WorldWideScience

Sample records for outer planet missions

  1. Study of Power Options for Jupiter and Outer Planet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Fincannon, James

    2015-01-01

    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. Outer Planet Missions with Electric Propulsion Systems—Part I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Renato Huaura Solórzano

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available For interplanetary missions, efficient electric propulsion systems can be used to increase the mass delivered to the destination. Outer planet exploration has experienced new interest with the launch of the Cassini and New Horizons Missions. At the present, new technologies are studied for better use of electric propulsion systems in missions to the outer planets. This paper presents low-thrust trajectories using the method of the transporting trajectory to Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. They use nuclear and radio isotopic electric propulsion. These direct transfers have continuous electric propulsion of low power along the entire trajectory. The main goal of the paper is to optimize the transfers, that is, to provide maximum mass to be delivered to the outer planets.

  3. Multimission nuclear electric propulsion system for outer planet exploration missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mondt, J.F.

    1981-01-01

    A 100-kW reactor power system with a specific mass of 15 to 30 kg/kW/sub e/ and an electric thrust system with a specific mass of 5 to 10 kg/kW/sub e/ can be combined into a nuclear electric propulsion system. The system can be used for outer planet missions as well as earth orbital transfer vehicle missions. 5 refs

  4. Hybrid rocket propulsion systems for outer planet exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jens, Elizabeth T.; Cantwell, Brian J.; Hubbard, G. Scott

    2016-11-01

    Outer planet exploration missions require significant propulsive capability, particularly to achieve orbit insertion. Missions to explore the moons of outer planets place even more demanding requirements on propulsion systems, since they involve multiple large ΔV maneuvers. Hybrid rockets present a favorable alternative to conventional propulsion systems for many of these missions. They typically enjoy higher specific impulse than solids, can be throttled, stopped/restarted, and have more flexibility in their packaging configuration. Hybrids are more compact and easier to throttle than liquids and have similar performance levels. In order to investigate the suitability of these propulsion systems for exploration missions, this paper presents novel hybrid motor designs for two interplanetary missions. Hybrid propulsion systems for missions to Europa and Uranus are presented and compared to conventional in-space propulsion systems. The hybrid motor design for each of these missions is optimized across a range of parameters, including propellant selection, O/F ratio, nozzle area ratio, and chamber pressure. Details of the design process are described in order to provide guidance for researchers wishing to evaluate hybrid rocket motor designs for other missions and applications.

  5. Definition phase of Grand Tour missions/radio science investigations study for outer planets missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, G. L.

    1972-01-01

    Scientific instrumentation for satellite communication and radio tracking systems in the outer planet exploration mission is discussed. Mission planning considers observations of planetary and satellite-masses, -atmospheres, -magnetic fields, -surfaces, -gravitational fields, solar wind composition, planetary radio emissions, and tests of general relativity in time delay and ray bending experiments.

  6. Mission operations for unmanned nuclear electric propulsion outer planet exploration with a thermionic reactor spacecraft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spera, R. J.; Prickett, W. Z.; Garate, J. A.; Firth, W. L.

    1971-01-01

    Mission operations are presented for comet rendezvous and outer planet exploration NEP spacecraft employing in-core thermionic reactors for electric power generation. The selected reference missions are the Comet Halley rendezvous and a Jupiter orbiter at 5.9 planet radii, the orbit of the moon Io. The characteristics of the baseline multi-mission NEP spacecraft are presented and its performance in other outer planet missions, such as Saturn and Uranus orbiters and a Neptune flyby, are discussed. Candidate mission operations are defined from spacecraft assembly to mission completion. Pre-launch operations are identified. Shuttle launch and subsequent injection to earth escape by the Centaur D-1T are discussed, as well as power plant startup and the heliocentric mission phases. The sequence and type of operations are basically identical for all missions investigated.

  7. It Takes a Village. Collaborative Outer Planet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rymer, A. M.; Turtle, E. P.; Hofstadter, M. D.; Simon, A. A.; Hospodarsky, G. B.

    2017-01-01

    A mission to one or both of our local Ice Giants (Uranus and Neptune) emerged as a high priority in the most recent Planetary Science Decadal Survey and was also specifically mentioned supportively in the Heliophysics Decadal Survey. In 2016, NASA convened a science definition team to study ice giant mission concepts in more detail. Uranus and Neptune represent the last remaining planetary type in our Solar System to have a dedicated orbiting mission. The case for a Uranus mission has been made eloquently in the Decadal Surveys. Here we summarize some of the major drivers that lead to enthusiastic support for an Ice Giant mission in general, and use the example of a Uranus Mission concept to illustrate opportunities such a mission might provide for cross-division collaboration and cost-sharing.

  8. Microbial Morphology and Motility as Biosignatures for Outer Planet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadeau, Jay; Lindensmith, Chris; Deming, Jody W.; Fernandez, Vicente I.; Stocker, Roman

    2016-10-01

    Meaningful motion is an unambiguous biosignature, but because life in the Solar System is most likely to be microbial, the question is whether such motion may be detected effectively on the micrometer scale. Recent results on microbial motility in various Earth environments have provided insight into the physics and biology that determine whether and how microorganisms as small as bacteria and archaea swim, under which conditions, and at which speeds. These discoveries have not yet been reviewed in an astrobiological context. This paper discusses these findings in the context of Earth analog environments and environments expected to be encountered in the outer Solar System, particularly the jovian and saturnian moons. We also review the imaging technologies capable of recording motility of submicrometer-sized organisms and discuss how an instrument would interface with several types of sample-collection strategies.

  9. TPS for Outer Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Ellerby, D.; Gage, P.; Gasch, M.; Hwang, H.; Prabhu, D.; Stackpoole, M.; Wercinski, Paul

    2018-01-01

    This invited talk will provide an assessment of the TPS needs for Outer Planet In-situ missions to destinations with atmosphere. The talk will outline the drivers for TPS from destination, science, mission architecture and entry environment. An assessment of the readiness of the TPS, both currently available and under development, for Saturn, Titan, Uranus and Neptune are provided. The challenges related to sustainability of the TPS for future missions are discussed.

  10. Long-life mission reliability for outer planet atmospheric entry probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccall, M. T.; Rouch, L.; Maycock, J. N.

    1976-01-01

    The results of a literature analysis on the effects of prolonged exposure to deep space environment on the properties of outer planet atmospheric entry probe components are presented. Materials considered included elastomers and plastics, pyrotechnic devices, thermal control components, metal springs and electronic components. The rates of degradation of each component were determined and extrapolation techniques were used to predict the effects of exposure for up to eight years to deep space. Pyrotechnic devices were aged under accelerated conditions to an equivalent of eight years in space and functionally tested. Results of the literature analysis of the selected components and testing of the devices indicated that no severe degradation should be expected during an eight year space mission.

  11. Dual-Telescope Multi-Channel Thermal-Infrared Radiometer for Outer Planet Fly-By Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslam, Shahid; Amato, Michael; Bowles, Neil; Calcutt, Simon; Hewagama, Tilak; Howard, Joseph; Howett, Carly; Hsieh, Wen-Ting; Hurford, Terry; Hurley, Jane; hide

    2016-01-01

    The design of a versatile dual-telescope thermal-infrared radiometer spanning the spectral wavelength range 8-200 microns, in five spectral pass bands, for outer planet fly-by missions is described. The dual- telescope design switches between a narrow-field-of-view and a wide-field-of-view to provide optimal spatial resolution images within a range of spacecraft encounters to the target. The switchable dual-field- of-view system uses an optical configuration based on the axial rotation of a source-select mirror along the optical axis. The optical design, spectral performance, radiometric accuracy, and retrieval estimates of the instrument are discussed. This is followed by an assessment of the surface coverage performance at various spatial resolutions by using the planned NASA Europa Mission 13-F7 fly-by trajectories as a case study.

  12. Nuclear electric propulsion /NEP/ spacecraft for the outer planet orbiter mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garrison, P.W.; Nock, K.T.

    1982-01-01

    The design, operating features, and a possible Neptune orbit for the spacecraft powered by the SP-100 nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) system under study by NASA and the DOE are described. The system features a reactor and a payload situated on opposite ends of a 0.5 m diam, 11 m long astromast. Mercury-ion thrusters are located beneath the reactor for side thrusting, and no contamination of the payload or obstruction of the viewing angles for scientific objectives occurs with the system, which would not degrade in performance even under high insolation during near-sun maneuvers. Results of a theoretical study of earth escapes are presented to show that an NEP powered spiral trajectory out of a 700 km Shuttle orbit and using a Triton gravity assist would be superior to departing from a 300 km orbit with a Centaur boost. The mission profile includes a 1249 kg Galileo payload. The SP-100 has a 1.4 MWth reactor with UO2 fuel tiles and weighs 19,904 kg

  13. Fluxgate magnetometers for outer planets exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acuna, M. H.

    1974-01-01

    The exploration of the interplanetary medium and the magnetospheres of the outer planets requires the implementation of magnetic field measuring instrumentation with wide dynamic range, high stability, and reliability. The fluxgate magnetometers developed for the Pioneer 11 and Mariner-Jupiter-Saturn missions are presented. These instruments cover the range of .01 nT to 2 million nT with optimum performance characteristics and low power consumption.

  14. Outer planet probe cost estimates: First impressions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niehoff, J.

    1974-01-01

    An examination was made of early estimates of outer planetary atmospheric probe cost by comparing the estimates with past planetary projects. Of particular interest is identification of project elements which are likely cost drivers for future probe missions. Data are divided into two parts: first, the description of a cost model developed by SAI for the Planetary Programs Office of NASA, and second, use of this model and its data base to evaluate estimates of probe costs. Several observations are offered in conclusion regarding the credibility of current estimates and specific areas of the outer planet probe concept most vulnerable to cost escalation.

  15. Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilford, Shelby G.; Asrar, Ghassem; Backlund, Peter W.

    1994-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the Earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic Earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the Earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the Earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment.

  16. Mission to Planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, G.S.; Backlund, P.W.

    1992-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment. 8 refs

  17. LO2/LH2 propulsion for outer planet orbiter spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, P. W.; Sigurdson, K. B.

    1983-01-01

    Galileo class orbiter missions (750-1500 kg) to the outer planets require a large postinjection delta-V for improved propulsion performance. The present investigation shows that a pump-fed low thrust LO2/LH2 propulsion system can provide a significantly larger net on-orbit mass for a given delta-V than a state-of-the-art earth storable, N2O4/monomethylhydrazine pressure-fed propulsion system. A description is given of a conceptual design for a LO2/LH2 pump-fed propulsion system developed for a Galileo class mission to the outer planets. Attention is given to spacecraft configuration, details regarding the propulsion system, the thermal control of the cryogenic propellants, and aspects of mission performance.

  18. Kepler planet-detection mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    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....

  19. Dynamically hot Super-Earths from outer giant planet scattering

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Chelsea X.; Petrovich, Cristobal; Deibert, Emily

    2016-01-01

    The hundreds of multiple planetary systems discovered by the \\textit{Kepler} mission are typically observed to reside in close-in ($\\lesssim0.5$ AU), low-eccentricity, and low-inclination orbits. We run N-body experiments to study the effect that unstable outer ($\\gtrsim1$ AU) giant planets, whose end orbital configurations resemble those in the Radial Velocity population, have on these close-in multiple super-Earth systems. Our experiments show that the giant planets greatly reduce the multi...

  20. Magnetometer instrument team studies for the definition phase of the outer planets grand tour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, P. J., Jr.

    1972-01-01

    The objectives of magnetic field investigations on missions to the outer planets were defined as well as an instrumentation system, a program of studies and instrument development tasks was proposed for the mission definition phase of the Outer Planets Grand Tour project. A report on the status of this program is given. Requirements were also established for the spacecraft and the mission which would insure their compatibility with the magnetic field investigation proposed for the outer planets missions and developed figures of merit for encounter trajectories. The spacecraft-instrumentation interface and the on-board data handling system were defined in various reports by the Project Team and in the reports by the Science Steering Group. The defining program for exploring the outer planets within the more restrictive constraints of the Mariner Jupiter-Saturn project included defining a limited magnetic field investigation.

  1. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Twicken, Joseph D.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey

    2012-03-01

    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

  2. Chairmanship of the Neptune/Pluto outer planets science working group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1993-11-01

    The Outer Planets Science Working Group (OPSWG) is the NASA Solar System Exploration Division (SSED) scientific steering committee for the Outer Solar System missions. OPSWG consists of 19 members and is chaired by Dr. S. Alan Stern. This proposal summarizes the FY93 activities of OPSWG, describes a set of objectives for OPSWG in FY94, and outlines the SWG's activities for FY95. As chair of OPSWG, Dr. Stern will be responsible for: organizing priorities, setting agendas, conducting meetings of the Outer Planets SWG; reporting the results of OPSWG's work to SSED; supporting those activities relating to OPSWG work, such as briefings to the SSES, COMPLEX, and OSS; supporting the JPL/SAIC Pluto study team; and other tasks requested by SSED. As the Scientific Working Group (SWG) for Jupiter and the planets beyond, OPSWG is the SSED SWG chartered to study and develop mission plans for all missions to the giant planets, Pluto, and other distant objects in the remote outer solar system. In that role, OPSWG is responsible for: defining and prioritizing scientific objectives for missions to these bodies; defining and documenting the scientific goals and rationale behind such missions; defining and prioritizing the datasets to be obtained in these missions; defining and prioritizing measurement objectives for these missions; defining and documenting the scientific rationale for strawman instrument payloads; defining and prioritizing the scientific requirements for orbital tour and flyby encounter trajectories; defining cruise science opportunities plan; providing technical feedback to JPL and SSED on the scientific capabilities of engineering studies for these missions; providing documentation to SSED concerning the scientific goals, objectives, and rationale for the mission; interfacing with other SSED and OSS committees at the request of SSED's Director or those committee chairs; providing input to SSED concerning the structure and content of the Announcement of Opportunity

  3. Hubble 2020: Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Amy

    2017-08-01

    Long time base observations of the outer planets are critical in understanding the atmospheric dynamics and evolution of the gas giants. We propose yearly monitoring of each giant planet for the remainder of Hubble's lifetime to provide a lasting legacy of increasingly valuable data for time-domain studies. The Hubble Space Telescope is a unique asset to planetary science, allowing high spatial resolution data with absolute photometric knowledge. For the outer planets, gas/ice giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, many phenomena happen on timescales of years to decades, and the data we propose are beyond the scope of a typical GO program. Hubble is the only platform that can provide high spatial resolution global studies of cloud coloration, activity, and motion on a consistent time basis to help constrain the underlying mechanics.

  4. Low velocity encounters of minor bodies with the outer planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carusi, A.; Perozzi, E.; Valsecchi, G.B.

    1983-01-01

    Previous studies of close encounters of minor bodies with Jupiter have shown that the perturbations are stronger either if the encounter is very deep or if the velocity of the minor body relative to the planet is low. In the present research the author investigates the effects of low velocity encounters between fictitious minor bodies and the four outer planets. Two possible outcomes of this type of encounter are the temporary satellite capture of the minor body by the planet, and the exchange of perihelion with aphelion of the minor body orbit. Different occurrence rates of these processes are found for different planets, and the implications for the orbital evolution of minor bodies in the outer Solar System are discussed. (Auth.)

  5. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS. II. PREDICTIONS FOR OUTER EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2010-01-01

    We develop an idealized dynamical model to predict the typical properties of outer extrasolar planetary systems, at radii comparable to the Jupiter-to-Neptune region of the solar system. The model is based upon the hypothesis that dynamical evolution in outer planetary systems is controlled by a combination of planet-planet scattering and planetary interactions with an exterior disk of small bodies ('planetesimals'). Our results are based on 5000 long duration N-body simulations that follow the evolution of three planets from a few to 10 AU, together with a planetesimal disk containing 50 M + from 10 to 20 AU. For large planet masses (M ∼> M Sat ), the model recovers the observed eccentricity distribution of extrasolar planets. For lower-mass planets, the range of outcomes in models with disks is far greater than that which is seen in isolated planet-planet scattering. Common outcomes include strong scattering among massive planets, sudden jumps in eccentricity due to resonance crossings driven by divergent migration, and re-circularization of scattered low-mass planets in the outer disk. We present the distributions of the eccentricity and inclination that result, and discuss how they vary with planet mass and initial system architecture. In agreement with other studies, we find that the currently observed eccentricity distribution (derived primarily from planets at a ∼ -1 and periods in excess of 10 years will provide constraints on this regime. Finally, we present an analysis of the predicted separation of planets in two-planet systems, and of the population of planets in mean-motion resonances (MMRs). We show that, if there are systems with ∼ Jupiter-mass planets that avoid close encounters, the planetesimal disk acts as a damping mechanism and populates MMRs at a very high rate (50%-80%). In many cases, resonant chains (in particular the 4:2:1 Laplace resonance) are set up among all three planets. We expect such resonant chains to be common among massive

  6. Biology on the outer planets. [life possibility in atmospheres and moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, R. S.; Macelroy, R. D.

    1976-01-01

    A brief review is given of information on the structure and composition of the outer planets and the organic reactions that may be occurring on them. The possibility of life arising or surviving in the atmospheres of these planets is considered, and the problem of contamination during future unmanned missions is assessed. Atmospheric models or available atmospheric data are reviewed for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, the Galilean satellites, and Titan. The presence of biologically interesting gases on Jupiter and Saturn is discussed, requirements for life on Jupiter are summarized, and possible sources of biological energy are examined. Proposals are made for protecting these planets and satellites from biological contamination by spacecraftborne terrestrial organisms.

  7. Interplanetary outpost the human and technological challenges of exploring the outer planets

    CERN Document Server

    Seedhouse, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Water has been discovered on the Saturnian moon, Enceladus, and on Jupiter's moons, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Where there is water, could there be life? Could this tantalizing possibility result in a manned mission to the outer planets? But how will such a mission be designed, what propulsion system will be used, and what hazards will the crewmembers face? Interplanetary Outpost describes step by step how the mission architecture will evolve, how crews will be selected and trained, and what the mission will entail from launch to landing. It addresses the effects that exteneded duration, radiation, communication, and isolation will have on the human body, and how not only performance but behavior might be affected.

  8. Para hydrogen equilibration in the atmospheres of the outer planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conrath, B.J.

    1986-01-01

    The thermodynamic behavior of the atmospheres of the Jovian planets is strongly dependent on the extent to which local thermal equilibration of the ortho and para states of molecular hydrogen is achieved. Voyager IRIS data from Jupiter imply substantial departures of the para hydrogen fraction from equilibrium in the upper troposphere at low latitudes, but with values approaching equilibrium at higher latitudes. Data from Saturn are less sensitive to the orth-para ratio, but suggest para hydrogen fractions near the equilibrium value. Above approximately the 200 K temperature level, para hydrogen conversion can enhance the efficiency of convection, resulting in a substantial increase in overturning times on all of the outer planets. Currently available data cannot definitively establish the ortho-para ratios in the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune, but suggest values closer to local equilibrium than to the 3.1 normal ratio. Modeling of sub-millimeter wavelength measurements of these planets suggest thermal structures with frozen equilibrium lapse rates in their convective regions

  9. Preentry communication design elements for outer planets atmospheric entry probe

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    Four related tasks are discussed for data transmission from a probe prior to entering the atmosphere of Jupiter to an orbiting spacecraft in a trajectory past the planet: (1) link analysis and design; (2) system conceptual design; (3) Doppler measurement analysis; and (4) an electronically despun antenna. For tasks 1, 3, and 4, an analytical approach was developed and combined with computational capability available to produce quantitative results corresponding to requirements and constraints given by NASA, ARC. One constraint having a major impact on the numerical results of the link analysis was the assumption of a nonsteerable antenna on a spinning orbiter. Other constraints included the interplanetary trajectory and the approach trajectory. Because the Jupiter Orbiter Probe (JOP) program is currently in a state of evolution, all requirements and constraints applied during this study are subject to change. However, the relationships of parameters as developed will remain valid and will aid in planning Jupiter missions.

  10. US Decadal Survey Outer Solar System Missions: Trajectory Options

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spilker, T. R.; Atkinson, D. H.; Strange, N. J.; Landau, D.

    2012-04-01

    The report of the US Planetary Science Decadal Survey (PSDS), released in draft form March 7, 2011, identifies several mission concepts involving travel to high-priority outer solar system (OSS) destinations. These include missions to Europa and Jupiter, Saturn and two of its satellites, and Uranus. Because travel to the OSS involves much larger distances and larger excursions out of the sun's gravitational potential well than inner solar system (ISS) missions, transfer trajectories for OSS missions are stronger drivers of mission schedule and resource requirements than for ISS missions. Various characteristics of each planet system, such as obliquity, radiation belts, rings, deep gravity wells, etc., carry ramifications for approach trajectories or trajectories within the systems. The maturity of trajectory studies for each of these destinations varies significantly. Europa has been the focus of studies for well over a decade. Transfer trajectory options from Earth to Jupiter are well understood. Current studies focus on trajectories within the Jovian system that could reduce the total mission cost of a Europa orbiter mission. Three missions to the Saturn system received high priority ratings in the PSDS report: two flagship orbital missions, one to Titan and one to Enceladus, and a Saturn atmospheric entry probe mission for NASA's New Frontiers Program. The Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) studies of 2007-2009 advanced our understanding of trajectory options for transfers to Saturn, including solar electric propulsion (SEP) trajectories. But SEP trajectories depend more on details of spacecraft and propulsion system characteristics than chemical trajectories, and the maturity of SEP trajectory search tools has not yet caught up with chemical trajectory tools, so there is still more useful research to be done on Saturn transfers. The TSSM studies revealed much about Saturn-orbiting trajectories that yield efficient and timely delivery to Titan or Enceladus

  11. Solar System Exploration Augmented by Lunar and Outer Planet Resource Utilization: Historical Perspectives and Future Possibilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2014-01-01

    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

  12. 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

    2005-01-01

    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...

  13. Organic Materials Ionizing Radiation Susceptibility for the Outer Planet/Solar Probe Radioisotope Power Source

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golliher, Eric L.; Pepper, Stephen V.

    2001-01-01

    The Department of Energy is considering the current Stirling Technology Corporation 55 We Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor as a baseline option for an advanced radioisotope power source for the Outer Planets/Solar Probe project of Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other missions. However, since the Technology Demonstration Convertor contains organic materials chosen without any special consideration of flight readiness, and without any consideration of the extremely high radiation environment of Europa, a preliminary investigation was performed to address the radiation susceptibility of the current organic materials used in the Technology Demonstration Convertor. This report documents the results of the investigation. The results of the investigation show that candidate replacement materials have been identified to be acceptable in the harsh Europa radiation environment.

  14. Kepler Planet-Detection Mission: Introduction and First Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-19

    those predicted for gas giant planets. Since the first discoveries of planetarycompanions around pulsars (1, 2) andnormal stars (3), more than 400...52,496 in total). Analysis of these data sets also led to a series of astrophysical discoveries , including oscillations of giant stars and two... Discovery mission. Funding for this mission is provided by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Supporting Online Material www.sciencemag.org/cgi

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

    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.

  17. Kepler planet-detection mission: introduction and first results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William J; Koch, David; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie; Brown, Timothy; Caldwell, Douglas; Caldwell, John; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Cochran, William D; DeVore, Edna; Dunham, Edward W; Dupree, Andrea K; Gautier, Thomas N; Geary, John C; Gilliland, Ronald; Gould, Alan; Howell, Steve B; Jenkins, Jon M; Kondo, Yoji; Latham, David W; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Meibom, Søren; Kjeldsen, Hans; Lissauer, Jack J; Monet, David G; Morrison, David; Sasselov, Dimitar; Tarter, Jill; Boss, Alan; Brownlee, Don; Owen, Toby; Buzasi, Derek; Charbonneau, David; Doyle, Laurance; Fortney, Jonathan; Ford, Eric B; Holman, Matthew J; Seager, Sara; Steffen, Jason H; Welsh, William F; Rowe, Jason; Anderson, Howard; Buchhave, Lars; Ciardi, David; Walkowicz, Lucianne; Sherry, William; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Everett, Mark E; Fischer, Debra; Torres, Guillermo; Johnson, John Asher; Endl, Michael; MacQueen, Phillip; Bryson, Stephen T; Dotson, Jessie; Haas, Michael; Kolodziejczak, Jeffrey; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Chandrasekaran, Hema; Twicken, Joseph D; Quintana, Elisa V; Clarke, Bruce D; Allen, Christopher; Li, Jie; Wu, Haley; Tenenbaum, Peter; Verner, Ekaterina; Bruhweiler, Frederick; Barnes, Jason; Prsa, Andrej

    2010-02-19

    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 monitored 156,000 stars, and five new exoplanets with sizes between 0.37 and 1.6 Jupiter radii and orbital periods from 3.2 to 4.9 days were discovered. The density of the Neptune-sized Kepler-4b is similar to that of Neptune and GJ 436b, even though the irradiation level is 800,000 times higher. Kepler-7b is one of the lowest-density planets (approximately 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.

  18. The Kepler Mission: A Search for Terrestrial Planets - Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, David; Borucki, W.; Mayer, D.; Caldwell, D.; Jenkens, J.; Dunham, E.; Geary, J.; Bachtell, E.; Deininger, W.; Philbrick, R.

    2003-01-01

    We have embarked on a mission to detect terrestrial planets. The space mission has been optimized to search for earth-size planets (0.5 to 10 earth masses) in the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. Given this design, the mission will necessarily be capable of not only detecting Earth analogs, but a wide range of planetary types and characteristics ranging from Mercury-size objects with orbital periods of days to gas-giants in decade long orbits that have undeniable signatures even with only one transit detected. The mission is designed to survey the full range of spectral-type dwarf stars. The approach is to detect the periodic signal of transiting planets. Three or more transits of a star exceeding a combined threshold of eight sigma with a statistically consistent period, brightness change and duration provide a rigorous method of detection. From the relative brightness change the planet size can be calculated. From the period the orbital size can be calculated and its location relative to the HZ determined. Presented here are: the mission goals, the top level system design requirements derived from these goals that drive the flight system design, a number of the trades that have lead to the mission concept, expected photometric performance dependence on stellar brightness and spectral type based on the system 'noise tree' analysis. Updated estimates are presented of the numbers of detectable planets versus size, orbit, stellar spectral type and distances based on a planet frequency hypothesis. The current project schedule and organization are given.

  19. MAKING PLANET NINE: A SCATTERED GIANT IN THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Correlations in the orbits of several minor planets in the outer solar system suggest the presence of a remote, massive Planet Nine. With at least 10 times the mass of the Earth and a perihelion well beyond 100 au, Planet Nine poses a challenge to planet formation theory. Here we expand on a scenario in which the planet formed closer to the Sun and was gravitationally scattered by Jupiter or Saturn onto a very eccentric orbit in an extended gaseous disk. Dynamical friction with the gas then allowed the planet to settle in the outer solar system. We explore this possibility with a set of numerical simulations. Depending on how the gas disk evolves, scattered super-Earths or small gas giants settle on a range of orbits, with perihelion distances as large as 300 au. Massive disks that clear from the inside out on million-year timescales yield orbits that allow a super-Earth or gas giant to shepherd the minor planets as observed. A massive planet can achieve a similar orbit in a persistent, low-mass disk over the lifetime of the solar system.

  20. MAKING PLANET NINE: A SCATTERED GIANT IN THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bromley, Benjamin C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 South 1400 East, Room 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J., E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2016-07-20

    Correlations in the orbits of several minor planets in the outer solar system suggest the presence of a remote, massive Planet Nine. With at least 10 times the mass of the Earth and a perihelion well beyond 100 au, Planet Nine poses a challenge to planet formation theory. Here we expand on a scenario in which the planet formed closer to the Sun and was gravitationally scattered by Jupiter or Saturn onto a very eccentric orbit in an extended gaseous disk. Dynamical friction with the gas then allowed the planet to settle in the outer solar system. We explore this possibility with a set of numerical simulations. Depending on how the gas disk evolves, scattered super-Earths or small gas giants settle on a range of orbits, with perihelion distances as large as 300 au. Massive disks that clear from the inside out on million-year timescales yield orbits that allow a super-Earth or gas giant to shepherd the minor planets as observed. A massive planet can achieve a similar orbit in a persistent, low-mass disk over the lifetime of the solar system.

  1. Making Planet Nine: A Scattered Giant in the Outer Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2016-07-01

    Correlations in the orbits of several minor planets in the outer solar system suggest the presence of a remote, massive Planet Nine. With at least 10 times the mass of the Earth and a perihelion well beyond 100 au, Planet Nine poses a challenge to planet formation theory. Here we expand on a scenario in which the planet formed closer to the Sun and was gravitationally scattered by Jupiter or Saturn onto a very eccentric orbit in an extended gaseous disk. Dynamical friction with the gas then allowed the planet to settle in the outer solar system. We explore this possibility with a set of numerical simulations. Depending on how the gas disk evolves, scattered super-Earths or small gas giants settle on a range of orbits, with perihelion distances as large as 300 au. Massive disks that clear from the inside out on million-year timescales yield orbits that allow a super-Earth or gas giant to shepherd the minor planets as observed. A massive planet can achieve a similar orbit in a persistent, low-mass disk over the lifetime of the solar system.

  2. Laboratory Studies of Low Temperature Rate Coefficients: The Atmospheric Chemistry of the Outer Planets and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogan, Denis

    1999-01-01

    Laboratory measurements have been carried out to determine low temperature chemical rate coefficients of ethynyl radical (C2H) for the atmospheres of the outer planets and their satellites. This effort is directly related to the Cassini mission which will explore Saturn and Titan. A laser-based photolysis/infrared laser probe setup was used to measure the temperature dependence of kinetic rate coefficients from approx. equal to 150 to 350 K for C2H radicals with H2, C2H2, CH4, CD4, C2H4, C2H6, C3H8, n-C4H10, i-C4H10, neo-C5H12, C3H4 (methylacetylene and allene), HCN, and CH3CN. The results revealed discrepancies of an order of magnitude or more compared with the low temperature rate coefficients used in present models. A new Laval nozzle, low Mach number supersonic expansion kinetics apparatus has been constructed, resulting in the first measurements of neutral C2H radical kinetics at 90 K and permitting studies on condensable gases with insufficient vapor pressure at low temperatures. New studies of C 2H with acetylene have been completed.

  3. The DARWIN mission: Search for extra-solar planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenegger, L.; Fridlund, M.

    The direct detection of a planet close to its parent star is challenging because the signal detected from the parent star is between 109 and 106 times brighter than the signal of a planet in the visual and IR respectively. Future space based missions like DARWIN and TPF concentrate on the region between 6μ m to 18μ m, a region that contains the CO2, H2O, O3 spectral features of the atmosphere. The presence or absence of these spectral features would indicate similarities or differences with the atmosphere of telluric planets. The Infra Red Space Interferometer DARWIN is an integral part of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2020 plan, intended for a launch towards the middle of next decade. It is constructed around the new technique of `nulling interferometry', which exploits the wave nature of light to extinguish light from an on-axis bright object (the central star in this case), while at the same time light from a nearby source (the planet) is enhanced. An overview and update of the science of the DARWIN mission is given.

  4. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Outer Planet Orbital Transfer and Lander Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    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.

  5. Kepler Mission: A Mission to Find Earth-size Planets in the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.

    2003-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is a Discovery-class mission designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. It is a wide field of view photometer Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs. It has a 0.95 m aperture and 1.4 m primary and is designed to attain a photometric precision of 2 parts in 10(exp 5) for 12th magnitude solar-like stars for a 6 hr transit duration. It will continuously observe 100,000 main-sequence stars from 9th to 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation for a period of four years with a cadence of 4/hour. An additional 250 stars can be monitored at a cadence of l/minute to do astro-seismology of stars brighter than 11.5 mv. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. When combined with ground-based spectrometric observations of these stars, the positions of the planets relative to the habitable zone can be found. The spectra of the stars are also used to determine the relationships between the characteristics of terrestrial planets and the characteristics of the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. Based on the results of the current Doppler-velocity discoveries, over a thousand giant planets will also be found. Information on the albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of Earth-size planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ are very rare and that life might also be quite rare.

  6. OPUS - Outer Planets Unified Search with Enhanced Surface Geometry Parameters - Not Just for Rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Mitchell; Showalter, Mark Robert; Ballard, Lisa; Tiscareno, Matthew S.; Heather, Neil

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, with the massive influx of data into the PDS from a wide array of missions and instruments, finding the precise data you need has been an ongoing challenge. For remote sensing data obtained from Jupiter to Pluto, that challenge is being addressed by the Outer Planets Unified Search, more commonly known as OPUS.OPUS is a powerful search tool available at the PDS Ring-Moon Systems Node (RMS) - formerly the PDS Rings Node. While OPUS was originally designed with ring data in mind, its capabilities have been extended to include all of the targets within an instrument's field of view. OPUS provides preview images of search results, and produces a zip file for easy download of selected products, including a table of user specified metadata. For Cassini ISS and Voyager ISS we have generated and include calibrated versions of every image.Currently OPUS supports data returned by Cassini ISS, UVIS, VIMS, and CIRS (Saturn data through June 2010), New Horizons Jupiter LORRI, Galileo SSI, Voyager ISS and IRIS, and Hubble (ACS, WFC3 and WFPC2).At the RMS Node, we have developed and incorporated into OPUS detailed geometric metadata, based on the most recent SPICE kernels, for all of the bodies in the Cassini Saturn observations. This extensive set of geometric metadata is unique to the RMS Node and enables search constraints such as latitudes and longitudes (Saturn, Titan, and icy satellites), viewing and illumination geometry (phase, incidence and emission angles), and distances and resolution.Our near term plans include adding the full set of Cassini CIRS Saturn data (with enhanced geometry), New Horizons MVIC Jupiter encounter images, New Horizons LORRI and MVIC Pluto data, HST STIS observations, and Cassini and Voyager ring occultations. We also plan to develop enhanced geometric metadata for the New Horizons LORRI and MVIC instruments for both the Jupiter and the Pluto encounters.OPUS: http://pds-rings.seti.org/search/

  7. Observing outer planet satellites (except Titan) with JWST: Science justification and observational requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kestay, Laszlo P.; Grundy, Will; Stansberry, John; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Thatte, Deepashri; Gudipati, Murthy; Tsang, Constantine; Greenbaum, Alexandra; McGruder, Chima

    2016-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will allow observations with a unique combination of spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution for the study of outer planet satellites within our Solar System. We highlight the infrared spectroscopy of icy moons and temporal changes on geologically active satellites as two particularly valuable avenues of scientific inquiry. While some care must be taken to avoid saturation issues, JWST has observation modes that should provide excellent infrared data for such studies.

  8. PVOL: The Planetary Virtual Observatory & Laboratory. An online database of the Outer Planets images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgado, A.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.; Rojas, J. F.; Hueso, R.

    2005-08-01

    The collaboration between amateurs astronomers and the professional community has been fruitful on many areas of astronomy. The development of the Internet has allowed a better than ever capability of sharing information worldwide and access to other observers data. For many years now the International Jupiter Watch (IJW) Atmospheric discipline has coordinated observational efforts for long-term studies of the atmosphere of Jupiter. The International Outer Planets Watch (IOPW) has extended its labours to the four Outer Planets. Here we present the Planetary Virtual Observatory & Laboratory (PVOL), a website database where we integer IJW and IOPW images. At PVOL observers can submit their data and professionals can search for images under a wide variety of useful criteria such as date and time, filters used, observer, or central meridian longitude. PVOL is aimed to grow as an organized easy to use database of amateur images of the Outer Planets. The PVOL web address is located at http://www.pvol.ehu.es/ and coexists with the traditional IOPW site: http://www.ehu.es/iopw/ Acknowledgements: This work has been funded by Spanish MCYT PNAYA2003-03216, fondos FEDER and Grupos UPV 15946/2004. R. Hueso acknowledges a post-doc fellowship from Gobierno Vasco.

  9. STELLAR ACTIVITY AND EXCLUSION OF THE OUTER PLANET IN THE HD 99492 SYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Thirumalachari, Badrinath; Hinkel, Natalie R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (United States); Henry, Gregory W. [Center of Excellence in Information Systems, Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Box 9501, Nashville, TN 37209 (United States); Jensen, Eric L. N. [Dept of Physics and Astronomy, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081 (United States); Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Fischer, Debra A. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Howard, Andrew W. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Isaacson, Howard T. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Wright, Jason T., E-mail: skane@sfsu.edu [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2016-03-20

    A historical problem for indirect exoplanet detection has been contending with the intrinsic variability of the host star. If the variability is periodic, it can easily mimic various exoplanet signatures, such as radial velocity (RV) variations that originate with the stellar surface rather than the presence of a planet. Here we present an update for the HD 99492 planetary system, using new RV and photometric measurements from the Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey. Our extended time series and subsequent analyses of the Ca ii H and K emission lines show that the host star has an activity cycle of ∼13 years. The activity cycle correlates with the purported orbital period of the outer planet, the signature of which is thus likely due to the host star activity. We further include a revised Keplerian orbital solution for the remaining planet, along with a new transit ephemeris. Our transit-search observations were inconclusive.

  10. Development and Testing of a Laser-Powered Cryobot for Outer Planet Icy Moon Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, V.; Stone, W.; Hogan, B.; Lelievre, S.; Flesher, C.

    2013-12-01

    Project VALKYRIE (Very-deep Autonomous Laser-powered Kilowatt-class Yo-yoing Robotic Ice Explorer) is a NASA-funded effort to develop the first laser powered cryobot - a self-contained intelligent ice penetrator capable of delivering science payloads through ice caps of the outer planet icy moons. The long range objective is to enable a full-scale Europa lander mission in which an autonomous life-searching underwater vehicle is transported by the cryobot and launched into the sub-surface Europan ocean. Mission readiness testing will involve an Antarctic sub-glacial lake cryobot sample return through kilometers of ice cap thickness. A key element of VALKYRIE's design is the use of a high energy laser as the primary power source. 1070 nm laser light is transmitted at a power level of 5 kW from a surface-based laser and injected into a custom-designed optical waveguide that is spooled out from the descending cryobot. Light exits the downstream end of the fiber, travels through diverging optics, and strikes a beam dump, which channels thermal power to hot water jets that melt the descent hole. Some beam energy is converted, via photovoltaic cells, to electricity for running onboard electronics and jet pumps. Since the vehicle can be sterilized prior to deployment and the melt path freezes behind it, preventing forward contamination, expansions on VALKYRIE concepts may enable cleaner and faster access to sub-glacial Antarctic lakes. Testing at Stone Aerospace between 2010 and 2013 has already demonstrated high power optical energy transfer over relevant (kilometer scale) distances as well as the feasibility of a vehicle-deployed optical waveguide (through which the power is transferred). The test vehicle is equipped with a forward-looking synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can detect obstacles out to 1 kilometer from the vehicle. The initial ASTEP test vehicle will carry a science payload consisting of a DUV flow cytometer and a water sampling sub-system that will be

  11. Preface to the special issue of PSS on "Surfaces, atmospheres and magnetospheres of the outer planets, their satellites and ring systems: Part XII″

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coustenis, A.; Atreya, S.; Castillo-Rogez, J.; Mueller-Wodarg, I.; Spilker, L.; Strazzulla, G.

    2018-06-01

    This issue contains six articles on original research and review papers presented in the past year in sessions organized during several international meetings and congresses including the European Geosciences Union (EGU), European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) and others. The manuscripts cover recent observations and models of the atmospheres, magnetospheres and surfaces of the giant planets and their satellites based on ongoing and recent planetary missions. Concepts of architecture and payload for future space missions are also presented. The six articles in this special issue cover a variety of objects in the outer solar system ranging from Jupiter to Neptune and the possibilities for their exploration. A brief introductory summary of their findings follows.

  12. The Cassini-Huygens visit to Saturn an historic mission to the ringed planet

    CERN Document Server

    Meltzer, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Cassini-Huygens was the most ambitious and successful space journey ever launched to the outer Solar System. This book examines all aspects of the journey: its conception and planning; the lengthy political processes needed to make it a reality; the engineering and development required to build the spacecraft; its 2.2-billion mile journey from Earth to the Ringed Planet; and the amazing discoveries from the mission. The author traces how the visions of a few brilliant scientists matured, gained popularity, and eventually became a reality. Innovative technical leaps were necessary to assemble such a multifaceted spacecraft and reliably operate it while it orbited a planet so far from our own. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft design evolved from other deep space efforts, most notably the Galileo mission to Jupiter, enabling the voluminous, paradigm-shifting scientific data collected by the spacecraft.  Some of these discoveries are absolute gems. A small satellite that scientists once thought of as a dead pi...

  13. Operations of a Radioisotope-based Propulsion System Enabling CubeSat Exploration of the Outer Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dr. Steven Howe; Nathan Jerred; Troy Howe; Adarsh Rajguru

    2014-05-01

    Exploration to the outer planets is an ongoing endeavor but in the current economical environment, cost reduction is the forefront of all concern. The success of small satellites such as CubeSats launched to Near-Earth Orbit has lead to examine their potential use to achieve cheaper science for deep space applications. However, to achieve lower cost missions; hardware, launch and operations costs must be minimized. Additionally, as we push towards smaller exploration beds with relative limited power sources, allowing for adequate communication back to Earth is imperative. Researchers at the Center for Space Nuclear Research are developing the potential of utilizing an advanced, radioisotope-based system. This system will be capable of providing both the propulsion power needed to reach the destination and the additional requirements needed to maintain communication while at location. Presented here are a basic trajectory analysis, communication link budget and concept of operations of a dual-mode (thermal and electric) radioisotope-based propulsion system, for a proposed mission to Enceladus (Saturnian icy moon) using a 6U CubeSat payload. The radioisotope system being proposed will be the integration of three sub-systems working together to achieve the overall mission. At the core of the system, stored thermal energy from radioisotope decay is transferred to a passing propellant to achieve high thrust – useful for quick orbital maneuvering. An auxiliary closed-loop Brayton cycle can be operated in parallel to the thrusting mode to provide short bursts of high power for high data-rate communications back to Earth. Additionally, a thermal photovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion system will use radiation heat losses from the core. This in turn can provide the electrical energy needed to utilize the efficiency of ion propulsion to achieve quick interplanetary transit times. The intelligent operation to handle all functions of this system under optimized conditions adds

  14. Laboratory studies of low temperature rate coefficients: The atmospheric chemistry of the outer planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leone, Stephen R.

    1995-01-01

    The objectives of the research are to measure low temperature laboratory rate coefficients for key reactions relevant to the atmospheres of Titan and Saturn. These reactions are, for example, C2H + H2, CH4, C2H2, and other hydrocarbons which need to be measured at low temperatures, down to approximately 150 K. The results of this work are provided to NASA specialists who study modeling of the hydrocarbon chemistry of the outer planets. The apparatus for this work consists of a pulsed laser photolysis system and a tunable F-center probe laser to monitor the disappearance of C2H. A low temperature cell with a cryogenic circulating fluid in the outer jacket provides the gas handling system for this work. These elements have been described in detail in previous reports. Several new results are completed and the publications are just being prepared. The reaction of C2H with C2H2 has been measured with an improved apparatus down to 154 K. An Arrhenius plot indicates a clear increase in the rate coefficient at the lowest temperatures, most likely because of the long-lived (C4H3) intermediate. The capability to achieve the lowest temperatures in this work was made possible by construction of a new cell and addition of a multipass arrangement for the probe laser, as well as improvements to the laser system.

  15. Conceptual Design of In-Space Vehicles for Human Exploration of the Outer Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, R. B.; Alexander, R. A.; Chapman, J. M.; Fincher, S. S.; Hopkins, R. C.; Philips, A. D.; Polsgrove, T. T.; Litchford, R. J.; Patton, B. W.; Statham, G.

    2003-01-01

    During FY-2002, a team of engineers from TD30/Advanced Concepts and TD40/Propulsion Research Center embarked on a study of potential crewed missions to the outer solar system. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts activity administered by Langley Research Center (LaRC). The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) team interacted heavily with teams from other Centers including Glenn Research Center, LaRC, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Johnson Space Center. The MSFC team generated five concept missions for this project. The concept missions use a variety of technologies, including magnetized target fusion (MTF), magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, solid core reactors, and molten salt reactors in various combinations. The Technical Publication (TP) reviews these five concepts and the methods used to generate them. The analytical methods used are described for all significant disciplines and subsystems. The propulsion and power technologies selected for each vehicle are reviewed in detail. The MSFC team also expended considerable effort refining the MTF concept for use with this mission. The results from this effort are also contained within this TP. Finally, the lessons learned from this activity are summarized in the conclusions section.

  16. Kepler: NASA's First Mission Capable of Finding Earth-Size Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William J.

    2009-01-01

    Kepler, a NASA Discovery mission, is a spaceborne telescope designed to search a nearby region of our galaxy for Earth-size planets orbiting in the habitable zone of stars like our sun. The habitable zone is that region around a start where the temperature permits water to be liquid on the surface of a planet. Liquid water is considered essential forth existence of life. Mission Phases: Six mission phases have been defined to describe the different periods of activity during Kepler's mission. These are: launch; commissioning; early science operations, science operations: and decommissioning

  17. The kappa Distribution as Tool in Investigating Hot Plasmas in the Magnetospheres of Outer Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krimigis, S. M.; Carbary, J. F.

    2014-12-01

    The first use of a Maxwellian distribution with a high-energy tail (a κ-function) was made by Olbert (1968) and applied by Vasyliunas (1968) in analyzing electron data. The k-function combines aspects of both Maxwellian and power law forms to provide a reasonably complete description of particle density, temperature, pressure and convection velocity, all of which are key parameters of magnetospheric physics. Krimigis et al (1979) used it to describe flowing plasma ions in Jupiter's magnetosphere measured by Voyager 1, and obtained temperatures in the range of 20 to 35 keV. Sarris et al (1981) used the κ-function to describe plasmas in Earth's distant plasma sheet. The κ-function, in various formulations and names (e. g., γ-thermal distribution, Krimigis and Roelof, 1983) has been used routinely to parametrize hot, flowing plasmas in the magnetospheres of the outer planets, with typical kT ~ 10 to 50 keV. Using angular measurements, it has been possible to obtain pitch angle distributions and convective flow directions in sufficient detail for computations of temperatures and densities of hot particle pressures. These 'hot' pressures typically dominate the cold plasma pressures in the high beta (β > 1) magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, but are of less importance in the relatively empty (β Cambridge University Press, New York, 1983

  18. HOW WELL DO WE KNOW THE ORBITS OF THE OUTER PLANETS?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Page, Gary L.; Wallin, John F.; Dixon, David S.

    2009-01-01

    This paper deals with the problem of astrometric determination of the orbital elements of the outer planets, in particular by assessing the ability of astrometric observations to detect perturbations of the sort expected from the Pioneer effect or other small perturbations to gravity. We also show that while using simplified models of the dynamics can lead to some insights, one must be careful to not oversimplify the issues involved lest one be misled by the analysis onto false paths. Specifically, we show that the current ephemeris of Pluto does not preclude the existence of the Pioneer effect. We show that the orbit of Pluto is simply not well enough characterized at present to make such an assertion. A number of misunderstandings related to these topics have now propagated through the literature and have been used as a basis for drawing conclusions about the dynamics of the solar system. Thus, the objective of this paper is to address these issues. Finally, we offer some comments dealing with the complex topic of model selection and comparison.

  19. APIS : an interactive database of HST-UV observations of the outer planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, Laurent; Henry, Florence; Prangé, Renée; Le Sidaner, Pierre

    2014-05-01

    Remote UV measurement of the outer planets offer a wealth of informations on rings, moons, planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres. Auroral emissions in particular provide highly valuable constraints on the auroral processes at work and the underlying coupling between the solar wind, the magnetosphere, the ionosphere and the moons. Key observables provided by high resolution spectro-imaging include the spatial topology and the dynamics of active magnetic field lines, the radiated and the precipitated powers or the energy of precipitating particles. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) acquired thousands of Far-UV spectra and images of the aurorae of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus since 1993, feeding in numerous magnetospheric studies. But their use remains generally limited, owing to the difficulty to access and use raw and value-added data. APIS, the egyptian god of fertilization, is also the acronym of a new database (Auroral Planetary Imaging and Spectroscopy), aimed at facilitating the use of HST planetary auroral observations. APIS is based at the Virtual Observatory (VO) of Paris and provides a free and interactive access to a variety of high level data through a simple research interface and standard VO tools (as Aladin, Specview). We will present the capabilities of APIS and illustrate them with several examples.

  20. Darwin--a mission to detect and search for life on extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C S; Léger, A; Fridlund, M; Herbst, T M; Kaltenegger, L; Absil, O; Beichman, C; Benz, W; Blanc, M; Brack, A; Chelli, A; Colangeli, L; Cottin, H; Coudé du Foresto, F; Danchi, W C; Defrère, D; den Herder, J-W; Eiroa, C; Greaves, J; Henning, T; Johnston, K J; Jones, H; Labadie, L; Lammer, H; Launhardt, R; Lawson, P; Lay, O P; LeDuigou, J-M; Liseau, R; Malbet, F; Martin, S R; Mawet, D; Mourard, D; Moutou, C; Mugnier, L M; Ollivier, M; Paresce, F; Quirrenbach, A; Rabbia, Y D; Raven, J A; Rottgering, H J A; Rouan, D; Santos, N C; Selsis, F; Serabyn, E; Shibai, H; Tamura, M; Thiébaut, E; Westall, F; White, G J

    2009-01-01

    The discovery of extrasolar planets is one of the greatest achievements of modern astronomy. The detection of planets that vary widely in mass demonstrates that extrasolar planets of low mass exist. In this paper, we describe a mission, called Darwin, whose primary goal is the search for, and characterization of, terrestrial extrasolar planets and the search for life. Accomplishing the mission objectives will require collaborative science across disciplines, including astrophysics, planetary sciences, chemistry, and microbiology. Darwin is designed to detect rocky planets similar to Earth and perform spectroscopic analysis at mid-infrared wavelengths (6-20 mum), where an advantageous contrast ratio between star and planet occurs. The baseline mission is projected to last 5 years and consists of approximately 200 individual target stars. Among these, 25-50 planetary systems can be studied spectroscopically, which will include the search for gases such as CO(2), H(2)O, CH(4), and O(3). Many of the key technologies required for the construction of Darwin have already been demonstrated, and the remainder are estimated to be mature in the near future. Darwin is a mission that will ignite intense interest in both the research community and the wider public.

  1. Earth observations during Space Shuttle mission STS-45 Mission to Planet Earth - March 24-April 2, 1992

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts, David E.; Helfert, Michael R.; Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Mckay, Mary F.; Whitehead, Victor S.; Amsbury, David L.; Bremer, Jeffrey; Ackleson, Steven G.; Evans, Cynthia A.; Wilkinson, M. J.

    1992-01-01

    A description is presented of the activities and results of the Space Shuttle mission STS-45, known as the Mission to Planet Earth. Observations of Mount St. Helens, Manila Bay and Mt. Pinatubo, the Great Salt Lake, the Aral Sea, and the Siberian cities of Troitsk and Kuybyshev are examined. The geological features and effects of human activity seen in photographs of these areas are pointed out.

  2. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Outer Planet In-Space Bases and Moon Bases for Resource Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2017-01-01

    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.

  3. Mission Mars India's quest for the red planet

    CERN Document Server

    Lele, Ajey

    2014-01-01

    The objective of the book is to find an answer to the rationale behind the human quest for the Mars exploration. As a comprehensive assessment for this query is undertaken, it is realized that the basic question ‘Why Mars?’ seeks various responses from technological, economic and geopolitical to strategic perspectives. The book is essentially targeted to understand India’s desire to reach Mars. In the process, it also undertakes some implicit questioning of Mars programmes of various other states essentially to facilitate the setting up of the context for an assessment.   The book is divided into two parts: Part I: This covers both science and politics associated with Mars missions in global scenario and discusses the salient features of various Mars Missions undertaken by various countries. Part II: This provides details in regards to India’s Mars Mission.

  4. Moore on Mercury the planet and the missions

    CERN Document Server

    Moore, Patrick

    2007-01-01

    In his inimitable style, Patrick Moore describes Mercury. He tells of those who have observed it over the centuries, and the past, present and future space missions to it. In doing so he has written the most up-to-date book about Mercury for amateur astronomers.

  5. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS (PALMS). IV. THE OUTER ARCHITECTURE OF M DWARF PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowler, Brendan P. [California Institute of Technology, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Liu, Michael C. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Shkolnik, Evgenya L. [Lowell Observatory, 1400 West Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Tamura, Motohide, E-mail: bpbowler@caltech.edu [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)

    2015-01-01

    We present results from a high-contrast adaptive optics imaging search for giant planets and brown dwarfs (≳1 M {sub Jup}) around 122 newly identified nearby (≲40 pc) young M dwarfs. Half of our targets are younger than 135 Myr and 90% are younger than the Hyades (620 Myr). After removing 44 close stellar binaries (implying a stellar companion fraction of >35.4% ± 4.3% within 100 AU), 27 of which are new or spatially resolved for the first time, our remaining sample of 78 single M dwarfs makes this the largest imaging search for planets around young low-mass stars (0.1-0.6 M {sub ☉}) to date. Our H- and K-band coronagraphic observations with Keck/NIRC2 and Subaru/HiCIAO achieve typical contrasts of 12-14 mag and 9-13 mag at 1'', respectively, which correspond to limiting planet masses of 0.5-10 M {sub Jup} at 5-33 AU for 85% of our sample. We discovered four young brown dwarf companions: 1RXS J235133.3+312720 B (32 ± 6 M {sub Jup}; L0{sub −1}{sup +2}; 120 ± 20 AU), GJ 3629 B (64{sub −23}{sup +30} M {sub Jup}; M7.5 ± 0.5; 6.5 ± 0.5 AU), 1RXS J034231.8+121622 B (35 ± 8 M {sub Jup}; L0 ± 1; 19.8 ± 0.9 AU), and 2MASS J15594729+4403595 B (43 ± 9 M {sub Jup}; M8.0 ± 0.5; 190 ± 20 AU). Over 150 candidate planets were identified; we obtained follow-up imaging for 56% of these but all are consistent with background stars. Our null detection of planets enables strong statistical constraints on the occurrence rate of long-period giant planets around single M dwarfs. We infer an upper limit (at the 95% confidence level) of 10.3% and 16.0% for 1-13 M {sub Jup} planets between 10-100 AU for hot-start and cold-start (Fortney) evolutionary models, respectively. Fewer than 6.0% (9.9%) of M dwarfs harbor massive gas giants in the 5-13 M {sub Jup} range like those orbiting HR 8799 and β Pictoris between 10-100 AU for a hot-start (cold-start) formation scenario. The frequency of brown dwarf (13-75 M {sub Jup}) companions

  6. Reliability considerations in long-life outer planet spacecraft system design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casani, E. K.

    1975-01-01

    A Mariner Jupiter/Saturn mission has been planned for 1977. System reliability questions are discussed, taking into account the actual and design lifetime, causes of mission termination, in-flight failures and their consequences for the mission, and the use of redundancy to avoid failures. The design process employed optimizes the use of proven subsystem and system designs and then makes the necessary improvements to increase the lifetime as required.

  7. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Aerial Vehicle Mission and Design Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2015-01-01

    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. With these two additional gases, the potential for fueling small and large fleets of additional exploration and exploitation vehicles exists. The mining aerospacecraft (ASC) could fly through the outer planet atmospheres, for global weather observations, localized storm or other disturbance investigations, wind speed measurements, polar observations, etc. Analyses of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), landers, and 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.

  8. Seeding life on the moons of the outer planets via lithopanspermia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worth, R J; Sigurdsson, Steinn; House, Christopher H

    2013-12-01

    Material from the surface of a planet can be ejected into space by a large impact and could carry primitive life-forms with it. We performed n-body simulations of such ejecta to determine where in the Solar System rock from Earth and Mars may end up. We found that, in addition to frequent transfer of material among the terrestrial planets, transfer of material from Earth and Mars to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn is also possible, but rare. We expect that such transfers were most likely to occur during the Late Heavy Bombardment or during the ensuing 1-2 billion years. At this time, the icy moons were warmer and likely had little or no ice shell to prevent meteorites from reaching their liquid interiors. We also note significant rates of re-impact in the first million years after ejection. This could re-seed life on a planet after partial or complete sterilization by a large impact, which would aid the survival of early life during the Late Heavy Bombardment.

  9. Forecasting the detectability of known radial velocity planets with the upcoming CHEOPS mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Joo Sung; Chen, Jingjing; Kipping, David

    2018-04-01

    The CHaracterizing ExOPlanets Satellite (CHEOPS) mission is planned for launch next year with a major objective being to search for transits of known radial velocity (RV) planets, particularly those orbiting bright stars. Since the RV method is only sensitive to planetary mass, the radii, transit depths and transit signal-to-noise values of each RV planet are, a priori, unknown. Using an empirically calibrated probabilistic mass-radius relation, forecaster, we address this by predicting a catalogue of homogeneous credible intervals for these three keys terms for 468 planets discovered via RVs. Of these, we find that the vast majority should be detectable with CHEOPS, including terrestrial bodies, if they have the correct geometric alignment. In particular, we predict that 22 mini-Neptunes and 82 Neptune-sized planets would be suitable for detection and that more than 80 per cent of these will have apparent magnitude of V work. Our work aims to assist the CHEOPS team in scheduling efforts and highlights the great value of quantifiable, statistically robust estimates for upcoming exoplanetary missions.

  10. A comprehensive mission to planet Earth: Woods Hole Space Science and Applications Advisory Committee Planning Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    The NASA program Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is described in this set of visuals presented in Massachusetts on July 29, 1991. The problem presented in this document is that the earth system is changing and that human activity accelerates the rate of change resulting in increased greenhouse gases, decreasing levels of stratospheric ozone, acid rain, deforestation, decreasing biodiversity, and overpopulation. Various national and international organizations are coordinating global change research. The complementary space observations for this activity are sun-synchronous polar orbits, low-inclination, low altitude orbits, geostationary orbits, and ground measurements. The Geostationary Earth Observatory is the major proposed mission of MTPE. Other proposed missions are EOS Synthetic Aperture Radar, ARISTOTELES Magnetic Field Experiment, and the Global Topography Mission. Use of the NASA DC-8 aircraft is outlined as carrying out the Airborne Science and Applications Program. Approved Earth Probes Program include the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS). Other packages for earth observation are described.

  11. Stellar aspects of habitability--characterizing target stars for terrestrial planet-finding missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Eiroa, Carlos; Ribas, Ignasi; Paresce, Francesco; Leitzinger, Martin; Odert, Petra; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lammer, Helmut; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Frank; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    We present and discuss the criteria for selecting potential target stars suitable for the search for Earth-like planets, with a special emphasis on the stellar aspects of habitability. Missions that search for terrestrial exoplanets will explore the presence and habitability of Earth-like exoplanets around several hundred nearby stars, mainly F, G, K, and M stars. The evaluation of the list of potential target systems is essential in order to develop mission concepts for a search for terrestrial exoplanets. Using the Darwin All Sky Star Catalogue (DASSC), we discuss the selection criteria, configuration-dependent subcatalogues, and the implication of stellar activity for habitability.

  12. COMPOSITIONS AND ORIGINS OF OUTER PLANET SYSTEMS: INSIGHTS FROM THE ROCHE CRITICAL DENSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tiscareno, Matthew S.; Hedman, Matthew M.; Burns, Joseph A.; Castillo-Rogez, Julie

    2013-01-01

    We consider the Roche critical density (ρ Roche ), the minimum density of an orbiting object that, at a given distance from its planet, is able to hold itself together by self-gravity. It is directly related to the more familiar ''Roche limit,'' the distance from a planet at which a strengthless orbiting object of given density is pulled apart by tides. The presence of a substantial ring requires that transient clumps have an internal density less than ρ Roche . Conversely, in the presence of abundant material for accretion, an orbiting object with density greater than ρ Roche will grow. Comparing the ρ Roche values at which the Saturn and Uranus systems transition rapidly from disruption-dominated (rings) to accretion-dominated (moons), we infer that the material composing Uranus' rings is likely more rocky, as well as less porous, than that composing Saturn's rings. From the high values of ρ Roche at the innermost ring moons of Jupiter and Neptune, we infer that those moons may be composed of denser material than expected, or more likely that they are interlopers that formed farther from their planets and have since migrated inward, now being held together by internal material strength. Finally, the ''Portia group'' of eight closely packed Uranian moons has an overall surface density similar to that of Saturn's A ring. Thus, it can be seen as an accretion-dominated ring system, of similar character to the standard ring systems except that its material has a characteristic density greater than the local ρ Roche .

  13. Clouds in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. V. The impact of CO2 ice clouds on the outer boundary of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    Kitzmann, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Clouds have a strong impact on the climate of planetary atmospheres. The potential scattering greenhouse effect of CO2 ice clouds in the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets is of particular interest because it might influence the position and thus the extension of the outer boundary of the classic habitable zone around main sequence stars. Here, the impact of CO2 ice clouds on the surface temperatures of terrestrial planets with CO2 dominated atmospheres, orbiting different types of...

  14. Planet mars as seen at the end of the viking mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snyder, C.W.

    1979-01-01

    In the last 15 years, spacecraft missions to mars, especially Mariner 9 and Viking 1 and 2, have removed from discussion many of the traditional martian topics, such as canals, waves of darkening, and blue clearings. We now have a plethora of hard data about the large variety of geologic features on the planet, about the composition of the surface, the atmosphere, and the polar caps, and about many aspects of Martian meteorology, including temperatures, pressures, tides, dust storms, and the abundance and transport of water vapor. Perhaps the only areas of Martian planetology that have not been spectacularly advanced are those relating to the interior structure, the solar wind interaction, and the existence of living organisms. This paper attempts to summarize most of our new knowledge about the planet

  15. Kepler Mission: a Discovery-Class Mission Designed to Determine the Frequency of Earth-Size and Larger Planets Around Solar-Like Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Lissauer, Jack; Basri, Gibor; Caldwell, John; Cochran, William; Dunham, Edward W.; Gilliland, Ronald; Caldwell, Douglas; Kondo, Yoji; hide

    2002-01-01

    The first step in discovering the extent of life in our galaxy is to determine the number of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler Mission is designed around a 0.95 in aperture Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. Measurements of the depth and repetition time of transits provide the size of the planet relative to the star and its orbital period. When combined with ground-based spectroscopy of these stars to fix the stellar parameters, the true planet radius and orbit scale, hence the position relative to the HZ are determined. These spectra are also used to discover the relationships between the characteristics of planets and the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of terrestrial planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. Extending the mission to six years doubles the expected number of Earth-size planets in the HZ. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ occur in less than 1% of the stars and that life might be quite rare. Based on the results of the current Doppler-velocity discoveries, detection of a thousand giant planets is expected. Information on their albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained.

  16. Earth observations during Space Shuttle Mission STS-42 - Discovery's mission to planet earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Helfert, Michael; Amsbury, David; Pitts, David; Jaklitch, Pat; Wilkinson, Justin; Evans, Cynthia; Ackleson, Steve; Helms, David; Chambers, Mark

    1993-01-01

    The noteworthy imagery acquired during Space Shuttle Mission STS-42 is documented. Attention is given to frozen Tibetan lakes, Merapi Volcano in Java, Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, the coastline east of Tokyo Japan, land use in southern India, and the Indus River Delta. Observations of Kamchatka Peninsula, Lake Baikal, Moscow, Katmai National Park and Mt. Augustine, Alaska, the Alaskan coast by the Bering Sea, snow-covered New York, the Rhone River valley, the Strait of Gibraltar, and Mt. Ararat, Turkey, are also reported.

  17. New vision solar system exploration missions study: Analysis of the use of biomodal space nuclear power systems to support outer solar system exploration missions. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-08

    This report presents the results of an analysis of the capability of nuclear bimodal systems to perform outer solar system exploration missions. Missions of interest include orbiter mission s to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. An initial technology baseline consisting of a NEBA 10 kWe, 1000 N thrust, 850 s, 1500 kg bimodal system was selected, and its performance examined against a data base for trajectories to outer solar system planetary destinations to select optimal direct and gravity assisted trajectories for study. A conceptual design for a common bimodal spacecraft capable of performing missions to all the planetary destinations was developed and made the basis of end to end mission designs for orbiter missions to Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. Concepts for microspacecraft capable of probing Jupiter`s atmosphere and exploring Titan were also developed. All mission designs considered use the Atlas 2AS for launch. It is shown that the bimodal nuclear power and propulsion system offers many attractive option for planetary missions, including both conventional planetary missions in which all instruments are carried by a single primary orbiting spacecraft, and unconventional missions in which the primary spacecraft acts as a carrier, relay, and mother ship for a fleet of micro spacecraft deployed at the planetary destination.

  18. Compact, Passively Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser for the MESSENGER Mission to the Planet Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krebs, Danny J.; Novo-Gradac, Anne-Marie; Li, Steven X.; Lindauer, Steven J.; Afzal, Robert S.; Yu, Antony

    2004-01-01

    A compact, passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser has been developed for the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) instrument which is an instrument on the MESSENGER mission to the planet Mercury. The laser achieves 5.4 percent efficiency with a near diffraction limited beam. It has passed all space flight environmental tests at system, instrument, and satellite integration. The laser design draws on a heritage of previous laser altimetry missions, specifically ISESAT and Mars Global Surveyor; but incorporates thermal management features unique to the requirements of an orbit of the planet Mercury.

  19. Mission to planet earth: A call to repeal the Landsat Act

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gabrynowicz, J.I.; Wood, C.A.

    1991-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MPE) is being planned to provide scientists with data and information about global climate change so that policymakers can make informed decisions in directing the nation's response to the change. A crucial component of MPE is the Landsat system and the continuous, multidecade database it has produced. Yet because of an ill-conceived and poorly-executed commercialization policy, MPE researchers are being deprived of these vital national assets, profoundly hampering their ability to carry out the work of MPE. Effects of the US commercialization policy have reached abroad. The French, Japanese, and Canadians, following the US lead, have also commercialized their existing and future land remote sensing systems - further inhibiting the free flow of data among these complementary systems and preventing a truly international, scientific effort in MPE. Meeting the challenges of global climate change requires reconsidering the proper role of the Landsat system and identifying appropriate and inappropriate commercial remote sensing activities

  20. Our Mission to Planet Earth: A guide to teaching Earth system science

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    Volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, floods, and El Nino are naturally occurring events over which humans have no control. But can human activities cause additional environmental change? Can scientists predict the global impacts of increased levels of pollutants in the atmosphere? Will the planet warm because increased levels of greenhouse gases, produced by the burning of fossil fuels, trap heat and prevent it from being radiated back into space? Will the polar ice cap melt, causing massive coastal flooding? Have humans initiated wholesale climatic change? These are difficult questions, with grave implications. Predicting global change and understanding the relationships among earth's components have increased in priority for the nation. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), along with many other government agencies, has initiated long-term studies of earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land masses using observations from satellite, balloon, and aircraft-borne instruments. NASA calls its research program Mission to Planet Earth. Because NASA can place scientific instruments far above earth's surface, the program allows scientists to explore earth's components and their interactions on a global scale.

  1. ON THE RELATIVE SIZES OF PLANETS WITHIN KEPLER MULTIPLE-CANDIDATE SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciardi, David R.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Ragozzine, Darin; Gautier, T. N. III; Howell, Steve B.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.

    2013-01-01

    We present a study of the relative sizes of planets within the multiple-candidate systems discovered with the Kepler mission. We have compared the size of each planet to the size of every other planet within a given planetary system after correcting the sample for detection and geometric biases. We find that for planet pairs for which one or both objects are approximately Neptune-sized or larger, the larger planet is most often the planet with the longer period. No such size-location correlation is seen for pairs of planets when both planets are smaller than Neptune. Specifically, if at least one planet in a planet pair has a radius of ∼> 3 R ⊕ , 68% ± 6% of the planet pairs have the inner planet smaller than the outer planet, while no preferred sequential ordering of the planets is observed if both planets in a pair are smaller than ∼ ⊕ .

  2. Cosmic ray investigation for the Voyager missions; energetic particle studies in the outer heliosphere - and beyond

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stone, E C; Vogt, R E [California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena (USA); McDonald, F B; Teegarden, B J; Trainor, J H [National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt, Md. (USA). Goddard Space Flight Center; Jokipii, J R [Arizona Univ., Tucson (USA); Webber, W R [New Hampshire Univ., Durham (USA)

    1977-12-01

    A cosmic-ray detector system (CRS) has been developed for the Voyager mission which will measure the energy spectrum of electrons from approximately 3-110 MeV and the energy spectra and elemental comparison of all cosmic-ray nuclei from hydrogen through iron over an energy range from approximately 1-500 MeV.nuc. Isotopes of hydrogen through sulfur will be resolved from approximately 2-75 MeV/nuc. Studies with CRS data will provide information on the energy content, origin and acceleration process, life history, and dynamics of cosmic rays in the galaxy, and contribute to an understanding of the nucleosynthesis of elements in the cosmic-ray sources. Particular emphasis will be placed on low-energy phenomena that are expected to exist in interstellar space and are known to be present in the outer Solar System. This investigation will also add to our understanding of the transport of cosmic rays, Jovian electrons, and low-energy interplanetary particles over an extended region of interplanetary space. A major contribution to these areas of study will be the measurement of three-dimensional streaming patterns of nuclei from H through Fe and electrons over an extended energy range, with a precision that will allow determination of anisotropies down to 1%. The required combination of charge resolution, reliability and redundance has been achieved with systems consisting entirely of solid-state charged-particle detectors.

  3. MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    MESSENGER is a scientific mission to Mercury. Understanding this extraordinary planet and the forces that have shaped it is fundamental to understanding the processes that have governed the formation, evolution, and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury for one Earth year after completing two flybys of that planet following two flybys of Venus. The necessary flybys return significant new data early in the mission, while the orbital phase, guided by the flyby data, enables a focused scientific investigation of this least-studied terrestrial planet. Answers to key questions about Mercury's high density, crustal composition and structure, volcanic history, core structure, magnetic field generation, polar deposits, exosphere, overall volatile inventory, and magnetosphere are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments. Our goal is to gain new insight into the formation and evolution of the solar system, including Earth. By traveling to the inner edge of the solar system and exploring a poorly known world, MESSENGER fulfills this quest.

  4. IMPACT OF η{sub Earth} ON THE CAPABILITIES OF AFFORDABLE SPACE MISSIONS TO DETECT BIOSIGNATURES ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Léger, Alain [IAS, Univ. Paris-Sud, Orsay (France); Defrère, Denis [Steward Observatory, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Malbet, Fabien [UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), UMR 5274, BP 53, F-38041 Grenoble cedex 9 (France); Labadie, Lucas [I. Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, D-50937 Cologne (Germany); Absil, Olivier, E-mail: Alain.Leger@ias.u-psud.fr [Département d’Astrophysique, Géophysique and Océanographie, Université de Liège, 17 Allée du Six Août, B-4000 Liège (Belgium)

    2015-08-01

    We present an analytic model to estimate the capabilities of space missions dedicated to the search for biosignatures in the atmosphere of rocky planets located in the habitable zone of nearby stars. Relations between performance and mission parameters, such as mirror diameter, distance to targets, and radius of planets, are obtained. Two types of instruments are considered: coronagraphs observing in the visible, and nulling interferometers in the thermal infrared. Missions considered are: single-pupil coronagraphs with a 2.4 m primary mirror, and formation-flying interferometers with 4 × 0.75 m collecting mirrors. The numbers of accessible planets are calculated as a function of η{sub Earth}. When Kepler gives its final estimation for η{sub Earth}, the model will permit a precise assessment of the potential of each instrument. Based on current estimations, η{sub Earth} = 10% around FGK stars and 50% around M stars, the coronagraph could study in spectroscopy only ∼1.5 relevant planets, and the interferometer ∼14.0. These numbers are obtained under the major hypothesis that the exozodiacal light around the target stars is low enough for each instrument. In both cases, a prior detection of planets is assumed and a target list established. For the long-term future, building both types of spectroscopic instruments, and using them on the same targets, will be the optimal solution because they provide complementary information. But as a first affordable space mission, the interferometer looks the more promising in terms of biosignature harvest.

  5. Dance of the Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    As students continue their monthly plotting of the planets along the ecliptic they should start to notice differences between inner and outer planet orbital motions, and their relative position or separation from the Sun. Both inner and outer planets have direct eastward motion, as well as retrograde motion. Inner planets Mercury and Venus,…

  6. Atmospheric constraints for the CO2 partial pressure on terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    von Paris, P.; Grenfell, J. L.; Hedelt, P.; Rauer, H.; Selsis, F.; Stracke, B.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, several potentially habitable, probably terrestrial exoplanets and exoplanet candidates have been discovered. The amount of CO2 in their atmosphere is of great importance for surface conditions and habitability. In the absence of detailed information on the geochemistry of the planet, this amount could be considered as a free parameter. Up to now, CO2 partial pressures for terrestrial planets have been obtained assuming an available volatile reservoir and outgassing scenarios...

  7. Drift-resonant, relativistic electron acceleration at the outer planets: Insights from the response of Saturn's radiation belts to magnetospheric storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roussos, E.; Kollmann, P.; Krupp, N.; Paranicas, C.; Dialynas, K.; Sergis, N.; Mitchell, D. G.; Hamilton, D. C.; Krimigis, S. M.

    2018-05-01

    provide additional evidence showing that they may be constantly present all the way down to the outer edge of Saturn's main rings, further supporting our model. The implications of our findings are not limited to Saturn. Corotation resonance at Jupiter occurs for electrons with energies above about 10 MeV throughout the quasi-dipolar, energetic particle-trapping region of the magnetosphere. The proposed process could in principle then lead to rapid transport and adiabatic acceleration electrons into ultra-relativistic energies. The observation by Galileo's EPD/LEMMS instrument of an intense Jovian acceleration event at the orbital distance of Ganymede during the mission's C22 orbit, when > 11 MeV electron fluxes were preferentially enhanced, provides additional support to our transport model and insights on the origin of that orbit's extreme energetic electron environment. Finally, if the mode of radial transport that we describe here is a dominant one, radial diffusion coefficients (DLL) would be subject to strong energy, pitch angle and species dependencies.

  8. Exploration of Icy Moons in the Outer Solar System: Updated Planetary Protection Requirements for Missions to Enceladus and Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, J. D.; Race, M. S.

    2016-12-01

    Enceladus and Europa are bodies with icy/watery environments and potential habitable conditions for life, making both of great interest in astrobiological studies of chemical evolution and /or origin of life. They are also of significant planetary protection concern for spacecraft missions because of the potential for harmful contamination during exploration. At a 2015 COSPAR colloquium in Bern Switzerland, international scientists identified an urgent need to establish planetary protection requirements for missions proposing to return samples to Earth from Saturn's moon Enceladus. Deliberations at the meeting resulted in recommended policy updates for both forward and back contamination requirements for missions to Europa and Enceladus, including missions sampling plumes originating from those bodies. These recently recommended COSPAR policy revisions and biological contamination requirements will be applied to future missions to Europa and Encealadus, particularly noticeable in those with plans for in situ life detection and sample return capabilities. Included in the COSPAR policy are requirementsto `break the chain of contact' with Europa or Enceladus, to keep pristine returned materials contained, and to complete required biohazard analyses, testing and/or sterilization upon return to Earth. Subsequent to the Bern meeting, additional discussions of Planetary Protection of Outer Solar System bodies (PPOSS) are underway in a 3-year study coordinated by the European Science Foundation and involving multiple international partners, including Japan, China and Russia, along with a US observer. This presentation will provide science and policy updates for those whose research or activities will involve icy moon missions and exploration.

  9. Effect of ''outer'' sources and dissipative processes on abundance of inert gases in atmospheres of the Earth group planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pavlov, A.K.

    1981-01-01

    The problem of abundance of inert gases in atmospheres of the Earth group planets is discussed. It is shown that introduction of He, Ne and 36 Ar into the Mars and Mercury atmospheres with interplanetary dust and from other external sources require the presence of special mechanisms of losses for these gases. For the Mars atmosphere dissipation on atmosphere interaction with solar wind during the periods of anomalously low temperatures is a probable mechanisms of Ne and 36 Ar losses. For the Mercury thermal dissipation for He and polar wind for other inert gases are possible. For all the planets of the Earth group dissipation on interaction with solar wind and introduction with interplanetary dust could play an important role at the early stages of evolution of planets [ru

  10. Limits to Creation of Oxygen-Rich Atmospheres on Planets in the Outer Reaches of the Conventional Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    Abundant free oxygen appears to be a requirement for macroflora and macrofauna. To the best of our knowledge, a general discussion of which habitable planets are conducive to oxygen has not taken place. Theories for the rise of oxygen fall into 4 categories: (i) It is governed by an intrinsic rate of biological innovation, independent of environmental factors. (ii) It is caused by mantle evolution, probably consequent to secular cooling. (iii) It is caused by hydrogen escape, which irreversibly oxidizes the Earth. (iv) It is Gaia's response to the brightening Sun, its rise prevented until reduced greenhouse gases were no longer needed to maintain a clement climate. All but the first of these make implicit astronomical predictions that can be quantified and made explicit. Here we address the third hypothesis. In this hypothesis hydrogen escape acts like an hourglass that continues until all relevant reduced mineral buffers have been oxidized (titrated, as it were) and the surface made safe for O2. The hypothesis predicts that abundant free O2 will be absent from habitable planets that have not experienced significant hydrogen escape. Where hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which makes assessing radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ straightforward. In particular, H2 is efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, which makes radiative cooling very effective when H2 is abundant. We can therefore map out the region of phase space in which habitable planets do not lose hydrogen, and therefore do not develop O2 atmospheres. A related matter is the power of radiative cooling by embedded molecules to enforce the diffusion limit to hydrogen escape. This matter in particular is relevant to addressing the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than approx.1.6 Earth radii.

  11. Limits to Creation of Oxygen-Rich Atmospheres on Planets in the Outer Reaches of the Conventional Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-10-01

    Abundant free oxygen appears to be a requirement for macroflora and macrofauna. To the best of our knowledge, a general discussion of which habitable planets are conducive to oxygen has not taken place. Theories for the rise of oxygen fall into 4 categories: (i) It is governed by an intrinsic rate of biological innovation, independent of environmental factors. (ii) It is caused by mantle evolution, probably consequent to secular cooling. (iii) It is caused by hydrogen escape, which irreversibly oxidizes the Earth. (iv) It is Gaia’s response to the brightening Sun, its rise prevented until reduced greenhouse gases were no longer needed to maintain a clement climate. All but the first of these make implicit astronomical predictions that can be quantified and made explicit.Here we address the third hypothesis. In this hypothesis hydrogen escape acts like an hourglass that continues until all relevant reduced mineral buffers have been oxidized (titrated, as it were) and the surface made safe for O2. The hypothesis predicts that abundant free O2 will be absent from habitable planets that have not experienced significant hydrogen escape. Where hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which makes assessing radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ straightforward. In particular, H2 is efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, which makes radiative cooling very effective when H2 is abundant. We can therefore map out the region of phase space in which habitable planets do not lose hydrogen, and therefore do not develop O2 atmospheres.A related matter is the power of radiative cooling by embedded molecules to enforce the diffusion limit to hydrogen escape. This matter in particular is relevant to addressing the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than ~1.6 Earth radii.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belenkaya, Elena S.; Alexeev, Igor I.; Kalegaev, Vladimir V.; Pensionerov, Ivan A.; Blokhina, Marina S.; Parunakian, David A. [Federal State Budget Educational Institution of Higher Education M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State Univ., Moscow (Russian Federation). Skobeltsyn Inst. of Nuclear Physics (SINP MSU); Cowley, Stanley W. H. [Leicester Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

    2017-07-01

    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 poleward edge

  13. Candidate Mission from Planet Earth control and data delivery system architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Phillip; Weinstein, Frank C.; Hei, Donald J., Jr.; Todd, Jacqueline

    1992-01-01

    Using a structured, experienced-based approach, Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has assessed the generic functional requirements for a lunar mission control and data delivery (CDD) system. This analysis was based on lunar mission requirements outlined in GSFC-developed user traffic models. The CDD system will facilitate data transportation among user elements, element operations, and user teams by providing functions such as data management, fault isolation, fault correction, and link acquisition. The CDD system for the lunar missions must not only satisfy lunar requirements but also facilitate and provide early development of data system technologies for Mars. Reuse and evolution of existing data systems can help to maximize system reliability and minimize cost. This paper presents a set of existing and currently planned NASA data systems that provide the basic functionality. Reuse of such systems can have an impact on mission design and significantly reduce CDD and other system development costs.

  14. RADIOISOTOPE-DRIVEN DUAL-MODE PROPULSION SYSTEM FOR CUBESAT-SCALE PAYLOADS TO THE OUTER PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N. D. Jerred; T. M. Howe; S. D. Howe; A. Rajguru

    2014-02-01

    It is apparent the cost of planetary exploration is rising as mission budgets declining. Currently small scientific beds geared to performing limited tasks are being developed and launched into low earth orbit (LEO) in the form of small-scale satellite units, i.e., CubeSats. These micro- and nano-satellites are gaining popularity among the university and science communities due to their relatively low cost and design flexibility. To date these small units have been limited to performing tasks in LEO utilizing solar-based power. If a reasonable propulsion system could be developed, these CubeSat platforms could perform exploration of various extra-terrestrial bodies within the solar system engaging a broader range of researchers. Additionally, being mindful of mass, smaller cheaper launch vehicles (approximately 1,000 kgs to LEO) can be targeted. Thus, in effect, allows for beneficial exploration to be conducted within limited budgets. Researchers at the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) are proposing a low mass, radioisotope-based, dual-mode propulsion system capable of extending the exploration realm of these CubeSats out of LEO.

  15. Human missions to Mars enabling technologies for exploring the red planet

    CERN Document Server

    Rapp, Donald

    2016-01-01

    A mission to send humans to explore the surface of Mars has been the ultimate goal of planetary exploration since the 1950s, when von Braun conjectured a flotilla of 10 interplanetary vessels carrying a crew of at least 70 humans. Since then, more than 1,000 studies were carried out on human missions to Mars, but after 60 years of study, we remain in the early planning stages. The second edition of this book now includes an annotated history of Mars mission studies, with quantitative data wherever possible. Retained from the first edition, Donald Rapp looks at human missions to Mars from an engineering perspective. He divides the mission into a number of stages: Earth’s surface to low-Earth orbit (LEO); departing from LEO toward Mars; Mars orbit insertion and entry, descent and landing; ascent from Mars; trans-Earth injection from Mars orbit and Earth return. For each segment, he analyzes requirements for candidate technologies. In this connection, he discusses the status and potential of a wide range of el...

  16. Kepler Mission: A Wide-FOV Photometer Designed to Determine the Frequency of Earth-Size and Larger Planets Around Solar-like stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Lissauer, Jack; Basri, Gibor; Caldwell, John; Cochran, William; Dunham, Edward W.; Gilliland, Ronald; Jenkins, Jon M.; Caldwell, Douglas; hide

    2002-01-01

    The first step in discovering the extent of life in our galaxy is to determine the number of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler Mission is designed around a 0.95 m aperture Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. Measurements of the depth and repetition time of transits provide the size of the planet relative to the star and its orbital period. When combined with ground-based spectroscopy of these stars to fix the stellar parameters, the true planet radius and orbit scale, hence the position relative to the HZ are determined. These spectra are also used to discover the relationships between the characteristics of planets and the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of terrestrial planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ occur in less than 1% of the stars and that life might be quite rare. Based on the results of the current doppler-velocity discoveries, detection of a thousand giant planets is expected. Information on their albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained.

  17. Earth observations during Space Shuttle flight STS-41 - Discovery's mission to planet earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Helfert, Michael R.; Amsbury, David L.; Whitehead, Victor S.; Richards, Richard N.; Cabana, Robert D.; Shepherd, William M.; Akers, Thomas D.; Melnick, Bruce E.

    1991-01-01

    An overview of space flight STS-41 is presented, including personal observations and comments by the mission astronauts. The crew deployed the Ulysses spacecraft to study the polar regions of the sun and the interplanetary space above the poles. Environmental observations, including those of Lake Turkana, Lake Chad, biomass burning in Madagascar and Argentina, and circular features in Yucatan are described. Observations that include landforms and geology, continental sedimentation, desert landscapes, and river morphology are discussed.

  18. Life Science Research in Outer Space: New Platform Technologies for Low-Cost, Autonomous Small Satellite Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricco, Antonio J.; Parra, Macarena P.; Niesel, David; McGinnis, Michael; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Nicholson, Wayne; Mancinelli, Rocco; Piccini, Matthew E.; Beasley, Christopher C.; Timucin, Linda R.; hide

    2009-01-01

    We develop integrated instruments and platforms suitable for economical, frequent space access for autonomous life science experiments and processes in outer space. The technologies represented by three of our recent free-flyer small-satellite missions are the basis of a rapidly growing toolbox of miniaturized biologically/biochemically-oriented instrumentation now enabling a new generation of in-situ space experiments. Autonomous small satellites ( 1 50 kg) are less expensive to develop and build than fullsize spacecraft and not subject to the comparatively high costs and scheduling challenges of human-tended experimentation on the International Space Station, Space Shuttle, and comparable platforms. A growing number of commercial, government, military, and civilian space launches now carry small secondary science payloads at far lower cost than dedicated missions; the number of opportunities is particularly large for so-called cube-sat and multicube satellites in the 1 10 kg range. The recent explosion in nano-, micro-, and miniature technologies, spanning fields from telecommunications to materials to bio/chemical analysis, enables development of remarkably capable autonomous miniaturized instruments to accomplish remote biological experimentation. High-throughput drug discovery, point-of-care medical diagnostics, and genetic analysis are applications driving rapid progress in autonomous bioanalytical technology. Three of our recent missions exemplify the development of miniaturized analytical payload instrumentation: GeneSat-1 (launched: December 2006), PharmaSat (launched: May 2009), and O/OREOS (organism/organics exposure to orbital stresses; scheduled launch: May 2010). We will highlight the overall architecture and integration of fluidic, optical, sensor, thermal, and electronic technologies and subsystems to support and monitor the growth of microorganisms in culture in these small autonomous space satellites, including real-time tracking of their culture

  19. Preparing for Dawn's Mission at Ceres: Challenges and Opportunities in the Exploration of a Dwarf Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayman, Marc D.; Mase, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    After escaping from Vesta in 2012, Dawn is continuing its 2.5-year flight to dwarf planet Ceres. Investigating this second destination promises to provide a view of an intriguing world of ice and rock, likely displaying fascinating geology entirely unlike any body yet orbited by a spacecraft. Dawn spends the significant majority of the time thrusting with its ion propulsion system to deliver the 3.6 km/s required to rendezvous with Ceres. Meanwhile, the operations team has developed the sequences that will be used there. Following orbit capture in March 2015, Dawn will fly to a series of four circular polar science orbits. The orbits, ranging from about 13,500 km to 375 km in altitude, are designed to optimize the scientific observations. The overall strategy for exploring Ceres is based strongly on the extremely successful 16 months of Vesta operations, during which Dawn met or exceeded all of its objectives. Nevertheless, the loss of two of the spacecraft's four reaction wheels has necessitated some important changes. Based on a very productive hydrazine conservation campaign in the interplanetary cruise and the development of new hydrazine-efficient methods of operating at Ceres, there is good reason to expect that Dawn will be able to accomplish all of its objectives regardless of the health of the reaction wheels. This paper describes the progress in traveling to Ceres as well as the plans for exploring this giant, icy world.

  20. Dynamics of the Outer Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    this is at least partly an illusion; it is amusing to speculate than the human tendency to prefer (16,17) over (4) is rooted in our natural tendency...1 0u 2 2(27) Ir 80 2r 90 ’I which, as 0 is a periodic coordinate, integrates to 0. Thus J dO = -2--r = 0. (28)kTO atar I I 235 To obtain an energy...ept. of Oceanography l.a Jolla, CA 92093-0175 College Station, TX 77843 Hancock Library of Biology & Oceanography Fisheries-Oceanography Library Alan

  1. A review of the US Global Change Research Program and NASA's Mission to Planet Earth/Earth Observing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Berrien, III; Anderson, James G.; Costanza, Robert; Gates, W. Lawrence; Grew, Priscilla C.; Leinen, Margaret S.; Mayewski, Paul A.; McCarthy, James J.; Sellers, Piers J.

    1995-01-01

    This report reflects the results of a ten-day workshop convened at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography July 19-28, 1995. The workshop was convened as the first phase of a two part review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The workshop was organized to provide a review of the scientific foundations and progress to date in the USGCRP and an assessment of the implications of new scientific insights for future USGCRP and Mission to Planet Earth/Earth Observing System (MTPE/EOS) activities; a review of the role of NASA's MTPE/EOS program in the USGCRP observational strategy; a review of the EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS) as a component of USGCRP data management activities; and an assessment of whether recent developments in the following areas lead to a need to readjust MTPE/EOS plans. Specific consideration was given to: proposed convergence of U.S. environmental satellite systems and programs, evolving international plans for Earth observation systems, advances in technology, and potential expansion of the role of the private sector. The present report summarizes the findings and recommendations developed by the Committee on Global Change Research on the basis of the presentations, background materials, working group deliberations, and plenary discussions of the workshop. In addition, the appendices include summaries prepared by the six working groups convened in the course of the workshop.

  2. Unveiling Mercury's Mysteries with BepiColombo - an ESA/JAXA Mission to Explore the Innermost Planet of our Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhoff, J.

    2017-12-01

    NASA's MESSENGER mission has fundamentally changed our view of the innermost planet. Mercury is in many ways a very different planet from what we were expecting. Now BepiColombo has to follow up on answering the fundamental questions that MESSENGER raised and go beyond. BepiColombo is a joint project between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The Mission consists of two orbiters, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO). The mission scenario foresees a launch of both spacecraft with an ARIANE V in October 2018 and an arrival at Mercury in 2025. From their dedicated orbits the two spacecraft will be studying the planet and its environment. BepiColombo will study and understand the composition, geophysics, atmosphere, magnetosphere and history of Mercury, the least explored planet in the inner Solar System. In addition, the BepiColombo mission will provide a rare opportunity to collect multi-point measurements in a planetary environment. This will be particularly important at Mercury because of short temporal and spatial scales in the Mercury's environment. The foreseen orbits of the MPO and MMO will allow close encounters of the two spacecrafts throughout the mission. The MPO scientific payload comprises eleven instruments/instrument packages; The MMO comprises 5 instruments/instrument packages to the the study of the environment. The MPO will focus on a global characterization of Mercury through the investigation of its interior, surface, exosphere and magnetosphere. In addition, it will be testing Einstein's theory of general relativity. Together, the scientific payload of both spacecraft will provide the detailed information necessary to understand Mercury and its magnetospheric environment and to find clues to the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star. The BepiColombo mission will complement and follow up the work of NASA's MESSENGER mission by

  3. Nuclear electric propulsion mission engineering study. Volume 2: Final report

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    Results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are summarized. Critical technologies associated with the development of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) are assessed, along with the impact of its availability on future space programs. Outer planet and comet rendezvous mission analysis, NEP stage design for geocentric and interplanetary missions, NEP system development cost and unit costs, and technology requirements for NEP stage development are studied.

  4. Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kid: ethical implications of pregnancy on missions to colonize other planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Haley; Peck, Steven L

    2016-12-01

    The colonization of a new planet will inevitably bring about new bioethical issues. One is the possibility of pregnancy during the mission. During the journey to the target planet or moon, and for the first couple of years before a colony has been established and the colony has been accommodated for children, a pregnancy would jeopardize the safety of the crew and the wellbeing of the child. The principal concern with a pregnancy during an interplanetary mission is that it could put the entire crew in danger. Resources such as air, food, and medical supplies will be limited and calculated to keep the crew members alive. We explore the bioethical concerns of near-future space travel.

  5. TWO SMALL PLANETS TRANSITING HD 3167

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Mayo, Andrew W.; Berlind, Perry; Duev, Dmitry A.; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Riddle, Reed; Baranec, Christoph; Law, Nicholas M.; Nieberding, Megan N.; Salama, Maïssa

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of two super-Earth-sized planets transiting the bright (V = 8.94, K = 7.07) nearby late G-dwarf HD 3167, using data collected by the K2 mission. The inner planet, HD 3167 b, has a radius of 1.6 R ⊕ and an ultra-short orbital period of only 0.96 days. The outer planet, HD 3167 c, has a radius of 2.9 R ⊕ and orbits its host star every 29.85 days. At a distance of just 45.8 ± 2.2 pc, HD 3167 is one of the closest and brightest stars hosting multiple transiting planets, making HD 3167 b and c well suited for follow-up observations. The star is chromospherically inactive with low rotational line-broadening, ideal for radial velocity observations to measure the planets’ masses. The outer planet is large enough that it likely has a thick gaseous envelope that could be studied via transmission spectroscopy. Planets transiting bright, nearby stars like HD 3167 are valuable objects to study leading up to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope .

  6. TWO SMALL PLANETS TRANSITING HD 3167

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Mayo, Andrew W.; Berlind, Perry [Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Duev, Dmitry A.; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Riddle, Reed [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Baranec, Christoph [University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Law, Nicholas M. [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (United States); Nieberding, Megan N. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Salama, Maïssa, E-mail: avanderburg@cfa.harvard.edu [University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2016-09-20

    We report the discovery of two super-Earth-sized planets transiting the bright (V = 8.94, K = 7.07) nearby late G-dwarf HD 3167, using data collected by the K2 mission. The inner planet, HD 3167 b, has a radius of 1.6 R {sub ⊕} and an ultra-short orbital period of only 0.96 days. The outer planet, HD 3167 c, has a radius of 2.9 R {sub ⊕} and orbits its host star every 29.85 days. At a distance of just 45.8 ± 2.2 pc, HD 3167 is one of the closest and brightest stars hosting multiple transiting planets, making HD 3167 b and c well suited for follow-up observations. The star is chromospherically inactive with low rotational line-broadening, ideal for radial velocity observations to measure the planets’ masses. The outer planet is large enough that it likely has a thick gaseous envelope that could be studied via transmission spectroscopy. Planets transiting bright, nearby stars like HD 3167 are valuable objects to study leading up to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope .

  7. KEPLER-15b: A HOT JUPITER ENRICHED IN HEAVY ELEMENTS AND THE FIRST KEPLER MISSION PLANET CONFIRMED WITH THE HOBBY-EBERLY TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Endl, Michael; MacQueen, Phillip J.; Cochran, William D.; Brugamyer, Erik J.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Rowe, Jason; Lucas, Phillip; Isaacson, Howard; Bryson, Steve; Howell, Steve B.; Borucki, William J.; Caldwell, Douglas; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Haas, Michael R.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Hansen, Terese; Ciardi, David R.; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Everett, Mark; Ford, Eric B.

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of Kepler-15b (KOI-128), a new transiting exoplanet detected by NASA's Kepler mission. The transit signal with a period of 4.94 days was detected in the quarter 1 (Q1) Kepler photometry. For the first time, we have used the High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS) at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) to determine the mass of a Kepler planet via precise radial velocity (RV) measurements. The 24 HET/HRS RVs and 6 additional measurements from the Fibre-fed Échelle Spectrograph spectrograph at the Nordic Optical Telescope reveal a Doppler signal with the same period and phase as the transit ephemeris. We used one HET/HRS spectrum of Kepler-15 taken without the iodine cell to determine accurate stellar parameters. The host star is a metal-rich ([Fe/H] = 0.36 ± 0.07) G-type main-sequence star with T eff = 5515 ± 124 K. The semi-amplitude K of the RV orbit is 78.7 +8.5 –9.5 m s –1 , which yields a planet mass of 0.66 ± 0.1 M Jup . The planet has a radius of 0.96 ± 0.06 R Jup and a mean bulk density of 0.9 ± 0.2 g cm –3 . The radius of Kepler-15b is smaller than the majority of transiting planets with similar mass and irradiation level. This suggests that the planet is more enriched in heavy elements than most other transiting giant planets. For Kepler-15b we estimate a heavy element mass of 30-40 M ⊕ .

  8. Properties of an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star: Earth observed by the EPOXI mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livengood, Timothy A; Deming, L Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Meadows, Victoria S; Robinson, Tyler D; Seager, Sara; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-11-01

    NASA's EPOXI mission observed the disc-integrated Earth and Moon to test techniques for reconnoitering extrasolar terrestrial planets, using the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to observe Earth at the beginning and end of Northern Hemisphere spring, 2008, from a range of ∼1/6 to 1/3 AU. These observations furnish high-precision and high-cadence empirical photometry and spectroscopy of Earth, suitable as "ground truth" for numerically simulating realistic observational scenarios for an Earth-like exoplanet with finite signal-to-noise ratio. Earth was observed at near-equatorial sub-spacecraft latitude on 18-19 March, 28-29 May, and 4-5 June (UT), in the range of 372-4540 nm wavelength with low visible resolving power (λ/Δλ=5-13) and moderate IR resolving power (λ/Δλ=215-730). Spectrophotometry in seven filters yields light curves at ∼372-948 nm filter-averaged wavelength, modulated by Earth's rotation with peak-to-peak amplitude of ≤20%. The spatially resolved Sun glint is a minor contributor to disc-integrated reflectance. Spectroscopy at 1100-4540 nm reveals gaseous water and carbon dioxide, with minor features of molecular oxygen, methane, and nitrous oxide. One-day changes in global cloud cover resulted in differences between the light curve beginning and end of ≤5%. The light curve of a lunar transit of Earth on 29 May is color-dependent due to the Moon's red spectrum partially occulting Earth's relatively blue spectrum. The "vegetation red edge" spectral contrast observed between two long-wavelength visible/near-IR bands is ambiguous, not clearly distinguishing between the verdant Earth diluted by cloud cover versus the desolate mineral regolith of the Moon. Spectrophotometry in at least one other comparison band at short wavelength is required to distinguish between Earth-like and Moon-like surfaces in reconnaissance observations. However, measurements at 850 nm alone, the high-reflectance side of the red edge, could be sufficient to

  9. K2-60b and K2-107b. A Sub-Jovian and a Jovian Planet from the K2 Mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eigmüller, Philipp; Csizmadia, Szilard; Smith, Alexis M. S.; Cabrera, Juan; Erikson, Anders [Institute of Planetary Research, German Aerospace Center, Rutherfordstrasse 2, D-12489 Berlin (Germany); Gandolfi, Davide; Barragán, Oscar [Dipartimento di Fisica, Universitá di Torino, via P. Giuria 1, I-10125 Torino (Italy); Persson, Carina M.; Fridlund, Malcolm [Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory, SE-439 92 Onsala (Sweden); Donati, Paolo; Cusano, Felice [INAF—Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via Ranzani, 1, I-40127, Bologna (Italy); Korth, Judith; Grziwa, Sascha [Rheinisches Institut für Umweltforschung an der Universität zu Köln, Aachener Strasse 209, D-50931 Köln (Germany); Prieto-Arranz, Jorge; Nespral, David; Deeg, Hans J. [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Saario, Joonas [Nordic Optical Telescope, Apartado 474, E-38700, Santa Cruz de La Palma (Spain); Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael [Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory, University of Texas at Austin, 2515 Speedway, Stop C1400, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Guenther, Eike W. [Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Sternwarte 5, D-07778 Tautenberg (Germany); and others

    2017-03-01

    We report the characterization and independent detection of K2-60b, as well as the detection and characterization of K2-107b, two transiting hot gaseous planets from the K2 space mission. We confirm the planetary nature of the two systems and determine their fundamental parameters combining the K2 time-series data with FIES@NOT and HARPS-N@TNG spectroscopic observations. K2-60b has a radius of 0.683 ± 0.037 R {sub Jup} and a mass of 0.426 ± 0.037 M {sub Jup} and orbits a G4 V star with an orbital period of 3.00267 ± 0.00006 days. K2-107b has a radius of 1.44 ± 0.15 R {sub Jup} and a mass of 0.84 ± 0.08 M {sub Jup} and orbits an F9 IV star every 3.31392 ± 0.00002 days. K2-60b is among the few planets at the edge of the so-called “desert” of short-period sub-Jovian planets. K2-107b is a highly inflated Jovian planet orbiting an evolved star about to leave the main sequence.

  10. K2-60b and K2-107b. A Sub-Jovian and a Jovian Planet from the K2 Mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eigmüller, Philipp; Csizmadia, Szilard; Smith, Alexis M. S.; Cabrera, Juan; Erikson, Anders; Gandolfi, Davide; Barragán, Oscar; Persson, Carina M.; Fridlund, Malcolm; Donati, Paolo; Cusano, Felice; Korth, Judith; Grziwa, Sascha; Prieto-Arranz, Jorge; Nespral, David; Deeg, Hans J.; Saario, Joonas; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Guenther, Eike W.

    2017-01-01

    We report the characterization and independent detection of K2-60b, as well as the detection and characterization of K2-107b, two transiting hot gaseous planets from the K2 space mission. We confirm the planetary nature of the two systems and determine their fundamental parameters combining the K2 time-series data with FIES@NOT and HARPS-N@TNG spectroscopic observations. K2-60b has a radius of 0.683 ± 0.037 R Jup and a mass of 0.426 ± 0.037 M Jup and orbits a G4 V star with an orbital period of 3.00267 ± 0.00006 days. K2-107b has a radius of 1.44 ± 0.15 R Jup and a mass of 0.84 ± 0.08 M Jup and orbits an F9 IV star every 3.31392 ± 0.00002 days. K2-60b is among the few planets at the edge of the so-called “desert” of short-period sub-Jovian planets. K2-107b is a highly inflated Jovian planet orbiting an evolved star about to leave the main sequence.

  11. H-atmospheres of Icy Super-Earths Formed In Situ in the Outer Solar System: An Application to a Possible Planet Nine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levi, A.; Kenyon, S. J.; Podolak, M.; Prialnik, D.

    2017-04-01

    We examine the possibility that icy super-Earth mass planets, formed over long timescales (0.1-1 Gyr) at large distances (˜200-1000 au) from their host stars, will develop massive H-rich atmospheres. Within the interior of these planets, high pressure converts CH4 into ethane, butane, or diamond and releases H2. Using simplified models that capture the basic physics of the internal structure, we show that the physical properties of the atmosphere depend on the outflux of H2 from the mantle. When this outflux is ≲ {10}10 molec cm-2 s-1, the outgassed atmosphere has a base pressure of ≲1 bar. Larger outflows result in a substantial atmosphere where the base pressure may approach 103-104 bar. For any pressure, the mean density of these planets, 2.4-3 g cm-3, is much larger than the mean density of Uranus and Neptune, 1.3-1.6 g cm-3. Thus, observations can distinguish between a Planet Nine with a primordial H/He-rich atmosphere accreted from the protosolar nebula and one with an atmosphere outgassed from the core.

  12. TESS Follow-up Observing Program (TFOP) Working Group:A Mission-led Effort to Coordinate Community Resources to Confirm TESS Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Karen; Quinn, Samuel N.; Latham, David W.; Christiansen, Jessie; Ciardi, David; Dragomir, Diana; Crossfield, Ian; Seager, Sara

    2018-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will observe most of the sky over a period of two years. Observations will be conducted in 26 sectors of sky coverage and each sector will be observed for ~27 days. Data from each sector is expected to produce hundreds of transiting planet candidates (PCs) per month and thousands over the two year nominal mission. The TFOP Working Group (WG) is a mission-led effort organized to efficiently provide follow-up observations to confirm candidates as planets or reject them as false positives. The primary goal of the TFOP WG is to facilitate achievement of the Level One Science Requirement to measure masses for 50 transiting planets smaller than 4 Earth radii. Secondary goals are to serve any science coming out of TESS and to foster communication and coordination both within the TESS Science Team and with the community at large. The TFOP WG is organized as five Sub Groups (SGs). SG1 will provide seeing-limited imaging to measure blending within a candidate's aperture and time-series photometry to identify false positives and in some cases to improve ephemerides, light curves, and/or transit time variation (TTV) measurements. SG2 will provide reconnaissance spectroscopy to identify astrophysical false positives and to contribute to improved host star parameters. SG3 will provide high-resolution imaging with adaptive optics, speckle imaging, and lucky imaging to detect nearby objects. SG4 will provide precise radial velocities to derive orbits of planet(s) and measure their mass(es) relative to the host star. SG5 will provide space-based photometry to confirm and/or improve the TESS photometric ephemerides, and will also provide improved light curves for transit events or TTV measurements. We describe the TFOP WG observing and planet confirmation process, the five SGs that comprise the TFOP WG, ExoFOP-TESS and other web-based tools being developed to support TFOP WG observers, other advantages of joining the TFOP WG, the TFOP

  13. SeaWiFS Technical Report Series. Volume 42; Satellite Primary Productivity Data and Algorithm Development: A Science Plan for Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkowski, Paul G.; Behrenfeld, Michael J.; Esaias, Wayne E.; Balch, William; Campbell, Janet W.; Iverson, Richard L.; Kiefer, Dale A.; Morel, Andre; Yoder, James A.; Hooker, Stanford B. (Editor); hide

    1998-01-01

    Two issues regarding primary productivity, as it pertains to the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) Program and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) are presented in this volume. Chapter 1 describes the development of a science plan for deriving primary production for the world ocean using satellite measurements, by the Ocean Primary Productivity Working Group (OPPWG). Chapter 2 presents discussions by the same group, of algorithm classification, algorithm parameterization and data availability, algorithm testing and validation, and the benefits of a consensus primary productivity algorithm.

  14. Potential Astrophysics Science Missions Enabled by NASA's Planned Ares V

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip; Thronson, Harley; Langhoff, Stepheni; Postman, Marc; Lester, Daniel; Lillie, Chuck

    2009-01-01

    NASA s planned Ares V cargo vehicle with its 10 meter diameter fairing and 60,000 kg payload mass to L2 offers the potential to launch entirely new classes of space science missions such as 8-meter monolithic aperture telescopes, 12- meter aperture x-ray telescopes, 16 to 24 meter segmented telescopes and highly capable outer planet missions. The paper will summarize the current Ares V baseline performance capabilities and review potential mission concepts enabled by these capabilities.

  15. On the Stability of Deinoxanthin Exposed to Mars Conditions during a Long-Term Space Mission and Implications for Biomarker Detection on Other Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Leuko

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Outer space, the final frontier, is a hostile and unforgiving place for any form of life as we know it. The unique environment of space allows for a close simulation of Mars surface conditions that cannot be simulated as accurately on the Earth. For this experiment, we tested the resistance of Deinococcus radiodurans to survive exposure to simulated Mars-like conditions in low-Earth orbit for a prolonged period of time as part of the Biology and Mars experiment (BIOMEX project. Special focus was placed on the integrity of the carotenoid deinoxanthin, which may serve as a potential biomarker to search for remnants of life on other planets. Survival was investigated by evaluating colony forming units, damage inflicted to the 16S rRNA gene by quantitative PCR, and the integrity and detectability of deinoxanthin by Raman spectroscopy. Exposure to space conditions had a strong detrimental effect on the survival of the strains and the 16S rRNA integrity, yet results show that deinoxanthin survives exposure to conditions as they prevail on Mars. Solar radiation is not only strongly detrimental to the survival and 16S rRNA integrity but also to the Raman signal of deinoxanthin. Samples not exposed to solar radiation showed only minuscule signs of deterioration. To test whether deinoxanthin is able to withstand the tested parameters without the protection of the cell, it was extracted from cell homogenate and exposed to high/low temperatures, vacuum, germicidal UV-C radiation, and simulated solar radiation. Results obtained by Raman investigations showed a strong resistance of deinoxanthin against outer space and Mars conditions, with the only exception of the exposure to simulated solar radiation. Therefore, deinoxanthin proved to be a suitable easily detectable biomarker for the search of Earth-like organic pigment-containing life on other planets.

  16. Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission's Red Planet program: Bridging the gap in elementary school science through climate studies of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2012-12-01

    Although reading, writing, and math examinations are often conducted early in elementary school, science is not typically tested until 4th or 5th grade. The result is a refocus on the tested topics at the expense of the untested ones, despite that standards exist for each topic at all grades. On a national level, science instruction is relegated to a matter of a few hours per week. A 2007 Education Policy study states that elementary school students spend an average of 178 minutes a week on science while spending 500 minutes on literacy. A recent NSTA report in July of 2011 of elementary and middle school teachers confirms that teachers feel pressured to teach math and literacy at the expense of other programs. In our interaction with elementary teachers, it is also apparent that many are uncomfortable with science concepts. In order for us to successfully address the Next Generation Science Standards, teachers must be able to reconcile all of the different requirements placed on them in a given school day and in a given school environment. A unique way to combat the lack of science instruction at elementary grades is to combine literacy into an integrated science program, thereby increasing the number of science contact hours. The Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore program, developed for the MAVEN mission, is a science, art, and literacy program designed to easily fit into a typical 3rd-5th grade instructional day. Red Planet tackles climate change through Mars' geologic history and makes Mars-Earth comparisons, while encouraging students to reflect on the environmental requirements needed to keep a biological organisms (including humans) happy, healthy, and alive. The Red Planet program is currently being pilot tested at Acres Green Elementary School in Colorado.

  17. Kepler's first rocky planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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...

  18. Study and validation of a gamma-ray spectrometer for the remote analysis of the chemical composition of planetary surfaces: application to a mission to the planet Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pirard, B.

    2006-12-01

    This work deals with the design of a gamma-ray spectrometer for the remote analysis of the chemical composition of planetary surfaces and was performed in the frame of a mission scenario to explore the planet Mercury. The research studies consisted first in characterizing the detection performances of a gamma-ray spectrometer using a high-purity germanium crystal cooled actively at cryogenic temperatures. The high energy resolution of the detector allows an accurate measurement of the chemical composition for the main elements from oxygen to uranium. Thereafter the studies dealt with the critical issues addressed for the use of such a detector onboard a mission to the inner solar system. The radiation damage caused by solar protons in germanium crystals was investigated by experimental and numerical means. It has been shown that the detector resolution begins getting damaged for proton fluences over 5*10 8 p/cm 2 . An annealing session where the crystal is heated up to 80 C degrees for a 4-day period allows the detector to get back a sufficient resolution. Annealing over 100 C degrees gives back the detector its initial resolution. Finally, a numerical thermal model of the instrument as well as some tests on a thermal mockup were performed to validate the thermal design of the instrument

  19. Using Information from Rendezvous Missions for Best-Case Appraisals of Impact Damage to Planet Earth Caused by Natural Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, James O.; Chodas, Paul W.; Ulamec, Stephan; Mathias, Donovan L.; Burkhard, Craig D.

    2017-01-01

    The Asteroid Threat Assessment Project (ATAP), a part of NASAs Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) has the responsibility to appraise the range of surface damage by potential asteroid impacts on land or water. If a threat is realized, the project will provide appraisals to officials empowered to make decisions about potential mitigation actions. This paper describes a scenario for assessment of surface damage when characterization of an asteroid had been accomplished by a rendezvous mission that would be conducted by the international planetary defense community. It is shown that the combination of data from ground and in-situ measurements on an asteroid provides knowledge that can be used to pin-point its impact location and predict the level of devastation it would cause. The hypothetical asteroid 2017 PDC with a size range of 160 to 290 m in diameter to be discussed at the PDC 2017 is used as an example. In order of importance for appraising potential damage, information required is: (1) where will the surface impact occur? (2) what is the mass, shape and size of the asteroid and what is its entry state (speed and entry angle) at the 100 km atmospheric pierce point? And (3) is the asteroid a monolith or a rubble pile? If it is a rubble pile, what is its structure and heterogeneity from the surface and throughout its interior? Item (1) is of first order importance to determine levels of devastation (loss of life and infrastructure damage) because it varies strongly on the impact location. Items (2) and (3) are used as inputs for ATAPs simulations to define the level of surface hazards: winds, overpressure, thermal exposure; all created by the deposition of energy during the objects atmospheric flight, andor cratering. Topics presented in this paper include: (i) the devastation predicted by 2017 PDCs impact on land based on initial observations using ATAPs risk assessment capability, (ii) how information corresponding to items (1) to (3) could be obtained

  20. The hunt for Planet X

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Croswell, Ken.

    1990-01-01

    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

  1. Nuclear electric propulsion mission engineering study. Volume 1: Executive summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    Results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are summarized. Critical technologies associated with the development of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) are assessed. Outer planet and comet rendezvous mission analysis, NEP stage design for geocentric and interplanetary missions, NEP system development cost and unit costs, and technology requirements for NEP stage development are studied. The NEP stage design provides both inherent reliability and high payload mass capability. The NEP stage and payload integration was found to be compatible with the space shuttle.

  2. Blue Marble: Remote Characterization of Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolf, Neville; Lewis, Brian; Chartres, James; Genova, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    The study of the nature and distribution of habitable environments beyond the Solar System is a key area for Astrobiology research. At the present time, our Earth is the only habitable planet that can be characterized in the same way that we might characterize planets beyond the Solar System. Due to limitations in our current and near-future technology, it is likely that extra-solar planets will be observed as single-pixel objects. To understand this data, we must develop skills in analyzing and interpreting the radiation obtained from a single pixel. These skills must include the study of the time variation of the radiation, and the range of its photometric, spectroscopic and polarimetric properties. In addition, to understand whether we are properly analyzing the single pixel data, we need to compare it with a ground truth of modest resolution images in key spectral bands. This paper discusses the concept for a mission called Blue Marble that would obtain data of the Earth using a combination of spectropolarimetry, spectrophotometry, and selected band imaging. To obtain imagery of the proper resolution, it is desirable to place the Blue Marble spacecraft no closer than the outer region of cis-lunar space. This paper explores a conceptual mission design that takes advantage of low-cost launchers, bus designs and mission elements to provide a cost effective observing platform located at one of the stable Earth-moon Lagrangian points (L4, L5). The mission design allows for the development and use of novel technologies, such as a spinning moon sensor for attitude control, and leverages lessons-learned from previous low-cost spacecraft such as Lunar Prospector to yield a low-risk mission concept.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Irwin, Patrick G. J

    2009-01-01

    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.

  4. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System:. [Aerial Vehicle Reconnaissance and Exploration Options

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan A.

    2014-01-01

    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 hydrogen 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 hydrogen (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 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. Additional supporting analyses were conducted to illuminate vehicle sizing and orbital transportation issues. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. With these two additional gases, the potential for fueling small and large fleets of additional exploration and exploitation vehicles exists. Additional aerospacecraft or other aerial vehicles (UAVs, balloons, rockets, etc.) could fly through the outer planet atmospheres, for global weather observations, localized storm or other disturbance investigations, wind speed measurements, polar observations, etc. Deep-diving aircraft (built with the strength to withstand many atmospheres of pressure) powered by the excess hydrogen or helium 4 may be designed to probe the higher density regions of the gas giants. Outer planet atmospheric properties, atmospheric storm data, and mission planning for future outer planet UAVs are presented.

  5. Exploring Disks Around Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    masses on the properties of the disks. Szulgyi specifically examines a range of planetary temperatures between 10,000 K and 1,000 K for the 1 MJ planet. Since the planet cools as it radiates away its formation heat, the different temperatures represent an evolutionary sequence over time.Predicted CharacteristicsSzulgyis work produced a number of intriguing observations, including the following:For the 1 MJ planet, a spherical circumplanetary envelope forms at high temperatures, flattening into a disk as the planet cools. Higher-mass planets form disks even at high temperatures.The disk has a steep temperature profile from inside to outside, and the whole disk is too hot for water to remain frozen. This suggests that satellites couldnt form in the disk earlier than 1 Myr after the planet birth. The outskirts of the disk cool first as the planet cools, indicating that satellites may eventually form in these outer parts and then migrate inward.The planets open gaps in the circumstellar disk as they orbit. As a planet radiates away its formation heat, the gap it opens becomes deeper and wider (though this is a small effect). For high-mass planets (5 MJ), the gap eccentricity increases, which creates a hostile environment for satellite formation.Szulgyi discusses a number of features of these disks that we can plan to search for in the future with our increasing telescope power including signatures in direct imaging and observations of their kinematics. The results from these simulations will help us both to detect these circumplanetary disks and to understand our observations when we do. These future observations will then allow us to learn about late-stage giant-planet formation as well as the formation of their satellites.CitationJ. Szulgyi 2017 ApJ 842 103. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa7515

  6. Starting a Planet Protectors Club

    Science.gov (United States)

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007

    2007-01-01

    If your mission is to teach children how to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste and create the next generation of Planet Protectors, perhaps leading a Planet Protectors Club is part of your future challenges. You don't have to be an expert in waste reduction and recycling to lead a a Planet Protectors Club. You don't even have to be a teacher. You do…

  7. Homes for extraterrestrial life: extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latham, D W

    2001-12-01

    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.

  8. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XVII. The hot Jupiter CoRoT-17b: a very old planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csizmadia, Sz.; Moutou, C.; Deleuil, M.; Cabrera, J.; Fridlund, M.; Gandolfi, D.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Almenara, J.-M.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barge, P.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Bruntt, H.; Carone, L.; Carpano, S.; Cavarroc, C.; Cochran, W.; Deeg, H. J.; Díaz, R. F.; Dvorak, R.; Endl, M.; Erikson, A.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Fruth, Th.; Gazzano, J.-C.; Gillon, M.; Guenther, E. W.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Havel, M.; Hébrard, G.; Jehin, E.; Jorda, L.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Lammer, H.; Lovis, C.; MacQueen, P. J.; Mazeh, T.; Ollivier, M.; Pätzold, M.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.; Tingley, B.; Titz-Weider, R.; Wuchterl, G.

    2011-07-01

    We report on the discovery of a hot Jupiter-type exoplanet, CoRoT-17b, detected by the CoRoT satellite. It has a mass of 2.43 ± 0.30 MJup and a radius of 1.02 ± 0.07 RJup, while its mean density is 2.82 ± 0.38 g/cm3. CoRoT-17b is in a circular orbit with a period of 3.7681 ± 0.0003 days. The host star is an old (10.7 ± 1.0 Gyr) main-sequence star, which makes it an intriguing object for planetary evolution studies. The planet's internal composition is not well constrained and can range from pure H/He to one that can contain ~380 earth masses of heavier elements. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Programme), Germany and Spain. Part of the observations were obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii. Based on observations made with HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-m European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere telescope at La Silla Observatory, Chile (ESO program 184.C-0639). Based on observations made with the IAC80 telescope operated on the island of Tenerife by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in the Spanish Observatorio del Teide. Part of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  9. K2-106, a system containing a metal-rich planet and a planet of lower density

    Science.gov (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.

    2017-12-01

    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

  10. Habitable zone limits for dry planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

    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.

  11. Outer magnetosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schardt, A.W.; Behannon, K.W.; Lepping, R.P.; Carbary, J.F.; Eviatar, A.; Siscoe, G.L.

    1984-01-01

    Similarities between the Saturnian and terrestrial outer magnetosphere are examined. Saturn, like earth, has a fully developed magnetic tail, 80 to 100 RS in diameter. One major difference between the two outer magnetospheres is the hydrogen and nitrogen torus produced by Titan. This plasma is, in general, convected in the corotation direction at nearly the rigid corotation speed. Energies of magnetospheric particles extend to above 500 keV. In contrast, interplanetary protons and ions above 2 MeV have free access to the outer magnetosphere to distances well below the Stormer cutoff. This access presumably occurs through the magnetotail. In addition to the H+, H2+, and H3+ ions primarily of local origin, energetic He, C, N, and O ions are found with solar composition. Their flux can be substantially enhanced over that of interplanetary ions at energies of 0.2 to 0.4 MeV/nuc

  12. Magic Planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    2009-01-01

    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...

  13. Water and Volatiles in the Outer Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grasset, O.; Castillo-Rogez, J.; Guillot, T.; Fletcher, L. N.; Tosi, F.

    2017-10-01

    Space exploration and ground-based observations have provided outstanding evidence of the diversity and the complexity of the outer solar system. This work presents our current understanding of the nature and distribution of water and water-rich materials from the water snow line to the Kuiper Belt. This synthesis is timely, since a thorough exploration of at least one object in each region of the outer solar system has now been achieved. Next steps, starting with the Juno mission now in orbit around Jupiter, will be more focused on understanding the processes at work than on describing the general characteristics of each giant planet systems. This review is organized in three parts. First, the nature and the distribution of water and volatiles in giant and intermediary planets are described from their inner core to their outer envelopes. A special focus is given to Jupiter and Saturn, which are much better understood than the two ice giants (Uranus and Neptune) thanks to the Galileo and Cassini missions. Second, the icy moons will be discussed. Space missions and ground-based observations have revealed the variety of icy surfaces in the outer system. While Europa, Enceladus, and maybe Titan present past or even active tectonic and volcanic activities, many other moons have been dead worlds for more than 3 billion years. Ice compositions found at these bodies are also complex and it is now commonly admitted that icy surfaces are never composed of pure ices. A detailed review of the distribution of non-ice materials on the surfaces and in the tenuous atmospheres of the moons is proposed, followed by a more focused discussion on the nature and the characteristics of the liquid layers trapped below the cold icy crusts that have been suggested in the icy Galilean moons, and in Enceladus, Dione, and Titan at Saturn. Finally, the recent observations collected by Dawn at Ceres and New Horizons at Pluto, as well as the state of knowledge of other transneptunian objects

  14. The Outer Space Treaty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher Daniel

    2018-01-01

    celestial bodies. Subsequent treaties were to refine these concepts, and national space legislation was to incorporate the treaty's rights and obligations at the national level. While the treaty is the cornerstone in the regulation of activities in outer space, today the emergence of new issues that were not contemplated at the time of its creation, such as small satellites and megaconstellations, satellite servicing missions, the problem of space debris and the possibility of space debris removal, and the use of lunar and asteroid resources, all stretch the coherence and continuing adequacy of the treaty, and may occasion the need for new governance frameworks.

  15. New Opportunities for Outer Solar System Science using Radioisotope Electric Propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noble, Robert J.; /SLAC; Amini, Rashied; Beauchamp, Patricia M.; /Caltech, JPL; Bennett, Gary L.; /Metaspace Enterprises; Brophy, John R.; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Ervin, Joan; /Caltech, JPL; Fernandez, Yan R.; /Central Florida U.; Grundy, Will; /Lowell Observ.; Khan, Mohammed Omair; /Caltech, JPL; King, David Q.; /Aerojet; Lang, Jared; /Caltech, JPL; Meech, Karen J.; /Hawaii U.; Newhouse, Alan; Oleson, Steven R.; Schmidt, George R.; /GRC; Spilker, Thomas; West, John L.; /Caltech, JPL

    2010-05-26

    Today, our questions and hypotheses about the Solar System's origin have surpassed our ability to deliver scientific instruments to deep space. The moons of the outer planets, the Trojan and Centaur minor planets, the trans-Neptunian objects (TNO), and distant Kuiper Belt objects (KBO) hold a wealth of information about the primordial conditions that led to the formation of our Solar System. Robotic missions to these objects are needed to make the discoveries, but the lack of deep-space propulsion is impeding this science. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) will revolutionize the way we do deep-space planetary science with robotic vehicles, giving them unprecedented mobility. Radioisotope electric generators and lightweight ion thrusters are being developed today which will make possible REP systems with specific power in the range of 5 to 10 W/kg. Studies have shown that this specific power range is sufficient to perform fast rendezvous missions from Earth to the outer Solar System and fast sample return missions. This whitepaper discusses how mobility provided by REP opens up entirely new science opportunities for robotic missions to distant primitive bodies. We also give an overview of REP technology developments and the required next steps to realize REP.

  16. THREE PLANETS ORBITING WOLF 1061

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-02-01

    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.

  17. The fate of scattered planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bromley, Benjamin C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 S 1400 E, Rm 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J., E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2014-12-01

    As gas giant planets evolve, they may scatter other planets far from their original orbits to produce hot Jupiters or rogue planets that are not gravitationally bound to any star. Here, we consider planets cast out to large orbital distances on eccentric, bound orbits through a gaseous disk. With simple numerical models, we show that super-Earths can interact with the gas through dynamical friction to settle in the remote outer regions of a planetary system. Outcomes depend on planet mass, the initial scattered orbit, and the evolution of the time-dependent disk. Efficient orbital damping by dynamical friction requires planets at least as massive as the Earth. More massive, longer-lived disks damp eccentricities more efficiently than less massive, short-lived ones. Transition disks with an expanding inner cavity can circularize orbits at larger distances than disks that experience a global (homologous) decay in surface density. Thus, orbits of remote planets may reveal the evolutionary history of their primordial gas disks. A remote planet with an orbital distance ∼100 AU from the Sun is plausible and might explain correlations in the orbital parameters of several distant trans-Neptunian objects.

  18. Fusion energy for space missions in the 21st Century

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulze, N.R.

    1991-08-01

    Future space missions were hypothesized and analyzed and the energy source for their accomplishment investigated. The mission included manned Mars, scientific outposts to and robotic sample return missions from the outer planets and asteroids, as well as fly-by and rendezvous mission with the Oort Cloud and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Space system parametric requirements and operational features were established. The energy means for accomplishing the High Energy Space Mission were investigated. Potential energy options which could provide the propulsion and electric power system and operational requirements were reviewed and evaluated. Fusion energy was considered to be the preferred option and was analyzed in depth. Candidate fusion fuels were evaluated based upon the energy output and neutron flux. Reactors exhibiting a highly efficient use of magnetic fields for space use while at the same time offering efficient coupling to an exhaust propellant or to a direct energy convertor for efficient electrical production were examined. Near term approaches were identified

  19. Origin of Outer Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Matthew J.; Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor)

    2005-01-01

    Our ongoing research program combines extensive deep and wide-field observations using a variety of observational platforms with numerical studies of the dynamics of small bodies in the outer solar system in order to advance the main scientific goals of the community studying the Kuiper belt and the outer solar system. These include: (1) determining the relative populations of the known classes of KBOs as well as other possible classes; ( 2 ) determining the size distributions or luminosity function of the individual populations or the Kuiper belt as a whole; (3) determining the inclinations distributions of these populations; (4) establishing the radial extent of the Kuiper belt; ( 5 ) measuring and relating the physical properties of different types of KBOs to those of other solar system bodies; and, (6) completing our systematic inventory of the satellites of the outer planets.

  20. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. IV. CoRoT-Exo-4b: a transiting planet in a 9.2 day synchronous orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aigrain, S.; Collier Cameron, A.; Ollivier, M.; Pont, F.; Jorda, L.; Almenara, J. M.; Alonso, R.; Barge, P.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Deeg, H.; de La Reza, R.; Deleuil, M.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Fridlund, M.; Gondoin, P.; Gillon, M.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Lammer, H.; Lanza, A. F.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Magain, P.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Paetzold, M.; Pinte, C.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Schneider, J.; Wuchter, G.; Zucker, S.

    2008-09-01

    CoRoT, the first space-based transit search, provides ultra-high-precision light curves with continuous time-sampling over periods of up to 5 months. This allows the detection of transiting planets with relatively long periods, and the simultaneous study of the host star's photometric variability. In this Letter, we report the discovery of the transiting giant planet CoRoT-Exo-4b and use the CoRoT light curve to perform a detailed analysis of the transit and determine the stellar rotation period. The CoRoT light curve was pre-processed to remove outliers and correct for orbital residuals and artefacts due to hot pixels on the detector. After removing stellar variability about each transit, the transit light curve was analysed to determine the transit parameters. A discrete autocorrelation function method was used to derive the rotation period of the star from the out-of-transit light curve. We determine the periods of the planetary orbit and star's rotation of 9.20205 ± 0.00037 and 8.87 ± 1.12 days respectively, which is consistent with this being a synchronised system. We also derive the inclination, i = 90.00_-0.085+0.000 in degrees, the ratio of the orbital distance to the stellar radius, a/Rs = 17.36-0.25+0.05, and the planet-to-star radius ratio R_p/R_s=0.1047-0.0022+0.0041. We discuss briefly the coincidence between the orbital period of the planet and the stellar rotation period and its possible implications for the system's migration and star-planet interaction history. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA, Germany, and Spain. The first CoRoT data will be available to the public in February 2009 from the CoRoT archive: http://idoc-corot.ias.u-psud.fr/ Figures 1, 4 and 5 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  1. Reaching for the red planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L

    1996-05-01

    The distant shores of Mars were reached by numerous U.S. and Russian spacecraft throughout the 1960s to mid 1970s. Nearly 20 years have passed since those successful missions which orbited and landed on the Martian surface. Two Soviet probes headed for the planet in July, 1988, but later failed. In August 1993, the U.S. Mars Observer suddenly went silent just three days before it was to enter orbit around the planet and was never heard from again. In late 1996, there will be renewed activity on the launch pads with three probes departing for the red planet: 1) The U.S. Mars Global Surveyor will be launched in November on a Delta II rocket and will orbit the planet for global mapping purposes; 2) Russia's Mars '96 mission, scheduled to fly in November on a Proton launcher, consists of an orbiter, two small stations which will land on the Martian surface, and two penetrators that will plow into the terrain; and finally, 3) a U.S. Discovery-class spacecraft, the Mars Pathfinder, has a December launch date atop a Delta II booster. The mission features a lander and a microrover that will travel short distances over Martian territory. These missions usher in a new phase of Mars exploration, setting the stage for an unprecedented volley of spacecraft that will orbit around, land on, drive across, and perhaps fly at low altitudes over the planet.

  2. Exploring Mercury: The Iron Planet

    OpenAIRE

    Stevenson, David J.

    2004-01-01

    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. Outer geosciences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blake, R.L.

    1979-06-01

    This report presents an objective discussion of the importance of the atmospheric/solar-terrestrial system to national energy programs. A brief sketch is given of the solar-terrestrial environment, extending from the earth's surface to the sun. Processes in this natural system influence several energy activities directly or indirectly, and some present and potential energy activities can influence the natural system. It is not yet possible to assess the two-way interactions quantitatively or to evaluate the economic impact. An investment by the Department of Energy (DOE) in a long-range basic research program would be an important part of the department's mission. Existing programs by other agencies in this area of research are reviewed, and a compatible DOE program is outlined. 18 figures, 5 tables

  4. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXI. CoRoT-19b: a low density planet orbiting an old inactive F9V-star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guenther, E. W.; Díaz, R. F.; Gazzano, J.-C.

    2012-01-01

    Context. Observations of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance to our understanding of planets because their mass, radius, and mass density can be determined. These measurements indicate that planets of similar mass can have very different radii. For low-density planets, it is gener...

  5. Volatile components and continental material of planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Florenskiy, K.P.; Nikolayeva, O.V.

    1984-01-01

    It is shown that the continental material of the terrestrial planets varies in composition from planet to planet according to the abundances and composition of true volatiles (H 2 0, CO 2 , etc.) in the outer shells of the planets. The formation of these shells occurs very early in a planet's evolution when the role of endogenous processes is indistinct and continental materials are subject to melting and vaporizing in the absence of an atmosphere. As a result, the chemical properties of continental materials are related not only to fractionation processes but also to meltability and volatility. For planets retaining a certain quantity of true volatile components, the chemical transformation of continental material is characterized by a close interaction between impact melting vaporization and endogeneous geological processes

  6. Origins and Destinations: Tracking Planet Composition through Planet Formation Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chance, Quadry; Ballard, Sarah

    2018-01-01

    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 follow-up.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 can 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.

  7. From Pixels to Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  8. The Giant Planet Satellite Exospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrath, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    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., lo, 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.

  9. Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podolak, Morris

    2018-04-01

    Modern observational techniques are still not powerful enough to directly view planet formation, and so it is necessary to rely on theory. However, observations do give two important clues to the formation process. The first is that the most primitive form of material in interstellar space exists as a dilute gas. Some of this gas is unstable against gravitational collapse, and begins to contract. Because the angular momentum of the gas is not zero, it contracts along the spin axis, but remains extended in the plane perpendicular to that axis, so that a disk is formed. Viscous processes in the disk carry most of the mass into the center where a star eventually forms. In the process, almost as a by-product, a planetary system is formed as well. The second clue is the time required. Young stars are indeed observed to have gas disks, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, surrounding them, and observations tell us that these disks dissipate after about 5 to 10 million years. If planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are very rich in hydrogen and helium, are to form in such a disk, they must accrete their gas within 5 million years of the time of the formation of the disk. Any formation scenario one proposes must produce Jupiter in that time, although the terrestrial planets, which don't contain significant amounts of hydrogen and helium, could have taken longer to build. Modern estimates for the formation time of the Earth are of the order of 100 million years. To date there are two main candidate theories for producing Jupiter-like planets. The core accretion (CA) scenario supposes that any solid materials in the disk slowly coagulate into protoplanetary cores with progressively larger masses. If the core remains small enough it won't have a strong enough gravitational force to attract gas from the surrounding disk, and the result will be a terrestrial planet. If the core grows large enough (of the order of ten Earth masses), and the disk has not yet dissipated, then

  10. The accretion of migrating giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dürmann, Christoph; Kley, Wilhelm

    2017-02-01

    Aims: Most studies concerning the growth and evolution of massive planets focus either on their accretion or their migration only. In this work we study both processes concurrently to investigate how they might mutually affect one another. Methods: We modeled a two-dimensional disk with a steady accretion flow onto the central star and embedded a Jupiter mass planet at 5.2 au. The disk is locally isothermal and viscosity is modeled using a constant α. The planet is held on a fixed orbit for a few hundred orbits to allow the disk to adapt and carve a gap. After this period, the planet is released and free to move according to the gravitational interaction with the gas disk. The mass accretion onto the planet is modeled by removing a fraction of gas from the inner Hill sphere, and the removed mass and momentum can be added to the planet. Results: Our results show that a fast migrating planet is able to accrete more gas than a slower migrating planet. Utilizing a tracer fluid we analyzed the origin of the accreted gas originating predominantly from the inner disk for a fast migrating planet. In the case of slower migration, the fraction of gas from the outer disk increases. We also found that even for very high accretion rates, in some cases gas crosses the planetary gap from the inner to the outer disk. Our simulations show that the crossing of gas changes during the migration process as the migration rate slows down. Therefore, classical type II migration where the planet migrates with the viscous drift rate and no gas crosses the gap is no general process but may only occur for special parameters and at a certain time during the orbital evolution of the planet.

  11. Planet Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    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

  12. PLA Missions Beyond Taiwan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Miller, Marc

    2008-01-01

    KEY INSIGHTS: *The PLA is being assigned and training for an increasing variety of missions, including nontraditional battlefields such as outer space and cyber space, as well as nontraditional functions...

  13. Extrasolar planets searches today and tomorrow

    CERN Multimedia

    2000-01-01

    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.

  14. Mechanically-Deployed Hypersonic Decelerator and Conformal Ablator Technologies for Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Wercinski, Paul F.; Beck, Robin A. S.; Hamm, Kenneth R.; Yount, Bryan C.; Makino, A.; Smith, B.; Gage, P.; Prabhu, D.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of a mechanically deployable hypersonic decelerator, developed initially for high mass (40 MT) human Mars missions, is currently funded by OCT for technology maturation. The ADEPT (Adaptive, Deployable Entry and Placement Technology) project has broad, game-changing applicability to in situ science missions to Venus, Mars, and the Outer Planets. Combined with maturation of conformal ablator technology (another current OCT investment), the two technologies provide unique low mass mission enabling capabilities otherwise not achievable by current rigid aeroshell or by inflatables. If this abstract is accepted, we will present results that illustrate the mission enabling capabilities of the mechanically deployable architecture for: (1) robotic Mars (Discovery or New Frontiers class) in the near term; (2) alternate approaches to landing MSL-class payloads, without the need for supersonic parachute or lifting entry, in the mid-term; and (3) Heavy mass and human missions to Mars in the long term.

  15. Tracing Planets in Circumstellar Discs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uribe Ana L.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Planets are assumed to form in circumstellar discs around young stellar objects. The additional gravitational potential of a planet perturbs the disc and leads to characteristic structures, i.e. spiral waves and gaps, in the disc density profile. We perform a large-scale parameter study on the observability of these planet-induced structures in circumstellar discs in the (submm wavelength range for the Atacama Large (SubMillimeter Array (ALMA. On the basis of hydrodynamical and magneto-hydrodynamical simulations of star-disc-planet models we calculate the disc temperature structure and (submm images of these systems. These are used to derive simulated ALMA maps. Because appropriate objects are frequent in the Taurus-Auriga region, we focus on a distance of 140 pc and a declination of ≈ 20°. The explored range of star-disc-planet configurations consists of six hydrodynamical simulations (including magnetic fields and different planet masses, nine disc sizes with outer radii ranging from 9 AU to 225 AU, 15 total disc masses in the range between 2.67·10-7 M⊙ and 4.10·10-2 M⊙, six different central stars and two different grain size distributions, resulting in 10 000 disc models. At almost all scales and in particular down to a scale of a few AU, ALMA is able to trace disc structures induced by planet-disc interaction or the influence of magnetic fields in the wavelength range between 0.4...2.0 mm. In most cases, the optimum angular resolution is limited by the sensitivity of ALMA. However, within the range of typical masses of protoplane tary discs (0.1 M⊙...0.001 M⊙ the disc mass has a minor impact on the observability. At the distance of 140 pc it is possible to resolve discs down to 2.67·10-6 M⊙ and trace gaps in discs with 2.67·10-4 M⊙ with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than three. In general, it is more likely to trace planet-induced gaps in magneto-hydrodynamical disc models, because gaps are wider in the presence of

  16. PLANET HUNTERS: ASSESSING THE KEPLER INVENTORY OF SHORT-PERIOD PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris J.; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Simpson, Robert J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    We present the results from a search of data from the first 33.5 days of the Kepler science mission (Quarter 1) for exoplanet transits by the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Planet Hunters enlists members of the general public to visually identify transits in the publicly released Kepler light curves via the World Wide Web. Over 24,000 volunteers reviewed the Kepler Quarter 1 data set. We examine the abundance of ≥2 R ⊕ planets on short-period ( ⊕ Planet Hunters ≥85% efficient at identifying transit signals for planets with periods less than 15 days for the Kepler sample of target stars. Our high efficiency rate for simulated transits along with recovery of the majority of Kepler ≥4 R ⊕ planets suggests that the Kepler inventory of ≥4 R ⊕ short-period planets is nearly complete.

  17. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2009-01-01

    We study the final architecture of planetary systems that evolve under the combined effects of planet-planet and planetesimal scattering. Using N-body simulations we investigate the dynamics of marginally unstable systems of gas and ice giants both in isolation and when the planets form interior to a planetesimal belt. The unstable isolated systems evolve under planet-planet scattering to yield an eccentricity distribution that matches that observed for extrasolar planets. When planetesimals are included the outcome depends upon the total mass of the planets. For M tot ∼> 1 M J the final eccentricity distribution remains broad, whereas for M tot ∼ J a combination of divergent orbital evolution and recircularization of scattered planets results in a preponderance of nearly circular final orbits. We also study the fate of marginally stable multiple planet systems in the presence of planetesimal disks, and find that for high planet masses the majority of such systems evolve into resonance. A significant fraction leads to resonant chains that are planetary analogs of Jupiter's Galilean satellites. We predict that a transition from eccentric to near-circular orbits will be observed once extrasolar planet surveys detect sub-Jovian mass planets at orbital radii of a ≅ 5-10 AU.

  18. Three Small Planets Transiting the Bright Young Field Star K2-233

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Trevor J.; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Benneke, Björn; Petigura, Erik A.; Gonzales, Erica J.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Yu, Liang; Isaacson, Howard T.; Howard, Andrew W.; Ciardi, David R.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Cody, Ann Marie; Riedel, Adric; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Tanner, Christopher; Ende, Martin

    2018-05-01

    We report the detection of three small transiting planets around the young K3 dwarf K2-233 (2MASS J15215519‑2013539) from observations during Campaign 15 of the K2 mission. The star is relatively nearby (d = 69 pc) and bright (V = 10.7 mag, K s = 8.4 mag), making the planetary system an attractive target for radial velocity follow-up and atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope. The inner two planets are hot super-Earths (R b = 1.40 ± 0.06 {R}\\oplus , R c = 1.34 ± 0.08 {R}\\oplus ), while the outer planet is a warm sub-Neptune (R d = 2.6 ± 0.1 {R}\\oplus ). We estimate the stellar age to be {360}-140+490 Myr based on rotation, activity, and kinematic indicators. The K2-233 system is particularly interesting given recent evidence for inflated radii in planets around similarly aged stars, a trend potentially related to photo-evaporation, core cooling, or both mechanisms.

  19. The Comet Radar Explorer Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, Erik; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Chesley, Steve; Delbo, Marco; Farnham, Tony; Gim, Yonggyu; Grimm, Robert; Herique, Alain; Kofman, Wlodek; Oberst, Juergen; Orosei, Roberto; Piqueux, Sylvain; Plaut, Jeff; Robinson, Mark; Sava, Paul; Heggy, Essam; Kurth, William; Scheeres, Dan; Denevi, Brett; Turtle, Elizabeth; Weissman, Paul

    2014-11-01

    Missions to cometary nuclei have revealed major geological surprises: (1) Global scale layers - do these persist through to the interior? Are they a record of primary accretion? (2) Smooth regions - are they landslides originating on the surface? Are they cryovolcanic? (3) Pits - are they impact craters or sublimation pits, or rooted in the interior? Unambiguous answers to these and other questions can be obtained by high definition 3D radar reflection imaging (RRI) of internal structure. RRI can answer many of the great unknowns in planetary science: How do primitive bodies accrete? Are cometary nuclei mostly ice? What drives their spectacular activity and evolution? The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) mission will image the detailed internal structure of the nucleus of 10P/Tempel 2. This ~16 x 8 x 7 km Jupiter Family Comet (JFC), or its parent body, originated in the outer planets region possibly millions of years before planet formation. CORE arrives post-perihelion and observes the comet’s waning activity from safe distance. Once the nucleus is largely dormant, the spacecraft enters a ~20-km dedicated Radar Mapping Orbit (RMO). The exacting design of the RRI experiment and the precise navigation of RMO will achieve a highly focused 3D radar reflection image of internal structure, to tens of meters resolution, and tomographic images of velocity and attenuation to hundreds of meters resolution, tied to the gravity model and shape. Visible imagers will produce maps of the surface morphology, albedo, color, texture, and photometric response, and images for navigation and shape determination. The cameras will also monitor the structure and dynamics of the coma, and its dusty jets, allowing their correlation in 3D with deep interior structures and surface features. Repeated global high-resolution thermal images will probe the near-surface layers heated by the Sun. Derived maps of thermal inertia will be correlated with the radar boundary response, and photometry and

  20. Kepler-68: Three Planets, One with a Density between that of Earth and Ice Giants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gilliland, R.L.; Marcy, G.W.; Rowe, J.F.; Rogers, L.; Torres, G.; Fressin, F.; Lopez, E.D.; Buchhave, L.A.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Désert, J.M.; Henze, C.E.; Isaacson, H.; Jenkins, J.M.; Lissauer, J.J.; Chaplin, W.J.; Basu, S.; Metcalfe, T.S.; Elsworth, Y.; Handberg, R.; Hekker, S.; Huber, D.; Karoff, C.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lund, M.N.; Lundkvist, M.; Miglio, A.; Charbonneau, D.; Ford, E.B.; Fortney, J.J.; Haas, M.R.; Howard, A.W.; Howell, S.B.; Ragozzine, D.; Thompson, S.E.

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission has revealed two transiting planets orbiting Kepler-68. Follow-up Doppler measurements have established the mass of the innermost planet and revealed a third Jovian-mass planet orbiting beyond the two transiting planets. Kepler-68b, in a 5.4 day orbit, has Mp_{\\rm

  1. Characterizing Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    While the James Webb Space Telescope will detect and characterize extrasolar planets by transit and direct imaging, a new generation of telescopes will be required to detect and characterize extrasolar planets by reflected light imaging. NASA's WFIRST space telescope, now in development, will image dozens of cool giant planets at optical wavelengths and will obtain spectra for several of the best and brightest targets. This mission will pave the way for the detection and characterization of terrestrial planets by the planned LUVOIR or HabEx space telescopes. In my presentation I will discuss the challenges that arise in the interpretation of direct imaging data and present the results of our group's effort to develop methods for maximizing the science yield from these planned missions.

  2. KEPLER Mission: development and overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borucki, William J

    2016-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is a space observatory launched in 2009 by NASA to monitor 170 000 stars over a period of four years to determine the frequency of Earth-size and larger planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars, the size and orbital distributions of these planets, and the types of stars they orbit. Kepler is the tenth in the series of NASA Discovery Program missions that are competitively-selected, PI-directed, medium-cost missions. The Mission concept and various instrument prototypes were developed at the Ames Research Center over a period of 18 years starting in 1983. The development of techniques to do the 10 ppm photometry required for Mission success took years of experimentation, several workshops, and the exploration of many ‘blind alleys’ before the construction of the flight instrument. Beginning in 1992 at the start of the NASA Discovery Program, the Kepler Mission concept was proposed five times before its acceptance for mission development in 2001. During that period, the concept evolved from a photometer in an L2 orbit that monitored 6000 stars in a 50 sq deg field-of-view (FOV) to one that was in a heliocentric orbit that simultaneously monitored 170 000 stars with a 105 sq deg FOV. Analysis of the data to date has detected over 4600 planetary candidates which include several hundred Earth-size planetary candidates, over a thousand confirmed planets, and Earth-size planets in the habitable zone (HZ). These discoveries provide the information required for estimates of the frequency of planets in our galaxy. The Mission results show that most stars have planets, many of these planets are similar in size to the Earth, and that systems with several planets are common. Although planets in the HZ are common, many are substantially larger than Earth. (review article)

  3. Reflected eclipses on circumbinary planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deeg H.J.

    2011-02-01

    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.

  4. Dynamical Constraints on Non-Transiting Planets at Trappist-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Truong, Vinh; Ford, Eric; Robertson, Paul; Terrien, Ryan

    2018-04-01

    The outermost of the seven known planets of Trappist-1 orbits six times closer to its host star than Mercury orbits the sun. The architecture of this system beyond 0.07 AU remains unknown. While the presence of additional planets will ultimately be determined by observations, in the meantime, some constraints can be derived from dynamical models.We will firstly look at the expected signature of additional planets at Trappist-1 on the transit times of the known planets to determine at what distances putatuve planets can be ruled out.Secondly, the remarkably compact configuration of Trappist-1 ensures that the known planets are secularly coupled, keeping their mutual inclinations very small and making their cotransiting geometry likely if Trappist-1h transits. We determine the range of masses and orbital inclinations of a putatuve outer planet that would make the observed configuration unlikely, and compare these to these constraints to those expected from radial velocity observations.

  5. Missions to Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, D. V.; Baines, K. H.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Chassefiere, E.; Chin, G.; Crisp, D.; Esposito, L. W.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Lellouch, E.; Moroz, V. I.; Nagy, A. F.; Owen, T. C.; Oyama, K.-I.; Russell, C. T.; Taylor, F. W.; Young, R. E.

    2002-10-01

    Venus has always been a fascinating objective for planetary studies. At the beginning of the space era Venus became one of the first targets for spacecraft missions. Our neighbour in the solar system and, in size, the twin sister of Earth, Venus was expected to be very similar to our planet. However, the first phase of Venus spacecraft exploration in 1962-1992 by the family of Soviet Venera and Vega spacecraft and US Mariner, Pioneer Venus, and Magellan missions discovered an entirely different, exotic world hidden behind a curtain of dense clouds. These studies gave us a basic knowledge of the conditions on the planet, but generated many more questions concerning the atmospheric composition, chemistry, structure, dynamics, surface-atmosphere interactions, atmospheric and geological evolution, and the plasma environment. Despite all of this exploration by more than 20 spacecraft, the "morning star" still remains a mysterious world. But for more than a decade Venus has been a "forgotten" planet with no new missions featuring in the plans of the world space agencies. Now we are witnessing the revival of interest in this planet: the Venus Orbiter mission is approved in Japan, Venus Express - a European orbiter mission - has successfully passed the selection procedure in ESA, and several Venus Discovery proposals are knocking at the doors of NASA. The paper presents an exciting story of Venus spacecraft exploration, summarizes open scientific problems, and builds a bridge to the future missions.

  6. Kepler Confirmation of Multi-Planet Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, W. D.

    2011-10-01

    The NASA Kepler spacecraft has detected 170 candidate multi-planet systems in the first two quarters of data released in February 2011 by Borucki et al. (2011). These systems comprise 115 double candidate systems, 45 triple candidate sys- tems, and 10 systems with 4 or more candidate planets. The architecture and dynamics of these systems were discussed by Lissauer et al. (2011), and a comparison of candidates in single- and multi-planet systems was presented by Latham et al. (2011). Proceeding from "planetary candidate" systems to confirmed and validated multi-planet systems is a difficult process, as most of these systems orbit stars too faint to obtain extremely precise (1ms-1) radial velocity confimation. Here, we discuss in detail the use of transit timing vari- ations (cf. e.g. Holman et al., 2010) to confirm planets near a mean motion resonance. We also discuss extensions to the BLENDER validation (Torres et al., 2004, 2011; Fressin et al., 2011) to validate planets in multi-planet systems. Kepler was competitively selected as the tenth Discovery mission. Funding for the Kepler Mis- sion is provided by NASA's Science Mission Direc- torate. We are deeply grateful for the very hard work of the entire Kepler team.

  7. Dynamical limits on dark mass in the outer solar system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hogg, D.W.; Quinlan, G.D.; Tremaine, S.

    1991-01-01

    Simplified model solar systems with known observational errors are considered in conducting a dynamical search for dark mass and its minimum detectable amount, and in determining the significance of observed anomalies. The numerical analysis of the dynamical influence of dark mass on the orbits of outer planets and comets is presented in detail. Most conclusions presented are based on observations of the four giant planets where the observational errors in latitude and longitude are independent Gaussian variables with a standard deviation. Neptune's long orbital period cannot be predicted by modern ephemerides, and no evidence of dark mass is found in considering this planet. Studying the improvement in fit when observations are fitted to models that consider dark mass is found to be an efficient way to detect dark mass. Planet X must have a mass of more than about 10 times the minimum detectable mass to locate the hypothetical planet. It is suggested that the IRAS survey would have already located the Planet X if it is so massive and close that it dynamically influences the outer planets. Orbital residuals from comets are found to be more effective than those from planets in detecting the Kuiper belt. 35 refs

  8. Formation of S-type planets in close binaries: scattering induced tidal capture of circumbinary planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Yan-Xiang; Ji, Jianghui

    2018-05-01

    Although several S-type and P-type planets in binary systems were discovered in past years, S-type planets have not yet been found in close binaries with an orbital separation not more than 5 au. Recent studies suggest that S-type planets in close binaries may be detected through high-accuracy observations. However, nowadays planet formation theories imply that it is difficult for S-type planets in close binaries systems to form in situ. In this work, we extensively perform numerical simulations to explore scenarios of planet-planet scattering among circumbinary planets and subsequent tidal capture in various binary configurations, to examine whether the mechanism can play a part in producing such kind of planets. Our results show that this mechanism is robust. The maximum capture probability is ˜10%, which can be comparable to the tidal capture probability of hot Jupiters in single star systems. The capture probability is related to binary configurations, where a smaller eccentricity or a low mass ratio of the binary will lead to a larger probability of capture, and vice versa. Furthermore, we find that S-type planets with retrograde orbits can be naturally produced via capture process. These planets on retrograde orbits can help us distinguish in situ formation and post-capture origin for S-type planet in close binaries systems. The forthcoming missions (PLATO) will provide the opportunity and feasibility to detect such planets. Our work provides several suggestions for selecting target binaries in search for S-type planets in the near future.

  9. Terahertz Radiometer for Outer Planet and Moon Atmospheres (TROPA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlecht, E. T.; Jamnejad, V.; Jarnot, R. F.; Raffanti, R.; Lin, R.

    2012-01-01

    We are developing a prototype instrument platform to demonstrate the feasibility of a wideband spectrometer for planetary applications under a three-year NASA research program. This development focuses on three specific areas needing advancement. First, the terahertz portion consists of an optical bench with dual heterodyne Schottky-mixer based receivers, one for each band. The beams entering the horns of the two receivers are de-multiplexed from the input beam by a polarizing beam splitter. The blocks containing the 560 and 1200 GHz mixer are more highly integrated than previous space instruments to reduce mass and volume. The receivers take a fundamental pump frequency near 30 GHz and multiply up to the submillimeter range. Second, a rapid-tuning, low-phase noise, and low-power 33 GHz range LO synthesizer is being prototyped. The low phase noise requirement is needed because of the factor of 36 multiplication to reach 1200 GHz, giving a requirement that the integrated phase noise from 100 kHz up be less than 0.6 degrees. The synthesizer will require about 6 watts. Finally, we are developing an advanced polyphase filter back-end spectrum analyzer with a bandwidth of 750 MHz, and power consumption of about 3 Watts and 4096 channels. This system is based on a simple three-chip architecture, having a commercial 1.5 GS/s analog-to-digital converter, an ASIC to do the filtering and an advanced FPGA for data processing and control.

  10. Studies of outer planet satellites, Mercury and Uranus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckinnon, William B.; Schenk, Paul M.

    1987-01-01

    Arguments were made, based on geometry, for both an impact and an internal origin for the ancient, partially preserved furrow system of Ganymede. It was concluded that furrows were not concentric, but could be impact related if multiringed structures on icy satellites are initially noncircular. The geometry of the Valhalla ring structure on Callisto was examined in order to assess the circularity of an unmodified ring system. The Ganymede furrow system was remapped to make use of improvements in coordinate control. The least-squares center of curvature for all furrows in the Marius and Galileao Regio is -20.7, and 179.2 degrees. Furrows in Marius and Galileo Regio are reasonably concentric, and are much more circular than previously estimated. The perceived present nonalignment of the assumed originally concentric furrows were used to argue for large-scale lateral motion of dark terrain blocks in Ganymede's crust, presumably in association with bright terrain formation., The overall alignment of furrows as well as the inherent scatter in centers of curvature from subregions of Galileo and Marius do not support this hypothesis.

  11. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Checlair, Jade; Menou, Kristen; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2017-08-01

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO2 outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  12. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Checlair, Jade; Abbot, Dorian S. [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Menou, Kristen, E-mail: jadecheclair@uchicago.edu [Centre for Planetary Sciences, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4 (Canada)

    2017-08-20

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO{sub 2} outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  13. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Checlair, Jade; Abbot, Dorian S.; Menou, Kristen

    2017-01-01

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO 2 outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2014-01-01

    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 ⊕ to 1 M 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.

  15. 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: elisa.quintana@nasa.gov [Space Science and Astrobiology Division 245-3, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    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.

  16. KEPLER PLANETS: A TALE OF EVAPORATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Owen, James E. [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, 60 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Wu, Yanqin, E-mail: jowen@cita.utoronto.ca, E-mail: wu@astro.utoronto.ca [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada)

    2013-10-01

    Inspired by the Kepler mission's planet discoveries, we consider the thermal contraction of planets close to their parent star, under the influence of evaporation. The mass-loss rates are based on hydrodynamic models of evaporation that include both X-ray and EUV irradiation. We find that only low mass planets with hydrogen envelopes are significantly affected by evaporation, with evaporation being able to remove massive hydrogen envelopes inward of ∼0.1 AU for Neptune-mass objects, while evaporation is negligible for Jupiter-mass objects. Moreover, most of the evaporation occurs in the first 100 Myr of stars' lives when they are more chromospherically active. We construct a theoretical population of planets with varying core masses, envelope masses, orbital separations, and stellar spectral types, and compare this population with the sizes and densities measured for low-mass planets, both in the Kepler mission and from radial velocity surveys. This exercise leads us to conclude that evaporation is the driving force of evolution for close-in Kepler planets. In fact, some 50% of the Kepler planet candidates may have been significantly eroded. Evaporation explains two striking correlations observed in these objects: a lack of large radius/low density planets close to the stars and a possible bimodal distribution in planet sizes with a deficit of planets around 2 R{sub ⊕}. Planets that have experienced high X-ray exposures are generally smaller than this size, and those with lower X-ray exposures are typically larger. A bimodal planet size distribution is naturally predicted by the evaporation model, where, depending on their X-ray exposure, close-in planets can either hold on to hydrogen envelopes ∼0.5%-1% in mass or be stripped entirely. To quantitatively reproduce the observed features, we argue that not only do low-mass Kepler planets need to be made of rocky cores surrounded with hydrogen envelopes, but few of them should have initial masses above

  17. KEPLER PLANETS: A TALE OF EVAPORATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Owen, James E.; Wu, Yanqin

    2013-01-01

    Inspired by the Kepler mission's planet discoveries, we consider the thermal contraction of planets close to their parent star, under the influence of evaporation. The mass-loss rates are based on hydrodynamic models of evaporation that include both X-ray and EUV irradiation. We find that only low mass planets with hydrogen envelopes are significantly affected by evaporation, with evaporation being able to remove massive hydrogen envelopes inward of ∼0.1 AU for Neptune-mass objects, while evaporation is negligible for Jupiter-mass objects. Moreover, most of the evaporation occurs in the first 100 Myr of stars' lives when they are more chromospherically active. We construct a theoretical population of planets with varying core masses, envelope masses, orbital separations, and stellar spectral types, and compare this population with the sizes and densities measured for low-mass planets, both in the Kepler mission and from radial velocity surveys. This exercise leads us to conclude that evaporation is the driving force of evolution for close-in Kepler planets. In fact, some 50% of the Kepler planet candidates may have been significantly eroded. Evaporation explains two striking correlations observed in these objects: a lack of large radius/low density planets close to the stars and a possible bimodal distribution in planet sizes with a deficit of planets around 2 R ⊕ . Planets that have experienced high X-ray exposures are generally smaller than this size, and those with lower X-ray exposures are typically larger. A bimodal planet size distribution is naturally predicted by the evaporation model, where, depending on their X-ray exposure, close-in planets can either hold on to hydrogen envelopes ∼0.5%-1% in mass or be stripped entirely. To quantitatively reproduce the observed features, we argue that not only do low-mass Kepler planets need to be made of rocky cores surrounded with hydrogen envelopes, but few of them should have initial masses above 20 M ⊕ and

  18. Optimizing the TESS Planet Finding Pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitamitara, Aerbwong; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; TESS Science Processing Operations Center

    2017-10-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a new NASA planet finding all-sky survey that will observe stars within 200 light years and 10-100 times brighter than that of the highly successful Kepler mission. TESS is expected to detect ~1000 planets smaller than Neptune and dozens of Earth size planets. As in the Kepler mission, the Science Processing Operations Center (SPOC) processing pipeline at NASA Ames Research center is tasked with calibrating the raw pixel data, generating systematic error corrected light curves and then detecting and validating transit signals. The Transiting Planet Search (TPS) component of the pipeline must be modified and tuned for the new data characteristics in TESS. For example, due to each sector being viewed for as little as 28 days, the pipeline will be identifying transiting planets based on a minimum of two transit signals rather than three, as in the Kepler mission. This may result in a significantly higher false positive rate. The study presented here is to measure the detection efficiency of the TESS pipeline using simulated data. Transiting planets identified by TPS are compared to transiting planets from the simulated transit model using the measured epochs, periods, transit durations and the expected detection statistic of injected transit signals (expected MES). From the comparisons, the recovery and false positive rates of TPS is measured. Measurements of recovery in TPS are then used to adjust TPS configuration parameters to maximize the planet recovery rate and minimize false detections. The improvements in recovery rate between initial TPS conditions and after various adjustments will be presented and discussed.

  19. Transiting Planets from Kepler, K2 & TESS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2018-01-01

    NASA's Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009, has been a resounding success. More than 4000 planet candidates have been identified using data from Kepler primary mission, which ended in 2013, and greater than 2000 of these candidates have been verified as bona fide exoplanets. After the loss of two reaction wheels ended the primary mission, the Kepler spacecraft was repurposed in 2014 to observe many fields on the sky for short periods. This new mission, dubbed K2, has led to the discovery of greater than 600 planet candidates, approximately 200 of which have been verified to date; most of these exoplanets are closer to us than the majority of exoplanets discovered by the primary Kepler mission. TESS, launching in 2018, will survey most of the sky for exoplanets, with emphasis on those orbiting nearby and/or bright host stars, making these planets especially well-suited for follow-up observations with other observatories to characterize atmospheric compositions and other properties. More than one-third of the planet candidates found by NASA's are associated with target stars that have more than one planet candidate, and such 'multis' account for the 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. Statistical studies performed on these candidate systems reveal a great deal about the architecture of planetary systems, including the typical spacing of orbits and flatness. The characteristics of several of the most interesting confirmed Kepler & K2 multi-planet systems will also be discussed.

  20. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION DURING THE MIGRATION AND RESONANCE CROSSINGS OF THE GIANT PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lykawka, Patryk Sofia; Ito, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    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 ∼ 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)

  1. Time travel and chemical evolution - a look at the outer solar system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Owen, T.

    1987-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that the chemical conditions today on the planets and moons of the outer solar system are similar to conditions on earth soon after it formed. If this is so, much can be learned about the chemistry that led to life on earth. While Jupiter is a poor terrestrial analog, its satellite Europa has a smooth icy surface that may cover a layer of liquid water tens of kilometers deep. It is possible that sunlight could filter through cracks in the ice, providing energy to drive chemical reactions in the water below the ice. It is noted that the surface of Titan may include lakes or oceans of ethane and that Triton may also have liquids on its surface. Studies of cometary nuclei will be undertaken during the Comet Rendezvous-Asteroid Flyby mission

  2. Habitable Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen H

    2007-01-01

    ..., and discusses how to search for habitable planets. Interestingly for our time, he also gives an appraisal of the earth as a planet and describes how its habitability would be changed if some of its basic properties were altered...

  3. Observsational Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Ruobing; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Fung, Jeffrey

    2017-06-01

    Planets form in gaseous protoplanetary disks surrounding newborn stars. As such, the most direct way to learn how they form from observations, is to directly watch them forming in disks. In the past, this was very difficult due to a lack of observational capabilities; as such, planet formation was largely a subject of pure theoretical astrophysics. Now, thanks to a fleet of new instruments with unprecedented resolving power that have come online recently, we have just started to unveil features in resolve images of protoplanetary disks, such as gaps and spiral arms, that are most likely associated with embedded (unseen) planets. By comparing observations with theoretical models of planet-disk interactions, the masses and orbits of these still forming planets may be constrained. Such planets may help us to directly test various planet formation models. This marks the onset of a new field — observational planet formation. I will introduce the current status of this field.

  4. Space based microlensing planet searches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tisserand Patrick

    2013-04-01

    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.

  5. Search for a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tokovinin, A.A.

    1986-01-01

    The problem of search for star planets is discussed in a popular form. Two methods of search for planets are considered: astrometric and spectral. Both methods complement one another. An assumption is made that potential possessors of planets are in the first place yellow and red dwarfs with slow axial rotation. These stars are the most numerous representatives of Galaxy population

  6. Extrasolar planets: constraints for planet formation models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Nuno C; Benz, Willy; Mayor, Michel

    2005-10-14

    Since 1995, more than 150 extrasolar planets have been discovered, most of them in orbits quite different from those of the giant planets in our own solar system. The number of discovered extrasolar planets demonstrates that planetary systems are common but also that they may possess a large variety of properties. As the number of detections grows, statistical studies of the properties of exoplanets and their host stars can be conducted to unravel some of the key physical and chemical processes leading to the formation of planetary systems.

  7. Planet population synthesis driven by pebble accretion in cluster environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndugu, N.; Bitsch, B.; Jurua, E.

    2018-02-01

    The evolution of protoplanetary discs embedded in stellar clusters depends on the age and the stellar density in which they are embedded. Stellar clusters of young age and high stellar surface density destroy protoplanetary discs by external photoevaporation and stellar encounters. Here, we consider the effect of background heating from newly formed stellar clusters on the structure of protoplanetary discs and how it affects the formation of planets in these discs. Our planet formation model is built on the core accretion scenario, where we take the reduction of the core growth time-scale due to pebble accretion into account. We synthesize planet populations that we compare to observations obtained by radial velocity measurements. The giant planets in our simulations migrate over large distances due to the fast type-II migration regime induced by a high disc viscosity (α = 5.4 × 10-3). Cold Jupiters (rp > 1 au) originate preferably from the outer disc, due to the large-scale planetary migration, while hot Jupiters (rp meaning that more gas giants are formed at larger metallicity. However, our synthetic population of isolated stars host a significant amount of giant planets even at low metallicity, in contradiction to observations where giant planets are preferably found around high metallicity stars, indicating that pebble accretion is very efficient in the standard pebble accretion framework. On the other hand, discs around stars embedded in cluster environments hardly form any giant planets at low metallicity in agreement with observations, where these changes originate from the increased temperature in the outer parts of the disc, which prolongs the core accretion time-scale of the planet. We therefore conclude that the outer disc structure and the planet's formation location determines the giant planet occurrence rate and the formation efficiency of cold and hot Jupiters.

  8. Remote life-detection criteria, habitable zone boundaries, and the frequency of Earth-like planets around M and late K stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, James F; Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Ramirez, Ramses M; Harman, Chester E

    2014-09-02

    The habitable zone (HZ) around a star is typically defined as the region where a rocky planet can maintain liquid water on its surface. That definition is appropriate, because this allows for the possibility that carbon-based, photosynthetic life exists on the planet in sufficient abundance to modify the planet's atmosphere in a way that might be remotely detected. Exactly what conditions are needed, however, to maintain liquid water remains a topic for debate. In the past, modelers have restricted themselves to water-rich planets with CO2 and H2O as the only important greenhouse gases. More recently, some researchers have suggested broadening the definition to include arid, "Dune" planets on the inner edge and planets with captured H2 atmospheres on the outer edge, thereby greatly increasing the HZ width. Such planets could exist, but we demonstrate that an inner edge limit of 0.59 AU or less is physically unrealistic. We further argue that conservative HZ definitions should be used for designing future space-based telescopes, but that optimistic definitions may be useful in interpreting the data from such missions. In terms of effective solar flux, S(eff), the recently recalculated HZ boundaries are: recent Venus--1.78; runaway greenhouse--1.04; moist greenhouse--1.01; maximum greenhouse--0.35; and early Mars--0.32. Based on a combination of different HZ definitions, the frequency of potentially Earth-like planets around late K and M stars observed by Kepler is in the range of 0.4-0.5.

  9. Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Systems for SMD Mission Needs. Technology Infusion Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David

    2014-01-01

    Two presentations for SBAG and OPAG meetings: 1) Solar Electric Propulsion Systems for SMD Missions, and 2) Technology Infusion Study - Draft Findings Recommendation Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) meeting is January 9th in Washington D.C., and the Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) meeting is January 23-14 in Tucson, AZ. NASA sponsors these assessment groups, through the NRC, for the science community to assess and provide advice. These talks are to provide a status of 2 NASA activities, and to seek feedback from the respective science communities.

  10. Planet logy : Towards Comparative Planet logy beyond the Solar Earth System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A. H.

    2011-10-01

    Today Scenario planet logy is a very important concept because now days the scientific research finding new and new planets and our work's range becoming too long. In the previous study shows about 10-12 years the research of planet logy now has changed . Few years ago we was talking about Sun planet, Earth planet , Moon ,Mars Jupiter & Venus etc. included but now the time has totally changed the recent studies showed that mono lakes California find the arsenic food use by micro organism that show that our study is very tiny as compare to planet long areas .We have very well known that arsenic is the toxic agent's and the toxic agent's present in the lakes and micro organism developing and life going on it's a unbelievable point for us but nature always play a magical games. In few years ago Aliens was the story no one believe the Aliens origin but now the aliens showed catch by our space craft and shuttle and every one believe that Aliens origin but at the moment's I would like to mention one point's that we have too more work required because our planet logy has a vast field. Most of the time our scientific mission shows that this planet found liquid oxygen ,this planet found hydrogen .I would like to clear that point's that all planet logy depend in to the chemical and these chemical gave the indication of the life but we are not abele to developed the adaptation according to the micro organism . Planet logy compare before study shows that Sun it's a combination of the various gases combination surrounded in a round form and now the central Sun Planets ,moons ,comets and asteroids In other word we can say that Or Sun has a wide range of the physical and Chemical properties in the after the development we can say that all chemical and physical property engaged with a certain environment and form a various contains like asteroids, moon, Comets etc. Few studies shows that other planet life affected to the out living planet .We can assure with the example the life

  11. The Trojan minor planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratt, Christopher E.

    1988-08-01

    There are (March, 1988) 3774 minor planets which have received a permanent number. Of these, there are some whose mean distance to the sun is very nearly equal to that of Jupiter, and whose heliocentric longitudes from that planet are about 60°, so that the three bodies concerned (sun, Jupiter, minor planet) make an approximate equilateral triangle. These minor planets, which occur in two distinct groups, one preceding Jupiter and one following, have received the names of the heroes of the Trojan war. This paper concerns the 49 numbered minor planets of this group.

  12. White dwarf planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonsor Amy

    2013-04-01

    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.

  13. A New Way to Confirm Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    automated batch processing of a large number of candidates.In a recently published study the results of which were announced yesterday the teamapplied their code to the entire catalog of 7,470 Kepler objects of interest.New Planets and False PositivesThe teams code was able to successfully evaluate the total false-positive probability (FPP) for 7,056 of the objects of interest. Of these, 428 objects previously identified as candidates were found to have FPP of more than 90%, suggesting that they are most likely false positives.Periods and radii of candidate and confirmed planets in the Kepler Objects of Interest catalog. Blue circles have previously been identified as confirmed planets. Candidates (orange) are shaded by false positive probability; more transparent means more likely to be a false positive. [Morton et al. 2016]In contrast, 1,935 candidates were found to have FPP of less than 1%, and were therefore declared validated planets. Of these confirmations, 1,284 were previously unconfirmed, more than doubling Keplers previous catalog of 1,041 confirmed planets. Morton and collaborators believe that 9 of these newly confirmed planets may fall within the habitable zone of their host stars.While the announcement of 1,284 newly confirmed planets is huge, the analysis presented in this study is the real news. The code used is publicly available and can be applied to any transiting exoplanet candidate. This means that this analysis technique can be used to find batches of exoplanets in data from the extended Kepler mission (K2) or from the future TESS and PLATO transit missions.CitationTimothy D. Morton et al 2016 ApJ 822 86. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/822/2/86

  14. Comet Dust: The Story of Planet Formation as Told by the Tiniest of Particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, D. H.

    2005-01-01

    Our planetary system formed out of a gas-rich disk-shaped nebula with the early Sun at its center. Many small icy bodies were consumed by the formation of the giant planets. However, many km-size icy bodies were tossed out of the giant-planet region to the cold, distant reaches of our solar system. Comets remained in their places of cold storage until perturbed into orbits that carry them into the inner solar system where they pass relatively close to the Sun. Comets are warmed by the Sun and shed material from their outer layers. The ices and gases shed by comets reveal simple and complex organic molecules were present at the time and in the region of the formation of the giant planets. Where the Earth was forming was too hot and had too intense sunlight for many of these ices and molecules to survive. The dust shed by comets tells us that some stardust survived unaltered but much of the dust was heated and crystallized before becoming part of the comet. Therefore, comet dust grains tell of large radial migrations from the cold outer reaches near Neptune into the hot regions near the forming Sun, and then back out to the cold regions where icy comets were accreting and forming. On 2005 July 4, the NASA Deep Impact Mission hit a comet and ejected primitive materials fiom its interior. These materials were not released into the comet s coma during normal activity. Despite the many passages of this comet close to the Sun, these primitive volatile gases and dust grains survived in its interior. Comet dust grains show that cold and hot materials were mixed into the same tiny particle very early in the formation of the solar system, and these aggregate dust grains never saw high temperatures again. The survival of primitive materials in comet nuclei suggests comets could have delivered organic molecules and primitive dust grains to early Earth.

  15. Radioisotope electric propulsion for robotic science missions to near-interstellar space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, R.J.

    1994-10-01

    The use of radioisotope electric propulsion for sending small robotic probes on fast science missions several hundred astronomical units (AU) from the Sun is investigated. Such missions would address a large variety of solar, interstellar, galactic and cosmological science themes from unique vantage points at 100 to 600 AU, including parallax distance measurements for the entire Milky Way Galaxy, sampling of the interstellar medium and imaging of cosmological objects at the gravitational lens foci of the Sun (≥ 550 AU). Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems are low-thrust, ion propulsion units based on multi-hundred watt, radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. In a previous work, the flight times for rendezvous missions to the outer planets (< 30 AU) using REP were found to be less than fifteen years. However fast prestellar missions to several hundred AU are not possible unless the probe's energy can be substantially increased in the inner Solar System so as to boost the final hyperbolic excess velocity. In this paper an economical hybrid propulsion scheme combining chemical propulsion and gravity assist in the inner Solar System and radioisotope electric propulsion in the outer Solar System is studied which enables fast prestellar missions. Total hyperbolic excess velocities of 15 AU/year and flight times to 550 AU of about 40 years are possible using REP technology that may be available in the next decade

  16. The Messenger Mission to Mercury

    CERN Document Server

    Domingue, D. L

    2007-01-01

    NASA’s MESSENGER mission, launched on 3 August, 2004 is the seventh mission in the Discovery series. MESSENGER encounters the planet Mercury four times, culminating with an insertion into orbit on 18 March 2011. It carries a comprehensive package of geophysical, geological, geochemical, and space environment experiments to complete the complex investigations of this solar-system end member, which begun with Mariner 10. The articles in this book, written by the experts in each area of the MESSENGER mission, describe the mission, spacecraft, scientific objectives, and payload. The book is of interest to all potential users of the data returned by the MESSENGER mission, to those studying the nature of the planet Mercury, and by all those interested in the design and implementation of planetary exploration missions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Imaeda

    2017-03-01

    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.

  18. Scattering of exocomets by a planet chain: exozodi levels and the delivery of cometary material to inner planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino, Sebastian; Bonsor, Amy; Wyatt, Mark C.; Kral, Quentin

    2018-06-01

    Exocomets scattered by planets have been invoked to explain observations in multiple contexts, including the frequently found near- and mid-infrared excess around nearby stars arising from exozodiacal dust. Here we investigate how the process of inward scattering of comets originating in an outer belt, is affected by the architecture of a planetary system, to determine whether this could lead to observable exozodi levels or deliver volatiles to inner planets. Using N-body simulations, we model systems with different planet mass and orbital spacing distributions in the 1-50 AU region. We find that tightly packed (Δap planets are the most efficient at delivering material to exozodi regions (5-7% of scattered exocomets end up within 0.5 AU at some point), although the exozodi levels do not vary by more than a factor of ˜7 for the architectures studied here. We suggest that emission from scattered dusty material in between the planets could provide a potential test for this delivery mechanism. We show that the surface density of scattered material can vary by two orders of magnitude (being highest for systems of low mass planets with medium spacing), whilst the exozodi delivery rate stays roughly constant, and that future instruments such as JWST could detect it. In fact for η Corvi, the current Herschel upper limit rules our the scattering scenario by a chain of ≲30 M⊕ planets. Finally, we show that exocomets could be efficient at delivering cometary material to inner planets (0.1-1% of scattered comets are accreted per inner planet). Overall, the best systems at delivering comets to inner planets are the ones that have low mass outer planets and medium spacing (˜20RH, m).

  19. Planet formation in Binaries

    OpenAIRE

    Thebault, Ph.; Haghighipour, N.

    2014-01-01

    Spurred by the discovery of numerous exoplanets in multiple systems, binaries have become in recent years one of the main topics in planet formation research. Numerous studies have investigated to what extent the presence of a stellar companion can affect the planet formation process. Such studies have implications that can reach beyond the sole context of binaries, as they allow to test certain aspects of the planet formation scenario by submitting them to extreme environments. We review her...

  20. On the Existence of Regular and Irregular Outer Moons Orbiting the Pluto–Charon System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michaely, Erez; Perets, Hagai B.; Grishin, Evgeni [Physics Department, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 3200004 (Israel)

    2017-02-10

    The dwarf planet Pluto is known to host an extended system of five co-planar satellites. Previous studies have explored the formation and evolution of the system in isolation, neglecting perturbative effects by the Sun. Here we show that secular evolution due to the Sun can strongly affect the evolution of outer satellites and rings in the system, if such exist. Although precession due to extended gravitational potential from the inner Pluto–Charon binary quench such secular evolution up to a {sub crit} ∼ 0.0035 au (∼0.09 R {sub Hill} the Hill radius; including all of the currently known satellites), outer orbits can be significantly altered. In particular, we find that co-planar rings and satellites should not exist beyond a {sub crit}; rather, satellites and dust particles in these regions secularly evolve on timescales ranging between 10{sup 4} and 10{sup 6} years, and quasi-periodically change their inclinations and eccentricities through secular evolution (Lidov–Kozai oscillations). Such oscillations can lead to high inclinations and eccentricities, constraining the range where such satellites (and dust particles) can exist without crossing the orbits of the inner satellites or crossing the outer Hill stability range. Outer satellites, if such exist are therefore likely to be irregular satellites, with orbits limited to be non-circular and/or highly inclined. Current observations, including the recent data from the New-Horizons mission explored only inner regions (<0.0012 au) and excluded the existence of additional satellites; however, the irregular satellites discussed here should reside farther, in the yet uncharted regions around Pluto.

  1. On the Existence of Regular and Irregular Outer Moons Orbiting the Pluto–Charon System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michaely, Erez; Perets, Hagai B.; Grishin, Evgeni

    2017-01-01

    The dwarf planet Pluto is known to host an extended system of five co-planar satellites. Previous studies have explored the formation and evolution of the system in isolation, neglecting perturbative effects by the Sun. Here we show that secular evolution due to the Sun can strongly affect the evolution of outer satellites and rings in the system, if such exist. Although precession due to extended gravitational potential from the inner Pluto–Charon binary quench such secular evolution up to a crit ∼ 0.0035 au (∼0.09 R Hill the Hill radius; including all of the currently known satellites), outer orbits can be significantly altered. In particular, we find that co-planar rings and satellites should not exist beyond a crit ; rather, satellites and dust particles in these regions secularly evolve on timescales ranging between 10 4 and 10 6 years, and quasi-periodically change their inclinations and eccentricities through secular evolution (Lidov–Kozai oscillations). Such oscillations can lead to high inclinations and eccentricities, constraining the range where such satellites (and dust particles) can exist without crossing the orbits of the inner satellites or crossing the outer Hill stability range. Outer satellites, if such exist are therefore likely to be irregular satellites, with orbits limited to be non-circular and/or highly inclined. Current observations, including the recent data from the New-Horizons mission explored only inner regions (<0.0012 au) and excluded the existence of additional satellites; however, the irregular satellites discussed here should reside farther, in the yet uncharted regions around Pluto.

  2. The interiors of the giant planets - 1983

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smoluchowski, R.

    1983-01-01

    The last few years brought progress in understanding the interiors of the giant planets especially of the two larger ones which have been visited by Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft. An analysis of the formation of the giant planets also helped to clarify certain important common features. The presently available model of Jupiter is still based on certain somewhat bothersome approximations but it appears to satisfy the main observational constraints. Saturn's interior is much better understood than it was previously although the quantitative aspects of the role of the miscibility gap in the hydrogen-helium system have not yet been entirely resolved. Much attention has been directed at the interiors of Uranus and Neptune and the outstanding question appears to be the location and the amount of ices and methane present in their outer layers. Both the two- and the three-layer models are moderately successful. Serious difficulties arise from the considerable uncertainties concerning the rotational periods of both planets. Also the estimates of the internal heat fluxes and of the magnetic fields of both planets are not sufficiently certain. It is hoped that the forthcoming flyby of these two planets by a Voyager spacecraft will provide important new data for a future study of their interiors. (Auth.)

  3. Terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    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.

  4. CANDIDATE PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF KEPLER STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaidos, Eric

    2013-01-01

    A key goal of the Kepler mission is the discovery of Earth-size transiting planets in ''habitable zones'' where stellar irradiance maintains a temperate climate on an Earth-like planet. Robust estimates of planet radius and irradiance require accurate stellar parameters, but most Kepler systems are faint, making spectroscopy difficult and prioritization of targets desirable. The parameters of 2035 host stars were estimated by Bayesian analysis and the probabilities p HZ that 2738 candidate or confirmed planets orbit in the habitable zone were calculated. Dartmouth Stellar Evolution Program models were compared to photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog, priors for stellar mass, age, metallicity and distance, and planet transit duration. The analysis yielded probability density functions for calculating confidence intervals of planet radius and stellar irradiance, as well as p HZ . Sixty-two planets have p HZ > 0.5 and a most probable stellar irradiance within habitable zone limits. Fourteen of these have radii less than twice the Earth; the objects most resembling Earth in terms of radius and irradiance are KOIs 2626.01 and 3010.01, which orbit late K/M-type dwarf stars. The fraction of Kepler dwarf stars with Earth-size planets in the habitable zone (η ⊕ ) is 0.46, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.31-0.64. Parallaxes from the Gaia mission will reduce uncertainties by more than a factor of five and permit definitive assignments of transiting planets to the habitable zones of Kepler stars.

  5. Reflected Light Curves of Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D.; Matthews, J.; Kuschnig, R.; Seager, S.

    The planned launches of ultra-precise photometric satellites such as MOST, COROT and MONS should provide the first opportunity to study the reflected light curves from extrasolar planets. To predict the capabilities of these missions, we have constructed a series of models of such light curves, improving upon the Monte Carlo simulations by Seager et al. (2000). These models include more realistic features such limb darkening of the star and broad band photometry. For specific models, the resulting planet light curves exhibit unique behavior with the variation of radius, inclination and presence or absence of clouds.

  6. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Diego J; Lai, Dong

    2015-07-28

    The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries currently known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 d, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via the so-called Lidov-Kozai migration mechanism, in which gravitational perturbations from a distant tertiary companion induce large-amplitude eccentricity oscillations in the binary, followed by orbital decay and circularization due to tidal dissipation in the stars. Here we explore the orbital evolution of planets around binaries undergoing orbital decay by this mechanism. We show that planets may survive and become misaligned from their host binary, or may develop erratic behavior in eccentricity, resulting in their consumption by the stars or ejection from the system as the binary decays. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets around compact binaries could still exist, and we offer predictions as to what their orbital configurations should be like.

  7. The HARPS-N Rocky Planet Search

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...... on a close-in, quasi-circular orbit with a period of 6.767 ± 0.004 days. The third planet in the system has a period of 46.66 ± 0.08 days and a minimum-mass of 8.94 ± 1.13 M⊕, at 0.233 ± 0.002 AU from the star. Its eccentricity is 0.46 ± 0.11. The period of this planet is close to the rotational period...

  8. Legal Implications of Military Uses of Outer Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catena, Johanna

    2002-01-01

    -fuelled rocket. Goddard's work coincided with the work of a German scientist Werner Von Braun, (1912-77) who designed the V1 and V2 rocket. The V2 was the first intercontinental ballistic missile. Compared to the V1, the V2 could carry a heavier payload and the range was much longer. Von Braun had originally sketched his ideas to the Germans, that the V2 was an effective design for space travel and it was rejected. After the war the V2 became the foundation to many new technologies and these modifications marked the beginning of the space race. This competition led to space travel, taking men to the moon using the Saturn V rocket, robotic missions to the planets, and into tactical nuclear missiles (Redstone). This also marked the future for such dual-purpose technologies (i.e. military and/or civilian use) and more interestingly it took the design of weapons for space travel to be taken seriously. Arthur C Clarke commented on the possibilities of placing weapons in outer space, `the only defence against the weapons of the future is to prevent them ever being used. The problem is political and not military at all.' Ambassador Peter Jankowitsch, quoting Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in his opening address to COPUOS in Austria 1978, `we must make sure that outer space can be spared the fate of so many human discoveries of previous ages, namely becoming a mere battlefield.' These statements may be analysed by applying the United Nations Charter alongside other international treaties, such as the Outer Space Treaty 1967, the Test Ban Treaty 1963 and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in conjunction with the new Agreement signed by Russian and the USA. This may assist to highlight and conclude where problems reside whether political, legal, military, or a combination; and the impact for international peace and security.

  9. On the Detectability of Planet X with LSST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trilling, David E.; Bellm, Eric C.; Malhotra, Renu

    2018-06-01

    Two planetary mass objects in the far outer solar system—collectively referred to here as Planet X— have recently been hypothesized to explain the orbital distribution of distant Kuiper Belt Objects. Neither planet is thought to be exceptionally faint, but the sky locations of these putative planets are poorly constrained. Therefore, a wide area survey is needed to detect these possible planets. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will carry out an unbiased, large area (around 18000 deg2), deep (limiting magnitude of individual frames of 24.5) survey (the “wide-fast-deep (WFD)” survey) of the southern sky beginning in 2022, and it will therefore be an important tool in searching for these hypothesized planets. Here, we explore the effectiveness of LSST as a search platform for these possible planets. Assuming the current baseline cadence (which includes the WFD survey plus additional coverage), we estimate that LSST will confidently detect or rule out the existence of Planet X in 61% of the entire sky. At orbital distances up to ∼75 au, Planet X could simply be found in the normal nightly moving object processing; at larger distances, it will require custom data processing. We also discuss the implications of a nondetection of Planet X in LSST data.

  10. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    to a future volume. Our authors have taken on the task to look at climate on the terrestrial planets in the broadest sense possible — by comparing the atmospheric processes at work on the four terrestrial bodies, Earth, Venus, Mars, and Titan (Titan is included because it hosts many of the common processes), and on terrestrial planets around other stars. These processes include the interactions of shortwave and thermal radiation with the atmosphere, condensation and vaporization of volatiles, atmospheric dynamics, chemistry and aerosol formation, and the role of the surface and interior in the long-term evolution of climate. Chapters herein compare the scientific questions, analysis methods, numerical models, and spacecraft remote sensing experiments of Earth and the other terrestrial planets, emphasizing the underlying commonality of physical processes. We look to the future by identifying objectives for ongoing research and new missions. Through these pages we challenge practicing planetary scientists, and most importantly new students of any age, to find pathways and synergies for advancing the field. In Part I, Foundations, we introduce the fundamental physics of climate on terrestrial planets. Starting with the best studied planet by far, Earth, the first chapters discuss what is known and what is not known about the atmospheres and climates of the terrestrial planets of the solar system and beyond. In Part II, Greenhouse Effect and Atmospheric Dynamics, we focus on the processes that govern atmospheric motion and the role that general circulation models play in our current understanding. In Part III, Clouds and Hazes, we provide an in-depth look at the many effects of clouds and aerosols on planetary climate. Although this is a vigorous area of research in the Earth sciences, and very strongly influences climate modeling, the important role that aerosols and clouds play in the climate of all planets is not yet well constrained. This section is intended to

  11. Saturn's outer magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schardt, A. W.; Behannon, K. W.; Carbary, J. F.; Eviatar, A.; Lepping, R. P.; Siscoe, G. L.

    1983-01-01

    Similarities between the Saturnian and terrestrial outer magnetosphere are examined. Saturn, like Earth, has a fully developed magnetic tail, 80 to 100 RS in diameter. One major difference between the two outer magnetospheres is the hydrogen and nitrogen torus produced by Titan. This plasma is, in general, convected in the corotation direction at nearly the rigid corotation speed. Energies of magnetospheric particles extend to above 500 keV. In contrast, interplanetary protons and ions above 2 MeV have free access to the outer magnetosphere to distances well below the Stormer cutoff. This access presumably occurs through the magnetotail. In addition to the H+, H2+, and H3+ ions primarily of local origin, energetic He, C, N, and O ions are found with solar composition. Their flux can be substantially enhanced over that of interplanetary ions at energies of 0.2 to 0.4 MeV/nuc.

  12. THE PAN-PACIFIC PLANET SEARCH. II. CONFIRMATION OF A TWO-PLANET SYSTEM AROUND HD 121056

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Tinney, C. G. [School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052 (Australia); Wang, Liang [Key Laboratory of Optical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, A20 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100012 (China); Liu, Fan [Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Cotter Road, Weston Creek, ACT 2611 (Australia); Horner, Jonathan [Australian Centre for Astrobiology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052 (Australia); Endl, Michael [McDonald Observatory, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1400, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Johnson, John Asher [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Carter, B. D., E-mail: rob@unsw.edu.au [Computational Engineering and Science Research Centre, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350 (Australia)

    2015-02-10

    Precise radial velocities from the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) confirm the presence of a rare short-period planet around the K0 giant HD 121056. An independent two-planet solution using the AAT data shows that the inner planet has P = 89.1 ± 0.1 days, and m sin i = 1.35 ± 0.17 M{sub Jup}. These data also confirm the planetary nature of the outer companion, with m sin i = 3.9 ± 0.6 M{sub Jup} and a = 2.96 ± 0.16 AU. HD 121056 is the most-evolved star to host a confirmed multiple-planet system, and is a valuable example of a giant star hosting both a short-period and a long-period planet.

  13. THE PAN-PACIFIC PLANET SEARCH. II. CONFIRMATION OF A TWO-PLANET SYSTEM AROUND HD 121056

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Tinney, C. G.; Wang, Liang; Liu, Fan; Horner, Jonathan; Endl, Michael; Johnson, John Asher; Carter, B. D.

    2015-01-01

    Precise radial velocities from the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) confirm the presence of a rare short-period planet around the K0 giant HD 121056. An independent two-planet solution using the AAT data shows that the inner planet has P = 89.1 ± 0.1 days, and m sin i = 1.35 ± 0.17 M Jup . These data also confirm the planetary nature of the outer companion, with m sin i = 3.9 ± 0.6 M Jup and a = 2.96 ± 0.16 AU. HD 121056 is the most-evolved star to host a confirmed multiple-planet system, and is a valuable example of a giant star hosting both a short-period and a long-period planet

  14. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation. II. Dependence of exoplanet architectures on giant planet and disk properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2012-05-01

    We present models for the formation of terrestrial planets, and the collisional evolution of debris disks, in planetary systems that contain multiple marginally unstable gas giants. We previously showed that in such systems, the dynamics of the giant planets introduces a correlation between the presence of terrestrial planets and cold dust, i.e., debris disks, which is particularly pronounced at λ ~ 70 μm. Here we present new simulations that show that this connection is qualitatively robust to a range of parameters: the mass distribution of the giant planets, the width and mass distribution of the outer planetesimal disk, and the presence of gas in the disk when the giant planets become unstable. We discuss how variations in these parameters affect the evolution. We find that systems with equal-mass giant planets undergo the most violent instabilities, and that these destroy both terrestrial planets and the outer planetesimal disks that produce debris disks. In contrast, systems with low-mass giant planets efficiently produce both terrestrial planets and debris disks. A large fraction of systems with low-mass (M ≲ 30 M⊕) outermost giant planets have final planetary separations that, scaled to the planets' masses, are as large or larger than the Saturn-Uranus and Uranus-Neptune separations in the solar system. We find that the gaps between these planets are not only dynamically stable to test particles, but are frequently populated by planetesimals. The possibility of planetesimal belts between outer giant planets should be taken into account when interpreting debris disk SEDs. In addition, the presence of ~ Earth-mass "seeds" in outer planetesimal disks causes the disks to radially spread to colder temperatures, and leads to a slow depletion of the outer planetesimal disk from the inside out. We argue that this may explain the very low frequency of >1 Gyr-old solar-type stars with observed 24 μm excesses. Our simulations do not sample the full range of

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

    OpenAIRE

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Rowe, Jason F.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Koch, David G.; Dunham, Edward W.; Gautier III, Thomas N.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Cochran, William D.; Latham, David W.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Torres, Guillermo

    2011-01-01

    We report the distribution of planets as a function of planet radius (R_p), orbital period (P), and stellar effective temperature (Teff) for P < 50 day orbits around GK stars. These results are based on the 1,235 planets (formally "planet candidates") from the Kepler mission that include a nearly complete set of detected planets as small as 2 Earth radii (Re). For each of the 156,000 target stars we assess the detectability of planets as a function of R_p and P. We also correct for the geomet...

  16. Constraining the volatile fraction of planets from transit observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibert, Y.

    2016-06-01

    gas, the measured mass and radius imply at least 20% of volatiles in the interior. For planets at larger distances, we show that the observation of transiting planets at different evolutionary ages can be used to set statistical constraints on the volatile content of planets. Conclusions: These results can be used in the context of future missions like PLATO to better understand the internal composition of planets, and based on this, their formation process and potential habitability.

  17. LONG RANGE OUTWARD MIGRATION OF GIANT PLANETS, WITH APPLICATION TO FOMALHAUT b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crida, Aurelien; Masset, Frederic; Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2009-01-01

    Recent observations of exoplanets by direct imaging reveal that giant planets orbit at a few dozens to more than a hundred AU from their central star. The question of the origin of these planets challenges the standard theories of planet formation. We propose a new way of obtaining such far planets, by outward migration of a pair of planets formed in the 10 AU region. Two giant planets in mean motion resonance in a common gap in the protoplanetary disk migrate outward, if the inner one is significantly more massive than the outer one. Using hydrodynamical simulations, we show that their semimajor axes can increase by almost 1 order of magnitude. In a flared disk, the pair of planets should reach an asymptotic radius. This mechanism could account for the presence of Fomalhaut b; then, a second, more massive planet, should be orbiting Fomalhaut at about 75 AU.

  18. More Planets in the Hyades Cluster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    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

  19. Planetesimals early differentiation and consequences for planets

    CERN Document Server

    Weiss, Benjamin P

    2017-01-01

    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.

  20. Inside-out Planet Formation. IV. Pebble Evolution and Planet Formation Timescales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao; Tan, Jonathan C.; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Chatterjee, Sourav; Birnstiel, Tilman; Youdin, Andrew N.; Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    2018-04-01

    Systems with tightly packed inner planets (STIPs) are very common. Chatterjee & Tan proposed Inside-out Planet Formation (IOPF), an in situ formation theory, to explain these planets. IOPF involves sequential planet formation from pebble-rich rings that are fed from the outer disk and trapped at the pressure maximum associated with the dead zone inner boundary (DZIB). Planet masses are set by their ability to open a gap and cause the DZIB to retreat outwards. We present models for the disk density and temperature structures that are relevant to the conditions of IOPF. For a wide range of DZIB conditions, we evaluate the gap-opening masses of planets in these disks that are expected to lead to the truncation of pebble accretion onto the forming planet. We then consider the evolution of dust and pebbles in the disk, estimating that pebbles typically grow to sizes of a few centimeters during their radial drift from several tens of astronomical units to the inner, ≲1 au scale disk. A large fraction of the accretion flux of solids is expected to be in such pebbles. This allows us to estimate the timescales for individual planet formation and the entire planetary system formation in the IOPF scenario. We find that to produce realistic STIPs within reasonable timescales similar to disk lifetimes requires disk accretion rates of ∼10‑9 M ⊙ yr‑1 and relatively low viscosity conditions in the DZIB region, i.e., a Shakura–Sunyaev parameter of α ∼ 10‑4.

  1. The hottest planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph; Luszcz, Statia; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake; Richardson, L Jeremy

    2007-06-07

    Of the over 200 known extrasolar planets, just 14 pass in front of and behind their parent stars as seen from Earth. This fortuitous geometry allows direct determination of many planetary properties. Previous reports of planetary thermal emission give fluxes that are roughly consistent with predictions based on thermal equilibrium with the planets' received radiation, assuming a Bond albedo of approximately 0.3. Here we report direct detection of thermal emission from the smallest known transiting planet, HD 149026b, that indicates a brightness temperature (an expression of flux) of 2,300 +/- 200 K at 8 microm. The planet's predicted temperature for uniform, spherical, blackbody emission and zero albedo (unprecedented for planets) is 1,741 K. As models with non-zero albedo are cooler, this essentially eliminates uniform blackbody models, and may also require an albedo lower than any measured for a planet, very strong 8 microm emission, strong temporal variability, or a heat source other than stellar radiation. On the other hand, an instantaneous re-emission blackbody model, in which each patch of surface area instantly re-emits all received light, matches the data. This planet is known to be enriched in heavy elements, which may give rise to novel atmospheric properties yet to be investigated.

  2. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.

    1981-01-01

    The uneven historical development of terrestrial planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon and Mars - is probably due to the differences in their size, weight and rotational dynamics in association with the internal planet structure, their distance from the Sun, etc. A systematic study of extraterrestrial planets showed that the time span of internal activity was not the same for all bodies. It is assumed that the initial history of all terrestrial planets was marked with catastrophic events connected with the overall dynamic development of the solar system. In view of the fact that the cores of small terrestrial bodies cooled quicker, their geological development almost stagnated after two or three thousand million years. This is what probably happened to the Mercury and the Moon as well as the Mars. Therefore, traces of previous catastrophic events were preserved on the surface of the planets. On the other hand, the Earth is the most metamorphosed terrestrial planet and compared to the other planets appears to be atypical. Its biosphere is significantly developed as well as the other shell components, its hydrosphere and atmosphere, and its crust is considerably differentiated. (J.P.)

  3. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2011-06-01

    There exists strong circumstantial evidence from their eccentric orbits that most of the known extra-solar planetary systems are the survivors of violent dynamical instabilities. Here we explore the effect of giant planet instabilities on the formation and survival of terrestrial planets. We numerically simulate the evolution of planetary systems around Sun-like stars that include three components: (i) an inner disk of planetesimals and planetary embryos; (ii) three giant planets at Jupiter-Saturn distances; and (iii) an outer disk of planetesimals comparable to estimates of the primitive Kuiper belt. We calculate the dust production and spectral energy distribution of each system by assuming that each planetesimal particle represents an ensemble of smaller bodies in collisional equilibrium. Our main result is a strong correlation between the evolution of the inner and outer parts of planetary systems, i.e. between the presence of terrestrial planets and debris disks. Strong giant planet instabilities - that produce very eccentric surviving planets - destroy all rocky material in the system, including fully-formed terrestrial planets if the instabilities occur late, and also destroy the icy planetesimal population. Stable or weakly unstable systems allow terrestrial planets to accrete in their inner regions and significant dust to be produced in their outer regions, detectable at mid-infrared wavelengths as debris disks. Stars older than ~100 Myr with bright cold dust emission (in particular at λ ~ 70 μm) signpost dynamically calm environments that were conducive to efficient terrestrial accretion. Such emission is present around ~16% of billion-year old Solar-type stars. Our simulations yield numerous secondary results: 1) the typical eccentricities of as-yet undetected terrestrial planets are ~0.1 but there exists a novel class of terrestrial planet system whose single planet undergoes large amplitude oscillations in orbital eccentricity and inclination; 2) by

  4. Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and the outer solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2010-01-01

    Unlike all the planets closer to the Sun, known since antiquity, the farthest reaches are the discoveries of the modern world. Uranus was discovered in 1781, Neptune in 1846, Pluto in 1930, the Kuiper belt group of objects in 1992, and though the Oort cloud has been theorized since 1950, its first member was found in 2004. The discovery of the outer planets made such an impression on the minds of mankind that they were immortalized in the names of the newly discovered elements: uranium, neptunium, and plutonium, an astonishingly deadly constituent of atomic bombs. Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and t

  5. Planets a very short introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A

    2010-01-01

    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?

  6. Outward Migration of Giant Planets in Orbital Resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, G.; Marzari, F.

    2013-05-01

    A pair of giant planets interacting with a gaseous disk may be subject to convergent orbital migration and become locked into a mean motion resonance. If the orbits are close enough, the tidal gaps produced by the planets in the disk may overlap. This represents a necessary condition to activate the outward migration of the pair. However, a number of other conditions must also be realized in order for this mechanism to operate. We have studied how disk properties, such as turbulence viscosity, temperature, surface density gradient, mass, and age, may affect the outcome of the outward migration process. We have also investigated the implications on this mechanism of the planets' gas accretion. If the pair resembles Jupiter and Saturn, the 3:2 orbital resonance may drive them outward until they reach stalling radii for migration, which are within ~10 AU of the star for disks representative of the early proto-solar nebula. However, planet post-formation conditions in the disk indicate that such planets become typically locked in the 1:2 orbital resonance, which does not lead to outward migration. Planet growth via gas accretion tends to alter the planets' mass-ratio and/or the disk accretion rate toward the star, reducing or inhibiting outward migration. Support from NASA Outer Planets Research Program and NASA Origins of Solar Systems Program is gratefully acknowledged.

  7. An extrasolar planetary system with three Neptune-mass planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Pepe, Francesco; Alibert, Yann; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Correia, Alexandre C M; Laskar, Jacques; Mordasini, Christoph; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno C; Udry, Stéphane; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Sivan, Jean-Pierre

    2006-05-18

    Over the past two years, the search for low-mass extrasolar planets has led to the detection of seven so-called 'hot Neptunes' or 'super-Earths' around Sun-like stars. These planets have masses 5-20 times larger than the Earth and are mainly found on close-in orbits with periods of 2-15 days. Here we report a system of three Neptune-mass planets with periods of 8.67, 31.6 and 197 days, orbiting the nearby star HD 69830. This star was already known to show an infrared excess possibly caused by an asteroid belt within 1 au (the Sun-Earth distance). Simulations show that the system is in a dynamically stable configuration. Theoretical calculations favour a mainly rocky composition for both inner planets, while the outer planet probably has a significant gaseous envelope surrounding its rocky/icy core; the outer planet orbits within the habitable zone of this star.

  8. Hot-start Giant Planets Form with Radiative Interiors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berardo, David; Cumming, Andrew, E-mail: david.berardo@mcgill.ca, E-mail: andrew.cumming@mcgill.ca [Department of Physics and McGill Space Institute, McGill University, 3600 rue University, Montreal, QC H3A 2T8 (Canada)

    2017-09-10

    In the hot-start core accretion formation model for gas giants, the interior of a planet is usually assumed to be fully convective. By calculating the detailed internal evolution of a planet assuming hot-start outer boundary conditions, we show that such a planet will in fact form with a radially increasing internal entropy profile, so that its interior will be radiative instead of convective. For a hot outer boundary, there is a minimum value for the entropy of the internal adiabat S {sub min} below which the accreting envelope does not match smoothly onto the interior, but instead deposits high entropy material onto the growing interior. One implication of this would be to at least temporarily halt the mixing of heavy elements within the planet, which are deposited by planetesimals accreted during formation. The compositional gradient this would impose could subsequently disrupt convection during post-accretion cooling, which would alter the observed cooling curve of the planet. However, even with a homogeneous composition, for which convection develops as the planet cools, the difference in cooling timescale will change the inferred mass of directly imaged gas giants.

  9. Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen; Asimov, Isaac

    2007-01-01

    "Planets for Man" was written at the height of the space race, a few years before the first moon landing, when it was assumed that in the not-too-distant future human beings "will be able to travel...

  10. Jupiter: as a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The planet Jupiter, its planetary mass and atmosphere, radio waves emitted from Jupiter, thermal radiation, internal structure of Jupiter, and the possibility of life on Jupiter are discussed. Educational study projects are included

  11. Jupiter and planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of Jupiter and Earth are discussed along with their atmospheres, the radiation belts around both planets, natural satellites, the evolution of life, and the Pioneer 10. Educational study projects are also included

  12. Scientific Value of a Saturn Atmospheric Probe Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon-Miller, A. A.; Lunine, J. I.; Atreya, S. K.; Spilker, T. R.; Coustenis, A.; Atkinson, D. H.

    2012-01-01

    Atmospheric entry probe mISSions to the giant planets can uniquely discriminate between competing theories of solar system formation and the origin and evolution of the giant planets and their atmospheres. This provides for important comparative studies of the gas and ice giants, and to provide a laboratory for studying the atmospheric chemistries, dynamics, and interiors of all the planets including Earth. The giant planets also represent a valuable link to extrasolar planetary systems. As outlined in the recent Planetary Decadal Survey, a Saturn Probe mission - with a shallow probe - ranks as a high priority for a New Frontiers class mission [1].

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Moriarty, John C.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Omohundro, Mark R.; Winarski, Troy; Goodman, Samuel Jon; Jebson, Tony; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Paterson, David A.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    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.

  14. The planet Mercury (1971)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    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.

  15. Human Outer Solar System Exploration via Q-Thruster Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joosten, B. Kent; White, Harold G.

    2014-01-01

    Propulsion technology development efforts at the NASA Johnson Space Center continue to advance the understanding of the quantum vacuum plasma thruster (QThruster), a form of electric propulsion. Through the use of electric and magnetic fields, a Q-thruster pushes quantum particles (electrons/positrons) in one direction, while the Qthruster recoils to conserve momentum. This principle is similar to how a submarine uses its propeller to push water in one direction, while the submarine recoils to conserve momentum. Based on laboratory results, it appears that continuous specific thrust levels of 0.4 - 4.0 N/kWe are achievable with essentially no onboard propellant consumption. To evaluate the potential of this technology, a mission analysis tool was developed utilizing the Generalized Reduced Gradient non-linear parameter optimization engine contained in the Microsoft Excel® platform. This tool allowed very rapid assessments of "Q-Ship" minimum time transfers from earth to the outer planets and back utilizing parametric variations in thrust acceleration while enforcing constraints on planetary phase angles and minimum heliocentric distances. A conservative Q-Thruster specific thrust assumption (0.4 N/kWe) combined with "moderate" levels of space nuclear power (1 - 2 MWe) and vehicle specific mass (45 - 55 kg/kWe) results in continuous milli-g thrust acceleration, opening up realms of human spaceflight performance completely unattainable by any current systems or near-term proposed technologies. Minimum flight times to Mars are predicted to be as low as 75 days, but perhaps more importantly new "retro-phase" and "gravity-augmented" trajectory shaping techniques were revealed which overcome adverse planetary phasing and allow virtually unrestricted departure and return opportunities. Even more impressively, the Jovian and Saturnian systems would be opened up to human exploration with round-trip times of 21 and 32 months respectively including 6 to 12 months of

  16. Small space reactor power systems for unmanned solar system exploration missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bloomfield, H.S.

    1987-12-01

    A preliminary feasibility study of the application of small nuclear reactor space power systems to the Mariner Mark II Cassini spacecraft/mission was conducted. The purpose of the study was to identify and assess the technology and performance issues associated with the reactor power system/spacecraft/mission integration. The Cassini mission was selected because study of the Saturn system was identified as a high priority outer planet exploration objective. Reactor power systems applied to this mission were evaluated for two different uses. First, a very small 1 kWe reactor power system was used as an RTG replacement for the nominal spacecraft mission science payload power requirements while still retaining the spacecraft's usual bipropellant chemical propulsion system. The second use of reactor power involved the additional replacement of the chemical propulsion system with a small reactor power system and an electric propulsion system. The study also provides an examination of potential applications for the additional power available for scientific data collection. The reactor power system characteristics utilized in the study were based on a parametric mass model that was developed specifically for these low power applications. The model was generated following a neutronic safety and operational feasibility assessment of six small reactor concepts solicited from U.S. industry. This assessment provided the validation of reactor safety for all mission phases and generatad the reactor mass and dimensional data needed for the system mass model

  17. Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data represents geographic terms used within the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA or Act). The Act defines the United States outer continental shelf...

  18. A Direct Path to Finding Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heap, Sara R.; Linder, Don J.

    2009-01-01

    As envisaged by the 2000 astrophysics decadal survey panel: The main goal of Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is nothing less than to search for evidence of life on terrestrial planets around nearby stars . Here, we consider how an optical telescope paired with a free-flying occulter blocking light from the star can reach this goal directly, without knowledge of results from prior astrometric, doppler, or transit exoplanet observations. Using design reference missions and other simulations, we explore the potential of TPF-O to find planets in the habitable zone around their central stars, to spectrally characterize the atmospheres of detected planets, and to obtain rudimentary information about their orbits. We emphasize the importance of ozone absorption in the UV spectrum of a planet as a marker of photosynthesis by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

  19. Extrasolar Planets: Towards Comparative Planetology beyond the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A. H.

    2012-09-01

    Today Scenario planet logy is a very important concept because now days the scientific research finding new and new planets and our work's range becoming too long. In the previous study shows about 10-12 years the research of planet logy now has changed . Few years ago we was talking about Sun planet, Earth planet , Moon ,Mars Jupiter & Venus etc. included but now the time has totally changed the recent studies showed that mono lakes California find the arsenic food use by micro organism that show that our study is very tiny as compare to planet long areas .We have very well known that arsenic is the toxic agent's and the toxic agent's present in the lakes and micro organism developing and life going on it's a unbelievable point for us but nature always play a magical games. In few years ago Aliens was the story no one believe the Aliens origin but now the aliens showed catch by our space craft and shuttle and every one believe that Aliens origin but at the moment's I would like to mention one point's that we have too more work required because our planet logy has a vast field. Most of the time our scientific mission shows that this planet found liquid oxygen ,this planet found hydrogen .I would like to clear that point's that all planet logy depend in to the chemical and these chemical gave the indication of the life but we are not abele to developed the adaptation according to the micro organism . Planet logy compare before study shows that Sun it's a combination of the various gases combination surrounded in a round form and now the central Sun Planets ,moons ,comets and asteroids In other word we can say that Or Sun has a wide range of the physical and Chemical properties in the after the development we can say that all chemical and physical property engaged with a certain environment and form a various contains like asteroids, moon, Comets etc. Few studies shows that other planet life affected to the out living planet .We can assure with the example the life

  20. Extrasolar binary planets. I. Formation by tidal capture during planet-planet scattering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochiai, H.; Nagasawa, M.; Ida, S.

    2014-01-01

    We have investigated (1) the formation of gravitationally bounded pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call 'binary planets') from capturing each other through planet-planet dynamical tide during their close encounters and (2) the subsequent long-term orbital evolution due to planet-planet and planet-star quasi-static tides. For the initial evolution in phase 1, we carried out N-body simulations of the systems consisting of three Jupiter-mass planets taking into account the dynamical tide. The formation rate of the binary planets is as much as 10% of the systems that undergo orbital crossing, and this fraction is almost independent of the initial stellarcentric semimajor axes of the planets, while ejection and merging rates sensitively depend on the semimajor axes. As a result of circularization by the planet-planet dynamical tide, typical binary separations are a few times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. After the orbital circularization, the evolution of the binary system is governed by long-term quasi-static tide. We analytically calculated the quasi-static tidal evolution in phase 2. The binary planets first enter the spin-orbit synchronous state by the planet-planet tide. The planet-star tide removes angular momentum of the binary motion, eventually resulting in a collision between the planets. However, we found that the binary planets survive the tidal decay for the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars (∼10 Gyr), if the binary planets are beyond ∼0.3 AU from the central stars. These results suggest that the binary planets can be detected by transit observations at ≳ 0.3 AU.

  1. Planets in a Room

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

    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.

  2. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION FROM AN ANNULUS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walsh, Kevin J.; Levison, Harold F., E-mail: kwalsh@boulder.swri.edu [Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut St. Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)

    2016-09-01

    It has been shown that some aspects of the terrestrial planets can be explained, particularly the Earth/Mars mass ratio, when they form from a truncated disk with an outer edge near 1.0 au. This has been previously modeled starting from an intermediate stage of growth utilizing pre-formed planetary embryos. We present simulations that were designed to test this idea by following the growth process from km-sized objects located between 0.7 and 1.0 au up to terrestrial planets. The simulations explore initial conditions where the solids in the disk are planetesimals with radii initially between 3 and 300 km, alternately including effects from a dissipating gaseous solar nebula and collisional fragmentation. We use a new Lagrangian code known as LIPAD, which is a particle-based code that models the fragmentation, accretion, and dynamical evolution of a large number of planetesimals, and can model the entire growth process from km-sizes up to planets. A suite of large (∼ Mars mass) planetary embryos is complete in only ∼1 Myr, containing most of the system mass. A quiescent period then persists for 10–20 Myr characterized by slow diffusion of the orbits and continued accretion of the remaining planetesimals. This is interrupted by an instability that leads to embryos crossing orbits and embryo–embryo impacts that eventually produce the final set of planets. While this evolution is different than that found in other works exploring an annulus, the final planetary systems are similar, with roughly the correct number of planets and good Mars-analogs.

  3. 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.

    2012-01-01

    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...

  4. Management of outer space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perek, Lubos

    1993-10-01

    Various aspects of space-environment management are discussed. Attention is called to the fact that, while space radio communications are already under an adequate management by the International Communications Union, the use of nuclear power sources is regulated by the recently adopted set of principles, and space debris will be discussed in the near future at the UN COPUOS, other aspects of management of outer space received little or no attention of the international community. These include the competency of crews and technical equipment of spacecraft launched by newcomers to space exploration; monitoring of locations and motions of space objects (now in national hands), with relevant data made accessible through a computer network; and the requirement to use space only for beneficial purposes and not for promoting narrow and debatable interests damaging the outer space environment and impeding on astronomical observations. It is suggested that some of these tasks would be best performed by an international space agency within the UN system of organizations.

  5. Nuclear Electric Propulsion mission engineering study covering the period April 1971 to January 1973. Volume II. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1973-03-01

    The results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are summarized. Critical technologies assessed are associated with the development of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and the impact of its availability on future space programs. Specific areas of investigation include outer planet and comet rendezvous mission analysis, NEP Stage design for geocentric and interplanetary missions NEP system development cost and unit costs, and technology requirements for NEP Stage development. A multi-mission NEP Stage can be developed to perform both multiple geocentric and interplanetary missions. Development program costs for a 1983 launch would be of the order of $275 M, including hardware and reactor development, flight system hardware, and mission support. Recurring unit costs for flight NEP systems would be of the order of $25 M for a 120kWe NEP Stage. Identified pacing NEP technology requirements are the development of 20,000 full power hour ion thrusters and thermionic reactor, and the development of related power conditioning. The resulting NEP Stage design provides both inherent reliability and high payload mass capability. High payload mass capability can be translated into both low payload cost and high payload reliability. NEP Stage and payload integration is compatible with the Space Shuttle

  6. Recipes for planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Michael R.

    2009-11-01

    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.

  7. Finding A Planet Through the Dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-05-01

    fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a team of scientists now presents preliminary results from a near-infrared microlensing survey conducted with the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii. Though the full study has not yet been published, the team reports on their first outcome: the detection of a giant planet in the galactic bulge.Giant Planet FoundThe light curve of UKIRT-2017-BLG-001. The inset shows a close-up of the anomaly in the curve, produced by the presence of the planet. [Shvartzvald et al. 2018]UKIRT-2017-BLG-001 is a giant planet detected at an angle of just 0.35 from the dusty, crowded Galactic center. It suffers from a high degree of extinction, implying that this planet could only have been detected via a near-infrared survey. The mass ratio of UKIRT-2017-BLG-001 to its host star is about 1.5 times that of Jupiter to the Sun, and its host star appears to be about 80% the mass of the Sun.The starplanet pair is roughly 20,500 light-years from us, which likely places it in the galactic bulge. Intriguingly, evidence suggests that the source star the star that the foreground starplanet lensed lies in the far galactic disk. If this is true, this would be the first source star of a microlensing event to be identified as belonging to the far disk.Artists impression of the WFIRST mission. [NASA]Looking AheadWhats next for microlensing exoplanet studies? The goal of the UKIRT near-infrared microlensing survey isnt just to discover planets its to characterize the exoplanet occurrence rates in different parts of the galaxy to inform future surveys.In particular, the UKIRT survey explored potential fields for the upcoming Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission, slated to launch in the mid-2020s. This powerful space telescope stands to vastly expand the reach of infrared microlensing detection, broadly surveying our galaxy for planets hiding in the dust.CitationY. Shvartzvald et al 2018 ApJL 857 L8. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aab71b

  8. Planetesimals and Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, John

    The first step in the standard model for planet formation is the growth of gravitationally bound bodies called ``planetesimals'' from dust grains in a protoplanetary disk. Currently, we do not know how planetesimals form, how long they take to form, or what their sizes and mechanical properties are. The goal of this proposal is to assess how these uncertainties affect subsequent stages of planetary growth and the kind of planetary systems that form. The work will address three particular questions: (i) Can the properties of small body populations in the modern Solar System constrain the properties of planetesimals? (ii) How do the properties of planetesimals affect the formation of giant planets? (iii) How does the presence of a water ice condensation front (the ``snow line'') in a disk affect planetesimal formation and the later stages of planetary growth? These questions will be examined with computer simulations of planet formation using new computer codes to be developed as part of the proposal. The first question will be addressed using a statistical model for planetesimal coagulation and fragmentation. This code will be merged with the proposer's Mercury N-body integrator code to model the dynamics of large protoplanets in order to address the second question. Finally, a self- consistent model of disk evolution and the radial transport of water ice and vapour will be added to examine the third question. A theoretical understanding of how planets form is one of the key goals of NASA and the Origins of Solar Systems programme. Researchers have carried out many studies designed to address this goal, but the questions of how planetesimals form and how their properties affect planet formation have received relatively little attention. The proposed work will help address these unsolved questions, and place other research in context by assessing the importance of planetesimal origins and properties for planet formation.

  9. On the fates of minor bodies in the outer solar system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gladman, B.; Duncan, M.

    1990-01-01

    The equations of motion of roughly one thousand test particles in the outer solar system for up to 22.5 million years have been integrated. The test particles are placed on initially circular orbits about the sun and feel the gravitational influence of the sun and four (or in some cases two) of the giant planets. The initial conditions of the planets are obtained from their current orbital elements, and their mutual gravitational interactions are fully included. Test particles that undergo a close approach to a planet are removed from the integration. Interior to Jupiter the creation of gaps in the test-particle semimajor-axis distribution appears to be associated with resonances in the outer asteroid belt. Exterior to Neptune there is a dynamical erosion of the region just beyond the giant planets (i.e., at the inner edge of the Kuiper belt). The majority of the test particles between the giant planets are perturbed to a close approach to a planet on timescales of millions of years. These results suggest that there are very few initially circular orbits between the giant planets that are stable against a close approach to a planet over the lifetime of the solar system. 45 refs

  10. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macintosh, Bruce

    accurate and calibrated recovery of exoplanet spectra. We will produce a complete archive of all reduced GPI data products (supplementing the existing Gemini archive of raw data) for use by our collaboration, and release that archive to the public on an 18-month cycle. Most importantly, we will execute the GPI observations, initially through classical telescope visits, transitioning to remote and queue modes as our techniques are refined. As the first direct-imaging planet search with statistical depth comparable to Doppler planet detection and the first to probe into the snow line, the GPI Exoplanet Survey will provide strong constraints on paradigms for planet formation, completing the picture of the giant planet distribution throughout other solar systems, and also illuminating its evolution with stellar age and mass. We will deliver a catalog of detected exoplanets— the principal legacy of this campaign—released for follow-up by the astronomical community within 18 months of observation, as well as searchable archive of fully reduced images and detection limits for all stars surveyed. For each detected planet, we will produce estimated effective temperatures, luminosities, and semi-major axes: for a subset, high-SNR fiducial spectra, orbital eccentricities, and dynamical characterization through polarimetric imaging of attendant debris disks. GPI will complete final acceptance testing this month (May 2013) and is now ready to ship to Chile for first light in September 2013. The GPI survey will provide the best-yet 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.

  11. SIM PlanetQuest: The TOM-3 (Thermo-Optical-Mechanical) Siderostat Mirror Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Charles J.

    2006-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) PlanetQuest mission. It describes the mission, shows diagrams of the instrument, the collector bays, the Siderostat mirrors, the COL bay thermal environment, the TOM-3 replicating COL Bay Environment, the thermal hardware for the SID heater control, and the results of the test are shown

  12. FORMING HABITABLE PLANETS AROUND DWARF STARS: APPLICATION TO OGLE-06-109L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Su; Zhou Jilin

    2011-01-01

    Dwarf stars are believed to have a small protostar disk where planets may grow up. During the planet formation stage, embryos undergoing type I migration are expected to be stalled at an inner edge of the magnetically inactive disk (a crit ∼ 0.2-0.3 AU). This mechanism makes the location around a crit a 'sweet spot' for forming planets. In dwarf stars with masses ∼0.5 M sun , a crit is roughly inside the habitable zone of the system. In this paper, we study the formation of habitable planets due to this mechanism using model system OGLE-06-109L, which has a 0.51 M sun dwarf star with two giant planets in 2.3 and 4.6 AU observed by microlensing. We model the embryos undergoing type I migration in the gas disk with a constant disk-accretion rate ( M-dot ). Giant planets in outside orbits affect the formation of habitable planets through secular perturbations at the early stage and secular resonance at the late stage. We find that the existence and the masses of the habitable planets in the OGLE-06-109L system depend on both M-dot and the speed of type I migration. If planets are formed earlier, so that M-dot is larger (∼10 -7 M sun yr -1 ), terrestrial planets cannot survive unless the type I migration rate is an order of magnitude less. If planets are formed later, so that M-dot is smaller (∼10 -8 M sun yr -1 ), single and high-mass terrestrial planets with high water contents (∼5%) will be formed by inward migration of outer planet cores. A slower-speed migration will result in several planets via collisions of embryos, and thus their water contents will be low (∼2%). Mean motion resonances or apsidal resonances among planets may be observed if multiple planets survive in the inner system.

  13. Outer atmospheric research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, J.L.

    1988-01-01

    The region above the earth from about 90 km to 150 km is a major part of the upper or outer atmosphere. It is relatively unexplored, being too high for balloons or aircraft and too low for persistent orbiting spacecraft. However, the concept of a tethered subsatellite, deployed downward from an orbiting, more massive craft such as the Space Shuttle, opens the possibility of a research capability that could provide global mapping of this region. The need for research in this thick spherical shell above the earth falls into two major categories: (1) scientific data for understanding and modeling the global atmosphere and thereby determining its role in the earth system, and (2) engineering data for the design of future aerospace vehicles that will operate there. This paper presents an overview and synthesis of the currently perceived research needs and the state-of-the-art of the proposed tethered research capability. 16 references

  14. Protected urban planet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pereira Roders, A.R.; Veldpaus, L.; Verbruggen, R.C.

    2012-01-01

    PUP, abbreviation to Protected Urban Planet, is the first tool developed for visualizing, mapping and contributing to information exchange on the evolution of protected urban areas worldwide. Besides locating them, it also provides communities with means to disseminate and raise awareness for their

  15. Life in other planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, S.N.

    1977-01-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high temperature fusion reactions taking place in it, is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection etc. are briefly touched upon. (K.B.)

  16. Life in other planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghosh, S N [Calcutta Univ. (India). Dept. of Applied Physics

    1977-12-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high-temperature fusion reactions taking place in it is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection, etc., are briefly touched upon.

  17. Measuring Precise Radii of Giants Orbiting Giants to Distinguish Between Planet Evolution Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunblatt, Samuel; Huber, Daniel; Lopez, Eric; Gaidos, Eric; Livingston, John

    2017-10-01

    Despite more than twenty years since the initial discovery of highly irradiated gas giant planets, the mechanism for planet inflation remains unknown. However, proposed planet inflation mechanisms can now be separated into two general classes: those which allow for post-main sequence planet inflation by direct irradiation from the host star, and those which only allow for slowed cooling of the planet over its lifetime. The recent discovery of two inflated warm Jupiters orbiting red giant stars with the NASA K2 Mission allows distinction between these two classes, but uncertainty in the planet radius blurs this distinction. Observing transits of these planets with the Spitzer Space Telescope would reduce stellar variability and thus planet radius uncertainties by approximately 50% relative to K2, allowing distinction between the two planet inflation model classes at a 3-sigma level. We propose to observe one transit of both known warm Jupiters orbiting red giant stars, K2-97b and EPIC228754001.01, to distinguish between planet model inflation classes and measure the planetary heating efficiency to 3-sigma precision. These systems are benchmarks for the upcoming NASA TESS Mission, which is predicted to discover an order of magnitude more red giant planet systems after launching next year.

  18. Radioactivity of the moon, planets, and meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1977-01-01

    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.

  19. Planets in Binary Star Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Haghighipour, Nader

    2010-01-01

    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...

  20. Classifying Planets: Nature vs. Nurture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beichman, Charles A.

    2009-05-01

    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.

  1. Vacuum Outer-Gap Structure in Pulsar Outer Magnetospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gui-Fang, Lin; Li, Zhang

    2009-01-01

    We study the vacuum outer-gap structure in the outer magnetosphere of rotation-powered pulsars by considering the limit of trans-field height through a pair production process. In this case, the trans-field height is limited by the photon-photon pair production process and the outer boundary of the outer gap can be extended outside the light cylinder. By solving self-consistently the Poisson equation for electrical potential and the Boltzmann equations of electrons/positrons and γ-rays in a vacuum outer gap for the parameters of Vela pulsar, we obtain an approximate geometry of the outer gap, i.e. the trans-field height is limited by the pair-production process and increases with the radial distance to the star and the width of the outer gap starts at the inner boundary (near the null charge surface) and ends at the outer boundary which locates inside or outside the light cylinder depending on the inclination angle. (geophysics, astronomy, and astrophysics)

  2. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Samuel J.

    2011-01-01

    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.…

  3. Two Earth-sized planets orbiting Kepler-20.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Rowe, Jason F; Charbonneau, David; Rogers, Leslie A; Ballard, Sarah; Batalha, Natalie M; Borucki, William J; Bryson, Stephen T; Buchhave, Lars A; Ciardi, David R; Désert, Jean-Michel; Dressing, Courtney D; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Gautier, Thomas N; Henze, Christopher E; Holman, Matthew J; Howard, Andrew; Howell, Steve B; Jenkins, Jon M; Koch, David G; Latham, David W; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Sasselov, Dimitar D; Seager, Sara; Barclay, Thomas; Mullally, Fergal; Seader, Shawn E; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D; Thompson, Susan E; Uddin, Kamal

    2011-12-20

    Since the discovery of the first extrasolar giant planets around Sun-like stars, evolving observational capabilities have brought us closer to the detection of true Earth analogues. The size of an exoplanet can be determined when it periodically passes in front of (transits) its parent star, causing a decrease in starlight proportional to its radius. The smallest exoplanet hitherto discovered has a radius 1.42 times that of the Earth's radius (R(⊕)), and hence has 2.9 times its volume. Here we report the discovery of two planets, one Earth-sized (1.03R(⊕)) and the other smaller than the Earth (0.87R(⊕)), orbiting the star Kepler-20, which is already known to host three other, larger, transiting planets. The gravitational pull of the new planets on the parent star is too small to measure with current instrumentation. We apply a statistical method to show that the likelihood of the planetary interpretation of the transit signals is more than three orders of magnitude larger than that of the alternative hypothesis that the signals result from an eclipsing binary star. Theoretical considerations imply that these planets are rocky, with a composition of iron and silicate. The outer planet could have developed a thick water vapour atmosphere.

  4. ALMOST ALL OF KEPLER'S MULTIPLE-PLANET CANDIDATES ARE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kinemuchi, Karen; Koch, David G.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Adams, Elisabeth; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C.; Gilliland, Ronald L.

    2012-01-01

    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 detectable planets tend to come in systems and/or if the orbital planes of planets encircling the same star are correlated. There are more than one hundred times as many Kepler planet candidates in multi-candidate systems as would be predicted from a random distribution of candidates, implying that the vast majority are true planets. Most of these multis are multiple-planet systems orbiting the Kepler target star, but there are likely cases where (1) the planetary system orbits a fainter star, and the planets are thus significantly larger than has been estimated, or (2) the planets orbit different stars within a binary/multiple star system. We use the low overall false-positive rate among Kepler multis, together with analysis of Kepler spacecraft and ground-based data, to validate the closely packed Kepler-33 planetary system, which orbits a star that has evolved somewhat off of the main sequence. Kepler-33 hosts five transiting planets, with periods ranging from 5.67 to 41 days.

  5. Cost-Effective Icy Bodies Exploration using Small Satellite Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsson, Jonas; Mauro, David; Stupl, Jan; Nayak, Michael; Aziz, Jonathan; Cohen, Aaron; Colaprete, Anthony; Dono-Perez, Andres; Frost, Chad; Klamm, Benjamin; hide

    2015-01-01

    It has long been known that Saturn's moon Enceladus is expelling water-rich plumes into space, providing passing spacecraft with a window into what is hidden underneath its frozen crust. Recent discoveries indicate that similar events could also occur on other bodies in the solar system, such as Jupiter's moon Europa and the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt. These plumes provide a possible giant leap forward in the search for organics and assessing habitability beyond Earth, stepping stones toward the long-term goal of finding extraterrestrial life. The United States Congress recently requested mission designs to Europa, to fit within a cost cap of $1B, much less than previous mission designs' estimates. Here, innovative cost-effective small spacecraft designs for the deep-space exploration of these icy worlds, using new and emerging enabling technologies, and how to explore the outer solar system on a budget below the cost horizon of a flagship mission, are investigated. Science requirements, instruments selection, rendezvous trajectories, and spacecraft designs are some topics detailed. The mission concepts revolve around a comparably small-sized and low-cost Plume Chaser spacecraft, instrumented to characterize the vapor constituents encountered on its trajectory. In the event that a plume is not encountered, an ejecta plume can be artificially created by a companion spacecraft, the Plume Maker, on the target body at a location timed with the passage of the Plume Chaser spacecraft. Especially in the case of Ceres, such a mission could be a great complimentary mission to Dawn, as well as a possible future Europa Clipper mission. The comparably small volume of the spacecraft enables a launch to GTO as a secondary payload, providing multiple launch opportunities per year. Plume Maker's design is nearly identical to the Plume Chaser, and fits within the constraints for a secondary payload launch. The cost-effectiveness of small spacecraft missions enables the

  6. A new planetary mapping for future space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karachevtseva, Irina; Kokhanov, Alexander; Rodionova, Janna; Zubarev, Anatoliy; Nadezhdina, Irina; Kreslavsky, Mikhail; Oberst, Jürgen

    2015-04-01

    The wide studies of Solar system, including different planetary bodies, were announced by new Russian space program. Their geodesy and cartography support provides by MIIGAiK Extraterrestrial Laboratory (http://mexlab.miigaik.ru/eng) in frames of the new project "Studies of Fundamental Geodetic Parameters and Topography of Planets and Satellites". The objects of study are satellites of the outer planets (satellites of Jupiter - Europa, Calisto and Ganymede; Saturnine satellite Enceladus), some planets (Mercury and Mars) and the satellites of the terrestrial planets - Phobos (Mars) and the Moon (Earth). The new research project, which started in 2014, will address the following important scientific and practical tasks: - Creating new three-dimensional geodetic control point networks of satellites of the outer planets using innovative photogrammetry techniques; - Determination of fundamental geodetic parameters and study size, shape, and spin parameters and to create the basic framework for research of their surfaces; - Studies of relief of planetary bodies and comparative analysis of general surface characteristics of the Moon, Mars, and Mercury, as well as studies of morphometric parameters of volcanic formations on the Moon and Mars; - Modeling of meteoritic bombardment of celestial bodies and the study of the dynamics of particle emissions caused by a meteorite impacts; - Development of geodatabase for studies of planetary bodies, including creation of object catalogues, (craters and volcanic forms, etc.), and thematic mapping using GIS technology. The significance of the project is defined both by necessity of obtaining fundamental characteristics of the Solar System bodies, and practical tasks in preparation for future Russian and international space missions to the Jupiter system (Laplace-P and JUICE), the Moon (Luna-Glob and Luna-Resource), Mars (Exo-Mars), Mercury (Bepi-Colombo), and possible mission to Phobos (project Boomerang). For cartographic support of

  7. Nuclear Electric Propulsion mission engineering study covering the period April 1971 to January 1973. Volume I. Executive summary. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1973-03-01

    The results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are presented. Critical technologies assessed are associated with the development of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and the impact of its availability on future space programs. Specific areas of investigation include outer planet and comet rendezvous mission analysis, NEP Stage design for geocentric and interplanetary missions, NEP system development cost and unit costs, and technology requirements for NEP Stage development. A multimission NEP Stage can be developed to perform both multiple geocentric and interplanetary missions. Development program costs for a 1983 launch would be of the order of $275 M, including hardware and reactor development, flight system hardware, and mission support. Recurring unit costs for flight NEP systems would be of the order of $25 M for a 120 kWe NEP Stage. Identified pacing NEP technology requirements are the development of 20,000 full power hour ion thrusters and thermionic reactor, and the development of related power conditioning. The resulting NEP Stage design provides both inherent reliability and high payload mass capability. High payload mass capability can be translated into both low payload cost and high payload reliability. NEP Stage and payload integration is compatible with the Space Shuttle

  8. Over 100 Validated and Candidate Planets Orbiting Bright Stars in K2 Campaigns 0-10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, Andrew; Vanderburg, Andrew; Latham, David; Bieryla, Allyson; Morton, Timothy

    2018-01-01

    Since 2014, NASA's K2 mission has observed large portions of the ecliptic plane in search of transiting planets and has detected hundreds of planet candidates. With observations planned until at least early 2018, K2 will continue to identify more planet candidates. We present here over 250 planet candidates observed during Campaigns 0-10 of the K2 mission that are orbiting stars brighter than 13th magnitude and for which we have obtained high-resolution spectra. We analyze these candidates using the VESPA package in order to calculate the false positive probability (FPP), and find that more than half are validated with a FPP less than 0.1%. We show that like the population of planets found during the original Kepler mission, large planets discovered by K2 tend to orbit metal-rich stars. We also show tentative evidence of a gap in the planet radius distribution. We compare our sample to the Kepler candidate sample investigated by Fulton and collaborators and conclude that more planets are required to confirm the gap. This work, in addition to increasing the population of validated K2 planets and providing new targets for follow-up observations, will also serve as a framework for validating candidates from upcoming K2 campaigns and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), expected to launch in 2018.

  9. New worlds on the horizon: Earth-sized planets close to other stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, Eric; Haghighipour, Nader; Agol, Eric; Latham, David; Raymond, Sean; Rayner, John

    2007-10-12

    The search for habitable planets like Earth around other stars fulfills an ancient imperative to understand our origins and place in the cosmos. The past decade has seen the discovery of hundreds of planets, but nearly all are gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn. Recent advances in instrumentation and new missions are extending searches to planets the size of Earth but closer to their host stars. There are several possible ways such planets could form, and future observations will soon test those theories. Many of these planets we discover may be quite unlike Earth in their surface temperature and composition, but their study will nonetheless inform us about the process of planet formation and the frequency of Earth-like planets around other stars.

  10. Planets in Inuit Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, John

    2018-02-01

    phenomenon of the "polar night." For several reasons, the role of planets in Inuit astronomy is difficult to determine, due, in part, to the characteristics of the planets themselves. Naked-eye differentiation between the major visible planets is by no means straightforward, and for observers living north of the Arctic Circle, the continuous or semicontinuous periods of daylight/twilight obtaining throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall effectively prevent year-round viewing of the night sky, making much planetary movement unobservable, far less an appreciation of the planets' predictable synodic and sidereal periods. Mitigating against the significant use of planets in Inuit culture is also the principle that their applied astronomy, along with its cosmology and mythologies depend principally on—apart from the sun and the moon—the predictability of the "fixed stars." Inuit of course did see the major planets and took note of them when they moved through their familiar asterisms or appeared, irregularly, as markers of solstice, or harbingers of daylight after winter's dark. Generally, however, planets seem to have been little regarded until after the introduction of Christianity, when, in parts of the Canadian eastern Arctic, Venus, in particular, became associated with Christmas. While there are anecdotal accounts that some of the planets, again especially Venus, may have had a place in Greenlandic mythology, this assertion is far from certain. Furthermore, reports from Alaska and Greenland suggesting that the appearance of Venus was a regular marker of the new year, or a predictor of sun's return, need qualification, given the apparent irregularity of Venus's appearances above the horizon. A survey of relevant literature, including oral history, pertaining either directly or peripherally to Inuit astronomical traditions, reveals few bona fide mention of planets. References to planets in Inuit mythology and astronomy are usually speculative, typically lacking

  11. Planet Hunters 2 in the K2 Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Fischer, Debra; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Ishikawa, Sascha; Lintott, Chris; Lynn, Stuart; Schmitt, Joseph; Snyder, Chris; Wang, Ji; Barclay, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org) is an online citizen science project enlisting hundreds of thousands of people to search for planet transits in the publicly released Kepler data. Volunteers mark the locations of visible transits in a web interface, with multiple independent classifiers reviewing a randomly selected ~30-day light curve segment. In September 2014, Planet Hunters entered a new phase. The project was relaunched with a brand new online classification interface and discussion tool built using the Zooniverse's (http://www.zooniverse.org) latest technology and web platform. The website has been optimized for the rapid discovery and identification of planet candidates in the light curves from K2, the two-wheeled ecliptic plane Kepler mission. We will give an overview of the new Planet Hunters classification interface and Round 2 review system in context of the K2 data. We will present the first results from the Planet Hunters 2 search of K2 Campaigns 0 and 1 including a summary of new planet candidates.

  12. The carbon budget in the outer solar nebula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonelli, D P; Pollack, J B; McKay, C P; Reynolds, R T; Summers, A L

    1989-01-01

    Detailed models of the internal structures of Pluto and Charon, assuming rock and water ice as the only constituents, indicate that the mean silicate mass fraction of this two-body system is on the order of 0.7; thus the Pluto/Charon system is significantly "rockier" than the satellites of the giant planets (silicate mass fraction approximately 0.55). This compositional contrast reflects different formation mechanisms: it is likely that Pluto and Charon formed directly from the solar nebula, while the circumplanetary nebulae that produced the giant planet satellites were derived from envelopes that surrounded the forming giant planets (envelopes in which icy planetesimals dissolved more readily than rocky planetesimals). Simple cosmic abundance calculations, and the assumption that the Pluto/Charon system formed directly from solar nebula condensates, strongly suggest that the majority of the carbon in the outer solar nebula was in the form of carbon monoxide; these results are consistent with (1) inheritance from the dense molecular clouds in the interstellar medium (where CH4/CO nebula chemistry. Theoretical predictions of the C/H enhancements in the atmospheres of the giant planets, when compared to the actual observed enhancements, suggest that 10%, or slightly more, of the carbon in the outer solar nebula was in the form of condensed materials (although the amount of condensed C may have dropped slightly with increasing heliocentric distance). Strict compositional limits computed for the Pluto/Charon system using the densities of CH4 and CO ices indicate that these pure ices are at best minor components in the interiors of these bodies, and imply that CH4 and CO ices were not the dominant C-bearing solids in the outer nebula. Clathrate-hydrates could not have appropriated enough CH4 or CO to be the major form of condensed carbon, although such clathrates may be necessary to explain the presence of methane on Pluto after its formation from a CO-rich nebula

  13. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-03

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-11-01

    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. Gas mission; Mission gaz

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-07-01

    This preliminary report analyses the desirable evolutions of gas transport tariffing and examines some questions relative to the opening of competition on the French gas market. The report is made of two documents: a synthesis of the previous report with some recommendations about the tariffing of gas transport, about the modalities of network access to third parties, and about the dissociation between transport and trade book-keeping activities. The second document is the progress report about the opening of the French gas market. The first part presents the European problem of competition in the gas supply and its consequences on the opening and operation of the French gas market. The second part presents some partial syntheses about each topic of the mission letter of the Ministry of Economics, Finances and Industry: future evolution of network access tariffs, critical analysis of contractual documents for gas transport and delivery, examination of auxiliary services linked with the access to the network (modulation, balancing, conversion), consideration about the processing of network congestions and denied accesses, analysis of the metering dissociation between the integrated activities of gas operators. Some documents are attached in appendixes: the mission letter from July 9, 2001, the detailed analysis of the new temporary tariffs of GdF and CFM, the offer of methane terminals access to third parties, the compatibility of a nodal tariffing with the presence of three transport operators (GdF, CFM and GSO), the contract-type for GdF supply, and the contract-type for GdF connection. (J.S.)

  16. New Hubble Servicing Mission to upgrade instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-10-01

    The history of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is dominated by the familiar sharp images and amazing discoveries that have had an unprecedented scientific impact on our view of the world and our understanding of the universe. Nevertheless, such important contributions to science and humankind have only been possible as result of regular upgrades and enhancements to Hubble’s instrumentation. Using the Space Shuttle for this fifth Servicing Mission underlines the important role that astronauts have played and continue to play in increasing the Space Telescope’s lifespan and scientific power. Since the loss of Columbia in 2003, the Shuttle has been successfully launched on three missions, confirming that improvements made to it have established the required high level of safety for the spacecraft and its crew. “There is never going to be an end to the science that we can do with a machine like Hubble”, says David Southwood, ESA’s Director of Science. “Hubble is our way of exploring our origins. Everyone should be proud that there is a European element to it and that we all are part of its success at some level.” This Servicing Mission will not just ensure that Hubble can function for perhaps as much as another ten years; it will also increase its capabilities significantly in key areas. This highly visible mission is expected to take place in 2008 and will feature several space walks. As part of the upgrade, two new scientific instruments will be installed: the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and Wide Field Camera 3. Each has advanced technology sensors that will dramatically improve Hubble’s potential for discovery and enable it to observe faint light from the youngest stars and galaxies in the universe. With such an astounding increase in its science capabilities, this orbital observatory will continue to penetrate the most distant regions of outer space and reveal breathtaking phenomena. “Today, Hubble is producing more science than ever before in

  17. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plávalová, Eva

    2012-04-01

    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.

  18. Kepler AutoRegressive Planet Search (KARPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caceres, Gabriel

    2018-01-01

    One of the main obstacles in detecting faint planetary transits is the intrinsic stellar variability of the host star. The Kepler AutoRegressive Planet Search (KARPS) project implements statistical methodology associated with autoregressive processes (in particular, ARIMA and ARFIMA) to model stellar lightcurves in order to improve exoplanet transit detection. We also develop a novel Transit Comb Filter (TCF) applied to the AR residuals which provides a periodogram analogous to the standard Box-fitting Least Squares (BLS) periodogram. We train a random forest classifier on known Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) using select features from different stages of this analysis, and then use ROC curves to define and calibrate the criteria to recover the KOI planet candidates with high fidelity. These statistical methods are detailed in a contributed poster (Feigelson et al., this meeting).These procedures are applied to the full DR25 dataset of NASA’s Kepler mission. Using the classification criteria, a vast majority of known KOIs are recovered and dozens of new KARPS Candidate Planets (KCPs) discovered, including ultra-short period exoplanets. The KCPs will be briefly presented and discussed.

  19. From Extrasolar Planets to Exo-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Debra

    2018-06-01

    The ancient Greeks debated whether the Earth was unique, or innumerable worlds existed around other Suns. Twenty five years ago, technology and human ingenuity enabled the discovery of the first extrasolar planet candidates. The architectures of these first systems, with gas giant planets in star-skirting orbits, were unexpected and again raised an echo of that ancient question: is the Earth typical or unique? We are interested in this seemingly anthropocentric question because with all of our searching and discoveries, Earth is the only place where life has been found. It is the question of whether life exists elsewhere that energizes the search for exoplanets. The trajectory of this field has been stunning. After a steady stream of detections with the radial velocity method, a burst of discovery was made possible with the NASA Kepler mission. While thousands of smaller planets have now been found, true Earth analogs have eluded robust detection. However, we are sharpening the knives of our technology and without a doubt we now stand at the threshold of detecting hundreds of Earth analogs. Using Gaia, TESS, WFIRST, JWST and new ground-based spectrographs, we will learn the names and addresses of the worlds that orbit nearby stars and we will be ready to probe their atmospheres. We will finally resolve the ancient question of whether life is unique or common.

  20. MITEE: A Compact Ultralight Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Engine for Planetary Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, J.; Maise, G.; Paniagua, J.

    2001-01-01

    A new approach for a near-term compact, ultralight nuclear thermal propulsion engine, termed MITEE (Miniature Reactor Engine) is described. MITEE enables a wide range of new and unique planetary science missions that are not possible with chemical rockets. With U-235 nuclear fuel and hydrogen propellant the baseline MITEE engine achieves a specific impulse of approximately 1000 seconds, a thrust of 28,000 newtons, and a total mass of only 140 kilograms, including reactor, controls, and turbo-pump. Using higher performance nuclear fuels like U-233, engine mass can be reduced to as little as 80 kg. Using MITEE, V additions of 20 km/s for missions to outer planets are possible compared to only 10 km/s for H2/O2 engines. The much greater V with MITEE enables much faster trips to the outer planets, e.g., two years to Jupiter, three years to Saturn, and five years to Pluto, without needing multiple planetary gravity assists. Moreover, MITEE can utilize in-situ resources to further extend mission V. One example of a very attractive, unique mission enabled by MITEE is the exploration of a possible subsurface ocean on Europa and the return of samples to Earth. Using MITEE, a spacecraft would land on Europa after a two-year trip from Earth orbit and deploy a small nuclear heated probe that would melt down through its ice sheet. The probe would then convert to a submersible and travel through the ocean collecting samples. After a few months, the probe would melt its way back up to the MITEE lander, which would have replenished its hydrogen propellant by melting and electrolyzing Europa surface ice. The spacecraft would then return to Earth. Total mission time is only five years, starting from departure from Earth orbit. Other unique missions include Neptune and Pluto orbiter, and even a Pluto sample return. MITEE uses the cermet Tungsten-UO2 fuel developed in the 1960's for the 710 reactor program. The W-UO2 fuel has demonstrated capability to operate in 3000 K hydrogen for

  1. Planet-planet scattering leads to tightly packed planetary systems

    OpenAIRE

    Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory; Veras, Dimitri; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel; Greenberg, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The known extrasolar multiple-planet systems share a surprising dynamical attribute: they cluster just beyond the Hill stability boundary. Here we show that the planet-planet scattering model, which naturally explains the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution, can reproduce the observed distribution of dynamical configurations. We calculated how each of our scattered systems would appear over an appropriate range of viewing geometries; as Hill stability is weakly dependent on the masse...

  2. STS-68 Mission Insignia

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    This STS-68 patch was designed by artist Sean Collins. Exploration of Earth from space is the focus of the design of the insignia, the second flight of the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-2). SRL-2 was part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) project. The world's land masses and oceans dominate the center field, with the Space Shuttle Endeavour circling the globe. The SRL-2 letters span the width and breadth of planet Earth, symbolizing worldwide coverage of the two prime experiments of STS-68: The Shuttle Imaging Radar-C and X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) instruments; and the Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites (MAPS) sensor. The red, blue, and black colors of the insignia represent the three operating wavelengths of SIR-C/X-SAR, and the gold band surrounding the globe symbolizes the atmospheric envelope examined by MAPS. The flags of international partners Germany and Italy are shown opposite Endeavour. The relationship of the Orbiter to Earth highlights the usefulness of human space flights in understanding Earth's environment, and the monitoring of its changing surface and atmosphere. In the words of the crew members, the soaring Orbiter also typifies the excellence of the NASA team in exploring our own world, using the tools which the Space Program developed to explore the other planets in the solar system.

  3. JUICE space mission to Jupiter

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva

    2018-01-01

    JUICE - JUpiter ICy moons Explorer - is the first large-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. Planned for launch in 2022 and arrival at Jupiter in 2029, it will spend at least three years making detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. JUICE will perform detailed investigations of Jupiter and its system in all their inter-relations and complexity with particular emphasis on Ganymede as a planetary body and potential habitat. Investigations of Europa and Callisto would complete a comparative picture of the Galilean moons. Jupiter is the archetype for the giant planets of the Solar System and for the numerous giant planets now known to orbit other stars. Moreover, Jupiter's diverse Galilean satellites - three of which are believed to harbour internal oceans - are central to understanding the habitability of icy worlds. JUICE spacecraft will carry the most powerful remote sensing, geophysical, and in situ paylo...

  4. Turbine airfoil with outer wall thickness indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marra, John J; James, Allister W; Merrill, Gary B

    2013-08-06

    A turbine airfoil usable in a turbine engine and including a depth indicator for determining outer wall blade thickness. The airfoil may include an outer wall having a plurality of grooves in the outer surface of the outer wall. The grooves may have a depth that represents a desired outer surface and wall thickness of the outer wall. The material forming an outer surface of the outer wall may be removed to be flush with an innermost point in each groove, thereby reducing the wall thickness and increasing efficiency. The plurality of grooves may be positioned in a radially outer region of the airfoil proximate to the tip.

  5. Solar system astrophysics planetary atmospheres and the outer solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Milone, Eugene F

    2008-01-01

    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...

  6. Survival of extrasolar giant planet moons in planet-planet scattering

    Science.gov (United States)

    CIAN HONG, YU; Lunine, Jonathan; Nicholson, Phillip; Raymond, Sean

    2015-12-01

    Planet-planet scattering is the best candidate mechanism for explaining the eccentricity distribution of exoplanets. Here we study the survival and dynamics of exomoons under strong perturbations during giant planet scattering. During close encounters, planets and moons exchange orbital angular momentum and energy. The most common outcomes are the destruction of moons by ejection from the system, collision with the planets and the star, and scattering of moons onto perturbed but still planet-bound orbits. A small percentage of interesting moons can remain bound to ejected (free-floating) planets or be captured by a different planet. Moons' survival rate is correlated with planet observables such as mass, semi-major axis, eccentricity and inclination, as well as the close encounter distance and the number of close encounters. In addition, moons' survival rate and dynamical outcomes are predetermined by the moons' initial semi-major axes. The survival rate drops quickly as moons' distances increase, but simulations predict a good chance of survival for the Galilean moons. Moons with different dynamical outcomes occupy different regions of orbital parameter space, which may enable the study of moons' past evolution. Potential effects of planet obliquity evolution caused by close encounters on the satellites’ stability and dynamics will be reported, as well as detailed and systematic studies of individual close encounter events.

  7. Stars and Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neta, Miguel

    2014-05-01

    '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 www.miguelneta.pt/estrelaseplanetas. 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 (www.casadasciencias.org).

  8. The ocean planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichsen, D

    1998-01-01

    The Blue Planet is 70% water, and all but 3% of it is salt water. Life on earth first evolved in the primordial soup of ancient seas, and though today's seas provide 99% of all living space on the planet, little is known about the world's oceans. However, the fact that the greatest threats to the integrity of our oceans come from land-based activities is becoming clear. Humankind is in the process of annihilating the coastal and ocean ecosystems and the wealth of biodiversity they harbor. Mounting population and development pressures have taken a grim toll on coastal and ocean resources. The trend arising from such growth is the chronic overexploitation of marine resources, whereby rapidly expanding coastal populations and the growth of cities have contributed to a rising tide of pollution in nearly all of the world's seas. This crisis is made worse by government inaction and a frustrating inability to enforce existing coastal and ocean management regulations. Such inability is mainly because concerned areas contain so many different types of regulations and involve so many levels of government, that rational planning and coordination of efforts are rendered impossible. Concerted efforts are needed by national governments and the international community to start preserving the ultimate source of all life on earth.

  9. Constitution of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waenke, H.

    1981-01-01

    Reliable estimates of the bulk composition are restricted to the Earth, the Moon and the eucrite parent asteroid. The last, the parent body of the eucrite-diogenite family of meteorites, seems to have an almost chondritic composition except for a considerable depletion of all moderately volatile (Na, K, Rb, F, etc.) and highly volatile (Cl, Br, Cd, Pb, etc.) elements. The moon is also depleted in moderate volatile and volatile elements compared to carbonaceous chondrites of type 1 (C1) and to the Earth. Again normalized to C1 and Si the Earth's mantle and the Moon are slightly enriched in refractory lithophile elements and in magnesium. The striking depletion of the Earth's mantle for the elements V, Cr and Mn can be explained by their partial removal into the core. Apart from their contents of metallic iron, all siderophile elements, moderately volatile and volatile elements, Earth and Moon are chemically very similar. It might well be that, with these exceptions and that of a varying degree of oxidation, all the inner planets have a similar chemistry. The chemical composition of the Earth's mantle, yields important information about the accretion history of the Earth and that of the inner planets. (author)

  10. ON THE SURVIVABILITY AND METAMORPHISM OF TIDALLY DISRUPTED GIANT PLANETS: THE ROLE OF DENSE CORES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Shang-Fei; Lin, Douglas N. C. [Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Department of Astronomy, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Guillochon, James; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico, E-mail: liushangfei@pku.edu.cn [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)

    2013-01-01

    A large population of planetary candidates in short-period orbits have been found recently through transit searches, mostly with the Kepler mission. Radial velocity surveys have also revealed several Jupiter-mass planets with highly eccentric orbits. Measurements of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect indicate that the orbital angular momentum vector of some planets is inclined relative to the spin axis of their host stars. This diversity could be induced by post-formation dynamical processes such as planet-planet scattering, the Kozai effect, or secular chaos which brings planets to the vicinity of their host stars. In this work, we propose a novel mechanism to form close-in super-Earths and Neptune-like planets through the tidal disruption of gas giant planets as a consequence of these dynamical processes. We model the core-envelope structure of gas giant planets with composite polytropes which characterize the distinct chemical composition of the core and envelope. Using three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations of close encounters between Jupiter-like planets and their host stars, we find that the presence of a core with a mass more than 10 times that of the Earth can significantly increase the fraction of envelope which remains bound to it. After the encounter, planets with cores are more likely to be retained by their host stars in contrast with previous studies which suggested that coreless planets are often ejected. As a substantial fraction of their gaseous envelopes is preferentially lost while the dense incompressible cores retain most of their original mass, the resulting metallicity of the surviving planets is increased. Our results suggest that some gas giant planets can be effectively transformed into either super-Earths or Neptune-like planets after multiple close stellar passages. Finally, we analyze the orbits and structure of known planets and Kepler candidates and find that our model is capable of producing some of the shortest-period objects.

  11. The solar probe mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feldman, W.C.; Anderson, J.; Bohlin, J.D.; Burlaga, L.F.; Farquhar, R.; Gloeckler, G.; Goldstein, B.E.; Harvey, J.W.; Holzer, T.E.; Jones, W.V.; Kellogg, P.J.; Krimigis, S.M.; Kundu, M.R.; Lazarus, A.J.; Mellott, M.M.; Parker, E.N.; Rosner, R.; Rottman, G.J.; Slavin, J.A.; Suess, S.T.; Tsurutani, B.T.; Woo, R.T.; Zwickl, R.D.

    1990-01-01

    The Solar Probe will deliver a 133.5 kg science payload into a 4 R s perihelion solar polar orbit (with the first perihelion passage in 2004) to explore in situ one of the last frontiers in the solar system---the solar corona. This mission is both affordable and technologically feasible. Using a payload of 12 (predominantly particles and fields) scientific experiments, it will be possible to answer many long-standing, fundamental problems concerning the structure and dynamics of the outer solar atmosphere, including the acceleration, storage, and transport of energetic particles near the Sun and in the inner ( s ) heliosphere

  12. Professor: The Animal Planet Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Satish Gajawada

    2014-01-01

    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...

  13. The carbon budget in the outer solar nebula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simonelli, D.P.; Pollack, J.B.; Mckay, C.P.; Reynolds, R.T.; Summers, A.L.

    1989-01-01

    The compositional contrast between the giant-planet satellites and the significantly rockier Pluto/Charon system is indicative of different formation mechanisms; cosmic abundance calculations, in conjunction with an assumption of the Pluto/Charon system's direct formation from solar nebula condensates, strongly suggest that most of the carbon in the outer solar nebula was in CO form, in keeping with both the inheritance from the dense molecular clouds in the interstellar medium, and/or the Lewis and Prinn (1980) kinetic-inhibition model of solar nebula chemistry. Laboratory studies of carbonaceous chondrites and Comet Halley flyby studies suggest that condensed organic material, rather than elemental carbon, is the most likely candidate for the small percentage of the carbon-bearing solid in the outer solar nebula. 71 refs

  14. Normal Mode Derived Models of the Physical Properties of Earth's Outer Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irving, J. C. E.; Cottaar, S.; Lekic, V.; Wu, W.

    2017-12-01

    Earth's outer core, the largest reservoir of metal in our planet, is comprised of an iron alloy of an uncertain composition. Its dynamical behaviour is responsible for the generation of Earth's magnetic field, with convection driven both by thermal and chemical buoyancy fluxes. Existing models of the seismic velocity and density of the outer core exhibit some variation, and there are only a small number of models which aim to represent the outer core's density.It is therefore important that we develop a better understanding of the physical properties of the outer core. Though most of the outer core is likely to be well mixed, it is possible that the uppermost outer core is stably stratified: it may be enriched in light elements released during the growth of the solid, iron enriched, inner core; by elements dissolved from the mantle into the outer core; or by exsolution of compounds previously dissolved in the liquid metal which will eventually be swept into the mantle. The stratified layer may host MAC or Rossby waves and it could impede communication between the chemically differentiated mantle and outer core, including screening out some of the geodynamo's signal. We use normal mode center frequencies to estimate the physical properties of the outer core in a Bayesian framework. We estimate the mineral physical parameters needed to best produce velocity and density models of the outer core which are consistent with the normal mode observations. We require that our models satisfy realistic physical constraints. We create models of the outer core with and without a distinct uppermost layer and assess the importance of this region.Our normal mode-derived models are compared with observations of body waves which travel through the outer core. In particular, we consider SmKS waves which are especially sensitive to the uppermost outer core and are therefore an important way to understand the robustness of our models.

  15. [The mission].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz Moreno, J; Blanch Mon, A

    2000-01-01

    After having made a historical review of the concept of mission statement, of evaluating its importance (See Part I), of describing the bases to create a mission statement from a strategic perspective and of analyzing the advantages of this concept, probably more important as a business policy (See Parts I and II), the authors proceed to analyze the mission statement in health organizations. Due to the fact that a mission statement is lacking in the majority of health organizations, the strategy of health organizations are not exactly favored; as a consequence, neither are its competitive advantage nor the development of its essential competencies. After presenting a series of mission statements corresponding to Anglo-Saxon health organizations, the authors highlight two mission statements corresponding to our social context. The article finishes by suggesting an adequate sequence for developing a mission statement in those health organizations having a strategic sense.

  16. Planet Mercury from pale pink dot to dynamic world

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A

    2014-01-01

    A new and detailed picture of Mercury is emerging thanks to NASA's MESSENGER mission that spent four years in orbit about the Sun's innermost planet. Comprehensively illustrated by close-up images and other data, the author describes Mercury's landscapes from a geological perspective: from sublimation hollows, to volcanic vents, to lava plains, to giant thrust faults. He considers what its giant core, internal structure and weird composition have to tell us about the formation and evolution of a planet so close to the Sun. This is of special significance in view of the discovery of so many ex

  17. Dynamic Planet Mercury in the Context of Its Environment

    CERN Document Server

    Clark, Pamela Elizabeth

    2007-01-01

    We are in a time of transition in our understanding of Mercury. Of particular interest here is the emerging picture of the planet as a system, with interactions between interior, surface, exosphere, and magnetosphere that have influenced and constrained the evolution of each part of the system. Previous books have emphasized the results of Mariner 10 and current ground-based measurements, with very little discussion of the nature and influence of the magnetosphere. This book will present the planet in the context of its surroundings, thus providing a foundation for the next major influx of information from Mercury and contributing to the planning for future missions.

  18. Tidal effects on Earth, Planets, Sun by far visiting moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fargion, Daniele

    2016-07-01

    The Earth has been formed by a huge mini-planet collision forming our Earth surface and our Moon today. Such a central collision hit was statistically rare. A much probable skimming or nearby encounter by other moons or planets had to occur. Indeed Recent observations suggest that many planetary-mass objects may be present in the outer solar system between the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. Gravitational perturbations may occasionally bring them into the inner solar system. Their passage near Earth could have generated gigantic tidal waves, large volcanic eruptions, sea regressions, large meteoritic impacts and drastic changes in global climate. They could have caused the major biological mass extinctions in the past in the geological records. For instance a ten times a terrestrial radius nearby impact scattering by a peripherical encounter by a small moon-like object will force huge tidal waves (hundred meter height), able to lead to huge tsunami and Earth-quake. Moreover the historical cumulative planet hits in larger and wider planets as Juppiter, Saturn, Uranus will leave a trace, as observed, in their tilted spin axis. Finally a large fraction of counter rotating moons in our solar system probe and test such a visiting mini-planet captur origination. In addition the Earth day duration variability in the early past did show a rare discountinuity, very probably indebt to such a visiting planet crossing event. These far planets in rare trajectory to our Sun may, in thousands event capture, also explain sudden historical and recent temperature changes.

  19. Planets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  20. United theory of planet formation (i): Tandem regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebisuzaki, Toshikazu; Imaeda, Yusuke

    2017-07-01

    The present paper is the first one of a series of papers that present the new united theory of planet formation, which includes magneto-rotational instability and porous aggregation of solid particles in an consistent way. We here describe the ;tandem; planet formation regime, in which a solar system like planetary systems are likely to be produced. We have obtained a steady-state, 1-D model of the accretion disk of a protostar taking into account the magneto-rotational instability (MRI) and and porous aggregation of solid particles. We find that the disk is divided into an outer turbulent region (OTR), a MRI suppressed region (MSR), and an inner turbulent region (ITR). The outer turbulent region is fully turbulent because of MRI. However, in the range, rout(= 8 - 60 AU) from the central star, MRI is suppressed around the midplane of the gas disk and a quiet area without turbulence appears, because the degree of ionization of gas becomes low enough. The disk becomes fully turbulent again in the range rin(= 0.2 - 1 AU), which is called the inner turbulent region, because the midplane temperature become high enough (>1000 K) due to gravitational energy release. Planetesimals are formed through gravitational instability at the outer and inner MRI fronts (the boundaries between the MRI suppressed region (MSR) and the outer and inner turbuent regions) without particle enhancement in the original nebula composition, because of the radial concentration of the solid particles. At the outer MRI front, icy particles grow through low-velocity collisions into porous aggregates with low densities (down to ∼10-5 gcm-3). They eventually undergo gravitational instability to form icy planetesimals. On the other hand, rocky particles accumulate at the inner MRI front, since their drift velocities turn outward due to the local maximum in gas pressure. They undergo gravitational instability in a sub-disk of pebbles to form rocky planetesimals at the inner MRI front. They are likely

  1. Inside-out planet formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chatterjee, Sourav; Tan, Jonathan C.

    2014-01-01

    The compact multi-transiting planet systems discovered by Kepler challenge planet formation theories. Formation in situ from disks with radial mass surface density, Σ, profiles similar to the minimum mass solar nebula but boosted in normalization by factors ≳ 10 has been suggested. We propose that a more natural way to create these planets in the inner disk is formation sequentially from the inside-out via creation of successive gravitationally unstable rings fed from a continuous stream of small (∼cm-m size) 'pebbles', drifting inward via gas drag. Pebbles collect at the pressure maximum associated with the transition from a magnetorotational instability (MRI)-inactive ('dead zone') region to an inner MRI-active zone. A pebble ring builds up until it either becomes gravitationally unstable to form an ∼1 M ⊕ planet directly or induces gradual planet formation via core accretion. The planet may undergo Type I migration into the active region, allowing a new pebble ring and planet to form behind it. Alternatively, if migration is inefficient, the planet may continue to accrete from the disk until it becomes massive enough to isolate itself from the accretion flow. A variety of densities may result depending on the relative importance of residual gas accretion as the planet approaches its isolation mass. The process can repeat with a new pebble ring gathering at the new pressure maximum associated with the retreating dead-zone boundary. Our simple analytical model for this scenario of inside-out planet formation yields planetary masses, relative mass scalings with orbital radius, and minimum orbital separations consistent with those seen by Kepler. It provides an explanation of how massive planets can form with tightly packed and well-aligned system architectures, starting from typical protoplanetary disk properties.

  2. Low Cost High Performance Generator Technology Program. Volume 4. Mission application study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-07-01

    Results of initial efforts to investigate application of selenide thermoelectric RTG's to specific missions as well as an indication of development requirements to enable satisfaction of emerging RTG performance criteria are presented. Potential mission applications in DoD such as SURVSATCOM, Advance Defense Support Program, Laser Communication Satellite, Satellite Data System, Global Positioning Satellite, Deep Space Surveillance Satellite, and Unmanned Free Swimming Submersible illustrate power requirements in the range of 500 to 1000 W. In contrast, the NASA applications require lower power ranging from 50 W for outer planetary atmospheric probes to about 200 W for spacecraft flights to Jupiter and other outer planets. The launch dates for most of these prospective missions is circa 1980, a requirement roughly compatible with selenide thermoelectric and heat source technology development. A discussion of safety criteria is included to give emphasis to the requirements for heat source design. In addition, the observation is made that the potential accident environments of all launch vehicles are similar so that a reasonable composite set of design specifications may be derived to satisfy almost all applications. Details of the LCHPG application potential is afforded by three designs: an 80 W RTG using improved selenide thermoelectric material, a 55 to 65 W LCHPG using current and improved selenide materials, and the final 500 W LCHPG as reported in Volume 2. The final results of the LCHPG design study have shown that in general, all missions can expect an LCHPG design which yields 10 percent efficiency at 3 W/lb with the current standard selenide thermoelectric materials, with growth potential to 14 percent at greater than 4 W/lb in the mid 1980's time frame

  3. Signatures of Young Planets in the Continuum Emission from Protostellar Disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isella, Andrea; Turner, Neal J.

    2018-06-01

    Many protostellar disks show central cavities, rings, or spiral arms likely caused by low-mass stellar or planetary companions, yet few such features are conclusively tied to bodies embedded in the disks. We note that even small features on the disk surface cast shadows, because the starlight grazes the surface. We therefore focus on accurately computing the disk thickness, which depends on its temperature. We present models with temperatures set by the balance between starlight heating and radiative cooling, which are also in vertical hydrostatic equilibrium. The planet has 20, 100, or 1000 M ⊕, ranging from barely enough to perturb the disk significantly, to clearing a deep tidal gap. The hydrostatic balance strikingly alters the appearance of the model disk. The outer walls of the planet-carved gap puff up under starlight heating, throwing a shadow across the disk beyond. The shadow appears in scattered light as a dark ring that could be mistaken for a gap opened by another more distant planet. The surface brightness contrast between outer wall and shadow for the 1000 M ⊕ planet is an order of magnitude greater than a model neglecting the temperature disturbances. The shadow is so deep that it largely hides the planet-launched outer arm of the spiral wave. Temperature gradients are such that outer low-mass planets undergoing orbital migration will converge within the shadow. Furthermore, the temperature perturbations affect the shape, size, and contrast of features at millimeter and centimeter wavelengths. Thus radiative heating and cooling are key to the appearance of protostellar disks with embedded planets.

  4. Analysis of Science Attitudes for K2 Planet Hunter Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    calculating A zost is more complicated and requires calculus or numerical simulations, which is not desirable for this first-order approximation...disturbances are: (1) solar radiation pressure, (2) atmospheric drag, (3) magnetic field torque, (4) gravity gradient . 65 Figure 32. Effects of

  5. Planet Candidate Validation in K2 Crowded Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampalli, Rayna; Vanderburg, Andrew; Latham, David; Quinn, Samuel

    2018-01-01

    In just three years, the K2 mission has yielded some remarkable outcomes with the discovery of over 100 confirmed planets and 500 reported planet candidates to be validated. One challenge with this mission is the search for planets located in star-crowded regions. Campaign 13 is one such example, located towards the galactic plane in the constellation of Taurus. We subject the potential planetary candidates to a validation process involving spectroscopy to derive certain stellar parameters. Seeing-limited on/off imaging follow-up is also utilized in order to rule out false positives due to nearby eclipsing binaries. Using Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis, the best-fit parameters for each candidate are generated. These will be suitable for finding a candidate’s false positive probability through methods including feeding such parameters into the Validation of Exoplanet Signals using a Probabilistic Algorithm (VESPA). These techniques and results serve as important tools for conducting candidate validation and follow-up observations for space-based missions such as the upcoming TESS mission since TESS’s large camera pixels resemble K2’s star-crowded fields.

  6. Jupiter and the Voyager mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderblom, L.; Spall, Henry

    1980-01-01

    In 1977, the United States launched two unmanned Voyager spacecraft that were to take part in an extensive reconnaissance of the outer planets over a 12-year period visiting the environs of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Their first encounter was with the complex Jupiter planetary system 400 million miles away. Sweeping by Jupiter and its five moons in 1979, the two spacecraft have sent back to Earth an enormous amount of data that will prove to be vital in understanding our solar system. Voyager 1 is scheduled to fly past Saturn on November 13 of this year; Voyager 2, in August of the following year. 

  7. Radio images of the planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Pater, I.

    1990-01-01

    Observations at radio wavelengths make possible detailed studies of planetary atmospheres, magnetospheres, and surface layers. The paper addresses the question of what can be learned from interferometric radio images of planets. Results from single-element radio observations are also discussed. Observations of both the terrestrial and the giant planets are considered. 106 refs

  8. Migration of accreting giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crida, A.; Bitsch, B.; Raibaldi, A.

    2016-12-01

    We present the results of 2D hydro simulations of giant planets in proto-planetary discs, which accrete gas at a more or less high rate. First, starting from a solid core of 20 Earth masses, we show that as soon as the runaway accretion of gas turns on, the planet is saved from type I migration : the gap opening mass is reached before the planet is lost into its host star. Furthermore, gas accretion helps opening the gap in low mass discs. Consequently, if the accretion rate is limited to the disc supply, then the planet is already inside a gap and in type II migration. We further show that the type II migration of a Jupiter mass planet actually depends on its accretion rate. Only when the accretion is high do we retrieve the classical picture where no gas crosses the gap and the planet follows the disc spreading. These results impact our understanding of planet migration and planet population synthesis models. The e-poster presenting these results in French can be found here: L'e-poster présentant ces résultats en français est disponible à cette adresse: http://sf2a.eu/semaine-sf2a/2016/posterpdfs/156_179_49.pdf.

  9. The Dynamics and Implications of Gap Clearing via Planets in Planetesimal (Debris) Disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Sarah Jane

    Exoplanets and debris disks are examples of solar systems other than our own. As the dusty reservoirs of colliding planetesimals, debris disks provide indicators of planetary system evolution on orbital distance scales beyond those probed by the most prolific exoplanet detection methods, and on timescales 10 r to 10 Gyr. The Solar System possesses both planets and small bodies, and through studying the gravitational interactions between both, we gain insight into the Solar System's past. As we enter the era of resolved observations of debris disks residing around other stars, I add to our theoretical understanding of the dynamical interactions between debris, planets, and combinations thereof. I quantify how single planets clear material in their vicinity and how long this process takes for the entire planetary mass regime. I use these relationships to assess the lowest mass planet that could clear a gap in observed debris disks over the system's lifetime. In the distant outer reaches of gaps in young debris systems, this minimum planet mass can exceed Neptune's. To complement the discoveries of wide-orbit, massive, exoplanets by direct imaging surveys, I assess the dynamical stability of high mass multi-planet systems to estimate how many high mass planets could be packed into young, gapped debris disks. I compare these expectations to the planet detection rates of direct imaging surveys and find that high mass planets are not the primary culprits for forming gaps in young debris disk systems. As an alternative model for forming gaps in planetesimal disks with planets, I assess the efficacy of creating gaps with divergently migrating pairs of planets. I find that migrating planets could produce observed gaps and elude detection. Moreover, the inferred planet masses when neglecting migration for such gaps could be expected to be observable by direct imaging surveys for young, nearby systems. Wide gaps in young systems would likely still require more than two

  10. [Myanmar mission].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfandari, B; Persichetti, P; Pelissier, P; Martin, D; Baudet, J

    2004-06-01

    The authors report the accomplishment of humanitarian missions in plastic surgery performed by a small team in town practice in Yangon, about their 3 years experience in Myanmar with 300 consultations and 120 surgery cases. They underline the interest of this type of mission and provide us their reflexion about team training, the type of relation with the country where the mission is conducted and the type of right team.

  11. WHY ARE PULSAR PLANETS RARE?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, Rebecca G.; Livio, Mario; Palaniswamy, Divya [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154 (United States)

    2016-12-01

    Pulsar timing observations have revealed planets around only a few pulsars. We suggest that the rarity of these planets is due mainly to two effects. First, we show that the most likely formation mechanism requires the destruction of a companion star. Only pulsars with a suitable companion (with an extreme mass ratio) are able to form planets. Second, while a dead zone (a region of low turbulence) in the disk is generally thought to be essential for planet formation, it is most probably rare in disks around pulsars, because of the irradiation from the pulsar. The irradiation strongly heats the inner parts of the disk, thus pushing the inner boundary of the dead zone out. We suggest that the rarity of pulsar planets can be explained by the low probability for these two requirements to be satisfied: a very low-mass companion and a dead zone.

  12. Radargrammetry on three planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, R.L.; Howington-Kraus, E.; Chen, Jun; Jiang, Jie; Nayak, Shailesh

    2008-01-01

    Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) can provide useful images in situations where passive optical imaging cannot, either because the microwaves used can penetrate atmospheric clouds, because active imaging can "see in the dark," or both. We have participated in the NASA Magellan mission to Venus in the 1990s and the current NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan, which have used SAR to see through the clouds of Venus and Titan, respectively, and have developed software and techniques for the production of digital topographic models (DTMs) from radar stereopairs. We are currently preparing for similar radargrammetric analysis of data from the Mini-RF instrument to be carried to the Moon on both the ISRO Chandrayaan-1 and NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions later in 2008. These instruments are intended to image the permanently shadowed areas at the lunar poles and even see below the surface to detect possible water ice deposits. In this paper, we describe our approach to radargrammetric topographic mapping, based on the use of the USGS ISIS software system to ingest and prepare data, and the commercial stereoanalysis software SOCET SET (® BAE Systems), augmented with custom sensor models we have implemented, for DTM production and editing. We describe the commonalities and differences between the various data sets, and some of the lessons learned, both radargrammetric and geoscientific.

  13. The CMS Outer Hadron Calorimeter

    CERN Document Server

    Acharya, Bannaje Sripathi; Banerjee, Sunanda; Banerjee, Sudeshna; Bawa, Harinder Singh; Beri, Suman Bala; Bhandari, Virender; Bhatnagar, Vipin; Chendvankar, Sanjay; Deshpande, Pandurang Vishnu; Dugad, Shashikant; Ganguli, Som N; Guchait, Monoranjan; Gurtu, Atul; Kalmani, Suresh Devendrappa; Kaur, Manjit; Kohli, Jatinder Mohan; Krishnaswamy, Marthi Ramaswamy; Kumar, Arun; Maity, Manas; Majumder, Gobinda; Mazumdar, Kajari; Mondal, Naba Kumar; Nagaraj, P; Narasimham, Vemuri Syamala; Patil, Mandakini Ravindra; Reddy, L V; Satyanarayana, B; Sharma, Seema; Singh, B; Singh, Jas Bir; Sudhakar, Katta; Tonwar, Suresh C; Verma, Piyush

    2006-01-01

    The CMS hadron calorimeter is a sampling calorimeter with brass absorber and plastic scintillator tiles with wavelength shifting fibres for carrying the light to the readout device. The barrel hadron calorimeter is complemented with a outer calorimeter to ensure high energy shower containment in CMS and thus working as a tail catcher. Fabrication, testing and calibrations of the outer hadron calorimeter are carried out keeping in mind its importance in the energy measurement of jets in view of linearity and resolution. It will provide a net improvement in missing $\\et$ measurements at LHC energies. The outer hadron calorimeter has a very good signal to background ratio even for a minimum ionising particle and can hence be used in coincidence with the Resistive Plate Chambers of the CMS detector for the muon trigger.

  14. High-resolution multi-band imaging for validation and characterization of small Kepler planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Everett, Mark E.; Silva, David R.; Barclay, Thomas; Howell, Steve B.; Ciardi, David R.; Horch, Elliott P.; Crepp, Justin R.

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution ground-based optical speckle and near-infrared adaptive optics images are taken to search for stars in close angular proximity to host stars of candidate planets identified by the NASA Kepler Mission. Neighboring stars are a potential source of false positive signals. These stars also blend into Kepler light curves, affecting estimated planet properties, and are important for an understanding of planets in multiple star systems. Deep images with high angular resolution help to validate candidate planets by excluding potential background eclipsing binaries as the source of the transit signals. A study of 18 Kepler Object of Interest stars hosting a total of 28 candidate and validated planets is presented. Validation levels are determined for 18 planets against the likelihood of a false positive from a background eclipsing binary. Most of these are validated at the 99% level or higher, including five newly validated planets in two systems: Kepler-430 and Kepler-431. The stellar properties of the candidate host stars are determined by supplementing existing literature values with new spectroscopic characterizations. Close neighbors of seven of these stars are examined using multi-wavelength photometry to determine their nature and influence on the candidate planet properties. Most of the close neighbors appear to be gravitationally bound secondaries, while a few are best explained as closely co-aligned field stars. Revised planet properties are derived for each candidate and validated planet, including cases where the close neighbors are the potential host stars.

  15. Manned Mars flyby mission and configuration concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Archie; Meredith, Ollie; Brothers, Bobby

    1986-01-01

    A concept is presented for a flyby mission of the planet. The mission was sized for the 2001 time period, has a crew of three, uses all propulsive maneuvers, and requires 442 days. Such a flyby mission results in significantly smaller vehicles than would a landing mission, but of course loses the value of the landing and the associated knowledge and prestige. Stay time in the planet vicinity is limited to the swingby trajectory but considerable time still exists for enroute science and research experiments. All propulsive braking was used in the concept due to unacceptable g-levels associated with aerobraking on this trajectory. LEO departure weight for the concept is approximately 594,000 pounds.

  16. Producing Distant Planets by Mutual Scattering of Planetary Embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silsbee, Kedron; Tremaine, Scott

    2018-02-01

    It is likely that multiple bodies with masses between those of Mars and Earth (“planetary embryos”) formed in the outer planetesimal disk of the solar system. Some of these were likely scattered by the giant planets into orbits with semimajor axes of hundreds of au. Mutual torques between these embryos may lift the perihelia of some of them beyond the orbit of Neptune, where they are no longer perturbed by the giant planets, so their semimajor axes are frozen in place. We conduct N-body simulations of this process and its effect on smaller planetesimals in the region of the giant planets and the Kuiper Belt. We find that (i) there is a significant possibility that one sub-Earth mass embryo, or possibly more, is still present in the outer solar system; (ii) the orbit of the surviving embryo(s) typically has perihelion of 40–70 au, semimajor axis less than 200 au, and inclination less than 30° (iii) it is likely that any surviving embryos could be detected by current or planned optical surveys or have a significant effect on solar system ephemerides; (iv) whether or not an embryo has survived to the present day, its dynamical influence earlier in the history of the solar system can explain the properties of the detached disk (defined in this paper as containing objects with perihelia >38 au and semimajor axes between 80 and 500 au).

  17. THE FIRST PLANETS: THE CRITICAL METALLICITY FOR PLANET FORMATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Jarrett L.; Li Hui

    2012-01-01

    A rapidly growing body of observational results suggests that planet formation takes place preferentially at high metallicity. In the core accretion model of planet formation this is expected because heavy elements are needed to form the dust grains which settle into the midplane of the protoplanetary disk and coagulate to form the planetesimals from which planetary cores are assembled. As well, there is observational evidence that the lifetimes of circumstellar disks are shorter at lower metallicities, likely due to greater susceptibility to photoevaporation. Here we estimate the minimum metallicity for planet formation, by comparing the timescale for dust grain growth and settling to that for disk photoevaporation. For a wide range of circumstellar disk models and dust grain properties, we find that the critical metallicity above which planets can form is a function of the distance r at which the planet orbits its host star. With the iron abundance relative to that of the Sun [Fe/H] as a proxy for the metallicity, we estimate a lower limit for the critical abundance for planet formation of [Fe/H] crit ≅ –1.5 + log (r/1 AU), where an astronomical unit (AU) is the distance between the Earth and the Sun. This prediction is in agreement with the available observational data, and carries implications for the properties of the first planets and for the emergence of life in the early universe. In particular, it implies that the first Earth-like planets likely formed from circumstellar disks with metallicities Z ∼> 0.1 Z ☉ . If planets are found to orbit stars with metallicities below the critical metallicity, this may be a strong challenge to the core accretion model.

  18. Gemini Planet Imager: Preliminary Design Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B

    2007-05-10

    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. CHEOPS: A transit photometry mission for ESA's small mission programme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Queloz D.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Ground based radial velocity (RV searches continue to discover exoplanets below Neptune mass down to Earth mass. Furthermore, ground based transit searches now reach milli-mag photometric precision and can discover Neptune size planets around bright stars. These searches will find exoplanets around bright stars anywhere on the sky, their discoveries representing prime science targets for further study due to the proximity and brightness of their host stars. A mission for transit follow-up measurements of these prime targets is currently lacking. The first ESA S-class mission CHEOPS (CHaracterizing ExoPlanet Satellite will fill this gap. It will perform ultra-high precision photometric monitoring of selected bright target stars almost anywhere on the sky with sufficient precision to detect Earth sized transits. It will be able to detect transits of RV-planets by photometric monitoring if the geometric configuration results in a transit. For Hot Neptunes discovered from the ground, CHEOPS will be able to improve the transit light curve so that the radius can be determined precisely. Because of the host stars' brightness, high precision RV measurements will be possible for all targets. All planets observed in transit by CHEOPS will be validated and their masses will be known. This will provide valuable data for constraining the mass-radius relation of exoplanets, especially in the Neptune-mass regime. During the planned 3.5 year mission, about 500 targets will be observed. There will be 20% of open time available for the community to develop new science programmes.

  20. Challenges in Discerning Atmospheric Composition in Directly Imaged Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  1. Probing Protoplanetary Disks: From Birth to Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Erin Guilfoil

    2018-01-01

    Disks are very important in the evolution of protostars and their subsequent planets. How early disks can form has implications for early planet formation. In the youngest protostars (i.e., Class 0 sources) magnetic fields can control disk growth. When the field is parallel to the collapsing core’s rotation axis, infalling material loses angular momentum and disks form in later stages. Sub-/millimeter polarization continuum observations of Class 0 sources at ~1000 au resolution support this idea. However, in the inner (~100 au), denser regions, it is unknown if the polarization only traces aligned dust grains. Recent theoretical studies have shown that self-scattering of thermal emission in the disk may contribute significantly to the polarization. Determining the scattering contribution in these sources is important to disentangle the magnetic field. At older times (the Class II phase), the disk structure can both act as a modulator and signpost of planet formation, if there is enough of a mass reservoir. In my dissertation talk, I will present results that bear on disk evolution at both young and late ages. I will present 8 mm polarization results of two Class 0 protostars (IRAS 4A and IC348 MMS) from the VLA at ~50 au resolution. The inferred magnetic field of IRAS 4A has a circular morphology, reminiscent of material being dragged into a rotating structure. I will show results from SOFIA polarization data of the area surrounding IRAS 4A at ~4000 au. I will also present ALMA 850 micron polarization data of ten protostars in the Perseus Molecular Cloud. Most of these sources show very ordered patterns and low (~0.5%) polarization in their inner regions, while having very disordered patterns and high polarization patterns in their extended emission that may suggest different mechanisms in the inner/outer regions. Finally, I will present results from our ALMA dust continuum survey of protoplanetary disks in Rho Ophiuchus; we measured both the sizes and fluxes of

  2. Nuclear fuel grid outer strap

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duncan, R.; Craver, J.E.

    1989-01-01

    This patent describes a nuclear reactor fuel assembly grid. It comprises a first outer grip strap segment end. The first end having a first tab arranged in substantially the same plane as the plane defined by the first end; a second outer grip strap end. The second end having a second slot arranged in substantially the same plane as the plane defined by the second end, with the tab being substantially disposed in the slot, defining a socket therebetween; and a fort tine interposed substantially perpendicularly in the socket

  3. Resolving the Planet-hosting Inner Regions of the LkCa 15 Disk

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalmann, C.; Janson, M.; Garufi, A.; Boccaletti, A.; Quanz, S.P.; Sissa, E.; Gratton, R.; Salter, G.; Benisty, M.; Bonnefoy, M.; Chauvin, G.; Daemgen, S.; Desidera, S.; Dominik, C.; Engler, N.; Feldt, M.; Henning, T.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Langlois, M.; Lannier, J.; Le Coroller, H.; Ligi, R.; Ménard, F.; Mesa, D.; Meyer, M.R.; Mulders, G.D.; Olofsson, J.; Pinte, C.; Schmid, H.M.; Vigan, A.; Zurlo, A.

    2016-01-01

    LkCa 15 hosts a pre-transitional disk as well as at least one accreting protoplanet orbiting in its gap. Previous disk observations have focused mainly on the outer disk, which is cleared inward of ∼50 au. The planet candidates, on the other hand, reside at orbital radii around 15au, where disk

  4. A likely planet-induced gap in the disc around T Cha

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendler, Nathanial P.; Pinilla, Paola; Pascucci, Ilaria; Pohl, Adriana; Mulders, Gijs; Henning, Thomas; Dong, Ruobing; Clarke, Cathie; Owen, James; Hollenbach, David

    2018-03-01

    We present high-resolution (0.11 × 0.06 arcsec2) 3 mm ALMA observations of the highly inclined transition disc around the star T Cha. Our continuum image reveals multiple dust structures: an inner disc, a spatially resolved dust gap, and an outer ring. When fitting sky-brightness models to the real component of the 3 mm visibilities, we infer that the inner emission is compact (≤1 au in radius), the gap width is between 18 and 28 au, and the emission from the outer ring peaks at ˜36 au. We compare our ALMA image with previously published 1.6 μm VLT/SPHERE imagery. This comparison reveals that the location of the outer ring is wavelength dependent. More specifically, the peak emission of the 3 mm ring is at a larger radial distance than that of the 1.6 μm ring, suggesting that millimeter-sized grains in the outer disc are located farther away from the central star than micron-sized grains. We discuss different scenarios to explain our findings, including dead zones, star-driven photoevaporation, and planet-disc interactions. We find that the most likely origin of the dust gap is from an embedded planet, and estimate - for a single planet scenario - that T Cha's gap is carved by a 1.2MJup planet.

  5. Fusion energy for space missions in the 21st century: Executive summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulze, N.R.

    1991-08-01

    Future space missions were hypothesized and analyzed, and the energy source of their accomplishment investigated. The missions included manned Mars, scientific outposts to and robotic sample return missions from the outer planets and asteroids, as well as fly-by and rendezvous missions with the Oort Cloud and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Space system parametric requirements and operational features were established. The energy means for accomplishing missions where delta v requirements range from 90 km/sec to 30,000 km/sec (High Energy Space Mission) were investigated. The need to develop a power space of this magnitude is a key issue to address if the U.S. civil space program is to continue to advance as mandated by the National Space Policy. Potential energy options which could provide the propulsion and electrical power system and operational requirements were reviewed and evaluated. Fusion energy was considered to be the preferred option and was analyzed in depth. Candidate fusion fuels were evaluated based upon the energy output and neutron flux. Additionally, fusion energy can offer significant safety, environmental, economic, and operational advantages. Reactors exhibiting a highly efficient use of magnetic fields for space use while at the same time offering efficient coupling to an exhaust propellant or to a direct energy convertor for efficient electrical production were examined. Near term approaches were identified. A strategy that will produce fusion powered vehicles as part of the space transportation infrastructure was developed. Space program resources must be directed toward this issue as a matter of the top policy priority

  6. Fusion energy for space missions in the 21st century: Executive summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Norman R.

    1991-08-01

    Future space missions were hypothesized and analyzed, and the energy source of their accomplishment investigated. The missions included manned Mars, scientific outposts to and robotic sample return missions from the outer planets and asteroids, as well as fly-by and rendezvous missions with the Oort Cloud and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Space system parametric requirements and operational features were established. The energy means for accomplishing missions where delta v requirements range from 90 km/sec to 30,000 km/sec (High Energy Space Mission) were investigated. The need to develop a power space of this magnitude is a key issue to address if the U.S. civil space program is to continue to advance as mandated by the National Space Policy. Potential energy options which could provide the propulsion and electrical power system and operational requirements were reviewed and evaluated. Fusion energy was considered to be the preferred option and was analyzed in depth. Candidate fusion fuels were evaluated based upon the energy output and neutron flux. Additionally, fusion energy can offer significant safety, environmental, economic, and operational advantages. Reactors exhibiting a highly efficient use of magnetic fields for space use while at the same time offering efficient coupling to an exhaust propellant or to a direct energy convertor for efficient electrical production were examined. Near term approaches were identified. A strategy that will produce fusion powered vehicles as part of the space transportation infrastructure was developed. Space program resources must be directed toward this issue as a matter of the top policy priority.

  7. A new propulsion concept for interplanetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dujarric, C.

    2001-11-01

    When tons of payload must be brought back from the planets to Earth, the current launch-system technology hits size limitations. The huge Saturn-V launcher that enabled the Apollo missions to go to the Moon would be dwarfed by a single launcher capable of sending men to a destination like Mars and bringing them back. Keeping interplanetary missions within a reasonable size and cost therefore requires technological progress in terms of both vehicle weight reduction and propulsion efficiency.

  8. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA's Kepler Mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-02

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85-90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system.

  9. AN OUTER ARM IN THE SECOND GALACTIC QUADRANT: STRUCTURE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Du, Xinyu; Xu, Ye; Yang, Ji; Sun, Yan; Li, Facheng; Zhang, Shaobo; Zhou, Xin, E-mail: xydu@pmo.ac.cn, E-mail: xuye@pmo.ac.cn [Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Science, Nanjing 210008 (China)

    2016-05-01

    The lack of arm tracers, especially remote tracers, is one of the most difficult problems preventing us from studying the structure of the Milky Way. Fortunately, with its high-sensitivity CO survey, the Milky Way Imaging Scroll Painting (MWISP) project offers such an opportunity. Since completing about one-third of its mission, an area of l = [100, 150]°, b = [−3, 5]° has nearly been covered. The Outer arm of the Milky Way first clearly revealed its shape in the second galactic quadrant in the form of molecular gas—this is the first time that the Outer arm has been reported in such a large-scale mapping of molecular gas. Using the 115 GHz {sup 12}CO(1–0) data of MWISP at the LSR velocity ≃[−100, −60] km s{sup −1} and in the area mentioned above, we have detected 481 molecular clouds in total, and among them 332 (about 69%) are newly detected and 457 probably belong to the Outer arm. The total mass of the detected Outer arm clouds is ∼3.1 × 10{sup 6} M {sub ⊙}. Assuming that the spiral arm is a logarithmic spiral, the pitch angle is fitted as ∼13.°1. Besides combining both the CO data from MWISP and the 21 cm H i data from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey (CGPS), the gas distribution, warp, and thickness of the Outer arm are also studied.

  10. Kepler Data Validation I: Architecture, Diagnostic Tests, and Data Products for Vetting Transiting Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Giroud, Forrest; Jenkins, Jon M.; Klaus, Todd C.; Li, Jie; McCauliff, Sean D.; Seader, Shawn E.; Tennenbaum, Peter; hide

    2018-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was designed to identify and characterize transiting planets in the Kepler Field of View and to determine their occurrence rates. Emphasis was placed on identification of Earth-size planets orbiting in the Habitable Zone of their host stars. Science data were acquired for a period of four years. Long-cadence data with 29.4 min sampling were obtained for approx. 200,000 individual stellar targets in at least one observing quarter in the primary Kepler Mission. Light curves for target stars are extracted in the Kepler Science Data Processing Pipeline, and are searched for transiting planet signatures. A Threshold Crossing Event is generated in the transit search for targets where the transit detection threshold is exceeded and transit consistency checks are satisfied. These targets are subjected to further scrutiny in the Data Validation (DV) component of the Pipeline. Transiting planet candidates are characterized in DV, and light curves are searched for additional planets after transit signatures are modeled and removed. A suite of diagnostic tests is performed on all candidates to aid in discrimination between genuine transiting planets and instrumental or astrophysical false positives. Data products are generated per target and planet candidate to document and display transiting planet model fit and diagnostic test results. These products are exported to the Exoplanet Archive at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, and are available to the community. We describe the DV architecture and diagnostic tests, and provide a brief overview of the data products. Transiting planet modeling and the search for multiple planets on individual targets are described in a companion paper. The final revision of the Kepler Pipeline code base is available to the general public through GitHub. The Kepler Pipeline has also been modified to support the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission which is expected to commence in 2018.

  11. Kepler Data Validation I—Architecture, Diagnostic Tests, and Data Products for Vetting Transiting Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Girouard, Forrest; Jenkins, Jon M.; Klaus, Todd C.; Li, Jie; McCauliff, Sean D.; Seader, Shawn E.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Wohler, Bill; Bryson, Stephen T.; Burke, Christopher J.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Haas, Michael R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Sanderfer, Dwight T.

    2018-06-01

    The Kepler Mission was designed to identify and characterize transiting planets in the Kepler Field of View and to determine their occurrence rates. Emphasis was placed on identification of Earth-size planets orbiting in the Habitable Zone of their host stars. Science data were acquired for a period of four years. Long-cadence data with 29.4 min sampling were obtained for ∼200,000 individual stellar targets in at least one observing quarter in the primary Kepler Mission. Light curves for target stars are extracted in the Kepler Science Data Processing Pipeline, and are searched for transiting planet signatures. A Threshold Crossing Event is generated in the transit search for targets where the transit detection threshold is exceeded and transit consistency checks are satisfied. These targets are subjected to further scrutiny in the Data Validation (DV) component of the Pipeline. Transiting planet candidates are characterized in DV, and light curves are searched for additional planets after transit signatures are modeled and removed. A suite of diagnostic tests is performed on all candidates to aid in discrimination between genuine transiting planets and instrumental or astrophysical false positives. Data products are generated per target and planet candidate to document and display transiting planet model fit and diagnostic test results. These products are exported to the Exoplanet Archive at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, and are available to the community. We describe the DV architecture and diagnostic tests, and provide a brief overview of the data products. Transiting planet modeling and the search for multiple planets on individual targets are described in a companion paper. The final revision of the Kepler Pipeline code base is available to the general public through GitHub. The Kepler Pipeline has also been modified to support the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission which is expected to commence in 2018.

  12. Characterization and Validation of Transiting Planets in the TESS SPOC Pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Davies, Misty; Jenkins, Jon Michael; Li, Jie; Morris, Robert L.; Rose, Mark; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Ting, Eric; Wohler, Bill

    2018-06-01

    Light curves for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) target stars will be extracted and searched for transiting planet signatures in the Science Processing Operations Center (SPOC) Science Pipeline at NASA Ames Research Center. Targets for which the transiting planet detection threshold is exceeded will be processed in the Data Validation (DV) component of the Pipeline. The primary functions of DV are to (1) characterize planets identified in the transiting planet search, (2) search for additional transiting planet signatures in light curves after modeled transit signatures have been removed, and (3) perform a comprehensive suite of diagnostic tests to aid in discrimination between true transiting planets and false positive detections. DV data products include extensive reports by target, one-page summaries by planet candidate, and tabulated transit model fit and diagnostic test results. DV products may be employed by humans and automated systems to vet planet candidates identified in the Pipeline. TESS will launch in 2018 and survey the full sky for transiting exoplanets over a period of two years. The SPOC pipeline was ported from the Kepler Science Operations Center (SOC) codebase and extended for TESS after the mission was selected for flight in the NASA Astrophysics Explorer program. We describe the Data Validation component of the SPOC Pipeline. The diagnostic tests exploit the flux (i.e., light curve) and pixel time series associated with each target to support the determination of the origin of each purported transiting planet signature. We also highlight the differences between the DV components for Kepler and TESS. Candidate planet detections and data products will be delivered to the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST); the MAST URL is archive.stsci.edu/tess. Funding for the TESS Mission has been provided by the NASA Science Mission Directorate.

  13. Dawn Mission Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, M. V.; Russell, C. T.; Coradini, A.; Christensen, U.; de Sanctis, M. C.; Feldman, W. C.; Jaumann, R.; Keller, U.; Konopliv, A. S.; McCord, T. B.; McFadden, L. A.; McSween, H. Y.; Mottola, S.; Neukum, G.; Pieters, C. M.; Prettyman, T. H.; Raymond, C. A.; Smith, D. E.; Williams, B. G.; Wise, J.; Zuber, M. T.

    2004-11-01

    Dawn, the ninth Discovery mission, will be the first spacecraft to rendezvous with two solar system bodies, the main belt asteroids Vesta and Ceres. This is made possible by utilizing ion propulsion to reach its targets and to maneuver into (and depart) orbits about these bodies. Vesta and Ceres are two terrestrial protoplanets that have survived since the earliest epoch of the solar system and will provide important insights into planet building processes and their evolution under very different circumstances, with and without water. Dawn carries a double framing camera, a visible and infrared mapping spectrometer, and a gamma ray and neutron detector. At Vesta our studies will include the volcanic emplacement of basalts, its differentiation, the possible exposure of its interior near the south pole. At Ceres our studies will include the role of water in its evolution, hydration processes on its surface, and the possible existence of a subsurface ocean. The mission has passed its critical design review and is scheduled to be launched in June 2006 with arrival at Vesta in 2011 and Ceres in 2015. Operation strategies will be presented. Groundbased observations of Vesta, Ceres, and Vesta family members over broad wavelengths, periods and phases will play an important role in detailed mission planning.

  14. Creating one planet communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilts, R.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation discussed low carbon communities that used a variety of sustainable energy technologies to reduce energy consumption and waste. The presentation was given by a company who has adopted a One Planet framework to ensure the development of zero carbon, zero waste, sustainable communities.The Dockside Green project was awarded North America's highest leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) score. The community includes a waste biomass plant and an on-site wastewater treatment plant. Excess heat produced by the community's greenhouse gas (GHG) neutral biomass district heating system is sold to neighbouring communities. The BedZED project in the United Kingdom uses a high-density format to support a community living and workspace environment that uses rainwater harvesting, passive solar heating, high performance envelopes, and green roofs. The site includes 40 electric car charging stations. A combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant provides electricity and hot water to all buildings. Neighbourhood-scale sustainable development is expected to have a significant impact on the ecological footprint of North American cities. Carbon neutral projects in Canada were also listed. tabs., figs.

  15. Nearby Red Dwarfs are Sexy for Planets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, T. J.; Jao, W.-C.; Subasavage, J. P.; RECONS Team

    2005-12-01

    The RECONS group continues to discover many nearby red dwarfs in the southern sky through a combination of proper motion surveys, literature review, and ultimately, our parallax program CTIOPI. Already, we have measured the first accurate parallaxes for 11 of the nearest 100 stellar systems, including four within 5 parsecs of the Sun. These nearby red dwarfs are prime candidates for NASA's Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) because the astrometric perturbations are largest for planets orbiting stars of low mass that are nearby. In addition, new multiple red dwarf systems can be targeted for mass determinations, thereby providing points on a comprehensive mass-luminosity relation for the most populous members of the Galaxy. Recent atmospheric modeling of planets orbiting red dwarfs indicates that even if the planets are tidally locked, heat distribution is highly effective in keeping the worlds balmy over the entire surface. Red dwarfs are therefore "back on the table" as viable hosts of life-bearing planets. Given their ubiquity, red dwarfs are being seriously considered as prime SETI targets, and will allow us to answer not only the question "Are We Alone?" but "Just How Alone Are We?" This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA's Space Interferometry Mission, and Georgia State University.

  16. Getting Sloshed in Outer Space

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 12; Issue 12. Getting Sloshed in Outer Space - Liquid Behavior in Microgravity. N Ananthkrishnan. General Article Volume 12 Issue 12 December 2007 pp 40-45. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  17. Outer space structure and development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeldovich, J.; Novikov, I.

    1975-01-01

    A brief account is presented answering the question of what in fact the outer space we observe consists of. The principle of spatial homogeneity of the universe and the idea of non-stationary cosmology are discussed. The origin and the future development of the universe are explained using the two above mentioned and some other hypotheses. (J.K.)

  18. Outer space structure and development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zeldovich, J; Novikov, I

    1975-10-01

    A brief account is presented answering the question of what in fact the outer space we observe consists of. The principle of spatial homogeneity of the universe and the idea of non-stationary cosmology are discussed. The origin and the future development of the universe are explained using the two above mentioned and some other hypotheses.

  19. Plasmas in the outer heliosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belcher, J. W.; Richardson, J. D.; Lazarus, A. J.; Gazis, P. R.; Barnes, A.

    1995-01-01

    We review the observed properties of the solar wind in the outer heliosphere, including observations from Voyager and the Pioneers, as well as from inner heliospheric probes as appropriate. These observations are crucial to modeling of the heliosphere and its interactions with the interstellar medium, since the wind ram pressure and its temporal variations are important in understanding the distance to the termination shock and heliopause and how those boundaries might vary in time. We focus on results since Solar Wind 7. Among the issues we will discuss are: (1) the time scales for and statistical properties of variations in the ram pressure in the outer heliosphere, and how those variations might affect the morphology of the heliospheric/interstellar medium interface; (2) the question of possible solar wind slowing in the outer heliosphere due to the pick-up of interstellar ions; (3) the issue of whether there is bulk heating of the solar wind associated either with interstellar ion pick-up or with continued heating due to stream-stream interactions; (4) evidence for latitudinal variations in solar wind properties; and (5) the 1.3 year periodicities apparent in the outer heliosphere, and the close correspondence with similar variations seen with inner heliospheric probes.

  20. Geodesy and cartography methods of exploration of the outer planetary systems: Galilean satellites and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubarev, Anatoliy; Kozlova, Natalia; Kokhanov, Alexander; Oberst, Jürgen; Nadezhdina, Irina; Patraty, Vyacheslav; Karachevtseva, Irina

    Introduction. While Galilean satellites have been observed by different spacecrafts, including Pioneer, Voyager-1 and -2, Galileo, New Horizons, and Enceladus by Cassini and Voyager-2, only data from Galileo, Cassini and the two Voyagers are useful for precise mapping [1, 2]. For purposes of future missions to the system of outer planets we have re-computed the control point network of the Io, Ganymede and Enceladus to support spacecraft navigation and coordinate knowledge. Based on the control networks, we have produced global image mosaics and maps. Geodesy approach. For future mission Laplace-P we mainly focused on Ganymede which coverage is nearly complete except for polar areas (which includes multispectral data). However, large differences exist in data resolutions (minimum global resolution: 30 km/pixel). Only few areas enjoy coverage by highest resolution images, so we suggest to obtain regional Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) from stereo images for selected areas. Also using our special software, we provide calculation of illumination conditions of Ganymede surface in various representations [3]. Finally, we propose a careful evaluation of all available data from the previous Voyager and Galileo missions to re-determine geodetic control and rotation model for other Galilean satellites - Callisto and Europe. Mapping. Based on re-calculated control point networks and global mosaics we have prepared new maps for Io, Ganymede and Enceladus [4]. Due to the difference in resolution between the images, which were also taken from different angles relative to the surface, we can prepare only regional high resolution shape models, so for demonstrating of topography and mapping of the satellites we used orthographic projection with different parameters. Our maps, which include roughness calculations based on our GIS technologies [5], will also be an important tool for studies of surface morphology. Conclusions. Updated data collection, including new calculation of

  1. Launch Opportunities for Jupiter Missions Using the Gravity Assist

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Joo Song

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Interplanetary trajectories using the gravity assists are studied for future Korean interplanetary missions. Verifications of the developed softwares and results were performed by comparing data from ESA's Mars Express mission and previous results. Among the Jupiter exploration mission scenarios, multi-planet gravity assist mission to Jupiter (Earth-Mars-Earth-Jupiter Gravity Assist, EMEJGA trajectory requires minimum launch energy (C3 of 29.231 km2/s2 with 4.6 years flight times. Others, such as direct mission and single-planet(Mars gravity assist mission, requires launch energy (C3 of 75.656 km^2/s^2 with 2.98 years flight times and 63.590 km2/s2 with 2.33 years flight times, respectively. These results show that the planetary gravity assists can reduce launch energy, while EMEJGA trajectory requires the longer flight time than the other missions.

  2. Outer Synchronization of Complex Networks by Impulse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun Wen; Yan Zizong; Chen Shihua; Lü Jinhu

    2011-01-01

    This paper investigates outer synchronization of complex networks, especially, outer complete synchronization and outer anti-synchronization between the driving network and the response network. Employing the impulsive control method which is uncontinuous, simple, efficient, low-cost and easy to implement in practical applications, we obtain some sufficient conditions of outer complete synchronization and outer anti-synchronization between two complex networks. Numerical simulations demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed impulsive control scheme. (general)

  3. A STATISTICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF THE PLANET POPULATION AROUND KEPLER SOLAR-TYPE STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silburt, Ari; Wu, Yanqin; Gaidos, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Using the cumulative catalog of planets detected by the NASA Kepler mission, we reconstruct the intrinsic occurrence of Earth- to Neptune-size (1-4 R ⊕ ) planets and their distributions with radius and orbital period. We analyze 76,711 solar-type (0.8 < R * /R ☉ < 1.2) stars with 430 planets on 20-200 day orbits, excluding close-in planets that may have been affected by the proximity to the host star. Our analysis considers errors in planet radii and includes an ''iterative simulation'' technique that does not bin the data. We find a radius distribution that peaks at 2-2.8 Earth radii, with lower numbers of smaller and larger planets. These planets are uniformly distributed with logarithmic period, and the mean number of such planets per star is 0.46 ± 0.03. The occurrence is ∼0.66 if planets interior to 20 days are included. We estimate the occurrence of Earth-size planets in the ''habitable zone'' (defined as 1-2 R ⊕ , 0.99-1.7 AU for solar-twin stars) as 6.4 −1.1 +3.4 %. Our results largely agree with those of Petigura et al., although we find a higher occurrence of 2.8-4 Earth-radii planets. The reasons for this excess are the inclusion of errors in planet radius, updated Huber et al. stellar parameters, and also the exclusion of planets that may have been affected by proximity to the host star

  4. INSIDE-OUT PLANET FORMATION. III. PLANET–DISK INTERACTION AT THE DEAD ZONE INNER BOUNDARY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Xiao; Tan, Jonathan C.; Chatterjee, Sourav; Zhu, Zhaohuan

    2016-01-01

    The Kepler mission has discovered more than 4000 exoplanet candidates. Many of them are in systems with tightly packed inner planets. Inside-out planet formation (IOPF) has been proposed as a scenario to explain these systems. It involves sequential in situ planet formation at the local pressure maximum of a retreating dead zone inner boundary (DZIB). Pebbles accumulate at this pressure trap, which builds up a pebble ring and then a planet. The planet is expected to grow in mass until it opens a gap, which helps to both truncate pebble accretion and also induce DZIB retreat that sets the location of formation of the next planet. This simple scenario may be modified if the planet undergoes significant migration from its formation location. Thus, planet–disk interactions play a crucial role in the IOPF scenario. Here we present numerical simulations that first assess the degree of migration for planets of various masses that are forming at the DZIB of an active accretion disk, where the effective viscosity is undergoing a rapid increase in the radially inward direction. We find that torques exerted on the planet by the disk tend to trap the planet at a location very close to the initial pressure maximum where it formed. We then study gap opening by these planets to assess at what mass a significant gap is created. Finally, we present a simple model for DZIB retreat due to penetration of X-rays from the star to the disk midplane. Overall, these simulations help to quantify both the mass scale of first (“Vulcan”) planet formation and the orbital separation to the location of second planet formation

  5. The Space Stellar Photometry Mission COROT: Asteroseismology ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tribpo

    detect giant extra solar planets (detectable by spectroscopy from the ground) and determine their albedo. As COROT is devoted to stellar photometry, aiming at both a high precision and a long observation time, the search for exoplanets by the transit method can easily be integrated in the payload and in the mission profile.

  6. Formation of giant planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perri, F.

    1975-01-01

    When a planetary core composed of condensed matter is accumulated in the primitive solar nebula, the gas of the nebula becomes gravitationally concentrated as an envelope surrounding the planetary core. Models of such gaseous envelopes have been constructed subject to the assumption that the gas everywhere is on the same adiabat as that in the surrounding nebula. The gaseous envelope extends from the surface of the core to the distance at which the gravitational attraction of core plus envelope becomes equal to the gradient of the gravitational potential in the solar nebula; at this point the pressure and temperature of the gas in the envelope are required to attain the background values characteristic of the solar nebula. In general, as the mass of the condensed core increases, increasing amounts of gas became concentrated in the envelope, and these envelopes are stable against hydrodynamic instabilities. However, the core mass then goes through a maximum and starts to decrease. In most of the models tested the envelopes were hydrodynamically unstable beyond the peak in the core mass. An unstable situation was always created if it was insisted that the core mass contain a larger amount of matter than given by these solutions. For an initial adiabat characterized by a temperature of 450 0 K and a pressure of 5 x 10 -6 atmospheres, the maximum core mass at which instability occurs is approximately 115 earth masses. It is concluded that the giant planets obtained their large amounts of hydrogen and helium by a hydrodynamic collapse process in the solar nebula only after the nebula had been subjected to a considerable period of cooling

  7. Planets, stars and stellar systems

    CERN Document Server

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

    2013-01-01

    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...

  8. Dictionary of Minor Planet Names

    CERN Document Server

    Schmadel, Lutz D

    2007-01-01

    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...

  9. Motions on a rotating planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröer, H.

    In chapter 1 we want to describe the motion of a falling body on a rotating planet. The planet rotates with an arbitrary changable angular velocity and has a translational acceleration. We obtain 3 differential equations. For the general gravitational field an exact solution is possible, when the differential equation system is explicit solvable. Then we consider the case, if the angular velocity and the translational acceleration is constant. With a special transformation we get 3 partial differential equations of first order. Instead of a planet sphere we can choose a general body of rotation. Even general bodies are possible. Chapter 2 contains the motion in a local coordinate system on planet's surface. We have an inhomogeneous linear differential equation of first order. If the angular velocity is constant, we get a system with constant coefficients. There is an english and a german edition.

  10. Water Loss from Young Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Feng; Güdel, Manuel; Johnstone, Colin P.; Lammer, Helmut; Luger, Rodrigo; Odert, Petra

    2018-04-01

    Good progress has been made in the past few years to better understand the XUV evolution trend of Sun-like stars, the capture and dissipation of hydrogen dominant envelopes of planetary embryos and protoplanets, and water loss from young planets around M dwarfs. This chapter reviews these recent developments. Observations of exoplanets and theoretical works in the near future will significantly advance our understanding of one of the fundamental physical processes shaping the evolution of solar system terrestrial planets.

  11. Planet Hunters: Kepler by Eye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, C.; Fischer, D.; Smith, A. M.; Boyajian, T. S.; Brewer, J. M.; Giguere, M. J.; Lynn, S.; Parrish, M.; Schawinski, K.; Schmitt, J.; Simpson, R.; Wang, J.

    2014-01-01

    Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org), part of the Zooniverse's (http://www.zooniverse.org) collection of online citizen science projects, uses the World Wide Web to enlist the general public to identify transits in the pubic Kepler light curves. Planet Hunters utilizes human pattern recognition to identify planet transits that may be missed by automated detection algorithms looking for periodic events. Referred to as ‘crowdsourcing’ or ‘citizen science’, the combined assessment of many non-expert human classifiers with minimal training can often equal or best that of a trained expert and in many cases outperform the best machine-learning algorithm. Visitors to the Planet Hunters' website are presented with a randomly selected ~30-day light curve segment from one of Kepler’s ~160,000 target stars and are asked to draw boxes to mark the locations of visible transits in the web interface. 5-10 classifiers review each 30-day light curve segment. Since December 2010, more than 260,000 volunteers world wide have participated, contributing over 20 million classifications. We have demonstrated the success of a citizen science approach with the project’s more than 20 planet candidates, the discovery of PH1b, a transiting circumbinary planet in a quadruple star system, and the discovery of PH2-b, a confirmed Jupiter-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. I will provide an overview of Planet Hunters, highlighting several of project's most recent exoplanet and astrophysical discoveries. Acknowledgements: MES was supported in part by a NSF AAPF under award AST-1003258 and a American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant. We acknowledge support from NASA ADAP12-0172 grant to PI Fischer.

  12. Pulsating stars harbouring planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moya A.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Why bother with asteroseismology while studying exoplanets? There are several answers to this question. Asteroseismology and exoplanetary sciences have much in common and the synergy between the two opens up new aspects in both fields. These fields and stellar activity, when taken together, allow maximum extraction of information from exoplanet space missions. Asteroseismology of the host star has already proved its value in a number of exoplanet systems by its unprecedented precision in determining stellar parameters. In addition, asteroseismology allows the possibility of discovering new exoplanets through time delay studies. The study of the interaction between exoplanets and their host stars opens new windows on various physical processes. In this review I will summarize past and current research in exoplanet asteroseismology and explore some guidelines for the future.

  13. 275 Candidates and 149 Validated Planets Orbiting Bright Stars in K2 Campaigns 0–10

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayo, Andrew W.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Latham, David W.

    2018-01-01

    Since 2014, NASA’s K2 mission has observed large portions of the ecliptic plane in search of transiting planets and has detected hundreds of planet candidates. With observations planned until at least early 2018, K2 will continue to identify more planet candidates. We present here 275 planet...... candidates observed during Campaigns 0–10 of the K2 mission that are orbiting stars brighter than 13 mag (in Kepler band) and for which we have obtained high-resolution spectra ( R = 44,000). These candidates are analyzed using the vespa package in order to calculate their false-positive probabilities (FPP......). We find that 149 candidates are validated with an FPP lower than 0.1%, 39 of which were previously only candidates and 56 of which were previously undetected. The processes of data reduction, candidate identification, and statistical validation are described, and the demographics of the candidates...

  14. Turbine airfoil with a compliant outer wall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Christian X [Oviedo, FL; Morrison, Jay A [Oviedo, FL

    2012-04-03

    A turbine airfoil usable in a turbine engine with a cooling system and a compliant dual wall configuration configured to enable thermal expansion between inner and outer layers while eliminating stress formation in the outer layer is disclosed. The compliant dual wall configuration may be formed a dual wall formed from inner and outer layers separated by a support structure. The outer layer may be a compliant layer configured such that the outer layer may thermally expand and thereby reduce the stress within the outer layer. The outer layer may be formed from a nonplanar surface configured to thermally expand. In another embodiment, the outer layer may be planar and include a plurality of slots enabling unrestricted thermal expansion in a direction aligned with the outer layer.

  15. Living among giants exploring and settling the outer solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Carroll, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The outer Solar System is rich in resources and may be the best region in which to search for life beyond Earth. In fact, it may ultimately be the best place for Earthlings to set up permanent abodes. This book surveys the feasibility of that prospect, covering the fascinating history of exploration that kicks off our adventure into the outer Solar System.   Although other books provide surveys of the outer planets, Carroll approaches it from the perspective of potential future human exploration, exploitation and settlement, using insights from today’s leading scientists in the field. These experts take us to targets such as the moons Titan, Triton, Enceladus, Iapetus and Europa, and within the atmospheres of the gas and ice giants. In these pages you will experience the thrill of discovery awaiting those who journey through the giant worlds and their moons.   All the latest research is included, as are numerous illustrations, among them original paintings by the author, a renowned prize-winning space art...

  16. Comparative ionospheres: Terrestrial and giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendillo, Michael; Trovato, Jeffrey; Moore, Luke; Müller-Wodarg, Ingo

    2018-03-01

    The study of planetary ionospheres within our solar system offers a variety of settings to probe mechanisms of photo-ionization, chemical loss, and plasma transport. Ionospheres are a minor component of upper atmospheres, and thus their mix of ions observed depends on the neutral gas composition of their parent atmospheres. The same solar irradiance (x-rays and extreme-ultra-violet vs. wavelength) impinges upon each of these atmospheres, with solar flux magnitudes changed only by the inverse square of distance from the Sun. If all planets had the same neutral atmosphere-with ionospheres governed by photochemical equilibrium (production = loss)-their peak electron densities would decrease as the inverse of distance from the Sun, and any changes in solar output would exhibit coherent effects throughout the solar system. Here we examine the outer planet with the most observations of its ionosphere (Saturn) and compare its patterns of electron density with those at Earth under the same-day solar conditions. We show that, while the average magnitudes of the major layers of molecular ions at Earth and Saturn are approximately in accord with distance effects, only minor correlations exist between solar effects and day-to-day electron densities. This is in marked contrast to the strong correlations found between the ionospheres of Earth and Mars. Moreover, the variability observed for Saturn's ionosphere (maximum electron density and total electron content) is much larger than found at Earth and Mars. With solar irradiance changes far too small to cause such effects, we use model results to explore the roles of other agents. We find that water sources from Enceladus at low latitudes, and 'ring rain' at middle latitudes, contribute substantially to variability via water ion chemistry. Thermospheric winds and electrodynamics generated at auroral latitudes are suggested causes of high latitude ionospheric variability, but remain inconclusive due to the lack of relevant

  17. Future radioisotope power needs for missions to the solar system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mondt, J.F.; Underwood, M.L.; Nesmith, B.J.

    1997-01-01

    NASA and DOE plan a cooperative team effort with industry, government laboratories and universities to develop a near term, low cost, low power (100 watt electric class), low mass (<10 kg), advanced radioisotope space power source (ARPS) and in the process reduce the plutonium-related costs as well. The near term is focused on developing an advanced energy converter to use with the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS). The GPHS was developed and used for the current radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). Advanced energy converter technologies are needed as a more efficient replacement for the existing thermoelectric converters so that the space radioisotope power source mass and cost can be reduced. a more advanced technology space radioisotope power system program is also planned that addresses a longer-term need. Twenty first century robotic scientific information missions to the outer planets and beyond are planned to be accomplished with microspacecraft which may demand safe, even more compact, lower-power, lower-mass radioisotope power sources than those which can be achieved as a result of the near term efforts. The longer-term program focuses not only on converter technology but also on lower power, more compact radioisotope heat source technology and smaller, lower mass radioisotope heater units for second generation microspacecraft. This more ambitious, longer time-horizon focus necessarily occurs at this time on the technology R and D level rather than at the system technology level

  18. KEPLER'S FIRST ROCKY PLANET: KEPLER-10b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Haas, Michael R.; Koch, David G.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Fressin, Francois; Latham, David W.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Joergen; Kjeldsen, Hans; Ciardi, David; Dunham, Edward W.; Gautier, Thomas N. III; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Howell, Steve B.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2011-01-01

    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 detected: (1) a 152 ± 4 ppm dimming lasting 1.811 ± 0.024 hr with ephemeris T [BJD] =2454964.57375 +0.00060 -0.00082 + N*0.837495 +0.000004 -0.000005 days and (2) a 376 ± 9 ppm dimming lasting 6.86 ± 0.07 hr with ephemeris T [BJD] =2454971.6761 +0.0020 -0.0023 + N*45.29485 +0.00065 -0.00076 days. Statistical 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 enough for asteroseismic analysis. Photometry was collected at 1 minute cadence for >4 months from which we detected 19 distinct pulsation frequencies. Modeling the frequencies resulted in precise knowledge of the fundamental stellar properties. Kepler-10 is a relatively old (11.9 ± 4.5 Gyr) but otherwise Sun-like main-sequence star with T eff = 5627 ± 44 K, M * = 0.895 ± 0.060 M sun , and R * = 1.056 ± 0.021 R sun . Physical models simultaneously fit to the transit light curves and the precision Doppler measurements yielded tight constraints on the properties of Kepler-10b that speak to its rocky composition: M P = 4.56 +1.17 -1.29 M + , R P = 1.416 +0.033 -0.036 R + , and ρ P = 8.8 +2.1 -2.9 g cm -3 . Kepler-10b is the smallest transiting exoplanet discovered to date.

  19. THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF EARTH ANALOG PLANETS ORBITING SUN-LIKE STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Catanzarite, Joseph; Shao, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Kepler is a space telescope that searches Sun-like stars for planets. Its major goal is to determine η Earth , the fraction of Sun-like stars that have planets like Earth. When a planet 'transits' or moves in front of a star, Kepler can measure the concomitant dimming of the starlight. From analysis of the first four months of those measurements for over 150,000 stars, Kepler's Science Team has determined sizes, surface temperatures, orbit sizes, and periods for over a thousand new planet candidates. In this paper, we characterize the period probability distribution function of the super-Earth and Neptune planet candidates with periods up to 132 days, and find three distinct period regimes. For candidates with periods below 3 days, the density increases sharply with increasing period; for periods between 3 and 30 days, the density rises more gradually with increasing period, and for periods longer than 30 days, the density drops gradually with increasing period. We estimate that 1%-3% of stars like the Sun are expected to have Earth analog planets, based on the Kepler data release of 2011 February. This estimate of η Earth is based on extrapolation from a fiducial subsample of the Kepler planet candidates that we chose to be nominally 'complete' (i.e., no missed detections) to the realm of the Earth-like planets, by means of simple power-law models. The accuracy of the extrapolation will improve as more data from the Kepler mission are folded in. Accurate knowledge of η Earth is essential for the planning of future missions that will image and take spectra of Earth-like planets. Our result that Earths are relatively scarce means that a substantial effort will be needed to identify suitable target stars prior to these future missions.

  20. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING LEADS TO TIGHTLY PACKED PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory; Veras, Dimitri; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel; Greenberg, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The known extrasolar multiple-planet systems share a surprising dynamical attribute: they cluster just beyond the Hill stability boundary. Here we show that the planet-planet scattering model, which naturally explains the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution, can reproduce the observed distribution of dynamical configurations. We calculated how each of our scattered systems would appear over an appropriate range of viewing geometries; as Hill stability is weakly dependent on the masses, the mass-inclination degeneracy does not significantly affect our results. We consider a wide range of initial planetary mass distributions and find that some are poor fits to the observed systems. In fact, many of our scattering experiments overproduce systems very close to the stability boundary. The distribution of dynamical configurations of two-planet systems may provide better discrimination between scattering models than the distribution of eccentricity. Our results imply that, at least in their inner regions which are weakly affected by gas or planetesimal disks, planetary systems should be 'packed', with no large gaps between planets.

  1. From Disks to Planets: The Making of Planets and Their Early Atmospheres. An Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Blanc, Michel

    2018-03-01

    -wavelength telescopic observations of dust provide a wealth of indirect information about the unobserved population of planetesimals. Promising progress is being currently made to observe the gas component as well, using millimetre and sub-millimetre giant radio interferometers. Within planetary systems themselves, individual planets are the assembly of a solid body and a fluid envelope, including their planetary atmosphere when there is one. Their characteristics range from terrestrial planets through sub-Neptunes and Neptunes and to gas giants, each type covering most of the orbital distances probed by present-day techniques. With the continuous progress in detection and characterization techniques and the advent of major providers of new data like the Kepler mission, the architecture of these planetary systems can be studied more and more accurately in a statistically meaningful sense and compared to the one of our own solar system, which does not appear to be an exceptional case. Finally, our understanding of exoplanets atmospheres has made spectacular advances recently using the occultation spectroscopy techniques implemented on the currently operating space and ground-based observing facilities. The powerful new observing facilities planned for the near and more distant future will make it possible to address many of the most challenging current questions of the science of exoplanets and their systems. There is little doubt that, using this new generation of facilities, we will be able to reconstruct more and more accurately the complex evolutionary paths which link stellar genesis to the possible emergence of habitable worlds.

  2. LIFE: Life Investigation For Enceladus A Sample Return Mission Concept in Search for Evidence of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsou, Peter; Brownlee, Donald E; McKay, Christopher P; Anbar, Ariel D; Yano, Hajime; Altwegg, Kathrin; Beegle, Luther W; Dissly, Richard; Strange, Nathan J; Kanik, Isik

    2012-08-01

    Life Investigation For Enceladus (LIFE) presents a low-cost sample return mission to Enceladus, a body with high astrobiological potential. There is ample evidence that liquid water exists under ice coverage in the form of active geysers in the "tiger stripes" area of the southern Enceladus hemisphere. This active plume consists of gas and ice particles and enables the sampling of fresh materials from the interior that may originate from a liquid water source. The particles consist mostly of water ice and are 1-10 μ in diameter. The plume composition shows H(2)O, CO(2), CH(4), NH(3), Ar, and evidence that more complex organic species might be present. Since life on Earth exists whenever liquid water, organics, and energy coexist, understanding the chemical components of the emanating ice particles could indicate whether life is potentially present on Enceladus. The icy worlds of the outer planets are testing grounds for some of the theories for the origin of life on Earth. The LIFE mission concept is envisioned in two parts: first, to orbit Saturn (in order to achieve lower sampling speeds, approaching 2 km/s, and thus enable a softer sample collection impact than Stardust, and to make possible multiple flybys of Enceladus); second, to sample Enceladus' plume, the E ring of Saturn, and the Titan upper atmosphere. With new findings from these samples, NASA could provide detailed chemical and isotopic and, potentially, biological compositional context of the plume. Since the duration of the Enceladus plume is unpredictable, it is imperative that these samples are captured at the earliest flight opportunity. If LIFE is launched before 2019, it could take advantage of a Jupiter gravity assist, which would thus reduce mission lifetimes and launch vehicle costs. The LIFE concept offers science returns comparable to those of a Flagship mission but at the measurably lower sample return costs of a Discovery-class mission.

  3. CONSTRAINTS ON PLANET OCCURRENCE AROUND NEARBY MID-TO-LATE M DWARFS FROM THE MEARTH PROJECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berta, Zachory K.; Irwin, Jonathan; Charbonneau, David

    2013-01-01

    The MEarth Project is a ground-based photometric survey intended to find planets transiting the closest and smallest main-sequence stars. In its first four years, MEarth discovered one transiting exoplanet, the 2.7 R ⊕ planet GJ1214b. Here, we answer an outstanding question: in light of the bounty of small planets transiting small stars uncovered by the Kepler mission, should MEarth have found more than just one planet so far? We estimate MEarth's ensemble sensitivity to exoplanets by performing end-to-end simulations of 1.25 × 10 6 observations of 988 nearby mid-to-late M dwarfs, gathered by MEarth between 2008 October and 2012 June. For 2-4 R ⊕ planets, we compare this sensitivity to results from Kepler and find that MEarth should have found planets at a rate of 0.05-0.36 planets yr –1 in its first four years. As part of this analysis, we provide new analytic fits to the Kepler early M dwarf planet occurrence distribution. When extrapolating between Kepler's early M dwarfs and MEarth's mid-to-late M dwarfs, we find that assuming the planet occurrence distribution stays fixed with respect to planetary equilibrium temperature provides a good match to our detection of a planet with GJ1214b's observed properties. For larger planets, we find that the warm (600-700 K), Neptune-sized (4 R ⊕ ) exoplanets that transit early M dwarfs like Gl436 and GJ3470 occur at a rate of –1 (at 95% confidence) around MEarth's later M dwarf targets. We describe a strategy with which MEarth can increase its expected planet yield by 2.5 × without new telescopes by shifting its sensitivity toward the smaller and cooler exoplanets that Kepler has demonstrated to be abundant

  4. DISK-PLANETS INTERACTIONS AND THE DIVERSITY OF PERIOD RATIOS IN KEPLER'S MULTI-PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baruteau, Clement; Papaloizou, John C. B.

    2013-01-01

    The Kepler mission is dramatically increasing the number of planets known in multi-planetary systems. Many adjacent planets have orbital period ratios near resonant values, with a tendency to be larger than required for exact first-order mean-motion resonances. This feature has been shown to be a natural outcome of orbital circularization of resonant planetary pairs due to star-planet tidal interactions. However, this feature holds in multi-planetary systems with periods longer than 10 days, in which tidal circularization is unlikely to provide efficient divergent evolution of the planets' orbits to explain these orbital period ratios. Gravitational interactions between planets and their parent protoplanetary disk may instead provide efficient divergent evolution. For a planet pair embedded in a disk, we show that interactions between a planet and the wake of its companion can reverse convergent migration and significantly increase the period ratio from a near-resonant value. Divergent evolution due to wake-planet interactions is particularly efficient when at least one of the planets opens a partial gap around its orbit. This mechanism could help account for the diversity of period ratios in Kepler's multiple systems from super-Earth to sub-Jovian planets with periods greater than about 10 days. Diversity is also expected for pairs of planets massive enough to merge their gap. The efficiency of wake-planet interactions is then much reduced, but convergent migration may stall with a variety of period ratios depending on the density structure in the common gap. This is illustrated for the Kepler-46 system, for which we reproduce the period ratio of Kepler-46b and c

  5. Geologic Exploration of the Planets: A Personal Retrospective of the First 50 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, M. H.

    2013-12-01

    the initial results seemed to be positive then falling as abiotic explanations of the results seemed more plausible. Meanwhile several Soviet spacecraft successfully landed on and returned images from the surface of Venus (1975, 1981), and a radar imager on Pioneer Venus (1978) gave a preview of a complex geology that was to be subsequently revealed in detail by Magellan in 1990. In 1979 attention shifted to the outer planets as the two Voyager spacecraft flew by Jupiter revealing the volcanic plumes of Io and the distinctive geology of each of the Galilean satellites. In 1978 I joined the Galileo imaging team but the mission suffered a series of mishaps and we spent almost 20 years repeatedly re-planning the Galilean satellite tour and the imaging sequences before we were rewarded in 1995 with unprecedented views of the satellites, particularly of Io's volcanoes and Europa's ice rafts. Meanwhile the Mars program had stalled. Orbiters, landers, sample returns, penetrators, networks, balloons, airplanes were all studied and restudied. After a 20 year gap, Mars exploration was successfully renewed in 1997 with Pathfinder and Global Surveyor. Failure of two Mars missions in 1999 caused another re-structuring of the program but since that time the Mars program has been remarkably successful, although we still await sample return.

  6. Conceptual Design of an Electric Sail Technology Demonstration Mission Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegmann, Bruce M.

    2017-01-01

    There is great interest in examining the outer planets of our solar system and Heliopause region (edge of Solar System) and beyond regions of interstellar space by both the Planetary and Heliophysics communities. These needs are well docu-mented in the recent National Academy of Sciences Decadal Surveys. There is significant interest in developing revolutionary propulsion techniques that will enable such Heliopause scientific missions to be completed within 10 to15 years of the launch date. One such enabling propulsion technique commonly known as Electric Sail (E-Sail) propulsion employs positively charged bare wire tethers that extend radially outward from a rotating spacecraft spinning at a rate of one revolution per hour. Around the positively charged bare-wire tethers, a Debye Sheath is created once positive voltage is applied. This sheath stands off of the bare wire tether at a sheath diameter that is proportional to the voltage in the wire coupled with the flux density of solar wind ions within the solar system (or the location of spacecraft in the solar system. The protons that are expended from the sun (solar wind) at 400 to 800 km/sec are electrostatically repelled away from these positively charged Debye sheaths and propulsive thrust is produced via the resulting momentum transfer. The amount of thrust produced is directly proportional to the total wire length. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Electric Sail team is currently funded via a two year Phase II NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) awarded in July 2015. The team's current activities are: 1) Developing a Particle in Cell (PIC) numeric engineering model from the experimental data collected at MSFC's Solar Wind Facility on the interaction between simulated solar wind interaction with a charged bare wire that can be applied to a variety of missions, 2) The development of the necessary tether deployers and tethers to enable successful de-ployment of multiple, multi km length bare tethers

  7. OVERCOMING THE METER BARRIER AND THE FORMATION OF SYSTEMS WITH TIGHTLY PACKED INNER PLANETS (STIPs)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boley, A. C.; Morris, M. A.; Ford, E. B.

    2014-01-01

    We present a solution to the long outstanding meter barrier problem in planet formation theory. As solids spiral inward due to aerodynamic drag, they will enter disk regions that are characterized by high temperatures, densities, and pressures. High partial pressures of rock vapor can suppress solid evaporation, and promote collisions between partially molten solids, allowing rapid growth. This process should be ubiquitous in planet-forming disks, which may be evidenced by the abundant class of Systems with Tightly packed Inner Planets discovered by the NASA Kepler Mission

  8. Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars

    OpenAIRE

    Petigura, Erik A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2013-01-01

    Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size (1-2 Earth-radii) and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth (within a factor of four). We account...

  9. Mercury - the hollow planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothery, D. A.

    2012-04-01

    Mercury is turning out to be a planet characterized by various kinds of endogenous hole (discounting impact craters), which are compared here. These include volcanic vents and collapse features on horizontal scales of tens of km, and smaller scale depressions ('hollows') associated with bright crater-floor deposits (BCFD). The BCFD hollows are tens of metres deep and kilometres or less across and are characteristically flat-floored, with steep, scalloped walls. Their form suggests that they most likely result from removal of surface material by some kind of mass-wasting process, probably associated with volume-loss caused by removal (via sublimation?) of a volatile component. These do not appear to be primarily a result of undermining. Determining the composition of the high-albedo bluish surface coating in BCFDs will be a key goal for BepiColombo instruments such as MIXS (Mercury Imaging Xray Spectrometer). In contrast, collapse features are non-circular rimless pits, typically on crater floors (pit-floor craters), whose morphology suggests collapse into void spaces left by magma withdrawal. This could be by drainage of either erupted lava (or impact melt) or of shallowly-intruded magma. Unlike the much smaller-scale BCFD hollows, these 'collapse pit' features tend to lack extensive flat floors and instead tend to be close to triangular in cross-section with inward slopes near to the critical angle of repose. The different scale and morphology of BCFD hollows and collapse pits argues for quite different modes of origin. However, BCFD hollows adjacent to and within the collapse pit inside Scarlatti crater suggest that the volatile material whose loss was responsible for the growth of the hollows may have been emplaced in association with the magma whose drainage caused the main collapse. Another kind of volcanic collapse can be seen within a 25 km-wide volcanic vent outside the southern rim of the Caloris basin (22.5° N, 146.1° E), on a 28 m/pixel MDIS NAC image

  10. Mitochondrial dysfunction underlying outer retinal diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lefevere, Evy; Toft-Kehler, Anne Katrine; Vohra, Rupali

    2017-01-01

    Dysfunction of photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) or both contribute to the initiation and progression of several outer retinal disorders. Disrupted Müller glia function might additionally subsidize to these diseases. Mitochondrial malfunctioning is importantly associated with outer...

  11. Chaos in Kepler's Multiple Planet Systems and K2s Observations of the Atmospheres of Uranus Neptune

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  12. Atmospheric reconnaissance of the habitable-zone Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Julien; Wakeford, Hannah R.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Delrez, Laetitia; Gillon, Michaël; Selsis, Frank; Leconte, Jérémy; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Bolmont, Emeline; Bourrier, Vincent; Burgasser, Adam J.; Grimm, Simon; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Owen, James E.; Stamenković, Vlada; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2018-03-01

    Seven temperate Earth-sized exoplanets readily amenable for atmospheric studies transit the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (refs 1,2). Their atmospheric regime is unknown and could range from extended primordial hydrogen-dominated to depleted atmospheres3-6. Hydrogen in particular is a powerful greenhouse gas that may prevent the habitability of inner planets while enabling the habitability of outer ones6-8. An atmosphere largely dominated by hydrogen, if cloud-free, should yield prominent spectroscopic signatures in the near-infrared detectable during transits. Observations of the innermost planets have ruled out such signatures9. However, the outermost planets are more likely to have sustained such a Neptune-like atmosphere10, 11. Here, we report observations for the four planets within or near the system's habitable zone, the circumstellar region where liquid water could exist on a planetary surface12-14. These planets do not exhibit prominent spectroscopic signatures at near-infrared wavelengths either, which rules out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 d, e and f, with significance of 8σ, 6σ and 4σ, respectively. Such an atmosphere is instead not excluded for planet g. As high-altitude clouds and hazes are not expected in hydrogen-dominated atmospheres around planets with such insolation15, 16, these observations further support their terrestrial and potentially habitable nature.

  13. PLANET OCCURRENCE WITHIN 0.25 AU OF SOLAR-TYPE STARS FROM KEPLER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Borucki, William J.; Koch, David G.; Lissauer, Jack J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Jenkins, Jon M.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Caldwell, Douglas A. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192 (United States); Dunham, Edward W. [Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Gautier, Thomas N. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Cochran, William D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Latham, David W.; Torres, Guillermo [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Brown, Timothy M. [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Gilliland, Ronald L. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University (Denmark); Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen, E-mail: howard@astro.berkeley.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); and others

    2012-08-01

    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{sub Circled-Plus }. For each of the 156,000 target stars, we assess the detectability of planets as a function of planet radius, R{sub 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{sub *}/a. We consider first Kepler target stars within the 'solar subset' having T{sub eff} = 4100-6100 K, log g 4.0-4.9, and Kepler magnitude Kp < 15 mag, i.e., bright, main-sequence GK stars. We include only those stars having photometric noise low enough to permit detection of planets down to 2 R{sub Circled-Plus }. We count planets in small domains of R{sub p} and P and divide by the included target stars to calculate planet occurrence in each domain. The resulting occurrence of planets varies by more than three orders of magnitude in the radius-orbital period plane and increases substantially down to the smallest radius (2 R{sub Circled-Plus }) and out to the longest orbital period (50 days, {approx}0.25 AU) in our study. For P < 50 days, the distribution of planet radii is given by a power law, df/dlog R = k{sub R}R{sup {alpha}} with k{sub R} = 2.9{sup +0.5}{sub -0.4}, {alpha} = -1.92 {+-} 0.11, and R {identical_to} R{sub p}/R{sub Circled-Plus }. This rapid increase in planet occurrence with decreasing planet size agrees with the prediction of core-accretion formation but disagrees with population synthesis models that predict a desert at super-Earth and Neptune sizes for close-in orbits. Planets with orbital periods shorter than 2 days are extremely rare; for R{sub p} > 2 R{sub Circled-Plus} we measure an

  14. WORKSHOP: Inner space - outer space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1984-01-01

    During the first week of May, the Fermilab theoretical astrophysics group hosted an international conference on science at the interface of particle physics and cosmology/astrophysics. The conference (Inner Space-Outer Space) was attended by a very diverse group of more than 200 physical scientists, including astronomers, astrophysicists, cosmologists, low-temperature physicists, and elementary particle theorists and experimentalists. The common interest which brought this diverse group to gether is the connection between physics on the smallest scale probed by man - the realm of elementary particle physics - and physics on the largest scale imaginable (the entire Universe) - the realm of cosmology

  15. WORKSHOP: Inner space - outer space

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    1984-09-15

    During the first week of May, the Fermilab theoretical astrophysics group hosted an international conference on science at the interface of particle physics and cosmology/astrophysics. The conference (Inner Space-Outer Space) was attended by a very diverse group of more than 200 physical scientists, including astronomers, astrophysicists, cosmologists, low-temperature physicists, and elementary particle theorists and experimentalists. The common interest which brought this diverse group to gether is the connection between physics on the smallest scale probed by man - the realm of elementary particle physics - and physics on the largest scale imaginable (the entire Universe) - the realm of cosmology.

  16. Outer scale of atmospheric turbulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukin, Vladimir P.

    2005-10-01

    In the early 70's, the scientists in Italy (A.Consortini, M.Bertolotti, L.Ronchi), USA (R.Buser, Ochs, S.Clifford) and USSR (V.Pokasov, V.Lukin) almost simultaneously discovered the phenomenon of deviation from the power law and the effect of saturation for the structure phase function. During a period of 35 years we have performed successively the investigations of the effect of low-frequency spectral range of atmospheric turbulence on the optical characteristics. The influence of the turbulence models as well as a outer scale of turbulence on the characteristics of telescopes and systems of laser beam formations has been determined too.

  17. A SECOND GIANT PLANET IN 3:2 MEAN-MOTION RESONANCE IN THE HD 204313 SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robertson, Paul; Endl, Michael; Cochran, William D.; MacQueen, Phillip J.; Brugamyer, Erik J.; Barnes, Stuart I.; Caldwell, Caroline; Horner, J.; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Simon, Attila E.

    2012-01-01

    We present eight years of high-precision radial velocity (RV) data for HD 204313 from the 2.7 m Harlan J. Smith Telescope at McDonald Observatory. The star is known to have a giant planet (Msin i = 3.5 M J ) on a ∼1900 day orbit, and a Neptune-mass planet at 0.2 AU. Using our own data in combination with the published CORALIE RVs of Ségransan et al., we discover an outer Jovian (Msin i = 1.6 M J ) planet with P ∼ 2800 days. Our orbital fit suggests that the planets are in a 3:2 mean motion resonance, which would potentially affect their stability. We perform a detailed stability analysis and verify that the planets must be in resonance.

  18. Atmospheres of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kivelson, M.G.; Schubert, G.

    1986-01-01

    Properties of the planets are identified - such as size, spin rate, and distance from the sun - that are important in understanding the characteristics of their atmospheres. Venus, earth and Mars have surface-temperature differences only partly explained by the decrease of solar radiation flux with distance from the sun. More significant effects arise from the variations in the degree to which the atmospheres act as absorbers of planetary thermal reradiation. Atmospheric circulation on a global scale also varies markedly among the three planets. 5 references

  19. Guldlok og de nye planeter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke

    2007-01-01

    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....

  20. Migration of accreting giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, C.; Crida, A.; Lega, E.; Méheut, H.

    2017-09-01

    Giant planets forming in protoplanetary disks migrate relative to their host star. By repelling the gas in their vicinity, they form gaps in the disk's structure. If they are effectively locked in their gap, it follows that their migration rate is governed by the accretion of the disk itself onto the star, in a so-called type II fashion. Recent results showed however that a locking mechanism was still lacking, and was required to understand how giant planets may survive their disk. We propose that planetary accretion may play this part, and help reach this slow migration regime.

  1. Laboratory experiments in the study of the chemistry of the outer planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scattergood, Thomas W.

    1987-01-01

    It is shown that much information about planetary chemistry and physics can be gained through laboratory work. The types of experiments relevant to planetary research concern fundamental properties, spectral/optical properties, 'Miller-Urey' syntheses, and detailed syntheses. Specific examples of studies of the chemistry in the atmosphere of Titan are described with attention given to gas phase chemistry in the troposphere and the composition of model Titan aerosols. A list of work that still needs to be done is provided.

  2. The MagOrion - A propulsion system for human exploration of the outer planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrews, Jason; Andrews, Dana

    2000-01-01

    Manned exploration beyond Mars requires very high specific energy. The only potential solution under discussion is fusion propulsion. However, fusion has been ten years away for forty years. We have an available solution that combines new technology with an old concept-'Project Orion'. The proposed 'MagOrion' Propulsion System combines a magnetic sail (MagSail) with conventional small yield (0.5 to 1.0 kiloton) shaped nuclear fission devices. At denonation, roughly eighty percent of the yield appears as a highly-ionized plasma, and when detonated two kilometers behind a robust MagSail, approximately half of this plasma can be stopped and turned into thrust. A MagOrion can provide a system acceleration of one or more gravities with effective specific impulses ranging from 15,000 to 45,000 seconds. Dana Andrews and Robert Zubrin published a paper in 1997 that described the operating principles of the MagOrion. We have taken that concept through conceptual design to identify the major operational features and risks. The risks are considerable, but the potential payoff is staggering. Our proposed MagOrion will enable affordable exploration of the solar system

  3. Orbital alignment of circumbinary planets that form in misaligned circumbinary discs: the case of Kepler-413b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierens, A.; Nelson, R. P.

    2018-06-01

    Although most of the circumbinary planets detected by the Kepler spacecraft are on orbits that are closely aligned with the binary orbital plane, the systems Kepler-413 and Kepler-453 exhibit small misalignments of ˜2.5°. One possibility is that these planets formed in a circumbinary disc whose midplane was inclined relative to the binary orbital plane. Such a configuration is expected to lead to a warped and twisted disc, and our aim is to examine the inclination evolution of planets embedded in these discs. We employed 3D hydrodynamical simulations that examine the disc response to the presence of a modestly inclined binary with parameters that match the Kepler-413 system, as a function of disc parameters and binary inclinations. The discs all develop slowly varying warps, and generally display very small amounts of twist. Very slow solid body precession occurs because a large outer disc radius is adopted. Simulations of planets embedded in these discs resulted in the planet aligning with the binary orbit plane for disc masses close to the minimum mass solar nebular, such that nodal precession of the planet was controlled by the binary. For higher disc masses, the planet maintains near coplanarity with the local disc midplane. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets born in tilted circumbinary discs should align with the binary orbit plane as the disc ages and loses mass, even if the circumbinary disc remains misaligned from the binary orbit. This result has important implications for understanding the origins of the known circumbinary planets.

  4. PLANETARY CANDIDATES OBSERVED BY KEPLER IV: PLANET SAMPLE FROM Q1-Q8 (22 MONTHS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burke, Christopher J.; Mullally, F.; Rowe, Jason F.; Thompson, Susan E.; Coughlin, Jeffrey L.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Haas, Michael R.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Ciardi, David R.; Still, Martin; Barclay, Thomas; Chaplin, William J.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Cochran, William D.; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.

    2014-01-01

    We provide updates to the Kepler planet candidate sample based upon nearly two years of high-precision photometry (i.e., Q1-Q8). From an initial list of nearly 13,400 threshold crossing events, 480 new host stars are identified from their flux time series as consistent with hosting transiting planets. Potential transit signals are subjected to further analysis using the pixel-level data, which allows background eclipsing binaries to be identified through small image position shifts during transit. We also re-evaluate Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) 1-1609, which were identified early in the mission, using substantially more data to test for background false positives and to find additional multiple systems. Combining the new and previous KOI samples, we provide updated parameters for 2738 Kepler planet candidates distributed across 2017 host stars. From the combined Kepler planet candidates, 472 are new from the Q1-Q8 data examined in this study. The new Kepler planet candidates represent ∼40% of the sample with R P ∼ 1 R ⊕ and represent ∼40% of the low equilibrium temperature (T eq < 300 K) sample. We review the known biases in the current sample of Kepler planet candidates relevant to evaluating planet population statistics with the current Kepler planet candidate sample

  5. Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petigura, Erik A; Howard, Andrew W; Marcy, Geoffrey W

    2013-11-26

    Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size ( ) and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth (1 - 2 R[Symbol: see text] ). We account for Kepler's imperfect detectability of such planets by injecting synthetic planet-caused dimmings into the Kepler brightness measurements and recording the fraction detected. We find that 11 ± 4% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet receiving between one and four times the stellar intensity as Earth. We also find that the occurrence of Earth-size planets is constant with increasing orbital period (P), within equal intervals of logP up to ~200 d. Extrapolating, one finds 5.7(-2.2)(+1.7)% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet with orbital periods of 200-400 d.

  6. Synergies Between the Kepler, K2 and TESS Missions with the PLATO Mission (Revised)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.

    2017-01-01

    Two transit survey missions will have been flown by NASA prior to the launch of ESA's PLATO Mission in 2026, laying the groundwork for exoplanet discovery via the transit method. The Kepler Mission, which launched in 2009, collected data on its 100+ square degree field of view for four years before failure of a reaction wheel ended its primary mission. The results from Kepler include 2300+ confirmed or validated exoplanets, 2200+ planetary candidates, 2100+ eclipsing binaries. Kepler also revolutionized the field of asteroseismology by measuring the pressure mode oscillations of over 15000 solar-like stars spanning the lifecycle of such stars from hydrogen-burning dwarfs to helium-burning red giants. The re-purposed Kepler Mission, dubbed K2, continues to observe fields of view in and near the ecliptic plane for 80 days each, significantly broadening the scope of the astrophysical investigations as well as discovering an additional 156 exoplanets to date. The TESS mission will launch in 2017 to conduct an all-sky survey for small exoplanets orbiting stars 10X closer and 100X brighter than Kepler exoplanet host stars, allowing for far greater follow-up and characterization of their masses as well as their sizes for at least 50 small planets. Future assets such as James Webb Space Telescope, and ground-based assets such as ESOs Very Large Telescope (VLT) array, the Exremely Large Telescope (ELT), and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will be able to characterize the atmospheric composition and properties of these small planets. TESS will observe each 24 X 96 field of view for 30 days and thereby cover first the southern and then the northern hemisphere over 13 pointings during each year of the primary mission. The pole-most camera will observe the James Webb continuous viewing zone for one year in each hemisphere, permitting much longer period planets to be detected in this region. The PLATO mission will seek to detect habitable Earth-like planets with an instrument

  7. HABITABLE PLANETS ECLIPSING BROWN DWARFS: STRATEGIES FOR DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belu, Adrian R.; Selsis, Franck; Raymond, Sean N.; Bolmont, Emeline; Pallé, Enric; Street, Rachel; Sahu, D. K.; Anupama, G. C.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Figueira, Pedro; Ribas, Ignasi

    2013-01-01

    Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P HZ o ut ). Habitable planets with P HZ o ut shorter than the useful duration of a night (e.g., 8-10 hr) can be screened with 100% completeness from a single location and in a single night (near-IR). More luminous BDs require continuous monitoring for longer duration, e.g., from space or from a longitude-distributed network (one test scheduling achieved three telescopes, 13.5 contiguous hours). Using a simulated survey of the 21 closest known BDs (within 7 pc) we find that the probability of detecting at least one transiting habitable planet is between 4.5 +5.6 -1.4 % and 56 +31 -13 %, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using ∼1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.

  8. HABITABLE PLANETS ECLIPSING BROWN DWARFS: STRATEGIES FOR DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belu, Adrian R.; Selsis, Franck; Raymond, Sean N.; Bolmont, Emeline [Universite de Bordeaux, LAB, UMR 5804, F-33270, Floirac (France); Palle, Enric [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, E-38205 La Laguna (Spain); Street, Rachel [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, 6740 Cortona Drive, Suite 102, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Sahu, D. K.; Anupama, G. C. [Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala, Bangalore 560034 (India); Von Braun, Kaspar [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, MC 100-22, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Figueira, Pedro [Centro de Astrofisica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Ribas, Ignasi, E-mail: belu@obs.u-bordeaux1.fr [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai (CSIC-IEEC), Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C5, parell, 2a pl., E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2013-05-10

    Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P{sub HZ{sub out}}). Habitable planets with P{sub HZ{sub out}} shorter than the useful duration of a night (e.g., 8-10 hr) can be screened with 100% completeness from a single location and in a single night (near-IR). More luminous BDs require continuous monitoring for longer duration, e.g., from space or from a longitude-distributed network (one test scheduling achieved three telescopes, 13.5 contiguous hours). Using a simulated survey of the 21 closest known BDs (within 7 pc) we find that the probability of detecting at least one transiting habitable planet is between 4.5{sup +5.6}{sub -1.4}% and 56{sup +31}{sub -13}%, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using {approx}1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.

  9. Ensemble Atmospheric Properties of Small Planets around M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xueying; Ballard, Sarah; Dragomir, Diana

    2018-01-01

    With the growing number of planets discovered by the Kepler mission and ground-base surveys, people start to try to understand the atmospheric features of those uncovered new worlds. While it has been found that hot Jupiters exhibit diverse atmosphere composition with both clear and cloudy/hazy atmosphere possible, similar studies on ensembles of smaller planets (Earth analogs) have been held up due to the faintness of most of their host stars. In this work, a sample of 20 Earth analogs of similar periods around M dwarfs with existing Kepler transit information and Spitzer observations is composed, complemented with previously studies GJ1214b and GJ1132b, as well as the recently announced 7 small planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. We evaluate their transit depths with uncertainties on the Spitzer 4.5 micron band using the “pixel-level decorrelation” method, and together with their well analyzed Kepler data and Hubble data, we put constraints on their atmosphere haze slopes and cloud levels. Aside from improving the understanding of ensemble properties of small planets, this study will also provide clues of potential targets for detailed atmospheric studies using the upcoming James Webb Telescope.

  10. Is Pluto a planet? A historical journey through the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Weintraub, David A

    2007-01-01

    A Note from the Author: On August 24, 2006, at the 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Prague, by a majority vote of only the 424 members present, the IAU (an organization of over 10,000 members) passed a resolution defining planet in such a way as to exclude Pluto and established a new class of objects in the solar system to be called ""dwarf planets,"" which was deliberately designed to include Pluto. With the discovery of Eris (2003 UB313)--an outer solar system object thought to be both slightly larger than Pluto and twice as far from the Sun--astrono

  11. Atmospheric dynamics of tidally synchronized extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, James Y-K

    2008-12-13

    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.

  12. ON THE EFFECT OF GIANT PLANETS ON THE SCATTERING OF PARENT BODIES OF IRON METEORITE FROM THE TERRESTRIAL PLANET REGION INTO THE ASTEROID BELT: A CONCEPT STUDY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Scott, Edward R. D.

    2012-01-01

    In their model for the origin of the parent bodies of iron meteorites, Bottke et al. proposed differentiated planetesimals, formed in 1-2 AU during the first 1.5 Myr, as the parent bodies, and suggested that these objects and their fragments were scattered into the asteroid belt as a result of interactions with planetary embryos. Although viable, this model does not include the effect of a giant planet that might have existed or been growing in the outer regions. We present the results of a concept study where we have examined the effect of a planetary body in the orbit of Jupiter on the early scattering of planetesimals from the terrestrial region into the asteroid belt. We integrated the orbits of a large battery of planetesimals in a disk of planetary embryos and studied their evolutions for different values of the mass of the planet. Results indicate that when the mass of the planet is smaller than 10 M ⊕ , its effects on the interactions among planetesimals and planetary embryos are negligible. However, when the planet mass is between 10 and 50 M ⊕ , simulations point to a transitional regime with ∼50 M ⊕ being the value for which the perturbing effect of the planet can no longer be ignored. Simulations also show that further increase of the mass of the planet strongly reduces the efficiency of the scattering of planetesimals from the terrestrial planet region into the asteroid belt. We present the results of our simulations and discuss their possible implications for the time of giant planet formation.

  13. Tracking Planets around the Sun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2008-01-01

    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,…

  14. Jupiter: Lord of the Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, William

    1984-01-01

    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)

  15. Venus and Mercury as Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-01-01

    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.

  16. How to build a planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Louisa

    2017-12-01

    It is a difficult project to tackle, in a book - the subject of exoplanets - as it is one of the fastest-moving branches of planetary science. In The Planet Factory Elizabeth Tasker, an astrophysicist at Japan's JAXA space agency, has bravely taken on the role of navigator for this incredible journey of planetary discovery, and the book does not disappoint.

  17. Venus and Mercury as planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1974-01-01

    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

  18. Monster telescope hunts blue planets

    CERN Multimedia

    Leake, J

    2003-01-01

    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).

  19. EVOLUTION OF THE SOLAR NEBULA AND PLANET GROWTH UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF PHOTOEVAPORATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, Tyler R.; Stewart, Glen R.

    2010-01-01

    The recent development of a new minimum mass solar nebula, under the assumption that the giant planets formed in the compact configuration of the Nice model, has shed new light on planet formation in the solar system. Desch previously found that a steady state protoplanetary disk with an outer boundary truncated by photoevaporation by an external massive star would have a steep surface density profile. In a completely novel way, we have adapted numerical methods for solving propagating phase change problems to astrophysical disks. We find that a one-dimensional time-dependent disk model that self-consistently tracks the location of the outer boundary produces shallower profiles than those predicted for a steady state disk. The resulting surface density profiles have a radial dependence of Σ(r)∝r -1.25 + 0 .88 -0.33 with a power-law exponent that in some models becomes as large as ∼Σ(r) ∝ r -2.1 . The evolutionary timescales of the model disks can be sped up or slowed down by altering the amount of far-ultraviolet flux or the viscosity parameter α. Slowing the evolutionary timescale by decreasing the incident far-ultraviolet flux, or similarly by decreasing α, can help to grow planets more rapidly, but at the cost of decreased migration timescales. Although they similarly affect relevant timescales, changes in the far-ultraviolet flux or α produce disks with drastically different outer radii. Despite their differences, these disks are all characterized by outward mass transport, mass loss at the outer edge, and a truncated outer boundary. The transport of mass from small to large radii can potentially prevent the rapid inward migration of Jupiter and Saturn, while at the same time supply enough mass to the outer regions of the disk for the formation of Uranus and Neptune.

  20. Predicting the Atmospheric Composition of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, A. G.; Moses, J. I.; Friedson, A. J.; Fegley, B., Jr.; Marley, M. S.; Lodders, K.

    2004-01-01

    To date, approximately 120 planet-sized objects have been discovered around other stars, mostly through the radial-velocity technique. This technique can provide information about a planet s minimum mass and its orbital period and distance; however, few other planetary data can be obtained at this point in time unless we are fortunate enough to find an extrasolar giant planet that transits its parent star (i.e., the orbit is edge-on as seen from Earth). In that situation, many physical properties of the planet and its parent star can be determined, including some compositional information. Our prospects of directly obtaining spectra from extrasolar planets may improve in the near future, through missions like NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder. Most of the extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) discovered so far have masses equal to or greater than Jupiter's mass, and roughly 16% have orbital radii less than 0.1 AU - extremely close to the parent star by our own Solar-System standards (note that Mercury is located at a mean distance of 0.39 AU and Jupiter at 5.2 AU from the Sun). Although all EGPs are expected to have hydrogen-dominated atmospheres similar to Jupiter, the orbital distance can strongly affect the planet's temperature, physical, chemical, and spectral properties, and the abundance of minor, detectable atmospheric constituents. Thermochemical equilibrium models can provide good zero-order predictions for the atmospheric composition of EGPs. However, both the composition and spectral properties will depend in large part on disequilibrium processes like photochemistry, chemical kinetics, atmospheric transport, and haze formation. We have developed a photochemical kinetics, radiative transfer, and 1-D vertical transport model to study the atmospheric composition of EGPs. The chemical reaction list contains H-, C-, O-, and N-bearing species and is designed to be valid for atmospheric temperatures ranging from 100-3000 K and pressures up to 50 bar. Here we examine

  1. The dynamics of the multi-planet system orbiting Kepler-56

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Gongjie; Naoz, Smadar; Johnson, John Asher [Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Institute for Theory and Computation, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Valsecchi, Francesca; Rasio, Frederic A., E-mail: gli@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: snaoz@cfa.harvard.edu [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)

    2014-10-20

    Kepler-56 is a multi-planet system containing two coplanar inner planets that are in orbits misaligned with respect to the spin axis of the host star, and an outer planet. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the broad distribution of spin-orbit angles among exoplanets, and these theories fall under two broad categories. The first is based on dynamical interactions in a multi-body system, while the other assumes that disk migration is the driving mechanism in planetary configuration and that the star (or disk) is titled with respect to the planetary plane. Here we show that the large observed obliquity of Kepler 56 system is consistent with a dynamical origin. In addition, we use observations by Huber et al. to derive the obliquity's probability distribution function, thus improving the constrained lower limit. The outer planet may be the cause of the inner planets' large obliquities, and we give the probability distribution function of its inclination, which depends on the initial orbital configuration of the planetary system. We show that even in the presence of precise measurement of the true obliquity, one cannot distinguish the initial configurations. Finally we consider the fate of the system as the star continues to evolve beyond the main sequence, and we find that the obliquity of the system will not undergo major variations as the star climbs the red giant branch. We follow the evolution of the system and find that the innermost planet will be engulfed in ∼129 Myr. Furthermore we put an upper limit of ∼155 Myr for the engulfment of the second planet. This corresponds to ∼3% of the current age of the star.

  2. Free-floating planets from microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumi, Takahiro

    2014-06-01

    Gravitational microlensing has an unique sensitivity to exoplanets at outside of the snow-line and even exoplanets unbound to any host stars because the technique does not rely on any light from the host but the gravity of the lens. MOA and OGLE collaborations reported the discovery of a population of unbound or distant Jupiter-mass objects, which are almost twice (1.8_{-0.8}^{+1.7}) as common as main-sequence stars, based on two years of gravitational microlensing survey observations toward the Galactic Bulge. These planetary-mass objects have no host stars that can be detected within about ten astronomical units by gravitational microlensing. However a comparison with constraints from direct imaging suggests that most of these planetary-mass objects are not bound to any host star. The such short-timescale unbound planetary candidates have been detected with the similar rate in on-going observations and these groups are working to update the analysis with larger statistics. Recently, there are also discoveries of free-floating planetary mass objects by the direct imaging in young star-forming regions and in the moving groups, but these objects are limited to massive objects of 3 to 15 Jupiter masses.They are more massive than the population found by microlensing. So they may be a different population with the different formation process, either similar with that of stars and brown dwarfs, or formed in proto-planetary disks and subsequently scattered into unbound or very distant orbits. It is important to fill the gap of these mass ranges to fully understand these populations. The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is the highest ranked recommendation for a large space mission in the recent New Worlds, New Horizons (NWNH) in Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 Decadal Survey. Exoplanet microlensing program is one of the primary science of WFIRST. WFIRST will find about 3000 bound planets and 2000 unbound planets by the high precision continuous survey 15 min

  3. Kepler AutoRegressive Planet Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caceres, Gabriel Antonio; Feigelson, Eric

    2016-01-01

    The Kepler AutoRegressive Planet Search (KARPS) project uses statistical methodology associated with autoregressive (AR) processes to model Kepler lightcurves in order to improve exoplanet transit detection in systems with high stellar variability. We also introduce a planet-search algorithm to detect transits in time-series residuals after application of the AR models. One of the main obstacles in detecting faint planetary transits is the intrinsic stellar variability of the host star. The variability displayed by many stars may have autoregressive properties, wherein later flux values are correlated with previous ones in some manner. Our analysis procedure consisting of three steps: pre-processing of the data to remove discontinuities, gaps and outliers; AR-type model selection and fitting; and transit signal search of the residuals using a new Transit Comb Filter (TCF) that replaces traditional box-finding algorithms. The analysis procedures of the project are applied to a portion of the publicly available Kepler light curve data for the full 4-year mission duration. Tests of the methods have been made on a subset of Kepler Objects of Interest (KOI) systems, classified both as planetary `candidates' and `false positives' by the Kepler Team, as well as a random sample of unclassified systems. We find that the ARMA-type modeling successfully reduces the stellar variability, by a factor of 10 or more in active stars and by smaller factors in more quiescent stars. A typical quiescent Kepler star has an interquartile range (IQR) of ~10 e-/sec, which may improve slightly after modeling, while those with IQR ranging from 20 to 50 e-/sec, have improvements from 20% up to 70%. High activity stars (IQR exceeding 100) markedly improve. A periodogram based on the TCF is constructed to concentrate the signal of these periodic spikes. When a periodic transit is found, the model is displayed on a standard period-folded averaged light curve. Our findings to date on real

  4. Safety Framework for Nuclear Power Source Applications in Outer Space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-01-01

    Nuclear power sources (NPS) for use in outer space have been developed and used in space applications where unique mission requirements and constraints on electrical power and thermal management precluded the use of non-nuclear power sources. Such missions have included interplanetary missions to the outer limits of the Solar System, for which solar panels were not suitable as a source of electrical power because of the long duration of these missions at great distances from the Sun. According to current knowledge and capabilities, space NPS are the only viable energy option to power some space missions and significantly enhance others. Several ongoing and foreseeable missions would not be possible without the use of space NPS. Past, present and foreseeable space NPS applications include radioisotope power systems (for example, radioisotope thermoelectric generators and radioisotope heater units) and nuclear reactor systems for power and propulsion. The presence of radioactive materials or nuclear fuels in space NPS and their consequent potential for harm to people and the environment in Earth's biosphere due to an accident require that safety should always be an inherent part of the design and application of space NPS. NPS applications in outer space have unique safety considerations compared with terrestrial applications. Unlike many terrestrial nuclear applications, space applications tend to be used infrequently and their requirements can vary significantly depending upon the specific mission. Mission launch and outer space operational requirements impose size, mass and other space environment limitations not present for many terrestrial nuclear facilities. For some applications, space NPS must operate autonomously at great distances from Earth in harsh environments. Potential accident conditions resulting from launch failures and inadvertent re-entry could expose NPS to extreme physical conditions. These and other unique safety considerations for the use of

  5. The Eccentric Kozai-Lidov Mechanism for Outer Test Particle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naoz, Smadar; Li, Gongjie; Zanardi, Macarena; de Elía, Gonzalo Carlos; Di Sisto, Romina P.

    2017-07-01

    The secular approximation of the hierarchical three body systems has been proven to be very useful in addressing many astrophysical systems, from planets to stars to black holes. In such a system, two objects are on a tight orbit and the tertiary is on a much wider orbit. Here, we study the dynamics of a system by taking the tertiary mass to zero and solve the hierarchical three body system up to the octupole level of approximation. We find a rich dynamics that the outer orbit undergoes due to gravitational perturbations from the inner binary. The nominal result of the precession of the nodes is mostly limited for the lowest order of approximation; however, when the octupole level of approximation is introduced, the system becomes chaotic, as expected, and the tertiary oscillates below and above 90°, similarly to the non-test particle flip behavior. We provide the Hamiltonian of the system and investigate the dynamics of the system from the quadrupole to the octupole level of approximations. We also analyze the chaotic and quasi-periodic orbital evolution by studying the surfaces of sections. Furthermore, including general relativity, we showcase the long-term evolution of individual debris disk particles under the influence of a far-away interior eccentric planet. We show that this dynamics can naturally result in retrograde objects and a puffy disk after a long timescale evolution (a few Gyr) for initially aligned configuration.

  6. The Eccentric Kozai–Lidov Mechanism for Outer Test Particle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Naoz, Smadar [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Li, Gongjie [Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Institute for Theory and Computation, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Zanardi, Macarena; De Elía, Gonzalo Carlos; Di Sisto, Romina P., E-mail: snaoz@astro.ucla.edu [Instituto de Astrofísica de La Plata, CCT La Plata-CONICET-UNLP Paseo del Bosque S/N (1900), La Plata (Argentina)

    2017-07-01

    The secular approximation of the hierarchical three body systems has been proven to be very useful in addressing many astrophysical systems, from planets to stars to black holes. In such a system, two objects are on a tight orbit and the tertiary is on a much wider orbit. Here, we study the dynamics of a system by taking the tertiary mass to zero and solve the hierarchical three body system up to the octupole level of approximation. We find a rich dynamics that the outer orbit undergoes due to gravitational perturbations from the inner binary. The nominal result of the precession of the nodes is mostly limited for the lowest order of approximation; however, when the octupole level of approximation is introduced, the system becomes chaotic, as expected, and the tertiary oscillates below and above 90°, similarly to the non-test particle flip behavior. We provide the Hamiltonian of the system and investigate the dynamics of the system from the quadrupole to the octupole level of approximations. We also analyze the chaotic and quasi-periodic orbital evolution by studying the surfaces of sections. Furthermore, including general relativity, we showcase the long-term evolution of individual debris disk particles under the influence of a far-away interior eccentric planet. We show that this dynamics can naturally result in retrograde objects and a puffy disk after a long timescale evolution (a few Gyr) for initially aligned configuration.

  7. OBJECTS IN KEPLER'S MIRROR MAY BE LARGER THAN THEY APPEAR: BIAS AND SELECTION EFFECTS IN TRANSITING PLANET SURVEYS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaidos, Eric; Mann, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    Statistical analyses of large surveys for transiting planets such as the Kepler mission must account for systematic errors and biases. Transit detection depends not only on the planet's radius and orbital period, but also on host star properties. Thus, a sample of stars with transiting planets may not accurately represent the target population. Moreover, targets are selected using criteria such as a limiting apparent magnitude. These selection effects, combined with uncertainties in stellar radius, lead to biases in the properties of transiting planets and their host stars. We quantify possible biases in the Kepler survey. First, Eddington bias produced by a steep planet radius distribution and uncertainties in stellar radius results in a 15%-20% overestimate of planet occurrence. Second, the magnitude limit of the Kepler target catalog induces Malmquist bias toward large, more luminous stars and underestimation of the radii of about one-third of candidate planets, especially those larger than Neptune. Third, because metal-poor stars are smaller, stars with detected planets will be very slightly (<0.02 dex) more metal-poor than the target average. Fourth, uncertainties in stellar radii produce correlated errors in planet radius and stellar irradiation. A previous finding, that highly irradiated giants are more likely to have 'inflated' radii, remains significant, even accounting for this effect. In contrast, transit depth is negatively correlated with stellar metallicity even in the absence of any intrinsic correlation, and a previous claim of a negative correlation between giant planet transit depth and stellar metallicity is probably an artifact.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Moltenbrey, Michael

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. Terrestrial Planet Finder: Coda to 10 Years of Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) was proposed as a mission concept to the 2000 Decadal Survey, and received a very high ranking amongst the major initiatives that were then reviewed. As proposed, it was a formation flying array of four 3-m class mid-infrared telescopes, linked together as an interferometer. Its science goal was to survey 150 nearby stars for the presence of Earth-like planets, to detect signs of life or habitability, and to enable revolutionary advances in high angular resolution astrophysics. The Decadal Survey Committee recommended that $200M be invested to advance TPF technology development in the Decade of 2000-2010. This paper presents the results of NASA's investment.

  10. Hydrodynamics of embedded planets' first atmospheres - III. The role of radiation transport for super-Earth planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimerman, Nicolas P.; Kuiper, Rolf; Ormel, Chris W.

    2017-11-01

    The population of close-in super-Earths, with gas mass fractions of up to 10 per cent represents a challenge for planet formation theory: how did they avoid runaway gas accretion and collapsing to hot Jupiters despite their core masses being in the critical range of Mc ≃ 10 M⊕? Previous three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamical simulations indicate that atmospheres of low-mass planets cannot be considered isolated from the protoplanetary disc, contrary to what is assumed in 1D-evolutionary calculations. This finding is referred to as the recycling hypothesis. In this paper, we investigate the recycling hypothesis for super-Earth planets, accounting for realistic 3D radiation hydrodynamics. Also, we conduct a direct comparison in terms of the evolution of the entropy between 1D and 3D geometries. We clearly see that 3D atmospheres maintain higher entropy: although gas in the atmosphere loses entropy through radiative cooling, the advection of high-entropy gas from the disc into the Bondi/Hill sphere slows down Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction, potentially arresting envelope growth at a sub-critical gas mass fraction. Recycling, therefore, operates vigorously, in line with results by previous studies. However, we also identify an `inner core' - in size ≈25 per cent of the Bondi radius - where streamlines are more circular and entropies are much lower than in the outer atmosphere. Future studies at higher resolutions are needed to assess whether this region can become hydrodynamically isolated on long time-scales.

  11. The Radiometric Bode's law and Extrasolar Planets

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lazio, T. J; Farrell, W. M; Dietrick, Jill; Greenlees, Elizabeth; Hogan, Emily; Jones, Christopher; Hennig, L. A

    2004-01-01

    We predict the radio flux densities of the extrasolar planets in the current census, making use of an empirical relation the radiometric Bode's law determined from the five "magnetic" planets in the solar system...

  12. The GEOFLOW experiment missions in the Fluid Science Laboratory on ISS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picker, Gerold; Carpy, Rodrigo; Fabritius, Gerd; Dettmann, Jan; Minster, Olivier; Winter, Josef; Ranebo, Hans; Dewandre, Thierry; Castiglione, Luigi; Mazzoni, Stefano; Egbers, Christoph; Futterer, Birgit

    The GEOFLOW I experiment has been successfully performed on the International Space Sta-tion (ISS) in 2008 in the Columbus module in order to study the stability, pattern formation and transition to turbulence in a viscous incompressible fluid layer enclosed in two concentric co-rotating spheres subject to a radial temperature gradient and a radial volumetric force field. The objective of the study is the experimental investigation of large scale astrophysical and geophysical phenomena in spherical geometry stipulated by rotation, thermal convections and radial gravity fields. These systems include earth outer core or mantle convection, differen-tial rotation effects in the sun, atmosphere of gas planets as well as a variety of engineering applications. The GEOFLOW I experimental instrument consists of an experiment insert for operation in the Fluid Science Laboratory, which is part of the Columbus Module of the ISS. It was first launched in February 2008 together with Columbus Module on STS 122, operated periodically for 9 month and returned to ground after 14 month on orbit with STS 119. The primary objective was the experimental modelling of outer earth core convection flow. In order to allow for variations of the characteristic scaling for different physical phenomena, the experiment was designed and qualified for a total of nine flights to the ISS, with ground refurbishment and geometrical or fluid modification after each mission. The second mission of GEOFLOW (II) is currently under preparation in terms of hardware refurbishment and modification, as well as science parameter development in order to allow use of a new experimental model fluid with a strongly temperature dependent viscosity, a adaptation of the experimental thermal parameter range in order to provide a representative model for earth mantle convection. The GEOFLOW II instrument is foreseen to be launched with the second mission of the Eu-ropean Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). The flight to ISS

  13. Maximizing the TESS Mission’s Yield of Long-Period Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dragomir, Diana; Gaudi, B. Scott; Villanueva, Steven; Crossfield, Ian; Huang, Xu; Ribas, Ignasi; Quinn, Samuel

    2018-01-01

    The upcoming TESS mission will discover thousands of transiting planets around bright stars. However, during its primary mission the satellite will observe most of the sky for just 27 days (and for at most one year even in its continuous viewing zones near the ecliptic poles), thus limiting the mission’s yield of long-period planets that show three or more transits in the TESS light curves. By also pursuing single- and double-transit events, we can increase by several hundred the number of planets with periods longer than 10 days that TESS will discover. I will show how strategic planning and the judicious use of follow-up observations can confirm these planets and refine their ephemerides. Through this program, we will generate a sample of long-period planets transiting bright stars that are ripe for detailed characterization studies such as mass measurements and atmospheric observations. In turn, these studies will provide important constraints on the composition and formation of long-period planets.

  14. The Earth: A Changing Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribas, Núria; Màrquez, Conxita

    2013-04-01

    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

  15. The circumstances of minor planet discovery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pilcher, F.

    1989-01-01

    The circumstances of discoveries of minor planets are presented in tabular form. Complete data are given for planets 2125-4044, together with notes pertaining to these planets. Information in the table includes the permanent number; the official name; for planets 330 and forward, the table includes the provisional designation attached to the discovery apparition and the year, month, the day of discovery, and the discovery place

  16. Survival Function Analysis of Planet Size Distribution

    OpenAIRE

    Zeng, Li; Jacobsen, Stein B.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Vanderburg, Andrew

    2018-01-01

    Applying the survival function analysis to the planet radius distribution of the Kepler exoplanet candidates, we have identified two natural divisions of planet radius at 4 Earth radii and 10 Earth radii. These divisions place constraints on planet formation and interior structure model. The division at 4 Earth radii separates small exoplanets from large exoplanets above. When combined with the recently-discovered radius gap at 2 Earth radii, it supports the treatment of planets 2-4 Earth rad...

  17. The Detection Of Planets In The 1:1 Resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, R.; Schneider, J.; Schwarz, R.; Lhotka, C.; Sandor, Z.

    Orbits in the mean motion resonance are of special interest for asteroids in our Solar System. It is due to the fact that in a region 60° before Jupiter and 60° behind the largest planet a large number of asteroids are there. Many analytical and numerical work has been devoted to the stability of these two `clouds` of asteroids, which are named after the warriors of the Trojan war. The Trojans librate about these two stable equilibrium points in the so-called tadpole orbits having two well distinct periods. The 'exchange orbits' in the general three body problem can be described as follows: Two small but massive bodies are moving on nearly circular orbits with almost the same semimajor axes around a much more massive host. Because of the 3rd Keplerian law the one with the inner orbit is faster and approaches the outer body from behind. Before they meet, the inner body is shifted to the orbit of the outer and vice-versa the former outer body moves to an orbit with a smaller semimajor axis: they have changed their orbits and their semimajor axis! In the satellite system of Saturn the two moons Janus and Epimetheus (the orbits of these two moons differ only by 50 km; the respective semimajor axes are 151472 km and 151422 km and have themselves diameters of more than 100 km) have exactly these kinds of orbits. We postulate that this kind of orbits may also exist in extrasolar planetary systems.

  18. Origin of the Earth and planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Safronov, V.S.; Ruskol, E.L.

    1982-01-01

    The present state of the Schmidt hypothesis on planets formation by combining cold solid particles and bodies in the protoplanet dust cloud is briefly outlined in a popular form. The most debatable problems of the planet cosmogony: formation of and processes in a protoplanet cloud, results of analytical evaluations and numerical simulation of origin of the Earth and planets-giants are discussed [ru

  19. The Use of Planisphere to Locate Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Ping-Wai

    2013-01-01

    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…

  20. The Cassini-Huygens mission

    CERN Document Server

    The joint NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens mission promises to return four (and possibly more) years of unparalleled scientific data from the solar system’s most exotic planet, the ringed, gas giant, Saturn. Larger than Galileo with a much greater communication bandwidth, Cassini can accomplish in a single flyby what Galileo returned in a series of passes. Cassini explores the Saturn environment in three dimensions, using gravity assists to climb out of the equatorial plane to look down on the rings from above, to image the aurora and to study polar magnetospheric processes such as field-aligned currents. Since the radiation belt particle fluxes are much more benign than those at Jupiter, Cassini can more safely explore the inner regions of the magnetosphere. The spacecraft approaches the planet closer than Galileo could, and explores the inner moons and the rings much more thoroughly than was possible at Jupiter. This book is the second volume, in a three volume set, that describes the Cassini/Huygens mission. Thi...

  1. Calculating the X-Ray Fluorescence from the Planet Mercury Due to High-Energy Electrons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbine, T. H.; Trombka, J. I.; Bergstrom, P. M., Jr.; Christon, S. P.

    2005-01-01

    The least-studied terrestrial planet is Mercury due to its proximity to the Sun, which makes telescopic observations and spacecraft encounters difficult. Our lack of knowledge about Mercury should change in the near future due to the recent launching of MESSENGER, a Mercury orbiter. Another mission (BepiColombo) is currently being planned. The x-ray spectrometer on MESSENGER (and planned for BepiColombo) can characterize the elemental composition of a planetary surface by measuring emitted fluorescent x-rays. If electrons are ejected from an atom s inner shell by interaction with energetic particles such as photons, electrons, or ions, electrons from an outer shell can transfer to the inner shell. Characteristic x-rays are then emitted with energies that are the difference between the binding energy of the ion in its excited state and that of the ion in its ground state. Because each element has a unique set of energy levels, each element emits x-rays at a unique set of energies. Electrons and ions usually do not have the needed flux at high energies to cause significant x-ray fluorescence on most planetary bodies. This is not the case for Mercury where high-energy particles were detected during the Mariner 10 flybys. Mercury has an intrinsic magnetic field that deflects the solar wind, resulting in a bow shock in the solar wind and a magnetospheric cavity. Electrons and ions accelerated in the magnetosphere tend to follow its magnetic field lines and can impact the surface on Mercury s dark side Modeling has been done to determine if x-ray fluorescence resulting from the impact of high-energy electrons accelerated in Mercury's magnetosphere can be detected by MESSENGER. Our goal is to understand how much bulk chemical information can be obtained from x-ray fluorescence measurements on the dark side of Mercury.

  2. Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey: An Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Fraser, Wesley C.; Pike, Rosemary E.; Bannister, Michele T.; Marsset, Michaël; Kavelaars, J. J.; Benecchi, Susan; Delsanti, Audrey C.; Lehner, Matthew J.; Wang, Shiang-Yu; Thirouin, Audrey; Nesvorný, David

    2018-01-01

    The vast majority of the known dwarf-planet sized bodies are bright enough to be studied through optical and infrared spectroscopy. As a result, we have an understanding of the surface properties for the largest Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) which retain their primordial inventory of volatile ices. For the typically smaller > 22 mag KBO, we must rely instead on what colors reveal by proxy; yet this picture remains incomplete. Most KBO physical property studies examine the hodgepodge set of objects discovered by various surveys with different and varying detection biases that make it difficult if not impossible to reliably estimate the sizes of the different surface color groupings (compositional classes) residing in the modern-day Kuiper belt.The Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (Col-OSSOS) probes the surface properties within the Kuiper belt primarily through near simultaneous g,r and J colors with the Gemini North Telescope and u-band with Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. The project aims to target ~100 KBOs brighter than 23.6 r‧ mag found by the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS), a survey with a well-measured detection efficiency. Thus, Col-OSSOS provides the first brightness-complete, compositional-dynamical map of the Outer Solar System, probing in a new light the radial color distribution in the primordial planetesimal disk from which KBOs originated. We will provide an update on the current status of the program highlighting results from the first two years of the survey; including size estimates of the two color KBO subgroups (the red and neutral surfaces) within the dynamically excited Kuiper belt and implications for the early planetesimal disk composition based on neutral-colored binaries found in the cold classical Kuiper belt.

  3. Validation of small Kepler transiting planet candidates in or near the habitable zone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kane, Stephen R.; Rowe, Jason F.

    2017-01-01

    A main goal of NASA's Kepler Mission is to establish the frequency of potentially habitable Earth-size planets (). Relatively few such candidates identified by the mission can be confirmed to be rocky via dynamical measurement of their mass. Here we report an effort to validate 18 of them...... statistically using the BLENDER technique, by showing that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive. Our analysis incorporates follow-up observations including high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and information from...... the analysis of the flux centroids of the Kepler observations themselves. Although many of these candidates have been previously validated by others, the confidence levels reported typically ignore the possibility that the planet may transit a star different from the target along the same line of sight...

  4. Test results of the infrared single-mode fiber for the DARWIN mission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheng, L.K.; Faber, A.J.; Gielesen, W.L.M.; Boussard-Plédel, C.; Houizot, P.; Lucas, J.; Do Carmo, J.P.

    2005-01-01

    Nulling interferometry is the baseline technique for the DARWIN planet finding mission of the European Space Agency. Using this technique it will be possible to cancel, by destructive interference, the light from the bright star and look directly at its surrounding planets and eventually discover

  5. Venus Express en route to probe the planet's hidden mysteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-11-01

    reduced to once daily. If needed, trajectory correction manoeuvres can go ahead at the half-way stage in January. When making its closest approach, Venus Express will face far tougher conditions than those encountered by Mars Express on nearing the Red Planet. For while Venus's size is indeed similar to that of the Earth, its mass is 7.6 times that of Mars, with gravitational attraction to match. To resist this greater gravitational pull, the spacecraft will have to ignite its main engine for 53 minutes in order to achieve 1.3 km/second deceleration and place itself into a highly elliptical orbit around the planet. Most of its 570 kg of propellant will be used for this manoeuvre. A second engine firing will be necessary in order to reach final operational orbit: a polar elliptical orbit with 12-hour crossings. This will enable the probe to make approaches to within 250 km of the planet's surface and withdraw to distances of up to 66 000 km, so as to carry out close-up observations and also get an overall perspective. Exploring other planets to better understand planet Earth "The launch of Venus Express is a further illustration of Europe's determination to study the various bodies in our solar system", stressed Professor David Southwood, the Director of ESA's science programmes. "We started in 2003 with the launch of Mars Express to the Red Planet and Smart-1 to the Moon and both these missions have amply exceeded our expectations. Venus Express marks a further step forward, with a view to eventually rounding off our initial overview of our immediate planetary neighbours with the BepiColombo mission to Mercury to be launched in 2013." "With Venus Express, we fully intend to demonstrate yet again that studying the planets is of vital importance for life here on Earth", said Jean Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General. "To understand climate change on Earth and all the contributing factors, we cannot make do with solely observing our own planet. We need to decipher the

  6. Security for a Smarter Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagaratnam, Nataraj

    Bit by bit, our planet is getting smarter. By this, we mean the systems that run, the way we live and work as a society. Three things have brought this about - the world is becoming instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. Given the planet is becoming instrumented and interconnected, this opens up more risks that need to be managed. Escalating security and privacy concerns along with a renewed focus on organizational oversight are driving governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) to the forefront of the business. Compliance regulations have increasingly played a larger role by attempting to establish processes and controls that mitigate the internal and external risks organizations have today. To effectively meet the requirements of GRC, companies must prove that they have strong and consistent controls over who has access to critical applications and data.

  7. Library of Giant Planet Reflection Spectra for WFirst and Future Space Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    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.

  8. A Population of planetary systems characterized by short-period, Earth-sized planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, Jason H.; Coughlin, Jeffrey L.

    2016-01-01

    We analyze data from the Quarter 1–17 Data Release 24 (Q1–Q17 DR24) planet candidate catalog from NASA’s Kepler mission, specifically comparing systems with single transiting planets to systems with multiple transiting planets, and identify a population of exoplanets with a necessarily distinct system architecture. Such an architecture likely indicates a different branch in their evolutionary past relative to the typical Kepler system. The key feature of these planetary systems is an isolated, Earth-sized planet with a roughly 1-d orbital period. We estimate that at least 24 of the 144 systems we examined (≳17%) are members of this population. Accounting for detection efficiency, such planetary systems occur with a frequency similar to the hot Jupiters. PMID:27790984

  9. A Population of planetary systems characterized by short-period, Earth-sized planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, Jason H; Coughlin, Jeffrey L

    2016-10-25

    We analyze data from the Quarter 1-17 Data Release 24 (Q1-Q17 DR24) planet candidate catalog from NASA's Kepler mission, specifically comparing systems with single transiting planets to systems with multiple transiting planets, and identify a population of exoplanets with a necessarily distinct system architecture. Such an architecture likely indicates a different branch in their evolutionary past relative to the typical Kepler system. The key feature of these planetary systems is an isolated, Earth-sized planet with a roughly 1-d orbital period. We estimate that at least 24 of the 144 systems we examined ([Formula: see text]17%) are members of this population. Accounting for detection efficiency, such planetary systems occur with a frequency similar to the hot Jupiters.

  10. A survey for very short-period planets in the Kepler data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jackson, Brian; Stark, Christopher C.; Chambers, John [Carnegie Institution for Science, 5241 Broad Branch Road NW, Washington, DC 20015 (United States); Adams, Elisabeth R. [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Deming, Drake, E-mail: bjackson@dtm.ciw.edu [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)

    2013-12-20

    We conducted a search for very short-period transiting objects in the publicly available Kepler data set. Our preliminary survey has revealed four planetary candidates, all with orbital periods less than 12 hr. We have analyzed the data for these candidates using photometric models that include transit light curves, ellipsoidal variations, and secondary eclipses to constrain the candidates' radii, masses, and effective temperatures. Even with masses of only a few Earth masses, the candidates' short periods mean that they may induce stellar radial velocity signals (a few m s{sup –1}) detectable by currently operating facilities. The origins of such short-period planets are unclear, but we discuss the possibility that they may be the remnants of disrupted hot Jupiters. Whatever their origins, if confirmed as planets, these candidates would be among the shortest-period planets ever discovered. Such planets would be particularly amenable to discovery by the planned TESS mission.

  11. A survey for very short-period planets in the Kepler data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, Brian; Stark, Christopher C.; Chambers, John; Adams, Elisabeth R.; Deming, Drake

    2013-01-01

    We conducted a search for very short-period transiting objects in the publicly available Kepler data set. Our preliminary survey has revealed four planetary candidates, all with orbital periods less than 12 hr. We have analyzed the data for these candidates using photometric models that include transit light curves, ellipsoidal variations, and secondary eclipses to constrain the candidates' radii, masses, and effective temperatures. Even with masses of only a few Earth masses, the candidates' short periods mean that they may induce stellar radial velocity signals (a few m s –1 ) detectable by currently operating facilities. The origins of such short-period planets are unclear, but we discuss the possibility that they may be the remnants of disrupted hot Jupiters. Whatever their origins, if confirmed as planets, these candidates would be among the shortest-period planets ever discovered. Such planets would be particularly amenable to discovery by the planned TESS mission.

  12. Outer grid strap protruding spring repair apparatus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Widener, W.H.

    1987-01-01

    This patent describes a nuclear fuel assembly grid spring repair apparatus for repairing a spring formed on an outer strap of a fuel assembly grid and having a portion protruding outwardly beyond the strap, the apparatus comprising: (a) a support frame defining an opening and having means defining a guide channel extending along the opening in a first direction; (b) means mounted on the frame and being adjustable for attaching the frame to the outer strap of the support grid so that the frame opening is aligned with the outwardly protruding spring on the outer strap; (c) an outer slide having a passageway defined therethrough and being mounted in the guide channel for reciprocable movement along the frame opening in the first direction for aligning the passageway with the outwardly protruding portion of the spring on the outer strap. The outer slide also has means defining a guide way extending along the passageway in a second direction generally orthogonal to the first direction; (d) a spring reset mechanism being operable for resetting the protruding spring to a nonprotruding position relative to the outer strap when the mechanism is aligned with the protruding portion of the spring; and (e) an inner slide supporting the spring reset mechanism and being mounted to the guide way for reciprocable movement along the passageway of the outer slide in the second direction for aligning the spring reset mechanism with the protruding portion of the spring on the outer strap

  13. Electrodynamics on extrasolar giant planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koskinen, T. T.; Yelle, R. V. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States); Lavvas, P. [Groupe de Spectroscopie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique UMR CNRS 7331, Université Reims Champagne-Ardenne, F-51687 Reims (France); Cho, J. Y-K., E-mail: tommi@lpl.arizona.edu [Astronomy Unit, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom)

    2014-11-20

    Strong ionization on close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) suggests that their atmospheres may be affected by ion drag and resistive heating arising from wind-driven electrodynamics. Recent models of ion drag on these planets, however, are based on thermal ionization only and do not include the upper atmosphere above the 1 mbar level. These models are also based on simplified equations of resistive magnetohydrodynamics that are not always valid in extrasolar planet atmospheres. We show that photoionization dominates over thermal ionization over much of the dayside atmosphere above the 100 mbar level, creating an upper ionosphere dominated by ionization of H and He and a lower ionosphere dominated by ionization of metals such as Na, K, and Mg. The resulting dayside electron densities on close-in exoplanets are higher than those encountered in any planetary ionosphere of the solar system, and the conductivities are comparable to the chromosphere of the Sun. Based on these results and assumed magnetic fields, we constrain the conductivity regimes on close-in EGPs and use a generalized Ohm's law to study the basic effects of electrodynamics in their atmospheres. We find that ion drag is important above the 10 mbar level where it can also significantly alter the energy balance through resistive heating. Due to frequent collisions of the electrons and ions with the neutral atmosphere, however, ion drag is largely negligible in the lower atmosphere below the 10 mbar level for a reasonable range of planetary magnetic moments. We find that the atmospheric conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude in the night side of tidally locked planets, leading to a potentially interesting large-scale dichotomy in electrodynamics between the day and night sides. A combined approach that relies on UV observations of the upper atmosphere, phase curve and Doppler measurements of global dynamics, and visual transit observations to probe the alkali metals can potentially

  14. Evolution of the giant planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bodenheimer, P.

    1985-01-01

    The theory of the evolution of the giant planets is discussed with emphasis on detailed numerical calculations in the spherical approximation. Initial conditions are taken to be those provided by the two main hypotheses for the origin of the giant planets. If the planets formed by gravitational instability in the solar nebula, the initial mass is comparable to the present mass or larger. The evolution then goes through the following phases: (1) an initial contraction phase in hydrostatic equilibrium; (2) a hydrodynamic collapse induced by molecular dissociation; and (3) a second equilibrium phase involving contraction and cooling to the present state. During phase (1) a rock-ice core must form by precipitation or accretion. If, on the other hand, the giant planets formed by first accreting a solid core and then capturing gas from the surrounding nebula, then the evolutionary phases are as follows: (1) a period during which planetesimals accrete to form a core of about one earth mass, composed of rock and ice; (2) a gas accretion phase, during which a relatively low-mass gaseous envelope in hydrostatic equilibrium exists around the core, which itself continues to grow to 10 to 20 Earth masses; (3) the point of arrival at the ''critical'' core mass at which point the accretion of gas is much faster than the accretion of the core, and the envelope contracts rapidly; (4) continuation of accretion of gas from the nebula and buildup of the envelope mass to its present value (for the case of Jupiter or Saturn); and (5) a final phase, after termination of accretion, during which the protoplanet contracts and cools to its present state. Some observational constraints are described, and some problems with the two principal hypotheses are discussed

  15. Debris Disks: Probing Planet Formation

    OpenAIRE

    Wyatt, Mark C.

    2018-01-01

    Debris disks are the dust disks found around ~20% of nearby main sequence stars in far-IR surveys. They can be considered as descendants of protoplanetary disks or components of planetary systems, providing valuable information on circumstellar disk evolution and the outcome of planet formation. The debris disk population can be explained by the steady collisional erosion of planetesimal belts; population models constrain where (10-100au) and in what quantity (>1Mearth) planetesimals (>10km i...

  16. Validation of Kepler's multiple planet candidates. III. Light curve analysis and announcement of hundreds of new multi-planet systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Mullally, Fergal; Howell, Steve B.; Borucki, William J.; Haas, Michael; Huber, Daniel; Thompson, Susan E.; Quintana, Elisa; Barclay, Thomas; Still, Martin; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Issacson, Howard; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Ford, Eric; Steffen, Jason H.; Fortney, Jonathan; Gautier, T. N. III

    2014-01-01

    The Kepler mission has discovered more than 2500 exoplanet candidates in the first two years of spacecraft data, with approximately 40% of those in candidate multi-planet systems. The high rate of multiplicity combined with the low rate of identified false positives indicates that the multiplanet systems contain very few false positive signals due to other systems not gravitationally bound to the target star. False positives in the multi-planet systems are identified and removed, leaving behind a residual population of candidate multi-planet transiting systems expected to have a false positive rate less than 1%. We present a sample of 340 planetary systems that contain 851 planets that are validated to substantially better than the 99% confidence level; the vast majority of these have not been previously verified as planets. We expect ∼two unidentified false positives making our sample of planet very reliable. We present fundamental planetary properties of our sample based on a comprehensive analysis of Kepler light curves, ground-based spectroscopy, and high-resolution imaging. Since we do not require spectroscopy or high-resolution imaging for validation, some of our derived parameters for a planetary system may be systematically incorrect due to dilution from light due to additional stars in the photometric aperture. Nonetheless, our result nearly doubles the number verified exoplanets.

  17. Towards the Rosetta Stone of planet formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmidt T.O.B.

    2011-02-01

    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.

  18. Factors Affecting the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria; NAI-Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team

    2014-03-01

    Habitability is a measure of an environment's potential to support life. For exoplanets, the concept of habitability can be used broadly - to inform our calculations of the possibility and distribution of life elsewhere - or as a practical tool to inform mission designs and to prioritize specific targets in the search for extrasolar life. Although a planet's habitability does depend critically on the effect of stellar type and planetary semi-major axis on climate balance, work in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology has identified many additional factors that can affect a planet's environment and its potential ability to support life. Life requires material for metabolism and structures, a liquid medium for chemical transport, and an energy source to drive metabolism and other life processes. Whether a planet's surface or sub-surface can provide these requirements is the result of numerous planetary and astrophysical processes that affect the planet's formation and evolution. Many of these factors are interdependent, and fall into three main categories: stellar effects, planetary effects and planetary system effects. Key abiotic processes affecting the resultant planetary environment include photochemistry (e.g. Segura et al., 2003; 2005), stellar effects on climate balance (e.g. Joshii et al., 2012; Shields et al., 2013), atmospheric loss (e.g. Lopez and Fortney, 2013), and gravitational interactions with the star (e.g. Barnes et al., 2013). In many cases, the effect of these processes is strongly dependent on a specific planet's existing environmental properties. Examples include the resultant UV flux at a planetary surface as a product of stellar activity and the strength of a planet's atmospheric UV shield (Segura et al., 2010); and the amount of tidal energy available to a planet to drive plate tectonics and heat the surface (Barnes et al., 2009), which is in turn due to a combination of stellar mass, planetary mass and composition, planetary orbital

  19. Radioisotope electric propulsion of sciencecraft to the outer solar system and near-interstellar space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, R.J.

    1998-08-01

    Recent results are presented in the study of radioisotope electric propulsion as a near-term technology for sending small robotic sciencecraft to the outer Solar System and near-interstellar space. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems are low-thrust, ion propulsion units based on radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. Powerplant specific masses are expected to be in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW of thrust power. Planetary rendezvous missions to Pluto, fast missions to the heliopause (100 AU) with the capability to decelerate an orbiter for an extended science program and prestellar missions to the first gravitational lens focus of the Sun (550 AU) are investigated

  20. On the minimum core mass for giant planet formation at wide separations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Piso, Ana-Maria A.; Youdin, Andrew N.

    2014-01-01

    In the core accretion hypothesis, giant planets form by gas accretion onto solid protoplanetary cores. The minimum (or critical) core mass to form a gas giant is typically quoted as 10 M ⊕ . The actual value depends on several factors: the location in the protoplanetary disk, atmospheric opacity, and the accretion rate of solids. Motivated by ongoing direct imaging searches for giant planets, this study investigates core mass requirements in the outer disk. To determine the fastest allowed rates of gas accretion, we consider solid cores that no longer accrete planetesimals, as this would heat the gaseous envelope. Our spherical, two-layer atmospheric cooling model includes an inner convective region and an outer radiative zone that matches onto the disk. We determine the minimum core mass for a giant planet to form within a typical disk lifetime of 3 Myr. The minimum core mass declines with disk radius, from ∼8.5 M ⊕ at 5 AU to ∼3.5 M ⊕ at 100 AU, with standard interstellar grain opacities. Lower temperatures in the outer disk explain this trend, while variations in disk density are less influential. At all distances, a lower dust opacity or higher mean molecular weight reduces the critical core mass. Our non-self-gravitating, analytic cooling model reveals that self-gravity significantly affects early atmospheric evolution, starting when the atmosphere is only ∼10% as massive as the core.

  1. RESOLVING THE PLANET-HOSTING INNER REGIONS OF THE LkCa 15 DISK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thalmann, C.; Garufi, A.; Quanz, S. P.; Daemgen, S.; Engler, N. [ETH Zurich, Institute for Astronomy, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zurich (Switzerland); Janson, M. [Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); Boccaletti, A. [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UPMC Paris 6, Sorbonne Université, 5 place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon CEDEX (France); Sissa, E.; Gratton, R.; Desidera, S. [INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padova (Italy); Salter, G.; Langlois, M. [Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, F-13388 Marseille (France); Benisty, M.; Bonnefoy, M.; Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Lannier, J. [Université Grenoble Alpes, IPAG, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Dominik, C. [Anton Pannekoek Institute, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam (Netherlands); Feldt, M.; Henning, T., E-mail: thalmann@phys.ethz.ch [Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); and others

    2016-09-10

    LkCa 15 hosts a pre-transitional disk as well as at least one accreting protoplanet orbiting in its gap. Previous disk observations have focused mainly on the outer disk, which is cleared inward of ∼50 au. The planet candidates, on the other hand, reside at orbital radii around 15 au, where disk observations have been unreliable until recently. Here, we present new J -band imaging polarimetry of LkCa 15 with SPHERE IRDIS, yielding the most accurate and detailed scattered-light images of the disk to date down to the planet-hosting inner regions. We find what appear to be persistent asymmetric structures in the scattering material at the location of the planet candidates, which could be responsible at least for parts of the signals measured with sparse-aperture masking. These images further allow us to trace the gap edge in scattered light at all position angles and search the inner and outer disks for morphological substructure. The outer disk appears smooth with slight azimuthal variations in polarized surface brightness, which may be due to shadowing from the inner disk or a two-peaked polarized phase function. We find that the near-side gap edge revealed by polarimetry matches the sharp crescent seen in previous ADI imaging very well. Finally, the ratio of polarized disk to stellar flux is more than six times larger in the J -band than in the RI bands.

  2. Atmospheric escape from the TRAPPIST-1 planets and implications for habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Jin, Meng; Lingam, Manasvi; Airapetian, Vladimir S; Ma, Yingjuan; van der Holst, Bart

    2018-01-09

    The presence of an atmosphere over sufficiently long timescales is widely perceived as one of the most prominent criteria associated with planetary surface habitability. We address the crucial question of whether the seven Earth-sized planets transiting the recently discovered ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are capable of retaining their atmospheres. To this effect, we carry out numerical simulations to characterize the stellar wind of TRAPPIST-1 and the atmospheric ion escape rates for all of the seven planets. We also estimate the escape rates analytically and demonstrate that they are in good agreement with the numerical results. We conclude that the outer planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are capable of retaining their atmospheres over billion-year timescales. The consequences arising from our results are also explored in the context of abiogenesis, biodiversity, and searches for future exoplanets. In light of the many unknowns and assumptions involved, we recommend that these conclusions must be interpreted with due caution.

  3. Atmospheric escape from the TRAPPIST-1 planets and implications for habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Jin, Meng; Lingam, Manasvi; Airapetian, Vladimir S.; Ma, Yingjuan; van der Holst, Bart

    2018-01-01

    The presence of an atmosphere over sufficiently long timescales is widely perceived as one of the most prominent criteria associated with planetary surface habitability. We address the crucial question of whether the seven Earth-sized planets transiting the recently discovered ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are capable of retaining their atmospheres. To this effect, we carry out numerical simulations to characterize the stellar wind of TRAPPIST-1 and the atmospheric ion escape rates for all of the seven planets. We also estimate the escape rates analytically and demonstrate that they are in good agreement with the numerical results. We conclude that the outer planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are capable of retaining their atmospheres over billion-year timescales. The consequences arising from our results are also explored in the context of abiogenesis, biodiversity, and searches for future exoplanets. In light of the many unknowns and assumptions involved, we recommend that these conclusions must be interpreted with due caution.

  4. Habitability in the Solar System and on Extrasolar Planets and Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. The Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Rice

    2014-09-01

    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.

  6. A Planet Soon to Meet Its Demise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-02-01

    , Oberst and collaborators estimate that the planet began a runaway inspiral by the age of 1 billion years. Now, at 3.1 billion years old, KELT-16b is orbiting at a radius of just over 3 stellar radii above its hosts surface. The authors estimate that KELT-16bs continuing inward spiral could end in the planets destruction by tidal forces in as little as another 550,000 years.What We Can Learn from KELT-16bKELT-16b in context with other transiting-exoplanet discoveries on a diagram of planet radius vs. period. Only five other planets have been found with periods shorter than a day. [Oberst et al. 2017]This highly irradiated world makes for an especially useful target due to its short period (which means we can observe many transits) and bright host (which means follow-up observations are more convenient and have a large signal-to-noise ratio).In particular, with followup observations of KELT-16b from missions like Hubble, Spitzer, and eventually the James Webb Space Telescope, we can learn more about open questions in exoplanet atmospheric processes like how heat is transferred vertically through the atmosphere, or what happens at the day-to-night terminator line on such a highly irradiated planet.In addition, by studying KELT-16b, we can hope to gain overall insight into hot Jupiter formation and migration. The ease of observing this planet and the wealth of information it can provide will likely make it one of the top-studied exoplanets. KELT-16b has a lot to teach us before its torn apart!CitationThomas E. Oberst et al 2017 AJ 153 97. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/153/3/97

  7. A mission to Mercury and a mission to the moons of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-07-01

    Two Advanced Design Projects were completed this academic year at Penn State - a mission to the planet Mercury and a mission to the moons of Mars (Phobos and Deimos). At the beginning of the fall semester the students were organized into six groups and given their choice of missions. Once a mission was chosen, the students developed conceptual designs. These designs were then evaluated at the end of the fall semester and combined into two separate mission scenarios. To facilitate the work required for each mission, the class was reorganized in the spring semester by combining groups to form two mission teams. An integration team consisting of two members from each group was formed for each mission team so that communication and exchange of information would be easier among the groups. The types of projects designed by the students evolved from numerous discussions with Penn State faculty and mission planners at the Lewis Research Center Advanced Projects Office. Robotic planetary missions throughout the solar system can be considered valuable precursors to human visits and test beds for innovative technology. For example, by studying the composition of the Martian moons, scientists may be able to determine if their resources may be used or synthesized for consumption during a first human visit.

  8. A probabilistic approach towards understanding how planet composition affects plate tectonics - through time and space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenkovic, V.

    2017-12-01

    suggested to be statistically more common around young stars in the outer disk of the Milky Way. Rocky super-Earths, undifferentiated planets, and still hypothetical carbon planets have the lowest plate yielding efficiencies found in our study. This work aids exoplanet characterization and helps explore the fundamental drivers of plate tectonics.

  9. Gas Velocities Reveal Newly Born Planets in a Disk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-06-01

    , which can be reproduced by the presence of a 2-Jupiter-mass planet at 260 AU. [Pinte et al. 2018]Watching Gas MoveIn two papers published today in ApJL one led by Richard Teague (University of Michigan) and the other led by Christophe Pinte (Monash University in Australia and Grenoble Alpes University in France) astronomers have announced the detection of distinctive signs of planets in the gas motion of the disk surrounding HD 163296. This young star, located about 330 light-years away, is only 4 million years old.Unlike studies that hinge on observations of a disks dust which only makes up 1% of the disks mass! both studies here took a new approach: they used detailed ALMA observations revealing the dynamics of the disks carbon monoxide gas. By studying the gass motion, the teams found deviations from the Keplerian velocity that would be expected if there were no planets present. The authors then ran simulations to demonstrate that the deviations are consistent with local pressure perturbations caused by the passage of giant planets.Rotational velocity deviations due to changes in the local pressure, caused in this simulation by the presence of planets. [Teague et al. 2018]Giants FoundWhat did they find? Teague and collaborators, whose technique to identify velocity variations is best suited to explore the inner regions of the disk, discovered evidence for two separate Jupiter-mass planets orbiting at distances of 83 AU and 137 AU in the disk. Pinte and collaborators, whose velocity-measurement technique better explores the outer regions of the disk, found evidence for a two-Jupiter-mass planet orbiting at 260 AU.These results will rely on additional imaging in the coming years to confirm the presence of these newly born planets and a detection of point sources at these radii remains a hopeful goal for the future. Nonetheless, the new techniques explored here by Teague, Pinte, and collaborators are a promising route for young exoplanet discovery and characterization

  10. THE MASS OF Kepler-93b AND THE COMPOSITION OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David; Dumusque, Xavier; Gettel, Sara; Latham, David W.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Johnson, John Asher; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Pepe, Francesco; Udry, Stéphane; Lovis, Christophe [Observatoire Astronomique de l' Université de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix (Switzerland); Collier Cameron, Andrew; Haywood, Raphaëlle D. [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews Fife KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Molinari, Emilio; Cosentino, Rosario; Fiorenzano, Aldo F. M.; Harutyunyan, Avet [INAF - Fundación Galileo Galilei, Rambla José Ana Fernandez Pérez 7, E-38712 Breña Baja (Spain); Affer, Laura [INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, I-90124 Palermo (Italy); Bonomo, Aldo S. [INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Pino Torinese (Italy); Figueira, Pedro, E-mail: cdressing@cfa.harvard.edu [Centro de Astrofìsica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); and others

    2015-02-20

    Kepler-93b is a 1.478 ± 0.019 R {sub ⊕} planet with a 4.7 day period around a bright (V = 10.2), astroseismically characterized host star with a mass of 0.911 ± 0.033 M {sub ☉} and a radius of 0.919 ± 0.011 R {sub ☉}. Based on 86 radial velocity observations obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo and 32 archival Keck/HIRES observations, we present a precise mass estimate of 4.02 ± 0.68 M {sub ⊕}. The corresponding high density of 6.88 ± 1.18 g cm{sup –3} is consistent with a rocky composition of primarily iron and magnesium silicate. We compare Kepler-93b to other dense planets with well-constrained parameters and find that between 1 and 6 M {sub ⊕}, all dense planets including the Earth and Venus are well-described by the same fixed ratio of iron to magnesium silicate. There are as of yet no examples of such planets with masses >6 M {sub ⊕}. All known planets in this mass regime have lower densities requiring significant fractions of volatiles or H/He gas. We also constrain the mass and period of the outer companion in the Kepler-93 system from the long-term radial velocity trend and archival adaptive optics images. As the sample of dense planets with well-constrained masses and radii continues to grow, we will be able to test whether the fixed compositional model found for the seven dense planets considered in this paper extends to the full population of 1-6 M {sub ⊕} planets.

  11. HOW DO MOST PLANETS FORM?—CONSTRAINTS ON DISK INSTABILITY FROM DIRECT IMAGING

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Janson, Markus; Bonavita, Mariangela; Klahr, Hubert; Lafrenière, David

    2012-01-01

    Core accretion and disk instability have traditionally been regarded as the two competing possible paths of planet formation. In recent years, evidence has accumulated in favor of core accretion as the dominant mode, at least for close-in planets. However, it might be hypothesized that a significant population of wide planets formed by disk instabilities could exist at large separations, forming an invisible majority. In previous work, we addressed this issue through a direct imaging survey of B2-A0-type stars and concluded that <30% of such stars form and retain planets and brown dwarfs through disk instability, leaving core accretion as the likely dominant mechanism. In this paper, we extend this analysis to FGKM-type stars by applying a similar analysis to the Gemini Deep Planet Survey sample. The results strengthen the conclusion that substellar companions formed and retained around their parent stars by disk instabilities are rare. Specifically, we find that the frequency of such companions is <8% for FGKM-type stars under our most conservative assumptions, for an outer disk radius of 300 AU, at 99% confidence. Furthermore, we find that the frequency is always <10% at 99% confidence independently of outer disk radius, for any radius from 5 to 500 AU. We also simulate migration at a wide range of rates and find that the conclusions hold even if the companions move substantially after formation. Hence, core accretion remains the likely dominant formation mechanism for the total planet population, for every type of star from M-type through B-type.

  12. EVOLUTIONARY TRACKS OF THE CLIMATE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS AROUND DIFFERENT MASS STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E., E-mail: kadoya@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp, E-mail: tajika@eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Faculty of Science Bldg. 1 #711, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 (Japan)

    2016-07-10

    The climatic evolution of the Earth depends strongly on the evolution of the insolation from the Sun and the amount of the greenhouse gasses, especially CO{sub 2} in the atmosphere. Here, we investigate the evolution of the climate of hypothetical Earths around stars whose masses are different from the solar mass with a luminosity evolution model of the stars, a mantle degassing model coupled with a parameterized convection model of the planetary interiors, and an energy balance climate model of the planetary surface. In the habitable zone (HZ), the climate of the planets is initially warm or hot, depending on the orbital semimajor axes. We found that, in the inner HZ, the climate of the planets becomes hotter with time owing to the increase in the luminosity of the central stars, while, in the outer HZ, it becomes colder and eventually globally ice-covered owing to the decrease in the CO{sub 2} degassing rate of the planets. The orbital condition for maintaining the warm climate similar to the present Earth becomes very limited, and more interestingly, the planet orbiting in the outer HZ becomes globally ice-covered after a certain critical age (∼3 Gyr for the hypothetical Earth with standard parameters), irrespective of the mass of the central star. This is because the critical age depends on the evolution of the planets and planetary factors, rather than on the stellar mass. The habitability of the Earth-like planet is shown to be limited with age even though it is orbiting within the HZ.

  13. The Gemini NICI planet-finding campaign: the orbit of the young exoplanet β Pictoris b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Liu, Michael C.; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Wahhaj, Zahed [European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Casilla 19001, Santiago (Chile); Biller, Beth A. [Institute for Astronomy, The University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ (United Kingdom); Hayward, Thomas L. [Gemini Observatory, Southern Operations Center, c/o AURA, Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile); Males, Jared R.; Close, Laird M.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Hinz, Philip M. [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Kuchner, Marc J. [Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 667, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Rodigas, Timothy J. [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institute of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015 (United States); Toomey, Douglas W. [Mauna Kea Infrared, LLC, 21 Pookela Street, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)

    2014-10-20

    We present new astrometry for the young (12-21 Myr) exoplanet β Pictoris b taken with the Gemini/NICI and Magellan/MagAO instruments between 2009 and 2012. The high dynamic range of our observations allows us to measure the relative position of β Pic b with respect to its primary star with greater accuracy than previous observations. Based on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis, we find the planet has an orbital semi-major axis of 9.1{sub −0.5}{sup +5.3} AU and orbital eccentricity <0.15 at 68% confidence (with 95% confidence intervals of 8.2-48 AU and 0.00-0.82 for semi-major axis and eccentricity, respectively, due to a long narrow degenerate tail between the two). We find that the planet has reached its maximum projected elongation, enabling higher precision determination of the orbital parameters than previously possible, and that the planet's projected separation is currently decreasing. With unsaturated data of the entire β Pic system (primary star, planet, and disk) obtained thanks to NICI's semi-transparent focal plane mask, we are able to tightly constrain the relative orientation of the circumstellar components. We find the orbital plane of the planet lies between the inner and outer disks: the position angle (P.A.) of nodes for the planet's orbit (211.8 ± 0.°3) is 7.4σ greater than the P.A. of the spine of the outer disk and 3.2σ less than the warped inner disk P.A., indicating the disk is not collisionally relaxed. Finally, for the first time we are able to dynamically constrain the mass of the primary star β Pic to 1.76{sub −0.17}{sup +0.18} M {sub ☉}.

  14. EVOLUTIONARY TRACKS OF THE CLIMATE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS AROUND DIFFERENT MASS STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E.

    2016-01-01

    The climatic evolution of the Earth depends strongly on the evolution of the insolation from the Sun and the amount of the greenhouse gasses, especially CO_2 in the atmosphere. Here, we investigate the evolution of the climate of hypothetical Earths around stars whose masses are different from the solar mass with a luminosity evolution model of the stars, a mantle degassing model coupled with a parameterized convection model of the planetary interiors, and an energy balance climate model of the planetary surface. In the habitable zone (HZ), the climate of the planets is initially warm or hot, depending on the orbital semimajor axes. We found that, in the inner HZ, the climate of the planets becomes hotter with time owing to the increase in the luminosity of the central stars, while, in the outer HZ, it becomes colder and eventually globally ice-covered owing to the decrease in the CO_2 degassing rate of the planets. The orbital condition for maintaining the warm climate similar to the present Earth becomes very limited, and more interestingly, the planet orbiting in the outer HZ becomes globally ice-covered after a certain critical age (∼3 Gyr for the hypothetical Earth with standard parameters), irrespective of the mass of the central star. This is because the critical age depends on the evolution of the planets and planetary factors, rather than on the stellar mass. The habitability of the Earth-like planet is shown to be limited with age even though it is orbiting within the HZ.

  15. Improved method of measurement for outer leak

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Guang

    2012-01-01

    Pneumatic pipeline is installed for the airborne radioactivity measurement equipment, air tightness and outer leak rate are essential for the testing of the characteristics, both in the national criteria and ISO standards, an improved practical method is available for the measurement of the outer air leak rate based on the engineering experiences for the equipment acceptance and testing procedure. (authors)

  16. A journey from particle physics to outer space

    CERN Document Server

    2006-01-01

    Particle physics can take you a long way - even into space! Astronaut Christer Fuglesang recently jetted into orbit on his first space mission, 14 years after he left CERN to join the European Space Agency. Christer Fuglesang near the launch pad area at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, in preparation for the STS-116 mission. (photo: ESA, S.Corvaja)Christer Fuglesang in space (photo: NASA). In CERN's years of efforts to explore the fundamentals of the Universe, it has not yet sent anyone beyond planet Earth. On 10 December 2006, Christer Fuglesang boldly went where no CERN scientist had ever gone before. The 49-year-old ex-CERN physicist-turned-astronaut embarked on his first mission on board space shuttle Discovery. Originally from Stockholm, he also had the honour of being the first Swedish national in space. Christer Fuglesang is an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA), a partner of the International Space Station (ISS) - a research facility that is being assembled in orbit around the Earth...

  17. Automated trajectory planning for multiple-flyby interplanetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englander, Jacob

    Many space mission planning problems may be formulated as hybrid optimal control problems (HOCP), i.e. problems that include both real-valued variables and categorical variables. In interplanetary trajectory design problems the categorical variables will typically specify the sequence of planets at which to perform flybys, and the real-valued variables will represent the launch date, ight times between planets, magnitudes and directions of thrust, flyby altitudes, etc. The contribution of this work is a framework for the autonomous optimization of multiple-flyby interplanetary trajectories. The trajectory design problem is converted into a HOCP with two nested loops: an "outer-loop" that finds the sequence of flybys and an "inner-loop" that optimizes the trajectory for each candidate yby sequence. The problem of choosing a sequence of flybys is posed as an integer programming problem and solved using a genetic algorithm (GA). This is an especially difficult problem to solve because GAs normally operate on a fixed-length set of decision variables. Since in interplanetary trajectory design the number of flyby maneuvers is not known a priori, it was necessary to devise a method of parameterizing the problem such that the GA can evolve a variable-length sequence of flybys. A novel "null gene" transcription was developed to meet this need. Then, for each candidate sequence of flybys, a trajectory must be found that visits each of the flyby targets and arrives at the final destination while optimizing some cost metric, such as minimizing ▵v or maximizing the final mass of the spacecraft. Three different classes of trajectory are described in this work, each of which requireda different physical model and optimization method. The choice of a trajectory model and optimization method is especially challenging because of the nature of the hybrid optimal control problem. Because the trajectory optimization problem is generated in real time by the outer-loop, the inner

  18. The Contingency of Success: Operations for Deep Impact's Planet Hunt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieber, Richard R.; Sharrow, Robert F.

    2009-01-01

    The Deep Impact Flyby spacecraft completed its prime mission in August 2005. It was reactivated for a mission of opportunity add-on called EPOXI on September 25, 2007. The first portion of EPOXI, called EPOCh (Extra-solar Planetary Observation & CHaracterization), occurred from January 21, 2008 through August 31, 2008. Its purpose was to characterize transiting hot-Jupiters by measuring the effects the planet has on the luminosity of its parent star. These observations entailed using the spacecraft in ways it was never intended. A new green-light, success-oriented operational strategy was devised that entailed high amounts of automation and minimal intervention from the ground. The specifics, techniques, and key challenges to obtaining the 172,209 usable science images from EPOCh are discussed in detail.

  19. IMP - INTEGRATED MISSION PROGRAM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauro, V. A.

    1994-01-01

    IMP is a simulation language that is used to model missions around the Earth, Moon, Mars, or other planets. It has been used to model missions for the Saturn Program, Apollo Program, Space Transportation System, Space Exploration Initiative, and Space Station Freedom. IMP allows a user to control the mission being simulated through a large event/maneuver menu. Up to three spacecraft may be used: a main, a target and an observer. The simulation may begin at liftoff, suborbital, or orbital. IMP incorporates a Fehlberg seventh order, thirteen evaluation Runge-Kutta integrator with error and step-size control to numerically integrate the equations of motion. The user may choose oblate or spherical gravity for the central body (Earth, Mars, Moon or other) while a spherical model is used for the gravity of an additional perturbing body. Sun gravity and pressure and Moon gravity effects are user-selectable. Earth/Mars atmospheric effects can be included. The optimum thrust guidance parameters are calculated automatically. Events/maneuvers may involve many velocity changes, and these velocity changes may be impulsive or of finite duration. Aerobraking to orbit is also an option. Other simulation options include line-of-sight communication guidelines, a choice of propulsion systems, a soft landing on the Earth or Mars, and rendezvous with a target vehicle. The input/output is in metric units, with the exception of thrust and weight which are in English units. Input is read from the user's input file to minimize real-time keyboard input. Output includes vehicle state, orbital and guide parameters, event and total velocity changes, and propellant usage. The main output is to the user defined print file, but during execution, part of the input/output is also displayed on the screen. An included FORTRAN program, TEKPLOT, will display plots on the VDT as well as generating a graphic file suitable for output on most laser printers. The code is double precision. IMP is written in

  20. Plasma in outer space and in laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Podgornyj, I.

    1976-01-01

    The problems of modelling a plasma in interplanetary space, in the Earth magnetosphere and in the atmospheres of other planets are discussed. Particular attention is devoted to solar wind behaviour. (B.S.)

  1. Trapping Dust to Form Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-10-01

    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

  2. Humans Need Not Apply: Robotization of Kepler Planet Candidate Vetting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlin, Jeffrey; Mullally, Fergal; Thompson, Susan E.; Kepler Team

    2015-01-01

    Until now, the vast majority of Kepler planet candidate vetting has been performed by a dedicated team of humans. While human expertise has been invaluable in understanding the nuances of Kepler data, human vetting is very time-consuming and can be inconsistent. Over 20,000 threshold crossing events have been produced by the latest pipeline run on all 17 quarters of Kepler mission data, and many more artificial planet transits have been injected to estimate completeness. Given these large numbers, human vetting is no longer feasible on a reasonable time-scale, and would be difficult to characterize. We have created automated vetting programs known as "robovetters" that are specifically designed to mimic the decision-making process employed by the humans. They analyze both the light curve and pixel-level data in order to produce specific reasons for identifying false positives. We present benchmark tests on the Q1-Q16 Kepler planet catalog, which was vetted by humans, and present preliminary robovetter results based on a recent transit-search of the newly reprocessed Q1-Q17 data set.

  3. Titan and habitable planets around M-dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2010-01-01

    The Cassini-Huygens mission discovered an active "hydrologic cycle" on Saturn's giant moon Titan, in which methane takes the place of water. Shrouded by a dense nitrogen-methane atmosphere, Titan's surface is blanketed in the equatorial regions by dunes composed of solid organics, sculpted by wind and fluvial erosion, and dotted at the poles with lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane. The underlying crust is almost certainly water ice, possibly in the form of gas hydrates (clathrate hydrates) dominated by methane as the included species. The processes that work the surface of Titan resemble in their overall balance no other moon in the solar system; instead, they are most like that of the Earth. The presence of methane in place of water, however, means that in any particular planetary system, a body like Titan will always be outside the orbit of an Earth-type planet. Around M-dwarfs, planets with a Titan-like climate will sit at 1 AU--a far more stable environment than the approximately 0.1 AU where Earth-like planets sit. However, an observable Titan-like exoplanet might have to be much larger than Titan itself to be observable, increasing the ratio of heat contributed to the surface atmosphere system from internal (geologic) processes versus photons from the parent star.

  4. Marswalk One First Steps on a New Planet

    CERN Document Server

    Shayler, David J; Shayler, Michael D

    2005-01-01

    MARSWALK ONE: First Steps on a New Planet addresses the question of why we should embark on a journey to Mars, documenting what the first human crew will do when they place their feet in the red dust of the planet. The book also addresses why we need to carry out these tasks and, more importantly, what a human crew could achieve that an automated mission could not. Understanding the clear benefits of sending a human crew to the surface of Mars, and how these benefits can be seen back on Earth, is the key to sustained long-term public and political support for the programme in terms of cash and commitment. The book accepts that the journey will be made, but does not specify precisely when. Flight time, and how to get to and from the planet are discussed briefly, to understand why the suggested duration spent at Mars is reasonable. The main objective of the work is to look at what science will be done on the surface – supported by orbital operations – and what hardware and technology will be employed to ach...

  5. Planet earth a beginner's guide

    CERN Document Server

    Gribbin, John

    2012-01-01

    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.

  6. Progress for a small planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ward, B.

    1979-01-01

    The subject is covered in three parts, entitled: new directions for the industrial order (energy - how big is the gap; nuclear option; energy alternatives; saving fuel; recycling revolution; industry - rewards and risks; role for the citizen; waters and wastes; fuel for food; safer diets, wiser means; farming for tomorrow; launching pad; back to full employment; towards 'private socialism'; cities - survival or else); priorities for development (time for choice; 'land to the tiller'; fuel for basic needs; water and food supplies; 'walking on two legs'; taming the cities); a conserving planet (emerging world community; cost of justice; how new an order; final constraints). (U.K.)

  7. Structure of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyttleton, R.A.

    1977-01-01

    Recent reviews (cf. Runcorn, 1968; or Cook, 1972, 1975) on the structure of the planets omit reference to the phase-change hypothesis for the nature of the terrestrial core, despite that numerous prior predictions of the theory based on this hypothesis have subsequently been borne out as correct. These reviews also ignore the existence of theoretical calculations of the internal structure of Venus which can be computed with high accuracy by use of the terrestrial seismic data. Several examples of numerous mistakes committed in these reviews are pointed out. (Auth.)

  8. New illustrated stars and planets

    CERN Document Server

    Cooper, Chris; Nicolson, Iain; Stott, Carole

    2002-01-01

    Stars & Plantes, written by experts and popular science writers, is a comprehensive overview of our Universe - what is it, where it came from and how we discovered it. This intriguing, information-rich new reference book contains over 300 stunning images from the Hubble Telescope and leading observatories from around the world as well as diagrams to explain the finer points of theory. With extensive sections on everything from the Solar System to how stars form Stars & Planets will appeal to beginners and the serious stargazer alike.

  9. A SEARCH FOR ADDITIONAL PLANETS IN THE NASA EPOXI OBSERVATIONS OF THE EXOPLANET SYSTEM GJ 436

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballard, Sarah; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Charbonneau, David; Holman, Matthew J.; Fabrycky, Daniel; Deming, Drake; Barry, Richard K.; Kuchner, Marc J.; Livengood, Timothy A.; Hewagama, Tilak; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Hampton, Don L.; Lisse, Carey M.; Seager, Sara; Veverka, Joseph F.

    2010-01-01

    We present time series photometry of the M dwarf transiting exoplanet system GJ 436 obtained with the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) component of the NASA EPOXI mission. We conduct a search of the high-precision time series for additional planets around GJ 436, which could be revealed either directly through their photometric transits or indirectly through the variations these second planets induce on the transits of the previously known planet. In the case of GJ 436, the presence of a second planet is perhaps indicated by the residual orbital eccentricity of the known hot Neptune companion. We find no candidate transits with significance higher than our detection limit. From Monte Carlo tests of the time series, we rule out transiting planets larger than 1.5 R + interior to GJ 436b with 95% confidence and larger than 1.25 R + with 80% confidence. Assuming coplanarity of additional planets with the orbit of GJ 436b, we cannot expect that putative planets with orbital periods longer than about 3.4 days will transit. However, if such a planet were to transit, we would rule out planets larger than 2.0 R + with orbital periods less than 8.5 days with 95% confidence. We also place dynamical constraints on additional bodies in the GJ 436 system, independent of radial velocity measurements. Our analysis should serve as a useful guide for similar analyses of transiting exoplanets for which radial velocity measurements are not available, such as those discovered by the Kepler mission. From the lack of observed secular perturbations, we set upper limits on the mass of a second planet as small as 10 M + in coplanar orbits and 1 M + in non-coplanar orbits close to GJ 436b. We present refined estimates of the system parameters for GJ 436. We find P = 2.64389579 ± 0.00000080 d, R * = 0.437 ± 0.016 R sun , and R p = 3.880 ± 0.147 R + . We also report a sinusoidal modulation in the GJ 436 light curve that we attribute to star spots. This signal is

  10. Occurrence and core-envelope structure of 1-4x Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars

    OpenAIRE

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Weiss, Lauren M.; Petigura, Erik A.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Buchhave, Lars A.

    2014-01-01

    Small planets, 1-4x the size of Earth, are extremely common around Sun-like stars, and surprisingly so, as they are missing in our solar system. Recent detections have yielded enough information about this class of exoplanets to begin characterizing their occurrence rates, orbits, masses, densities, and internal structures. The Kepler mission finds the smallest planets to be most common, as 26% of Sun-like stars have small, 1-2 R_e planets with orbital periods under 100 days, and 11% have 1-2...

  11. Swarm: ESA's Magnetic Field Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plank, G.; Floberghagen, R.; Menard, Y.; Haagmans, R.

    2013-12-01

    Swarm is the fifth Earth Explorer mission in ESA's Living Planet Programme, and is scheduled for launch in fall 2013. The objective of the Swarm mission is to provide the best-ever survey of the geomagnetic field and its temporal evolution using a constellation of three identical satellites. The mission shall deliver data that allow access to new insights into the Earth system by improved scientific understanding of the Earth's interior and near-Earth electromagnetic environment. After launch and triple satellite release at an initial altitude of about 490 km, a pair of the satellites will fly side-by-side with slowly decaying altitude, while the third satellite will be lifted to 530 km to complete the Swarm constellation. High-precision and high-resolution measurements of the strength, direction and variation of the magnetic field, complemented by precise navigation, accelerometer and electric field measurements, will provide the observations required to separate and model various sources of the geomagnetic field and near-Earth current systems. The mission science goals are to provide a unique view into Earth's core dynamics, mantle conductivity, crustal magnetisation, ionospheric and magnetospheric current systems and upper atmosphere dynamics - ranging from understanding the geodynamo to contributing to space weather. The scientific objectives and results from recent scientific studies will be presented. In addition the current status of the project, which is presently in the final stage of the development phase, will be addressed. A consortium of European scientific institutes is developing a distributed processing system to produce geophysical (Level 2) data products for the Swarm user community. The setup of the Swarm ground segment and the contents of the data products will be addressed. In case the Swarm satellites are already in orbit, a summary of the on-going mission operations activities will be given. More information on Swarm can be found at www.esa.int/esaLP/LPswarm.html.

  12. A Tale of 2 Missions (And Hopefully 2 Different Landings)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiens, Roger C.

    2012-01-01

    This talk, to be given at the LANL IGPP Annual Review dinner in Santa Fe, NM on July 17, 2012, highlights two important NASA missions LANL played a key role in: The Genesis mission was the first to return to Earth from beyond the Moon, bearing solar particles to help understand the composition of the Sun; and Curiosity, a 1-ton Mars rover launched to the red planet in 2011 with a suite of instruments from LANL called ChemCam.

  13. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA’s Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M.

    2014-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85–90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system. PMID:25049406

  14. Upcoming planetary missions and the applicability of high-temperature-superconductor bolometers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brasunas, J.; Kunde, V.; Moseley, H.; Lakew, B.

    1991-01-01

    Planetary missions to Mars and beyond can last 11 years and longer, making impractical the use of stored cryogens. Passive radiative coolers and single-stage mechanical coolers remain possibilities. Cassini and Comet Rendezvous/Asteroid Fly-by (CRAF), both using the newly developed Mariner Mark 2 spacecraft, will be the next outer planet missions after Galileo; they are intended to provide information on the origin and evolution of the solar system. CRAF is slated for a 1994 launch. Cassini was chosen by ESA and will be launched by a Titan 4/Centaur in 1996. It will fly by Jupiter in 2000, inject an ESA-supplied probe into Titan in 2002, and take data in Saturn's orbit from 2002 to 2006. NASA/Goddard is currently developing a prototype Fourier transform spectrometer, the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS), for the Cassini mission. The baseline infrared detectors for CIRS are HgCdTe to 16 microns and Schwarz-type thermopiles from 16 to 1000 microns. The far infrared focal plane could be switched from thermopiles to high temperature superconductor (HTS) bolometers between now and 1996. An HTS bolometer could be built using the kinetic inductance effect, or the sharp resistance change at the transition. The transition-edge bolometer is more straightforward to implement, and initial efforts at NASA/Goddard are directed to that device. A working device was made and tested in early 1989. It also has somewhat elevated noise levels below 100 Hz. Upcoming efforts will center on reducing the time constant of the HTS bolometer by attempting to deposit an HTS film on a diamond substrate, and by thinning SrTiO3 substrates. Attempts will be made to improve the film quality to reduce the 1/4 noise level, and to improve the thermal isolation to increase the bolometer sensitivity

  15. Exploring Ocean-World Habitability within the Planned Europa Clipper Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Senske, D.; Korth, H.; Blaney, D. L.; Blankenship, D. D.; Collins, G. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Gudipati, M. S.; Kempf, S.; Lunine, J. I.; Paty, C. S.; Raymond, C. A.; Rathbun, J.; Retherford, K. D.; Roberts, J. H.; Schmidt, B. E.; Soderblom, J. M.; Turtle, E. P.; Waite, J. H., Jr.; Westlake, J. H.

    2017-12-01

    A key driver of planetary exploration is to understand the processes that lead to potential habitability across the solar system, including within oceans hosted by some icy satellites of the outer planets. In this context, it is the overarching science goal of the planned Europa Clipper mission is: Explore Europa to investigate its habitability. Following from this goal are three mission objectives: (1) Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; (2) Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry; and (3) Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize high science interest localities. Folded into these objectives is the desire to search for and characterize any current activity, notably plumes and thermal anomalies. A suite of nine remote-sensing and in-situ observing instruments is being developed that synergistically addresses these objectives. The remote-sensing instruments are the Europa UltraViolet Spectrograph (Europa-UVS), the Europa Imaging System (EIS), the Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE), the Europa THErMal Imaging System (E-THEMIS), and the Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON). The instruments providing in-situ observations are the Interior Characterization of Europa using Magnetometry (ICEMAG), the Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS), the MAss Spectrometer for Planetary EXploration (MASPEX), and the SUrface Dust Analyzer (SUDA). In addition, gravity science can be achieved via the spacecraft's telecommunication system, and the planned radiation monitoring system could provide information on Europa's energetic particle environment. Working together, the mission's robust investigation suite can be used to test hypotheses and enable discoveries relevant to the interior, composition, and geology of

  16. Incorporation of squalene into rod outer segments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keller, R.K.; Fliesler, S.J.

    1990-01-01

    We have reported previously that squalene is the major radiolabeled nonsaponifiable lipid product derived from [ 3 H]acetate in short term incubations of frog retinas. In the present study, we demonstrate that newly synthesized squalene is incorporated into rod outer segments under similar in vitro conditions. We show further that squalene is an endogenous constituent of frog rod outer segment membranes; its concentration is approximately 9.5 nmol/mumol of phospholipid or about 9% of the level of cholesterol. Pulse-chase experiments with radiolabeled precursors revealed no metabolism of outer segment squalene to sterols in up to 20 h of chase. Taken together with our previous absolute rate studies, these results suggest that most, if not all, of the squalene synthesized by the frog retina is transported to rod outer segments. Synthesis of protein is not required for squalene transport since puromycin had no effect on squalene incorporation into outer segments. Conversely, inhibition of isoprenoid synthesis with mevinolin had no effect on the incorporation of opsin into the outer segment. These latter results support the conclusion that the de novo synthesis and subsequent intracellular trafficking of opsin and isoprenoid lipids destined for the outer segment occur via independent mechanisms

  17. Giant Planets: Good Neighbors for Habitable Worlds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Eggl, Siegfried; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian

    2018-04-01

    The presence of giant planets influences potentially habitable worlds in numerous ways. Massive celestial neighbors can facilitate the formation of planetary cores and modify the influx of asteroids and comets toward Earth analogs later on. Furthermore, giant planets can indirectly change the climate of terrestrial worlds by gravitationally altering their orbits. Investigating 147 well-characterized exoplanetary systems known to date that host a main-sequence star and a giant planet, we show that the presence of “giant neighbors” can reduce a terrestrial planet’s chances to remain habitable, even if both planets have stable orbits. In a small fraction of systems, however, giant planets slightly increase the extent of habitable zones provided that the terrestrial world has a high climate inertia. In providing constraints on where giant planets cease to affect the habitable zone size in a detrimental fashion, we identify prime targets in the search for habitable worlds.

  18. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON SURVIVAL OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Ida, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Makiko

    2013-01-01

    The orbital distributions of currently observed extrasolar giant planets allow marginally stable orbits for hypothetical, terrestrial planets. In this paper, we propose that many of these systems may not have additional planets on these ''stable'' orbits, since past dynamical instability among giant planets could have removed them. We numerically investigate the effects of early evolution of multiple giant planets on the orbital stability of the inner, sub-Neptune-like planets which are modeled as test particles, and determine their dynamically unstable region. Previous studies have shown that the majority of such test particles are ejected out of the system as a result of close encounters with giant planets. Here, we show that secular perturbations from giant planets can remove test particles at least down to 10 times smaller than their minimum pericenter distance. Our results indicate that, unless the dynamical instability among giant planets is either absent or quiet like planet-planet collisions, most test particles down to ∼0.1 AU within the orbits of giant planets at a few AU may be gone. In fact, out of ∼30% of survived test particles, about three quarters belong to the planet-planet collision cases. We find a good agreement between our numerical results and the secular theory, and present a semi-analytical formula which estimates the dynamically unstable region of the test particles just from the evolution of giant planets. Finally, our numerical results agree well with the observations, and also predict the existence of hot rocky planets in eccentric giant planet systems.

  19. All for the Planet, the Planet for everyone!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drndarski, Marina

    2014-05-01

    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

  20. Pathway to the galactic distribution of planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Novati, S. Calchi; Gould, A.; Udalski, A.

    2015-01-01

    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....

  1. Results from occultations by minor planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, G.E.

    1982-01-01

    Since the minor planets are believed to consist of primordial matter dating from the time of the formation of the solar system there is great interest in determining their composition. It is therefore necessary to calculate their densities, for which we need accurate masses and sizes. On the rare occasions when a minor planet occults a star, timed observations of the event from a number of observing sites enable an accurate size of the minor planet to be determined. (Auth.)

  2. Characterizing Young Giant Planets with the Gemini Planet Imager: An Iterative Approach to Planet Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2015-01-01

    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.

  3. Small RNAs controlling outer membrane porins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Valentin-Hansen, Poul; Johansen, Jesper; Rasmussen, Anders A

    2007-01-01

    are key regulators of environmental stress. Recent work has revealed an intimate interplay between small RNA regulation of outer membrane proteins and the stress-induced sigmaE-signalling system, which has an essential role in the maintenance of the integrity of the outer membrane.......Gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs has been recognized as an important post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism for several years. In Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella, these RNAs control stress response and translation of outer membrane proteins and therefore...

  4. Detecting Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets with the Kepler Photometer via Scattered Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, J. M.; Doyle, L. R.; Kepler Discovery Mission Team

    2003-05-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission will be launched in 2007 primarily to search for transiting Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of solar-like stars. In addition, it will be poised to detect the reflected light component from close-in extrasolar giant planets (CEGPs) similar to 51 Peg b. Here we use the DIARAD/SOHO time series along with models for the reflected light signatures of CEGPs to evaluate Kepler's ability to detect such planets. We examine the detectability as a function of stellar brightness, stellar rotation period, planetary orbital inclination angle, and planetary orbital period, and then estimate the total number of CEGPs that Kepler will detect over its four year mission. The analysis shows that intrinsic stellar variability of solar-like stars is a major obstacle to detecting the reflected light from CEGPs. Monte Carlo trials are used to estimate the detection threshold required to limit the total number of expected false alarms to no more than one for a survey of 100,000 stellar light curves. Kepler will likely detect 100-760 51 Peg b-like planets by reflected light with orbital periods up to 7 days. LRD was supported by the Carl Sagan Chair at the Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, a division of the SETI Institute. JMJ received support from the Kepler Mission Photometer and Science Office at NASA Ames Research Center.

  5. The effect of host star spectral energy distribution and ice-albedo feedback on the climate of extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Aomawa L; Meadows, Victoria S; Bitz, Cecilia M; Pierrehumbert, Raymond T; Joshi, Manoj M; Robinson, Tyler D

    2013-08-01

    coverage. The surface ice-albedo feedback effect becomes less important at the outer edge of the habitable zone, where atmospheric CO(2) could be expected to be high such that it maintains clement conditions for surface liquid water. We showed that ∼3-10 bar of CO(2) will entirely mask the climatic effect of ice and snow, leaving the outer limits of the habitable zone unaffected by the spectral dependence of water ice and snow albedo. However, less CO(2) is needed to maintain open water for a planet orbiting an M-dwarf star than would be the case for hotter main-sequence stars.

  6. Planetary protection protecting earth and planets against alien microbes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leys, N.

    2006-01-01

    Protecting Earth and planets against the invasion of 'alien life forms' is not military science fiction, but it is the peaceful daily job of engineers and scientists of space agencies. 'Planetary Protection' is preventing microbial contamination of both the target planet and the Earth when sending robots on interplanetary space mission. It is important to preserve the 'natural' conditions of other planets and to not bring with robots 'earthly microbes' (forward contamination) when looking for 'spores of extra terrestrial life'. The Earth and its biosphere must be protected from potential extraterrestrial biological contamination when returning samples of other planets to the Earth (backward contamination). The NASA-Caltech Laboratory for Planetary Protection of Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) (California, USA) routinely monitors and characterizes the microbes of NASA spacecraft assembly rooms and space robots prior to flight. They have repeatedly isolated Cupriavidus and Ralstonia strains pre-flight from spacecraft assembly rooms (floor and air) and surfaces of space robots such as the Mars Odyssey Orbiter (La Duc et al., 2003). Cupriavidus and Ralstonia strains have also been found in-flight, in ISS cooling water and Shuttle drinking water (Venkateswaran et al., Pyle et al., Ott et al., all unpublished). The main objective of this study is to characterise the Cupriavidus and Ralstonia strains isolated at JPL and compare them to the Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34T model strain, isolated from a Belgian contaminated soil and studied since 25 years at SCK-CEN and to enhance our knowledge by performing additional tests at JPL and gathering information regarding the environmental conditions and the cleaning and isolation methods used in such spacecraft assembling facilities

  7. LONG-TERM EVOLUTION OF PLANET-INDUCED VORTICES IN PROTOPLANETARY DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fu, Wen; Li, Hui; Li, Shengtai; Lubow, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Recent observations of large-scale asymmetric features in protoplanetary disks suggest that large-scale vortices exist in such disks. Massive planets are known to be able to produce deep gaps in protoplanetary disks. The gap edges could become hydrodynamically unstable to the Rossby wave/vortex instability and form large-scale vortices. In this study we examine the long-term evolution of these vortices by carrying out high-resolution two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations that last more than 10 4 orbits (measured at the planet's orbit). We find that the disk viscosity has a strong influence on both the emergence and lifetime of vortices. In the outer disk region where asymmetric features are observed, our simulation results suggest that the disk viscous α needs to be low, ∼10 –5 -10 –4 , to sustain vortices to thousands and up to 10 4 orbits in certain cases. The chance of finding a vortex feature in a disk then decreases with smaller planet orbital radius. For α ∼ 10 –3 or larger, even planets with masses of 5 M J will have difficulty either producing or sustaining vortices. We have also studied the effects of different disk temperatures and planet masses. We discuss the implications of our findings on current and future protoplanetary disk observations

  8. Star Masses and Star-Planet Distances for Earth-like Habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waltham, David

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0.65 solar masses since, otherwise, Earth would be an extremely atypical inhabited world. It is difficult to remove this anomaly using the assumption that poor habitability of planets orbiting low-mass stars results from unfavorable radiation regimes either before, or after, their stars enter the main sequence. However, the anomaly is well explained if poor habitability results from tidal locking of planets in the HZs of small stars. The expected host-star mass for planets with intelligent life then has a 95% confidence range of 0.78 M ⊙ planets with at least simple life is 0.57 M ⊙  < M < 1.64 M ⊙ . Key Words: Habitability-Habitable zone-Anthropic-Red dwarfs-Initial mass function. Astrobiology 17, 61-77.

  9. Digital Spectrometers for Interplanetary Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarnot, Robert F.; Padmanabhan, Sharmila; Raffanti, Richard; Richards, Brian; Stek, Paul; Werthimer, Dan; Nikolic, Borivoje

    2010-01-01

    A fully digital polyphase spectrometer recently developed by the University of California Berkeley Wireless Research Center in conjunction with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory provides a low mass, power, and cost implementation of a spectrum channelizer for submillimeter spectrometers for future missions to the Inner and Outer Solar System. The digital polyphase filter bank spectrometer (PFB) offers broad bandwidth with high spectral resolution, minimal channel-to-channel overlap, and high out-of-band rejection.

  10. Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet

    OpenAIRE

    Deming, Drake; Seager, Sara; Richardson, L. Jeremy; Harrington, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    A class of extrasolar giant planets - the so-called `hot Jupiters' - orbit within 0.05 AU of their primary stars. These planets should be hot and so emit detectable infrared radiation. The planet HD 209458b is an ideal candidate for the detection and characterization of this infrared light because it is eclipsed by the star. This planet has an anomalously large radius (1.35 times that of Jupiter), which may be the result of ongoing tidal dissipation, but this explanation requires a non-zero o...

  11. Evolutionary tracks of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsui, Takafumi; Abe, Yutaka

    1987-01-01

    On the basis of the model proposed by Matsui and Abe, the authors show that two major factors - distance from the Sun and the efficiency of retention of accretional energy - control the early evolution of the terrestrial planets. A diagram of accretional energy versus the optical depth of a proto-atmosphere provides a means to follow the evolutionary track of surface temperature of the terrestrial planets and an explanation for why the third planet in our solar system is an 'aqua'-planet. 15 refs; 3 figs

  12. Extrasolar planets formation, detection and dynamics