is considered one of the top-ten most frequently discussed topics in undergraduate introductory astronomy courses for non-majors. All too frequently, however, the discussion stops after a brief overview of each planet, and students are left to ponder how the Solar System came to be in the first place. The topic of planet formation has grown in importance in any astronomy class in light of the discovery of nearly 5,000 exoplanet candidates, where the properties of exoplanetary systems have cast light on the general process of planet formation. This highly active research field has been slow to be properly represented in the astronomy classroom for non-majors. For this work, we presented students in six undergraduate 100 and 200-level astronomy courses at the University of Arizona with one of three short answer questions on the topic of planet formation. The questions were administered on the first day of the Fall 2016 semester before any related material was taught. We will present an analysis of these responses, and discuss any common trends, themes, and misconceptions that appear from the dataset. These responses will lend to the development of the Planet Formation Concept Inventory (PFCI) that will be used by ASTR 101 instructors to evaluate students’ understanding of planet formation before and after instruction.

  14. Extra and intradural spinal Hemangioblastoma Hemangioblastoma espinal extra e intradural Hemangioblastoma espinhal extra e intradural

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Campos Moraes Amato


    Full Text Available Hemangioblastomas of the central nervous system (CNS are low-grade highly vascularized tumors that may be sporadic or associated with Von Hippel-Lindau disease. Extradural hemangioblastomas are uncommon and those located extra and intradurally are even rarer. This study uses an illustrative case and literature review to discuss the difficulties to consider the correct diagnosis and to select the best surgical approach. A 57 years-old white male patient presented with myelopathy and right C5 radiculopathy. The images showed a lobulated, hourglass shaped, highly enhanced extra/intradural lesion that occupied the spinal canal and widened the C4-C5 right intervertebral foramen. Total resection of the intradural lesion was achieved through a posterior approach, but the extradural part could only be partially removed. Complete improvement was observed after four months of follow-up and the residual tumor has been followed up clinically and radiologically. Even though the preoperative impression was of a spinal schwannoma, the histopathological examination revealed grade I hemangioblastoma as per WHO. Despite their rarity, current complementary exams allow considering the diagnosis of hemangioblastoma preoperatively. That is essential to a better surgical planning in view of the particular surgical features of this lesion.Hemangioblastomas del sistema nervioso central (SNC son tumores altamente vascularizados, de grado bajo, que pueden ser esporádicos o vinculados a la enfermedad de Von Hippel-Lindau. Hemangioblastomas extradurales no son comunes, y aquellos localizados extra e intraduralmente son aún más raros. Este estudio usa un caso ilustrativo y la revisión de la literatura para analizar las dificultades cuanto a considerar el diagnóstico correcto y para seleccionar el mejor abordaje quirúrgico. Un paciente, hombre blanco de 57 años de edad, presentaba mielopatía con radiculopatía C5 derecha. Las imágenes mostraban lesión extra

  15. The Outer Planets and their Moons Comparative Studies of the Outer Planets prior to the Exploration of the Saturn System by Cassini-Huygens

    CERN Document Server

    Encrenaz, T; Owen, T. C; Sotin, C


    This volume gives an integrated summary of the science related to the four giant planets in our solar system. It is the result of an ISSI workshop on «A comparative study of the outer planets before the exploration of Saturn by Cassini-Huygens» which was held at ISSI in Bern on January 12-16, 2004. Representatives of several scientific communities, such as planetary scientists, astronomers, space physicists, chemists and astrobiologists have met with the aim to review the knowledge on four major themes: (1) the study of the formation and evolution processes of the outer planets and their satellites, beginning with the formation of compounds and planetesimals in the solar nebula, and the subsequent evolution of the interiors of the outer planets, (2) a comparative study of the atmospheres of the outer planets and Titan, (3) the study of the planetary magnetospheres and their interactions with the solar wind, and (4) the formation and properties of satellites and rings, including their interiors, surfaces, an...

  16. Dictionary of minor planet names

    CERN Document Server

    Schmadel, Lutz D


    Until recently, minor planet name citations were scattered in the astronomical literature, and the origin of many names remained obscure In 1988 the IAU Commission 20 established a study group to elucidate the meanings of asteroid names Later on the author continued in collecting and indexing all new relevant data This book contains the names, and their meanings, of all - as yet 5252 - named minor planets It informs about the discoverers as well as the circumstances of the discovery of all 7041 minor planets that were numbered up to June 1996 In addition to being of practical value for identification purposes, the collection provides a most interesting historical insight into the work of those astronomers who over two centuries vested their affinities in a rich and colourful variety of ingenious names, from heavenly goddesses to more prosaic constructions This third, revised and enlarged edition comprises about 40% more information than was provided with the first one of 1992

  17. Characterizing K2 Planet Discoveries (United States)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Montet, Benjamin; Johnson, John; Buchhave, Lars A.; Zeng, Li; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Charbonneau, David; Harps-N Collaboration, The Robo-Ao Team


    We present an effort to confirm the first planet discovered by the two-wheeled Kepler mission. We analyzed K2 photometry, correcting for nonuniform detector response as a function of the spacecraft's pointing, and detected a transiting planet candidate. We describe our multi-telescope followup observing campaign, consisting of photometric, spectroscopic, and high resolution imaging observations, including over 40 HARPS-N radial velocity measurements. The new planet is a super-Earth orbiting a bright star amenable to followup observations. HARPS-N was funded by the Swiss Space Office, the Harvard Origin of Life Initiative, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the University of Geneva, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Italian National Astrophysical Institute, the University of St. Andrews, Queens University Belfast, and the University of Edinburgh.

  18. Chaos in Kepler's Multiple Planet Systems and K2s Observations of the Atmospheres of Uranus Neptune (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.


    More than one-third of the 4700 planet candidates found by NASA's Kepler spacecraft during its prime mission are associated with target stars that have more than one planet candidate, and such "multis" account for the vast majority of candidates that have been verified as true planets. The large number of multis tells us that flat multiplanet systems like our Solar System are common. Virtually all of the candidate planetary systems are stable, as tested by numerical integrations that assume a physically motivated mass-radius relationship, but some of the systems lie in chaotic regions close to instability. The characteristics of some of the most interesting confirmed Kepler multi-planet systems will be discussed. The Kepler spacecraft's 'second life' in theK2 mission has allowed it to obtain long time-series observations of Solar System targets, including the giant planets Uranus & Neptune. These observations show variability caused by the chaotic weather patterns on Uranus & Neptune.

  19. On the Composition of Young, Directly Imaged Giant Planets (United States)

    Moses, J. I.; Marley, M. S.; Zahnle, K.; Line, M. R.; Fortney, J. J.; Barman, T. S.; Visscher, C.; Lewis, N. K.; Wolff, M. J.


    The past decade has seen significant progress on the direct detection and characterization of young, self-luminous giant planets at wide orbital separations from their host stars. Some of these planets show evidence for disequilibrium processes like transport-induced quenching in their atmospheres; photochemistry may also be important, despite the typically large orbital distances. Disequilibrium chemical processes such as these can alter the expected composition, spectral behavior, thermal structure, and cooling history of the planets, and can potentially confuse determinations of bulk elemental ratios, which provide important insights into planet-formation mechanisms. Using a thermo/photochemical kinetics and transport model, we investigate the extent to which disequilibrium chemical processes affect the composition and spectra of directly imaged giant exoplanets. Results for specific "young Jupiters" such as HR 8799 b and c and 51 Eri b are presented, as are general trends as a function of planetary effective temperature, surface gravity, incident ultraviolet flux, and strength of deep atmospheric convection. We find that quenching is very important on young Jupiters, leading to CO/CH4 and N2/NH3 ratios much greater than; and H2O mixing ratios a factor of a few less than chemical equilibrium predictions. Photochemistry can also be important on such planets, with CO2 and HCN being key photochemical products. Carbon dioxide becomes a particularly major constituent when stratospheric temperatures are low and recycling of water following H2O photolysis becomes stifled. Young Jupiters with effective temperatures less than 700 degrees Kelvin are in a particularly interesting photochemical regime that differs from both transiting hot Jupiters and our own solar-system giant planets.

  20. Habitable planets with high obliquities. (United States)

    Williams, D M; Kasting, J F


    Earth's obliquity would vary chaotically from 0 degrees to 85 degrees were it not for the presence of the Moon (J. Laskar, F. Joutel, and P. Robutel, 1993, Nature 361, 615-617). The Moon itself is thought to be an accident of accretion, formed by a glancing blow from a Mars-sized planetesimal. Hence, planets with similar moons and stable obliquities may be extremely rare. This has lead Laskar and colleagues to suggest that the number of Earth-like planets with high obliquities and temperate, life-supporting climates may be small. To test this proposition, we have used an energy-balance climate model to simulate Earth's climate at obliquities up to 90 degrees. We show that Earth's climate would become regionally severe in such circumstances, with large seasonal cycles and accompanying temperature extremes on middle- and high-latitude continents which might be damaging to many forms of life. The response of other, hypothetical, Earth-like planets to large obliquity fluctuations depends on their land-sea distribution and on their position within the habitable zone (HZ) around their star. Planets with several modest-sized continents or equatorial supercontinents are more climatically stable than those with polar supercontinents. Planets farther out in the HZ are less affected by high obliquities because their atmospheres should accumulate CO2 in response to the carbonate-silicate cycle. Dense, CO2-rich atmospheres transport heat very effectively and therefore limit the magnitude of both seasonal cycles and latitudinal temperature gradients. We conclude that a significant fraction of extrasolar Earth-like planets may still be habitable, even if they are subject to large obliquity fluctuations.

  1. Dynamical evidence for Planet X (United States)

    Anderson, John D.; Standish, E. Myles, Jr.


    The dynamical evidence for a planet beyond the orbit of Neptune is reviewed. Three years of radio tracking data from Pioneer 10 can be fit to the noise level with no evidence for unmodelled acceleration at a level higher than 5 x 10 to the -14th km/sq s. The evidence does not place severe limits on the Planet X model, but does place a firm limit of five earth masses on a hypothetical comet belt just beyond the orbit of Neptune.

  2. Exploring Mercury: The Iron Planet


    Stevenson, David J.


    Planet Mercury is both difficult to observe and difficult to reach by spacecraft. Just one spacecraft, Mariner 10, flew by the planet 30 years ago. An upcoming NASA mission, MESSENGER, will be launched this year and will go into orbit around Mercury at the end of this decade. A European mission is planned for the following decade. It's worth going there because Mercury is a strange body and the history of planetary exploration has taught us that strangeness gives us insight into planetary ori...

  3. Guldlok og de nye planeter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke


    De såkaldte exoplaneter, som er planeter i andre solsystemer, beskrivelse af de de betingelser, der skal være opfyldt, før man kan gøre sig håb om at finde liv på dem og de metoder astronomer bruger til at finde planeterne.......De såkaldte exoplaneter, som er planeter i andre solsystemer, beskrivelse af de de betingelser, der skal være opfyldt, før man kan gøre sig håb om at finde liv på dem og de metoder astronomer bruger til at finde planeterne....

  4. Extra dimensions at particle colliders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dvergsnes, Erik Wolden


    This thesis consists of an introduction where we consider different aspects of theories involving extra dimensions, together with four research publications (Papers I-IV) attached at the end. The introductional chapters should serve as background material for better understanding the models on which the articles are based. In Chap. 4 we also present some plots not included in the papers. The topic of Papers I-III is graviton induced Bremsstrahlung. In Paper I we consider the contribution to this process from graviton exchange through gluon-gluon fusion at the LHC, compared to the QED background. Only final-state radiation is considered in Paper I, whereas in Paper II we extend this work to include also the quark-antiquark annihilation with graviton exchange, as well as initial-state radiation for both graviton and Standard Model exchange. Paper III is a study of graviton-induced Bremsstrahlung at e{sup +}e{sup -} colliders, including both initial- and final-state radiation. Paper IV is devoted to a study of the center-edge asymmetry at hadron colliders, an asymmetry which previously had been studied for e{sup +}e{sup -} colliders. The center-edge asymmetry can be used as a method of distinguishing between spin-1 and spin-2 exchange, something which will be of major importance if a signal is observed.

  5. Extra-pair copulation and extra-range movements in Flammulated Owls (United States)

    Richard T. Reynolds; Brian D. Linkhart


    We report an extra-pair copulation (EPC) in the Flammulated Owl (Otus flammeolus), the first in strigiforms, and document 21 cases of extra-range movements (ERMs) in this species. Extra-range movements occurred throughout nesting with both sexes participating: males anytime during nesting and females only after their young fledged. Males appear to make ERMs to...

  6. Higgs-Like Field and Extra Dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Grobov, A V


    We study the origin of the Higgs field in the framework of the universal extra dimensions. It is shown that a Higgs-like Lagrangian can be extracted from a metric of an extra space. The way to distinguish our model and the Standard Model is discussed.

  7. search of extra space dimensions with ATLAs

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    search of extra space dimensions with ATLAs. AMBREEsH GUPTA (for the ATLAs Collaboration). 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago,. IL 60637, USA. Abstract. If extra spatial dimensions were to exist, they could provide a solution to the hierarchy problem. The studies done by the ...

  8. Extreme evolved solar systems (EESS) (United States)

    Gaensicke, Boris


    In just 20 years, we went from not knowing if the solar system is a fluke of Nature to realising that it is totally normal for stars to have planets. More remarkably, it is now clear that planet formation is a robust process, as rich multi-planet systems are found around stars more massive and less massive than the Sun. More recently, planetary systems have been identified in increasingly complex architectures, including circumbinary planets, wide binaries with planets orbiting one or both stellar components, and planets in triple stellar systems.We have also learned that many planetary systems will survive the evolution of their host stars into the white dwarf phase. Small bodies are scattered by unseen planets into the gravitational field of the white dwarfs, tidally disrupt, form dust discs, and eventually accrete onto the white dwarf, where they can be spectroscopically detected. HST/COS has played a critical role in the study these evolved planetary systems, demonstrating that overall the bulk composition of the debris is rocky and resembles in composition the inner the solar system, including evidence for water-rich planetesimals. Past observations of planetary systems at white dwarfs have focused on single stars with main-sequence progenitors of 1.5 to 2.5Msun. Here we propose to take the study of evolved planetary systems into the extremes of parameter ranges to answer questions such as: * How efficient is planet formation around 4-10Msun stars? * What are the metallicities of the progenitors of debris-accreting white dwarfs?* What is the fate of circumbinary planets?* Can star-planet interactions generate magnetic fields in the white dwarf host?

  9. Passing NASA's Planet Quest Baton from Kepler to TESS (United States)

    Jenkins, J.

    Kepler vaulted into the heavens on March 7, 2009, initiating NASAs search for Earth- size planets orbiting Sun-like stars in the habitable zone, where liquid water could exist on a rocky planetary surface. In the 4 years since Kepler began science operations, a flood of photometric data on upwards of 190,000 stars of unprecedented precision and continuity has provoked a watershed of 134+ confirmed or validated planets, 3200+ planetary candidates (most sub-Neptune in size and many compara- ble to or smaller than Earth), and a resounding revolution in asteroseismology and astrophysics. The most recent discoveries include Kepler-62 with 5 planets total of which 2 are in the habitable zone with radii of 1.4 and 1.7 Re. The focus of the mission is shifting towards how to rapidly vet the 18,000+ threshold crossing events produced with each transiting planet search, and towards those studies that will allow us to understand what the data are saying about the prevalence of planets in the solar neighborhood and throughout the galaxy. This talk will provide an overview of the science results from the Kepler Mission and the work ahead to derive the frequency of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars from the treasure trove of Kepler data. NASAs quest for exoplanets continues with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satel- lite (TESS) mission, slated for launch in May 2017 by NASAs Explorer Program. TESS will conduct an all-sky transit survey to identify the 1000 best small exoplanets in the solar neighborhood for follow up observations and characterization. TESSs targets will include all F, G, K dwarfs from +4 to +12 magnitude and all M dwarfs known within ˜200 light-years. 500,000 target stars will be observed over two years with ˜500 square degrees observed continuously for a year in each hemisphere in the James Webb Space Telescopes continuously viewable zones. Since the typical TESS target star is 5 magnitudes brighter than Kepler’s and 10 times

  10. Generation of Electric Energy and Desalinating Water from Solar Energy and the Oceans Hydropower (United States)

    Elfikky, Niazi

    Brief.All warnings and fears about the environment in our Earth planet due to the serious effects of the industrial revolution were certainly predicted early. But the eager contest and the powerful desire for more profits beside the human interest for welfare and development closed all minds about the expected severe destuctive impacts on our earth planet. Also, we have to remember that the majority of the African, Asian and Latin American countries are still in the first stage of their development and if they will be left to generate all their demand of energy by the conventional machine e.g (Fossil Fuel, Biofuel and Nuclear Fuel), then our Earth planet will confront an endless and ceasless severe destructive impacts due to the encroach of the released hot Carbon Doxide and hot vapours of Acids which will never forgive any fruitful aspect in our Earth Planet from destruction. 1. Importance of the New Project. Building the Extra cheap, clean Power plants with safe and smooth Operation in addition to the long life time in service for generating enough and plentiful electric energy the sustainable renwable resources will invigorate the foresaking of all Nuclear, Fossil and Biofuel power plants to avoide the nuclear hazards and stop releasing the hot carbon doxide, hot acids for the recovery of our ill environment. Also, the main sustainable, renewable, and cheap resources for generating the bulky capacity of the electric energy in our project are the Sun and the Oceans in addition to all Seas Surrounding all Continents in our Earth planet. Therefore, our recourses are so much enormous plentiful, clean, and renewable. 2. .Generation of Electricity from Solar Energy by Photovoltiac Cells (PVCs) or Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). Characteristics of Photovoltiac Cells (PVCs). It is working only by Sun's Light (Light photons) and its efficiency will decrease as the Solar Thermal Radiation will increase, i.e. as the temerature of the Solar Voltiac will increase, its output

  11. The formation of the solar system


    Pfalzner, S.; Davies, M B; Gounelle, M.; Johansen, A.; Muenker, C.; Lacerda, P.; Zwart, S. Portegies; Testi, L.; Trieloff, M.; Veras, D.


    The solar system started to form about 4.56 Gyr ago and despite the long intervening time span, there still exist several clues about its formation. The three major sources for this information are meteorites, the present solar system structure and the planet-forming systems around young stars. In this introduction we give an overview of the current understanding of the solar system formation from all these different research fields. This includes the question of the lifetime of the solar pro...

  12. Habitable zone limits for dry planets. (United States)

    Abe, Yutaka; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Sleep, Norman H; Zahnle, Kevin J


    Most discussion of habitable planets has focused on Earth-like planets with globally abundant liquid water. For an "aqua planet" like Earth, the surface freezes if far from its sun, and the water vapor greenhouse effect runs away if too close. Here we show that "land planets" (desert worlds with limited surface water) have wider habitable zones than aqua planets. For planets at the inner edge of the habitable zone, a land planet has two advantages over an aqua planet: (i) the tropics can emit longwave radiation at rates above the traditional runaway limit because the air is unsaturated and (ii) the dry air creates a dry stratosphere that limits hydrogen escape. At the outer limits of the habitable zone, the land planet better resists global freezing because there is less water for clouds, snow, and ice. Here we describe a series of numerical experiments using a simple three-dimensional global climate model for Earth-sized planets. Other things (CO(2), rotation rate, surface pressure) unchanged, we found that liquid water remains stable at the poles of a low-obliquity land planet until net insolation exceeds 415 W/m(2) (170% that of modern Earth), compared to 330 W/m(2) (135%) for the aqua planet. At the outer limits, we found that a low-obliquity land planet freezes at 77%, while the aqua planet freezes at 90%. High-obliquity land and aqua planets freeze at 58% and 72%, respectively, with the poles offering the last refuge. We show that it is possible that, as the Sun brightens, an aqua planet like Earth can lose most of its hydrogen and become a land planet without first passing through a sterilizing runaway greenhouse. It is possible that Venus was a habitable land planet as recently as 1 billion years ago.

  13. Investigating Planet Formation and Evolution with KELT-11b: An Extremely Inflated Planet Transiting a Metal-Rich Subgiant Star (United States)

    Colon, Knicole D.; KELT Collaboration


    KELT-11b is a recently discovered transiting planet orbiting a bright, metal-rich, subgiant star. The planet has a mass of just 0.2 Jupiter masses and a radius of 1.4 Jupiter radii, making it one of the most inflated planets known to date. We will review the discovery process for this unique exoplanet and present observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope that were used to refine the properties of the system. The high-precision photometry from Spitzer was also used to demonstrate the precision with which we can measure stellar and planetary parameters, when used in conjunction with to-be-released precise parallax measurements from Gaia. Such measurements are critical for detailed studies of exoplanets, such as our upcoming program to use the Hubble Space Telescope to study the atmosphere of KELT-11b via transmission spectroscopy. We will describe our upcoming Hubble program, which we anticipate will not only provide one of the first water abundance measurements for a sub-Saturn-mass planet but will also probe the metallicity of a planet with a metal-rich and evolved host star for the first time. We expect that the Hubble observations will enable meaningful comparison with objects in the Solar System as well as with the other few exoplanets known in the sub-Saturn population. Furthermore, such Hubble observations can be used to test predictions from planet formation models of inflated exoplanets. With such unique attributes, the KELT-11 system is poised to become a benchmark for the study of inflated exoplanets around evolved stars.

  14. The Kepler Mission: A Mission to Determine the Frequency of Inner Planets Neat the Habitable Zone of a Wide Range of Stars (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.; Koch, D. G.; Dunham, E. W.; Jenkins, J. M.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)


    The surprising discovery of giant planets in inner orbits around solar-like stars has brought into question our understanding of the development and evolution of planetary systems, including our solar system. To make further progress, it is critical to detect and obtain data on the frequency and characteristics of Earth-class planets. The Kepler Mission is designed to be a quick, low-cost approach to accomplish that objective. Transits by Earth-class planets produce a fractional change in stellar brightness of 5 x 10(exp -5) to 40 x 10(exp -5) lasting for 4 to 16 hours, From the period and depth of the transits, the orbit and size of the planets can be calculated. The proposed instrument is a one-meter aperture photometer with a 12 deg field-of-view (FOV). To obtain the required precision and to avoid interruptions caused by day-night and seasonal cycles, the photometer will be launched into a heliocentric orbit. It will continuously and simultaneously monitor the flux from 80,000 dwarf stars brighter than 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation. The mission tests the hypothesis that the formation of most stars produces Earth-class planets in inner orbits. Based on this assumption and the recent observations that 2% of the stars have giant planets in inner orbits, several types of results are expected from the mission: 1. From transits of Earth-class planets, about 480 planet detections and 60 cases where two or more planets are found in the same system. 2. From transits of giant planets, about 160 detections of inner-orbit planets and 24 detections of outer-orbit planets. 3. From the phase modulation of the reflected light from giant planets, about 1400 planet detections with periods less than a week, albedos for 160 of these giant planets, and densities for seven planets.

  15. The Kepler Mission: A Mission to Determine the Frequency of Inner Planets Near the Habitable Zone of a Wide Range of Stars (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.; Koch, D. G.; Dunham, E. W.; Jenkins, J. M.


    The surprising discovery of giant planets in inner orbits around solar-like stars has brought into question our understanding of the development and evolution of planetary systems, including our solar system. To make further progress, it is critical to detect and obtain data on the frequency and characteristics of Earth-class planets. The Kepler Mission is designed to be a quick, low-cost approach to accomplish that objective. Transits by Earth-class planets produce a fractional change. in stellar brightness of 5 x 10(exp -5) to 40 x 10(exp -5) lasting for 4 to 16 hours. From the period and depth of the transits, the orbit and size of the planets can be calculated. The proposed instrument is a one-meter aperture photometer with a 12 deg. field-of-view (FOV). To obtain the required precision and to avoid interruptions caused by day-night and seasonal cycles, the photometer will be launched into a heliocentric orbit. It will continuously and simultaneously monitor the flux from 80,000 dwarf stars brighter than 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation. The mission tests the hypothesis that the formation of most stars produces Earth-class planets in inner orbits. Based on this assumption and the recent observations that 2% of the stars have giant planets in inner orbits, several types of results are expected from the mission: 1. From transits of Earth-class planets, about 480 planet detections and 60 cases where two or more planets are found in the same system. 2. From transits of giant planets, about 160 detections of inner-orbit planets and 24 detections of outer-orbit planets. 3. From the phase modulation of the reflected light from giant planets, about 1400 planet detections with periods less than a week, albedos for 160 of these giant planets, and densities for seven planets.

  16. Periodic mass extinctions and the Planet X model reconsidered (United States)

    Whitmire, Daniel P.


    The 27 Myr period in the fossil extinction record has been confirmed in modern data bases dating back 500 Myr, which is twice the time interval of the original analysis from 30 years ago. The surprising regularity of this period has been used to reject the Nemesis model. A second model based on the Sun's vertical Galactic oscillations has been challenged on the basis of an inconsistency in period and phasing. The third astronomical model originally proposed to explain the periodicity is the Planet X model in which the period is associated with the perihelion precession of the inclined orbit of a trans-Neptunian planet. Recently, and unrelated to mass extinctions, a trans-Neptunian super-Earth planet has been proposed to explain the observation that the inner Oort cloud objects Sedna and 2012VP113 have perihelia that lie near the ecliptic plane. In this Letter, we reconsider the Planet X model in light of the confluence of the modern palaeontological and outer Solar system dynamical evidence.

  17. A variable polytrope index applied to planet and material models (United States)

    Thielen, Kevin; Weppner, Stephen; Zielinski, Alexander


    We introduce a new approach to a century-old assumption which enhances not only planetary interior calculations but also high-pressure material physics. We show that the polytropic index is the derivative of the bulk modulus with respect to pressure. We then augment the traditional polytrope theory by including a variable polytrope index within the confines of the Lane-Emden differential equation. To investigate the possibilities of this method, we create a high-quality universal equation of state, transforming the traditional polytrope method to a tool with the potential for excellent predictive power. The theoretical foundation of our equation of state is the same elastic observable which we found equivalent to the polytrope index, the derivative of the bulk modulus with respect to pressure. We calculate the density-pressure of six common materials up to 1018 Pa, mass-radius relationships for the same materials, and produce plausible density-radius models for the rocky planets of our Solar system. We argue that the bulk modulus and its derivatives have been underutilized in previous planet formation methods. We constrain the material surface observables for the inner core, outer core, and mantle of planet Earth in a systematic way including pressure, bulk modulus, and the polytrope index in the analysis. We believe that this variable polytrope method has the necessary apparatus to be extended further to gas giants and stars. As supplemental material we provide computer code to calculate multi-layered planets.

  18. Venus Express en route to probe the planet's hidden mysteries (United States)


    Venus Express will eventually manoeuvre itself into orbit around Venus in order to perform a detailed study of the structure, chemistry and dynamics of the planet's atmosphere, which is characterised by extremely high temperatures, very high atmospheric pressure, a huge greenhouse effect and as-yet inexplicable "super-rotation" which means that it speeds around the planet in just four days. The European spacecraft will also be the first orbiter to probe the planet's surface while exploiting the "visibility windows" recently discovered in the infrared waveband. The 1240 kg mass spacecraft was developed for ESA by a European industrial team led by EADS Astrium with 25 main contractors spread across 14 countries. It lifted off onboard a Soyuz-Fregat rocket, the launch service being provided by Starsem. The lift-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan this morning took place at 09:33 hours local time (04:33 Central European Time). Initial Fregat upper-stage ignition took place 9 minutes into the flight, manoeuvring the spacecraft into a low-earth parking orbit. A second firing, 1 hour 22 minutes later, boosted the spacecraft to pursue its interplanetary trajectory. Contact with Venus Express was established by ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) at Darmstadt, Germany approximately two hours after lift-off. The spacecraft has correctly oriented itself in relation to the sun and has deployed its solar arrays. All onboard systems are operating perfectly and the orbiter is communicating with the Earth via its low-gain antenna. In three days' time, it will establish communications using its high-gain antenna. Full speed ahead for Venus Venus Express is currently distancing itself from the Earth full speed, heading on its five-month 350 million kilometre journey inside our solar system. After check-outs to ensure that its onboard equipment and instrument payload are in proper working order, the spacecraft will be mothballed, with contact with the Earth being

  19. True polar wander on convecting planets (United States)

    Rose, Ian Robert

    Rotating planets are most stable when spinning around their maximum moment of inertia, and will tend to reorient themselves to achieve this configuration. Geological activity redistributes mass in the planet, making the moment of inertia a function of time. As the moment of inertia of the planet changes, the spin axis shifts with respect to a mantle reference frame in order to maintain rotational stability. This process is known as true polar wander (TPW). Of the processes that contribute to a planet's moment of inertia, convection in the mantle generates the largest and longest-period fluctuations, with corresponding shifts in the spin axis. True polar wander has been hypothesized to explain several physiographic features on planets and moons in our solar system. On Earth, TPW events have been invoked in some interpretations of paleomagnetic data. Large swings in the spin axis could have enormous ramifications for paleogeography, paleoclimate, and the history of life. Although the existence of TPW is well-verified, it is not known whether its rate and magnitude have been large enough for it to be an important process in Earth history. If true polar wander has been sluggish compared to plate tectonic speeds, then it would be difficult to detect and its consequences would be minor. I investigate rates of true polar wander on convecting planets using scaling, numerics, and inverse problems. I perform a scaling analysis of TPW on a convecting planet, identifying a minimal set of nondimensional parameters which describe the problem. The primary nondimensional numbers that control the rate of TPW are the ratio of centrifugal to gravitational forces m and the Rayleigh number Ra. The parameter m sets the size of a planet's rotational bulge, which determines the amount of work that needs to be done to move the spin axis. The Rayleigh number controls the size, distribution, and rate of change of moment of inertia anomalies, all of which affect the rate of TPW. I find that

  20. Finding Spring on Planet X (United States)

    Simoson, Andrew J.


    For a given orbital period and eccentricity, we determine the maximum time lapse between the winter solstice and the spring equinox on a planet. In addition, given an axial precession path, we determine the effects on the seasons. This material can be used at various levels to illustrate ideas such as periodicity, eccentricity, polar coordinates,…

  1. MEMS AO for Planet Finding (United States)

    Rao, Shanti; Wallace, J. Kent; Shao, Mike; Schmidtlin, Edouard; Levine, B. Martin; Samuele, Rocco; Lane, Benjamin; Chakrabarti, Supriya; Cook, Timothy; Hicks, Brian; hide


    This slide presentation reviews a method for planet finding using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) Adaptive Optics (AO). The use of a deformable mirror (DM) is described as a part of the instrument that was designed with a nulling interferometer. The strategy that is used is described in detail.

  2. Tracking Planets around the Sun (United States)

    Riddle, Bob


    In earlier columns, the celestial coordinate system of hour circles of right ascension and degrees of declination was introduced along with the use of an equatorial star chart (see SFA Star Charts in Resources). This system shows the planets' motion relative to the ecliptic, the apparent path the Sun follows during the year. An alternate system,…

  3. Jupiter: Lord of the Planets. (United States)

    Kaufmann, William


    Presents a chapter from an introductory college-level astronomy textbook in which full-color photographs and numerous diagrams highlight an extensive description of the planet Jupiter. Topics include Jupiter's geology, rotation, magnetic field, atmosphere (including clouds and winds), and the Great Red Spot. (DH)

  4. Are Stellar Storms Bad News for M-Dwarf Planets? (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Coronal mass ejections (CMEs), enormous releases of energy from the Sun, can have significant space-weather implications for Earth. Do similar storms from smaller stars M dwarfs like V374 Peg, or the nearby Proxima Centauri mean bad news for the planets that these stars host?Volatile StarsDifference in habitable-zone sizes for different stellar types. [NASA]When plasma is released from the Sun in the form of a CME traveling toward Earth, these storms can be powerful enough to disrupt communications and navigational equipment, damage satellites, and cause blackouts even with our planetary magnetic field to protect us! How might planets in the habitable zone of M-dwarf stars fare against similar storms?The first danger for an M dwarfs planets is that the habitable zone lies much closer to the star: it can range from 0.03 to 0.4 AU (i.e., within Mercurys orbit). Being so close to the star definitely makes a planet in an M dwarfs habitable zone vulnerable to storms.Colors indicate the probability of CME impact, for different different stellar latitudes where the CME originated vs. orbital inclination of the planet, (a) without any deflection, and (b) taking into account the CME deflection by the stars magnetic field. Hanging out in an orbit aligned with the current sheet turns out to be a bad idea. [Adapted from Kay et al. 2016]What about the storms themselves? You might think that because M dwarfs are cooler stars, they would be quieter, releasing fewer CMEs with less energy. Surprisingly, the opposite is true: M dwarfs are significantly more active than solar-type stars, and the CMEs are typically ten times more massive than those released from the Sun. Impacts from these powerful outbursts could easily strip any existing planet atmosphere, making a planet much less likely to be habitable. To make matters worse, M dwarfs can remain magnetically active for billions of years: even a star like Proxima Centauri, which is nearly 5 billion years old, isstill relatively


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Horner, J.; Salter, G. S.; Tinney, C. G.; Bailey, J. [Department of Astrophysics, School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052 (Australia); Tuomi, Mikko; Zhang, Z. [Centre for Astrophysics Research, Science and Technology Research Institute, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield AL10 9AB (United Kingdom); Butler, R. P. [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015-1305 (United States); Jones, H. R. A. [Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB (United Kingdom); O' Toole, S. J. [Australian Astronomical Observatory, P.O. Box 296, Epping, NSW 1710 (Australia); Carter, B. D. [Faculty of Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350 (Australia); Jenkins, J. S. [Departamento de Astronomia, Universidad de Chile, Camino El Observatorio 1515, Las Condes, Santiago (Chile); Vogt, S. S.; Rivera, Eugenio J., E-mail: [UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)


    We report the detection of two new planets from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search. These planets orbit two stars each previously known to host one planet. The new planet orbiting HD 142 has a period of 6005 {+-} 427 days, and a minimum mass of 5.3 M{sub Jup}. HD 142c is thus a new Jupiter analog: a gas-giant planet with a long period and low eccentricity (e = 0.21 {+-} 0.07). The second planet in the HD 159868 system has a period of 352.3 {+-} 1.3 days and m sin i = 0.73 {+-} 0.05 M{sub Jup}. In both of these systems, including the additional planets in the fitting process significantly reduced the eccentricity of the original planet. These systems are thus examples of how multiple-planet systems can masquerade as moderately eccentric single-planet systems.

  6. The lowest mass giant planet ever imaged around a star (United States)

    Rameau, J.; Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Boccaletti, A.; Quanz, S. P.; Bonnefoy, M.; Girard, J. H.; Delorme, P.; Desidera, S.; Klahr, H.; Mordasini, C.; Dumas, C.; Bonavita, M.


    Understanding planetary systems formation and evolution has become one of the challenges in astronomy, since the discovery of the first exoplanet around the solar-type star 51 Peg in the 90's. While more than 800 planets (mostly giants) closer than a few AU have been identified with radial velocity and transit techniques, very few have been imaged and definitely confirmed around stars, at separations below a hundred of astronomical units. Direct imaging detection of exoplanet is indeed a major frontier in planetary astrophysics. It surveys a region of semi-major axes (> 5 AU) that is almost inaccessible to other methods. Moreover, the planets imaged so far orbit young stars; indeed the young planets are still hot and the planetstar contrasts are compatible with the detection limits currently achievable, in contrast with similar planets in older systems. Noticeably, the stars are of early-types, and surrounded by debris disks, i.e. disks populated at least by small grains with lifetimes so short that they must be permanently produced, probably by destruction (evaporation, collisions) of larger solid bodies. Consequently, every single discovery has a tremendous impact on the understanding of the formation, the dynamical evolution, and the physics of giant planets. In this context, I will present our recent discovery of one faint companion to a nearby, dusty, and young A-type star (at 56 AU projected separation). Background contaminants are rejected with high confidence level based on both astrometry and photometry with three dataset at more than a yeartime-laps and two different wavelength regimes. From the system age (10 to 17 Myr) and from model-dependent luminosity estimates, we derive mass of 4 to 5 Jupiter mass. This planet is therefore the one with the lowest mass ever imaged around a star. Given its orbital and physical properties, I will discuss the implication on its atmosphere with respect to other imaged companions but also on its formation which is not


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacklin, Savannah [Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085 (United States); Lund, Michael B.; Stassun, Keivan G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States); Pepper, Joshua [Department of Physics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015 (United States)


    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will photometrically monitor ∼10{sup 9} stars for 10 years. The resulting light curves can be used to detect transiting exoplanets. In particular, as demonstrated by Lund et al., LSST will probe stellar populations currently undersampled in most exoplanet transit surveys, including out to extragalactic distances. In this paper we test the efficiency of the box-fitting least-squares (BLS) algorithm for accurately recovering the periods of transiting exoplanets using simulated LSST data. We model planets with a range of radii orbiting a solar-mass star at a distance of 7 kpc, with orbital periods ranging from 0.5 to 20 days. We find that standard-cadence LSST observations will be able to reliably recover the periods of Hot Jupiters with periods shorter than ∼3 days; however, it will remain a challenge to confidently distinguish these transiting planets from false positives. At the same time, we find that the LSST deep-drilling cadence is extremely powerful: the BLS algorithm successfully recovers at least 30% of sub-Saturn-size exoplanets with orbital periods as long as 20 days, and a simple BLS power criterion robustly distinguishes ∼98% of these from photometric (i.e., statistical) false positives.

  8. Workshop on Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets (United States)


    This volume contains abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the Workshop on Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets, July 20-23,2004, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The contents include: 1) Experimental Constraints on Oxygen and Other Light Element Partitioning During Planetary Core Formation; 2) In Situ Determination of Fe(3+)/SigmaFe of Spinels by Electron Microprobe: An Evaluation of the Flank Method; 3) The Effect of Oxygen Fugacity on Large-Strain Deformation and Recrystallization of Olivine; 4) Plagioclase-Liquid Trace Element Oxygen Barometry and Oxygen Behaviour in Closed and Open System Magmatic Processes; 5) Core Formation in the Earth: Constraints from Ni and Co; 6) Oxygen Isotopic Compositions of the Terrestrial Planets; 7) The Effect of Oxygen Fugacity on Electrical Conduction of Olivine and Implications for Earth s Mantle; 8) Redox Chemical Diffusion in Silicate Melts: The Impact of the Semiconductor Condition; 9) Ultra-High Temperature Effects in Earth s Magma Ocean: Pt and W Partitioning; 10) Terrestrial Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotope Variations: Primordial Values, Systematics, Subsolidus Effects, Planetary Comparisons, and the Role of Water; 11) Redox State of the Moon s Interior; 12) How did the Terrestrial Planets Acquire Their Water?; 13) Molecular Oxygen Mixing Ratio and Its Seasonal Variability in the Martian Atmosphere; 14) Exchange Between the Atmosphere and the Regolith of Mars: Discussion of Oxygen and Sulfur Isotope Evidence; 15) Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotope Systematics of Atmospheric Water Vapor and Meteoric Waters: Evidence from North Texas; 16) Implications of Isotopic and Redox Heterogeneities in Silicate Reservoirs on Mars; 17) Oxygen Isotopic Variation of the Terrestrial Planets; 18) Redox Exchanges in Hydrous Magma; 19) Hydrothermal Systems on Terrestrial Planets: Lessons from Earth; 20) Oxygen in Martian Meteorites: A Review of Results from Mineral Equilibria Oxybarometers; 21) Non-Linear Fractionation of Oxygen Isotopes Implanted in

  9. The Earth: A Changing Planet (United States)

    Ribas, Núria; Màrquez, Conxita


    text: We describe a didactic unit that rises from our own living impression about our experience on the planet. Most of us feel the Earth to be a very static place. Rocks don't easily move and most landscapes always look the same over time. Anyone would say (the same way most scientists believed until the beginning of the last century) that our planet has always remained unchanged, never transformed. But then, all of a sudden, as a misfortune for so many humans, natural hazards appear on the scene: an earthquake causing so many disasters, a tsunami carrying away everything in its path, an eruption that can destroy huge surrounding areas but also bring new geographical relief. Science cannot remain oblivious to these events, we must wonder beyond. What does an earthquake mean? Why does it happen? What about an eruption? If it comes from the inside, what can we guess from it? Researching about all of these events, scientists have been able to arrive to some important knowledge of the planet itself: It has been possible to theorize about Earth's interior. It has also been confirmed that the planet has not always been the quiet and stable place we once thought. Continents, as Wegener supposed, do move about and the Tectonic Plates Theory, thanks to the information obtained through earthquakes and eruption, can provide some interesting explanations. But how do we know about our planet's past? How can we prove that the Earth has always been moving and that its surface changes? The Earth's rocks yield the answer. Rocks have been the only witnesses throughout millions of years, since the planet first came to existence. Let's learn how to read them… Shouldn't we realize that rocks are to Geology what books are to History? This discursive process has been distributed in four learning sequences: 1. Land is not as solid nor firm as it would seem, 2. The Earth planet: a puzzle, 3. The rocks also recycle , 4. Field trip to "Sant Miquel del Fai". The subjects take about 30

  10. Predictions of Planet Detections with Near-infrared Radial Velocities in the Upcoming SPIRou Legacy Survey-planet Search (United States)

    Cloutier, Ryan; Artigau, Étienne; Delfosse, Xavier; Malo, Lison; Moutou, Claire; Doyon, René; Donati, Jean-Francois; Cumming, Andrew; Dumusque, Xavier; Hébrard, Élodie; Menou, Kristen


    The SPIRou near-infrared spectropolarimeter is destined to begin science operations at the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope in mid-2018. One of the instrument’s primary science goals is to discover the closest exoplanets to the solar system by conducting a three- to five-year long radial velocity survey of nearby M dwarfs at an expected precision of ∼1 m s‑1, the SPIRou Legacy Survey-Planet Search (SLS-PS). In this study, we conduct a detailed Monte Carlo simulation of the SLS-PS using our current understanding of the occurrence rate of M dwarf planetary systems and physical models of stellar activity. From simultaneous modeling of planetary signals and activity, we predict the population of planets to be detected in the SLS-PS. With our fiducial survey strategy and expected instrument performance over a nominal survey length of ∼3 years, we expect SPIRou to detect {85.3}-12.4+29.3 planets including {20.0}-7.2+16.8 habitable-zone planets and {8.1}-3.2+7.6 Earth-like planets from a sample of 100 M1–M8.5 dwarfs out to 11 pc. By studying mid-to-late M dwarfs previously inaccessible to existing optical velocimeters, SPIRou will put meaningful constraints on the occurrence rate of planets around those stars including the value of {η }\\oplus at an expected level of precision of ≲ 45 % . We also predict that a subset of {46.7}-6.0+16.0 planets may be accessible with dedicated high-contrast imagers on the next generation of extremely large telescopes including {4.9}-2.0+4.7 potentially imagable Earth-like planets. Lastly, we compare the results of our fiducial survey strategy to other foreseeable survey versions to quantify which strategy is optimized to reach the SLS-PS science goals. The results of our simulations are made available to the community on GitHub (

  11. The Spitzer search for the transits of HARPS low-mass planets. II. Null results for 19 planets (United States)

    Gillon, M.; Demory, B.-O.; Lovis, C.; Deming, D.; Ehrenreich, D.; Lo Curto, G.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Seager, S.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.


    Short-period super-Earths and Neptunes are now known to be very frequent around solar-type stars. Improving our understanding of these mysterious planets requires the detection of a significant sample of objects suitable for detailed characterization. Searching for the transits of the low-mass planets detected by Doppler surveys is a straightforward way to achieve this goal. Indeed, Doppler surveys target the most nearby main-sequence stars, they regularly detect close-in low-mass planets with significant transit probability, and their radial velocity data constrain strongly the ephemeris of possible transits. In this context, we initiated in 2010 an ambitious Spitzer multi-Cycle transit search project that targeted 25 low-mass planets detected by radial velocity, focusing mainly on the shortest-period planets detected by the HARPS spectrograph. We report here null results for 19 targets of the project. For 16 planets out of 19, a transiting configuration is strongly disfavored or firmly rejected by our data for most planetary compositions. We derive a posterior probability of 83% that none of the probed 19 planets transits (for a prior probability of 22%), which still leaves a significant probability of 17% that at least one of them does transit. Globally, our Spitzer project revealed or confirmed transits for three of its 25 targeted planets, and discarded or disfavored the transiting nature of 20 of them. Our light curves demonstrate for Warm Spitzer excellent photometric precisions: for 14 targets out of 19, we were able to reach standard deviations that were better than 50 ppm per 30 min intervals. Combined with its Earth-trailing orbit, which makes it capable of pointing any star in the sky and to monitor it continuously for days, this work confirms Spitzer as an optimal instrument to detect sub-mmag-deep transits on the bright nearby stars targeted by Doppler surveys. The photometric and radial velocity time series used in this work are only available at the

  12. Planet Detection Algorithms for the Terrestrial Planet Finder-C (United States)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Braems, I.


    Critical to mission planning for the terrestrial planet finder coronagraph (TPF-C) is the ability to estimate integration times for planet detection. This detection is complicated by the presence of background noise due to local and exo-zodiacal dust, by residual speckle due optical errors, and by the dependence of the PSF shape on the specific coronagraph. In this paper we examine in detail the use of PSF fitting (matched filtering) for planet detection, derive probabilistic bounds for the signal-to-noise ratio by balancing missed detection and false alarm rates, and demonstrate that this is close to the optimal linear detection technique. We then compare to a Bayesian detection approach and show that for very low background the Bayesian method offers integration time improvements, but rapidly approaches the PSF fitting result for reasonable levels of background noise. We confirm via monte-carlo simulations. This work was supported under a grant from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and by a fellowship from the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA).

  13. Growing and moving planets in disks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan


    Planets form in disks that are commonly found around young stars. The intimate relationship that exists between planet and disk can account for a lot of the exotic extrasolar planetary systems known today. In this thesis we explore disk-planet interaction using numerical hydrodynamical simulations.

  14. The Use of Planisphere to Locate Planets (United States)

    Kwok, Ping-Wai


    Planisphere is a simple and useful tool in locating constellations of the night sky at a specific time, date and geographic location. However it does not show the planet positions because planets are not fixed on the celestial sphere. It is known that the planet orbital planes are nearly coplanar and close to the ecliptic plane. By making…

  15. Planet formation in transition disks: Modeling, spectroscopy, and theory (United States)

    Liskowsky, Joseph Paul

    An important field of modern astronomy is the study of planets. Literally for millennia, careful observers of the night sky have tracked these 'wanderers', with their peculiar motions initiating avenues of inquiry not able to elucidated by a study of the stars alone: we have discovered that the planets (as well as Earth) orbit the sun and that the stars are so far away, even their relative positions do not seem to shift perceptibly when Earth's position moves hundreds of millions of miles. With the advent of the telescope, and subsequent improvements upon it over the course of centuries, accelerating to the dramatically immense telescopes available today and those on the horizon, we have been able to continuously probe farther and in more detail than the previous generation of scientists and telescopes allowed. Now, we are just entering the time when detection of planets outside of our own solar system has become possible, and we have found that planets are extraordinarily common in the galaxy (and by extrapolation, the universe). At the time of this document's composition, there are several thousand such examples of planets around other stars (being dubbed 'exoplanets'). We have discovered that planets are plentiful, but multiple open questions remain which are relevant to this work: How do planets form and, when a planet does form from its circumstellar envelope, what are the important processes that influence its formation? This work adds to the understanding of circumstellar disks, the intermediate stage between a cold collapsing cloud (of gas and dust) and a mature planetary system. Specifically, we study circumstellar disks in an evolved state termed 'transition disks'. This state corresponds to a time period where the dust in the disk has either undergone grain growth—where the microscopic grains have clumped together to form far fewer dust particles of much higher mass, or the inner portion (or an inner annulus) of the disk has lost a large amount of gas


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, Paul A. [Department of Physics, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States); Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A. [FACom-Instituto de Fisica-FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellin (Colombia); Clark, Joni M. [Department of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, New Mexico State University-DACC, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States)


    We report a mechanism capable of reducing (or increasing) stellar activity in binary stars, thereby potentially enhancing (or destroying) circumbinary habitability. In single stars, stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres causes mass-loss, which is especially detrimental for late-type stars, because habitable zones are very close and activity is long lasting. In binaries, tidal rotational breaking reduces magnetic activity, thus reducing harmful levels of X-ray and ultraviolet (XUV) radiation and stellar mass-loss that are able to erode planetary atmospheres. We study this mechanism for all confirmed circumbinary (p-type) planets. We find that main sequence twins provide minimal flux variation and in some cases improved environments if the stars rotationally synchronize within the first Gyr. Solar-like twins, like Kepler 34 and Kepler 35, provide low habitable zone XUV fluxes and stellar wind pressures. These wide, moist, habitable zones may potentially support multiple habitable planets. Solar-type stars with lower mass companions, like Kepler 47, allow for protected planets over a wide range of secondary masses and binary periods. Kepler 38 and related binaries are marginal cases. Kepler 64 and analogs have dramatically reduced stellar aggression due to synchronization of the primary, but are limited by the short lifetime. Kepler 16 appears to be inhospitable to planets due to extreme XUV flux. These results have important implications for estimates of the number of stellar systems containing habitable planets in the Galaxy and allow for the selection of binaries suitable for follow-up searches for habitable planets.

  17. Fast spin of the young extrasolar planet β Pictoris b. (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas A G; Brandl, Bernhard R; de Kok, Remco J; Brogi, Matteo; Birkby, Jayne; Schwarz, Henriette


    The spin of a planet arises from the accretion of angular momentum during its formation, but the details of this process are still unclear. In the Solar System, the equatorial rotation velocities and, consequently, spin angular momenta of most of the planets increase with planetary mass; the exceptions to this trend are Mercury and Venus, which, since formation, have significantly spun down because of tidal interactions. Here we report near-infrared spectroscopic observations, at a resolving power of 100,000, of the young extrasolar gas giant planet β Pictoris b (refs 7, 8). The absorption signal from carbon monoxide in the planet's thermal spectrum is found to be blueshifted with respect to that from the parent star by approximately 15 kilometres per second, consistent with a circular orbit. The combined line profile exhibits a rotational broadening of about 25 kilometres per second, meaning that β Pictoris b spins significantly faster than any planet in the Solar System, in line with the extrapolation of the known trend in spin velocity with planet mass.

  18. Was Planet 9 captured in the Sun's natal star-forming region? (United States)

    Parker, Richard J.; Lichtenberg, Tim; Quanz, Sascha P.


    The presence of an unseen `Planet 9' on the outskirts of the Solar system has been invoked to explain the unexpected clustering of the orbits of several Edgeworth--Kuiper Belt Objects. We use $N$-body simulations to investigate the probability that Planet 9 was a free-floating planet (FFLOP) that was captured by the Sun in its birth star-formation environment. We find that only 1 - 6 per cent of FFLOPs are ensnared by stars, even with the most optimal initial conditions for capture in star-forming regions (one FFLOP per star, and highly correlated stellar velocities to facilitate capture). Depending on the initial conditions of the star-forming regions, only 5 - 10 of 10000 planets are captured onto orbits that lie within the constraints for Planet 9. When we apply an additional environmental constraint for Solar system formation - namely the injection of short-lived radioisotopes into the Sun's protoplanetary disc from supernovae - we find that the probability for the capture of Planet 9 to be almost zero.

  19. EXTraS: Exploring the X-ray Transient and variable Sky (United States)

    De Luca, A.; Salvaterra, R.; Tiengo, A.; D'Agostino, D.; Watson, M.; Haberl, F.; Wilms, J.


    The EXTraS project extracted all temporal domain information buried in the whole database collected by the EPIC cameras onboard the XMM-Newton mission. This included a search and characterisation of variability, both periodic and aperiodic, in hundreds of thousands of sources spanning more than eight orders of magnitude in time scale and six orders of magnitude in flux, as well as a search for fast transients, missed by standard image analysis. Phenomenological classification of variable sources, based on X-ray and multiwavelength information, has also been performed. All results and products of EXTraS are made available to the scientific community through a web public data archive. A dedicated science gateway will allow scientists to apply EXTraS pipelines on new observations. EXTraS is the most comprehensive analysis of variability, on the largest ever sample of soft X-ray sources. The resulting archive and tools disclose an enormous scientific discovery space to the community, with applications ranging from the search for rare events to population studies, with impact on the study of virtually all astrophysical source classes. EXTraS, funded within the EU/FP7 framework, is carried out by a collaboration including INAF (Italy), IUSS (Italy), CNR/IMATI (Italy), University of Leicester (UK), MPE (Germany) and ECAP (Germany).

  20. Solar system astrophysics background science and the inner solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Milone, Eugene F


    Solar System Astrophysics: A Text for the Science of Planetary Systems covers the field of solar system astrophysics beginning with basic tools of spherical astronomy, coordinate frames, and celestial mechanics. Historical introductions precede the development and discussion in most chapters. After a basic treatment of the two- and restricted three-body system motions in Background Science and the Inner Solar System, perturbations are discussed, followed by the Earth's gravitational potential field and its effect on satellite orbits. This is followed by analysis of the Earth-Moon system and the interior planets. In Planetary Atmospheres and the Outer Solar System, the atmospheres chapters include detailed discussions of circulation, applicable also to the subsequent discussion of the gas giants. The giant planets are discussed together, and the thermal excesses of three of them are highlighted. This is followed by chapters on moons and rings, mainly in the context of dynamical stability, comets and meteors, m...

  1. Extra dimensions in space and time

    CERN Document Server

    Bars, Itzhak


    Covers topics such as Einstein and the Fourth Dimension; Waves in a Fifth Dimension; and String Theory and Branes Experimental Tests of Extra Dimensions. This book offers a discussion on Two-Time Physics

  2. Terrestrial Planet Formation: Constraining the Formation of Mercury (United States)

    Lykawka, Patryk Sofia; Ito, Takashi


    How the four terrestrial planets of the solar system formed is one of the most fundamental questions in the planetary sciences. Particularly, the formation of Mercury remains poorly understood. We investigated terrestrial planet formation by performing 110 high-resolution N-body simulation runs using more than 100 embryos and 6000 disk planetesimals representing a primordial protoplanetary disk. To investigate the formation of Mercury, these simulations considered an inner region of the disk at 0.2-0.5 au (the Mercury region) and disks with and without mass enhancements beyond the ice line location, a IL, in the disk, where a IL = 1.5, 2.25, and 3.0 au were tested. Although Venus and Earth analogs (considering both orbits and masses) successfully formed in the majority of the runs, Mercury analogs were obtained in only nine runs. Mars analogs were also similarly scarce. Our Mercury analogs concentrated at orbits with a ˜ 0.27-0.34 au, relatively small eccentricities/inclinations, and median mass m ˜ 0.2 {M}\\oplus . In addition, we found that our Mercury analogs acquired most of their final masses from embryos/planetesimals initially located between 0.2 and ˜1-1.5 au within 10 Myr, while the remaining mass came from a wider region up to ˜3 au at later times. Although the ice line was negligible in the formation of planets located in the Mercury region, it enriched all terrestrial planets with water. Indeed, Mercury analogs showed a wide range of water mass fractions at the end of terrestrial planet formation.

  3. Type I planet migration in nearly laminar disks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Hui [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Li, Shengtai [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Lubow, S H [STSI; Lin, D [UCSC


    We describe two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the migration of low-mass planets ({<=}30 M{sub {circle_plus}}) in nearly laminar disks (viscosity parameter {alpha} < 10{sup -3}) over timescales of several thousand orbit periods. We consider disk masses of 1, 2, and 5 times the minimum mass solar nebula, disk thickness parameters of H/r = 0.035 and 0.05, and a variety of {alpha} values and planet masses. Disk self-gravity is fully included. Previous analytic work has suggested that Type I planet migration can be halted in disks of sufficiently low turbulent viscosity, for {alpha} {approx} 10{sup -4}. The halting is due to a feedback effect of breaking density waves that results in a slight mass redistribution and consequently an increased outward torque contribution. The simulations confirm the existence of a critical mass (M{sub {alpha}} {approx} 10M{sub {circle_plus}}) beyond which migration halts in nearly laminar disks. For {alpha} {approx}> 10{sup -3}, density feedback effects are washed out and Type I migration persists. The critical masses are in good agreement with the analytic model of Rafikov. In addition, for {alpha} {approx}> 10{sup -4} steep density gradients produce a vortex instability, resulting in a small time-varying eccentricity in the planet's orbit and a slight outward migration. Migration in nearly laminar disks may be sufficiently slow to reconcile the timescales of migration theory with those of giant planet formation in the core accretion model.

  4. On the Present and Past Secular Architecture of the Terrestrial Planets (United States)

    Agnor, Craig B.


    Understanding the origin, stability, and long-term evolution of the solar system is a classic problem in dynamical astronomy.Over time-scales longer than 0.1Myr the orbital evolution of the solar system is primarily driven by secular dynamics (i.e., those related to orbital precession). Indeed, using a linearised model of the solar system, Laplace and Lagrange were able to show that secular variations of the terrestrial planets' eccentricities are bounded and stable from orbit crossing.The secular architecture the terrestrial planets is often described in terms of the eccentricity and inclination amplitudes of the linear eigenmodes or in terms of the system's so-called angular momentum deficit. These quantities are constant in the linear approximation and their values for the observed solar system have been used as constraints on the primordial evolution of the planets, including models of terrestrial planet formation (e.g., Raymond et al. 2009, Jacobson and Morbidelli 2014), giant planet migration (e.g., Brasser et al. 2009, Agnor and Lin 2012) and aspects of the terrestrial late veneer (e.g., Raymond et al. 2013). However, as is well-known, the orbital evolution of the terrestrial planets is not linear and the secular amplitudes change with time. Long-term integrations and analytic arguments have shown the evolution of the inner planets to be chaotic with characteristic lyapunov times of \\sim 5 Myr (e.g., Laskar 1989, Batygin & Laughlin 2008). This nonlinear behaviour is driven by the interaction of secular resonances (e.g., Laskar 1990, Lithwick and Wu 2011). The resulting chaotic orbital diffusion of the terrestrial planets may be modest or lead to instability of the system (Laskar 2008). Further, orbital integrations demonstrate that Mercury may evolve to orbit crossing with Venus over the next 5Gyr with a probability of about one percent (Laskar and Gastineau 2009). At the meeting I will present results of new long-term orbital integrations of the solar

  5. 11 -year planetary index of solar activity (United States)

    Okhlopkov, Victor

    In papers [1,2] introduced me parameter - the average difference between the heliocentric longitudes of planets ( ADL ) , which was used for comparison with solar activity. The best connection of solar activity ( Wolf numbers used ) was obtained for the three planets - Venus, Earth and Jupiter. In [1,2] has been allocated envelope curve of the minimum values ADL which has a main periodicity for 22 years and describes well the alternating series of solar activity , which also has a major periodicity of 22. It was shown that the minimum values of the envelope curve extremes ADL planets Venus, Earth and Jupiter are well matched with the 11- year solar activity cycle In these extremes observed linear configuration of the planets Venus, Earth and Jupiter both in their location on one side of the Sun ( conjunctions ) and at the location on the opposite side of the Sun ( three configurations ) This work is a continuation of the above-mentioned , and here for minimum ADL ( planets are in conjunction ) , as well as on the minimum deviation of the planets from a line drawn through them and Sun at the location of the planets on opposite sides of the Sun , compiled index (denoted for brevity as JEV ) that uniquely describes the 11- year solar cycle A comparison of the index JEV with solar activity during the time interval from 1000 to 2013 conducted. For the period from 1000 to 1699 used the Schove series of solar activity and the number of Wolf (1700 - 2013 ) During the time interval from 1000 to 2013 and the main periodicity of the solar activity and the index ADL is 11.07 years. 1. Okhlopkov V.P. Cycles of Solar Activity and the Configurations of Planets // Moscow University Physics Bulletin, 2012 , Vol. 67 , No. 4 , pp. 377-383 2 Okhlopkov VP, Relationship of Solar Activity Cycles to Planetary Configurations // Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Physics, 2013 , Vol. 77 , No. 5

  6. Kinerja Extra-Role Dan Kebijakan Kompensasi


    Garay, Hannah.D Vanzuela


    The voluntary and spontaneity behavior of an individual to do errands outside his/her responsibility and current tasks for the sake of his/her organization's progress is found to be useful in boosting organizational effectiveness. This behavior is known as extra-role performance or organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). However, there are not many re¬searches done to study further on the role of compensation policy in the development of extra-role performance of the individual. The focal ...

  7. Scalar field localization on deformed extra space

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rubin, Sergey G. [National Research Nuclear University ' ' MEPhI' ' (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Moscow (Russian Federation)


    Field localization on 2-dim extra space is considered in the framework of f(R) gravity. It is shown that interference of the local matter energy distribution and the metric of the extra space forms a point-like defect - a 4-dim brane. The energy-momentum of the brane depends on the initial conditions, which could lead to an arbitrarily small cosmological Λ term. (orig.)

  8. Scalar field localization on deformed extra space

    CERN Document Server

    Rubin, Sergey G


    Field localization on 2-dim extra space is considered in the framework of f(R) gravity. It is shown that an interference of local matter energy distribution and a metric of the extra space form a point-like defect - 4-dim brane. The energy-momentum of the brane depends on initial conditions that could lead to the cosmological $\\Lambda$ term being arbitrarily small.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke [University of Vienna, Institute for Astrophysics, Tuerkenschanzstr. 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Haghighipour, Nader, E-mail: [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)


    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the {alpha} Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of {alpha} Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the {alpha} Centauri system.

  10. Improvement of the position of planet X based on the motion of nearly parabolic comets (United States)

    Medvedev, Yu. D.; Vavilov, D. E.; Bondarenko, Yu. S.; Bulekbaev, D. A.; Kunturova, N. B.


    Based on the motion of nearly parabolic comets, we have improved the position of planet X in its orbit obtained by Batygin and Brown (2016). By assuming that some of the comets discovered to date could have close encounters with this planet, we have determined the comets with a small minimum orbit intersection distance with the planet. Five comets having hyperbolic orbits before their entry into the inner Solar system have been separated out from the general list. By assuming that at least one of them had a close encounter with the planet, we have determined the planet's possible position. The planet's probable ephemeris positions at the present epoch have been obtained by assuming the planet to have prograde and retrograde motions. In the case of a prograde motion, the planet is currently at a distance Δ whose value belongs to the interval Δ ∈ (1110, 1120) AU and has a right ascension α and declination δ within the intervals α ∈ (83°, 90°) and δ ∈ (8°, 10°); the true anomaly υ belongs to the interval υ ∈ (176°, 184°). In the case of a retrograde motion: α ∈ (48°, 58°), δ ∈ (-12°, -6°), Δ ∈ (790, 910) AU, and υ ∈ (212°, 223°). It should be noted that in the case of a retrograde motion of the planet, its ephemeris position obtained from the motion of comets agrees with the planet's position obtained byHolman and Payne (2016) from highly accurate Cassini observations and is consistent with the results of Fienga et al. (2016).

  11. Emergence of two types of terrestrial planet on solidification of magma ocean. (United States)

    Hamano, Keiko; Abe, Yutaka; Genda, Hidenori


    Understanding the origins of the diversity in terrestrial planets is a fundamental goal in Earth and planetary sciences. In the Solar System, Venus has a similar size and bulk composition to those of Earth, but it lacks water. Because a richer variety of exoplanets is expected to be discovered, prediction of their atmospheres and surface environments requires a general framework for planetary evolution. Here we show that terrestrial planets can be divided into two distinct types on the basis of their evolutionary history during solidification from the initially hot molten state expected from the standard formation model. Even if, apart from their orbits, they were identical just after formation, the solidified planets can have different characteristics. A type I planet, which is formed beyond a certain critical distance from the host star, solidifies within several million years. If the planet acquires water during formation, most of this water is retained and forms the earliest oceans. In contrast, on a type II planet, which is formed inside the critical distance, a magma ocean can be sustained for longer, even with a larger initial amount of water. Its duration could be as long as 100 million years if the planet is formed together with a mass of water comparable to the total inventory of the modern Earth. Hydrodynamic escape desiccates type II planets during the slow solidification process. Although Earth is categorized as type I, it is not clear which type Venus is because its orbital distance is close to the critical distance. However, because the dryness of the surface and mantle predicted for type II planets is consistent with the characteristics of Venus, it may be representative of type II planets. Also, future observations may have a chance to detect not only terrestrial exoplanets covered with water ocean but also those covered with magma ocean around a young star.

  12. Small flow rate can supply inwardly migrating shortest-period planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor S.F.


    Full Text Available The number of exoplanets found with periods as short as one day and less was surprising given how fast these planets had been expected to migrate into the star due to the tides raised on the star by planets at such close distances. It has been seen as improbable that we would find planets in such a small final fraction of their lives [1]. The favored solution has been that the tidal dissipation is much weaker than expected, which would mean that the final infall would be a larger fraction of the planets’ life. We find no reason, however, to exclude the explanation that a small number of planets are continuously sent migrating inwards such that these planets indeed are in the last fraction of their lives. Following the observation that the distribution of medium planets disfavors tidal dissipation being significantly weaker than has been found from observations of binary stars [2], we now show that the numbers of planets in such a “flow” of excess planets migrating inwards is low enough that even depletion of the three-day pileup is a plausible source. Then the shortest period occurrence distribution would be shaped by planets continuously being sent into the star, which may explain the depletion of the pileup in the Kepler field relative to the solar neighborhood [3]. Because Kepler observes above the galactic plan, [3] suggested the Kepler field may include an older population of stars. The tidal dissipation strength in stars due to giant planets may be not greatly weaker than it is in binary stars.

  13. Earth's magnetosphere and outer radiation belt under sub-Alfvénic solar wind. (United States)

    Lugaz, Noé; Farrugia, Charles J; Huang, Chia-Lin; Winslow, Reka M; Spence, Harlan E; Schwadron, Nathan A


    The interaction between Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind results in the formation of a collisionless bow shock 60,000-100,000 km upstream of our planet, as long as the solar wind fast magnetosonic Mach (hereafter Mach) number exceeds unity. Here, we present one of those extremely rare instances, when the solar wind Mach number reached steady values radiation belt. This study allows us to directly observe the state of the inner magnetosphere, including the radiation belts during a type of solar wind-magnetosphere coupling which is unusual for planets in our solar system but may be common for close-in extrasolar planets.

  14. Modified dispersion relations in extra dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Sefiedgar, A S; Sepangi, H R


    It has recently been shown that the thermodynamics of a FRW universe can be fully derived using the generalized uncertainty principle (GUP) in extra dimensions as a primary input. There is a phenomenologically close relation between the GUP and Modified Dispersion Relations (MDR). However, the form of the MDR in theories with extra dimensions is as yet not known. The purpose of this letter is to derive the MDR in extra dimensional scenarios. To achieve this goal, we focus our attention on the thermodynamics of a FRW universe within a proposed MDR in an extra dimensional model universe. We then compare our results with the well-known results for the thermodynamics of a FRW universe in an extra dimensional GUP setup. The result shows that the entropy functionals calculated in these two approaches are the same, pointing to a possible conclusion that these approaches are equivalent. In this way, we derive the MDR form in a model universe with extra dimensions that would have interesting implications on the constr...

  15. Observational biases for transiting planets (United States)

    Kipping, David M.; Sandford, Emily


    Observational biases distort our view of nature, such that the patterns we see within a surveyed population of interest are often unrepresentative of the truth we seek. Transiting planets currently represent the most informative data set on the ensemble properties of exoplanets within 1 au of their star. However, the transit method is inherently biased due to both geometric and detection-driven effects. In this work, we derive the overall observational biases affecting the most basic transit parameters from first principles. By assuming a trapezoidal transit and using conditional probability, we infer the expected distribution of these terms both as a joint distribution and in a marginalized form. These general analytic results provide a baseline against which to compare trends predicted by mission-tailored injection/recovery simulations and offer a simple way to correct for observational bias. Our results explain why the observed population of transiting planets displays a non-uniform impact parameter distribution, with a bias towards near-equatorial geometries. We also find that the geometric bias towards observed planets transiting near periastron is attenuated by the longer durations which occur near apoastron. Finally, we predict that the observational bias with respect to ratio-of-radii is super-quadratic, scaling as (RP/R⋆)5/2, driven by an enhanced geometric transit probability and modestly longer durations.

  16. Celestial mechanics of planet shells (United States)

    Barkin, Yu V.; Vilke, V. G.


    The motion of a planet consisting of an external shell (mantle) and a core (rigid body), which are connected by a visco-elastic layer and mutually gravitationally interact with each other and with an external celestial body (considered as a material point), is studied (Barkin, 1999, 2002a,b; Vilke, 2004). Relative motions of the core and mantle are studied on the assumption that the centres of mass of the planet and external body move on unperturbed Keplerian orbits around the general centre of mass of the system. The core and mantle of the planet have axial symmetry and have different principal moments of inertia. The differential action of the external body on the core and mantle cause the periodic relative displacements of their centres of mass and their relative turns. An approximate solution of the problem was obtained on the basis of the linearization, averaging and small-parameter methods. The obtained analytical results are applied to the study of the possible relative displacements of the core and mantle of the Earth under the gravitational action of the Moon. For the suggested two-body Earth model and in the simple case of a circular (model) lunar orbit the new phenomenon of periodic translatory-rotary oscillations of the core with a fortnightly period the mantle was observed. The more remarkable phenomenon is the cyclic rotation with the same period (13.7 days) of the core relative to the mantle with a ‘large’ amplitude of 152 m (at the core surface).The results obtained confirm the general concept described by Barkin (1999, 2002a,b) that induced relative shell oscillations can control and dictate the cyclic and secular processes of energization of the planets and satellites in definite rhythms and on different time scales.The results obtained mean that giant moments and forces produce energy which causes in particular deformations of the viscoelastic layer between planet shells. This process is realized with different intensities on different time

  17. Planets, pluralism, and conceptual lineage (United States)

    Brusse, Carl


    Conceptual change can occur for a variety of reasons; some more scientifically significant than others. The 2006 definition of 'planet', which saw Pluto reclassified as a dwarf planet, is an example toward the more mundane end of the scale. I argue however that this case serves as a useful example of a related phenomenon, whereby what appears to be a single kind term conceals two or more distinct concepts with independent scientific utility. I examine the historical background to this case, as a template for developing additional evidence for pluralist approaches to conceptual disputes within science and elsewhere. "I would like to note that the two speakers who have spoken so far have both done the same extremely insulting gaffe," he said. "They have used the expression 'a physical definition of a planet' - by implication, suggesting that a dynamical definition is not physics!" He said he felt he had to teach the panel "something you should know": that dynamics was indeed physics, and in fact was addressed before solid-state physics in every textbook ever written." (Boyle, 2010, p. 126)

  18. Solar Position Algorithm for Solar Radiation Applications (Revised)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reda, I.; Andreas, A.


    This report is a step-by-step procedure for implementing an algorithm to calculate the solar zenith and azimuth angles in the period from the year -2000 to 6000, with uncertainties of ?0.0003/. It is written in a step-by-step format to simplify otherwise complicated steps, with a focus on the sun instead of the planets and stars in general. The algorithm is written in such a way to accommodate solar radiation applications.

  19. Towards the Rosetta Stone of planet formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmidt T.O.B.


    Full Text Available Transiting exoplanets (TEPs observed just ~10 Myrs after formation of their host systems may serve as the Rosetta Stone for planet formation theories. They would give strong constraints on several aspects of planet formation, e.g. time-scales (planet formation would then be possible within 10 Myrs, the radius of the planet could indicate whether planets form by gravitational collapse (being larger when young or accretion growth (being smaller when young. We present a survey, the main goal of which is to find and then characterise TEPs in very young open clusters.

  20. Space Weather Storm Responses at Mars: Lessons from A Weakly Magnetized Terrestrial Planet (United States)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Dong, C. F.; Ma, Y. J.; Curry, S. M.; Li, Yan; Lee, C. O.; Hara, T.; Lillis, R.; Halekas, J.; Connerney, J. E.; Espley, J.; Brain, D. A.; Dong, Y.; Jakosky, B. M.; Thiemann, E.; Eparvier, F.; Leblanc, F.; Withers, P.; Russell, C. T.


    Much can be learned from terrestrial planets that appear to have had the potential to be habitable, but failed to realize that potential. Mars shows evidence of a once hospitable surface environment. The reasons for its current state, and in particular its thin atmosphere and dry surface, are of great interest for what they can tell us about habitable zone planet outcomes. A main goal of the MAVEN mission is to observe Mars' atmosphere responses to solar and space weather influences, and in particular atmosphere escape related to space weather `storms' caused by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). Numerical experiments with a data-validated MHD model suggest how the effects of an observed moderately strong ICME compare to what happens during a more extreme event. The results suggest the kinds of solar and space weather conditions that can have evolutionary importance at a planet like Mars.

  1. Extreme Resonant Dynamics: the Dyanmics of Extreme TNOs in Mean Motion Resonances With Planet 9 (United States)

    Hadden, Sam; Payne, Matthew J.; Holman, Matthew J.; Millholland, Sarah


    Significant clustering among the orbits of the most distant trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) has (re)kindled interest in the hypothesis of a distant ninth planet of the solar system (Trujillo & Sheppard 2014, Batygin & Brown 2016). Recent works by Malhotra et al. (2016) and Millholland et al. (2017) find that the orbital periods of these distant TNOs could be explained as a series of small integer ratio mean motion resonances (MMRs) with the putative `Planet 9’. The large eccentricities and inclinations of these distant TNOs, along with the proposed orbit of Planet 9, make the proposed resonant motions of these objects a rich dynamical problem. We explore the dynamics of mean motion resonances at large eccentricities and inclination, focussing on implications for observing a distant resonant population of TNOs and constraining the orbital properties of Planet 9.

  2. On the Possibility of Habitable Trojan Planets in Binary Star Systems. (United States)

    Schwarz, Richard; Funk, Barbara; Bazsó, Ákos


    Approximately 60% of all stars in the solar neighbourhood (up to 80% in our Milky Way) are members of binary or multiple star systems. This fact led to the speculations that many more planets may exist in binary systems than are currently known. To estimate the habitability of exoplanetary systems, we have to define the so-called habitable zone (HZ). The HZ is defined as a region around a star where a planet would receive enough radiation to maintain liquid water on its surface and to be able to build a stable atmosphere. We search for new dynamical configurations-where planets may stay in stable orbits-to increase the probability to find a planet like the Earth.

  3. The implications of the discovery of extra-terrestrial life for religion. (United States)

    Peters, Ted


    This paper asks about the future of religion: (i) Will confirmation of extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI) cause terrestrial religion to collapse? 'No' is the answer based upon a summary of the 'Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey'. Then the paper examines four specific challenges to traditional doctrinal belief likely to be raised at the detection of ETI: (ii) What is the scope of God's creation? (iii) What can we expect regarding the moral character of ETI? (iv) Is one earthly incarnation in Jesus Christ enough for the entire cosmos, or should we expect multiple incarnations on multiple planets? (v) Will contact with more advanced ETI diminish human dignity? More than probable contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence will expand the Bible's vision so that all of creation--including the 13.7 billion year history of the universe replete with all of God's creatures--will be seen as the gift of a loving and gracious God.

  4. The sustainability of habitability on terrestrial planets: Insights, questions, and needed measurements from Mars for understanding the evolution of Earth-like worlds

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    B L Ehlmann; F S Anderson; J Andrews-Hanna; D C Catling; P R Christensen; B A Cohen; C D Dressing; C S Edwards; L T Elkins-Tanton; K A Farley; C I Fassett; W W Fischer; A A Fraeman; M P Golombek; V E Hamilton; A G Hayes; C D K Herd; B Horgan; R Hu; B M Jakosky; J R Johnson; J F Kasting; L Kerber; K M Kinch; E S Kite; H A Knutson; J I Lunine; P R Mahaffy; N Mangold; F M McCubbin; J F Mustard; P B Niles; C Quantin-Nataf; M S Rice; K M Stack; D J Stevenson; S T Stewart; M J Toplis; T Usui; B P Weiss; S C Werner; R D Wordsworth; J J Wray; R A Yingst; Y L Yung; K J Zahnle


    ... control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar system's longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere...

  5. The sustainability of habitability on terrestrial planets: Insights, questions, and needed measurements from Mars for understanding the evolution of Earth‐like worlds

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ehlmann, B. L; Anderson, F. S; Andrews‐Hanna, J; Catling, D. C; Christensen, P. R; Cohen, B. A; Dressing, C. D; Edwards, C. S; Elkins‐Tanton, L. T; Farley, K. A; Fassett, C. I; Fischer, W. W; Fraeman, A. A; Golombek, M. P; Hamilton, V. E; Hayes, A. G; Herd, C. D. K; Horgan, B; Hu, R; Jakosky, B. M; Johnson, J. R; Kasting, J. F; Kerber, L; Kinch, K. M; Kite, E. S; Knutson, H. A; Lunine, J. I; Mahaffy, P. R; Mangold, N; McCubbin, F. M; Mustard, J. F; Niles, P. B; Quantin‐Nataf, C; Rice, M. S; Stack, K. M; Stevenson, D. J; Stewart, S. T; Toplis, M. J; Usui, T; Weiss, B. P; Werner, S. C; Wordsworth, R. D; Wray, J. J; Yingst, R. A; Yung, Y. L; Zahnle, K. J


    .... Mars provides the solar system's longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere...

  6. Automated preparation of Kepler time series of planet hosts for asteroseismic analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Handberg, R.; Lund, M. N.


    . In this paper we present the KASOC Filter, which is used to automatically prepare data from the Kepler/K2 mission for asteroseismic analyses of solar-like planet host stars. The methods are very effective at removing unwanted signals of both instrumental and planetary origins and produce significantly cleaner...

  7. The physical characteristics of the surface of the satellites and rings of giant planets (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.; Morozhenko, O. V.


    The book gives the main results of the study of the optical characteristics of the field diffusely reflected radiation and physical characteristics of the surface of the satellites of giant planets and their rings. The publication is intended for teachers of higher educational institutions, students - graduate students and professionals who specialize in experimental physics and astrophysics and solar system surfaces.

  8. Orbital stability of compact three-planets systems spaced non-uniformly (United States)

    Gavino, Sacha; Lissauer, Jack J.


    Recent discoveries unveiled a significant number of compact multi-planetary systems, where the adjacent planets orbits are much closer to those found in the Solar System. For instance, the recently found system TRAPPIST-1 harbors seven planets all orbiting within 0.1 AU from their host star. Studying the orbital stability of such compact systems provides how they form and how long they survive. Most previous investigations of compact systems have been done for planets that are equally-spaced in terms of their mutual Hill radius. We performed a more general study of three Earth-like planets orbiting a Sun-mass star in circular and coplanar prograde orbits. We first recover the results of previous studies done for systems of planets spaced uniformly in mutual Hill radius. We have simulated over 500 systems with different initial spacing between the adjacent inner pair of planets and the outer pair of planets and we displayed their lifetime on a grid. We performed the simulations over a wide range of mutual Hill radii. The simulations were conducted for virtual times reaching at most 4 billion years. We characterize isochrones for lifetime of systems of equivalent spacing. We find that the stability time increases significantly for values of mutual Hill radii beyond 8. We also study the affects of mean motion resonances and the degree of symmetry in the grid.

  9. KOI-3158: The oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Campante T. L.


    Full Text Available The first discoveries of exoplanets around Sun-like stars have fueled efforts to find ever smaller worlds evocative of Earth and other terrestrial planets in the Solar System. While gas-giant planets appear to form preferentially around metal-rich stars, small planets (with radii less than four Earth radii can form under a wide range of metallicities. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the Universe’s history when metals were far less abundant. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of KOI-3158, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk, which hosts five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus. We used asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that KOI-3158 formed when the Universe was less than 20 % of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the Universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, providing scope for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy.

  10. The Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Rice


    Full Text Available We have now confirmed the existence of > 1800 planets orbiting stars other thanthe Sun; known as extrasolar planets or exoplanets. The different methods for detectingsuch planets are sensitive to different regions of parameter space, and so, we are discoveringa wide diversity of exoplanets and exoplanetary systems. Characterizing such planets isdifficult, but we are starting to be able to determine something of their internal compositionand are beginning to be able to probe their atmospheres, the first step towards the detectionof bio-signatures and, hence, determining if a planet could be habitable or not. Here, Iwill review how we detect exoplanets, how we characterize exoplanetary systems and theexoplanets themselves, where we stand with respect to potentially habitable planets and howwe are progressing towards being able to actually determine if a planet could host life or not.

  11. The Earth is a Planet Too! (United States)

    Cairns, Brian


    When the solar system formed, the sun was 30 dimmer than today and Venus had an ocean. As the sun brightened, a runaway greenhouse effect caused the Venus ocean to boil away. At times when Earth was younger, the sun less bright, and atmospheric CO2 less, Earth froze over (snowball Earth). Earth is in the sweet spot today. Venus is closer to sun than Earth is, but cloud-covered Venus absorbs only 25 of incident sunlight, while Earth absorbs 70. Venus is warmer because it has a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect of several hundred degrees. Earth is Goldilocks choice among the planets, the one that is just right for life to exist. Not too hot. Not too cold. How does the Earth manage to stay in this habitable range? Is there a Gaia phenomenon keeping the climate in bounds? A nice idea, but it doesnt work. Today, greenhouse gas levels are unprecedented compared to the last 450,000 years.

  12. Accounting for planet-shaped planetary nebulae (United States)

    Sabach, Efrat; Soker, Noam


    By following the evolution of several observed exoplanetary systems, we show that by lowering the mass-loss rate of single solar-like stars during their two giant branches, these stars will swallow their planets at the tip of their asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase. This will most likely lead the stars to form elliptical planetary nebulae (PNe). Under the traditional mass-loss rate these stars will hardly form observable PNe. Stars with a lower mass-loss rate as we propose, about 15 per cent of the traditional mass-loss rate of single stars, leave the AGB with much higher luminosities than what traditional evolution produces. Hence, the assumed lower mass-loss rate might also account for the presence of bright PNe in old stellar populations. We present the evolution of four exoplanetary systems that represent stellar masses in the range of 0.9-1.3 M⊙. The justification for this low mass-loss rate is our assumption that the stellar samples that were used to derive the traditional average single-star mass-loss rate were contaminated by stars that suffer binary interaction.

  13. Our Solar System. Our Solar System Topic Set (United States)

    Phelan, Glen


    This book examines the planets and other objects in space that make up the solar system. It also shows how technology helps students learn about our neighbors in space. The suggested age range for this book is 3-8 with a guided reading level of Q-R. The Fry level is 3.2.

  14. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-like Worlds


    Ehlmann, B. L.; Dressing, C.D.; Farley, K. A.; Fischer, W. W.; Knutson, H. A.; Stevenson, D. J.; Yung, Y. L.


    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar system's longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky pla...

  15. The extra-terrestrial vacuum-ultraviolet wavelength range (United States)

    Timothy, J. Gethyn; Wilhelm, Klaus; Xia, Lidong

    Electromagnetic radiation in the vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) and extra-terrestrial range at wavelengths from 10 nm to 300 nm is absorbed in the upper atmosphere by ozone, molecular and atomic oxygen, and molecular nitrogen. Observations at wavelengths down to ≈ 200 nm can be carried out from stratospheric balloons, and observations below 200 nm require space platforms operating at altitudes above 250 km. The VUV spectral region contains emission lines and continua arising from plasma at formation temperatures ranging from about 104 K to more than 107 K. This chapter describes the wide range of plasma diagnostic techniques available at VUV wavelengths, and the development of instrumentation for studies of the high-temperature solar outer atmosphere and astrophysical plasmas. Finally, the prospects for future studies are briefly discussed.

  16. Trapping Dust to Form Planets (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Growing a planet from a dust grain is hard work! A new study explores how vortices in protoplanetary disks can assist this process.When Dust Growth FailsTop: ALMA image of the protoplanetary disk of V1247 Orionis, with different emission components labeled. Bottom: Synthetic image constructed from the best-fit model. [Kraus et al. 2017]Gradual accretion onto a seed particle seems like a reasonable way to grow a planet from a grain of dust; after all, planetary embryos orbit within dusty protoplanetary disks, which provides them with plenty of fuel to accrete so they can grow. Theres a challenge to this picture, though: the radial drift problem.The radial drift problem acknowledges that, as growing dust grains orbit within the disk, the drag force on them continues to grow as well. For large enough dust grains perhaps around 1 millimeter the drag force will cause the grains orbits to decay, and the particles drift into the star before they are able to grow into planetesimals and planets.A Close-Up Look with ALMASo how do we overcome the radial drift problem in order to form planets? A commonly proposed mechanism is dust trapping, in which long-lived vortices in the disk trap the dust particles, preventing them from falling inwards. This allows the particles to persist for millions of years long enough to grow beyond the radial drift barrier.Observationally, these dust-trapping vortices should have signatures: we would expect to see, at millimeter wavelengths, specific bright, asymmetric structures where the trapping occurs in protoplanetary disks. Such disk structures have been difficult to spot with past instrumentation, but the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made some new observations of the disk V1247 Orionis that might be just what were looking for.Schematic of the authors model for the disk of V1247 Orionis. [Kraus et al. 2017]Trapped in a Vortex?ALMAs observations of V1247 Orionis are reported by a team of scientists led by Stefan

  17. Cosmology of the Solar System (United States)

    Ackerman, J.


    The early solar system accreted from ice crystals, which encapsulated the refractory elements. Ice was needed to bind the smallest particles, so accretion only occurred in the outer solar system. Solar wind gusts expelled dust in the inner solar system to where it became accreted into the giant planets. Thus, the original solar system comprised four giant planets, accreted from ice and dust. Their initial accretion was rapid, forming rocky iron cores from the refractory elements. But due to their great orbital radii, the entire process required more than 50 million years, so the bulk of the process was cold. Studies of young Sun-like stars show that hydrogen gas is expelled from the nebula before the accretion had hardly begun. As a result these are all solid bodies and not gas giants. The recognition that Jupiter is solid was masked by a high energy impact which occurred 6,000 years BP. The hot gases still streaming from the impact crater heat the atmosphere, forming the GRS, while the planet remains frozen. The temperature excesses, thought to be primordial, are an important factor in the gas giant assumption. Scientists have come close to recognizing the true nature of these bodies in recent years, due to the study of clathrates beneath the our oceans. These strong, low density structures of water molecules form naturally at low temperature and high pressure, exactly the conditions in the large bodies of the outer solar system. Their properties are responsible for the low average density of the giant planets. Clathrates encapsulate foreign molecules, such as methane. One expert has proposed that clathrates are the most abundant form of matter in the outer solar system - the Galilean moons, Pluto, Charon and the KBOs. However, until now, no one has suggested that the giant planets themselves are so composed, moreover that these bodies alone comprised the original solar system. The terrestrial planets result from later, high energy impacts on the giant planets

  18. Thermal Mapping to Achieve 3-D Structure and Dynamics of Planetary Atmospheres Throughout the Solar System (United States)

    Greathouse, T. K.; Retherford, K. D.; Mandt, K. E.; Wyrick, D. Y.


    We have completed our first look at all planets in the solar system. It is now time to move forward with more complete studies of solar system planetary atmospheres to further our understanding of atmospheric dynamics of planets unlike the Earth.

  19. Exploring the universe - The origins of planets, stars and galaxies (United States)

    Beichman, Charles A.


    The missions related to NASA's Strategic Plan and other missions are reviewed that address fundamental cosmological issues regarding the origins of celestial objects. Study of the primordial solar system is addressed by the Comet Rendezvous and Flyby spacecraft and the IRAS; the early solar system can be examined with data from the Submillimeter Intermediate Mission and the Far-IR Space Telescope; and evidence of other planets is expected to be provided by IRAS, the IR Space Observatory, and the Stratospheric Observatory for IR Astronomy. The Gamma-Ray Observatory, the Advanced X-Ray Astronomy Facility, the Cosmic Background Explorer, and the Space IR Telescope Facility are expected to provide the most salient clues related to cosmological origins.

  20. Jupiter's decisive role in the inner Solar System's early evolution. (United States)

    Batygin, Konstantin; Laughlin, Greg


    The statistics of extrasolar planetary systems indicate that the default mode of planet formation generates planets with orbital periods shorter than 100 days and masses substantially exceeding that of the Earth. When viewed in this context, the Solar System is unusual. Here, we present simulations which show that a popular formation scenario for Jupiter and Saturn, in which Jupiter migrates inward from a > 5 astronomical units (AU) to a ≈ 1.5 AU before reversing direction, can explain the low overall mass of the Solar System's terrestrial planets, as well as the absence of planets with a Solar System's terrestrial planets formed from gas-starved mass-depleted debris that remained after the primary period of dynamical evolution.

  1. Planet earth a beginner's guide

    CERN Document Server

    Gribbin, John


    In this incredible expedition into the origins, workings, and evolution of our home planet, John Gribbin, bestselling author of In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, The Scientists, and In Search of the Multiverse, does what he does best: taking four and a half billion years of mind-boggling science and digging out the best bits. From the physics of Newton and the geology of Wegener, to the environmentalism of Lovelock, this is a must read for Earth's scientists and residents alike. Trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University, John Gribbin is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex, England.

  2. Soft X-Ray Emissions from Planets and Moons (United States)

    Bhardwaj, A.; Gladstone, G. R.; Elsner, R. F.; Waite, J. H., Jr.; Grodent, D.; Lewis, W. S.; Crary, F. J.; Weisskopf, M. C.; Howell, R. R.; Johnson, R. E.; hide


    The soft x-ray energy band (less than 4 keV) is an important spectral regime for planetary remote sensing, as a wide variety of solar system objects are now known to shine at these wavelengths. These include Earth, Jupiter, comets, moons, Venus, and the Sun. Earth and Jupiter, as magnetic planets, are observed to emanate strong x-ray emissions from their auroral (polar) regions, thus providing vital information on the nature of precipitating particles and their energization processes in planetary magnetospheres. X rays from low latitudes have also been observed on these planets, resulting largely from atmospheric scattering and fluorescence of solar x-rays. Cometary x-rays are now a well established phenomena, more than a dozen comets have been observed at soft x-ray energies, with the accepted production mechanism being charge-exchange between heavy solar wind ions and cometary neutrals. Also, Lunar x-rays have been observed and are thought to be produced by scattering and fluorescence of solar x-rays from the Moon's surface. With the advent of sophisticated x-ray observatories, e.g., Chandra and XMM-Newton, the field of planetary x-ray astronomy is advancing at a much faster pace. The Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO) has recently captured soft x-rays from Venus. Venusian x-rays are most likely produced through fluorescence of solar x-rays by C and O atoms in the upper atmosphere. Very recently, using CXO we have discovered soft x-rays from the moons of Jupiter-Io, Europa, and probably Ganymede. The plausible source of the x-rays from the Galilean satellites is bombardment of their surfaces by energetic (greater than 10 KeV) ions from the inner magnetosphere of Jupiter. The Io plasma Torus (IPT) is also discovered by CXO to be a source of soft x-rays by CXO have revealed a mysterious pulsating (period approx. 45 minutes) x-ray hot spot is fixed in magnetic latitude and longitude and is magnetically connected to a region in the outer magnetosphere of Jupiter. These

  3. Evolution equations for the rotational motion of a deformable planet in the restricted three-body problem (United States)

    Markov, Y. G.; Minayev, I. S.


    An averaging method was used to obtain approximate equations describing the evolution of the rotational motion of a viscoelastic planet within the framework of the restricted circular three-body problem. These equations are written in the form of Andoyer canonical variables. In the presence of energy dissipation, the deformable planet motion can serve as a model for tidal effects during planetary motion within the solar system.

  4. Flare Activity and UV Habitability in Extrasolar Planets (United States)

    Abrevaya, Ximena; Cortón, E.; Mauas, P. J. D.


    Usually, dwarf M stars are targets in the search for extraterrestrial life outside of our solar system. They are choose among other stars because they are the most abundant in the galaxy, the liquid- water habitable zone (LW-HZ) is closer to these colder stars and it would be therefore easier to detect a terrestrial planet inside it. However, it is believed that planets in the LW-HZ should be tidally locked, which implies that this planetary body would have a hot face and a cold one, but recent atmospheric modeling provided evidences that the heat in the hot face could be transferred to the cold face. Furthermore there is another factor to analyze if planets around these stars in the LW-HZ could be suitable for life due flare activity in many of these stars (dMe stars), could have a strong impact over potential life beings. In particular in this work we analyze the capability of UV-resistant microorganisms such as halophilic archaea, to survive the strong UV radiation characteristic of flare activity in dMe stars. Our results showed that the microorganisms can survive at the tested doses, showing that this kind of life could thrive in these extreme environments from the UV point of view.

  5. Local Heliospheric and Interstellar Radiation Environment of Planet X (United States)

    Cooper, John


    The orbit and aphelion direction of the putative Planet X at mass 10 ME has been inferred earlier from orbital modeling of Sedna and other distant Kuiper Belt Objects. The centroid of possible aphelion locations at 103 AU lies within the heliotail potentially extending thousands of AU downstream from the direction of interstellar neutral flow into the heliosphere. The only spacecraft now heading in that general direction is Pioneer 10, long silent since last contact in January 2003 at 82 AU from the Sun. The Interstellar Background Explorer (IBEX) has from Earth orbit, however, been mapping energetic neutral atom (ENA) emissions from the outer heliosphere, including in the heliotail direction. Angular resolutions of the IBEX ENA maps are too coarse to resolve Planet X itself but could inform on larger-scale particle flux environments of distant objects within the heliotail. Present Voyager 1 energetic particle measurements in the outer heliosheath will eventually be joined by Voyager 2 bulk plasma measurements at ion energies below 10 keV for more complete characterization of particle flux distributions. These distributions can then be used to model external radiation interactions with the more distant objects of our solar system, potentially including Planet X.

  6. Observing the Atmospheres of Known Temperate Earth-sized Planets with JWST (United States)

    Morley, Caroline V.; Kreidberg, Laura; Rustamkulov, Zafar; Robinson, Tyler; Fortney, Jonathan J.


    Nine transiting Earth-sized planets have recently been discovered around nearby late-M dwarfs, including the TRAPPIST-1 planets and two planets discovered by the MEarth survey, GJ 1132b and LHS 1140b. These planets are the smallest known planets that may have atmospheres amenable to detection with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We present model thermal emission and transmission spectra for each planet, varying composition and surface pressure of the atmosphere. We base elemental compositions on those of Earth, Titan, and Venus and calculate the molecular compositions assuming chemical equilibrium, which can strongly depend on temperature. Both thermal emission and transmission spectra are sensitive to the atmospheric composition; thermal emission spectra are sensitive to surface pressure and temperature. We predict the observability of each planet’s atmosphere with JWST. GJ 1132b and TRAPPIST-1b are excellent targets for emission spectroscopy with JWST/MIRI, requiring fewer than 10 eclipse observations. Emission photometry for TRAPPIST-1c requires 5-15 eclipses; LHS 1140b and TRAPPIST-1d, TRAPPIST-1e, and TRAPPIST-1f, which could possibly have surface liquid water, may be accessible with photometry. Seven of the nine planets are strong candidates for transmission spectroscopy measurements with JWST, although the number of transits required depends strongly on the planets’ actual masses. Using the measured masses, fewer than 20 transits are required for a 5σ detection of spectral features for GJ 1132b and six of the TRAPPIST-1 planets. Dedicated campaigns to measure the atmospheres of these nine planets will allow us, for the first time, to probe formation and evolution processes of terrestrial planetary atmospheres beyond our solar system.

  7. Extrasolar planet population synthesis. I. Method, formation tracks, and mass-distance distribution (United States)

    Mordasini, C.; Alibert, Y.; Benz, W.


    Context: With the high number of extrasolar planets discovered by now, it has become possible to use the properties of this planetary population to constrain theoretical formation models in a statistical sense. This paper is the first in a series in which we carry out a large number of planet population synthesis calculations within the framework of the core accretion scenario. We begin the series with a paper mainly dedicated to the presentation of our approach, but also the discussion of a representative synthetic planetary population of solar like stars. In the second paper we statistically compare the subset of detectable planets to the actual extrasolar planets. In subsequent papers, we shall extend the range of stellar masses and the properties of protoplanetary disks. Aims: The last decade has seen a large observational progress in characterizing both protoplanetary disks, and extrasolar planets. Concurrently, progress was made in developing complex theoretical formation models. The combination of these three developments allows a new kind of study: the synthesis of a population of planets from a model, which is compared with the actual population. Our aim is to obtain a general overview of the population, to check if we quantitatively reproduce the most important observed properties and correlations, and to make predictions about the planets that are not yet observable. Methods: Based as tightly as possible on observational data, we have derived probability distributions for the most important initial conditions for the planetary formation process. We then draw sets of initial conditions from these distributions and obtain the corresponding synthetic planets with our formation model. By repeating this step many times, we synthesize the populations. Results: Although the main purpose of this paper is the description of our methods, we present some key results: we find that the variation of the initial conditions in the limits occurring in nature leads to the

  8. Extra-pulmonary manifestations of sarcoidosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vardhanabhuti, V. [Radiology Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth (United Kingdom); Venkatanarasimha, N. [St Michael' s Hospital, 30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W8 (Canada); Bhatnagar, G.; Maviki, M.; Iyengar, S.; Adams, W.M. [Radiology Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth (United Kingdom); Suresh, P., E-mail: [Radiology Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth (United Kingdom)


    Although, the diagnosis and evaluation of sarcoidosis has traditionally remained confined to the chest, its multi-system nature has been widely recognized. Radiological features of pulmonary sarcoidosis are well known but extra-pulmonary manifestations can produce a plethora of non-specific imaging findings that can affect subcutaneous tissue, and the neurological, cardiac, gastrointestinal, urological, liver, spleen, and skeletal systems. In the literature, there are various case reports and specific system reviews but there are few reviews that encompass all the extra-pulmonary manifestations. In this paper, we comprehensively review the imaging features of extra-pulmonary sarcoidosis with characteristic features as well as atypical presentations. In addition, we discuss the emerging role of nuclear medicine in sarcoidosis.

  9. Kepler Planet Detection Mission: Introduction and First Results (United States)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie; Brown, Timothy; Lissauer, Jack J.; Morrison, David; Rowe, Jason; Bryson, Stephen T.; Dotson, Jessie; hide


    The Kepler Mission is designed to determine the frequency of Earth-size and rocky planets in and near the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. The HZ is defined to be the region of space where a rocky planet could maintain liquid water on its surface. Kepler is the 10th competitively-selected Discovery Mission and was launched on March 6, 2009. Since completing its commissioning, Kepler has observed over 156,000 stars simultaneously and near continuously to search for planets that periodically pass in front of their host star (transit). The photometric precision is approximately 23 ppm for 50% of the 12th magnitude dwarf stars for an integration period of 6.5 hours. During the first 3 months of operation the photometer detected transit-like signatures from more than 200 stars. Careful examination shows that many of these events are false-positives such as small stars orbiting large stars or blends of target stars with eclipsing binary stars. Ground-based follow-up observations confirm the discovery of five new exoplanets with sizes between 0.37 andl.6 Jupiter radii (R(sub J)) and orbital periods ranging from 3.2 to 4.9 days. Ground-based observations with the Keck 1, Hobby-Ebberly, Hale, WIYN, MMT, Tillinghast, Shane, and Nordic Optical Telescopes are used to vet the planetary candidates and measure the masses of the putative planets. Observations of occultations and phase variations of hot, short-period planets such as HT-P-7b provide a probe of atmospheric properties. Asteroseismic analysis already shows the presence of p-mode oscillations in several stars. Such observations will be used to measure the mean stellar density and infer the stellar size and age. For stars too dim to permit asteroseismology, observations of the centroid motion of target stars will be used to measure the parallax and be combined with photometric measurements to estimate stellar sizes. Four open clusters are being observed to determine stellar rotation rates as a function of age and

  10. Position of planet X obtained from motion of near-parabolic comets (United States)

    Medvedev, Yurii; Vavilov, Dmitrii


    The authors of paper (Batygin and Brown, 2016) proposed that a planet with 10 earth's mass and an orbit of 700 AU semi major axis and 0.6 eccentricity can explain the observed distribution of Kuiper Belt objects around Sedna. Then Fienga et al.(2016) used the INPOP planetary ephemerides model as a sensor for testing for an additional body in the solar system. They defined the planet position on the orbit using the most sensitive data set, the Cassini radio ranging data.Here we use near-parabolic comets for determination of the planet's position on the orbit. Assuming that some comets approached the planet in the past, we made a search for the comets with low Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) with the planet's orbit. From the list of 768 near-parabolic comets five "new" comets with hyperbolic orbits were chosen. We considered two cases of the planet's motion: the direct and the inverse ones. In case of the direct motion the true anomaly of the planet lies in interval [1760, 1840] and, thus, the right ascension, the declination and geocentric distance of the planet are in intervals [830, 900], [80,100], and [1110, 1120] AU, correspondingly. In case of the inverse motion the true anomaly is in [2120, 2230] and the other values are in intervals [480, 580], [-120,-60] and [790, 910] AU. For comparison with the direct motion the true anomaly for the inverse motion, v, should be transformed by 3600-v. That gives us the interval [1370, 1480] that belongs to the intervals of the true anomaly of possible planet's position given by Fienga et al.(2016).ReferencesBatygin, K. & Brown, M. E., 2016, Evidence for a distant giant planet in the Solar system, Astronomical Journal, v. 151, 22Fienga A. A. Fienga1,J. Laskar, H. Manche, and M. Gastineau, 2016, Constraints on the location of a possible 9th planet derived from the Cassini data , Astronomy & Astrophysics, v. 587, L8

  11. All for the Planet, the Planet for everyone! (United States)

    Drndarski, Marina


    The Eco-Musketeers are unique voluntary group of students. They have been established in Belgrade, in Primary school 'Drinka Pavlović'. Since the founding in year 2000, Eco-Musketeers have been involved in peer and citizens education guided by motto: All for the planet, the planet for all! Main goals of this group are spreading and popularization of environmental approach as well as gaining knowledge through collaborative projects and research. A great number of students from other schools in Serbia have joined Eco-Musketeers in observations aiming to better understand the problem of global climate change. In the past several years Eco-Musketeers have also participated in many national and international projects related to the active citizenship and rising the awareness of the importance of biodiversity and environment for sustainable development of society. In this presentation we will show some of the main activities, eco-performances and actions of our organization related to the environment, biodiversity, conservation and recycling, such as: spring cleaning the streets of Belgrade, cleaning the Sava and the Danube river banks, removing insect moth pupae in the area of Lipovica forest near Belgrade. Also, Eco-Musketeers worked on education of employees of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia about energy efficiency. All the time, we have working on raising public awareness of the harmful effects of plastic bags on the environment, too. In order to draw attention on rare and endangered species in Serbia and around the globe, there were several performing street-plays about biodiversity and also the plays about the water ecological footprint. Eco-Musketeers also participated in international projects Greenwave-signs of spring (Fibonacci project), European Schools For A Living Planet (WWF Austria and Erste stiftung) and Eco Schools. The eco dream of Eco-Musketeers is to influence the Government of the Republic of Serbia to determine and declare a 'green habits week'. This should

  12. Pathway to the galactic distribution of planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Novati, S. Calchi; Gould, A.; Udalski, A.


    distance estimates for each lens, with error bars that are small compared to the Sun's Galactocentric distance. The ensemble therefore yields a well-defined cumulative distribution of lens distances. In principle it is possible to compare this distribution against a set of planets detected in the same...... experiment in order to measure the Galactic distribution of planets. Since these Spitzer observations yielded only one planet, this is not yet possible in practice. However, it will become possible as larger samples are accumulated....

  13. Voyager: The grandest tour. The mission to the outer planets (United States)


    A history and general accomplishments of the Voyager 1 and 2 missions to the outer planets are presented. Over the course of 12 years, these spacecraft drew back the curtain on nearly half the solar system. They brought into sharp focus the faces of the four giant outer planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune - and their families of disparate moons. The Voyagers showed us unimagined worlds: frozen beauty in the rings of Saturn, and molten violence in the explosive sulfur volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io. They brought us close-ups of the florid and intricate storms of Jupiter itself. Voyager 2 went on to reveal the peculiarities of cockeyed Uranus and its equally skewed rings and moons. Then finally, Neptune, nearly invisible from earth, was unveiled in all its big, blue splendor, circled by shadowy rings and a bright pastel moon called Triton. Both Voyagers are headed toward the outer boundary of the solar system in search of the heliopause, the region where the sun's influence wanes and the beginning of interstellar space can be sensed.

  14. Solar energy sciences and engineering applications

    CERN Document Server

    Enteria, Napoleon


    Solar energy is available all over the world in different intensities. Theoretically, the solar energy available on the surface of the earth is enough to support the energy requirements of the entire planet. However, in reality, progress and development of solar science and technology depends to a large extent on human desires and needs. This is due to the various barriers to overcome and to deal with the economics of practical utilization of solar energy.This book will introduce the rapid development and progress in the field of solar energy applications for science and technology: the advanc

  15. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Twicken, Joseph D.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey


    The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy and astrophysics in the twenty-first century, capturing the public's attention as well as that of the astronomical community. This nascent field was conceived in 1989 with the discovery of a candidate planetary companion to HD114762 [35] and was born in 1995 with the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg-b [37] orbiting a main sequence star. As of March, 2011, over 500 exoplanets have been discovered* and 106 are known to transit or cross their host star, as viewed from Earth. Of these transiting planets, 15 have been announced by the Kepler Mission, which was launched into an Earth-trailing, heliocentric orbit in March, 2009 [1,4,6,15,18,20,22,31,32,34,36,43]. In addition, over 1200 candidate transiting planets have already been detected by Kepler [5], and vigorous follow-up observations are being conducted to vet these candidates. As the false-positive rate for Kepler is expected to be quite low [39], Kepler has effectively tripled the number of known exoplanets. Moreover, Kepler will provide an unprecedented data set in terms of photometric precision, duration, contiguity, and number of stars. Kepler's primary science objective is to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets transiting their Sun-like host stars in the habitable zone, that range of orbital distances for which liquid water would pool on the surface of a terrestrial planet such as Earth, Mars, or Venus. This daunting task demands an instrument capable of measuring the light output from each of over 100,000 stars simultaneously with an unprecedented photometric precision of 20 parts per million (ppm) at 6.5-h intervals. The large number of stars is required because the probability of the geometrical alignment of planetary orbits that permit observation of transits is the ratio of the size of the star to the size of the planetary orbit. For Earth-like planets in 1-astronomical unit (AU) orbits† about sun-like stars

  16. The stability of tightly-packed, evenly-spaced systems of Earth-mass planets orbiting a Sun-like star (United States)

    Obertas, Alysa; Van Laerhoven, Christa; Tamayo, Daniel


    Many of the multi-planet systems discovered to date have been notable for their compactness, with neighbouring planets closer together than any in the Solar System. Interestingly, planet-hosting stars have a wide range of ages, suggesting that such compact systems can survive for extended periods of time. We have used numerical simulations to investigate how quickly systems go unstable in relation to the spacing between planets, focusing on hypothetical systems of Earth-mass planets on evenly-spaced orbits (in mutual Hill radii). In general, the further apart the planets are initially, the longer it takes for a pair of planets to undergo a close encounter. We recover the results of previous studies, showing a linear trend in the initial planet spacing between 3 and 8 mutual Hill radii and the logarithm of the stability time. Investigating thousands of simulations with spacings up to 13 mutual Hill radii reveals distinct modulations superimposed on this relationship in the vicinity of first and second-order mean motion resonances of adjacent and next-adjacent planets. We discuss the impact of this structure and the implications on the stability of compact multi-planet systems. Applying the outcomes of our simulations, we show that isolated systems of up to five Earth-mass planets can fit in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star without close encounters for at least 109 orbits.

  17. A giant planet around the massive giant star HD 13189 (United States)

    Hatzes, A. P.; Guenther, E. W.; Endl, M.; Cochran, W. D.; Döllinger, M. P.; Bedalov, A.


    Most extrasolar planet discoveries using radial velocity measurements have been for solar-like G-stars. In order to understand better the role stellar mass for the formation of planets we must learn more about the frequency of planetary companions around both high- and low-mass stars. Radial velocity searches for planets around high mass main-sequence stars are difficult due to the paucity of lines and often rapid rotation of these early-type stars. On the other hand, evolved stars that have moved off the main sequence offer us the possibility of searching for planets around higher mass stars by means of precise radial velocity measurements. Here we present radial velocity measurements for the star HD 13189 using measurements taken at the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, the Harlan J. Smith Telescope at McDonald Observatory, and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. We classify the spectral type of this star as K2 with luminosity class II. The radial velocity measurements show long-period variations with a period of 472 days and an amplitude of 173 m s-1. The Ca II S-index is consistent with an inactive star and this shows no variations with the radial velocity period. We also investigated possible changes in the line shapes by measuring spectral line bisectors. These show no variations with the radial velocity period. We interpret the 472-day period as being caused by a sub-stellar companion. Based on the estimated absolute magnitude and a comparison to evolutionary tracks we estimate the mass of the progenitor star between 2 and 7 M_⊙ which results in a projected mass of the companion of m sin i = 8 20 M_J. HD 13189 may be the most massive star known to possess an extrasolar planet. This suggests that the formation of giant planets can also occur around early-type stars. HD 13189 also shows significant short term radial velocity variability on time scales of days that is most likely due to stellar oscillations. This behavior is typical for K giant stars.

  18. NASA Facts, Mars as a Member of the Solar System. (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC. Educational Programs Div.

    Presented is one of a series of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) facts about the exploration of Mars. In this publication, emphasis is placed on the planet Mars as a member of the Solar System and a detailed description is given related to historical accounts of the planet's existence and its travels. The physical…

  19. Exploring the Solar System with a Human Orrery (United States)

    Newbury, Peter


    One of the fundamental learning goals of introductory astronomy is for the students to gain some perspective on the scale and structure of the solar system. Many astronomy teachers have laid out the planets along a long strip of paper or across a school grounds or campus. Other activities that investigate the motion of the planets are often…

  20. Numerical simulations for terrestrial planets formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji J.


    Full Text Available We investigate the formation of terrestrial planets in the late stage of planetary formation using two-planet model. At that time, the protostar has formed for about 3 Myr and the gas disk has dissipated. In the model, the perturbations from Jupiter and Saturn are considered. We also consider variations of the mass of outer planet, and the initial eccentricities and inclinations of embryos and planetesimals. Our results show that, terrestrial planets are formed in 50 Myr, and the accretion rate is about 60%–80%. In each simulation, 3–4 terrestrial planets are formed inside “Jupiter” with masses of 0.15–3.6 M⊕. In the 0.5–4 AU, when the eccentricities of planetesimals are excited, planetesimals are able to accrete material from wide radial direction. The plenty of water material of the terrestrial planet in the Habitable Zone may be transferred from the farther places by this mechanism. Accretion may also happen a few times between two giant planets only if the outer planet has a moderate mass and the small terrestrial planet could survive at some resonances over time scale of 108 yr.

  1. The interior structure of the giant planets (United States)

    Zharkov, V. N.


    An overview of the principal ideas and data pertaining to the construction of models of the interior structure of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune is presented. Topics discussed include: the concept of Jupiter and Saturn as planets with hydrogenic crusts; the theory of the figure of rotating planets in hydrostatic equilibrium; a gas-liquid dynamic model of the giant planets; analysis of observational data; abundances of elements and groups of cosmochemical substances; equations of state; and the role of Jupiter in the formation of the earth and the giant planets.

  2. Heliospheric Magnetic Fields, Energetic Particles, and the Solar Cycle

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    . It extends from the solar corona to well beyond the planets, and is separated from the interstellar medium by the heliopause. The latter is embedded in a complex and still unexplored boundary region. The characteristics of ...

  3. Solar system astrophysics planetary atmospheres and the outer solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Milone, Eugene F


    Solar System Astrophysics opens with coverage of the atmospheres, ionospheres and magnetospheres of the Earth, Venus and Mars and the magnetosphere of Mercury. The book then provides an introduction to meteorology and treating the physics and chemistry of these areas in considerable detail. What follows are the structure, composition, particle environments, satellites, and rings of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, making abundant use of results from space probes. Solar System Astrophysics follows the history, orbits, structure, origin and demise of comets and the physics of meteors and provides a thorough treatment of meteorites, the asteroids and, in the outer solar system, the Kuiper Belt objects. The methods and results of extrasolar planet searches, the distinctions between stars, brown dwarfs, and planets, and the origins of planetary systems are examined. Historical introductions precede the development and discussion in most chapters. A series of challenges, useful as homework assignments or as foc...

  4. Effect of Giant Planet Formation on the Compositional Mixture of the Asteroid Belt (United States)

    Kretke, Katherine A.; Bottke, William; Kring, David A.; Levison, Harold F.


    The asteroid belt is observed to be a mixture of objects with different compositions, with volatile-poor asteroids (mostly S-complex) dominant in the inner asteroid belt while volatile-rich (mostly C-complex) asteroids dominate the outer asteroid belt. While this general compositional stratification was originally thought to be an indicator of the primordial temperature gradient in the protoplanetary disk, the very distinct properties of these populations suggest that they must represent two completely decoupled reservoirs, not a simple gradient (e.g., Warren 2011). It is possible to create this general stratification (as well as the observed mixing) as the implantation of outer Solar System material into the asteroid belt by the early migration of the giant planets (e.g. the Grand Tack, Walsh et al. 2011). However, this presupposes that the inner and outer Solar System materials were still sorted in their primordial locations prior to any migration of the planets. The lack of a fully dynamically self-consistent model of giant planet core formation has prevented the study of how the core formation process itself may result in dynamical mixing in the early Solar System's history. Recently, pebble accretion, the process by which planetesimals can grow to giant planet cores via the accretion of small, rapidly drifting sub-meter-sized bodies known as ``pebbles,'' (Lambrechts & Johansen 2012, Levison, Kretke & Duncan 2015) finally offers such a model. Here we show how the process of giant planet formation will impact the surrounding planetesimal population, possibly resulting in the observed compositional mixture of the asteroid belt, without requiring a dramatic migration of the giant planets. For example, preliminary runs suggest planetesimals from the Jupiter-formation zone can be implanted in the outer main belt via interactions with scattered Jupiter-zone protoplanets. This could potentially provide an alternative non-Grand Tack solution to the origin of many C

  5. Powering the planet: Chemical challenges in solar energy utilization


    Lewis, Nathan S.; Nocera, Daniel G.


    Global energy consumption is projected to increase, even in the face of substantial declines in energy intensity, at least 2-fold by midcentury relative to the present because of population and economic growth. This demand could be met, in principle, from fossil energy resources, particularly coal. However, the cumulative nature of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere demands that holding atmospheric CO2 levels to even twice their preanthropogenic values by midcentury will require invention, devel...

  6. Planets of the solar system. [Jupiter and Venus (United States)

    Kondratyev, K. Y.; Moskalenko, N. I.


    Venera and Mariner spacecraft and ground based radio astronomy and spectroscopic observations of the atmosphere and surface of venus are examined. The composition and structural parameters of the atmosphere are discussed as the basis for development of models and theories of the vertical structure of the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect, atmospheric circulation and cloud cover. Recommendations for further meteorological studies are given. Ground based and Pioneer satellite observation data on Jupiter are explored as well as calculations and models of the cloud structure, atmospheric circulation and thermal emission field of Jupiter.

  7. Mercury: Exploration of a Planet (United States)


    The flight of the Mariner 10 spacecraft to Venus and Mercury is detailed in animation and photography. Views of Mercury are featured. Also included is animation on the origin of the solar system. Dr. Bruce C. Murray, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, comments on the mission.


    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    Ascorbic acid and microbiological analyses of extra - cotyledonous deposits of Pride of Barbados. (Caesalpina pulcherrima) stored at various temperatures were investigated. 2,6 - Dichlorophenolindophenol (dye) solution titration method was used in ascorbic acid determination while. Nutrient and Sabouraud agar were ...

  9. Cystic lesions accompanying extra-axial tumours

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohle, PNM; Wurzer, HAL; Seelen, PJ; Kingma, LM; Go, KG

    We examined the mechanism of cyst formation in extra-axial tumours in the central nervous system (CNS). Cyst fluid, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood plasma were analysed in eight patients with nine peritumoral cysts: four with meningiomas, two with intracranial and two spinal intradural

  10. Extra-oral halitosis : an overview

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tangerman, A.; Winkel, E. G.

    Halitosis can be subdivided into intra-oral and extra-oral halitosis, depending on the place where it originates. Most reports now agree that the most frequent sources of halitosis exist within the oral cavity and include bacterial reservoirs such as the dorsum of the tongue, saliva and periodontal


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brasser, R.; Ida, S. [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550 (Japan); Matsumura, S. [School of Science and Engineering, Division of Physics, Fulton Building, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN (United Kingdom); Mojzsis, S. J. [Collaborative for Research in Origins (CRiO), Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, UCB 399, 2200 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0399 (United States); Werner, S. C. [The Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, University of Oslo, Sem Saelandsvei 24, NO-0371 Oslo (Norway)


    The Grand Tack model of terrestrial planet formation has emerged in recent years as the premier scenario used to account for several observed features of the inner solar system. It relies on the early migration of the giant planets to gravitationally sculpt and mix the planetesimal disk down to ∼1 au, after which the terrestrial planets accrete from material remaining in a narrow circumsolar annulus. Here, we investigate how the model fares under a range of initial conditions and migration course-change (“tack”) locations. We run a large number of N-body simulations with tack locations of 1.5 and 2 au and test initial conditions using equal-mass planetary embryos and a semi-analytical approach to oligarchic growth. We make use of a recent model of the protosolar disk that takes into account viscous heating, includes the full effect of type 1 migration, and employs a realistic mass–radius relation for the growing terrestrial planets. Our results show that the canonical tack location of Jupiter at 1.5 au is inconsistent with the most massive planet residing at 1 au at greater than 95% confidence. This favors a tack farther out at 2 au for the disk model and parameters employed. Of the different initial conditions, we find that the oligarchic case is capable of statistically reproducing the orbital architecture and mass distribution of the terrestrial planets, while the equal-mass embryo case is not.

  12. The Threatening Magnetic and Plasma Environment of the TRAPPIST-1 Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garraffo, Cecilia; Drake, Jeremy J.; Cohen, Ofer; Alvarado-Gómez, Julian D.; Moschou, Sofia P. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)


    Recently, four additional Earth-mass planets were discovered orbiting the nearby ultracool M8 dwarf, TRAPPIST-1, making a remarkable total of seven planets with equilibrium temperatures compatible with the presence of liquid water on their surface. Temperate terrestrial planets around an M-dwarf orbit close to their parent star, rendering their atmospheres vulnerable to erosion by the stellar wind and energetic electromagnetic and particle radiation. Here, we use state-of-the-art 3D magnetohydrodynamic models to simulate the wind around TRAPPIST-1 and study the conditions at each planetary orbit. All planets experience a stellar wind pressure between 10{sup 3} and 10{sup 5} times the solar wind pressure on Earth. All orbits pass through wind pressure changes of an order of magnitude and most planets spend a large fraction of their orbital period in the sub-Alfvénic regime. For plausible planetary magnetic field strengths, all magnetospheres are greatly compressed and undergo much more dynamic change than that of the Earth. The planetary magnetic fields connect with the stellar radial field over much of the planetary surface, allowing the direct flow of stellar wind particles onto the planetary atmosphere. These conditions could result in strong atmospheric stripping and evaporation and should be taken into account for any realistic assessment of the evolution and habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 planets.

  13. The Threatening Magnetic and Plasma Environment of the TRAPPIST-1 Planets (United States)

    Garraffo, Cecilia; Drake, Jeremy J.; Cohen, Ofer; Alvarado-Gómez, Julian D.; Moschou, Sofia P.


    Recently, four additional Earth-mass planets were discovered orbiting the nearby ultracool M8 dwarf, TRAPPIST-1, making a remarkable total of seven planets with equilibrium temperatures compatible with the presence of liquid water on their surface. Temperate terrestrial planets around an M-dwarf orbit close to their parent star, rendering their atmospheres vulnerable to erosion by the stellar wind and energetic electromagnetic and particle radiation. Here, we use state-of-the-art 3D magnetohydrodynamic models to simulate the wind around TRAPPIST-1 and study the conditions at each planetary orbit. All planets experience a stellar wind pressure between 103 and 105 times the solar wind pressure on Earth. All orbits pass through wind pressure changes of an order of magnitude and most planets spend a large fraction of their orbital period in the sub-Alfvénic regime. For plausible planetary magnetic field strengths, all magnetospheres are greatly compressed and undergo much more dynamic change than that of the Earth. The planetary magnetic fields connect with the stellar radial field over much of the planetary surface, allowing the direct flow of stellar wind particles onto the planetary atmosphere. These conditions could result in strong atmospheric stripping and evaporation and should be taken into account for any realistic assessment of the evolution and habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 planets.

  14. Leveraging the Thousands of Known Planets to Inform TESS Follow-Up (United States)

    Ballard, Sarah


    The Solar System furnishes our most familiar planetary architecture: many planets, orbiting nearly coplanar to one another. However, a typical system of planets in the Milky Way orbits a much smaller M dwarf star, and these stars furnish a different blueprint in key ways than the conditions that nourished evolution of life on Earth. With ensemble studies of hundreds-to-thousands of exoplanets, I will describe the emerging links between planet formation from disks, orbital dynamics of planets, and the content and observability of planetary atmospheres. These quantities can be tied to observables even in discovery light curves, to enable judicious selection of follow-up targets from the ground and from space. After TESS exoplanet discoveries start in earnest, the studies of individual planets with large, space-based platforms comprise the clear next step toward understanding the hospitability of the Milky Way to life. Our success hinges upon leveraging the many thousands of planet discoveries in hand to determine how to use these precious and limited resources.

  15. On the Unique Solution of Planet and Star Parameters from an Extrasolar Planet Transit Light Curve (United States)

    Seager, S.; Mallén-Ornelas, G.

    A unique analytical solution of planet and star parameters can be derived from an extrasolar planet transit light curve under a number of assumptions. This analytical solution can be used to choose the best planet transit candidates for radial velocity follow-up measurements. In practice, high photometric precision (Ornelas (2003) for full details.

  16. Effects of X-ray and extreme UV radiation on circumbinary planets (United States)

    Sanz-Forcada, J.; Desidera, S.; Micela, G.


    Context. Several circumbinary planets have recently been discovered. The orbit of a planet around a binary stellar system poses several dynamic constraints. In addition to these constraints, the effects that radiation from the host stars may have on the planet atmospheres must be considered. We here evaluate these effects. Because of the configuration of a close binary system, these stars have a high rotation rate, even for old stars. The fast rotation of close, tidally locked binaries causes a permanent state of high stellar activity and copious XUV radiation. The accumulated effects are stronger than for normal exoplanets around single stars and cause a faster evaporation of their atmospheres. Aims: We evaluate the effects that stellar radiation has on the evaporation of exoplanets around binary systems and on the survival of these planets. Methods: We considered the X-ray and EUV spectral ranges (XUV, 1-912 Å) to account for the photons that are easily absorbed by a planet atmosphere that is mainly composed of hydrogen. A more complex atmospheric composition is expected to absorb this radiation more efficiently. We used direct X-ray observations to evaluate the energy in the X-rays range and coronal models to calculate the (nondetectable) EUV part of the spectrum. Results: We considered in this problem different configurations of stellar masses, and a resonance of 4:1 and 3:1. The simulations show that exoplanets orbiting close binary systems in a close orbit will suffer strong photoevaporation that may cause a total loss of atmosphere in a short time. We also applied our models to the best real example, Kepler-47 b, to estimate the current mass-loss rates in circumbinary planets and the accumulated effects over the time. Conclusions: A binary system of two solar-like stars will be highly efficient in evaporating the atmosphere of the planet (less than 6 Gyr in our case). These systems will be difficult to find, even if they are dynamically stable. Still

  17. Global stratigraphy. [of planet Mars (United States)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Scott, David H.; Greeley, Ronald


    Attention is given to recent major advances in the definition and documentation of Martian stratigraphy and geology. Mariner 9 provided the images for the first global geologic mapping program, resulting in the recognition of the major geologic processes that have operated on the planet, and in the definition of the three major chronostratigraphic divisions: the Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian Systems. Viking Orbiter images permitted the recognition of additional geologic units and the formal naming of many formations. Epochs are assigned absolute ages based on the densities of superposed craters and crater-flux models. Recommendations are made with regard to future areas of study, namely, crustal stratigraphy and structure, the highland-lowland boundary, the Tharsis Rise, Valles Marineris, channels and valley networks, and possible Martian oceans, lakes, and ponds.

  18. Chemistry of the outer planets (United States)

    Scattergood, Thomas W.


    Various aspects were studied of past or present chemistry in the atmospheres of the outer planets and their satellites using lab simulations. Three areas were studied: (1) organic chemistry induced by kinetically hot hydrogen atoms in the region of Jupiter's atmosphere containing the ammonia cirrus clouds; (2) the conversion of NH3 into N2 by plasmas associated with entry of meteors and other objects into the atmosphere of early Titan; and (3) the synthesis of simple hydrocarbons and HCN by lightning in mixtures containing N2, CH4, and NH3 representing the atmospheres of Titan and the outer planets. The results showed that: (1) hot H2 atoms formed from the photodissociation of NH3 in Jupiter's atmosphere could account for some of the atmospheric chemistry in the ammonia cirrus cloud region; (2) the thermalization of hot H2 atoms in atmospheres predominated by molecular H is not as rapid as predicted by elastic collision theory; (3) the net quantum loss of NH3 in the presence of a 200 fold excess of H2 is 0.02, much higher than was expected from the amount of H2 present; (4) the conversion of NH3 into N2 in plasmas associated with infalling meteors is very efficient and rapid, and could account for most of the N2 present on Titan; (5) the yields of C2H2 and HCN from lightning induced chemistry in mixtures of CH4 and N2 is consistent with quenched thermodynamic models of the discharge core; and (6) photolysis induced by the UV light emitted by the gases in the hot plasmas may account for some, if not most, of the excess production of C2H6 and the more complex hydrocarbons.

  19. The World is Spinning: Constraining the Origin of Supermassive Gas Giant Planets at Wide Separations Using Planetary Spin (United States)

    Bryan, Marta; Knutson, Heather; Batygin, Konstantin; Benneke, Björn; Bowler, Brendan


    Planetary spin can inform our understanding of planet accretion histories, which determine final masses and atmospheric compositions, as well as the formation of moons and rings. At present, the physics behind how gas giant planets spin up is still very poorly understood. We know that when giant planets form, they accrete material and angular momentum via a circumplanetary disk, causing the planet to spin up. In order to prevent planet spins from reaching break-up velocity, some mechanism must regulate these spins. However, there is currently no well-formulated picture for how planet spins evolve. This is in part due to the fact that there are very few measurements of giant planet spin rates currently available. Outside the solar system, to date there has only been one published spin measurement of a directly imaged planet, beta Pic b. We use Keck/NIRSPEC to measure spin rates for a sample of bound and free-floating directly imaged planetary mass objects, providing a first look at the distribution of spin rates for these objects.

  20. Solar Indices - Solar Ultraviolet (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Collection includes a variety of indices related to solar activity contributed by a number of national and private solar observatories located worldwide. This...

  1. Solar Indices - Solar Flares (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Collection includes a variety of indices related to solar activity contributed by a number of national and private solar observatories located worldwide. This...

  2. Solar Indices - Solar Corona (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Collection includes a variety of indices related to solar activity contributed by a number of national and private solar observatories located worldwide. This...

  3. Solar Indices - Solar Irradiance (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Collection includes a variety of indices related to solar activity contributed by a number of national and private solar observatories located worldwide. This...

  4. Identifying Solar Analogs in the Kepler Field (United States)

    Buzasi, Derek L.; Lezcano, Andrew; Preston, Heather L.


    Since human beings live on a planet orbiting a G2 V star, to us perhaps the most intrinsically interesting category of stars about which planets have been discovered is solar analogs. While Kepler has observed more than 26000 targets which have effective temperatures within 100K of the Sun, many of these are not true solar analogs due to activity, surface gravity, metallicity, or other considerations. Here we combine ground-based measurements of effective temperature and metallicity with data on rotational periods and surface gravities derived from 16 quarters of Kepler observations to produce a near-complete sample of solar analogs in the Kepler field. We then compare the statistical distribution of stellar physical parameters, including activity level, for subsets of solar analogs consisting of KOIs and those with no detected exoplanets. Finally, we produce a list of potential solar twins in the Kepler field.

  5. Planet map generation by tetrahedral subdivision

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mogensen, Torben Ægidius


    We present a method for generating pseudo-random, zoomable planet maps for games and art.  The method is based on spatial subdivision using tetrahedrons.  This ensures planet maps without discontinuities caused by mapping a flat map onto a sphere. We compare the method to other map...

  6. Detecting planets around stars in nearby galaxies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Covone, G; de Ritis, R; Dominik, M; Marino, AA

    The only way to detect planets around stars at distances greater than or similar to several kpc is by (photometric or astrometric) microlensing (mu L) observations. In this paper, we show that the capability of photometric mu L extends to the detection of signals caused by planets around stars in

  7. Solar System Moons Discovery and Mythology

    CERN Document Server

    Blunck, Jürgen


    Starting from Mars outward this concise handbook provides thorough information on the satellites of the planets in the solar system. Each chapter begins with a section on the discovery and the naming of the planet's satellites or rings. This is followed by a section presenting the historic sources of those names. The book contains tables with the orbital and physical parameters of all satellites and is illustrated throughout with modern photos of the planets and their moons as well as historical and mythological drawings. The Cyrillic transcriptions of the satellite names are provided in a register. Readers interested in the history of astronomy and its mythological backgrounds will enjoy this beautiful volume.

  8. Neptune and Triton: Essential pieces of the Solar System puzzle


    Masters, A.; Achilleos, N.; Agnor, CB; Campagnola, S; Charnoz, S.; Christophe, B.; Coates, AJ; Fletcher, LN; Jones, GH; Lamy, L.; Marzari, F.; Nettelmann, N; Ruiz, J; Ambrosi, R.; Andre, N


    The planet Neptune and its largest moon Triton hold the keys to major advances across multiple fields of Solar System science. The ice giant Neptune played a unique and important role in the process of Solar System formation, has the most meteorologically active atmosphere in the Solar System (despite its great distance from the Sun), and may be the best Solar System analogue of the dominant class of exoplanets detected to date. Neptune's moon Triton is very likely a captured Kuiper Belt obje...

  9. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets. (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Frank; Chassefière, Eric; Breuer, Doris; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Kulikov, Yuri N; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Biernat, Helfried K; Leblanc, Francois; Kallio, Esa; Lundin, Richard; Westall, Frances; Bauer, Siegfried J; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Gröller, Hannes; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Hausleitner, Walter; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Leitzinger, Martin; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Motschmann, Uwe; Odert, Petra; Paresce, Francesco; Parnell, John; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rauer, Heike; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Spohn, Tilman; Stadelmann, Anja; Stangl, Günter; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J


    The evolution of Earth-like habitable planets is a complex process that depends on the geodynamical and geophysical environments. In particular, it is necessary that plate tectonics remain active over billions of years. These geophysically active environments are strongly coupled to a planet's host star parameters, such as mass, luminosity and activity, orbit location of the habitable zone, and the planet's initial water inventory. Depending on the host star's radiation and particle flux evolution, the composition in the thermosphere, and the availability of an active magnetic dynamo, the atmospheres of Earth-like planets within their habitable zones are differently affected due to thermal and nonthermal escape processes. For some planets, strong atmospheric escape could even effect the stability of the atmosphere.

  10. Reflected eclipses on circumbinary planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deeg H.J.


    Full Text Available A photometric method to detect planets orbiting around shortperiodic binary stars is presented. It is based on the detection of eclipse-signatures in the reflected light of circumbinary planets. Amplitudes of such ’reflected eclipses’ will depend on the orbital configurations of binary and planet relative to the observer. Reflected eclipses will occur with a period that is distinct from the binary eclipses, and their timing will also be modified by variations in the light-travel time of the eclipse signal. For the sample of eclipsing binaries found by the Kepler mission, reflected eclipses from close circumbinary planets may be detectable around at least several dozen binaries. A thorough detection effort of such reflected eclipses may then detect the inner planets present, or give solid limits to their abundance.

  11. Exoplanet orbital eccentricity: multiplicity relation and the Solar System. (United States)

    Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin L


    The known population of exoplanets exhibits a much wider range of orbital eccentricities than Solar System planets and has a much higher average eccentricity. These facts have been widely interpreted to indicate that the Solar System is an atypical member of the overall population of planetary systems. We report here on a strong anticorrelation of orbital eccentricity with multiplicity (number of planets in the system) among cataloged radial velocity (RV) systems. The mean, median, and rough distribution of eccentricities of Solar System planets fits an extrapolation of this anticorrelation to the eight-planet case rather precisely despite the fact that no more than two Solar System planets would be detectable with RV data comparable to that in the exoplanet sample. Moreover, even if regarded as a single or double planetary system, the Solar System lies in a reasonably heavily populated region of eccentricity-multiplicity space. Thus, the Solar System is not anomalous among known exoplanetary systems with respect to eccentricities when its multiplicity is taken into account. Specifically, as the multiplicity of a system increases, the eccentricity decreases roughly as a power law of index -1.20. A simple and plausible but ad hoc and model-dependent interpretation of this relationship implies that ∼ 80% of the one-planet and 25% of the two-planet systems in our sample have additional, as yet undiscovered, members but that systems of higher observed multiplicity are largely complete (i.e., relatively rarely contain additional undiscovered planets). If low eccentricities indeed favor high multiplicities, habitability may be more common in systems with a larger number of planets.

  12. Exoplanet orbital eccentricity: Multiplicity relation and the Solar System (United States)

    Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin L.


    The known population of exoplanets exhibits a much wider range of orbital eccentricities than Solar System planets and has a much higher average eccentricity. These facts have been widely interpreted to indicate that the Solar System is an atypical member of the overall population of planetary systems. We report here on a strong anticorrelation of orbital eccentricity with multiplicity (number of planets in the system) among cataloged radial velocity (RV) systems. The mean, median, and rough distribution of eccentricities of Solar System planets fits an extrapolation of this anticorrelation to the eight-planet case rather precisely despite the fact that no more than two Solar System planets would be detectable with RV data comparable to that in the exoplanet sample. Moreover, even if regarded as a single or double planetary system, the Solar System lies in a reasonably heavily populated region of eccentricity−multiplicity space. Thus, the Solar System is not anomalous among known exoplanetary systems with respect to eccentricities when its multiplicity is taken into account. Specifically, as the multiplicity of a system increases, the eccentricity decreases roughly as a power law of index –1.20. A simple and plausible but ad hoc and model-dependent interpretation of this relationship implies that ∼80% of the one-planet and 25% of the two-planet systems in our sample have additional, as yet undiscovered, members but that systems of higher observed multiplicity are largely complete (i.e., relatively rarely contain additional undiscovered planets). If low eccentricities indeed favor high multiplicities, habitability may be more common in systems with a larger number of planets. PMID:25512527

  13. Mechanism for the Coupled Photochemistry of Ammonia and Acetylene: Implications for Giant Planets, Comets and Interstellar Organic Synthesis (United States)

    Keane, Thomas C.


    Laboratory studies provide a fundamental understanding of photochemical processes in planetary atmospheres. Photochemical reactions taking place on giant planets like Jupiter and possibly comets and the interstellar medium are the subject of this research. Reaction pathways are proposed for the coupled photochemistry of NH3 (ammonia) and C2H2 (acetylene) within the context Jupiter's atmosphere. We then extend the discussion to the Great Red Spot, Extra-Solar Giant Planets, Comets and Interstellar Organic Synthesis. Reaction rates in the form of quantum yields were measured for the decomposition of reactants and the formation of products and stable intermediates: HCN (hydrogen cyanide), CH3CN (acetonitrile), CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 (acetaldazine), CH3CH = N-NH2 (acetaldehyde hydrazone), C2H5NH2 (ethylamine), CH3NH2 (methylamine) and C2H4 (ethene) in the photolysis of NH3/C2H2 mixtures. Some of these compounds, formed in our investigation of pathways for HCN synthesis, were not encountered previously in observational, theoretical or laboratory photochemical studies. The quantum yields obtained allowed for the formulation of a reaction mechanism that attempts to explain the observed results under varying experimental conditions. In general, the results of this work are consistent with the initial observations of Ferris and Ishikawa (1988). However, their proposed reaction pathway which centers on the photolysis of CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 does not explain all of the results obtained in this study. The formation of CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 by a radical combination reaction of CH3CH = N• was shown in this work to be inconsistent with other experiments where the CH3CH = N• radical is thought to form but where no CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 was detected. The importance of the role of H atom abstraction reactions was demonstrated and an alternative pathway for CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 formation involving nucleophilic reaction between N2H4 and CH3CH = NH is advanced.

  14. Mechanism for the Coupled Photochemistry of Ammonia and Acetylene: Implications for Giant Planets, Comets and Interstellar Organic Synthesis. (United States)

    Keane, Thomas C


    Laboratory studies provide a fundamental understanding of photochemical processes in planetary atmospheres. Photochemical reactions taking place on giant planets like Jupiter and possibly comets and the interstellar medium are the subject of this research. Reaction pathways are proposed for the coupled photochemistry of NH3 (ammonia) and C2H2 (acetylene) within the context Jupiter's atmosphere. We then extend the discussion to the Great Red Spot, Extra-Solar Giant Planets, Comets and Interstellar Organic Synthesis. Reaction rates in the form of quantum yields were measured for the decomposition of reactants and the formation of products and stable intermediates: HCN (hydrogen cyanide), CH3CN (acetonitrile), CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 (acetaldazine), CH3CH = N-NH2 (acetaldehyde hydrazone), C2H5NH2 (ethylamine), CH3NH2 (methylamine) and C2H4 (ethene) in the photolysis of NH3/C2H2 mixtures. Some of these compounds, formed in our investigation of pathways for HCN synthesis, were not encountered previously in observational, theoretical or laboratory photochemical studies. The quantum yields obtained allowed for the formulation of a reaction mechanism that attempts to explain the observed results under varying experimental conditions. In general, the results of this work are consistent with the initial observations of Ferris and Ishikawa (1988). However, their proposed reaction pathway which centers on the photolysis of CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 does not explain all of the results obtained in this study. The formation of CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 by a radical combination reaction of CH3CH = N• was shown in this work to be inconsistent with other experiments where the CH3CH = N• radical is thought to form but where no CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 was detected. The importance of the role of H atom abstraction reactions was demonstrated and an alternative pathway for CH3CH = N-N = CHCH3 formation involving nucleophilic reaction between N2H4 and CH3CH = NH is advanced.

  15. Surface flux patterns on planets in circumbinary systems and potential for photosynthesis (United States)

    Forgan, Duncan H.; Mead, Alexander; Cockell, Charles S.; Raven, John A.


    Recently, the Kepler Space Telescope has detected several planets in orbit around a close binary star system. These so-called circumbinary planets will experience non-trivial spatial and temporal distributions of radiative flux on their surfaces, with features not seen in their single-star orbiting counterparts. Earth-like circumbinary planets inhabited by photosynthetic organisms will be forced to adapt to these unusual flux patterns. We map the flux received by putative Earth-like planets (as a function of surface latitude/longitude and time) orbiting the binary star systems Kepler-16 and Kepler-47, two star systems which already boast circumbinary exoplanet detections. The longitudinal and latitudinal distribution of flux is sensitive to the centre-of-mass motion of the binary, and the relative orbital phases of the binary and planet. Total eclipses of the secondary by the primary, as well as partial eclipses of the primary by the secondary add an extra forcing term to the system. We also find that the patterns of darkness on the surface are equally unique. Beyond the planet's polar circles, the surface spends a significantly longer time in darkness than latitudes around the equator, due to the stars' motions delaying the first sunrise of spring (or hastening the last sunset of autumn). In the case of Kepler-47, we also find a weak longitudinal dependence for darkness, but this effect tends to average out if considered over many orbits. In the light of these flux and darkness patterns, we consider and discuss the prospects and challenges for photosynthetic organisms, using terrestrial analogues as a guide.

  16. Comprehensive wide-band magnitudes and albedos for the planets, with applications to exo-planets and Planet Nine (United States)

    Mallama, Anthony; Krobusek, Bruce; Pavlov, Hristo


    Complete sets of reference magnitudes in all 7 Johnson-Cousins bands (U, B, V, R, I, RC and IC) and the 5 principal Sloan bands (u', g', r', i', and z') are presented for the 8 planets. These data are accompanied by illumination phase functions and other formulas which characterize the instantaneous brightness of the planets. The main source of Johnson-Cousins magnitudes is a series of individualized photometric studies reported in recent years. Gaps in that dataset were filled with magnitudes synthesized in this study from published spectrophotometry. The planetary Sloan magnitudes, which are established here for the first time, are an average of newly recorded Sloan filter photometry, synthetic magnitudes and values transformed from the Johnson-Cousins system. Geometric albedos derived from these two sets of magnitudes are consistent within each photometric system and between the systems for all planets and in all bands. This consistency validates the albedos themselves as well as the magnitudes from which they were derived. In addition, a quantity termed the delta stellar magnitude is introduced to indicate the difference between the magnitude of a planet and that of its parent star. A table of these delta values for exo-planets possessing a range of physical characteristics is presented. The delta magnitudes are for phase angle 90° where a planet is near the greatest apparent separation from its star. This quantity may be useful in exo-planet detection and observation strategies when an estimate of the signal-to-noise ratio is needed. Likewise, the phase curves presented in this paper can be used for characterizing exo-planets. Finally, magnitudes for the proposed Planet Nine are estimated, and we note that P9 may be especially faint at red and near-IR wavelengths.

  17. Optimal planning of radial velocity observations for multi-planet extrasolar systems (United States)

    Baluev, R. V.


    Applications of the theory of the optimal design of radial-velocity planet-search surveys are discussed. Two important practical problems are considered. The first problem is finding the time for future observations to yield the maximum improvement of the accuracy of exoplanetary orbital parameters and masses. In this case, the optimal scheduling rules are designed to maximize the determinant of the Fisher information matrix (the so-called D-optimality criterion). This method is asymptotically equivalent to the maximization of the expected gain of the Shannon information provided by making extra observations. The second problem is finding the most favourable observing time for distinguishing alternative orbital fits (the design of discriminating experiments). In this case, the optimal scheduling rules are designed to maximize the Kullback-Leibler divergence information. We also consider the potential efficiency of these methods of optimal planning of radial velocity observations for multi-planet systems.

  18. Casimir Energy, Extra Dimensions and Exotic Propulsion (United States)

    Obousy, R.; Saharian, A.

    It is well known that the Casimir effect is an excellent candidate for the stabilization of the extra dimensions. It has also been suggested that the Casimir effect in higher dimensions may be the underlying phenomenon that is responsible for the dark energy which is currently driving the accelerated expansion of the universe. In this paper we suggest that, in principle, it may be possible to directly manipulate the size of an extra dimension locally using Standard Model fields in the next generation of particle accelerators. This adjustment of the size of the higher dimension could serve as a technological mechanism to locally adjust the dark energy density and change the local expansion of spacetime. This idea holds tantalizing possibilities in the context of exotic spacecraft propulsion.

  19. Extra-dimensional confinement of quantum particles

    CERN Document Server

    Hedin, Eric R


    A basic theoretical framework is developed in which elementary particles have a component of their wave function extending into higher spatial dimensions. This model postulates an extension of the Schrodinger equation to include a 4th and 5th spatial component. A higher-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator confining potential localizes particles into 3-d space, characterizing the brane tension which confines Standard Model particles to the sub-manifold. Quantum effects allow a non-zero probability for a particle's evanescent existence in the higher dimensions, and suggest an experimental test for the validity of this model via particles being temporarily excited into the first excited state of the extra-dimensional potential well, in which their probability of existing in 3-d space transiently drops to zero. Several consistency checks of the outcomes of this extra-dimensional model are included in this paper. Among the outcomes of this model are: a match with the quantum phenomenon of zitterbewegung; the pr...

  20. Extra dimensions hypothesis in high energy physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volobuev Igor


    Full Text Available We discuss the history of the extra dimensions hypothesis and the physics and phenomenology of models with large extra dimensions with an emphasis on the Randall- Sundrum (RS model with two branes. We argue that the Standard Model extension based on the RS model with two branes is phenomenologically acceptable only if the inter-brane distance is stabilized. Within such an extension of the Standard Model, we study the influence of the infinite Kaluza-Klein (KK towers of the bulk fields on collider processes. In particular, we discuss the modification of the scalar sector of the theory, the Higgs-radion mixing due to the coupling of the Higgs boson to the radion and its KK tower, and the experimental restrictions on the mass of the radion-dominated states.