Sample records for planet quest science

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

    Phillips, Charles J.


    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

  2. Interacting Science through Web Quests (United States)

    Unal, Ahmet; Karakus, Melek Altiparmak


    The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of WebQuests on elementary students' science achievement, attitude towards science and attitude towards web supported education in teaching 7th grade subjects (Ecosystems, Solar System). With regard to this research, "Science Achievement Test," "Attitude towards Science Scale"…

  3. Qualifying in-service education of Science Teachers (QUEST)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Keld; Nielsen, Birgitte Lund; Pontoppidan, Birgitte

    The Danish QUEST-project is a large-scale (450 teachers), long-term (4 years) professional development project for science teachers. The project aims at closing the gap between the present inconsequential practice in in-service education and recent research results documenting conditions for effe......The Danish QUEST-project is a large-scale (450 teachers), long-term (4 years) professional development project for science teachers. The project aims at closing the gap between the present inconsequential practice in in-service education and recent research results documenting conditions...... and peer involvement in collaborative practices in the school science teacher group is specifically addressed and targeted throughout the project. A special way of working (the QUEST-Rhythm) has been developed to increase the degree of teacher collaboration and networking over the 4 years. The accompanying...

  4. The search for life on Earth and other planets. (United States)

    Gross, Michael


    As the NASA rover Curiosity approaches Mars on its quest to look for signs of past or present life there and sophisticated instruments like the space telescopes Kepler and CoRoT keep discovering additional, more Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, science faces the question of how to spot life on other planets. Even here on Earth biotopes remain to be discovered and explored.

  5. CosmoQuest: Better Citizen Science Through Education (United States)

    Gay, P. L.; Lehan, C.; Bracey, G.; Yamani, A.; Francis, M.; Durrell, P.; Spivey, C.; Noel-Storr, J.; Buxner, S.; Cobb, W.; hide


    In the modern era, NASA SMD missions and facilities are producing data at a rate too great for the science community to maximally utilize. While software can help, what is really needed is additional eyes, hands, and minds - help we can find in the form of citizen scientist volunteers. The CosmoQuest virtual research facility has demonstrated through published research results that classroom students and the public can, with proper training and support from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), fill roles more traditionally filled by university students. The research question behind CosmoQuest's creation was simple: if students and the public are provided a properly scaffolded experience that mirrors that of researchers, will they come and perform as well as our students? and can they rise up to be research collaborators? In creating CosmoQuest, we started with a core of citizen science portals, educational materials for both students and life-long learners, and collaboration areas. These three primary focuses mirror the research, courses, and collaboration spaces that form the foundation of a university department. We then went on to add the features that make a center stand out - we added seminars in the form of Google Hangouts on Air, planetarium content through our Science on the Half Sphere program, and even the chance to vicariously attend conferences through live blogging by our team members. With this design for a virtual research facility, the answer to our foundational question has been a resounding yes; the public can aid us in doing science provided they are properly trained. To meet the needs of our population we have developed four areas of engagement: research, education, media, and community.

  6. Engaging Scientists with the CosmoQuest Citizen Science Virtual Research Facility (United States)

    Grier, Jennifer A.; Gay, Pamela L.; Buxner, Sanlyn; Noel-Storr, Jacob; CosmoQuest Team


    NASA Science Mission Directorate missions and research return more data than subject matter experts (SMEs - scientists and engineers) can effectively utilize. Citizen scientist volunteers represent a robust pool of energy and talent that SMEs can draw upon to advance projects that require the processing of large quantities of images, and other data. The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility has developed roles and pathways to engage SMEs in ways that advance the education of the general public while producing science results publishable in peer-reviewed journals, including through the CosmoQuest Facility Small Grants Program and CosmoAcademy. Our Facility Small Grants Program is open to SMEs to fund them to work with CosmoQuest and engage the public in analysis. Ideal projects have a specific and well-defined need for additional eyes and minds to conduct basic analysis and data collection (such as crater counting, identifying lineaments, etc.) Projects selected will undergo design and implementation as Citizen Science Portals, and citizen scientists will be recruited and trained to complete the project. Users regularly receive feedback on the quality of their data. Data returned will be analyzed by the SME and the CQ Science Team for joint publication in a peer-reviewed journal. SMEs are also invited to consider presenting virtual learning courses in the subjects of their choice in CosmoAcademy. The audience for CosmoAcademy are lifelong-learners and education professionals. Classes are capped at 10, 15, or 20 students. CosmoAcademy can also produce video material to archive seminars long-term. SMEs function as advisors in many other areas of CosmoQuest, including the Educator's Zone (curricular materials for K-12 teachers), Science Fair Projects, and programs that partner to produce material for podcasts and planetaria. Visit the CosmoQuest website at to learn more, and to investigate current opportunities to engage with us. CosmoQuest is funded

  7. CosmoQuest: Building a Community of Skilled Citizen Science Contributors (United States)

    Gay, P.; Lehan, C.; Bracey, G.; Durrell, P.; Komatsu, T.; Yamani, A.; Francis, M. R.


    The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility invites the public to participate in NASA Science Mission Directorate related research that leads to publishable results and data catalogues. CosmoQuest projects range in difficulty from simple crater and transient marking tasks to more complicated mapping tasks. To successfully engage contributors in creating usable results, training and validation are required. This is accomplished through activities that are designed to mirror the experiences students would have in a university, and include mentoring by team scientists, feedback on contributor efforts, seminars to learn about new science, and even formal classes to provide needed background. Recruitment is accomplished using new and social media, and planetarium and Science on the Sphere™ trailers and shows, and community is built through online and real-world collaboration spaces and events. In this presentation, we detail CosmoQuest's four-pronged approach of media recruitment, science education, citizen science, and community collaboration. We also discuss how it is leveraged to create a skilled collaboration of citizen scientists. Training and data validation activities will be be emphasized, with examples of both what can go right and lessons learned from when things go wrong. We conclude with strategies on how to utilize best practices in user interface design to create virtual experiences that allow major citizen science efforts to be scalable to large audiences.

  8. Using WebQuests to Successfully Engage Students in Learning Science (United States)

    Simpson, Gary


    WebQuests are a powerful teaching and learning device that have developed rapidly in recent years, especially in the Humanities. In Australia, the use of WebQuests in Science has become popular. The multimedia product of students' investigations can be shared with a variety of audiences. In this article, I will explain what I understand to be a…

  9. CosmoQuest: Measuring Audience Needs to Obtain Better Science (United States)

    Buxner, Sanlyn; Bakerman, Maya; Gay, Pamela; Reiheld, Alison; CosmoQuest Team


    The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility provides a place for scientists to recruit people to aid in their science projects via citizen science. Just as students need training to be effective researchers, so do citizen scientists, but their needs are different. In this presentation, we present the results of surveys of members of the CosmoQuest community, including both citizen scientists and educators using citizen science in their classrooms. For all members of the community, we investigated the types of projects that respondents enjoyed doing, the level of difficulty they were willing to engage in, and the amount of time they spent doing citizen science projects. We also investigated what other science-related activities respondents were engaged in, other opportunities they were interested in, and what support and resources they needed to be successful in completing projects. For educators, we investigated the types of projects they wanted to engage in with their students, the ideal length of time for citizen science projects to be used in their classrooms, and the resources they needed to be able to engage students in citizen science projects effectively.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Lele, Ajey


    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.

  11. CosmoQuest: Training Educators and Engaging Classrooms in Citizen Science through a Virtual Research Facility (United States)

    Buxner, Sanlyn; Bracey, Georgia; Summer, Theresa; Cobb, Whitney; Gay, Pamela L.; Finkelstein, Keely D.; Gurton, Suzanne; Felix-Strishock, Lisa; Kruse, Brian; Lebofsky, Larry A.; Jones, Andrea J.; Tweed, Ann; Graff, Paige; Runco, Susan; Noel-Storr, Jacob; CosmoQuest Team


    CosmoQuest is a Citizen Science Virtual Research Facility that engages scientists, educators, students, and the public in analyzing NASA images. Often, these types of citizen science activities target enthusiastic members of the public, and additionally engage students in K-12 and college classrooms. To support educational engagement, we are developing a pipeline in which formal and informal educators and facilitators use the virtual research facility to engage students in real image analysis that is framed to provide meaningful science learning. This work also contributes to the larger project to produce publishable results. Community scientists are being solicited to propose CosmoQuest Science Projects take advantage of the virtual research facility capabilities. Each CosmoQuest Science Project will result in formal education materials, aligned with Next Generation Science Standards including the 3-dimensions of science learning; core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices. Participating scientists will contribute to companion educational materials with support from the CosmoQuest staff of data specialists and education specialists. Educators will be trained through in person and virtual workshops, and classrooms will have the opportunity to not only work with NASA data, but interface with NASA scientists. Through this project, we are bringing together subject matter experts, classrooms, and informal science organizations to share the excitement of NASA SMD science with future citizen scientists. CosmoQuest is funded through individual donations, through NASA Cooperative Agreement NNX16AC68A, and through additional grants and contracts that are listed on our website,

  12. Using WebQuests in the Social Sciences Classroom (United States)

    Kachina, Olga A.


    This article investigates if WebQuests have been an effective instructional tool for teaching Social Sciences subjects. In order to obtain an answer to this question, a review of scholarly literature from 1995 to the present has been undertaken and action research in 8th grade U.S. history course was conducted. The literature investigation has…

  13. Planet Formation Imager (PFI): science vision and key requirements (United States)

    Kraus, Stefan; Monnier, John D.; Ireland, Michael J.; Duchêne, Gaspard; Espaillat, Catherine; Hönig, Sebastian; Juhasz, Attila; Mordasini, Chris; Olofsson, Johan; Paladini, Claudia; Stassun, Keivan; Turner, Neal; Vasisht, Gautam; Harries, Tim J.; Bate, Matthew R.; Gonzalez, Jean-François; Matter, Alexis; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Panic, Olja; Regaly, Zsolt; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Meru, Farzana; Wolf, Sebastian; Ilee, John; Berger, Jean-Philippe; Zhao, Ming; Kral, Quentin; Morlok, Andreas; Bonsor, Amy; Ciardi, David; Kane, Stephen R.; Kratter, Kaitlin; Laughlin, Greg; Pepper, Joshua; Raymond, Sean; Labadie, Lucas; Nelson, Richard P.; Weigelt, Gerd; ten Brummelaar, Theo; Pierens, Arnaud; Oudmaijer, Rene; Kley, Wilhelm; Pope, Benjamin; Jensen, Eric L. N.; Bayo, Amelia; Smith, Michael; Boyajian, Tabetha; Quiroga-Nuñez, Luis Henry; Millan-Gabet, Rafael; Chiavassa, Andrea; Gallenne, Alexandre; Reynolds, Mark; de Wit, Willem-Jan; Wittkowski, Markus; Millour, Florentin; Gandhi, Poshak; Ramos Almeida, Cristina; Alonso Herrero, Almudena; Packham, Chris; Kishimoto, Makoto; Tristram, Konrad R. W.; Pott, Jörg-Uwe; Surdej, Jean; Buscher, David; Haniff, Chris; Lacour, Sylvestre; Petrov, Romain; Ridgway, Steve; Tuthill, Peter; van Belle, Gerard; Armitage, Phil; Baruteau, Clement; Benisty, Myriam; Bitsch, Bertram; Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Pinte, Christophe; Masset, Frederic; Rosotti, Giovanni


    The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) project aims to provide a strong scientific vision for ground-based optical astronomy beyond the upcoming generation of Extremely Large Telescopes. We make the case that a breakthrough in angular resolution imaging capabilities is required in order to unravel the processes involved in planet formation. PFI will be optimised to provide a complete census of the protoplanet population at all stellocentric radii and over the age range from 0.1 to 100 Myr. Within this age period, planetary systems undergo dramatic changes and the final architecture of planetary systems is determined. Our goal is to study the planetary birth on the natural spatial scale where the material is assembled, which is the "Hill Sphere" of the forming planet, and to characterise the protoplanetary cores by measuring their masses and physical properties. Our science working group has investigated the observational characteristics of these young protoplanets as well as the migration mechanisms that might alter the system architecture. We simulated the imprints that the planets leave in the disk and study how PFI could revolutionise areas ranging from exoplanet to extragalactic science. In this contribution we outline the key science drivers of PFI and discuss the requirements that will guide the technology choices, the site selection, and potential science/technology tradeoffs.

  14. How WebQuests Can Enhance Science Learning Principles in the Classroom (United States)

    Subramaniam, Karthigeyan


    This article examines the merits of WebQuests in facilitating students' in-depth understanding of science concepts using the four principles of learning gathered from the National Research Council reports "How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School" (1999) and the "How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom" (2005) as an analytic…

  15. CosmoQuest: Training Students, Teachers and the Public to do NASA Science (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Bracey, G.; Noel-Storr, J.; Murph, S.; Francis, M. R.; Strishock, L.; Cobb, W. H.; Lebofsky, L. A.; Jones, A. P.; Finkelstein, K.; Gay, P.


    Engaging individuals in science who have not been formally trained as research scientists can both capture a wider audiences in the process of science as well as crowdsource data analysis that gets more science done. CosmoQuest is a virtual research facility that leverages these benefits through citizen science projects that has community members to analyze NASA data that contributes to publishable science results. This is accomplished through an inviting experience that recruits members of the public (including students), meets their needs and motivations, and provides them the education they want so they can to be contributing members of the community. Each research project in CosmoQuest presents new training opportunities that are designed to meet the personal needs of the engaged individuals, while also leading to the production of high-quality data that meets the needs of the research teams. These educational opportunities extend into classrooms, where both teachers and students engage in analysis. Training for teachers is done through in-person and online professional development, and through conference workshops for both scientists and educators. Curricular products are available to support students' understanding of citizen science and how to engage in CosmoQuest projects. Professional development for all audiences is done through online tutorials and courses, with social media support. Our goal is to instill expertise in individuals not formally trained as research scientists. This allows them to work with and provide genuine scientific support to practicing experts in a community that benefits all stakeholders. Training focuses on increasing and supporting individuals' core content knowledge as well as building the specific skills necessary to engage in each project. These skills and knowledge are aligned with the 3-dimensional learning of the Next Generation Science Standards, and support lifelong learning opportunities for those in and out of school.

  16. Quest Learning and Assessment, UT Austin (United States)

    Lewis, Gerald; McDonald, Patsy; Hostetler, Rhonda


    Quest Learning & Assessment is an innovative web-based tool for instructors and students of math and science. Quest was created at The University of Texas at Austin to address educational challenges at one of the biggest universities in the country. It now serves a primary role in classes taught within UT's College of Natural Sciences. Quest covers subjects ranging from mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, computer science and statistics. For instructors, Quest offers an easy way to create homework assignments, quizzes and exams with its extensive knowledge base. Since most questions have built-in variations Quest can create custom assignments for each student, which are automatically graded. Once solutions are available, students can read detailed explanations to questions and understand why their answer was correct or incorrect. Quest has graded over 30 million student responses and is now available to all education institutions.

  17. QUEST for sustainable CPD: scaffolding science teachers' individual and collaborative inquiries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund


    Continuous Professional Development (CPD) can be crucial for reforming science teaching, but more knowledge is needed about how to support sustainability of the effects. The Danish QUEST project is a large scale, long-term collaborative CPD project designed according to widely agreed criteria...... phase. The findings are discussed looking forward to the institutionalization phase identifying factors potentially supporting sustainable development pertaining to local science teachers developing a shared focus on student learning in science, and perceived individual and collective efficacy...

  18. CosmoQuest: A Glance at Citizen Science Building (United States)

    Richardson, Matthew; Grier, Jennifer; Gay, Pamela; Lehan, Cory; Buxner, Sanlyn; CosmoQuest Team


    CosmoQuest is a virtual research facility focused on engaging people - citizen scientists - from across the world in authentic research projects designed to enhance our knowledge of the cosmos around us. Using image data acquired by NASA missions, our citizen scientists are first trained to identify specific features within the data and then requested to identify those features across large datasets. Responses submitted by the citizen scientists are then stored in our database where they await for analysis and eventual publication by CosmoQuest staff and collaborating professional research scientists.While it is clear that the driving power behind our projects are the eyes and minds of our citizen scientists, it is CosmoQuest’s custom software, Citizen Science Builder (CSB), that enables citizen science to be accomplished. On the front end, CosmoQuest’s CSB software allows for the creation of web-interfaces that users can access to perform image annotation through both drawing tools and questions that can accompany images. These tools include: using geometric shapes to identify regions within an image, tracing image attributes using freeform line tools, and flagging features within images. Additionally, checkboxes, dropdowns, and free response boxes may be used to collect information. On the back end, this software is responsible for the proper storage of all data, which allows project staff to perform periodic data quality checks and track the progress of each project. In this poster we present these available tools and resources and seek potential collaborations.

  19. CosmoQuest MoonMappers: Citizen Lunar Exploration (United States)

    Gay, P. L.; Antonenko, I.; Robbins, S. J.; Bracey, G.; Lehan, C.; Moore, J.; Huang, D.


    The MoonMappers citizen science project is part of CosmoQuest, a virtual research facility designed for the public. CosmoQuest seeks to take the best aspects of a research center - research, seminars, journal clubs, and community discussions - and provide them to a community of citizen scientists through a virtual facility. MoonMappers was the first citizen science project within CosmoQuest, and is being used to define best practices in getting the public to effectively learn and do science.

  20. The Gemini Planet Imager: From Science to Design to Construction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B; Graham, J R; Palmer, D; Doyon, R; Dunn, J; Gavel, D; Larkin, J; Oppenheimer, B; Saddlemyer, L; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Wallace, J K; Bauman, B; Erickson, D; Marois, C; Poyneer, L; Soummer, R


    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a facility instrument under construction for the 8-m Gemini South telescope. It combines a 1500 subaperture AO system using a MEMS deformable mirror, an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph, a high-accuracy IR interferometer calibration system, and a near-infrared integral field spectrograph to allow detection and characterization of self-luminous extrasolar planets at planet/star contrast ratios of 10{sup -7}. I will discuss the evolution from science requirements through modeling to the final detailed design, provide an overview of the subsystems and show models of the instrument's predicted performance.

  1. CosmoQuest: Galvanizing a Dynamic, Inclusive Professional Learning Network (United States)

    Cobb, W. H.; Buxner, S.; Bracey, G.; Noel-Storr, J.; Gay, P.; Graff, P. V.


    The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility offers experiences to audiences around the nation and globally through pioneering citizen science. An endeavor between universities, research institutes, and NASA centers, CosmoQuest brings together scientists, educators, researchers, programmers—and individuals of all ages—to explore and make sense of our solar system and beyond. Scaffolded by an educational framework that inspires 21stCentury learners, CosmoQuest engages people—you, me!—in analyzing and interpreting real NASA data, inspiring questions and defining problems. Linda Darling-Hammond calls for professional development to be: "focused on the learning and teaching of specific curriculum content [i.e. NGSS disciplinary core ideas]; organized around real problems of practice [i.e. NGSS science and engineering practices] …; [and] connected to teachers' collaborative work in professional learning community...." (2012). In light of that, what can CosmoQuest offer NASA STEM education as a virtual research facility? CosmoQuest engages scientists with learners, and learners with science. As a virual research facility, its focal point must be its online platform. CosmoQuest empowers and expands community through a variety of social channels, including science and education-focused hangouts, podcasts, virtual star parties, and social media. In addition to creating standards-aligned materials, CosmoQuest channels are a hub for excellent resources throughout NASA and the larger astronomical community. In support of CosmoQuest citizen science opportunities, the process and outcomes of CosmoQuest initiatives will be leveraged and shared. Thus, CosmoQuest will be present and alive in the awareness of its growing community. Finally, to make CosmoQuest truly relevant, partnerships between scientists and educators are encouraged and facilitated, and "just-in-time" opportunities to support constituents exploring emerging NASA STEM education and new NASA data will be

  2. CosmoQuest Collaborative: Galvanizing a Dynamic Professional Learning Network (United States)

    Cobb, Whitney; Bracey, Georgia; Buxner, Sanlyn; Gay, Pamela L.; Noel-Storr, Jacob; CosmoQuest Team


    The CosmoQuest Collaboration offers in-depth experiences to diverse audiences around the nation and the world through pioneering citizen science in a virtual research facility. An endeavor between universities, research institutes, and NASA centers, CosmoQuest brings together scientists, educators, researchers, programmers—and citizens of all ages—to explore and make sense of our solar system and beyond. Leveraging human networks to expand NASA science, scaffolded by an educational framework that inspires lifelong learners, CosmoQuest engages citizens in analyzing and interpreting real NASA data, inspiring questions and defining problems.The QuestionLinda Darling-Hammond calls for professional development to be: "focused on the learning and teaching of specific curriculum content [i.e. NGSS disciplinary core ideas]; organized around real problems of practice [i.e. NGSS science and engineering practices] … [and] connected to teachers' collaborative work in professional learning community...." (2012) In light of that, what is the unique role CosmoQuest's virtual research facility can offer NASA STEM education?A Few AnswersThe CosmoQuest Collaboration actively engages scientists in education, and educators (and learners) in science. CosmoQuest uses social channels to empower and expand NASA's learning community through a variety of media, including science and education-focused hangouts, virtual star parties, and social media. In addition to creating its own supportive, standards-aligned materials, CosmoQuest offers a hub for excellent resources and materials throughout NASA and the larger astronomy community.In support of CosmoQuest citizen science opportunities, CQ initiatives (Learning Space, S-ROSES, IDEASS, Educator Zone) will be leveraged and shared through the CQPLN. CosmoQuest can be present and alive in the awareness its growing learning community.Finally, to make the CosmoQuest PLN truly relevant, it aims to encourage partnerships between scientists

  3. The Moon is a Planet Too: Lunar Science and Robotic Exploration (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara A.


    This slide presentation reviews some of what is known about the moon, and draws parallels between the moon and any other terrestrial planet. The Moon is a cornerstone for all rocky planets The Moon is a terrestrial body, formed and evolved similarly to Earth, Mars, Mercury, Venus, and large asteroids The Moon is a differentiated body, with a layered internal structure (crust, mantle, and core) The Moon is a cratered body, preserving a record of bombardment history in the inner solar system The Moon is an active body, experiencing moonquakes, releasing primordial heat, conducting electricity, sustaining bombardment, and trapping volatile molecules Lunar robotic missions provide early science return to obtain important science and engineering objectives, rebuild a lunar science community, and keep our eyes on the Moon. These lunar missions, both past and future are reviewed.

  4. CosmoQuest: A Virtual Facility for Learning and Doing Science (United States)

    Gay, P.; Lehan, C.; Bracey, G.; Gugiucci, N.


    CosmoQuest is a new online citizen science project designed to bring to the public the facilities typically enjoyed by professional researchers working in academic environments. Research is enabled through a series of online interfaces that guide individuals through tasks that professional collaborators need completed. Seminars, star parties, and other professional development is conducted through online video conferencing using the Google Hangouts on Air technology. Additional learning materials are maintained online using wiki software, and social interactions and collaboration are facilitated via online forums and social media.

  5. A brand new science for the planet

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN Bulletin


    “When the problem gets complicated, networking is the solution”. This is nothing new in principle but what Bob Bishop has in mind is one of those novelties that have the potential to change the course of history. He proposes to start networking sciences to create new knowledge. All this for the benefit – and the survival – of the planet.   At the end of the fifteenth and the start of the sixteenth centuries, Leonardo da Vinci was not only an engineer but also a painter, a mathematician and an architect. But in more recent years the sciences have evolved more towards specialization. “We have been treating the sciences as separate stovepipes and silos for over 200 years”, says Bob Bishop, former CEO at Silicon Graphics and a physicist with more than 40 years’ experience in scientific, technical and engineering computing. On 29 January, Bob Bishop visited CERN and gave a seminar on the role of computing in climate science. He is ...


    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


    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.

  7. Connecting People to Place: Stories, Science, Deep Maps, and Geo-Quests for Place-Based Learning (United States)

    Hagley, C. A.; Silbernagel, J.; Host, G.; Hart, D. A.; Axler, R.; Fortner, R. W.; Axler, M.; Smith, V.; Drewes, A.; Bartsch, W.; Danz, N.; Mathews, J.; Wagler, M.


    The St. Louis River Estuary project ( is about connecting the stories with the science of this special place to enhance spatial awareness and stewardship of the estuary. The stories, or spatial narratives, are told through vignettes of local resource activities, framed by perspectives of local people. The spatial narratives, developed through interviews and research, target six key activities of the estuary. The science is based on stressor gradients research, incorporating factors such as population and road density, pollutant point source density, and land use. The stressor gradient developed based on these factors was used as a basis for sampling water quality and plant and macroinvertebrate communities, with the intent of quantifying relationships between land-based stressors and aquatic ecosystem indicators of condition. The stories and science are interwoven, located in place on a Deep Map, and played out in GeoQuests to illustrate the complexity and multiple perspectives within the estuary's social, economic and ecological systems. Students, decision-makers, and Lake Superior enthusiasts can engage more deeply in the complexity of the stories and science by challenging themselves with these GeoQuests played on mobile devices. We hope these place-based learning tools will be valuable in advancing spatial literacy and conversation around environmental sustainability in coastal communities.

  8. Taking the Measure of the Universe: Precision Astrometry with SIM Planetquest (Preprint)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Unwin, Stephen C; Shao, Michael; Tanner, Angelle M; Allen, Ronald J; Beichman, Charles A; Boboltz, David; Catanzarite, Joseph H; Chaboyer, Brian C; Ciardi, David R; Edberg, Stephen J


    ... = 20, and differential accuracy of 0.6 microarchsecond on bright targets. The science topics are drawn primarily from the Team Key Projects, selected in 2000, for the Space Interferometry Mission PlanetQuest (SIM PlanetQuest...

  9. Giant Planets in Reflected Light: What Science Can We Expect? (United States)

    Marley, Mark


    Interpreting the reflection spectra of cool giant planets will be a challenge. Spectra of such worlds are expected to be primarily shaped by scattering from clouds and hazes and punctuated by absorption bands of methane, water, and ammonia. While the warmest giants may be cloudless, their atmospheres will almost certainly sport substantial photochemical hazes. Furthermore the masses of most direct imaging targets will be constrained by radial velocity observations, their radii, and thus atmospheric gravity, will be imperfectly known. The uncertainty in planet radius and gravity will compound with uncertain aerosol properties to make estimation of key absorber abundances difficult. To address such concerns our group is developing atmospheric retrieval tools to constrain quantities of interest, particular gas mixing ratios. We have applied our Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods to simulated data of the quality expected from the WFIRST CGI instrument and found that given sufficiently high SNR data we can confidentially identify and constrain the abundance of methane, cloud top pressures, gravity, and the star-planet-observer phase angle. In my presentation I will explain the expected characteristics of cool extrasolar giant planet reflection spectra, discuss these and other challenges in their interpretation, and summarize the science results we can expect from direct imaging observations.

  10. Fairy-tale planet: creative science writing for children (United States)

    Lanza, Tiziana; D'Addezio, Giuliana


    During public events organized by our Institute sometimes we have predisposed a corner to entertain primary school children with fairy-tales about the planet. In that occasion we realized that even if children could take part in other activities more in fashion such as laboratories, theatre performances, exhibits, they were very attracted by fairy tales, such an "ancient" tradition. This year within the projects "alternanza scuola-lavoro" we are planning to involve also the students of the secondary schools to learn themselves how to animate a fairy-tale corner for children. The "alternanza scuola lavoro" (interchange school/work) has been recently introduced in the Italian school as a methodology for implementing the second cycle teaching. The general purpose is to ensure that 15 to 18 years old students, beside the access to basic knowledge, can acquire skills in the employment and real work environments experiencing other teaching methods based both on knowledge and know-how. We will then start a new adventure by investigating what will be the best way to introduce children to creative science writing for the planet. The aim would be that of creating a format suitable for children either for writing all together a planet fairy-tale in class, or individually. The final goal is to raise awareness about the environmental problems by stimulating in scholars their own creativity.

  11. The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project (United States)

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Kuchner, Marc; Schneider, Adam; Meisner, Aaron; Gagné, Jonathan; Filippazzo, Joeseph; Trouille, Laura; Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Collaboration; Jacqueline Faherty


    In February of 2017 our team launched a new citizen science project entitled Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 to scan the cosmos for fast moving stars, brown dwarfs, and even planets. This Zooniverse website,, invites anyone with a computer or smartphone to flip through WISE images taken over a several year baseline and mark any point source that appears to move. This “blinking technique” is the same that Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto with over 80 years ago. In the first few days of our program we recruited over 30,000 volunteers. After 3/4 of a year with the program we have completed 30% of the sky and our participants have identified several hundred candidate movers. These include (1) over 20 candidate Y-type brown dwarfs, (2) a handful of new co-moving systems containing a previously unidentified low mass object and a known nearby star, (3) over 100 previously missed M dwarfs, (4) and more than 200 candidate L and T brown dwarfs, many of which occupy outlier positions on reduced proper motion diagrams. Our first publication credited four citizen scientists as co-authors. The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project is both scientifically fruitful and empowering for any mind across the globe that has ever wanted to participate in a discovery-driven astronomy research project.

  12. Chairmanship of the Neptune/Pluto outer planets science working group (United States)

    Stern, S. Alan


    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

  13. Planets in a Room (United States)

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


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

  14. Prediction: The Modern-Day Sport-Science and Sports-Medicine "Quest for the Holy Grail". (United States)

    McCall, Alan; Fanchini, Maurizio; Coutts, Aaron J


    In high-performance sport, science and medicine practitioners employ a variety of physical and psychological tests, training and match monitoring, and injury-screening tools for a variety of reasons, mainly to predict performance, identify talented individuals, and flag when an injury will occur. The ability to "predict" outcomes such as performance, talent, or injury is arguably sport science and medicine's modern-day equivalent of the "Quest for the Holy Grail." The purpose of this invited commentary is to highlight the common misinterpretation of studies investigating association to those actually analyzing prediction and to provide practitioners with simple recommendations to quickly distinguish between methods pertaining to association and those of prediction.

  15. CosmoQuest: Exploring the Needs of Current & Future Citizen Scientists (United States)

    Bracey, G.; Glushko, A.; Bakerman, M. N.; Gay, P.; Buxner, S.


    The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility aims to engage and support professional scientists and the general public-including parents, children, teachers, and students-in learning and doing science. Through the facility's online portal (, anyone with internet access can participate in NASA Science Mission Directorate related research by engaging in several online citizen science projects. To support this endeavor, the CosmoQuest team is developing a variety of programs, opportunities, and resources that parallel those available in real-world institutions and that have the potential to reach and impact a large and diverse audience. In order to guide this development and ensure the success of the facility, it is essential to assess the needs of the growing CosmoQuest community. In this presentation, we present the results of a suite of online surveys designed to gauge the interests, motivations, and needs of several groups within the CosmoQuest Community : teachers, parents, adult learners, planetarium professionals, subject matter experts (SMEs), and the general public. Each survey was targeted to a particular group and a particular CosmoQuest program. All surveys asked about attitudes towards technology and social media use. Basic demographics were also collected. We discuss the needs of the various groups and share plans for meeting these needs.

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

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


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

  17. Ups and downs in planetary science (United States)

    Shoemaker, Carolyn S.


    The field of planetary science as it developed during the lifetimes of Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker has sustained a period of exciting growth. Surveying the skies for planet-crossing asteroids and comets and studying the results of their impact upon the planets, especially the Earth, was for Gene and Carolyn an intense and satisfying quest for knowledge. It all started when Gene envisioned man going to the Moon, especially himself. After that, one thing led to another: the study of nuclear craters and a comparison with Meteor Crater, Arizona; the Apollo project and a succession of unmanned space missions to the inner and outer planets; an awareness of cratering throughout our solar system; the search for near-Earth asteroids and comets; a study of ancient craters in Australia; and the impact of Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter. The new paradigm of impact cratering as a cause for mass extinction and the opening of space for the development of new life forms have been causes to champion.

  18. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission (United States)

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


    , only ˜0.5% will exhibit transits. By observing such a large number of stars, Kepler is guaranteed to produce a robust null result in the unhappy event that no Earth-size planets are detected in or near the habitable zone. Such a result would indicate that worlds like ours are extremely rare in the Milky Way galaxy and perhaps the cosmos, and that we might be solitary sojourners in the quest to answer the age-old question: "Are we alone?" Kepler is an audacious mission that places rigorous demands on the science pipeline used to process the ever-accumulating, large amount of data and to identify and characterize the minute planetary signatures hiding in the data haystack. Kepler observes over 160,000 stars simultaneously over a field of view (FOV) of 115 square degrees with a focal plane consisting of 42 charge-coupled devices‡ (CCDs), each of which images 2.75 square degrees of sky onto 2200×1024 pixels. The photometer, which contains the CCD array, reads out each CCD every 6.54 s [10,11] and co-adds the images for 29.4 min, called a long cadence (LC) interval. Due to storage and bandwidth constraints, only the pixels of interest, those that contain images of target stars, are saved onboard the solid-state recorder (SSR), which can store 66+ days of data. An average of 32 pixels per star is allowed for up to 170,000 stellar target definitions. In addition, a total of 512 targets are sampled at 58.85-s short cadence (SC) intervals, permitting further characterization of the planet-star systems for the brighter stars with a Kepler magnitude,* Kp, brighter than 12 (Kp machine learning and data mining. First, Section 17.2 gives a brief overview of the SOC science processing pipeline. This includes a special subsection detailing the adaptive, wavelet-based transit detector in the transiting planet search (TPS) pipeline component that performs the automated search through each of the hundreds of thousands of light curves for transit signatures of Earth-size planets

  19. Remote Sensing Data Analytics for Planetary Science with PlanetServer/EarthServer (United States)

    Rossi, Angelo Pio; Figuera, Ramiro Marco; Flahaut, Jessica; Martinot, Melissa; Misev, Dimitar; Baumann, Peter; Pham Huu, Bang; Besse, Sebastien


    Planetary Science datasets, beyond the change in the last two decades from physical volumes to internet-accessible archives, still face the problem of large-scale processing and analytics (e.g. Rossi et al., 2014, Gaddis and Hare, 2015). PlanetServer, the Planetary Science Data Service of the EC-funded EarthServer-2 project (#654367) tackles the planetary Big Data analytics problem with an array database approach (Baumann et al., 2014). It is developed to serve a large amount of calibrated, map-projected planetary data online, mainly through Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Coverage Processing Service (WCPS) (e.g. Rossi et al., 2014; Oosthoek et al., 2013; Cantini et al., 2014). The focus of the H2020 evolution of PlanetServer is still on complex multidimensional data, particularly hyperspectral imaging and topographic cubes and imagery. In addition to hyperspectral and topographic from Mars (Rossi et al., 2014), the use of WCPS is applied to diverse datasets on the Moon, as well as Mercury. Other Solar System Bodies are going to be progressively available. Derived parameters such as summary products and indices can be produced through WCPS queries, as well as derived imagery colour combination products, dynamically generated and accessed also through OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS). Scientific questions translated into queries can be posed to a large number of individual coverages (data products), locally, regionally or globally. The new PlanetServer system uses the the Open Source Nasa WorldWind (e.g. Hogan, 2011) virtual globe as visualisation engine, and the array database Rasdaman Community Edition as core server component. Analytical tools and client components of relevance for multiple communities and disciplines are shared across service such as the Earth Observation and Marine Data Services of EarthServer. The Planetary Science Data Service of EarthServer is accessible on All its code base is going to be available on GitHub, on

  20. CERN Library | Michael Dittmar presents "Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet" by Ugo Bardi (et al.) | 24 July

    CERN Multimedia


    As we dig, drill and excavate to unearth the planet’s mineral bounty, the resources we exploit from ores, veins, seams and wells are gradually becoming exhausted. Mineral treasures that took millions, or even billions, of years to form are now being squandered in just centuries—or sometimes just decades.   Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet, by Ugo Bardi et al., Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014, ISBN 9781603585415. Will there come a time when we actually run out of minerals? Debates already soar over how we are going to obtain energy without oil, coal and gas. But what about the other mineral losses we face? Without metals, and semiconductors, how are we going to keep our industrial system running? Without mineral fertilisers and fuels, how are we going to produce the food we need? Ugo Bardi delivers a sweeping history of the mining industry, starting with its humble beginning when our early ancestors started digging underground to find the st...

  1. About the Linguistic Impossibility of Claiming that Small Planets are not Planets (United States)

    Nedeljkovic, A. B.


    Philology, which is, the science of language and literature, must now offer assistance to the science of astronomy, about one question of terminology and logic. Namely, if something belongs to one category, then it is, regardless of its size (large, or medium, or small) a member of that category. Therefore, it was linguistically wrong to claim that Pluto is one of the dwarf planets and therefore not a planet. This mistake, much noticed by the world's public opinion, ought to be corrected immediately.

  2. CosmoQuest: Virtual Star Parties as a Conduit to Citizen Science Research (United States)

    Lewis, Scott; Gugliucci, N. E.; Gay, P. L.; Amateur Astronomer Team; Commentator Team


    CosmoQuest has created an environment that actively engages the public through online star parties while building a growing virtual research center that allows individuals anywhere in the world to participate in and contribute to scientific research. Utilizing the infrastructure of Google+ and YouTube, CosmoQuest has brought optical observational astronomy into homes across the world. Every week astronomers - amateur and professional - meet to share live sky images and to discuss the science behind their beauty during Virtual Star parties. A wide array of optics and digital detectors from varied locations collaborate in a fashion not possible in the standard public star party. Every viewer is able to virtually look through the imaging telescope simultaneously while the equipment owner doesn’t need to worry about accidental mishandling by the public. Digital cameras and CCDs also allow longer exposures of deep-sky objects, something not typical in a standard star party event. Our diversity of equipment - ranging from hand-guided Dobsonian telescopes to 16” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes on Paramounts - give viewers the opportunity to experience the sky through different systems. Additional Star Parties focus on special astronomical events, such as eclipses and transits. The annular eclipse of 20 May, 2012 brought together astronomers, space enthusiasts and a curious public into a Google+ Hangout On Air to celebrate the event while advocating safe observing methods and explaining the science behind the phenomenon. Public photos of the eclipse were shared live in the broadcast while video of the event was streamed for thousands of viewers to enjoy. Other special event star parties have focused on the Super Moon, Eros Opposition, and the Venus Transit. In this poster we review the technology behind star parties and the reach of these events.

  3. CosmoQuest: Making the public your students and collaborators (United States)

    Gay, Pamela; Buxner, Sanlyn; Grier, Jennifer; Richardson, Matthew; CosmoQuest Team


    CosmoQuest is a second generation citizen science project that makes it possible for NASA Subject Matter Experts to engage the public as both learners and collaborators in research. Engaging the public in publishable science is termed “Citizen Science.” This is a powerful technique for accomplishing research projects and tasks that require many minds and eyes to complete. While some projects may use undergraduates for help, others simply have too many images or too much data for a small population to sort through. CosmoQuest is a platform that enables scientists to take advantage of already existing science tools to engage the public in their research and to acquire the data analysis they need. Citizen scientists, like students, need their experience properly scaffolded to their understanding, and they require mentoring and training to succeed.This presentation focuses on methods for focusing research projects for successful citizen science engagement, and determining what scaffolding must be built to support citizen education and engagement.This presentation will help you understand how to transform your research project into a successful citizen science engagement. We will also present a flowchart to help you define: what is required, how to focus on what science does and doesn’t work, and what support your project requires. The content presented will allow you to successfully implement a project within the CosmoQuest facility, and determine what educational support you should provide or request aid to provide.

  4. Two cultures are better than one: Earth sciences and Art for a better planet sustainability (United States)

    Lanza, Tiziana; Rubbia, Giuliana; Negrete, Aquiles


    Climate change, pollution, desertification, natural hazard, animals' extinction are some of the problems we face every day. Very often Science and Technology are charged of the solutions while Art is intended mainly for entertainment. Are we sure this is the right attitude? "Technology is a queer thing. It brings you gifts with one hand, and stabs you in the back with the other", says C.P.Snow, author of a milestone book on the Two Cultures, namely Sciences and Humanities. If Science can drive to a rigorous knowledge of the Earth speaking to people's mind, Technology is Science in action. When individuals act very often the reasons behind their actions are linked to their education, values, sense of beauty, presence or absence of feelings, all things pertaining to the emotional sphere of humans usually addressed by humanistic culture. But if in one hand, Science and Technology cannot be left alone to solve the impelling problems that are deteriorating not only our planet resources but also our quality of life, on the other hand the humanistic culture can find a powerful ally in scientific culture for re-awakening in everybody the sense of beauty, values and respect for the planet. To know Earth is to love Earth, since nature is in itself a work of Art. Earth sciences dig out all the secrets that make our planet a unique place in the Universe we know. Every single phenomena can be seen then in a double face value. An Aurora, for instance, can inspire poetry for its beauty and colors but always remains the result of the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth magnetic field. And, most important, an Aurora will never inspire negative feelings. To make our part in creating a common field between Art and Earth sciences, we have created a blog and a related FaceBook page to collect, browsing the web, all the experiences in this trend, to find out that many scientists and artists are already working in this direction as a final and enjoyable surprise.

  5. Q.U.E.S.T. An Interactive Earth Science Study Tool: Connecting Real Students to Digital Libraries (United States)

    Moore, A.; Danowski, D.; Brindisi, C.; Sandvol, C.; Seber, D.


    Quick Use Earth Study Tool (QUEST) is an experimental educational interface to the Cornell University's Geoscience Information System ( The information system currently includes more than 100 geographic, geologic, and geophysical data sets along with World Wide Web based interactive mapping tools for data display and analysis. The system is GIS based and accessible via any web browser that support Java applets. QUEST is the companion module that has been developed to assist educators who wish to use these data to their fullest potential, providing tutorials, sample exercises, and suggested projects. Clearly, students learn best when they engage in the practice of science. One means to accomplish this is to have students access primary scientific data. Our experience suggests that a structured exploration of original data sets enhances student learning. For this reason we have selected a subset of Cornell's available geoscience data, and have designed a series of activities that allow students to explore dynamic Earth processes. Currently, these data include the ISC seismicity catalog, volcanism data from the Smithsonian Institution, and digital topography from the USGS and NOAA. The QUEST interface allows students to query the data sets based on a variety of criteria (e.g., earthquakes can be sorted by date, magnitude, depth, and location), or perform computations on data (e.g., sea level can be interactively mapped at any elevation on the DEM). Because the system is GIS-based, multiple data sets can be displayed simultaneously in order for users to examine the spatial relationships between geological features. Users can zoom in to regions of interest, and a map history window keeps track of student work so that comparisons are easily made. QUEST is accompanied by a Teacher's Manual to assist teachers in extracting the most information from the available data and tools. Through these efforts we hope to provide teachers and students

  6. The Effect of Two Different Cooperative Approaches on Students' Learning and Practices within the Context of a WebQuest Science Investigation (United States)

    Zacharia, Zacharias C.; Xenofontos, Nikoletta A.; Manoli, Constantinos C.


    The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of two different cooperative learning approaches, namely, the Jigsaw Cooperative Approach (JCA) and the Traditional Cooperative Approach (TCA), on students' learning and practices/actions within the context of a WebQuest science investigation. Another goal of this study was to identify possible…

  7. Challenges in the Quest for Clean Energies

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 18; Issue 5. Challenges in the Quest for Clean Energies - Solar Energy Technologies. Sheela K Ramasesha. Series Article Volume 18 Issue 5 May 2013 pp 440-457. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  8. How to Cool the Planet by Jeff Goodell (United States)

    Goodell, J.


    How to Cool the Planet is a narrative about the radical and controversial world of geoengineering - the deliberate, large-scale manipulation of the earth’s climate to reduce the risk of global warming. Unlike other books on this subject, it is not a polemic or historical review. It is the story of the author, a best-selling author and journalist for the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and other publications, to answer a not-so-simple question: is geoengineering a crazy idea or not? To answer this question, the author sets out on a quest to talk with - and test the sanity of - the leading scientists in this field, from David Keith, a physicist at the University of Calgary, to James Lovelock, independent scientist best known for his Gaia theory. Along the way, Goodell explores the science behind ideas like cloud brightening and the injection of sulfur particles into the stratosphere to deflect sunlight. But he is equally interested in the moral and ethical issues behind these ideas, as well the hopes and fears of the scientists who are exploring them. In the end, the book is a kind of radical experiment itself, exploring the not just the complexities of an emerging field of science, but the complexities of communicating such audacious thinking to non-scientific readers.

  9. From Disks to Planets: The Making of Planets and Their Early Atmospheres. An Introduction (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Blanc, Michel


    This paper is an introduction to volume 56 of the Space Science Series of ISSI, "From disks to planets—the making of planets and their proto-atmospheres", a key subject in our quest for the origins and evolutionary paths of planets, and for the causes of their diversity. Indeed, as exoplanet discoveries progressively accumulated and their characterization made spectacular progress, it became evident that the diversity of observed exoplanets can in no way be reduced to the two classes of planets that we are used to identify in the solar system, namely terrestrial planets and gas or ice giants: the exoplanet reality is just much broader. This fact is no doubt the result of the exceptional diversity of the evolutionary paths linking planetary systems as a whole as well as individual exoplanets and their proto-atmospheres to their parent circumstellar disks: this diversity and its causes are exactly what this paper explores. For each of the main phases of the formation and evolution of planetary systems and of individual planets, we summarize what we believe we understand and what are the important open questions needing further in-depth examination, and offer some suggestions on ways towards solutions. We start with the formation mechanisms of circumstellar disks, with their gas and disk components in which chemical composition plays a very important role in planet formation. We summarize how dust accretion within the disk generates planet cores, while gas accretion on these cores can lead to the diversity of their fluid envelopes. The temporal evolution of the parent disk itself, and its final dissipation, put strong constraints on how and how far planetary formation can proceed. The radiation output of the central star also plays an important role in this whole story. This early phase of planet evolution, from disk formation to dissipation, is characterized by a co-evolution of the disk and its daughter planets. During this co-evolution, planets and their

  10. Planet Hunters: Kepler by Eye (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.


    Planet Hunters (, part of the Zooniverse's ( 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.

  11. Computer-games for gravitational wave science outreach: Black Hole Pong and Space Time Quest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carbone, L; Bond, C; Brown, D; Brückner, F; Grover, K; Lodhia, D; Mingarelli, C M F; Fulda, P; Smith, R J E; Unwin, R; Vecchio, A; Wang, M; Whalley, L; Freise, A


    We have established a program aimed at developing computer applications and web applets to be used for educational purposes as well as gravitational wave outreach activities. These applications and applets teach gravitational wave physics and technology. The computer programs are generated in collaboration with undergraduates and summer students as part of our teaching activities, and are freely distributed on a dedicated website. As part of this program, we have developed two computer-games related to gravitational wave science: 'Black Hole Pong' and 'Space Time Quest'. In this article we present an overview of our computer related outreach activities and discuss the games and their educational aspects, and report on some positive feedback received.

  12. Photon Science for Renewable Energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hussain, Zahid; Tamura, Lori; Padmore, Howard; Schoenlein, Bob; Bailey, Sue


    Our current fossil-fuel-based system is causing potentially catastrophic changes to our planet. The quest for renewable, nonpolluting sources of energy requires us to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels. Light-source facilities - the synchrotrons of today and the next-generation light sources of tomorrow - are the scientific tools of choice for exploring the electronic and atomic structure of matter. As such, these photon-science facilities are uniquely positioned to jump-start a global revolution in renewable and carbonneutral energy technologies. In these pages, we outline and illustrate through examples from our nation's light sources possible scientific directions for addressing these profound yet urgent challenges.

  13. Jupiter Quest: A Path to Scientific Discovery. (United States)

    Bollman, Kelly A.; Rodgers, Mark H.; Mauller, Robert L.


    To experience the world of professional science, students must have access to the scientific community and be allowed to become real scientists. A partnership involving the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Lewis Center for Educational Research has produced Jupiter Quest, an engaging curriculum…

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

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


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

  15. The science case of the CHEOPS planet finder for VLT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gratton, R.; Feldt, M.; Schmid, H.M.; Brandner, W.; Hippler, S.; Neuhauser, R.; Quirrenbach, A.; Desidera, S.; Turatto, M.; Stam, D.M.; Hasinger, G.; Turner, M.J.L.


    The CHEOPS Planet Finder is one of the proposed second generation instruments for the VLT. Its purpose is to image and characterize giant extrasolar planets in different phases of their evolution: young, warm planets as well as old, cold ones. Imaging the last ones is the most challenging task

  16. The quest for extraterrestrial life: what about the viruses? (United States)

    Griffin, Dale Warren


    Recently, viruses have been recognized as the most numerous entities and the primary drivers of evolution on Earth. Historically, viruses have been mostly ignored in the field of astrobiology due to the view that they are not alive in the classical sense and if encountered would not present risk due to their host-specific nature. What we currently know of viruses is that we are most likely to encounter them on other life-bearing planets; that while some are exquisitely host-specific, many viruses can utilize hundreds of different host species; that viruses are known to exist in our planet's most extreme environments; and that while many do not survive long outside their hosts, some can survive for extended periods, especially in the cold. In our quest for extraterrestrial life, we should be looking for viruses; and while any encountered may pose no risk, the possibility of an encounter with a virus capable of accessing multiple cell types exists, and any prospective contact with such an organism should be treated accordingly.

  17. Learning from WebQuests (United States)

    Gaskill, Martonia; McNulty, Anastasia; Brooks, David W.


    WebQuests are activities in which students use Web resources to learn about school topics. WebQuests are advocated as constructivist activities and ones generally well regarded by students. Two experiments were conducted in school settings to compare learning using WebQuests versus conventional instruction. Students and teachers both enjoyed WebQuest instruction and spoke highly of it. In one experiment, however, conventional instruction led to significantly greater student learning. In the other, there were no significant differences in the learning outcomes between conventional versus WebQuest-based instruction.

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


    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 Funding for the TESS Mission has been provided by the NASA Science Mission Directorate.

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

    Wood, E. L.


    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.

  20. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets (United States)

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

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

  1. Leveraging CosmoQuest: Quantitative Analysis of Audience Interests and Behaviors (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Gay, P.; Bakerman, M. N.; Graziano, N.; Murph, S.; Reiheld, A.


    Online science education projects have the potential to reach larger audiences than any other form of public engagement. For this potential to be realized, educators and communicators must get their message heard above the roar of competing content - the news, memes, games, and gossip that dominate online spaces. Once heard, projects must further inspire engagement, and that engagement needs to be meaningful so that it motivates and supports learning. The CosmoQuest project, launched in 2012, has been collecting data on what factors trigger engagement, and how social media in particular can be used to learn about audiences interests, and measure what kinds of messages trigger interaction. This study examines the interplay between social media frequency and messaging, and user engagement in educational content and citizen science. It further data mines Twitter to directly measure the interests of people who follow CosmoQuest on social media. This information will allow us to effectively recruit new people from space science adjacent interests, and to effectively engage them through research validated strategies.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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.

  3. Learning from WebQuests (United States)

    Gaskill, Martonia; McNulty, Anastasia; Brooks, David W.


    WebQuests are activities in which students use Web resources to learn about school topics. WebQuests are advocated as constructivist activities and ones generally well regarded by students. Two experiments were conducted in school settings to compare learning using WebQuests versus conventional instruction. Students and teachers both enjoyed…

  4. Mission to Planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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

  5. Mission to Planet Earth (United States)

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


    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.

  6. The International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2009):Earth Sciences for Society

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Eduardo Mulder; Ted Nield; Edward Derbyshire


    Natural disasters like the 2004 tsunami bear graphic testimony to the Earth's incredible power. More effective use of geoscientific knowledge can save lives and protect property. Such knowledge also enables us to satisfy, in a sustainable manner,the growing need for Earth's resources by an expanding human population. Such knowledge is readily available in the practical experience and publications of some half a million Earth scientists all over the world, a professional community that is ready and willing to contribute to a safer, healthier and wealthier society if called upon by politicians and decision makers. Professional guidance by Earth scientists is available in many aspects of everyday life including, for example, identification of the best areas for urban expansion, sites to avoid for waste disposal, the location of new underground fresh water resources, and where certain toxic agents implicated in Earth-related diseases may be located, etc.The International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2009) aims to build on existing knowledge and make it more available for the improvement of everyday life, especially in the less developed countries, as expressed in the Year's subtitle: Earth sciences for Society. Ambitious outreach and science programmes constitute the backbone of the International Year, now politically endorsed by all 191 member states of the United Nations Organisation which has proclaimed 2008, the central year of the triennium, as the UN Year of Planet Earth. This paper describes who is behind the initiative,how it will work, and how the political process leading to United Nations proclamation proceeded. It also describes the financial and organisational aspects of the International Year, sets out the commitments necessary for the realization of the Year's ambitions by all nations, and explains how the raising of US$ 20 million will be approached.

  7. Designing a WebQuest (United States)

    Salsovic, Annette R.


    A WebQuest is an inquiry-based lesson plan that uses the Internet. This article explains what a WebQuest is, shows how to create one, and provides an example. When engaged in a WebQuest, students use technology to experience cooperative learning and discovery learning while honing their research, writing, and presentation skills. It has been found…

  8. 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


    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.

  9. Primary school children and teachers discover the nature and science of planet Earth and Mars (United States)

    Kleinhans, Maarten; Verkade, Alex; Bastings, Mirjam; Reichwein, Maarten


    For various reasons primary schools emphasise language and calculus rather than natural sciences. When science is taught at all, examination systems often favour technological tricks and knowledge of the 'right' answer over the process of investigation and logical reasoning towards that answer. Over the long term, this is not conducive to curiosity and scientific attitude in large parts of the population. Since the problem is more serious in primary than in secondary education, and as children start their school career with a natural curiosity and great energy to explore their world, we focus our efforts on primary school teachers in close collaboration with teachers and researchers. Our objective was to spark children's curiosity and their motivation to learn and discover, as well as to help teachers develop self-afficacy in science education. To this end we developed a three-step program with a classroom game and sand-box experiments related to planet Earth and Mars. The classroom game Expedition Mundus simulates science in its focus on asking questions, reasoning towards answers on the basis of multiple sources and collaboration as well as growth of knowledge. Planet Mundus is entirely fictitional to avoid differences in foreknowledge between pupils. The game was tested in hundreds of classes in primary schools and the first years of secondary education and was printed (in Dutch) and distributed over thousands of schools as part of teacher education through university science hubs. Expedition Mundus was developed by the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and De Praktijk. The tested translations in English and German are available on Following the classroom game, we conducted simple landscape experiments in sand boxes supported by google earth imagery of real rivers, fans and deltas on Earth and Mars. This was loosely based on our fluvial morphodynamics research. This, in the presence of a


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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.

  11. Moving People from Science Adjacent to Science Doers with (United States)

    Gay, Pamela L.; CosmoQuest


    The CosmoQuest community is testing the ability to attract people from playing online videogames to doing fully online citizen science by engaging people through the streaming platform. launched in 2011 as an online platform for video gamers to stream their gameplay while providing narrative. In its six years of regular growth, the platform has added support for people playing non-video games, and for those participating in non-game activities. As part of their expansion, in April 2017, hosted a science week during which they streamed the Cosmos series and allowed different feeds provide real-time commentary. They also hosted panel discussions on a variety of science topics. CosmoQuest participated in this event and used it as a jumping off point for beginning to interact with community members online. With CosmoQuest’s beta launch of Image Detectives, they expanded their use of this streaming platform to include regular “office hours”, during which team members did science with CosmoQuest’s online projects, took questions from community members, and otherwise promoted the CosmoQuest community. This presentation examines this case study, and looks at how well different kinds of Twitter engagements attracted audiences, the conversion rate from viewer to subscriber, and at how effectively CosmoQuest was able to migrate users from viewing citizen science on to participating in citizen science on project was supported through NASA cooperative agreement NNX17AD20A.

  12. Survival of extrasolar giant planet moons in planet-planet scattering (United States)

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


    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.

  13. Ethics in environmental politics and sustainable use of the planet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Cairns Jr.


    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Environmental politics, especially regarding sustainable use of the planet, must be based on a shared set of ethical values. Although there is a fundamental conflict between ecological doctrine and human cultures, naturalistic assemblages of plants and animals can co-exist with human society in a mutualistic relationship. Numerous environmental practices of human society have ethical implications and are serious obstacles to the quest for sustainability. Continuing them will probably result in crossing one or more important ecological thresholds, which may result in new ecological conditions less favorable to human society than those that presently exist. Some of the probable conditions (e.g., global climate change could be characterized as paradigm-shifting catastrophes. Motivational ethics may triumph initially, but consequential ethics may eventually emerge in environmental politics, which would then produce some interesting conditions in a sustainability context. Since humans have only one planet on which to experiment, speculation about possible future scenarios seems prudent, as does precautionary action to avoid undesirable outcomes.

  14. Planet Hunters 2 in the K2 Era (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


    Planet Hunters ( 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 ( 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.

  15. Kepler Confirmation of Multi-Planet Systems (United States)

    Cochran, W. D.


    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.

  16. Planet Press: an EGU initiative to bring geoscientific research to children (United States)

    Ferreira, Bárbara


    Planet Press ( is an EGU educational project that aims to get children (mainly 7-13 year olds), as well as their parents and educators, interested in and engaged with up-to-date scientific research and news. Planet Press articles are short versions of EGU press releases written in child-friendly language. Because EGU press releases cover research published in the various EGU scientific journals, Planet Press focuses on topics as varied as air pollution, glaciers, climate change, earthquakes, ocean sciences, droughts and floods, or space sciences. The texts are reviewed by both scientists and educators to make sure they are accurate and clear to their target audience. By sharing new and exciting geoscientific research with young kids, we hope to inspire them to develop an interest in the Earth, planetary and space sciences. In this presentation, we describe how the Planet Press idea came about, how the project is run, and the challenges and lessons learnt since the launch of this educational initiative in 2014. Planet Press, which has the support of the EGU Committee on Education, is made possible by the work of volunteer scientists and educators who review and translate the texts. We are grateful for the help of Jane Robb, former EGU Educational Fellow, with launching the project. Planet Press is inspired by Space Scoop (, an initiative by UNAWE, the EU-Universe Awareness organisation, that brings astronomy news to children every week.

  17. Characterizing Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light (United States)

    Marley, Mark


    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.

  18. Searching for New Earths: Teaching Children How We Seek Distant Planets (United States)

    Pulliam, C.


    Teaching science to children ages 8-13 can be a great challenge, especially if you lack the resources for a full-blown audio/visual presentation. How do you hold their attention and get them involved? One method is to teach a topic no one else covers at this educational level: something exciting and up-to-the-minute, at the cutting edge of science. We developed an interactive 45-minute presentation to convey the two basic techniques used to locate planets orbiting other stars. Activities allowed children to hunt for their own planets in simulated data sets. We also stimulated their imagination by giving each child a take-home, multicolored marble ``planet'' and asking them to discuss their planet's characteristics. The resulting presentation ``Searching for New Earths'' could be adapted to a variety of educational settings.

  19. Martha's Quest


    Schwantes, Cíntia


    Este artigo apresenta uma análise do romance Martha's Quest, de Doris Lessing. Primeiro da série Children of Violence, Martha's Quest discute, através da trajetória de uma personagem paradigmática, os rumos que a sociedade sul-africana do período imediatamente precedente à guerra tomou. Nos dois volumes subseqüentes (A Perfect Marriage e A Ripple from the Storm), a Guerra e o pós-guerra são focalizados.

  20. L'esprit de sel science, culture, politique

    CERN Document Server

    Lévy-Leblond, Jean-Marc


    L'esprit de sel. Activité de recherche, la science est-elle nécessairement productrice de connaissances ? Y a-t-il de nouvelles formes et normes du savoir ? Qu'est la science pour la science ? Activité intellectuelle. la science est-elle aussi une activité culturelle ? La science moderne est-elle dans la culture. est-elle une nouvelle culture - devrait-elle l'être ? Qu'est la science pour la culture ? Activité sociale. la science est liée de façon complexe aux structures économiques et à la conjoncture politique. Quel rôle joue-t-elle, quels conditionnements subit-elle ? Qu'est la science pour la politique ? Voici un ensemble de contributions pour aiguiser ces questions cruciales et décaper les idées reçues.

  1. MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet Mercury (United States)


    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.

  2. A WebQuest for Spatial Skills (United States)

    Wood, Pamela L.; Quitadamo, Ian J.; DePaepe, James L.; Loverro, Ian


    The WebQuest is a four-step process integrated at appropriate points in the Animal Studies unit. Through the WebQuest, students create a series of habitat maps that build on the knowledge gained from conducting the various activities of the unit. The quest concludes with an evaluation using the WebQuest rubric and an oral presentation of a final…

  3. Optimizing the TESS Planet Finding Pipeline (United States)

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


    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.

  4. Journey to Mars: the physics of travelling to the red planet (United States)

    Stinner, Arthur; Begoray, John


    Mars has fascinated mankind since antiquity. The retrograde motion of the red planet provided the impetus for the Earth-centred solar system of Ptolemy, and 1500 years later, for the Sun-centred solar system of Copernicus. Kepler's laws of planetary motion were the result of his all-out 'war on Mars' that lasted for about 18 years. Fascination for Mars reappeared in the beginning of the last century with the astronomer Percival Lowell's well publicized claim that intelligent life was responsible for the 'canals' that were sighted with a new powerful telescope. We are seeing a resurgence of this interest in the wake of many successful attempts to land on Mars in the last 30 years to study the surface and the atmosphere of the planet. Indeed, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is now cooperating with NASA in the quest for a full scale scientific assault on the red planet. In response to this new interest, we wrote an interactive computer program (ICP), illustrating the physics of planetary motion, that we have used successfully in lecture-demonstrations and with students in classrooms. The main part of this article describes two missions to Mars, and a third one that illustrates the capabilities of the ICP.

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

    Lebofsky, Larry A.


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

  6. Gemini Planet Imager: Preliminary Design Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B


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

  7. Hubble 2020: Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) Program (United States)

    Simon, Amy


    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.

  8. Kepler: NASA's First Mission Capable of Finding Earth-Size Planets (United States)

    Borucki, William J.


    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

  9. Is nursing ready for WebQuests? (United States)

    Lahaie, Ulysses David


    Based on an inquiry-oriented framework, WebQuests facilitate the construction of effective learning activities. Developed by Bernie Dodge and Tom March in 1995 at the San Diego State University, WebQuests have gained worldwide popularity among educators in the kindergarten through grade 12 educational sector. However, their application at the college and university levels is not well documented. WebQuests enhance and promote higher order-thinking skills, are consistent with Bloom's Taxonomy, and reflect a learner-centered instructional methodology (constructivism). They are based on solid theoretical foundations and promote critical thinking, inquiry, and problem solving. There is a role for WebQuests in nursing education. A WebQuest example is described in this article.

  10. The First Brown Dwarf Discovered by the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project (United States)

    Kuchner, Marc J.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Schneider, Adam C.; Meisner, Aaron M.; Filippazzo, Joseph C.; Gagne, Jonathan; Trouille, Laura; Silverberg, Steven M.; Castro, Rosa; Fletcher, Bob; hide


    The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a powerful tool for finding nearby brown dwarfs and searching for new planets in the outer solar system, especially with the incorporation of NEOWISE and NEOWISE Reactivation data. However, so far, searches for brown dwarfs in WISE data have yet to take advantage of the full depth of the WISE images. To efficiently search this unexplored space via visual inspection, we have launched anew citizen science project, called "Backyard Worlds: Planet 9," which asks volunteers to examine short animations composed of difference images constructed from time-resolved WISE co adds. We report the first new substellar object discovered by this project, WISEA J110125.95+540052.8, a T5.5 brown dwarf located approximately 34 pc from the Sun with a total proper motion of approx.0. "7/ yr. WISEA J110125.95+540052.8 has a WISE W2 magnitude of W2 = 15.37+/- 0.09; our sensitivity to this source demonstrates the ability of citizen scientists to identify moving objects via visual inspection that are 0.9 mag fainter than the W2 single-exposure sensitivity, a threshold that has limited prior motion-based brown dwarf searches with WISE.

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


    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.

  12. CosmoQuest Transient Tracker: Opensource Photometry & Astrometry software (United States)

    Myers, Joseph L.; Lehan, Cory; Gay, Pamela; Richardson, Matthew; CosmoQuest Team


    CosmoQuest is moving from online citizen science, to observational astronomy with the creation of Transient Trackers. This open source software is designed to identify asteroids and other transient/variable objects in image sets. Transient Tracker’s features in final form will include: astrometric and photometric solutions, identification of moving/transient objects, identification of variable objects, and lightcurve analysis. In this poster we present our initial, v0.1 release and seek community input.This software builds on the existing NIH funded ImageJ libraries. Creation of this suite of opensource image manipulation routines is lead by Wayne Rasband and is released primarily under the MIT license. In this release, we are building on these libraries to add source identification for point / point-like sources, and to do astrometry. Our materials released under the Apache 2.0 license on github ( and documentation can be found at

  13. Developing New Pedagogy to Teach Planet Formation to Undergraduate Non-Science Majors (United States)

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


    A first order understanding of planet formation and the scientific concepts therein is critical in order for undergraduate students to understand our place in the Universe. Furthermore, planet formation integrates the topics of gravity, angular momentum, migration, and condensation in a “story-book” fashion where students can apply these concepts to a specific event. We collected syllabi and course topics from over 30 undergraduate general-education astrobiology courses from around the globe in order to determine the extent to which professors address planet formation. Additionally, we were looking to see if faculty had developed specific or original pedagogy to teach this topic. We find on average, instructors spend ½ of a lecture discussing planet formation or they leave it out all together. In the classes where planet formation is taught more extensively, instructors use PowerPoint slides or occasional videos to teach the topic. We aim to develop new pedagogy that will allow us to better determine learning gains and student understanding of this critical topic. If students in an astrobiology class are unable to understand how our own Solar System forms, it is significantly more challenging to make parallels (or find differences) between our home in the Universe and extrasolar planetary systems.

  14. Collaborative CPD and inquiry-based science in the classroom

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund

    on the teaching of science and on collaboration. Qualitative data obtained by following the same teacher teaching Science & Technology from 4th to 6th grade are used to discuss changes in her classroom practice; in particular concerning inquiry-based methods shown in earlier QUEST-research to be understood......Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is crucial for reforming science teaching, but more knowledge is needed about how to embed CPD in teachers’ daily work. The Danish QUEST-project is a long-term collaborative CPD-project designed informed by research and with activities changing rhythmically...... between seminars, individual trials in own classroom, and collaborative activities in the science-team at local schools. The QUEST research is aimed at understanding the relation between individual and social changes. In this study, quantitative data are used to compare the perceived effect from QUEST...

  15. CosmoQuest: Supporting Subject Matter Experts in Broadening the Impacts of their Work beyond their Institutional Walls. (United States)

    Noel-Storr, J.; Buxner, S.; Grier, J.; Gay, P.


    CosmoQuest is a virtual research facility, which, like its physical counterparts, provides tools for scientists to acquire reduced data products (thanks to our cadre of citizen scientists working to analyze images and produce results online), and also to participate in education and outreach activities either directly through CosmoQuest activities (such as CosmoAcademy and the Educators' Zone) or with the support of CosmoQuest. Here, we present our strategies to inspire, engage and support Subject Matter Experts (SMEs - Scientists, Engineers, Technologists and Mathematicians) in activities outside of their institutions, and beyond college classroom teaching. We provide support for SMEs who are interested in increasing the impacts of their science knowledge and expertise by interacting with people online, or in other venues outside of their normal work environment. This includes a broad spectrum of opportunities for those interested in hosting webinars; running short courses for the public; using Facebook, Twitter or other social media to communicate science; or other diverse activities such as supporting an open house, science fair, or star party. As noted by Katheryn Woods-Townsend and colleagues, "...face-to-face interactions with scientists allowed students to view scientists as approachable and normal people, and to begin to understand the range of scientific areas and careers that exist. Scientists viewed the scientist-student interactions as a vehicle for science communication" (2015). As CosmoQuest fosters these relationships, it We present a framework for SMEs which combine opportunities for continuing professional development (virtually and in person at conferences) with ongoing online support, creating a dynamic professional learning network. The goal of this is to deepen SME capacity-knowledge, attitudes and behaviors-both encouraging and empowering them to connect to broader audiences in new ways.

  16. A Good Teaching Technique: WebQuests (United States)

    Halat, Erdogan


    In this article, the author first introduces and describes a new teaching tool called WebQuests to practicing teachers. He then provides detailed information about the structure of a good WebQuest. Third, the author shows the strengths and weaknesses of using Web-Quests in teaching and learning. Last, he points out the challenges for practicing…

  17. Working with WebQuests (United States)

    Raulston, Cassie; Moellinger, Donna


    With the evolution of technology, students can now take online classes that may not be offered in their home schools. While online courses are commonly found in many high schools, WebQuests are used more commonly in elementary schools. Through the exploration of WebQuests, students are able to integrate the Internet into classroom activities. The…

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


    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.

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


    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  1. CosmoQuest: Educating the Public (and Ourselves) With CosmoAcademy Online Classes (United States)

    Francis, M. R.; Gay, P.


    CosmoAcademy is a part of the CosmoQuest mission to educate the public about astronomy, planetary science, and similar subjects. Through short-duration online classes with small enrollment, we can cover many subjects of interest to the interested layperson, taught by experts. Typical CosmoAcademy classes consist of four hours of face-to-face time, and are limited to fewer than 20 students. This is in contrast to massive online classes such as MOOCs, which often replicate typical university courses, but which rarely allow student-instructor interaction. Additionally, we offer continuing-education classes for classroom teachers and other educators on similar subjects, to let them enrich their own teaching. WeBecause of the short classes, we can offer short classes both on standard topics (the Solar System planets, introduction to cosmology) and specific subjects relating to the news (LIGO, asteroid missions). The expert instructors may be graduate students, research professionals, or anyone with the technical background. We also offer classes to train instructors before they begin teaching. These professional development classes are designed to help those without classroom experience, but also support those who To make that work, we offer classes to train the instructors before they begin teaching, if they don't have the experience or just want to learn how to be more effective in the classroom.We will present CosmoAcademy's program, and explain what it offers both to people taking the class and those who might want to teach with us.

  2. How to build a planet (United States)

    Preston, Louisa


    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.


    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.


    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.

  4. TPS for Outer Planets (United States)

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


    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.

  5. The WebQuest: constructing creative learning. (United States)

    Sanford, Julie; Townsend-Rocchiccioli, Judith; Trimm, Donna; Jacobs, Mike


    An exciting expansion of online educational opportunities is occurring in nursing. The use of a WebQuest as an inquiry-based learning activity can offer considerable opportunity for nurses to learn how to analyze and synthesize critical information. A WebQuest, as a constructivist, inquiry-oriented strategy, requires learners to use higher levels of thinking as a means to analyze and apply complex information, providing an exciting online teaching and learning strategy. A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all of the information learners work with comes from the web. This article provides an overview of the WebQuest as a teaching strategy and provides examples of its use. Copyright 2010, SLACK Incorporated.

  6. QUEST: Quality of Expert Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perre, M.


    TNO Physics and Electronics laboratory, in collaboration with the University of Limburg and the Research Institute for Knowledge Systems, worked on a technology project named 'QUEST: Quality of Expert Systems' [FEL90]. QUEST was carried out under commision of the Dutch Ministry of Defence. A strong

  7. Constraints on planet formation from Kepler’s multiple planet systems (United States)

    Quintana, Elisa V.


    The recent haul of hundreds of multiple planet systems discovered by Kepler provides a treasure trove of new clues for planet formation theories. The substantial amount of protoplanetary disk mass needed to form the most commonly observed multi-planet systems - small (Earth-sized to mini-Neptune-sized) planets close to their stars - argues against pure in situ formation and suggests that the planets in these systems must have undergone some form of migration. I will present results from numerical simulations of terrestrial planet formation that aim to reproduce the sizes and architecture of Kepler's multi-planet systems, and will discuss the observed resonances and giant planets (or the lack thereof) associated with these systems.

  8. From Pixels to Planets (United States)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.


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

  9. Planet Formation Imager (PFI) : science vision and key requirements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraus, S.; Monnier, J.D.; Ireland, M.J.; Duchene, G.; Espaillat, C.; Honig, S.; Juhasz, A.; Mordasini, C.; Olofsson, J.; Paladini, C.; Stassun, K.; Turner, N.; Vasisht, G.; Harries, T.J.; Bate, M.R.; Gonzalez, J-F.; Matter, A.; Zhu, Z.; Panic, O.; Regaly, Z.; Morbidelli, A.; Meru, F.; Wolf, S.; Ilee, J.; Berger, J-P.; Zhao, M.; Kral, Q.; Morlok, A.; Bonsor, A.; Ciardi, D.; Kane, S.R.; Kratter, K.; Laughlin, G.; Pepper, J.; Raymond, S.; Labadie, L.; Nelson, R.P.; Weigelt, G.; Brummelaar, ten T.; Pierens, A.; Oudmaijer, R.; Kley, W.; Pope, B.; Jensen, E.L.N.; Bayo, A.; Smith, M.; Boyajian, T.; Quiroga-Nunez, L.H.; Millan-Gabet, R.; Chiavassa, A.; Gallenne, A.; Reynolds, M.; Wit, de W-J.; Wittkowski, M.; Millour, F.; Gandhi, P.; Ramos, A. C.; Alonso, H. A.; Packham, C.; Kishimoto, M.; Tristram, K.R.W.; Pott, J.-U.; Surdej, J.; Buscher, D.; Haniff, C.; Lacour, S.; Petrov, R.; Ridgway, S.; Tuthill, P.; Belle, van G.; Armitage, P.; Baruteau, C.; Benisty, M.; Bitsch, B.; Paardekooper, S-J.; Pinte, C.; Masset, F.; Rosotti, G.P.


    The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) project aims to provide a strong scientific vision for ground-based optical astronomy beyond the upcoming generation of Extremely Large Telescopes. We make the case that a breakthrough in angular resolution imaging capabilities is required in order to unravel the

  10. From a WebQuest to a ReadingQuest: learners' reactions in an EFL extensive reading class


    Barros, Ana Cláudia; Amorim Carvalho, Ana Amélia


    Most students don’t like reading in a foreign language. They find it a difficult task, mainly due to the high number of unknown words they encounter when reading a text. They consider reading classes boring and uninteresting and as a result our students are poor readers. Concerned with this situation, we conducted a study on the impact of a learning environment based on the WebQuest, a ReadingQuest, and on student engagement in an extensive reading task. The results show that the ReadingQuest...

  11. The Problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations and Extrasolar Planets (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.


    The problem of extraterrestrial intelligence is the best example of multidisciplinary science. Here philosophy and religion, astronomy, radiophysics, spectrography, space flights and astronautics, geology and planetology, astroecology, chemistry and biology, history and archaeology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, diplomacy, UFOs and peculiar phenomena are involved. Among these many-sided studies, astronomers have probably displayed the most progress by discovering thousands of extrasolar planets. At present, a number of search programs are being accomplished, including those with space telescopes, and planets in so-called "habitable zone" are considered as most important ones, for which various orbital and physical parameters are being calculated. As the discovery of extraterrestrial life is the final goal, a special attention is given to Earth-like planets, for the discovery of which most sensitive technical means are necessary.

  12. From Hunt the Wumpus to EverQuest: Introduction to Quest Theory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aarseth, Espen J.


    game design, to which the story-ambitions must defer? The main thesis of the paper is that if we understand the powerful but simple structure - the grammar - of quests (how they work, how they are used) we can understand both the limits and the potential of these kinds of games.......The paper will explore how the landscape types and the quest types are used in various games, how they structure the gameplay, how they act as bones for the game-content (graphics, dialogue, sound) and how they sometimes form the base on which a story is imposed and related to the player...

  13. WebQuests: Tools for Differentiation (United States)

    Schweizer, Heidi; Kossow, Ben


    This article features the WebQuest, an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet. WebQuests, when properly constructed, are activities, usually authentic in nature, that require the student to use Internet-based resources to deepen their understanding and…

  14. The Well-Constructed WebQuest (United States)

    Kennedy, Shelly


    In this article, the author offers criteria for evaluating WebQuests that are intended for use by students in the elementary grades. There are two general areas that teachers should consider: (1) Pedagogy--whether a WebQuest is developmentally appropriate and educationally useful for their students; and (2) Scholarship--whether the content is…

  15. IG and TR single chain fragment variable (scFv) sequence analysis: a new advanced functionality of IMGT/V-QUEST and IMGT/HighV-QUEST. (United States)

    Giudicelli, Véronique; Duroux, Patrice; Kossida, Sofia; Lefranc, Marie-Paule


    IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system® ( ), was created in 1989 in Montpellier, France (CNRS and Montpellier University) to manage the huge and complex diversity of the antigen receptors, and is at the origin of immunoinformatics, a science at the interface between immunogenetics and bioinformatics. Immunoglobulins (IG) or antibodies and T cell receptors (TR) are managed and described in the IMGT® databases and tools at the level of receptor, chain and domain. The analysis of the IG and TR variable (V) domain rearranged nucleotide sequences is performed by IMGT/V-QUEST (online since 1997, 50 sequences per batch) and, for next generation sequencing (NGS), by IMGT/HighV-QUEST, the high throughput version of IMGT/V-QUEST (portal begun in 2010, 500,000 sequences per batch). In vitro combinatorial libraries of engineered antibody single chain Fragment variable (scFv) which mimic the in vivo natural diversity of the immune adaptive responses are extensively screened for the discovery of novel antigen binding specificities. However the analysis of NGS full length scFv (~850 bp) represents a challenge as they contain two V domains connected by a linker and there is no tool for the analysis of two V domains in a single chain. The functionality "Analyis of single chain Fragment variable (scFv)" has been implemented in IMGT/V-QUEST and, for NGS, in IMGT/HighV-QUEST for the analysis of the two V domains of IG and TR scFv. It proceeds in five steps: search for a first closest V-REGION, full characterization of the first V-(D)-J-REGION, then search for a second V-REGION and full characterization of the second V-(D)-J-REGION, and finally linker delimitation. For each sequence or NGS read, positions of the 5'V-DOMAIN, linker and 3'V-DOMAIN in the scFv are provided in the 'V-orientated' sense. Each V-DOMAIN is fully characterized (gene identification, sequence description, junction analysis, characterization of mutations and amino

  16. Mathematical sciences with multidisciplinary applications in honor of professor Christiane Rousseau and in recognition of the Mathematics for Planet Earth initiative

    CERN Document Server


    This book is the fourth in a multidisciplinary series which brings together leading researchers in the STEAM-H disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Mathematics and Health) to present their perspective on advances in their own specific fields, and to generate a genuinely interdisciplinary collaboration that transcends parochial subject-matter boundaries. All contributions are carefully edited, peer-reviewed, reasonably self-contained, and pedagogically crafted for a multidisciplinary readership. Contributions are drawn from a variety of fields including mathematics, statistics, game theory and behavioral sciences, biomathematics and physical chemistry, computer science and human-centered computing. This volume is dedicated to Professor Christiane Rousseau, whose work inspires the STEAM-H series, in recognition of her passion for the mathematical sciences and her on-going initiative, the Mathematics of Planet Earth paradigm of interdisciplinarity. The volume's primary goal is to enhance i...

  17. Questões mais freqüentes na área de astronomia (United States)

    Segundo, H. A. S.; Garcia, G. C.; Caretta, C. A.; Lima, F. P.


    É amplamente reconhecido que as pessoas em geral têm grande fascínio e interesse pela Astronomia. Por outro lado, o conteúdo dessa área incluído no ensino formal está longe de ser abrangente e suficiente para suprir a demanda. Esse interesse permite otimizar a divulgação e o ensino não formal de Astronomia aliando a adequação do conteúdo à expectativa das pessoas. Nesse intuito, nosso trabalho busca mapear que assuntos da Astronomia despertam mais a atenção e o interesse das pessoas e o quanto disso é estimulado pela mídia, que freqüentemente aproveita-se desse interesse de forma sensacionalista, trazendo contribuições positivas e negativas. Para esta avaliação, utilizamos as pesquisas específicas e de caracterização do público que freqüentou o MAst nos anos de 2001 a 2003, pesquisa das matérias de Astronomia veiculadas na mídia escrita da cidade do Rio de Janeiro no mesmo período, além da base de dados do programa Pergunte a um astrônomo, realizado no Observatório Nacional nos anos de 1997 a 1999. Para a análise dos dados, dividimos as perguntas em dez categorias, cada uma com suas subcategorias, tomando como referência as divisões, comissões e grupos de trabalho da IAU. Apresentamos neste trabalho os resultados dessa pesquisa, que incluem, entre outros, a predominância de questões nas categorias Observação do Céu e Sistemas Planetários enquanto nos jornais dominam as notícias de Sistemas Planetários e Espaço & Astronáutica. Outro resultado interessante indicou que as dúvidas de crianças do ensino fundamental se concentram em algumas categorias enquanto as questões de adultos são mais distribuídas por todas as categorias. Os resultados dessa pesquisa serão aplicados diretamente no aperfeiçoamento das atividades do Programa de Observação de Céu, bem como na elaboração de novos projetos e eventos realizados no MAst.

  18. Woman's Quest in Contemporary Fiction. (United States)

    Semeiks, Jonna Gormely

    Depending primarily on Joseph Campbell's treatment of the quest or hero myth, this paper provides analyses of recent women's fiction in terms of contemporary women's quests for personal identity and freedom. Following discussions of a proposed definition of myth, its connotations, and its use as a literary device and as a tool for critical…

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

    Marley, Mark


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

  20. The DARWIN mission: Search for extra-solar planets (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.

  1. Follow-Up Photometry of Kelt Transiting Planet Candidates (United States)

    Stephens, Denise C.; Joner, Michael D.; Hintz, Eric G.; Martin, Trevor; Spencer, Alex; Kelt Follow-Up Network (FUN) Team


    We have three telescopes at BYU that we use to follow-up possible transiting planet canidates for the KELT team. These telescopes were used to collect data on Kelt-16b and Kelt-9b, which is the hottest known exoplanet. More recently we used the newest of these telescopes, a robotic 8-inch telescope on the roof of our building, to confirm the most recent Kelt planet that will be published soon. This research has been ideal for the teaching and training of undergraduate students in the art of photometric observing and data reduction. In this presentation I will highlight how we are using our membership in the Kelt team to further the educational objective of our undergraduate astronomy program, while contributing meaningful science to the ever growing field of exoplanet discovery. I will also highlight a few of the more interesting Kelt planets and the minimum telescope requirements for detecting these planets. I will then discuss the sensitivities required to follow-up future TESS candidates, which may be of interest to others interested in joining the TESS follow-up teams.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Ida, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Makiko


    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.

  3. Development and Validation of WebQuests in Teaching Epics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Candy Santos Lasaten


    Full Text Available Using the Research Development (R&D methodology, the study aimed to develop and validate WebQuests which can be used in literature subjects, particularly in the tertiary level to address the need of literature teachers for pedagogy in the teaching of epic s. The development of the Web Quests was anchored on the Theory of Constructivism. Two groups of experts validated the Web Quests – the literature experts and the ICT experts. The Content Validation Checklist, used by the literature experts, was utilized t o evaluate the content of the Web Quests. Meanwhile, the Rubric for Evaluating Web Quests, used by the ICT experts, was utilized to evaluate the design characteristics of the Web Quests. Computed weighted means using range interval of point scores were emp loyed to treat the data gathered from the evaluation conducted by both group of experts. The Web Quests developed contain five major parts which include: 1 introduction; 2 task; 3 process; 4 evaluation; and 5 conclusion. Based on the findings, the con tent of the Web Quests developed are valid in terms of objectives, activities and instructional characteristics. Likewise, the design characteristics of the Web Quests are excellent in terms of introductions, tasks, processes, resources, evaluations, concl usions and overall designs. Thus, the Web Quests developed are acceptable and can be utilized as instructional materials by literature teachers in the teaching of epics.

  4. Implementing WebQuest Based Instruction on Newton's Second Law (United States)

    Gokalp, Muhammed Sait; Sharma, Manjula; Johnston, Ian; Sharma, Mia


    The purpose of this study was to investigate how WebQuests can be used in physics classes for teaching specific concepts. The study had three stages. The first stage was to develop a WebQuest on Newton's second law. The second stage involved developing a lesson plan to implement the WebQuest in class. In the final stage, the WebQuest was…

  5. Stars and Planets (United States)

    Neta, Miguel


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

  6. Tc Trends and Terrestrial Planet Formation: The Case of Zeta Reticuli (United States)

    Adibekyan, Vardan; Delgado-Mena, Elisa; Figueira, Pedro; Sousa, Sergio; Santos, Nuno; Faria, Joao; González Hernández, Jonay; Israelian, Garik; Harutyunyan, Gohar; Suárez-Andrés, Lucia; Hakobyan, Artur


    During the last decade astronomers have been trying to search for chemical signatures of terrestrial planet formation in the atmospheres of the hosting stars. Several studies suggested that the chemical abundance trend with the condensation temperature, Tc, is a signature of rocky planet formation. In particular, it was suggested that the Sun shows 'peculiar' chemical abundances due to the presence of the terrestrial planets in our solar-system. However, the rocky material accretion or the trap of rocky materials in terrestrial planets is not the only explanation for the chemical 'peculiarity' of the Sun, or other Sun-like stars with planets. In this talk I madea very brief review of this topic, and presented our last results for the particular case of Zeta Reticuli binary system: A very interesting and well-known system (known in science fiction and ufology as the world of Grey Aliens, or Reticulans) where one of the components hosts an exo-Kuiper belt, and the other component is a 'single', 'lonely' star.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kinemuchi, Karen; Koch, David G. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Adams, Elisabeth; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100, Copenhagen (Denmark); Ciardi, David R. [Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Cochran, William D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Fabrycky, Daniel C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C. [University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Gilliland, Ronald L., E-mail: [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); and others


    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.

  8. Observsational Planet Formation (United States)

    Dong, Ruobing; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Fung, Jeffrey


    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.

  9. White dwarf planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonsor Amy


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


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Jarrett L.; Li Hui


    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.

  11. Limits On Undetected Planets in the Six Transiting Planets Kepler-11 System (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack


    The Kepler-11 has five inner planets ranging from approx. 2 - 1 times as massive Earth in a tightly-packed configuration, with orbital periods between 10 and 47 days. A sixth planet, Kepler-11 g, with a period of118 days, is also observed. The spacing between planets Kepler-11 f and Kepler-11 g is wide enough to allow room for a planet to orbit stably between them. We compare six and seven planet fits to measured transit timing variations (TTVs) of the six known planets. We find that in most cases an additional planet between Kepler-11 f and Kepler-11 g degrades rather than enhances the fit to the TTV data, and where the fit is improved, the improvement provides no significant evidence of a planet between Kepler-11 f and Kepler-11 g. This implies that any planet in this region must be low in mass. We also provide constraints on undiscovered planets orbiting exterior to Kepler-11 g. representations will be described.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    Ribas, Núria; Màrquez, Conxita


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

  14. Extrasolar planets: constraints for planet formation models. (United States)

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


    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.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Samrajya LAKSHMI


    Full Text Available In Andhra Pradesh, India, chemical experimenting in under graduate college labs by students is neglected because most of the intermediate (10+1 and 10+2 students concentrate on writing competitive exams like EAMCET (Engineering and Medical Common Entrance Test, IIT JEE (Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Test, AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination, AFMS (Armed Forces Medical Services, AIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science. The students spend most of their time in preparing for competitive exams, practicing bits, and writing many model exams. Even Parents, staff, and management are also motivated and allow the students towards preparation for competitive exams because of the increase in number of engineering seats and demand of medical seats. Ultimately, the quality and quantity of students who join the B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science has been decreasing day by day. Even after joining the B.Sc., the students are motivated towards immediate white collared job oriented courses like M.C.A (Master of Computer Applications and M.B.A (Master Business Administration and spending their time for preparing for competitive exams for those courses. Only a few students are interested to join Post graduation in chemistry and try to learn experimental skills in chemistry laboratory. However, the motivated students towards undergraduate chemistry will be demotivated towards it due to lack of fundamentals in chemistry (in 10+2 level, which are essential for better job market. Ultimately, the students are in confusion and neglect learning the skills in doing experiments in chemistry lab. The present paper focuses on the thorough quest of one such teacher who strives for his own professional development. He has developed his own method of guiding the students for their improvement of skills in doing experiments in lab. The teacher explored solutions to his problems or problems of students by sorting out the critical incidents from his own

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

    Chance, Quadry; Ballard, Sarah


    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.

  17. Planet logy : Towards Comparative Planet logy beyond the Solar Earth System (United States)

    Khan, A. H.


    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

  18. WebQuests as Language-Learning Tools (United States)

    Aydin, Selami


    This study presents a review of the literature that examines WebQuests as tools for second-language acquisition and foreign language-learning processes to guide teachers in their teaching activities and researchers in further research on the issue. The study first introduces the theoretical background behind WebQuest use in the mentioned…

  19. The EChO science case

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Drossart, Pierre; Eccleston, Paul


    in the Solar System. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general population of planets in our Milky Way. The key science questions that urgently need addressing are therefore: What are exoplanets made of? Why are planets as they are? How do planetary....... The mission can target super-Earths, Neptune-like, and Jupiter-like planets, in the very hot to temperate zones (planet temperatures of 300–3000 K) of F to M-type host stars. The EChO core science would be delivered by a three-tier survey. The EChO Chemical Census: This is a broad survey of a few...

  20. Terrestrial planet formation. (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P


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

  1. WebQuests: Are They Developmentally Appropriate? (United States)

    Maddux, Cleborne D.; Cummings, Rhoda


    A topic that currently is receiving a great deal of attention by educators is the nature and use of WebQuests--computer-based activities that guide student learning through use of the World Wide Web (Sharp 2004). Despite their popularity, questions remain about the effectiveness with which WebQuests are being used with students. This article…


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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

  3. The Now Frontier. Pioneer to Jupiter. Man Links Earth and Planets. Issue No. 1-5. (United States)


    This packet of space science instructional materials includes five issues related to the planet Jupiter. Each issue presents factual material about the planet, diagramatic representations of its movements and positions relative to bright stars or the earth, actual photographs and/or tables of data collected relevant to Pioneer 10, the spacecraft…

  4. An Evaluation of a Nutrition WebQuest: The Malaysian Experience (United States)

    Wui, Lee Sheh; Saat, Rohaida Mohd.


    The main purpose of the present study was to develop and evaluate a WebQuest instruction on Nutrition using WebQuest template, known as NutriQuest. NutriQuest was developed to improve Form 2 students' understanding of fundamental nutrition concepts and its application in daily life, to improve critical and creative thinking skills and to enhance…

  5. Views from EPOXI. Colors in Our Solar System as an Analog for Extrasolar Planets (United States)

    Crow, Carolyn A.; McFadden, L. A.; Robinson, T.; Livengood, T. A.; Hewagama, T.; Barry, R. K.; Deming, L. D.; Meadows, V.; Lisse, C. M.


    With extrasolar planet detection becoming more common place, the frontiers of extrasolar planet science have moved beyond detection to the observations required to determine planetary properties. Once the existing observational challenges have been overcome, the first visible-light studies of extrasolar Earth-sized planets will likely employ filter photometry or low-resolution. spectroscopy to observe disk-integrated radiation from the unresolved planet. While spectroscopy of these targets is highly desirable, and provides the most robust form of characterization. S/N considerations presently limit spectroscopic measurements of extrasolar worlds. Broadband filter photometry will thus serve as a first line of characterization. In this paper we use Extrasolar Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) filter photometry of the Earth. Moon and Mars model spectra. and previous photometric and spectroscopic observations of a range the solar system planets. Titan, and Moon to explore the limitations of using color as a baseline for understanding extrasolar planets

  6. WebQuests: a new instructional strategy for nursing education. (United States)

    Lahaie, Ulysses


    A WebQuest is a model or framework for designing effective Web-based instructional strategies featuring inquiry-oriented activities. It is an innovative approach to learning that is enhanced by the use of evolving instructional technology. WebQuests have invigorated the primary school (grades K through 12) educational sector around the globe, yet there is sparse evidence in the literature of WebQuests at the college and university levels. WebQuests are congruent with pedagogical approaches and cognitive activities commonly used in nursing education. They are simple to construct using a step-by-step approach, and nurse educators will find many related resources on the Internet to help them get started. Included in this article are a discussion of the critical attributes and main features of WebQuests, construction tips, recommended Web sites featuring essential resources, a discussion of WebQuest-related issues identified in the literature, and some suggestions for further research.

  7. Your ParticleQuest, should you choose to accept it…

    CERN Multimedia

    Katarina Anthony


    The CERN-developed ParticleQuest adventure game was the focus of a special hands-on session at last month’s Mozilla Festival in London. Attended by the best and the brightest of the coding community, the festival was an opportunity for the ParticleQuest developers to throw down the gaming gauntlet…   Photon and Gluon ParticleQuest sprites. Source: André-Pierre Olivier. A team of CERN students developed the ParticleQuest game during this year’s CERN Summer Student Webfest. What started as simple derivative software of BrowserQuest – one of the first entirely browser-based games developed by the Mozilla Foundation – soon revealed new opportunities to educate players about particle physics. By changing the graphics, introducing a Particle Zoo designed by web designer André-Pierre Olivier and enhancing the game engine, the summer students were convinced that ParticleQuest could help to teach particle physics in a much more ...

  8. Planet traps and first planets: The critical metallicity for gas giant formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro; Hirashita, Hiroyuki, E-mail:, E-mail: [Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica (ASIAA), P.O. Box 23-141, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China)


    The ubiquity of planets poses an interesting question: when are first planets formed in galaxies? We investigate this by adopting a theoretical model where planet traps are combined with the standard core accretion scenario in which the efficiency of forming planetary cores directly relates to the metallicity ([Fe/H]) in disks. Three characteristic exoplanetary populations are examined: hot Jupiters, exo-Jupiters around 1 AU, and low-mass planets in tight orbits, such as super-Earths. We statistically compute planet formation frequencies (PFFs), as well as the orbital radius (〈R{sub rapid}〉) within which gas accretion becomes efficient enough to form Jovian planets, as a function of metallicity (–2 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤–0.6). We show that the total PFFs for these three populations increase steadily with metallicity. This is the direct outcome of the core accretion picture. For the metallicity range considered here, the population of low-mass planets dominates Jovian planets. The Jovian planets contribute to the PFFs above [Fe/H] ≅ –1. We find that the hot Jupiters form more efficiently than the exo-Jupiters at [Fe/H] ≲ –0.7. This arises from the slower growth of planetary cores and their more efficient radial inward transport by the host traps in lower metallicity disks. We show that the critical metallicity for forming Jovian planets is [Fe/H] ≅ –1.2 by comparing 〈R{sub rapid}〉 of hot Jupiters and low-mass planets. The comparison intrinsically links to the different gas accretion efficiency between these two types of planets. Therefore, this study implies that important physical processes in planet formation may be tested by exoplanet observations around metal-poor stars.

  9. Planet traps and first planets: The critical metallicity for gas giant formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro; Hirashita, Hiroyuki


    The ubiquity of planets poses an interesting question: when are first planets formed in galaxies? We investigate this by adopting a theoretical model where planet traps are combined with the standard core accretion scenario in which the efficiency of forming planetary cores directly relates to the metallicity ([Fe/H]) in disks. Three characteristic exoplanetary populations are examined: hot Jupiters, exo-Jupiters around 1 AU, and low-mass planets in tight orbits, such as super-Earths. We statistically compute planet formation frequencies (PFFs), as well as the orbital radius (〈R rapid 〉) within which gas accretion becomes efficient enough to form Jovian planets, as a function of metallicity (–2 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤–0.6). We show that the total PFFs for these three populations increase steadily with metallicity. This is the direct outcome of the core accretion picture. For the metallicity range considered here, the population of low-mass planets dominates Jovian planets. The Jovian planets contribute to the PFFs above [Fe/H] ≅ –1. We find that the hot Jupiters form more efficiently than the exo-Jupiters at [Fe/H] ≲ –0.7. This arises from the slower growth of planetary cores and their more efficient radial inward transport by the host traps in lower metallicity disks. We show that the critical metallicity for forming Jovian planets is [Fe/H] ≅ –1.2 by comparing 〈R rapid 〉 of hot Jupiters and low-mass planets. The comparison intrinsically links to the different gas accretion efficiency between these two types of planets. Therefore, this study implies that important physical processes in planet formation may be tested by exoplanet observations around metal-poor stars.

  10. Double-blind test program for astrometric planet detection with Gaia (United States)

    Casertano, S.; Lattanzi, M. G.; Sozzetti, A.; Spagna, A.; Jancart, S.; Morbidelli, R.; Pannunzio, R.; Pourbaix, D.; Queloz, D.


    Aims: The scope of this paper is twofold. First, it describes the simulation scenarios and the results of a large-scale, double-blind test campaign carried out to estimate the potential of Gaia for detecting and measuring planetary systems. The identified capabilities are then put in context by highlighting the unique contribution that the Gaia exoplanet discoveries will be able to bring to the science of extrasolar planets in the next decade. Methods: We use detailed simulations of the Gaia observations of synthetic planetary systems and develop and utilize independent software codes in double-blind mode to analyze the data, including statistical tools for planet detection and different algorithms for single and multiple Keplerian orbit fitting that use no a priori knowledge of the true orbital parameters of the systems. Results: 1) Planets with astrometric signatures α≃ 3 times the assumed single-measurement error σ_ψ and period P≤ 5 yr can be detected reliably and consistently, with a very small number of false positives. 2) At twice the detection limit, uncertainties in orbital parameters and masses are typically 15-20%. 3) Over 70% of two-planet systems with well-separated periods in the range 0.2≤ P≤ 9 yr, astrometric signal-to-noise ratio 2≤α/σ_ψ≤ 50, and eccentricity e≤ 0.6 are correctly identified. 4) Favorable orbital configurations (both planets with P≤ 4 yr and α/σ_ψ≥ 10, redundancy over a factor of 2 in the number of observations) have orbital elements measured to better than 10% accuracy > 90% of the time, and the value of the mutual inclination angle i_rel determined with uncertainties ≤ 10°. 5) Finally, nominal uncertainties obtained from the fitting procedures are a good estimate of the actual errors in the orbit reconstruction. Extrapolating from the present-day statistical properties of the exoplanet sample, the results imply that a Gaia with σ_ψ = 8 μas, in its unbiased and complete magnitude-limited census of


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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.

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


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


    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...

  13. Influence of stellar multiplicity on planet formation. I. Evidence of suppressed planet formation due to stellar companions within 20 au and validation of four planets from the Kepler multiple planet candidates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Xie, Ji-Wei; Barclay, Thomas


    The planet occurrence rate for multiple stars is important in two aspects. First, almost half of stellar systems in the solar neighborhood are multiple systems. Second, the comparison of the planet occurrence rate for multiple stars to that for single stars sheds light on the influence of stellar multiplicity on planet formation and evolution. We developed a method of distinguishing planet occurrence rates for single and multiple stars. From a sample of 138 bright (K P < 13.5) Kepler multi-planet candidate systems, we compared the stellar multiplicity rate of these planet host stars to that of field stars. Using dynamical stability analyses and archival Doppler measurements, we find that the stellar multiplicity rate of planet host stars is significantly lower than field stars for semimajor axes less than 20 AU, suggesting that planet formation and evolution are suppressed by the presence of a close-in companion star at these separations. The influence of stellar multiplicity at larger separations is uncertain because of search incompleteness due to a limited Doppler observation time baseline and a lack of high-resolution imaging observation. We calculated the planet confidence for the sample of multi-planet candidates and find that the planet confidences for KOI 82.01, KOI 115.01, KOI 282.01, and KOI 1781.02 are higher than 99.7% and thus validate the planetary nature of these four planet candidates. This sample of bright Kepler multi-planet candidates with refined stellar and orbital parameters, planet confidence estimation, and nearby stellar companion identification offers a well-characterized sample for future theoretical and observational study.

  14. Validation of the QUEST for German-speaking countries. (United States)

    Hopfner, Franziska; Nebel, Adelheid; Lyons, Kelly E; Tröster, Alexander I; Kuhlenbäumer, Gregor; Deuschl, Günther; Martinez-Martin, Pablo


    To explore the clinimetric attributes of the German version of the quality of life in essential tremor (ET) questionnaire (QUEST) as a tremor-specific measure of quality of life. This was an observational, cross-sectional study. The QUEST German version was obtained by translation-back translation procedure. ET cases were diagnosed according to the tremor investigation group criteria. Assessments included Archimedes spirals rating, EQ-5D, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and QUEST German version. Missing data were imputed for those cases in which the loss of data for one domain of the QUEST was internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) ranged between 0.50 and 0.89. Item-total domain correlations ranged from 0.26 to 0.82 and the item homogeneity indexes were satisfactory (range: 0.28-0.60). The QSI correlated weakly with the EQ-5D (rS=0.20) and moderately with the BDI-II (rS = 0.31) and the QUEST self-evaluation of tremor severity (rS = 0.44). The QUEST German version has, despite recognized data quality problems, satisfactory acceptability and internal consistency as a whole. The correlation analysis showed that tremor in the head, voice and right hand was moderately associated with quality of life.

  15. Results of Needs Assessments Related to Citizen Science Projects (United States)

    Buxner, Sanlyn; Bracey, Georgia; Glushko, Anna; Bakerman, Maya; Gay, Pamela L.; CosmoQuest Team


    The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility invites the public and classrooms to participate in NASA Science Mission Directorate related research that leads to publishable results and data catalogues. One of the main goals of the project is to support professional scientists in doing science and the general public--including parents, children, teachers, and students--in learning and doing science. Through the effort, the CosmoQuest team is developing a variety of supports and opportunities to support the doing and teaching of science. To inform our efforts, we have implemented a set of needs surveys to assess the needs of our different audiences. These surveys are being used to understand the interests, motivations, resources, challenges and demographics of our growing CosmoQuest community and others interested in engaging in citizen science projects. The surveys include those for teachers, parents, adult learners, planetarium professionals, subject matter experts (SMEs), and the general public. We will share the results of these surveys and discuss the implications of the results for broader education and outreach programs.

  16. New illustrated stars and planets

    CERN Document Server

    Cooper, Chris; Nicolson, Iain; Stott, Carole


    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.

  17. Deep Space Detectives: Searching for Planets Suitable for Life (United States)

    Pallant, Amy; Damelin, Daniel; Pryputniewicz, Sarah


    This article describes the High-Adventure Science curriculum unit "Is There Life in Space?" This free online investigation, developed by The Concord Consortium, helps students see how scientists use modern tools to locate planets around distant stars and explore the probability of finding extraterrestrial life. This innovative curriculum…

  18. Magnetic Fields of Extrasolar Planets: Planetary Interiors and Habitability (United States)

    Lazio, T. Joseph


    Ground-based observations showed that Jupiter's radio emission is linked to its planetary-scale magnetic field, and subsequent spacecraft observations have shown that most planets, and some moons, have or had a global magnetic field. Generated by internal dynamos, magnetic fields are one of the few remote sensing means of constraining the properties of planetary interiors. For the Earth, its magnetic field has been speculated to be partially responsible for its habitability, and knowledge of an extrasolar planet's magnetic field may be necessary to assess its habitability. The radio emission from Jupiter and other solar system planets is produced by an electron cyclotron maser, and detections of extrasolar planetary electron cyclotron masers will enable measurements of extrasolar planetary magnetic fields. Based on experience from the solar system, such observations will almost certainly require space-based observations, but they will also be guided by on-going and near-future ground-based observations.This work has benefited from the discussion and participants of the W. M. Keck Institute of Space Studies "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability" and content within a white paper submitted to the National Academy of Science Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  19. LC Data QUEST: A Technical Architecture for Community Federated Clinical Data Sharing. (United States)

    Stephens, Kari A; Lin, Ching-Ping; Baldwin, Laura-Mae; Echo-Hawk, Abigail; Keppel, Gina A; Buchwald, Dedra; Whitener, Ron J; Korngiebel, Diane M; Berg, Alfred O; Black, Robert A; Tarczy-Hornoch, Peter


    The University of Washington Institute of Translational Health Sciences is engaged in a project, LC Data QUEST, building data sharing capacity in primary care practices serving rural and tribal populations in the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho region to build research infrastructure. We report on the iterative process of developing the technical architecture for semantically aligning electronic health data in primary care settings across our pilot sites and tools that will facilitate linkages between the research and practice communities. Our architecture emphasizes sustainable technical solutions for addressing data extraction, alignment, quality, and metadata management. The architecture provides immediate benefits to participating partners via a clinical decision support tool and data querying functionality to support local quality improvement efforts. The FInDiT tool catalogues type, quantity, and quality of the data that are available across the LC Data QUEST data sharing architecture. These tools facilitate the bi-directional process of translational research.

  20. Towards a work of art on planet Mars (United States)

    Philippe, Jean-Marc


    The fruit of 4.5 million years of evolution, the human species began to develop artistic expression 30,000 years ago, a scientific approach a few hundred years ago, and within the last century a surprising ability for technological know-how dealing with the infinitely great and the infinitesimal. Through space exploration, man is now venturing beyond his own planet, emphasizing his scientific and technological traits which he has learnt to barness in order to further his quest for knowledge. (Actually, when he sends planetary probes, man presents and represents himself as an intelligent, daring being, capable of both questioning himself and looking for answers through the scentific method and the technological know-how presently at his disposal:) However, for various reasons, often legitimate ones (mass constraints, conflicting objectives,…), he excludes the artistic dimension from space exploration, even though this dimension could reveal and affirm him in his true essence under an aspect complementary to that of strict rational knowledge. The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate how - through judiciously adding some dozen grammes to a probe destined for Mars - the symbolic impact of such missions could be radically widened by introducing an artistic component whilst respeeting constraints of the men of science. The artistic project presented below consists of three threadlike spheres each weighing a few dozen grammes, in the centre of which metallic forms made of shape memoy alloys are developing. The selected shapes, resembling vegetal, "vital" and animal life on Earth are destined to transform themselves into line with Martian days and nights and likewise, Martian seasons. Such a proposition is based on 10 years of research and development into shape memory alloys and their applieation in art.

  1. Headlines: Planet Earth: Improving Climate Literacy with Short Format News Videos (United States)

    Tenenbaum, L. F.; Kulikov, A.; Jackson, R.


    One of the challenges of communicating climate science is the sense that climate change is remote and unconnected to daily life--something that's happening to someone else or in the future. To help face this challenge, NASA's Global Climate Change website has launched a new video series, "Headlines: Planet Earth," which focuses on current climate news events. This rapid-response video series uses 3D video visualization technology combined with real-time satellite data and images, to throw a spotlight on real-world events.. The "Headlines: Planet Earth" news video products will be deployed frequently, ensuring timeliness. NASA's Global Climate Change Website makes extensive use of interactive media, immersive visualizations, ground-based and remote images, narrated and time-lapse videos, time-series animations, and real-time scientific data, plus maps and user-friendly graphics that make the scientific content both accessible and engaging to the public. The site has also won two consecutive Webby Awards for Best Science Website. Connecting climate science to current real-world events will contribute to improving climate literacy by making climate science relevant to everyday life.

  2. Engineering Science, Skills, and Bildung

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Jens

    The background for the book is a quest for a thorough analysis of engineering, engineering science, and engineering education. Focusing on the concepts of engineering science, skills, and Bildung, the book investigates the real challenges that are confronting engineering today, and discusses how...

  3. Characterizing the Habitable Zone Planets of Kepler Stars (United States)

    Fischer, Debra

    Planet Hunters (PH) is a well-established and successful web interface that allows citizen scientists to search for transiting planets in the NASA Kepler public archive data. Over the past 3 years, our users have made more than 20 million light curve classifications. We now have more than 300,000 users around the world. However, more than half of the Kepler data has not yet been displayed to our volunteers. In June 2014 we are launching Planet Hunters v2.0. The backend of the site has been completely redesigned. The new website is more intuitive and faster; we have improved the real-time weighting algorithm that assigns transit scores for faster and more accurate extraction of the transit events from the database. With Planet Hunters v2.0, we expect that assessments will be ten times faster, so that we have the opportunity to complete the classifications for the backlog of Kepler light curve in the next three years. There are three goals for this project. First, we will data-mine the PH classifications to search for long period planets with fewer than 5 transit events. We have demonstrated that our volunteers are efficient at detecting planets with long periods and radii greater than a few REARTH. This region of parameter space is optimal for characterizing larger planets orbiting close to the habitable zone. To build upon the citizen science efforts, we will model the light curves, search for evidence of false positives, and contribute observations of stellar spectra to refine both the stellar and orbital parameters. Second, we will carry out a careful analysis of the fraction of transits that are missed (a function of planet radius and orbital period) to derive observational incompleteness factors. The incompleteness factors will be combined with geometrical detection factors to assess the planet occurrence rate for wide separations. This is a unique scientific contribution current studies of planet occurrence rate are either restricted to orbital periods shorter

  4. Working with WebQuests: Making the Web Accessible to Students with Disabilities. (United States)

    Kelly, Rebecca


    This article describes how students with disabilities in regular classes are using the WebQuest lesson format to access the Internet. It explains essential WebQuest principles, creating a draft Web page, and WebQuest components. It offers an example of a WebQuest about salvaging the sunken ships, Titanic and Lusitania. A WebQuest planning form is…

  5. The hottest planet. (United States)

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


    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.

  6. Definition of Physical Height Systems for Telluric Planets and Moons


    Tenzer, R.; Foroughi, I.; Sjöberg, L.E.; Bagherbandi, M.; Hirt, C.; Pitoňák, M.


    In planetary sciences, the geodetic (geometric) heights defined with respect to the reference surface (the sphere or the ellipsoid) or with respect to the center of the planet/moon are typically used for mapping topographic surface, compilation of global topographic models, detailed mapping of potential landing sites, and other space science and engineering purposes. Nevertheless, certain applications, such as studies of gravity-driven mass movements, require the physical heights to be define...

  7. Integrating WebQuests in Preservice Teacher Education (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Hannafin, Michael J.


    During the past decade, WebQuests have been widely used by teachers to integrate technology into teaching and learning. Recently, teacher educators have applied the WebQuest model with preservice teachers in order to develop technology integration skills akin to those used in everyday schools. Scaffolding, used to support the gradual acquisition…

  8. Magic Planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland


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

  9. Dance of the Planets (United States)

    Riddle, Bob


    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,…

  10. Resonance journal of science education

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Resonance journal of science education. May 2012 Volume 17 Number 5. SERIES ARTICLES. 436 Dawn of Science. The Quest for Power. T Padmanabhan. GENERAL ARTICLES. 441 Bernoulli Runs Using 'Book Cricket' to Evaluate. Cricketers. Anand Ramalingam. 454 Wilhelm Ostwald, the Father of Physical Chemistry.

  11. Exploring Disks Around Planets (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


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

  12. Kids' Quest: Tourette (United States)

    ... about to help with your Quest. Step 6: Learn about movies and books that can give you information. Step ... to Steps Movies and Books Here are some movies and books about kids with Tourette syndrome. Children’s Mental Health Disorders – A Journey for Parents and ...

  13. Planets a very short introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A


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

  14. Star & Planet Formation Studies and Opportunities with SOFIA (United States)

    Smith, Kimberly Ennico


    Star formation, the most fundamental process in the universe, is linked to planet formation and thus to the origin and evolution of life. We have a general outline of how planets and stars form, yet unraveling the details of the physics and chemistry continues to challenge us. The infrared and submillimeter part of the spectrum hold the most promise for studying the beginnings of star formation. The observational landscape recently shaped by Spitzer, Herschel and ALMA, continues to challenge our current theories. SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, equipped with state-of-the-art infrared instrumentation to a vantage point at 45,000 feet (13.7 kilometers) flight altitude that is above 99.9 percent of the Earth's water vapor, enables observations in the infrared through terahertz frequencies not possible from the ground. SOFIA is a community observatory, about to start its sixth annual observing cycle. My talk will focus on recent results in advancing star and planet formation processes using SOFIA's imaging and polarimetric capabilities, and the upcoming science enabled by the 3rd generation instrument High-Resolution Mid-Infrared Spectrometer (HIRMES) to be commissioned in 2019. I will show how mid-infrared imaging is used to test massive star formation theories, how far-infrared polarimetry on sub-parsec scales is directly testing the role of magnetic fields in molecular clouds, and how velocity-resolved high-resolution spectroscopy will push forward our understanding of proto-planetary disk science. I will also summarize upcoming opportunities with the SOFIA observatory. For the latest news about your flying observatory, see

  15. The Trojan minor planets (United States)

    Spratt, Christopher E.


    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.

  16. Inside-out Planet Formation. IV. Pebble Evolution and Planet Formation Timescales (United States)

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


    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.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Catanzarite, Joseph; Shao, Michael


    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.

  18. A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M.


    A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth "Not too hot, not too cold" begins the prescription for a world that's just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world thanks in large part to NASA's Kepler Mission which launched in 2009 with the objective of finding Goldilocks planets orbiting other stars like our Sun. Indeed, the space telescope opened our eyes to the terrestrial-sized planets that populate the galaxy as well as exotic worlds unlike anything that exists in the solar system. The mission ignited the search for life beyond earth via remote detection of atmospheric biosignatures on exoplanets. Most recently, our collective imagination was awakened by the discovery of Goldilocks worlds orbiting some of the nearest neighbors to the Sun, turning abstractions into destinations. Dr. Batalha will give an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and other key discoveries. She'll give a preview of what's to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those that are concepts taking shape on the drawing board.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ingraham, Patrick; Macintosh, Bruce; Marley, Mark S.; Saumon, Didier; Marois, Christian; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; Barman, Travis; Bauman, Brian; Burrows, Adam; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Dillon, Daren; Gavel, Donald; Doyon, René; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Graham, James R.


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

  20. The Hunt for Planet X New Worlds and the Fate of Pluto

    CERN Document Server

    Schilling, Govert


    "The Hunt for Planet X is a fascinating tale by one of the world's premier astronomy writers. Govert Schilling is not only scrupulously accurate, he writes beautifully as well." Stephen P. Maran, Author of "Astronomy for Dummies" and Press Officer, American Astronomical Society "The Hunt for Planet X is an adventure story or, more accurately, a series of adventure stories. Schilling tells them well, capturing both the science and the people involved. It starts with the classics: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto; and moves all over the solar system as ground-based astronomers and space scientists pour over measurements and observations to try to understand the worlds around us. Current debates about the Pioneer Anomaly and the definition of what is a planet make the book current as well as a good history." Dr. Louis Friedman, Executive Director, The Planetary Society "This exciting tale of the centuries-old search for new planets in the solar system reads like a thriller. It is an adventure packed with fierce competi...

  1. Stellar variability and its implications for photometric planet detection with Kepler (United States)

    Batalha, N. M.; Jenkins, J.; Basri, G. S.; Borucki, W. J.; Koch, D. G.


    Kepler is one of three candidates for the next NASA Discovery Mission and will survey the extended solar neighborhood to detect and characterize hundreds of terrestrial (and larger) planets in or near the habitable zone. Its strength lies in its ability to detect large numbers of Earth-sized planets - planets which produced a 10-4 change in relative stellar brightness during a transit across the disk of a sun-like parent star. Such a detection requires high instrumental relative precision and is facilitated by observing stars which are photometrically quiet on hourly timescales. Probing stellar variability across the HR diagram, one finds that many of the photometrically quietest stars are the F and G dwarfs. The Hipparcos photometric database shows the lowest photometric variances among stars of this spectral class. Our own Sun is a prime example with RMS variations over a few rotational cycles of typically (3 - 4)×10-4 (computed from VIRGO/DIARAD data taken Jan-Mar 2001). And variability on the hourly time scales crucial for planet detection is significantly smaller: just (2 - 5)×10-5. This bodes well for planet detection programs such as Kepler and Eddington. With significant numbers of photometrically quiet solar-type stars, Earth-sized planets should be readily identified provided they are abundant in the solar neighborhood. In support of the Kepler science objectives, we have initiated a study of stellar variability and its implications for planet detection. Herein, we summarize existing observational and theoretrical work with the objective of determining the percentage of stars in the Kepler field of view expected to be photometrically stable at a level which allows for Earth-sized planet detection.

  2. Inside-out planet formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chatterjee, Sourav; Tan, Jonathan C.


    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.

  3. Nearby Red Dwarfs are Sexy for Planets and Life (United States)

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


    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.

  4. Formation of S-type planets in close binaries: scattering induced tidal capture of circumbinary planets (United States)

    Gong, Yan-Xiang; Ji, Jianghui


    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.

  5. L Ron Hubbard's science fiction quest against psychiatry. (United States)

    Hirshbein, Laura


    Layfayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986) was a colourful and prolific American writer of science fiction in the 1930s and 1940s. During the time between his two decades of productivity and his return to science fiction in 1980, Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology. In addition to its controversial status as a religion and its troubling pattern of intimidation and litigation directed towards its foes, Scientology is well known as an organised opponent to psychiatry. This paper looks at Hubbard's science fiction work to help understand the evolution of Scientology's antipsychiatry stance, as well as the alternative to psychiatry offered by Hubbard. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

  6. Issues to Consider in Designing WebQuests: A Literature Review (United States)

    Kurt, Serhat


    A WebQuest is an inquiry-based online learning technique. This technique has been widely adopted in K-16 education. Therefore, it is important that conditions of effective WebQuest design are defined. Through this article the author presents techniques for improving WebQuest design based on current research. More specifically, the author analyzes…

  7. Emergence of two types of terrestrial planet on solidification of magma ocean. (United States)

    Hamano, Keiko; Abe, Yutaka; Genda, Hidenori


    Understanding the origins of the diversity in terrestrial planets is a fundamental goal in Earth and planetary sciences. In the Solar System, Venus has a similar size and bulk composition to those of Earth, but it lacks water. Because a richer variety of exoplanets is expected to be discovered, prediction of their atmospheres and surface environments requires a general framework for planetary evolution. Here we show that terrestrial planets can be divided into two distinct types on the basis of their evolutionary history during solidification from the initially hot molten state expected from the standard formation model. Even if, apart from their orbits, they were identical just after formation, the solidified planets can have different characteristics. A type I planet, which is formed beyond a certain critical distance from the host star, solidifies within several million years. If the planet acquires water during formation, most of this water is retained and forms the earliest oceans. In contrast, on a type II planet, which is formed inside the critical distance, a magma ocean can be sustained for longer, even with a larger initial amount of water. Its duration could be as long as 100 million years if the planet is formed together with a mass of water comparable to the total inventory of the modern Earth. Hydrodynamic escape desiccates type II planets during the slow solidification process. Although Earth is categorized as type I, it is not clear which type Venus is because its orbital distance is close to the critical distance. However, because the dryness of the surface and mantle predicted for type II planets is consistent with the characteristics of Venus, it may be representative of type II planets. Also, future observations may have a chance to detect not only terrestrial exoplanets covered with water ocean but also those covered with magma ocean around a young star.

  8. Kepler Planet-Detection Mission: Introduction and First Results (United States)


    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


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lykawka, Patryk Sofia; Ito, Takashi


    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)

  10. Pathways Towards Habitable Planets: Capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope (United States)

    Clampin, Mark


    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture (6.5 meter), cryogenic space telescope with a suite of near and mid-infrared instruments covering the wavelength range of 0.6 m to 28 m. JWST s primary science goal is to detect and characterize the first galaxies. It will also study the assembly of galaxies, star formation, and the formation of evolution of planetary systems. We also review the expected scientific performance of the observatory for observations of exosolar planets by means of transit photometry and spectroscopy, and direct coronagraphic imaging and address its role in the search for habitable planets.

  11. Teachers' Attitudes Toward WebQuests as a Method of Teaching (United States)

    Perkins, Robert; McKnight, Margaret L.


    One of the latest uses of technology gaining popular status in education is the WebQuest, a process that involves students using the World Wide Web to solve a problem. The goals of this project are to: (a) determine if teachers are using WebQuests in their classrooms; (b) ascertain whether teachers feel WebQuests are effective for teaching…

  12. Strategies for Adapting WebQuests for Students with Learning Disabilities (United States)

    Skylar, Ashley A.; Higgins, Kyle; Boone, Randall


    WebQuests are gaining popularity as teachers explore using the Internet for guided learning activities. A WebQuest involves students working on a task that is broken down into clearly defined steps. Students often work in groups to actively conduct the research. This article suggests a variety of methods for adapting WebQuests for students with…

  13. Planet earth a beginner's guide

    CERN Document Server

    Gribbin, John


    In this incredible expedition into the origins, workings, and evolution of our home planet, John Gribbin, bestselling author of In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, The Scientists, and In Search of the Multiverse, does what he does best: taking four and a half billion years of mind-boggling science and digging out the best bits. From the physics of Newton and the geology of Wegener, to the environmentalism of Lovelock, this is a must read for Earth's scientists and residents alike. Trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University, John Gribbin is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex, England.

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

    Rose, Ian Robert

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

  15. International Year of Planet Earth Cooperating with Other Years in 2007-2009 (United States)

    de Mulder, E. F.


    After its inception in 2001, the International Year of Planet Earth was proclaimed for 2008 by the UN General Assembly in December 2005. The UN Year will be in the core of a triennium, starting in January 2007 and closing by the end of 2009. Through UN proclamation, it has gained the political support by 191 UN nations. The International Year of Planet Earth was initiated by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) finding UNESCO's Earth Sciences Division ready as co-initiator. It enjoys the backing of all relevant IUGS's sister unions in ICSU, including IUGG, IGU, IUSS, ISPRS and INQUA among its 12 Founding Partners and AGI, AAPG and AIPG as major USA based international geoscientific organizations. Moreover, the initiative is supported by 26 more geoscientific and other relevant bodies. The aim of the Year, encapsulated in its subtitle Earth sciences for Society, is to build awareness of the relationship between humankind and Planet Earth, and to demonstrate that geoscientists are key players in creating a balanced, sustainable future for both. In this respect it aims to convince politicians to apply the wealth of geodata and information in day-to-day policy making. The International Year includes a Science and an Outreach Programme, both of equal financial size. The ten Science Themes (Groundwater, Hazards, Health, Climate, Resources, Deep Earth, Ocean, Megacities, Soils, and Life) in the Science Programme were selected for their societal impact, their potential for outreach, as well as their multidisciplinary nature and high scientific potential. Brochures with key questions and invitations for scientists to submit project proposals have been printed for each Theme and can be downloaded from The same bottom-up mode is applied for the Outreach Programme which will operate as a funding body, receiving bids for financial support - for anything from web-based educational resources to commissioning works of art that will help

  16. Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with Earth's Smallest Settlers (United States)

    Cwikla, Julie; Milroy, Scott; Reider, David; Skelton, Tara


    Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with the Earth's Smallest Settlers ( provides a partnership model for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning that brings university scientists together with high school students to investigate whether cyanobacteria from Antarctica could survive on…

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

    Plávalová, Eva


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

  18. Marswalk One First Steps on a New Planet

    CERN Document Server

    Shayler, David J; Shayler, Michael D


    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...

  19. CosmoQuest - Mapping Surface Features Across the Inner Solar System (United States)

    Grier, Jennifer A.; Richardson, Matthew; Gay, Pamela L.; Lehan, Cory; Owens, Ryan; Robbins, Stuart J.; DellaGiustina, Daniella; Bennett, Carina; Runco, Susan; Graff, Paige


    The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility allows research scientists to work together with citizen scientists in ‘big data’ investigations. Some research requires the examination of vast numbers of images - partnering with engaged and trained citizen scientists allows for that research to be completed in a thorough and timely manner. The techniques used by CosmoQuest to collect impact crater data have been validated to ensure robustness (Robbins et al., 2014), and include software tools that accurately identify crater clusters, and multiple crater identifications. CosmoQuest has current or up-and-coming projects that span much of the inner solar system. “Moon Mappers” gives the public a chance to learn about the importance of cratered surfaces, and investigate factors that effect the identification and measurement of impact craters such as incidence angle. In the “Mars Mappers” program citizens map small craters in valley networks. These will be used to estimate times of ancient water flow. In “Mercury Mappers” the public learns about other issues related to crater counting, such as secondaries. On Mercury, secondaries appear to dominate counts up to 10km. By mapping these craters, we will be able to better understand the maximum diameter of secondaries relative to the parent primary. The public encounters Vesta in “Vesta Mappers,” a project that contributes data to the overall crater counting efforts on that body. Asteroid investigations do not end there - the OSIRIS-REx team is collaborating with CosmoQuest to create a science campaign to generate boulder and crater counting datasets of the asteroid Bennu. This “Bennu Mappers” project will inform the final selection of the sample return site. The Earth is the target for the “Image Detective” project, which uses the 2 million images returned from crewed space flight. These images are rich in information about our changing Earth, as well as phenomena like aurora. Citizens tag these images

  20. Inquiry-Based Learning and Technology: Designing and Exploring WebQuests (United States)

    Lacina, Jan


    A WebQuest is an inquiry-based technology activity designed by Bernie Dodge and Tom March at San Diego State University in 1995. Dodge and March describe WebQuests as activities in which most, or all, of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are a powerful instructional activity for teachers and students. Students will…

  1. Magnetometer instrument team studies for the definition phase of the outer planets grand tour (United States)

    Coleman, P. J., Jr.


    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.

  2. The EChO science case


    Tinetti, Giovanna; Drossart, Pierre; Eccleston, Paul; Hartogh, Paul; Isaak, Kate; Linder, Martin; Lovis, Christophe; Micela, Giusi; Ollivier, Marc; Puig, Ludovic; Ribas, Ignasi; Snellen, Ignas; Swinyard, Bruce; Allard, France; Barstow, Joanna


    The discovery of almost two thousand exoplanets has revealed an unexpectedly diverse planet population. We see gas giants in few-day orbits, whole multi-planet systems within the orbit of Mercury, and new populations of planets with masses between that of the Earth and Neptune-all unknown in the Solar System. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general population of planets in our Milky Way. The key science questions that urgently need ...

  3. The EChO science case


    Tinetti, Giovanna; Drossart, Pierre; Eccleston, Paul; Hartogh, Paul; Isaak, Kate; Linder, Martin; Lovis, Christophe; Micela, Giusi; Ollivier, Marc; Puig, Ludovic; Ribas, Ignasi; Snellen, Ignas; Swinyard, Bruce; Allard, France; Barstow, Joanna


    The discovery of almost two thousand exoplanets has revealed an unexpectedly diverse planet population. We see gas giants in few-day orbits, whole multi-planet systems within the orbit of Mercury, and new populations of planets with masses between that of the Earth and Neptune—all unknown in the Solar System. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general population of planets in our Milky Way. The key science questions that urgently need ...

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

    Howard, Andrew W


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

  5. CosmoQuest Year 1.5: Citizen Scientist Behaviors and Site Usage Across Multiple Projects (United States)

    Gugliucci, Nicole E.; Gay, P. L.; Bracey, G.; CosmoQuest Team


    CosmoQuest launched as a citizen science portal in January 2012 and has since expanded to include three projects in planetary surface mapping, one completed project searching for KBOs, and several more on the way with various astrophysical science goals. We take a close look at how our users move through the site, how much time they spend on various tasks, project retention rate, and how many use multiple projects on the site. We are also piloting a citizen science motivation survey given to random site users to find out why citizen scientists join new projects and continue to participate. This is part of a larger project using online and real-life interactions to study citizen scientist behaviors, motivations, and learning with a goal of building better community with researchers, volunteers, educators, and developers.

  6. Lexington Children`s Museum final report on EnergyQuest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    EnergyQuest is a museum-wide exhibit that familiarizes children and their families with energy sources, uses, and issues and with the impact of those issues on their lives. It was developed and built by Lexington Children`s Museum with support from the US Department of Energy, Kentucky Utilities, and the Kentucky Coal Marketing and Export Council. EnergyQuest featured six hands-on exhibit stations in each of six museum galleries. Collectively, the exhibits examine the sources, uses and conservation of energy. Each EnergyQuest exhibit reflects the content of its gallery setting. During the first year after opening EnergyQuest, a series of 48 public educational programs on energy were conducted at the Museum as part of the Museum`s ongoing schedule of demonstrations, performances, workshops and classes. In addition, teacher training was conducted.

  7. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.


    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.)


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Timpe, Miles; Barnes, Rory [Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Raymond, Sean N. [Virtual Planetary Laboratory, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Greenberg, Richard [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Gorelick, Noel, E-mail: [Google, Inc., 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States)


    If mutual gravitational scattering among exoplanets occurs, then it may produce unique orbital properties. For example, two-planet systems that lie near the boundary between circulation and libration of their periapses could result if planet-planet scattering ejected a former third planet quickly, leaving one planet on an eccentric orbit and the other on a circular orbit. We first improve upon previous work that examined the apsidal behavior of known multiplanet systems by doubling the sample size and including observational uncertainties. This analysis recovers previous results that demonstrated that many systems lay on the apsidal boundary between libration and circulation. We then performed over 12,000 three-dimensional N-body simulations of hypothetical three-body systems that are unstable, but stabilize to two-body systems after an ejection. Using these synthetic two-planet systems, we test the planet-planet scattering hypothesis by comparing their apsidal behavior, over a range of viewing angles, to that of the observed systems and find that they are statistically consistent regardless of the multiplicity of the observed systems. Finally, we combine our results with previous studies to show that, from the sampled cases, the most likely planetary mass function prior to planet-planet scattering follows a power law with index -1.1. We find that this pre-scattering mass function predicts a mutual inclination frequency distribution that follows an exponential function with an index between -0.06 and -0.1.

  9. The unification of physics: the quest for a theory of everything. (United States)

    Paulson, Steve; Gleiser, Marcelo; Freese, Katherine; Tegmark, Max


    The holy grail of physics has been to merge each of its fundamental branches into a unified "theory of everything" that would explain the functioning and existence of the universe. The last step toward this goal is to reconcile general relativity with the principles of quantum mechanics, a quest that has thus far eluded physicists. Will physics ever be able to develop an all-encompassing theory, or should we simply acknowledge that science will always have inherent limitations as to what can be known? Should new theories be validated solely on the basis of calculations that can never be empirically tested? Can we ever truly grasp the implications of modern physics when the basic laws of nature do not always operate according to our standard paradigms? These and other questions are discussed in this paper. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.

  10. Architecture design study and technology road map for the Planet Formation Imager (PFI) (United States)

    Monnier, John D.; Ireland, Michael J.; Kraus, Stefan; Baron, Fabien; Creech-Eakman, Michelle; Dong, Ruobing; Isella, Andrea; Merand, Antoine; Michael, Ernest; Minardi, Stefano; Mozurkewich, David; Petrov, Romain; Rinehart, Stephen; ten Brummelaar, Theo; Vasisht, Gautam; Wishnow, Ed; Young, John; Zhu, Zhaohuan


    The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) Project has formed a Technical Working Group (TWG) to explore possible facility architectures to meet the primary PFI science goal of imaging planet formation in situ in nearby starforming regions. The goals of being sensitive to dust emission on solar system scales and resolving the Hill-sphere around forming giant planets can best be accomplished through sub-milliarcsecond imaging in the thermal infrared. Exploiting the 8-13 micron atmospheric window, a ground-based long-baseline interferometer with approximately 20 apertures including 10km baselines will have the necessary resolution to image structure down 0.1 milliarcseconds (0.014 AU) for T Tauri disks in Taurus. Even with large telescopes, this array will not have the sensitivity to directly track fringes in the mid-infrared for our prime targets and a fringe tracking system will be necessary in the near-infrared. While a heterodyne architecture using modern mid-IR laser comb technology remains a competitive option (especially for the intriguing 24 and 40μm atmospheric windows), the prioritization of 3-5μm observations of CO/H2O vibrotational levels by the PFI-Science Working Group (SWG) pushes the TWG to require vacuum pipe beam transport with potentially cooled optics. We present here a preliminary study of simulated L- and N-band PFI observations of a realistic 4-planet disk simulation, finding 21x2.5m PFI can easily detect the accreting protoplanets in both L and N-band but can see non-accreting planets only in L band. We also find that even an ambitious PFI will lack sufficient surface brightness sensitivity to image details of the fainter emission from dust structures beyond 5 AU, unless directly illuminated or heated by local energy sources. That said, the utility of PFI at N-band is highly dependent on the stage of planet formation in the disk and we require additional systematic studies in conjunction with the PFI-SWG to better understand the science capabilities

  11. EnQuest | College of Engineering & Applied Science (United States)

    engineering camp, in which high school girls explore careers in engineering. It is held at the University of Engineering Concentration on Ergonomics M.S. Program in Computer Science Interdisciplinary Concentration on Energy Doctoral Programs in Engineering Non-Degree Candidate Departments Biomedical Engineering

  12. Planets in Binary Star Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Haghighipour, Nader


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

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

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


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

  14. Kids' Quest: Vision Impairment (United States)

    ... about to help with your Quest. Step 6: Learn about movies and books that can give you information. Step ... answers. NFB receives many letters and questions from children who wish to learn more about blindness. They have developed this list ...

  15. Terrestrial Planet Finder: Coda to 10 Years of Technology Development (United States)

    Lawson, Peter R.


    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.

  16. Do planets remember how they formed? (United States)

    Kipping, David


    One of the most directly observable features of a transiting multiplanet system is their size-ordering when ranked in orbital separation. Kepler has revealed a rich diversity of outcomes, from perfectly ordered systems, like Kepler-80, to ostensibly disordered systems, like Kepler-20. Under the hypothesis that systems are born via preferred formation pathways, one might reasonably expect non-random size-orderings reflecting these processes. However, subsequent dynamical evolution, often chaotic and turbulent in nature, may erode this information and so here we ask - do systems remember how they formed? To address this, we devise a model to define the entropy of a planetary system's size-ordering, by first comparing differences between neighbouring planets and then extending to accommodate differences across the chain. We derive closed-form solutions for many of the microstate occupancies and provide public code with look-up tables to compute entropy for up to 10-planet systems. All three proposed entropy definitions exhibit the expected property that their credible interval increases with respect to a proxy for time. We find that the observed Kepler multis display a highly significant deficit in entropy compared to a randomly generated population. Incorporating a filter for systems deemed likely to be dynamically packed, we show that this result is robust against the possibility of missing planets too. Put together, our work establishes that Kepler systems do indeed remember something of their younger years and highlights the value of information theory for exoplanetary science.

  17. A comprehensive mission to planet Earth: Woods Hole Space Science and Applications Advisory Committee Planning Workshop (United States)


    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.

  18. Lunar Science from and for Planet Earth (United States)

    Pieters, M. C.; Hiesinger, H.; Head, J. W., III


    Our Moon Every person on Earth is familiar with the Moon. Every resident with nominal eyesight on each continent has seen this near-by planetary body with their own eyes countless times. Those fortunate enough to have binoculars or access to a telescope have explored the craters, valleys, domes, and plains across the lunar surface as changing lighting conditions highlight the mysteries of this marvellously foreign landscape. Schoolchildren learn that the daily rhythm and flow of tides along the coastlines of our oceans are due to the interaction of the Earth and the Moon. This continuous direct and personal link is but one of the many reasons lunar science is fundamental to humanity. The Earth-Moon System In the context of space exploration, our understanding of the Earth-Moon system has grown enormously. The Moon has become the cornerstone for most aspects of planetary science that relate to the terrestrial (rocky) planets. The scientific context for exploration of the Moon is presented in a recent report by a subcommittee of the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council [free from the website:]. Figure 1 captures the interwoven themes surrounding lunar science recognized and discussed in that report. In particular, it is now recognized that the Earth and the Moon have been intimately linked in their early history. Although they subsequently took very different evolutionary paths, the Moon provides a unique and valuable window both into processes that occurred during the first 600 Million years of solar system evolution (planetary differentiation and the heavy bombardment record) as well as the (ultimately dangerous) impact record of more recent times. This additional role of the Moon as keystone is because the Earth and the Moon share the same environment at 1 AU, but only the Moon retains a continuous record of cosmic events. An Initial Bloom of Exploration and Drought The space age celebrated its 50th

  19. Terraforming the Planets and Climate Change Mitigation on Earth (United States)

    Toon, O. B.


    Hopefully, purposeful geo-engineering of the Earth will remain a theoretical concept. Of course, we have already inadvertently changed the Earth, and over geologic history life has left an indelible imprint on our planet. We can learn about geo-engineering schemes by reference to Earth history, for example climate changes after volcanic eruptions provide important clues to using sulfates to modify the climate. The terrestrial planets and Titan offer additional insights. For instance, Mars and Venus both have carbon dioxide dominated greenhouses. Both have more than 10 times as much carbon dioxide in their atmospheres as Earth, and both absorb less sunlight than Earth, yet one is much colder than Earth and one is much hotter. These facts provide important insights into carbon dioxide greenhouses that I will review. Mars cools dramatically following planet wide dust storms, and Titan has what is referred to as an anti- greenhouse climate driven by aerosols. These data can be used to reassure us that we can model aerosol caused changes to the climate of a planet, and also provide examples of aerosols offsetting a gas-driven greenhouse effect. People have long considered whether we might make the other planets habitable. While most of the schemes considered belong in the realm of science fiction, it is possible that some schemes might be practical. Terraforming brings to mind a number of issues that are thought provoking, but not so politically charged as geo-engineering. For example: What criteria define habitability, is it enough for people to live in isolated glass enclosures, or do we need to walk freely on the planet? Different creatures have different needs. Is a planet habitable if plants can thrive in the open, or do animals also need to be free? Are the raw materials present on any planet to make it habitable? If not, can we make the materials, or do we have to import them? Is it ethical to change a planetary climate? What if there are already primitive

  20. Developing Higher-Order Thinking Skills through WebQuests (United States)

    Polly, Drew; Ausband, Leigh


    In this study, 32 teachers participated in a year-long professional development project related to technology integration in which they designed and implemented a WebQuest. This paper describes the extent to which higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) and levels of technology implementation (LoTI) occur in the WebQuests that participants designed.…

  1. Kepler planet-detection mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  2. Alpha Elements' Effects on Planet Formation and the Hunt for Extragalactic Planets (United States)

    Penny, Matthew; Rodriguez, Joseph E.; Beatty, Thomas; Zhou, George


    A star's likelihood of hosting a giant planet is well known to be strongly dependent on metallicity. However, little is known about what elements cause this correlation (e.g. bulk metals, iron, or alpha elements such as silicon and oxygen). This is likely because most planet searches target stars in the Galactic disk, and due to Galactic chemical evolution, alpha element abundances are themselves correlated with metallicity within a population. We investigate the feasibility of simultaneous transiting planet search towards the alpha-poor Sagittarius dwarf galaxy and alpha-rich Galactic bulge in a single field of view of DECam, that would enable a comparative study of planet frequency over an [alpha/Fe] baseline of ~0.4 dex. We show that a modestly sized survey could detect planet candidates in both populations, but that false positive rejection in Sgr Dwarf may be prohibitively expensive. Conversely, two-filter survey observations alone would be sufficient to rule out a large fraction of bulge false positives, enabling statistical validation of candidates with a modest follow-up investment. Although over a shorter [alpha/Fe] baseline, this survey would provide a test of whether it is alpha or iron that causes the planet metallicity correlation.

  3. QUEST for Quality for Students: A Student Quality Concept. Volume 3 (United States)

    Galán Palomares, Fernando Miguel; Todorovski, Blazhe; Kažoka, Asnate; Saarela, Henni


    This is the final publication of the QUEST for Quality for Students (QUEST) project, run by the European Students' Union. The QUEST project has managed to analyse students' views on the quality of higher education to identify areas in which students can become increasingly involved in quality assurance and enhancement processes. This publication…

  4. Web2Quests: Updating a Popular Web-Based Inquiry-Oriented Activity (United States)

    Kurt, Serhat


    WebQuest is a popular inquiry-oriented activity in which learners use Web resources. Since the creation of the innovation, almost 15 years ago, the Web has changed significantly, while the WebQuest technique has changed little. This article examines possible applications of new Web trends on WebQuest instructional strategy. Some possible…

  5. Power Plants, Steam and Gas Turbines WebQuest (United States)

    Ulloa, Carlos; Rey, Guillermo D.; Sánchez, Ángel; Cancela, Ángeles


    A WebQuest is an Internet-based and inquiry-oriented learning activity. The aim of this work is to outline the creation of a WebQuest entitled "Power Generation Plants: Steam and Gas Turbines." This is one of the topics covered in the course "Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer," which is offered in the second year of Mechanical…

  6. Building galaxies, stars, planets and the ingredients for life between the stars. The science behind the European Ultraviolet-Visible Observatory (United States)

    Gómez de Castro, Ana I.; Appourchaux, Thierry; Barstow, Martin A.; Barthelemy, Mathieu; Baudin, Frederic; Benetti, Stefano; Blay, Pere; Brosch, Noah; Bunce, Emma; de Martino, Domitilla; Deharveng, Jean-Michel; Ferlet, Roger; France, Kevin; García, Miriam; Gänsicke, Boris; Gry, Cecile; Hillenbrand, Lynne; Josselin, Eric; Kehrig, Carolina; Lamy, Laurent; Lapington, Jon; Lecavelier des Etangs, Alain; LePetit, Frank; López-Santiago, Javier; Milliard, Bruno; Monier, Richard; Naletto, Giampiero; Nazé, Yael; Neiner, Coralie; Nichols, Jonathan; Orio, Marina; Pagano, Isabella; Peroux, Céline; Rauw, Gregor; Shore, Steven; Spaans, Marco; Tovmassian, Gagik; ud-Doula, Asif; Vilchez, José


    This contribution gathers the contents of the white paper submitted by the UV community to the Call issued by the European Space Agency in March 2013, for the definition of the L2 and L3 missions in the ESA science program. We outlined the key science that a large UV facility would make possible and the instrumentation to be implemented. The growth of luminous structures and the building blocks of life in the Universe began as primordial gas was processed in stars and mixed at galactic scales. The mechanisms responsible for this development are not well-understood and have changed over the intervening 13 billion years. To follow the evolution of matter over cosmic time, it is necessary to study the strongest (resonance) transitions of the most abundant species in the Universe. Most of them are in the ultraviolet (UV; 950 Å-3000 Å) spectral range that is unobservable from the ground. A versatile space observatory with UV sensitivity a factor of 50-100 greater than existing facilities will revolutionize our understanding of the Universe. Habitable planets grow in protostellar discs under ultraviolet irradiation, a by-product of the star-disk interaction that drives the physical and chemical evolution of discs and young planetary systems. The electronic transitions of the most abundant molecules are pumped by this UV field, providing unique diagnostics of the planet-forming environment that cannot be accessed from the ground. Earth's atmosphere is in constant interaction with the interplanetary medium and the solar UV radiation field. A 50-100 times improvement in sensitivity would enable the observation of the key atmospheric ingredients of Earth-like exoplanets (carbon, oxygen, ozone), provide crucial input for models of biologically active worlds outside the solar system, and provide the phenomenological baseline to understand the Earth atmosphere in context.

  7. SMART-1 highlights and relevant studies on early bombardment and geological processes on rocky planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foing, B H; Koschny, D; Frew, D; Almeida, M; Zender, J; Heather, D; Peters, S; Racca, G D; Marini, A; Stagnaro, L; Josset, J L; Beauvivre, S; Grande, M; Kellett, B; Huovelin, J; Nathues, A; Mall, U; Ehrenfreund, P; McCannon, P


    We present results from SMART-1 science and technology payload, in the context of the Nobel symposium on 'Physics of Planetary Systems'. SMART-1 is Europe' first lunar mission (Foing et al 2000 LPSC XXXI Abstract 1677 (CDROM); Foing et al 2001 Earth, Moon Planets 85-86 523-31; Marini et al 2002 Adv. Space Res. 30 1895-900; Racca et al 2001 Earth Moon Planets 85-86 379-95, Racca et al 2002 Planet Space Sci. 50 1323-37) demonstrating technologies for future science and exploration missions, and providing advances in our understanding of lunar origin and evolution, and general planetary questions. The mission also contributes a step in developing an international program of lunar exploration. The spacecraft, launched on 27 September 2003 as an Ariane 5 Auxiliary passenger to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), performed a 14-month long cruise using a tiny thrust of electric propulsion alone, reached lunar capture in November 2004, and lunar science orbit in March 2005. SMART-1 carried 7 hardware experiments (Foing et al 2003 Adv. Space Res. 31 2323, Foing et al 2005 LPI/LPSC XXXVI 2404 (CDROM)) performing 10 investigations, including 3 remote-sensing instruments, used during the cruise, the mission' nominal six-months and one-year extension in lunar science orbit. Three remote sensing instruments, D-CIXS, SIR and AMIE, have returned data that are relevant to a broad range of lunar studies. The mission provided regional and global x-ray measurements of the Moon, global high-spectral resolution NIR spectrometry, high spatial resolution colour imaging of selected regions. The South Pole-Aitken Basin (SPA) and other impact basins have been prime targets for studies using the SMART-1 suite of instruments. Combined, these should aid a large number of science studies, from bulk crustal composition and theories of lunar origin/evolution, the global and local crustal composition, to the search for cold traps at the lunar poles and the mapping of potential lunar resources. We

  8. Using Science Fiction Movie Scenes to Support Critical Analysis of Science (United States)

    Barnett, Michael; Kafka, Alan


    This paper discusses pedagogical advantages and challenges of using science-fiction movies and television shows in an introductory science class for elementary teachers. The authors describe two instructional episodes in which scenes from the movies "Red Planet" and "The Core" were used to engage students in critiquing science as presented in…

  9. The Quest for Deeper Learning: An Investigation into the Impact of a Knowledge-Pooling WebQuest in Primary Initial Teacher Training (United States)

    Allan, Jo; Street, Mark


    This paper explores the impact on learning in higher education of the integration of a knowledge-pooling stage into a WebQuest. We explain the concept of WebQuests, consider recent literature regarding the effects and difficulties of this approach to learning, and examine students' perceptions of the impact of this tool on high-order learning. The…

  10. Why Earth Science? (United States)

    Smith, Michael J.


    This article briefly describes Earth science. The study of Earth science provides the foundation for an understanding of the Earth, its processes, its resources, and its environment. Earth science is the study of the planet in its entirety, how its lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere work together as systems and how they affect…

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

    Latham, D W


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

  12. Planet traps and planetary cores: origins of the planet-metallicity correlation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro [Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica (ASIAA), P.O. Box 23-141, Taipei 10641, Taiwan (China); Pudritz, Ralph E., E-mail:, E-mail: [Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1 (Canada)


    Massive exoplanets are observed preferentially around high metallicity ([Fe/H]) stars while low-mass exoplanets do not show such an effect. This so-called planet-metallicity correlation generally favors the idea that most observed gas giants at r < 10 AU are formed via a core accretion process. We investigate the origin of this phenomenon using a semi-analytical model, wherein the standard core accretion takes place at planet traps in protostellar disks where rapid type I migrators are halted. We focus on the three major exoplanetary populations—hot Jupiters, exo-Jupiters located at r ≅ 1 AU, and the low-mass planets. We show using a statistical approach that the planet-metallicity correlations are well reproduced in these models. We find that there are specific transition metallicities with values [Fe/H] = –0.2 to –0.4, below which the low-mass population dominates, and above which the Jovian populations take over. The exo-Jupiters significantly exceed the hot Jupiter population at all observed metallicities. The low-mass planets formed via the core accretion are insensitive to metallicity, which may account for a large fraction of the observed super-Earths and hot-Neptunes. Finally, a controlling factor in building massive planets is the critical mass of planetary cores (M {sub c,} {sub crit}) that regulates the onset of rapid gas accretion. Assuming the current data is roughly complete at [Fe/H] > –0.6, our models predict that the most likely value of the 'mean' critical core mass of Jovian planets is (M {sub c,} {sub crit}) ≅ 5 M {sub ⊕} rather than 10 M {sub ⊕}. This implies that grain opacities in accreting envelopes should be reduced in order to lower M {sub c,} {sub crit}.

  13. The Cognitive Distortions Questionnaire (CD-Quest): Validation in a Sample of Adults with Social Anxiety Disorder


    Kaplan, SC; Morrison, AS; Goldin, PR; Olino, TM; Heimberg, RG; Gross, JJ


    © 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Cognitive distortions are thought to be central to the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders and are a widely acknowledged treatment target in cognitive-behavioral interventions. However, little research has focused on the measurement of cognitive distortions. The Cognitive Distortions Questionnaire (CD-Quest; de Oliveira, Trial-based cognitive therapy: A manual for clinicians, Routledge, New York, 2015), a brief, 15-item questionna...

  14. 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:, E-mail: [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)


    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.

  15. Search for a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tokovinin, A.A.


    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

  16. Long Term Evolution of Planetary Systems with a Terrestrial Planet and a Giant Planet (United States)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian; Way, Michael J.


    We study the long term orbital evolution of a terrestrial planet under the gravitational perturbations of a giant planet. In particular, we are interested in situations where the two planets are in the same plane and are relatively close. We examine both possible configurations: the giant planet orbit being either outside or inside the orbit of the smaller planet. The perturbing potential is expanded to high orders and an analytical solution of the terrestrial planetary orbit is derived. The analytical estimates are then compared against results from the numerical integration of the full equations of motion and we find that the analytical solution works reasonably well. An interesting finding is that the new analytical estimates improve greatly the predictions for the timescales of the orbital evolution of the terrestrial planet compared to an octupole order expansion. Finally, we briefly discuss possible applications of the analytical estimates in astrophysical problems.

  17. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macintosh, B


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

  18. The Fate of Unstable Circumbinary Planets (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    What happens to Tattooine-like planets that are instead in unstable orbits around their binary star system? A new study examines whether such planets will crash into a host star, get ejected from the system, or become captured into orbit around one of their hosts.Orbit Around a DuoAt this point we have unambiguously detected multiple circumbinary planets, raising questions about these planets formation and evolution. Current models suggest that it is unlikely that circumbinary planets would be able to form in the perturbed environment close their host stars. Instead, its thought that the planets formed at a distance and then migrated inwards.One danger such planets face when migrating is encountering ranges of radii where their orbits become unstable. Two scientists at the University of Chicago, Adam Sutherland and Daniel Fabrycky, have studied what happens when circumbinary planets migrate into such a region and develop unstable orbits.Producing Rogue PlanetsTime for planets to either be ejected or collide with one of the two stars, as a function of the planets starting distance (in AU) from the binary barycenter. Colors represent different planetary eccentricities. [Sutherland Fabrycky 2016]Sutherland and Fabrycky used N-body simulations to determine the fates of planets orbiting around a star system consisting of two stars a primary like our Sun and a secondary roughly a tenth of its size that are separated by 1 AU.The authors find that the most common fate for a circumbinary planet with an unstable orbit is ejection from the system; over 80% of unstable planets were ejected. This has interesting implications: if the formation of circumbinary planets is common, this mechanism could be filling the Milky Way with a population of free-floating, rogue planets that no longer are associated with their host star.The next most common outcome for unstable planets is collision with one of their host stars (most often the secondary), resulting inaccretion of the planet

  19. International Year of Planet Earth - Activities and Plans in Mexico (United States)

    Alaniz-Alvarez, S.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.


    IYPE started as a joint initiative by UNESCO and IUGS with participation of several geosciences organizations, and has developed into a major program in geosciences with inclusion of national committees. In this presentation we focus on current activities and plans in our country, and in the international activities. IYPE activities have concentrated in publications and organization of conferences and meetings. A book series on Earth Science Experiments for Children has been defined, with the first books published on "Atmospheric Pressure and Free Fall of Objects" and "Light and Colors". Following books are on "Standing on Archimedes" and "Foucault and the Climate". Books are distributed free to school children, with more than 10,000 copies given of first volume. Other publications include the special issues of El Faro science magazine edited by the National University, with last issue published and distributed electronically and in hard copies this August. Special events include Conference of IYPE Executive Director presented during the International Day of Science Museums in late May in Science Museum Universum. This was followed by a Planet Earth Week in the University. Current plans include an electronic open-access publication, additional publications of the Planet Earth series, articles and special issues in journals and magazines, and events on selected themes from the IYPE science program, particularly on Megacities, Hazards, Resources and Life. The metropolitan area of Mexico City, with around 20 million inhabitants presents special challenges, being at high altitude within an active tectonic and volcanic area requiring major efforts in water supply, water control, rains and waste disposal and management. Involvement in international activities includes translation into Spanish of IYPE publications and the participation in programs and activities. In addition to activities in the different countries, we consider that IYPE should result in initiatives for

  20. Simulated JWST/NIRISS Spectroscopy of Anticipated TESS Planets and Selected Super-Earths Discovered from K2 and Ground-Based Surveys (United States)

    Louie, Dana; Albert, Loic; Deming, Drake


    The 2018 launch of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), coupled with the 2017 launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), heralds a new era in Exoplanet Science, with TESS projected to detect over one thousand transiting sub-Neptune-sized planets (Ricker et al, 2014), and JWST offering unprecedented spectroscopic capabilities. Sullivan et al (2015) used Monte Carlo simulations to predict the properties of the planets that TESS is likely to detect, and published a catalog of 962 simulated TESS planets. Prior to TESS launch, the re-scoped Kepler K2 mission and ground-based surveys such as MEarth continue to seek nearby Earth-like exoplanets orbiting M-dwarf host stars. The exoplanet community will undoubtedly employ JWST for atmospheric characterization follow-up studies of promising exoplanets, but the targeted planets for these studies must be chosen wisely to maximize JWST science return. The goal of this project is to estimate the capabilities of JWST’s Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS)—operating with the GR700XD grism in Single Object Slitless Spectrography (SOSS) mode—during observations of exoplanets transiting their host stars. We compare results obtained for the simulated TESS planets, confirmed K2-discovered super-Earths, and exoplanets discovered using ground-based surveys. By determining the target planet characteristics that result in the most favorable JWST observing conditions, we can optimize the choice of target planets in future JWST follow-on atmospheric characterization studies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Imaeda


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

  2. WebQuest y anotaciones semánticas WebQuest and semantic annotations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Blanco Suárez


    Full Text Available En este artículo se presenta un sistema de búsqueda y recuperación de metadatos de actividades educativas que siguen el modelo WebQuest. Se trata de una base de datos relacional, accesible a través del web, que se complementa con un módulo que permite realizar anotaciones semánticas y cuyo objetivo es capturar y enriquecer el conocimiento acerca del uso de dichos ejercicios por parte de la comunidad de docentes que experimentan con ellos, así como documentar los recursos o sitios web de interés didáctico buscando construir un repositorio de enlaces educativos de calidad. This paper presents a system of searching and recovering educational activities that follow the Web-Quest model through the web, complemented with a module to make semantic annotations aimed at getting and enriching the knowledge on the use of these exercises by the teaching community. It also tries to document the resources or websites with didactic interest in order to build a qualified account of educational links.

  3. Scaffolding Preservice Teachers' WebQuest Design: A Qualitative Study (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Hannafin, Michael J.


    This study examined how participating preservice teachers reported their perceptions and use of different scaffolds provided to support their WebQuest design. Sixteen preservice teachers participated in a succession of course activities designed to guide WebQuest design and development. Results indicated that while participants followed, adapted,…


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  5. Migration of accreting giant planets (United States)

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


    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:

  6. Exoplanet detection. Stellar activity masquerading as planets in the habitable zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581. (United States)

    Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Endl, Michael; Roy, Arpita


    The M dwarf star Gliese 581 is believed to host four planets, including one (GJ 581d) near the habitable zone that could possibly support liquid water on its surface if it is a rocky planet. The detection of another habitable-zone planet--GJ 581g--is disputed, as its significance depends on the eccentricity assumed for d. Analyzing stellar activity using the Hα line, we measure a stellar rotation period of 130 ± 2 days and a correlation for Hα modulation with radial velocity. Correcting for activity greatly diminishes the signal of GJ 581d (to 1.5 standard deviations) while significantly boosting the signals of the other known super-Earth planets. GJ 581d does not exist, but is an artifact of stellar activity which, when incompletely corrected, causes the false detection of planet g. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  7. International Deep Planet Survey, 317 stars to determine the wide-separated planet frequency (United States)

    Galicher, R.; Marois, C.; Macintosh, B.; Zuckerman, B.; Song, I.; Barman, T.; Patience, J.


    Since 2000, more than 300 nearby young stars were observed for the International Deep Planet Survey with adaptive optics systems at Gemini (NIRI/NICI), Keck (Nirc2), and VLT (Naco). Massive young AF stars were included in our sample whereas they have generally been neglected in first generation surveys because the contrast and target distances are less favorable to image substellar companions. The most significant discovery of the campaign is the now well-known HR 8799 multi-planet system. This remarkable finding allows, for the first time, an estimate of the Jovians planet population at large separations (further than a few AUs) instead of deriving upper limits. During my presentation, I will present the survey showing images of multiple stars and planets. I will then propose a statistic study of the observed stars deriving constraints on the Jupiter-like planet frequency at large separations.

  8. Science & Technology Review March/April 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chinn, D J


    This month's issue has the following articles: (1) Science and Security in Sharp Focus--Commentary by William H. Goldstein; (2) Extending the Search for Extrasolar Planets--The Gemini Planet Imager will delve deep into the universe to identify planets that cannot be detected with current instrumentation; (3) Standardizing the Art of Electron-Beam Welding--The Laboratory's EBeam Profiler makes electron-beam welds consistent and improves quality control; (4) Molecular Building Blocks Made of Diamonds--Livermore physicists are exploring the electrical properties of diamondoids, tiny molecules of diamond; and (5) Animation Brings Science to Life--Animation helps scientists and engineers effectively communicate their ideas and research in a visually compelling way.

  9. Our Mission to Planet Earth: A guide to teaching Earth system science (United States)


    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.

  10. DrugQuest - a text mining workflow for drug association discovery. (United States)

    Papanikolaou, Nikolas; Pavlopoulos, Georgios A; Theodosiou, Theodosios; Vizirianakis, Ioannis S; Iliopoulos, Ioannis


    Text mining and data integration methods are gaining ground in the field of health sciences due to the exponential growth of bio-medical literature and information stored in biological databases. While such methods mostly try to extract bioentity associations from PubMed, very few of them are dedicated in mining other types of repositories such as chemical databases. Herein, we apply a text mining approach on the DrugBank database in order to explore drug associations based on the DrugBank "Description", "Indication", "Pharmacodynamics" and "Mechanism of Action" text fields. We apply Name Entity Recognition (NER) techniques on these fields to identify chemicals, proteins, genes, pathways, diseases, and we utilize the TextQuest algorithm to find additional biologically significant words. Using a plethora of similarity and partitional clustering techniques, we group the DrugBank records based on their common terms and investigate possible scenarios why these records are clustered together. Different views such as clustered chemicals based on their textual information, tag clouds consisting of Significant Terms along with the terms that were used for clustering are delivered to the user through a user-friendly web interface. DrugQuest is a text mining tool for knowledge discovery: it is designed to cluster DrugBank records based on text attributes in order to find new associations between drugs. The service is freely available at .

  11. WebQuests in special primary education: Learning in a web-based environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleemans, M.A.J.; Segers, P.C.J.; Droop, W.; Wentink, W.M.J.


    The present study investigated the differences in learning gain when performing a WebQuest with a well-defined versus an ill-defined assignment. Twenty boys and twenty girls (mean age 11; 10), attending a special primary education school, performed two WebQuests. In each WebQuest, they performed

  12. Ethics in science: ecotoxicology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Cairns Jr.


    Full Text Available Predictive ecotoxicology emphasizes the probable environmental outcome of exposure to toxics, rather than the mere appraisal of existing damage, and in so doing raises some complex but interesting ethical issues. Awareness of endocrine-disrupting chemicals is blurring the line between humankind and other life forms in toxicity testing by providing evidence that both humans and wildlife suffer adverse reproductive and developmental effect. There is a wide variety of chemicals that have been reported as potential endocrine disruptors. Finally, with the increasing loss of wildlife habitat, protecting the quality and ultimate fate of the remaining habitat from the effects of toxis substances becomes increasingly important to the moral quest for sustainable use of the planet.

  13. Definition of Physical Height Systems for Telluric Planets and Moons (United States)

    Tenzer, Robert; Foroughi, Ismael; Sjöberg, Lars E.; Bagherbandi, Mohammad; Hirt, Christian; Pitoňák, Martin


    In planetary sciences, the geodetic (geometric) heights defined with respect to the reference surface (the sphere or the ellipsoid) or with respect to the center of the planet/moon are typically used for mapping topographic surface, compilation of global topographic models, detailed mapping of potential landing sites, and other space science and engineering purposes. Nevertheless, certain applications, such as studies of gravity-driven mass movements, require the physical heights to be defined with respect to the equipotential surface. Taking the analogy with terrestrial height systems, the realization of height systems for telluric planets and moons could be done by means of defining the orthometric and geoidal heights. In this case, however, the definition of the orthometric heights in principle differs. Whereas the terrestrial geoid is described as an equipotential surface that best approximates the mean sea level, such a definition for planets/moons is irrelevant in the absence of (liquid) global oceans. A more natural choice for planets and moons is to adopt the geoidal equipotential surface that closely approximates the geometric reference surface (the sphere or the ellipsoid). In this study, we address these aspects by proposing a more accurate approach for defining the orthometric heights for telluric planets and moons from available topographic and gravity models, while adopting the average crustal density in the absence of reliable crustal density models. In particular, we discuss a proper treatment of topographic masses in the context of gravimetric geoid determination. In numerical studies, we investigate differences between the geodetic and orthometric heights, represented by the geoidal heights, on Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Moon. Our results reveal that these differences are significant. The geoidal heights on Mercury vary from - 132 to 166 m. On Venus, the geoidal heights are between - 51 and 137 m with maxima on this planet at Atla Regio and Beta


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Birgitte Lund; Sillasen, Martin Krabbe


    It is acknowledged internationally that teachers’ Professional Development (TPD) is crucial for reforming science teaching. The Danish QUEST project is designed using widely agreed criteria for effective TPD: content focus, active learning, coherence, duration, collaborative activities and collec......It is acknowledged internationally that teachers’ Professional Development (TPD) is crucial for reforming science teaching. The Danish QUEST project is designed using widely agreed criteria for effective TPD: content focus, active learning, coherence, duration, collaborative activities...... and collective participation, and is organised on principles of situated learning in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). QUEST-activities follow a rhythm of full day seminars followed by a period of collaborative inquiries locally. A major theme in the first year has been Inquiry Based Science Education......-on experiences and fewer including students’ minds-on. Teachers’ reflections indicate that many are positive towards QUEST seminars based on trying out activities directly applicable in the classroom. Case studies indicate a potentially more sustainable development, where the teachers collaboratively re...

  15. Crisis or self-correction: Rethinking media narratives about the well-being of science (United States)

    Jamieson, Kathleen Hall


    After documenting the existence and exploring some implications of three alternative news narratives about science and its challenges, this essay outlines ways in which those who communicate science can more accurately convey its investigatory process, self-correcting norms, and remedial actions, without in the process legitimizing an unwarranted “science is broken/in crisis” narrative. The three storylines are: (i) quest discovery, which features scientists producing knowledge through an honorable journey; (ii) counterfeit quest discovery, which centers on an individual or group of scientists producing a spurious finding through a dishonorable one; and (iii) a systemic problem structure, which suggests that some of the practices that protect science are broken, or worse, that science is no longer self-correcting or in crisis. PMID:29531076

  16. Physical design of MW-class steady-state spherical tokamak, QUEST

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanada, K.; Sato, K.N.; Zushi, H.; Nakamura, K.; Sakamoto, M.; Idei, H.; Hasegawa, M.; Kawasaki, S.; Nakashima, H.; Higashijima, A.; Higashizono, Y.; Yoshida, N.; Takase, Y.; Ejiri, A.; Ogawa, Y.; Ono, Y.; Yoshida, Z.; Mitarai, O.; Maekawa, T.; Kishimoto, Y.; Ishiguro, M.; Yoshinaga, T.; Igami, H.; Hirooka, Y.; Komori, A.; Motojima, O.; Sudo, S.; Yamada, H.; Ando, A.; Asakura, Nobuyuki; Matsukawa, Makoto; Ishida, A.; Ohno, N.; Peng, M.


    QUEST (R=0.68 m, a=0.4 m) focuses on the steady state operation of the spherical tokamak (ST) by controlled PWI and electron Bernstain wave (EBW) current drive (CD). The QUEST project will be developed along two phases, phase I: steady state operation with plasma current, I p =20-30 kA on open divertor configuration and phase II: steady state operation with I p = 100 kA and β of 10% in short pulse on closed divertor configuration. Feasibility of the missions on QUEST was investigated and the suitable machine size of QUEST was decided based on the physical view of plasma parameters. Electron Bernstein wave (EBW) current drive are planned to establish the maintenance of plasma current in steady state. Mode conversion efficiency to EBW was calculated and the conversion of 95% will be expected. A new type antenna for QUEST has been fabricated to excite EBW effectively. The situation of heat and particle handling is challenging, and W and high temperature wall is adopted. The start-up scenario of plasma current was investigated based on the driven current by energetic electron and the most favorable magnetic configuration for start-up is proposed. (author)

  17. Quantify uncertain emergency search techniques (QUEST) -- Theory and user's guide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, M.M.; Goldsby, M.E.; Plantenga, T.D.; Porter, T.L.; West, T.H.; Wilcox, W.B.; Hensley, W.K.


    As recent world events show, criminal and terrorist access to nuclear materials is a growing national concern. The national laboratories are taking the lead in developing technologies to counter these potential threats to the national security. Sandia National laboratories, with support from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Bechtel Nevada, Remote Sensing Laboratory, has developed QUEST (a model to Quantify Uncertain Emergency Search Techniques), to enhance the performance of organizations in the search for lost or stolen nuclear material. In addition, QUEST supports a wide range of other applications, such as environmental monitoring, nuclear facilities inspections, and searcher training. QUEST simulates the search for nuclear materials and calculates detector response for various source types and locations. The probability of detecting a radioactive source during a search is a function of many different variables, including source type, search location and structure geometry (including shielding), search dynamics (path and speed), and detector type and size. Through calculation of dynamic detector response, QUEST makes possible quantitative comparisons of various sensor technologies and search patterns. The QUEST model can be used as a tool to examine the impact of new detector technologies, explore alternative search concepts, and provide interactive search/inspector training

  18. Brief or New: WebQuests: An Instructional Strategy for the Occupational Therapy Classroom. (United States)

    Wooster, Donna; Lemcool, Kathy


    SUMMARY WebQuests are an innovative teaching activity that promotes students to actively engage in their learning and work cooperatively in small groups. WebQuests have been widely used in K-12 environments in a variety of subjects and are gaining respect in universities. This paper will briefly describe the basic concept of a WebQuest and provide two examples of WebQuests developed for use in an occupational therapy curriculum.

  19. WebQuest on Conic Sections as a Learning Tool for Prospective Teachers (United States)

    Kurtulus, Aytac; Ada, Tuba


    WebQuests incorporate technology with educational concepts through integrating online resources with student-centred and activity-based learning. In this study, we describe and evaluate a WebQuest based on conic sections, which we have used with a group of prospective mathematics teachers. The WebQuest entitled: "Creating a Carpet Design Using…

  20. Gravitational Microlensing of Earth-mass Planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpsøe, Kennet Bomann West

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

  1. Rocky Planet Formation: Quick and Neat (United States)

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Najita, Joan R.; Bromley, Benjamin C.


    We reconsider the commonly held assumption that warm debris disks are tracers of terrestrial planet formation. The high occurrence rate inferred for Earth-mass planets around mature solar-type stars based on exoplanet surveys (˜20%) stands in stark contrast to the low incidence rate (≤2%-3%) of warm dusty debris around solar-type stars during the expected epoch of terrestrial planet assembly (˜10 Myr). If Earth-mass planets at au distances are a common outcome of the planet formation process, this discrepancy suggests that rocky planet formation occurs more quickly and/or is much neater than traditionally believed, leaving behind little in the way of a dust signature. Alternatively, the incidence rate of terrestrial planets has been overestimated, or some previously unrecognized physical mechanism removes warm dust efficiently from the terrestrial planet region. A promising removal mechanism is gas drag in a residual gaseous disk with a surface density ≳10-5 of the minimum-mass solar nebula.

  2. Astronomers See First Stages of Planet-Building Around Nearby Star (United States)


    Interstellar travelers might want to detour around the star system TW Hydrae to avoid a messy planetary construction site. Astronomer David Wilner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and his colleagues have discovered that the gaseous protoplanetary disk surrounding TW Hydrae holds vast swaths of pebbles extending outward for at least 1 billion miles. These rocky chunks should continue to grow in size as they collide and stick together until they eventually form planets. Dust Disk Graphic Artist's Conception of Dusty Disk Around Young Star TW Hydrae CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for larger version 1.8 MB) "We're seeing planet building happening right before our eyes," said Wilner. "The foundation has been laid and now the building materials are coming together to make a new solar system." Wilner used the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array to measure radio emissions from TW Hydrae. He detected radiation from a cold, extended dust disk suffused with centimeter-sized pebbles. Such pebbles are a prerequisite for planet formation, created as dust collects together into larger and larger clumps. Over millions of years, those clumps grow into planets. "We're seeing an important step on the path from interstellar dust particles to planets," said Mark Claussen (NRAO), a co-author on the paper announcing the discovery. "No one has seen this before." A dusty disk like that in TW Hydrae tends to emit radio waves with wavelengths similar to the size of the particles in the disk. Other effects can mask this, however. In TW Hydrae, the astronomers explained, both the relatively close distance of the system and the stage of the young star's evolution are just right to allow the relationship of particle size and wavelength to prevail. The scientists observed the young star's disk with the VLA at several centimeter-range wavelengths. "The strong emission at wavelengths of a few centimeters is convincing evidence that particles of

  3. 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.


    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Owen, James E.; Wu, Yanqin


    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


    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:, E-mail: [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada)


    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

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


    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.

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

    Beichman, Charles A.


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

  9. Using WebQuests to Teach Content: Comparing Instructional Strategies (United States)

    Strickland, Janet


    The purpose of this study was to compare the use of WebQuests with traditional instruction. Specifically, the study examined the end-of-unit exam scores for students who completed a WebQuest on the Texas Revolution and those students completing a poster activity. Both of the instructional activities were implemented as additional enhancement to…

  10. A Sample WebQuest Applicable in Teaching Topological Concepts (United States)

    Yildiz, Sevda Goktepe; Korpeoglu, Seda Goktepe


    In recent years, WebQuests have received a great deal of attention and have been used effectively in teaching-learning process in various courses. In this study, a WebQuest that can be applicable in teaching topological concepts for undergraduate level students was prepared. A number of topological concepts, such as countability, infinity, and…

  11. The Development of the Planet Formation Concept Inventory: A Preliminary Analysis of Version 1 (United States)

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


    The topic of planet formation is poorly represented in the educational literature, especially at the college level. As recently as 2014, when developing the Test of Astronomy Standards (TOAST), Slater (2014) noted that for two topics (formation of the Solar System and cosmology), “high quality test items that reflect our current understanding of students’ conceptions were not available [in the literature]” (Slater,2014, p. 8). Furthermore, nearly half of ASTR 101 enrollments are at 2 year/community colleges where both instructors and students have little access to current research and models of planet formation. In response, we administered six student replied response (SSR) short answer questions on the topic of planet formation to n = 1,050 students enrolled in introductory astronomy and planetary science courses at The University of Arizona in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. After analyzing and coding the data from the SSR questions, we developed a preliminary version of the Planet Formation Concept Inventory (PFCI). The PFCI is a multiple-choice instrument with 20 planet formation-related questions, and 4 demographic-related questions. We administered version 1 of the PFCI to six introductory astronomy and planetary science courses (n ~ 700 students) during the Fall 2017 semester. We provided students with 7-8 multiple-choice with explanation of reasoning (MCER) questions from the PFCI. Students selected an answer (similar to a traditional multiple-choice test), and then briefly explained why they chose the answer they did. We also conducted interviews with ~15 students to receive feedback on the quality of the questions and clarity of the instrument. We will present an analysis of the MCER responses and student interviews, and discuss any modifications that will be made to the instrument as a result.

  12. A preliminary declaration of sustainability ethics: making peace with the ultimate bioexecutioner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Cairns Jr.


    Full Text Available Sustainability is a utopian vision that requires living harmoniously with nature, which will exact harsh penalties on species that exceed Earth's carrying capacity and violate nature's laws. To make this vision a reality, humankind needs a global ethical consensus on sustainable use of the planet - sustainability ethics. Sustainability ethics has the goal of developing a sustainable, mutualistic relationship between humankind and the interdependent web of life that serves as Earth's ecological life support system. The quest for sustainable use of the planet is a value judgment that has more than one component. Arguably, the most important is increased attention to and compassion for posterity's quality of life, in short, leaving a habitable planet for future generations. This requires leaving natural capital and the ecosystem serves it provides undiminished at the least and increased at best. Although material possessions can be left to direct descendants, protecting the planet's ecological life support system must not only be for all of humankind's descendants but those of the 30+ million other species with which we share the planet. This is difficult because the recipients are distance (as individuals both temporally and spatially. Therefore, this quest will not be realised until an agreement emerges on the values and attitudes necessary to make sustainbility a reality. Science can then develop the standards and criteria necessary to reach this goal. In view of present unsustainable practices, a basis ethical consensus is necessary to develop sustainable practices.

  13. Planet formation in Binaries


    Thebault, Ph.; Haghighipour, N.


    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...

  14. ';EXPERIMENTING with a Small Planet' as AN Experiment (United States)

    Hay, W. W.


    Communicating science to the American public is difficult. The book ';Experimenting with a Small Planet' is a radical but sucessful departure from tradition. My background has been in study of the warm climate of the Cretaceous using numerical climate models -- not directly with modern climate change. The Arctic sea-ice meltback of 2007 was a startling event; it wasn't expected before the end of this century. Earth had gone past a tipping point toward an ice-free pole condition. I decided to try to write a book for the general public explaining the basics of climate and the significance of what is happening to our planet. Over 50 years I had written more than 200 technical papers in the peer-reviewed literature. I had also written 27 annual reviews on Geology for the high-school level World Book Encyclopedia. I had experience in communicating with the general public as Director of the University of Colorado Museum. Using my retirement community neighbors (businessmen, hedge fund manager, rancher, doctors, engineer, grade school teacher) as initial reviewers, I learned that: 1) the metric system is totally foreign and unintelligible - metric measurements must also be given in US feet, pounds, Fahrenheit temperatures, etc.; 2) readers stop if they encounter references to papers scattered in the text; 3) mathematics beyond arithmetic is feared; 4) scientific terminology is unknown; as is 5) the history of how we have come to understand physics, chemistry, biology, and geology. The average level of scientific knowledge of a successful retired American today is at best that of about 40 years ago; of our pubic school teachers, about 20 years old. Members of the US Congress have mostly law degrees, and at best took a few freshman-level courses in science when they were in college 30 years or more ago. Most Americans believe in the dogma of some religion, not in science. I discovered that most geologists know nothing about climatology, and most climatologists know next

  15. Stable Hydrogen-rich Atmospheres of Young Rocky Planets (United States)

    Zahnle, K. J.; Catling, D. C.; Gacesa, M.


    SourceURL:file://localhost/Volumes/Lexar/Zahnle_AGU_2016.docx Understanding hydrogen escape is essential to understanding the limits to habitability, both for liquid water where the Sun is bright, but also to assess the true potential of H2 as a greenhouse gas where the Sun is faint. Hydrogen-rich primary atmospheres of Earth-like planets can result either from gravitational capture of solar nebular gases (with helium), or from impact shock processing of a wide variety of volatile-rich planetesimals (typically accompanied by H2O, CO2, and under the right circumstances, CH4). Most studies of hydrogen escape from planets focus on determining how fast the hydrogen escapes. In general this requires solving hydrodynamic equations that take into account the acceleration of hydrogen through a critical transonic point and an energy budget that should include radiative heating and cooling, thermal conduction, the work done in lifting the hydrogen against gravity, and the residual heat carried by the hydrogen as it leaves. But for planets from which hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which is much simpler, and for which a relatively full-featured treatment of radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ is straightforward. Previous work has overlooked the fact that the H2 molecule is extremely efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, and thus that radiative cooling can be markedly more efficient when H2 is abundant. We map out the region of phase space in which terrestrial planets keep hydrogen-rich atmospheres, which is what we actually want to know for habitability. We will use this framework to reassess Tian et al's (Science 308, pp. 1014-1017, 2005) hypothesis that H2-rich atmospheres may have been rather long-lived on Earth itself. Finally, we will address the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than

  16. Planetary dreams : the quest to discover life beyond earth (United States)

    Shapiro, Robert


    The Quest To Discover Life Beyond Earth. "The 'dreams' that I write of are not the usual ones, the images that come up in our minds involuntarily during certain stages of sleep, but rather the hopes and expectations that we have lavished upon other worlds around us."-from the Preface. The surprisingly long history of debate over extraterrestrial life is full of marvelous visions of what life "out there" might be like, as well as remarkable stories of alleged sightings and heated disputes about the probability that life might actually have arisen more than once. In Planetary Dreams, acclaimed author Robert Shapiro explores this rich history of dreams and debates in search of the best current answers to the most elusive and compelling of all questions: Are we alone? In his pursuit, he presents three contrasting views regarding how life might have started: through Divine Creation, by a highly unlikely stroke of luck, or by the inevitable process of a natural law that he terms the Life Principle. We are treated to a lively fictional dinner debate among the leading proponents of these schools of thought-with the last named group arguing that life has almost surely formed in many places throughout the universe, and the others that life may well be entirely unique to our own blue planet. To set the stage for a deep exploration of the question, the author then leads us on a fantastic journey through the museum of the cosmos, an imagined building that holds models of the universe at different degrees of magnification. We then journey deep into inner space to view the astonishingly intricate life of a single cell, and learn why the origin of such a complex object from simple chemical mixtures poses one of the most profound enigmas known to science. Writing in a wonderfully entertaining style, Shapiro then reviews the competing theories about the start of life on Earth, and suggests the debate may best be settled by finding signs of life on the other worlds of our solar

  17. WebQuests in Special Primary Education: Learning in a Web-Based Environment (United States)

    Kleemans, Tijs; Segers, Eliane; Droop, Mienke; Wentink, Hanneke


    The present study investigated the differences in learning gain when performing a WebQuest with a well-defined versus an ill-defined assignment. Twenty boys and twenty girls (mean age 11; 10), attending a special primary education school, performed two WebQuests. In each WebQuest, they performed either a well-defined or an ill-defined assignment.…

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

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

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

  19. Is Pluto a planet? Student powered video rap ';battle' over tiny Pluto's embattled planetary standing (United States)

    Beisser, K.; Cruikshank, D. P.; McFadden, T.


    Is Pluto a planet? Some creative low income Bay-area middle-schoolers put a musical spin on this hot science debate with a video rap ';battle' over tiny Pluto's embattled planetary standing. The students' timing was perfect, with NASA's New Horizons mission set to conduct the first reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons in July 2015. Pluto - the last of the nine original planets to be explored by spacecraft - has been the subject of scientific study and speculation since Clyde Tombaugh discovered it in 1930, orbiting the Sun far beyond Neptune. Produced by the students and a very creative educator, the video features students 'battling' back and forth over the idea of Pluto being a planet. The group collaborated with actual space scientists to gather information and shot their video before a 'green screen' that was eventually filled with animations and visuals supplied by the New Horizons mission team. The video debuted at the Pluto Science Conference in Maryland in July 2013 - to a rousing response from researchers in attendance. The video marks a nontraditional approach to the ongoing 'great planet debate' while educating viewers on a recently discovered region of the solar system. By the 1990s, researchers had learned that Pluto possessed multiple exotic ices on its surface, a complex atmosphere and seasonal cycles, and a large moon (Charon) that likely resulted from a giant impact on Pluto itself. It also became clear that Pluto was no misfit among the planets - as had long been thought - but the largest and brightest body in a newly discovered 'third zone' of our planetary system called the Kuiper Belt. More recent observations have revealed that Pluto has a rich system of satellites - five known moons - and a surface that changes over time. Scientists even speculate that Pluto may possess an internal ocean. For these and other reasons, the 2003 Planetary Decadal Survey ranked a Pluto/Kuiper Belt mission as the highest priority mission for NASA's newly created

  20. Design-considerations For A Ground-based Transit Survey To Find Habitable Planets Around L And T Dwarfs (United States)

    Tata, Ramarao; Martin, E.


    Detection of planets in the habitable zone is one of the key drivers of the exoplanet science community. We present a detailed strategy for such detection around L and T dwarfs. We plan to implement the outcome of the analysis as a transit survey to search for planets around known L and T dwarfs. Understanding of the variability of these cool objects will be a worth-while byproduct of such a survey.

  1. Trapping planets in an evolving protoplanetary disk: preferred time, locations and planet mass


    Baillié, Kévin; Charnoz, Sébastien; Pantin, Éric


    Planet traps are necessary to prevent forming planets from falling onto their host star by type I migration. Surface mass density and temperature gradient irregularities favor the apparition of traps and deserts. Such features are found at the dust sublimation lines and heat transition barriers. We study how planets may remain trapped or escape as they grow and as the disk evolves. We model the temporal viscous evolution of a protoplanetary disk by coupling its dynamics, thermodynamics, geome...


    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: [Computational Engineering and Science Research Centre, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350 (Australia)


    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.


    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.


    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

  4. Exoplanet dynamics. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars. (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Wu, Hanbo; Menou, Kristen; Murray, Norman


    Planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars are often assumed to be in a state of tidally synchronized rotation, which would considerably affect their putative habitability. Although thermal tides cause Venus to rotate retrogradely, simple scaling arguments tend to attribute this peculiarity to the massive Venusian atmosphere. Using a global climate model, we show that even a relatively thin atmosphere can drive terrestrial planets' rotation away from synchronicity. We derive a more realistic atmospheric tide model that predicts four asynchronous equilibrium spin states, two being stable, when the amplitude of the thermal tide exceeds a threshold that is met for habitable Earth-like planets with a 1-bar atmosphere around stars more massive than ~0.5 to 0.7 solar mass. Thus, many recently discovered terrestrial planets could exhibit asynchronous spin-orbit rotation, even with a thin atmosphere. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  5. NursingQuest: supporting an analysis of nursing issues. (United States)

    Bassendowski, Sandra L


    With the development and use of new strategies, practices, applications, and resources in technology, the teaching and learning context is shifting. Nurse educators are challenged to create instructional strategies that appeal to the newer generation of students and have the potential to enhance learning. Effective learning programs for these students require new digital communication skills, new pedagogies, and new practices. Nursing students should not be seeking the right answer as much as they should be seeking appropriate information and then developing approaches to issues or resolutions for problems. The focus of the teaching and learning context is shifting from the individual to the group, with the purpose of constructing new knowledge from available information. This article discusses the value of WebQuest activities as inquiry-oriented strategies and the process of adapting the WebQuest format for the development of a strategy called NursingQuest.

  6. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom (United States)

    George, Samuel J.


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

  7. Quests em World Of Warcraft como estrutura narrativa seriada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jônatas Kerr de Oliveira


    Full Text Available Assumindo que as quests em World of Warcraft funcionam como uma estrutura narrativa dentro do jogo, busca-se verificar se esta estrutura apresenta características que possam caracterizá-la como uma narrativa seriada. Para tal, é feita uma análise das principais características da narrativa seriada televisiva, assim como da estrutura de quests, para verificar a viabilidade de tal aproximação. Sendo a estrutura narrativa de quests em MMORPGs uma estrutura narrativa seriada, abre-se um grande leque de possibilidades, tanto para as análises teóricas dos videogames, utilizando o ferramental adaptado, como para os game designers utilizarem este referencial para acrescer detalhes aos mundos ficcionais criados.

  8. Extrasolar planets searches today and tomorrow

    CERN Multimedia


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

  9. Contribuições e dificuldades da abordagem de questões sociocientíficas na prática de professores de ciências Contributions and difficulties in dealing with social/scientific issues in the practice of science teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Fabio Martínez Pérez


    Full Text Available Neste artigo, apresentamos os resultados de uma pesquisa sobre as contribuições e as dificuldades da abordagem de questões sociocientíficas na prática de professores de ciências em serviço. Na pesquisa realizada, de caráter qualitativo com corte crítico, a realidade é entendida como uma construção social subjetiva e intersubjetiva, marcada por um contexto histórico. A constituição dos dados foi feita no decorrer de uma disciplina sobre ensino de ciências a partir de questões sociocientíficas, desenvolvida em um curso de mestrado em ensino de química, e teve a participação de 31 professores de ciências em serviço. No intuito de garantir a validade de fidedignidade da pesquisa, foi utilizada mais de uma fonte de dados. Assim, os dados foram constituídos por meio de vários instrumentos, tais como: questionário inicial de caracterização dos participantes da pesquisa, gravações de entrevistas focais e trabalhos apresentados pelos professores sobre a abordagem de questões sociocientíficas (QSCs em sala de aula. As análises alcançadas indicam que a abordagem de questões sociocientíficas possui um potencial considerável para a prática do professor em termos da tomada de decisão e do desenvolvimento de pensamento crítico dos alunos. O trabalho com questões sociocientíficas também exige planejamento do ensino e ações bem sustentadas, assim como a participação ativa do professor. Finalmente, são caracterizadas as dificuldades do trabalho realizado em termos pedagógicos, formativos e curriculares.This paper presents the results of a research about the contributions and difficulties in dealing with social/scientific issues related to the teaching practices of in-service science teachers. In this qualitative and critical research, reality is understood as a social construction that is both subjective and inter-subjective defined by a historical context. Data collection was conducted while a subject on science

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

    Triaud, Amaury; SPECULOOS Team; TRAPPIST-1 Team


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


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nesvorný, David


    Studies of solar system formation suggest that the solar system's giant planets formed and migrated in the protoplanetary disk to reach the resonant orbits with all planets inside ∼15 AU from the Sun. After the gas disk's dispersal, Uranus and Neptune were likely scattered by the gas giants, and approached their current orbits while dispersing the transplanetary disk of planetesimals, whose remains survived to this time in the region known as the Kuiper Belt. Here we performed N-body integrations of the scattering phase between giant planets in an attempt to determine which initial states are plausible. We found that the dynamical simulations starting with a resonant system of four giant planets have a low success rate in matching the present orbits of giant planets and various other constraints (e.g., survival of the terrestrial planets). The dynamical evolution is typically too violent, if Jupiter and Saturn start in the 3:2 resonance, and leads to final systems with fewer than four planets. Several initial states stand out in that they show a relatively large likelihood of success in matching the constraints. Some of the statistically best results were obtained when assuming that the solar system initially had five giant planets and one ice giant, with the mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and which was ejected to interstellar space by Jupiter. This possibility appears to be conceivable in view of the recent discovery of a large number of free-floating planets in interstellar space, which indicates that planet ejection should be common.

  12. Young Solar System's Fifth Giant Planet? (United States)

    Nesvorný, David


    Studies of solar system formation suggest that the solar system's giant planets formed and migrated in the protoplanetary disk to reach the resonant orbits with all planets inside ~15 AU from the Sun. After the gas disk's dispersal, Uranus and Neptune were likely scattered by the gas giants, and approached their current orbits while dispersing the transplanetary disk of planetesimals, whose remains survived to this time in the region known as the Kuiper Belt. Here we performed N-body integrations of the scattering phase between giant planets in an attempt to determine which initial states are plausible. We found that the dynamical simulations starting with a resonant system of four giant planets have a low success rate in matching the present orbits of giant planets and various other constraints (e.g., survival of the terrestrial planets). The dynamical evolution is typically too violent, if Jupiter and Saturn start in the 3:2 resonance, and leads to final systems with fewer than four planets. Several initial states stand out in that they show a relatively large likelihood of success in matching the constraints. Some of the statistically best results were obtained when assuming that the solar system initially had five giant planets and one ice giant, with the mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and which was ejected to interstellar space by Jupiter. This possibility appears to be conceivable in view of the recent discovery of a large number of free-floating planets in interstellar space, which indicates that planet ejection should be common.

  13. Web-Based Inquiry Learning: Facilitating Thoughtful Literacy with WebQuests (United States)

    Ikpeze, Chinwe H.; Boyd, Fenice B.


    An action research study investigated how the multiple tasks found in WebQuests facilitate fifth-grade students' literacy skills and higher order thinking. Findings indicate that WebQuests are most successful when activities are carefully selected and systematically delivered. Implications for teaching include the necessity for adequate planning,…

  14. Habitable Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen H


    ..., 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...

  15. The circumstances of minor planet discovery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pilcher, F.


    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. The accretion of migrating giant planets (United States)

    Dürmann, Christoph; Kley, Wilhelm


    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.

  17. Investigations on physics of planetary atmospheres and small bodies of the Solar system, extrasolar planets and disk structures around the stars (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.; Delets, O. S.; Dlugach, J. M.; Zakhozhay, O. V.; Kostogryz, N. M.; Krushevska, V. M.; Kuznyetsova, Y. G.; Morozhenko, O. V.; Nevodovskyi, P. V.; Ovsak, O. S.; Rozenbush, O. E.; Romanyuk, Ya. O.; Shavlovskiy, V. I.; Yanovitskij, E. G.


    The history and main becoming stages of Planetary system physics Department of the Main astronomical observatory of National academy of Sciences of Ukraine are considered. Fundamental subjects of department researches and science achievements of employees are presented. Fields of theoretical and experimental researches are Solar system planets and their satellites; vertical structures of planet atmospheres; radiative transfer in planet atmospheres; exoplanet systems of Milky Way; stars having disc structures; astronomical engineering. Employees of the department carry out spectral, photometrical and polarimetrical observations of Solar system planets, exoplanet systems and stars with disc structures. 1. From the history of department 2. The main directions of department research 3. Scientific instrumentation 4. Telescopes and observation stations 5. Theoretical studies 6. The results of observations of planets and small Solar system bodies and their interpretation 7. The study of exoplanets around the stars of our galaxy 8. Spectral energy distribution of fragmenting protostellar disks 9. Cooperation with the National Technical University of Ukraine (KPI) and National University of Ukraine "Lviv Polytechnic" to study the impact of stratospheric aerosol changes on weather and climate of the Earth 10. International relations. Scientific and organizational work. Scientific conferences, congresses, symposia 11. The main achievements of the department 12. Current researches 13. Anniversaries and awards

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

    Morbidelli, Alessandro


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

  19. Use of WebQuests in Mathematics Instruction: Academic Achievement, Teacher and Student Opinions (United States)

    Yenmez, Arzu Aydogan; Özpinar, Ilknur; Gökçe, Semirhan


    WebQuests are designed to ensure meaningful learning by combining technology with a constructivist approach in the classroom setting. This study aims to examine the effect of WebQuests used in instruction on students' academic achievements and the student and teacher opinions on WebQuests. The participants of this study using the…

  20. Exploring TechQuests Through Open Source and Tools That Inspire Digital Natives (United States)

    Hayden, K.; Ouyang, Y.; Kilb, D.; Taylor, N.; Krey, B.


    "There is little doubt that K-12 students need to understand and appreciate the Earth on which they live. They can achieve this understanding only if their teachers are well prepared". Dan Barstow, Director of Center for Earth and Space Science Education at TERC. The approach of San Diego County's Cyberinfrastructure Training, Education, Advancement, and Mentoring (SD Cyber-TEAM) project is to build understandings of Earth systems for middle school teachers and students through a collaborative that has engaged the scientific community in the use of cyber-based tools and environments for learning. The SD Cyber-TEAM has used Moodle, an open source management system with social networking tools, that engage digital native students and their teachers in collaboration and sharing of ideas and research related to Earth science. Teachers participate in on-line professional dialog through chat, wikis, blogs, forums, journals and other tools and choose the tools that will best fit their classroom. The use of Moodle during the Summer Cyber Academy developed a cyber-collaboratory environment where teaching strategies were discussed, supported and actualized by participants. These experiences supported digital immigrants (teachers) in adapting teaching strategies using technologies that are most attractive and familiar to students (digital natives). A new study by the National School Boards Association and Grunwald Associates LLC indicated that "the online behaviors of U.S. teens and 'tweens shows that 96 percent of students with online access use social networking technologies, such as chatting, text messaging, blogging, and visiting online communities such as Facebook, MySpace, and Webkinz". While SD Cyber-TEAM teachers are implementing TechQuests in classrooms they use these social networking elements to capture student interest and address the needs of digital natives. Through the Moodle environment, teachers have explored a variety of learning objects called TechQuests

  1. Gas Velocities Reveal Newly Born Planets in a Disk (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Occasionally, science comes together beautifully for a discovery and sometimes this happens for more than one team at once! Today we explore how two independent collaborations of scientists simultaneously found the very first kinematic evidence for young planets forming in a protoplanetary disk. Though they explored the same disk, the two teams in fact discovered different planets.Evidence for PlanetsALMAs view of the dust in the protoplanetary disk surrounding the young star HD 163296. Todays studies explore not the dust, but the gas of this disk. [ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); A. Isella; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)]Over the past three decades, weve detected around 4,000 fully formed exoplanets. Much more elusive, however, are the young planets still in the early stages of formation; only a handful of these have been discovered. More observations of early-stage exoplanets are needed in order to understand how these worlds are born in dusty protoplanetary-disk environments, how they grow their atmospheres, and how they evolve.Recent observations by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have produced stunning images of protoplanetary disks. The unprecedented resolution of these images reveals substructure in the form of gaps and rings, hinting at the presence of planets that orbit within the disk and clear out their paths as they move. But there are also non-planet mechanisms that could produce such substructure, like grain growth around ice lines, or hydrodynamic instabilities in the disk.How can we definitively determine whether there are nascent planets embedded in these disks? Direct direction of a point source in a dust gap would be a strong confirmation, but now we have the next best thing: kinematic evidence for planets, from the motion of a disks gas.Observations of carbon monoxide line emission at +1km/s from the systemic velocity (left) vs. the outcome of a computer simulation (right) in the Pinte et al. study. A visible kink occurs in the flow


    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)


    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.

  3. R and D Quest - Jun 2004 issue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    R and D Quest is the bulletin of MINT (Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research). It is monthly published to report the R and D activities of MINT's researchers. The contents of R and D Quest are divided into 5 sections i.e. researchers column, recent publication, scientific visit, strategic partnership/news and conferences and seminars. In this issue, MINT's proudly announced first MINT researcher being awarded with International Scientist of the Year 2004. This news appear in researchers column together with other article such as Trailing the Neutron, insight of International Conference on Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (IC-BITE' 04), Traditional Medical Products and New Chemical Entities Must Adhere to Regulatory Procedures, new facility R and D Loop at MINTec-Sinagama, progress report of oud In Quest of the Mystical Fragrance of Oud and latest find out in Laser Makes Material Stress Visible. A scientific visit reported the successful news of MIREC Audits First Modern Incinerator Commissioning in Labuan. Lastly, there are six new lists of presentations and publications, six and five new lists of courses, seminars and workshops for June and July

  4. Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet. (United States)

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


    A class of extrasolar giant planets--the so-called 'hot Jupiters' (ref. 1)--orbit within 0.05 au of their primary stars (1 au is the Sun-Earth distance). These planets should be hot and so emit detectable infrared radiation. The planet HD 209458b (refs 3, 4) 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 orbital eccentricity (approximately 0.03; refs 6, 7), maintained by interaction with a hypothetical second planet. Here we report detection of infrared (24 microm) radiation from HD 209458b, by observing the decrement in flux during secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the star. The planet's 24-microm flux is 55 +/- 10 microJy (1sigma), with a brightness temperature of 1,130 +/- 150 K, confirming the predicted heating by stellar irradiation. The secondary eclipse occurs at the midpoint between transits of the planet in front of the star (to within +/- 7 min, 1sigma), which means that a dynamically significant orbital eccentricity is unlikely.

  5. Starting a Planet Protectors Club (United States)

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007


    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…

  6. Understanding the Vital Human Quest for Self-Esteem. (United States)

    Greenberg, Jeff


    Authors have long noted the human penchant for self-esteem. Experimental research has revealed that this desire for self-esteem has wide-ranging effects on cognition, emotion, and behavior. Terror management theory explains that this desire for self-esteem results from a fundamental need for psychological security, which is engendered by humans' awareness of their own vulnerability and mortality. A large body of evidence has supported this explanation. Specifically, substantial lines of research have shown that self-esteem buffers anxiety and reduces defenses against death and that reminders of mortality increase efforts to defend and bolster self-esteem. Complementary findings have helped clarify the role of culture in self-esteem striving and the ways in which people can vary in their level, stability, and sources of self-esteem. I conclude by briefly considering how this contemporary knowledge regarding the quest for self-esteem informs current events and daily life. © 2008 Association for Psychological Science.

  7. Integrated facilities modeling using QUEST and IGRIP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, K.R.; Haan, E.R.


    A QUEST model and associated detailed IGRIP models were developed and used to simulate several workcells in a proposed Plutonium Storage Facility (PSF). The models are being used by team members assigned to the program to improve communication and to assist in evaluating concepts and in performing trade-off studies which will result in recommendations and a final design. The model was designed so that it could be changed easily. The added flexibility techniques used to make changes easily are described in this paper in addition to techniques for integrating the QUEST and IGRIP products. Many of these techniques are generic in nature and can be applied to any modeling endeavor

  8. Value of Hipparcos Catalogue shown by planet assessments (United States)


    The first detailed findings from Hipparcos, recently published in Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters, confirm the existence of planets around other stars. Hipparcos astronomers plucked out their data on three stars suspected of possessing attendant planets. Their distances, measured far more accurately than ever before, enables the astronomers to rule out, in two cases, the possibility that the supposed planets might be small stars. The discovery of alien planets in the first astronomical step towards fashioning a proper science out of the speculations about life beyond the solar system. Hipparcos makes a decisive contribution by setting an upper limit to their masses. Astronomers at the Geneva Observatory caused a sensation last year when they reported slight motions in the star 51 Pegasi, due to a massive planet orbiting around it. With a ground-based telescope they detected small shifts in the wavelength of light as 51 Pegasi moved slowly under the influence of its invisible companion. This year, astronomers at San Francisco State University confirmed the discovery and have subsequently reported two similar cases, in the stars 47 Ursae Majoris and 70 Virginis. Uncertainties about the orientation of the planets' orbits and the distances of the stars left a wide margin of doubt about the masses of the candidate planets. Accurate rangefinding by Hipparcos puts the star 47 Ursae Majoris at a distance of 46 light-years. Calculations then set an upper limit on the mass of the companion at 7 to 22 times the mass of Jupiter, the Sun's largest planet. The Sun itself is a thousand times more massive that Jupiter, and theorists believe that the smallest true star would have a mass of 80 Jupiters. Below that mass, the object cannot burn hydrogen in the nuclear fashion, which is the most characteristic source of energy for stars. In the range between 17 and 80 Jupiter masses an object is called a brown dwarf. It can in theory derive a little energy by burning heavy hydrogen

  9. Kepler's first rocky planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

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

    Ida, Shigeru


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

  11. Identifying Exoplanets with Deep Learning: A Five-planet Resonant Chain around Kepler-80 and an Eighth Planet around Kepler-90 (United States)

    Shallue, Christopher J.; Vanderburg, Andrew


    NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets orbiting Sun-like stars, but these planets are on the very edge of the mission’s detection sensitivity. Accurately determining the occurrence rate of these planets will require automatically and accurately assessing the likelihood that individual candidates are indeed planets, even at low signal-to-noise ratios. We present a method for classifying potential planet signals using deep learning, a class of machine learning algorithms that have recently become state-of-the-art in a wide variety of tasks. We train a deep convolutional neural network to predict whether a given signal is a transiting exoplanet or a false positive caused by astrophysical or instrumental phenomena. Our model is highly effective at ranking individual candidates by the likelihood that they are indeed planets: 98.8% of the time it ranks plausible planet signals higher than false-positive signals in our test set. We apply our model to a new set of candidate signals that we identified in a search of known Kepler multi-planet systems. We statistically validate two new planets that are identified with high confidence by our model. One of these planets is part of a five-planet resonant chain around Kepler-80, with an orbital period closely matching the prediction by three-body Laplace relations. The other planet orbits Kepler-90, a star that was previously known to host seven transiting planets. Our discovery of an eighth planet brings Kepler-90 into a tie with our Sun as the star known to host the most planets.


    The EPA Global Change Research Program is pleased to inform you of the publication of the new Our Changing Planet: The FY2001 U.S. Global Change Research Program. This annual report to the Congress was prepared under the auspices of the President's National Science and Technolog...

  13. Evidence of an Upper Bound on the Masses of Planets and Its Implications for Giant Planet Formation (United States)

    Schlaufman, Kevin C.


    Celestial bodies with a mass of M≈ 10 {M}{Jup} have been found orbiting nearby stars. It is unknown whether these objects formed like gas-giant planets through core accretion or like stars through gravitational instability. I show that objects with M≲ 4 {M}{Jup} orbit metal-rich solar-type dwarf stars, a property associated with core accretion. Objects with M≳ 10 {M}{Jup} do not share this property. This transition is coincident with a minimum in the occurrence rate of such objects, suggesting that the maximum mass of a celestial body formed through core accretion like a planet is less than 10 {M}{Jup}. Consequently, objects with M≳ 10 {M}{Jup} orbiting solar-type dwarf stars likely formed through gravitational instability and should not be thought of as planets. Theoretical models of giant planet formation in scaled minimum-mass solar nebula Shakura–Sunyaev disks with standard parameters tuned to produce giant planets predict a maximum mass nearly an order of magnitude larger. To prevent newly formed giant planets from growing larger than 10 {M}{Jup}, protoplanetary disks must therefore be significantly less viscous or of lower mass than typically assumed during the runaway gas accretion stage of giant planet formation. Either effect would act to slow the Type I/II migration of planetary embryos/giant planets and promote their survival. These inferences are insensitive to the host star mass, planet formation location, or characteristic disk dissipation time.

  14. Planetary protection protecting earth and planets against alien microbes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leys, N.


    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

  15. Large impacts around a solar-analog star in the era of terrestrial planet formation. (United States)

    Meng, Huan Y A; Su, Kate Y L; Rieke, George H; Stevenson, David J; Plavchan, Peter; Rujopakarn, Wiphu; Lisse, Carey M; Poshyachinda, Saran; Reichart, Daniel E


    The final assembly of terrestrial planets occurs via massive collisions, which can launch copious clouds of dust that are warmed by the star and glow in the infrared. We report the real-time detection of a debris-producing impact in the terrestrial planet zone around a 35-million-year-old solar-analog star. We observed a substantial brightening of the debris disk at a wavelength of 3 to 5 micrometers, followed by a decay over a year, with quasi-periodic modulations of the disk flux. The behavior is consistent with the occurrence of a violent impact that produced vapor out of which a thick cloud of silicate spherules condensed that were then ground into dust by collisions. These results demonstrate how the time domain can become a new dimension for the study of terrestrial planet formation. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. Giant Planet Candidates, Brown Dwarfs, and Binaries from the SDSS-III MARVELS Planet Survey. (United States)

    Thomas, Neil; Ge, Jian; Li, Rui; de Lee, Nathan M.; Heslar, Michael; Ma, Bo; SDSS-Iii Marvels Team


    We report the discoveries of giant planet candidates, brown dwarfs, and binaries from the SDSS-III MARVELS survey. The finalized 1D pipeline has provided 18 giant planet candidates, 16 brown dwarfs, and over 500 binaries. An additional 96 targets having RV variability indicative of a giant planet companion are also reported for future investigation. These candidates are found using the advanced MARVELS 1D data pipeline developed at UF from scratch over the past three years. This pipeline carefully corrects most of the instrument effects (such as trace, slant, distortion, drifts and dispersion) and observation condition effects (such as illumination profile, fiber degradation, and tracking variations). The result is long-term RV precisions that approach the photon limits in many cases for the ~89,000 individual stellar observations. A 2D version of the pipeline that uses interferometric information is nearing completion and is demonstrating a reduction of errors to half the current levels. The 2D processing will be used to increase the robustness of the detections presented here and to find new candidates in RV regions not confidently detectable with the 1D pipeline. The MARVELS survey has produced the largest homogeneous RV measurements of 3300 V=7.6-12 FGK stars with a well defined cadence of 27 RV measurements over 2 years. The MARVELS RV data and other follow-up data (photometry, high contrast imaging, high resolution spectroscopy and RV measurements) will explore the diversity of giant planet companion formation and evolution around stars with a broad range in metallicity (Fe/H -1.5-0.5), mass ( 0.6-2.5M(sun)), and environment (thin disk and thick disk), and will help to address the key scientific questions identified for the MARVELS survey including, but not limited to: Do metal poor stars obey the same trends for planet occurrence as metal rich stars? What is the distribution of giant planets around intermediate-mass stars and binaries? Is the 'planet desert

  17. Red Optical Planet Survey: A radial velocity search for low mass M dwarf planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minniti D.


    Full Text Available We present radial velocity results from our Red Optical Planet Survey (ROPS, aimed at detecting low-mass planets orbiting mid-late M dwarfs. The ∼10 ms−1 precision achieved over 2 consecutive nights with the MIKE spectrograph at Magellan Clay is also found on week long timescales with UVES at VLT. Since we find that UVES is expected to attain photon limited precision of order 2 ms−1 using our novel deconvolution technique, we are limited only by the (≤10 ms−1 stability of atmospheric lines. Rocky planet frequencies of η⊕ = 0.3−0.7 lead us to expect high planet yields, enabling determination of η⊕ for the uncharted mid-late M dwarfs with modest surveys.

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

    Cho, James Y-K


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

  19. QUEST: A model to quantify uncertain emergency search techniques, theory and application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, M.M.; Goldsby, M.E.; Plantenga, T.D.; Wilcox, W.B.; Hensley, W.K.


    As recent world events show, criminal and terrorist access to nuclear materials is a growing national concern. The national laboratories are taking the lead in developing technologies to counter these potential threats to our national security. Sandia National Laboratories, with support from Pacific Northwest Laboratory and the Remote Sensing Laboratory, has developed QUEST (a model to Quantify Uncertain Emergency Search Techniques), to enhance the performance of organizations in the search for lost or stolen nuclear material. In addition, QUEST supports a wide range of other applications, such as environmental monitoring, nuclear facilities inspections, and searcher training. QUEST simulates the search for nuclear materials and calculates detector response fro various source types and locations. The probability of detecting a radioactive source during a search is a function of many different variables. Through calculation of dynamic detector response, QUEST makes possible quantitative comparisons of various sensor technologies and search patterns. The QUEST model can be used to examine the impact of new detector technologies, explore alternative search concepts, and provide interactive search/inspector training

  20. Cataclysms and Catastrophes: A Case Study of Improving K-12 Science Education Through a University Partnership (United States)

    Fennell, T.; Ellins, K. K.; Morris, M.; Christeson, G.


    The K-12 science teacher is always seeking ways of improving and updating their curriculum by integrating the latest research into their most effective classroom activities. However, the daily demands of delivering instruction to large numbers of students coupled with the rapid advances in some fields of science can often overwhelm this effort. The NSF-sponsored Cataclysms and Catastrophes curriculum, developed by scientists from the The University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) and Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG), middle and high school teachers, and UT graduate students (NSF GK-12 fellows) working together through the GK-12 program, is a textbook example of how universities can facilitate this quest, benefiting education at both K-12 and university levels. In 1992, "The Great K-T Extinction Debate" was developed as an activity in the Planet Earth class at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy of Austin as an interdisciplinary approach to science. Taking advantage of the media attention generated by the impact scenario for the K-T extinction, the activity consists of students participating in a simulated senate hearing on the potential causes of the K-T extinction and their implications for society today. This activity not only exposes students to the wide range of science involved in understanding mass extinctions, but also to the social, political and economic implications when this science is brought into the public arena and the corresponding use of data in decision making and disaster preparedness. While "The Great K-T Extinction Debate" was always a popular and effective activity with students, it was in desperate need of updating to keep pace with the evolving scientific debate over the cause of the K-T extinction and the growing body of impact evidence discovered over the past decade. By adding two inquiry-based learning activities that use real geophysical data collected by scientists studying the buried Chicxulub feature as a

  1. The Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Rice


    Full Text Available We have now confirmed the existence of > 1800 planets orbiting stars other thanthe Sun; known as extrasolar planets or exoplanets. The different methods for detectingsuch planets are sensitive to different regions of parameter space, and so, we are discoveringa wide diversity of exoplanets and exoplanetary systems. Characterizing such planets isdifficult, but we are starting to be able to determine something of their internal compositionand are beginning to be able to probe their atmospheres, the first step towards the detectionof bio-signatures and, hence, determining if a planet could be habitable or not. Here, Iwill review how we detect exoplanets, how we characterize exoplanetary systems and theexoplanets themselves, where we stand with respect to potentially habitable planets and howwe are progressing towards being able to actually determine if a planet could host life or not.

  2. Scattering of exocomets by a planet chain: exozodi levels and the delivery of cometary material to inner planets (United States)

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


    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).

  3. Evolutionary tracks of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsui, Takafumi; Abe, Yutaka


    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

  4. Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet


    Deming, Drake; Seager, Sara; Richardson, L. Jeremy; Harrington, Joseph


    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...

  5. Icy Dwarf Planets: Colored popsicles in the Solar System (United States)

    Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi


    In 1992 the discovery of 1992 QB1 was the starting signal of a race to characterize the trans-Neptunian belt. The detection of icy “asteroids”, similar to Pluto, in the outer Solar System had been largely hypothesized but it had also being an elusive goal. This belt was considered by the planetary scientists as the icy promised land, the largest reservoir of primordial ices in the Solar System.From 1992 to 2005 about 1000 trans-Neptunian objects and Centaurs had been discovered and a lot of “first ever” science had been published: 1996 TO66, first ever detection of the water ice bands in a TNO's spectrum; 1998 WW31, first detection of a binary; first estimation of size and albedo from thermal and visible observations, Varuna; discovery of Sedna, at that moment “the coldest most distant place known in the Solar System”2005 was the year of the discovery of three large TNOs: (136108) Haumea, (136472) Makemake and (136199) Eris (a.k.a 2003 EL61, 2005 FY9 and 2003 UB313). These three big guys entered the schoolyard showing off as colored popsicles and making a clear statement: “We are special”, and sure they are!The discovery of these large TNOs resulted in 2006 in the adoption by the IAU of a new definition of planet and in the introduction of a new category of minor bodies: the “dwarf planets”. With only three members at this moment (although this can change anytime) the exclusive club of the icy dwarf planets is formed by the TNOs at the higher end of the size distribution. By virtue of their size and low surface temperatures, these bodies can retain most of their original inventory of ices. As a consequence, their visible and near-infrared spectra show evidences of water ice, nitrogen, methane and longer chains of hydrocarbons. Moreover, they have high geometric albedo in the visible. Also the accretional and radiogenic heating for these bodies was likely more than sufficient to have caused their internal differentiation.In this talk we will

  6. ThinkQuest to help Internet people Think Young!

    CERN Multimedia


    The ThinkQuest Internet Challenge Awards are given to young teams of web site designers. This year, the award ceremony was hosted by CERN on 19 March.   Young visitors to CERN are not unusual. But those you may have seen around the Laboratory last Monday were here for a special event - the ThinkQuest Internet Challenge Awards. This is an international program for students from 12 to 19 working in teams, across different schools and cultures, to design exciting, interactive, and educational web sites. At stake in the competition was over $1 million in scholarships and awards. Martine Brunschwig Graf (top left), Geneva State Councillor responsible for public education, at the ThinkQuest award ceremony at CERN where some 70 young finalists were assembled. For this year's Award Ceremony, the 70 finalists were CERN's guests on Monday after spending three days in Geneva. Ranging in age from 14 to 19 years and representing over 20 countries, the finalists were welcomed to the awards day by CERN Director G...

  7. Finding A Planet Through the Dust (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Finding planets in the crowded galactic center is a difficult task, but infrared microlensing surveys give us a fighting chance! Preliminary results from such a study have already revealed a new exoplanet lurking in the dust of the galactic bulge.Detection BiasesUKIRT-2017 microlensing survey fields (blue), plotted over a map showing the galactic-plane dust extinction. The location of the newly discovered giant planet is marked with blue crosshairs. [Shvartzvald et al. 2018]Most exoplanets weve uncovered thus far were found either via transits dips in a stars light as the planet passes in front of its host star or via radial velocity wobbles of the star as the orbiting planet tugs on it. These techniques, while highly effective, introduce a selection bias in the types of exoplanets we detect: both methods tend to favor discovery of close-in, large planets orbiting small stars; these systems produce the most easily measurable signals on short timescales.For this reason, microlensing surveys for exoplanets have something new to add to the field.Search for a LensIn gravitational microlensing, we observe a background star as it is briefly magnified by a passing foreground star acting as a lens. If that foreground star hosts a planet, we observe a characteristic shape in the observed brightening of the background star, and the properties of that shape can reveal information about the foreground planet.A diagram of how planets are detected via gravitational microlensing. The detectable planet is in orbit around the foreground lens star. [NASA]This technique for planet detection is unique in its ability to explore untapped regions of exoplanet parameter space with microlensing, we can survey for planets around all different types of stars (rather than primarily small, dim ones), planets of all masses near the further-out snowlines where gas and ice giants are likely to form, and even free-floating planets.In a new study led by a Yossi Shvartzvald, a NASA postdoctoral

  8. The hunt for Planet X

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Croswell, Ken.


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


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Grabchak


    Full Text Available The article reveals the essence of the concept of "educational web-Quest" proved its application in the study of elective courses in physics, methodical advice for teachers on the design features of elective courses in physics through the use of educational web-quest.

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


    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

  11. Limits on the abundance of galactic planets from 5 years of planet observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albrow, MD; An, J; Beaulieu, JP; Caldwell, JAR; DePoy, DL; Dominik, M; Gaudi, BS; Gould, G; Greenhill, J; Hill, K; Kane, S; Martin, R; Menzies, J; Pel, JW; Pogge, RW; Pollard, KR; Sackett, PD; Sahu, KC; Vermaak, P; Watson, R; Williams, A


    We search for signatures of planets in 43 intensively monitored microlensing events that were observed between 1995 and 1999. Planets would be expected to cause a short-duration (similar to1 day) deviation on the smooth, symmetric light curve produced by a single lens. We find no such anomalies and

  12. Failed Quest in Samuel Beckett’s How It Is

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza Najafi


    Full Text Available In this paper Beckett’s novel, How It Is, is discussed in the light of the monomyth of quest. It is argued that this novel does not follow the traditional framework of novel and it has an antihero of the twentieth century with a vague and uncertain quest. In most works of fiction, the quest is followed by fulfillment and accomplishment to make the protagonist worth his painstaking labor and suffering, while with Beckett’s characters, failure becomes the dominant issue. Most of his characters are narrators of their own tale who face failure of expression though they are obliged to express it. The characters with one syllable names of Bem, Bom and Pim represent the mankind stuck in the "mud" of the present unable to distinguish past, present or future. There is a constant tendency to reach the goal which is unattainable.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Rasio, Frederic A.; Peale, Stanton J.


    Recent discoveries of several transiting planets with clearly non-zero eccentricities and some large obliquities started changing the simple picture of close-in planets having circular and well-aligned orbits. The two major scenarios that form such close-in planets are planet migration in a disk and planet-planet interactions combined with tidal dissipation. The former scenario can naturally produce a circular and low-obliquity orbit, while the latter implicitly assumes an initially highly eccentric and possibly high-obliquity orbit, which are then circularized and aligned via tidal dissipation. Most of these close-in planets experience orbital decay all the way to the Roche limit as previous studies showed. We investigate the tidal evolution of transiting planets on eccentric orbits, and find that there are two characteristic evolution paths for them, depending on the relative efficiency of tidal dissipation inside the star and the planet. Our study shows that each of these paths may correspond to migration and scattering scenarios. We further point out that the current observations may be consistent with the scattering scenario, where the circularization of an initially eccentric orbit occurs before the orbital decay primarily due to tidal dissipation in the planet, while the alignment of the stellar spin and orbit normal occurs on a similar timescale to the orbital decay largely due to dissipation in the star. We also find that even when the stellar spin-orbit misalignment is observed to be small at present, some systems could have had a highly misaligned orbit in the past, if their evolution is dominated by tidal dissipation in the star. Finally, we also re-examine the recent claim by Levrard et al. that all orbital and spin parameters, including eccentricity and stellar obliquity, evolve on a similar timescale to orbital decay. This counterintuitive result turns out to have been caused by a typo in their numerical code. Solving the correct set of tidal

  14. Planetesimals and Planet Formation (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.

  15. ZooQuest: A mobile game-based learning application for fifth graders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veenhof, G.; Sandberg, J.A.C.; Maris, M.G.


    This study examined ZooQuest, a mobile game that supported fifth graders in the process of learning English as a second language. ZooQuest embedded the Mobile English Learning (MEL) application and was compared to MEL as a stand-alone application. Two groups were compared in a quasi-experimental

  16. Learning in a sheltered Internet environment: The use of WebQuests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Segers, P.C.J.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.


    The present study investigated the effects on learning in a sheltered Internet environment using so-called WebQuests in elementary school classrooms in the Netherlands. A WebQuest is an assignment presented together with a series of web pages to help guide children's learning. The learning gains and


    Güler, Sibel; Turan, F Nesrin


    Our aim was to translate the Quality of Life in Essential Tremor Questionnaire (QUEST) advanced by Troster (2005) and to analyse the validity and reliability of this questionnaire. Two hundred twelve consecutive patients with essential tremor (ET) and forty-three control subjects were included in the study. Permission for the translation and validation of the QUEST scale was obtained. The translation was performed according to the guidelines provided by the publisher. After the translation, the final version of the scale was administered to both groups to determine its reliability and validity. The QUEST Physical, Psychosocial, communication, Hobbies/leisure and Work/finance scores were 0.967, 0.968, 0.933, 0.964 and 0.925, respectively. There were good correlations between each of the QUEST scores that were indicative of good internal consistency. Additionally, we observed that all of the QUEST scores were most strongly related to the right and left arms (p=0.0001). However, we observed that all of the QUEST scores were weakly related to the voice, head and right leg (p=0.0001). These findings support the notion that the Turkish version of the Quality of Life in Essential Tremor (QUEST) questionnaire is a valid and reliable tool for the assessment of the quality of life of patients with ET.

  18. The Effects of Using WebQuests on Reading Comprehension Performance of Saudi EFL Students (United States)

    Alshumaimeri, Yousif A.; Almasri, Meshail M.


    This paper is a report on the effects of using WebQuest on Saudi male EFL students reading comprehension performance. WebQuests expose students to several online resources and require them to gather information about a specific topic. The experimental group received traditional teaching plus WebQuests as supplementary activities. The control group…


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David


    We use the optical and near-infrared photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog to provide improved estimates of the stellar characteristics of the smallest stars in the Kepler target list. We find 3897 dwarfs with temperatures below 4000 K, including 64 planet candidate host stars orbited by 95 transiting planet candidates. We refit the transit events in the Kepler light curves for these planet candidates and combine the revised planet/star radius ratios with our improved stellar radii to revise the radii of the planet candidates orbiting the cool target stars. We then compare the number of observed planet candidates to the number of stars around which such planets could have been detected in order to estimate the planet occurrence rate around cool stars. We find that the occurrence rate of 0.5-4 R ⊕ planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days is 0.90 +0.04 -0.03 planets per star. The occurrence rate of Earth-size (0.5-1.4 R ⊕ ) planets is constant across the temperature range of our sample at 0.51 -0.05 +0.06 Earth-size planets per star, but the occurrence of 1.4-4 R ⊕ planets decreases significantly at cooler temperatures. Our sample includes two Earth-size planet candidates in the habitable zone, allowing us to estimate that the mean number of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone is 0.15 +0.13 -0.06 planets per cool star. Our 95% confidence lower limit on the occurrence rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of cool stars is 0.04 planets per star. With 95% confidence, the nearest transiting Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cool star is within 21 pc. Moreover, the nearest non-transiting planet in the habitable zone is within 5 pc with 95% confidence.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bastien, Fabienne A.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Pepper, Joshua


    Most extrasolar planets have been detected by their influence on their parent star, typically either gravitationally (the Doppler method) or by the small dip in brightness as the planet blocks a portion of the star (the transit method). Therefore, the accuracy with which we know the masses and radii of extrasolar planets depends directly on how well we know those of the stars, the latter usually determined from the measured stellar surface gravity, log g. Recent work has demonstrated that the short-timescale brightness variations ( f licker ) of stars can be used to measure log g to a high accuracy of ∼0.1-0.2 dex. Here, we use flicker measurements of 289 bright (Kepmag < 13) candidate planet-hosting stars with T eff = 4500-6650 K to re-assess the stellar parameters and determine the resulting impact on derived planet properties. This re-assessment reveals that for the brightest planet-host stars, Malmquist bias contaminates the stellar sample with evolved stars: nearly 50% of the bright planet-host stars are subgiants. As a result, the stellar radii, and hence the radii of the planets orbiting these stars, are on average 20%-30% larger than previous measurements had suggested

  1. Professor: The Animal Planet Optimization


    Satish Gajawada


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

  2. Canadarm2 Maneuvers Quest Airlock (United States)


    At the control of Expedition Two Flight Engineer Susan B. Helms, the newly-installed Canadian-built Canadarm2, Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) maneuvers the Quest Airlock into the proper position to be mated onto the starboard side of the Unity Node I during the first of three extravehicular activities (EVA) of the STS-104 mission. The Quest Airlock makes it easier to perform space walks, and allows both Russian and American spacesuits to be worn when the Shuttle is not docked with the International Space Station (ISS). American suits will not fit through Russion airlocks at the Station. The Boeing Company, the space station prime contractor, built the 6.5-ton (5.8 metric ton) airlock and several other key components at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), in the same building where the Saturn V rocket was built. Installation activities were supported by the development team from the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) located at the MSFC and the Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston, Texas.

  3. Recipes for planet formation (United States)

    Meyer, Michael R.


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

  4. Pobreza, "questão social" e seu enfrentamento




    Visamos aqui problematizar as diferentes concepções de pobreza e "questão social" na tradição liberal, e suas formas típicas de enfrentamento, no contexto do liberalismo clássico, no século XIX, do keynesianismo, no século XX, e do neoliberalismo, a partir da atual crise do capital. Com isto, oferecemos uma reflexão sobre aspectos para uma caracterização histórico-crítica de pobreza e "questão social". Finalmente, procuramos problematizar os caminhos para a busca de diminuição da desigualdade...

  5. 10 years with Planet Earth essence in the primary school children drawings (United States)

    D'Addezio, Giuliana


    "10 years with Planet Earth" is the title of the 2016 INGV calendar for primary schools representing the review of a project conceived as support and complement of 15 years long INGV dissemination activities with schools. We realized 10 calendars together with and for primary schools, every year with a subject related to a World in constant evolution. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami waves, magnetic storms and other phenomena are manifestations of the complexity and dynamicity, which began more than four billion years ago and never halted. Since the Earth originated to the first presence of water, life and oxygen, the Cambrian explosion of species, the domain of dinosaurs, the great extinctions and glaciations, the surface of our planet experiences continents collisions, mountains and oceans formation and life forms emerging and disappearing. Every year we have launched a competition asking children to send drawings on themes chosen to stimulate learning about Earth Sciences and Planet Earth dynamics. We intended to raise awareness on issues as water resources availability, protection against natural disasters and control of environmental degradation. For each competition, we chose the most significant drawings to be included in the yearly calendar about the Earth. The authors of drawings were awarded by scientists, journalists, artists and science communicators and even by a minister. Besides the competitions, these drawings depict their own impressions and reflections, providing an opportunity to illustrate the children's point of view. From drawings and texts arise a great consideration and respect for the Planet, raising hopes that similar initiatives can contribute to increase the knowledge of the Earth and of the fragile human ecosystem in the hearts and minds of future active citizens. The project was made possible thanks to the teachers and to the wonderful students of more than 200 schools that sent about 10,000 drawings that have intrigued

  6. Volatile components and continental material of planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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

  7. Searching for Dark Photons with the SeaQuest Spectrometer (United States)

    Uemura, Sho; SeaQuest Collaboration


    The existence of a dark sector, containing families of particles that do not couple directly to the Standard Model, is motivated as a possible model for dark matter. A ``dark photon'' - a massive vector boson that couples weakly to electric charge - is a common component of dark sector models. The SeaQuest spectrometer at Fermilab is designed to detect dimuon pairs produced by the interaction of a 120 GeV proton beam with a rotating set of thin fixed targets. An iron-filled magnet downstream of the target, 5 meters in length, serves as a beam dump. The SeaQuest spectrometer is sensitive to dark photons that are mostly produced in the beam dump and decay to dimuons, and a SeaQuest search for dark sector particles was approved as Fermilab experiment E1067. As part of E1067, a displaced-vertex trigger was built, installed and commissioned this year. This trigger uses two planes of extruded scintillators to identify dimuons originating far downstream of the target, and is sensitive to dark photons that travel deep inside the beam dump before decaying to dimuons. This trigger will be used to take data parasitically with the primary SeaQuest physics program. In this talk I will present the displaced-vertex trigger and its performance, and projected sensitivity from future running.

  8. Tracing Planets in Circumstellar Discs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uribe Ana L.


    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

  9. The HARPS-N Rocky Planet Search

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    We know now from radial velocity surveys and transit space missions that planets only a few times more massive than our Earth are frequent around solar-type stars. Fundamental questions about their formation history, physical properties, internal structure, and atmosphere composition are, however......, still to be solved. We present here the detection of a system of four low-mass planets around the bright (V = 5.5) and close-by (6.5 pc) star HD 219134. This is the first result of the Rocky Planet Search programme with HARPS-N on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in La Palma. The inner planet orbits...... 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...


    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


    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 .

  11. Groupies and Loners: The Population of Multi-planet Systems (United States)

    Van Laerhoven, Christa L.; Greenberg, Richard


    Observational surveys with Kepler and other telescopes have shown that multi-planet systems are very numerous. Considering the secular dynamcis of multi-planet systems provides substantial insight into the interactions between planets in those systems. Since the underlying secular structure of a multi-planet system (the secular eigenmodes) can be calculated using only the planets' masses and semi-major axes, one can elucidate the eccentricity and inclination behavior of planets in those systems even without knowing the planets' current eccentricities and inclinations. We have calculated both the eccentricity and inclination secular eigenmodes for the population of known multi-planet systems whose planets have well determined masses and periods. We will discuss the commonality of dynamically grouped planets ('groupies') vs dynamically uncoupled planets ('loners'), and compare to what would be expected from randomly generated systems with the same overall distribution of masses and semi-major axes. We will also discuss the occurrence of planets that strongly influence the behavior of other planets without being influenced by those others ('overlords'). Examples will be given and general trends will be discussed.

  12. WebQuests and Collaborative Learning in Teacher Preparation: A Singapore Study (United States)

    Yang, Chien-Hui; Tzuo, Pei-Wen; Komara, Cecile


    This research project aimed to introduce WebQuests to train special education preservice teachers in Singapore. The following research questions were posed: (1) Does the use of WebQuests in teacher preparation promote special education teacher understanding on Universal Design for Learning in accommodating students with diverse learning needs? (2)…

  13. Gamification Quest:* Design and Development of a gamification game


    Alisandra Senabre, Luis


    Treball Final de Grau en Disseny i Desenvolupament de Videojocs. Codi: VJ1241. Curs acadèmic: 2016/2017 Nowadays video games are taking a more active role in our society. A field in which they have not yet highlighted but have great potential is in the education system. In this document, Gamification Quest: * is presented. It forms part of a bigger educational project named Gamification Quest which pretends to join the education system with video games, in order to motivate the students...

  14. Definition phase of Grand Tour missions/radio science investigations study for outer planets missions (United States)

    Tyler, G. L.


    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.

  15. The MAO NASU Plate Archive: ``observations in the past'' of minor planets (United States)

    Sergeeva, T. P.; Golovnya, V. V.; Sergeev, A. V.


    The Plate Archive of the Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (MAO NASU) includes 20 thousands of direct sky area plates, which have been taken for various astronomical projects during the period of about 50 years. Those plates contain more then hundred thousand images of minor planets with magnitude up to 16.7m. About 10% of minor planets, which may be found on our archive plates were firstly discovered after the time when plates have been taken. So, we can rediscovery them due to the so-called ``observations in the past''. In the paper the criteria for choose of objects and methods of their search, identification, and determination of their position are discussed. First results of the search for potentially hazardous asteroids in the MAO plate archive are presented.

  16. Violent Adolescent Planet Caught Infrared Handed (United States)

    Trang, D.; Gaidos, E.


    The prevailing view of planet formation depicts accumulation of progressively larger objects, culminating in accretionary impacts between Moon- to Mars-sized protoplanets. Cosmochemists have found evidence in chondritic meteorites for such violent events, and the Moon is thought to have involved a huge impact between a Mars-sized object and the still-growing proto-Earth. Now we may have evidence for a large impact during planet formation around another star. Carey Lisse (Applied Physics Lab of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore) and colleagues from the Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore), the University of Cambridge (UK), the Open University (Milton Keyes, UK), the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), Jet Propulsion Lab (Pasadena, CA), and the University of Rochester (New York) analyzed infrared spectra obtained by the Spitzer Space Telescope. They found a prominent peak in the spectrum at 9.3 micrometers, and two smaller ones at slightly lower and higher wavelengths. These peaks are consistent with the presence of SiO gas, a product expected to be produced by a highly energetic impact. The spectral measurements also allowed Lisse and his colleagues to estimate the size of the dust and they found that there is an abundance of micrometer-sized dust grains. This argues for a fresh source of fine material during the past 0.1 million years. That source may have been an impact between two protoplanets surrounding this young star.

  17. Extrasolar planets formation, detection and dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Dvorak, Rudolf


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

  18. "I Guess It Was Pretty Fun": Using WebQuests in the Middle School Classroom. (United States)

    Lipscomb, George


    Notes that the WebQuest helps students harness the vast amount of on-line resources available. Presents a list of 10 suggestions that may help teachers unfamiliar with WebQuests, especially those in the history classroom, to use them more effectively. Concludes that students learned a great deal about the Civil War by doing the WebQuest, and the…

  19. "Osiris"(HD209458b), an evaporating planet


    Vidal-Madjar, Alfred; Etangs, Alain Lecavelier des


    Three transits of the planet orbiting the solar type star HD209458 were observed in the far UV at the wavelength of the HI Ly-alpha line. The planet size at this wavelength is equal to 4.3 R_Jup, i.e. larger than the planet Roche radius (3.6 R_Jup). Absorbing hydrogen atoms were found to be blueshifted by up to -130 km/s, exceeding the planet escape velocity. This implies that hydrogen atoms are escaping this ``hot Jupiter'' planet. An escape flux of >~ 10^10g/s is needed to explain the obser...

  20. Towards the Rosetta Stone of planet formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmidt T.O.B.


    Full Text Available Transiting exoplanets (TEPs observed just ~10 Myrs after formation of their host systems may serve as the Rosetta Stone for planet formation theories. They would give strong constraints on several aspects of planet formation, e.g. time-scales (planet formation would then be possible within 10 Myrs, the radius of the planet could indicate whether planets form by gravitational collapse (being larger when young or accretion growth (being smaller when young. We present a survey, the main goal of which is to find and then characterise TEPs in very young open clusters.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gong, Yan-Xiang


    A hydrodynamical simulation shows that a circumbinary planet will migrate inward to the edge of the disk cavity. If multiple planets form in a circumbinary disk, successive migration will lead to planet–planet scattering (PPS). PPS of Kepler -like circumbinary planets is discussed in this paper. The aim of this paper is to answer how PPS affects the formation of these planets. We find that a close binary has a significant influence on the scattering process. If PPS occurs near the unstable boundary of a binary, about 10% of the systems can be completely destroyed after PPS. In more than 90% of the systems, there is only one planet left. Unlike the eccentricity distribution produced by PPS in a single star system, the surviving planets generally have low eccentricities if PPS take place near the location of the currently found circumbinary planets. In addition, the ejected planets are generally the innermost of two initial planets. The above results depend on the initial positions of the two planets. If the initial positions of the planets are moved away from the binary, the evolution tends toward statistics similar to those around single stars. In this process, the competition between the planet–planet force and the planet-binary force makes the eccentricity distribution of surviving planets diverse. These new features of P-type PPS will deepen our understanding of the formation of these circumbinary planets.

  2. Reflected eclipses on circumbinary planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deeg H.J.


    Full Text Available A photometric method to detect planets orbiting around shortperiodic binary stars is presented. It is based on the detection of eclipse-signatures in the reflected light of circumbinary planets. Amplitudes of such ’reflected eclipses’ will depend on the orbital configurations of binary and planet relative to the observer. Reflected eclipses will occur with a period that is distinct from the binary eclipses, and their timing will also be modified by variations in the light-travel time of the eclipse signal. For the sample of eclipsing binaries found by the Kepler mission, reflected eclipses from close circumbinary planets may be detectable around at least several dozen binaries. A thorough detection effort of such reflected eclipses may then detect the inner planets present, or give solid limits to their abundance.

  3. Another Face of the Hero: "The Matrix" as Modern Hero-Quest. (United States)

    Stroud, Scott R.

    This paper analyzes the interesting narrative structure of the hero-quest myth contained within the 1999 film, "The Matrix," and explicates the implications of this message upon the audience. Initially, the relevance of myth to movies and the format of Joseph Campbell's hero-quest is illustrated. This format is then applied to "The…

  4. Resonance capture and dynamics of three-planet systems (United States)

    Charalambous, C.; Martí, J. G.; Beaugé, C.; Ramos, X. S.


    We present a series of dynamical maps for fictitious three-planet systems in initially circular coplanar orbits. These maps have unveiled a rich resonant structure involving two or three planets, as well as indicating possible migration routes from secular to double resonances or pure three-planet commensurabilities. These structures are then compared to the present-day orbital architecture of observed resonant chains. In a second part of the paper, we describe N-body simulations of type-I migration. Depending on the orbital decay time-scale, we show that three-planet systems may be trapped in different combinations of independent commensurabilities: (i) double resonances, (ii) intersection between a two-planet and a first-order three-planet resonances, and (iii) simultaneous libration in two first-order three-planet resonances. These latter outcomes are found for slow migrations, while double resonances are almost always the final outcome in high-density discs. Finally, we discuss an application to the TRAPPIST-1 system. We find that, for low migration rates and planetary masses of the order of the estimated values, most three-planet sub-systems are able to reach the observed double resonances after following evolutionary routes defined by pure three-planet resonances. The final orbital configuration shows resonance offsets comparable with present-day values without the need of tidal dissipation. For the 8/5 resonance proposed to dominate the dynamics of the two inner planets, we find little evidence of its dynamical significance; instead, we propose that this relation between mean motions could be a consequence of the interaction between a pure three-planet resonance and a two-planet commensurability between planets c and d.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Cole, George H A


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

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

    Kohler, Susanna


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

  7. Origin of the Earth and planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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

  8. The continuing quest: managing nuclear waste goes far beyond the science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dowdeswell, Elizabeth


    In the early years of this new millennium our world is changing dramatically. This is a time of blinding technological change, increasingly interconnected economies and growing alienation between citizens and their institutions. A sustainable world is not an unreachable goal, but any critical environmental, social or economic analysis would certainly raise questions about our current trajectory. The issue of the long-term management of nuclear waste illustrates well the conundrum that society faces. It is an issue that embodies scientific complexity and uncertainty. It inspires fear and insecurity and polarizes citizens. It is very long-term in character, raising questions of inter-generational equity quite inconsistent with the time frames of elected governments. It raises discussion of trade-offs: energy sufficiency versus significant financial investment and long-term security. In sum, it is an issue that requires much better understanding of resilience, vulnerability and the dynamic interaction between nature, technology and society. All nuclear nations have faced significant challenges in their quest for an acceptable approach for the long term management of the nuclear waste they generate. The story behind that fact illustrates the degree to which the nuclear industry is being shaped by factors much beyond the scientific and technical. Social, ethical and economic considerations are now being recognized as legitimate aspects of the public policy process

  9. Imaging extrasolar planets with the European Extremely Large Telescope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolissaint L.


    Full Text Available The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT is the most ambitious of the ELTs being planned. With a diameter of 42 m and being fully adaptive from the start, the E-ELT will be more than one hundred times more sensitive than the present-day largest optical telescopes. Discovering and characterising planets around other stars will be one of the most important aspects of the E-ELT science programme. We model an extreme adaptive optics instrument on the E-ELT. The resulting contrast curves translate to the detectability of exoplanets.

  10. Orbital Dynamics of Exomoons During Planet–Planet Scattering (United States)

    Hong, Yu-Cian; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Nicholson, Philip; Raymond, Sean N.


    Planet–planet scattering is the leading mechanism to explain the broad eccentricity distribution of observed giant exoplanets. Here we study the orbital stability of primordial giant planet moons in this scenario. We use N-body simulations including realistic oblateness and evolving spin evolution for the giant planets. We find that the vast majority (~80%–90% across all our simulations) of orbital parameter space for moons is destabilized. There is a strong radial dependence, as moons past are systematically removed. Closer-in moons on Galilean-moon-like orbits (system, be captured by another planet, be ejected but still orbiting its free-floating host planet, or survive on heliocentric orbits as "planets." The survival rate of moons increases with the host planet mass but is independent of the planet's final (post-scattering) orbits. Based on our simulations, we predict the existence of an abundant galactic population of free-floating (former) moons.

  11. Planets in Inuit Astronomy (United States)

    MacDonald, John


    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

  12. Spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets from ground-, space- and airborne-based observatories (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel


    reductions were unable to achieve this feat. This work shows that systematic effecting the spectrophotometric light-curves in HST can be removed to levels needed to observe features in the relatively small scale-height atmospheres of hot Neptune class planets orbiting nearby stars. In the third and final part of this thesis, I develop and discuss possible science cases for the airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) in the field of detection and characterization of extrasolar planets. The principle advantages of SOFIA and its suite of instrumentation is illustrated and possible targets are introduced. Possible next generation instrumentation (dedicated to exoplanetary science) is discussed.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brugamyer, Erik; Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E.; Cochran, William D.; Sneden, Christopher


    The positive correlation between planet detection rate and host star iron abundance lends strong support to the core accretion theory of planet formation. However, iron is not the most significant mass contributor to the cores of giant planets. Since giant planet cores are thought to grow from silicate grains with icy mantles, the likelihood of gas giant formation should depend heavily on the oxygen and silicon abundance of the planet formation environment. Here we compare the silicon and oxygen abundances of a set of 76 planet hosts and a control sample of 80 metal-rich stars without any known giant planets. Our new, independent analysis was conducted using high resolution, high signal-to-noise data obtained at McDonald Observatory. Because we do not wish to simply reproduce the known planet-metallicity correlation, we have devised a statistical method for matching the underlying [Fe/H] distributions of our two sets of stars. We find a 99% probability that planet detection rate depends on the silicon abundance of the host star, over and above the observed planet-metallicity correlation. We do not detect any such correlation for oxygen. Our results would thus seem to suggest that grain nucleation, rather than subsequent icy mantle growth, is the important limiting factor in forming giant planets via core accretion. Based on our results and interpretation, we predict that planet detection should correlate with host star abundance for refractory elements responsible for grain nucleation and that no such trends should exist for the most abundant volatile elements responsible for icy mantle growth.

  14. Power Plants, Steam and Gas Turbines WebQuest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Ulloa


    Full Text Available A WebQuest is an Internet-based and inquiry-oriented learning activity. The aim of this work is to outline the creation of a WebQuest entitled “Power Generation Plants: Steam and Gas Turbines.” This is one of the topics covered in the course “Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer,” which is offered in the second year of Mechanical Engineering at the Defense University Center at the Naval Academy in Vigo, Spain. While participating in the activity, students will be divided into groups of no more than 10 for seminars. The groups will create PowerPoint presentations that include all of the analyzed aspects. The topics to be discussed during the workshop on power plant turbines are the: (1 principles of operation; (2 processes involved; (3 advantages and disadvantages; (4 efficiency; (5 combined cycle; and (6 transversal competences, such as teamwork, oral and written presentations, and analysis and synthesis of information. This paper presents the use of Google Sites as a guide to the WebQuest so that students can access all information online, including instructions, summaries, resources, and information on qualifications.


    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: [University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)


    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 .

  16. Searching for Planet Nine and Other Nearby Worlds with WISE and NEOWISE (United States)

    Meisner, Aaron Michael; Bromley, Benjamin; Nugent, Peter; Schlegel, David; Kenyon, Scott; Schlafly, Eddie; Dawson, Kyle; Anderson, Teddy


    Launched nearly eight years ago, NASA's WISE satellite continues to collect millions of infrared images at 3-5 microns as part of its asteroid-hunting NEOWISE mission. We have repurposed these NEOWISE exposures for science beyond the main belt by generating a novel full-sky set of time-resolved coadded images. This reprocessing allows for moving object searches reaching ~1.3 magnitudes fainter than previous studies while also providing a factor of ten increase in time baseline. This creates an exciting opportunity for motion-based discovery of very cold and faint objects which may have thus far eluded detection despite residing close to the Sun. We present the results of our latest WISE/NEOWISE search for 'Planet Nine', a giant planet hypothesized to orbit the Sun at hundreds of astronomical units. Our search incorporates over four years of WISE W1 observations spanning a seven year time period, and covers more than 75% of the sky. Variants of the WISE/NEOWISE Planet Nine search methodology we have developed should enable motion-based discoveries of large numbers of cold, faint brown dwarfs, especially those which are not detectable with Gaia.

  17. Quantification of Uncertainty in Extreme Scale Computations (QUEST)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghanem, Roger [Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)


    QUEST was a SciDAC Institute comprising Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of Southern California, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas at Austin, and Duke University. The mission of QUEST is to: (1) develop a broad class of uncertainty quantification (UQ) methods/tools, and (2) provide UQ expertise and software to other SciDAC projects, thereby enabling/guiding their UQ activities. The USC effort centered on the development of reduced models and efficient algorithms for implementing various components of the UQ pipeline. USC personnel were responsible for the development of adaptive bases, adaptive quadrature, and reduced models to be used in estimation and inference.

  18. A New Way to Confirm Planet Candidates (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    What was the big deal behind the Kepler news conference yesterday? Its not just that the number of confirmed planets found by Kepler has more than doubled (though thats certainly exciting news!). Whats especially interesting is the way in which these new planets were confirmed.Number of planet discoveries by year since 1995, including previous non-Kepler discoveries (blue), previous Kepler discoveries (light blue) and the newly validated Kepler planets (orange). [NASA Ames/W. Stenzel; Princeton University/T. Morton]No Need for Follow-UpBefore Kepler, the way we confirmed planet candidates was with follow-up observations. The candidate could be validated either by directly imaging (which is rare) or obtaining a large number radial-velocity measurements of the wobble of the planets host star due to the planets orbit. But once Kepler started producing planet candidates, these approaches to validation became less feasible. A lot of Kepler candidates are small and orbit faint stars, making follow-up observations difficult or impossible.This problem is what inspired the development of whats known as probabilistic validation, an analysis technique that involves assessing the likelihood that the candidates signal is caused by various false-positive scenarios. Using this technique allows astronomers to estimate the likelihood of a candidate signal being a true planet detection; if that likelihood is high enough, the planet candidate can be confirmed without the need for follow-up observations.A breakdown of the catalog of Kepler Objects of Interest. Just over half had previously been identified as false positives or confirmed as candidates. 1284 are newly validated, and another 455 have FPP of1090%. [Morton et al. 2016]Probabilistic validation has been used in the past to confirm individual planet candidates in Kepler data, but now Timothy Morton (Princeton University) and collaborators have taken this to a new level: they developed the first code thats designed to do fully

  19. Does the Galactic Bulge Have Fewer Planets? (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    The Milky Ways dense central bulge is a very different environment than the surrounding galactic disk in which we live. Do the differences affect the ability of planets to form in the bulge?Exploring Galactic PlanetsSchematic illustrating how gravitational microlensing by an extrasolar planet works. [NASA]Planet formation is a complex process with many aspects that we dont yet understand. Do environmental properties like host star metallicity, the density of nearby stars, or the intensity of the ambient radiation field affect the ability of planets to form? To answer these questions, we will ultimately need to search for planets around stars in a large variety of different environments in our galaxy.One way to detect recently formed, distant planets is by gravitational microlensing. In this process, light from a distant source star is bent by a lens star that is briefly located between us and the source. As the Earth moves, this momentary alignment causes a blip in the sources light curve that we can detect and planets hosted by the lens star can cause an additional observable bump.Artists impression of the Milky Way galaxy. The central bulge is much denserthan the surroundingdisk. [ESO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Kornmesser/R. Hurt]Relative AbundancesMost source stars reside in the galactic bulge, so microlensing events can probe planetary systems at any distance between the Earth and the galactic bulge. This means that planet detections from microlensing could potentially be used to measure the relative abundances of exoplanets in different parts of our galaxy.A team of scientists led by Matthew Penny, a Sagan postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State University, set out to do just that. The group considered a sample of 31 exoplanetary systems detected by microlensing and asked the following question: are the planet abundances in the galactic bulge and the galactic disk the same?A Paucity of PlanetsTo answer this question, Penny and collaborators derived the expected

  20. Folktale Frenzy: WebQuest Writing. (United States)

    Gaines, Lisa

    This folktale unit supports 6th- through 8th-grade students exploration of the many subgenres of folktales: trickster tales, fairy tales, fables, tall tales, and legends. The unit focuses heavily on the use of technology as a learning tool as students work together to create WebQuests for their peers to explore. During the 10 one-hour sessions,…

  1. Learning in a Sheltered Internet Environment: The Use of WebQuests (United States)

    Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo


    The present study investigated the effects on learning in a sheltered Internet environment using so-called WebQuests in elementary school classrooms in the Netherlands. A WebQuest is an assignment presented together with a series of web pages to help guide children's learning. The learning gains and quality of the work of 229 sixth graders…


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bear, Ealeal; Soker, Noam


    We propose that the two newly detected Earth-size planets around the hot B subdwarf star KIC 05807616 are remnant of the tidally destructed metallic core of a massive planet. A single massive gas-giant planet was spiralling-in inside the envelope of the red giant branch star progenitor of the extreme horizontal branch (EHB) star KIC 05807616. The released gravitational energy unbound most of the stellar envelope, turning it into an EHB star. The massive planet reached the tidal-destruction radius of ∼1 R ☉ from the core, where the planet's gaseous envelope was tidally removed. In our scenario, the metallic core of the massive planet was tidally destructed into several Earth-like bodies immediately after the gaseous envelope of the planet was removed. Two, and possibly more, Earth-size fragments survived at orbital separations of ∼> 1 R ☉ within the gaseous disk. The bodies interact with the disk and among themselves, and migrated to reach orbits close to a 3:2 resonance. These observed planets can have a planetary magnetic field about 10 times as strong as that of Earth. This strong magnetic field can substantially reduce the evaporation rate from the planets and explain their survivability against the strong UV radiation of the EHB star.

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

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


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

  4. Motions on a rotating planet (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.

  5. PlanetServer: Innovative approaches for the online analysis of hyperspectral satellite data from Mars (United States)

    Oosthoek, J. H. P.; Flahaut, J.; Rossi, A. P.; Baumann, P.; Misev, D.; Campalani, P.; Unnithan, V.


    PlanetServer is a WebGIS system, currently under development, enabling the online analysis of Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM) hyperspectral data from Mars. It is part of the EarthServer project which builds infrastructure for online access and analysis of huge Earth Science datasets. Core functionality consists of the rasdaman Array Database Management System (DBMS) for storage, and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Coverage Processing Service (WCPS) for data querying. Various WCPS queries have been designed to access spatial and spectral subsets of the CRISM data. The client WebGIS, consisting mainly of the OpenLayers javascript library, uses these queries to enable online spatial and spectral analysis. Currently the PlanetServer demonstration consists of two CRISM Full Resolution Target (FRT) observations, surrounding the NASA Curiosity rover landing site. A detailed analysis of one of these observations is performed in the Case Study section. The current PlanetServer functionality is described step by step, and is tested by focusing on detecting mineralogical evidence described in earlier Gale crater studies. Both the PlanetServer methodology and its possible use for mineralogical studies will be further discussed. Future work includes batch ingestion of CRISM data and further development of the WebGIS and analysis tools.

  6. The big questions in science the quest to solve the great unknowns

    CERN Document Server

    Birch, Hayley; Stuart, Colin


    What are the great scientific questions of our modern age and why don't we know the answers? The Big Questions in Science takes on the most fascinating and pressing mysteries we have yet to crack and explains how tantalizingly close science is to solving them (or how frustratingly out of reach they remain). Some, such as "Can we live forever? and "What makes us human? " are eternal questions; others, such as "How do we solve the population problem? " and "How do we get more energy from the sun? " are essential to our future survival. Written by experienced science writers, adept at translating the complicated concepts of "hard science" into an engaging and insightful discussion for the general reader, The Big Questions in Science grapples with 20 hot topics across the disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy and computer science to ignite the inquistitive scientist in all of us.

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

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


    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

  8. Astrology: Science, Art or Prophesy (United States)

    Yeghiazaryan, Anahit


    The subject in question is the link between humanity's two earliest disciplines - astronomy and astrology. Is it realistic to assume that the arrangement of celestial bodies, planets and stars can provide an opportunity to unequivocally predetermine the faith of the flora and fauna, of single individuals or entire nations living on planet Earth of the Solar System in the entirety of the Universe? Is it possible to ascertain whether astrology is science, art or prophesy?

  9. The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie Marie; Gelino, Dawn; Del Genio, Tony


    NExSS is a research coordination network dedicated to the study of planetary habitability. A NASA cross-division initiative bringing astrophysicists, planetary scientists, Earth scientists, and heliophysicists together to bring a systems science approach to this problem. NExSS's goals being to investigate the diversity of planets, understanding how planet history, geology, and climate interact to create the conditions for life. Also, to put planets into an architectural context as stellar systems built over time by dynamical processes and sculpted by stars. Use experience from solar system (including Earth) history to identify where habitable niches are most likely to occur and which planets are most likely to be habitable. Leverage NASA investments in research and missions to accelerate discovery and characterization of potential life-bearing worlds.

  10. Survival Function Analysis of Planet Size Distribution


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


    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...

  11. Giant Planets: Good Neighbors for Habitable Worlds? (United States)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Eggl, Siegfried; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian


    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.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    We discuss the detectability of gravitationally bound pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call “binary planets”) in extrasolar planetary systems that are formed through orbital instability followed by planet–planet dynamical tides during their close encounters, based on the results of N-body simulations by Ochiai et al. (Paper I). Paper I showed that the formation probability of a binary is as much as ∼10% for three giant planet systems that undergo orbital instability, and after post-capture long-term tidal evolution, the typical binary separation is three to five times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. The binary planets are stable during the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars, if the stellarcentric semimajor axis of the binary is larger than 0.3 AU. We show that detecting modulations of transit light curves is the most promising observational method to detect binary planets. Since the likely binary separations are comparable to the stellar diameter, the shape of the transit light curve is different from transit to transit, depending on the phase of the binary’s orbit. The transit durations and depth for binary planet transits are generally longer and deeper than those for the single planet case. We point out that binary planets could exist among the known inflated gas-giant planets or objects classified as false positive detections at orbital radii ≳0.3 AU, propose a binary planet explanation for the CoRoT candidate SRc01 E2 1066, and show that binary planets are likely to be present in, and could be detected using, Kepler-quality data

  13. The "Planet Earth Week": a National Scientific Festival helping Italy Discover Geosciences. (United States)

    Seno, S.; Coccioni, R.


    The "Planet Earth Week- Italy Discovering Geosciences: a More Informed Society is a More Engaged Society" ( is a science festival that involves the whole of the Italian Regions: founded in 2012, it has become the largest event of Italian Geosciences and one of the biggest European science festivals. During a week in October several locations distributed throughout the Country (see map) are animated by events, called "Geoeventi", to disseminate geosciences to the masses and deliver science education by means of a wide range of activities: hiking, walking in city and town centers, open-door at museums and research centers, guided tours, exhibitions, educational and experimental workshops for children and young people, music and art performances, food and wine events, lectures, conferences, round tables. Universities and colleges, research centers, local Authorities, cultural and scientific associations, parks and museums, professionals organize the Geoeventi. The festival aims at bringing adults and young people to Geosciences, conveying enthusiasm for scientific research and discoveries, promoting sustainable cultural tourism, aware of environmental values and distributed all over Italy. The Geoeventi shed light both on the most spectacular and on the less known geological sites, which are often a stone's throw from home. The Planet Earth Week is growing year after year: the 2016 edition proposed 310 Geoeventi, 70 more than in 2015. The number of places involved in the project also increased and rose from 180 in 2015 to 230 in 2016. This initiative, that is also becoming a significant economic driver for many small companies active in the field of science divulgation, is analyzed, evaluated and put in a transnational network perspective.

  14. Exploring science through science fiction

    CERN Document Server

    Luokkala, Barry B


    How does Einstein’s description of space and time compare with Dr. Who? Can James Bond really escape from an armor-plated railroad car by cutting through the floor with a laser concealed in a wristwatch? What would it take to create a fully-intelligent android, such as Star Trek’s Commander Data? How might we discover intelligent civilizations on other planets in the galaxy? Is human teleportation possible? Will our technological society ever reach the point at which it becomes lawful to discriminate on the basis of genetic information, as in the movie GATTACA? Exploring Science Through Science Fiction addresses these and other interesting questions, using science fiction as a springboard for discussing fundamental science concepts and cutting-edge science research. The book is designed as a primary text for a college-level course which should appeal to students in the fine arts and humanities as well as to science and engineering students. It includes references to original research papers, landmark scie...

  15. Detecting Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets with the Kepler Photometer via Scattered Light (United States)

    Jenkins, J. M.; Doyle, L. R.; Kepler Discovery Mission Team


    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.

  16. Resonance – Journal of Science Education | Indian Academy of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 18; Issue 8. Issue front cover ... Series Article. Challenges in the Quest for Clean Energies - Wind Technologies ... pp 781-781 Information and Announcements. Fifty-Third ...

  17. Can Cooperative Learning Maximize the Effectiveness of WebQuest Used in Learning?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robitah Spian


    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to investigate whether cooperative learning can maximize the effectiveness of webQuest used as a medium in teaching and learning in Islamic education. The present study also examined the perception of students towards WebQuest and cooperative learning method. Muslim students were selected from a rural school in Penang, Malaysia. Quantitative and qualitative approaches were used in this study. The results showed that WebQuest used in teaching and learning in Islamic education had positive impact on students’ learning'. However, cooperative learning method did not influence the students’ learning outcome. Nevertheless, students were interested in the medium of instruction used. Integration of ICT in class lesson in Islamic subject enables the creation of interactive and fun learning among students. Therefore, the application of WebQuest in lessons is suitable and should be applied by all teachers in their learning activities to increase students’ interest and performance in Islamic education.

  18. Planets around the evolved stars 24 Boötis and γ Libra: A 30 d-period planet and a double giant-planet system in possible 7:3 MMR (United States)

    Takarada, Takuya; Sato, Bun'ei; Omiya, Masashi; Harakawa, Hiroki; Nagasawa, Makiko; Izumiura, Hideyuki; Kambe, Eiji; Takeda, Yoichi; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Itoh, Yoichi; Ando, Hiroyasu; Kokubo, Eiichiro; Ida, Shigeru


    We report the detection of planets around two evolved giant stars from radial velocity measurements at Okayama Astrophysical observatory. 24 Boo (G3 IV) has a mass of 0.99 M_{⊙}, a radius of 10.64 R_{⊙}, and a metallicity of [Fe/H] = -0.77. The star hosts one planet with a minimum mass of 0.91 MJup and an orbital period of 30.35 d. The planet has one of the shortest orbital periods among those ever found around evolved stars using radial-velocity methods. The stellar radial velocities show additional periodicity with 150 d, which can probably be attributed to stellar activity. The star is one of the lowest-metallicity stars orbited by planets currently known. γ Lib (K0 III) is also a metal-poor giant with a mass of 1.47 M_{⊙}, a radius of 11.1 R_{⊙}, and [Fe/H] = -0.30. The star hosts two planets with minimum masses of 1.02 MJup and 4.58 MJup, and periods of 415 d and 964 d, respectively. The star has the second-lowest metallicity among the giant stars hosting more than two planets. Dynamical stability analysis for the γ Lib system sets the minimum orbital inclination angle to be about 70° and suggests that the planets are in 7:3 mean-motion resonance, though the current best-fitting orbits for the radial-velocity data are not totally regular.

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


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

  20. Constraining the volatile fraction of planets from transit observations (United States)

    Alibert, Y.


    Context. The determination of the abundance of volatiles in extrasolar planets is very important as it can provide constraints on transport in protoplanetary disks and on the formation location of planets. However, constraining the internal structure of low-mass planets from transit measurements is known to be a degenerate problem. Aims: Using planetary structure and evolution models, we show how observations of transiting planets can be used to constrain their internal composition, in particular the amount of volatiles in the planetary interior, and consequently the amount of gas (defined in this paper to be only H and He) that the planet harbors. We first explore planets that are located close enough to their star to have lost their gas envelope. We then concentrate on planets at larger distances and show that the observation of transiting planets at different evolutionary ages can provide statistical information on their internal composition, in particular on their volatile fraction. Methods: We computed the evolution of low-mass planets (super-Earths to Neptune-like) for different fractions of volatiles and gas. We used a four-layer model (core, silicate mantle, icy mantle, and gas envelope) and computed the internal structure of planets for different luminosities. With this internal structure model, we computed the internal and gravitational energy of planets, which was then used to derive the time evolution of the planet. Since the total energy of a planet depends on its heat capacity and density distribution and therefore on its composition, planets with different ice fractions have different evolution tracks. Results: We show for low-mass gas-poor planets that are located close to their central star that assuming evaporation has efficiently removed the entire gas envelope, it is possible to constrain the volatile fraction of close-in transiting planets. We illustrate this method on the example of 55 Cnc e and show that under the assumption of the absence of

  1. Free-floating planets from microlensing (United States)

    Sumi, Takahiro


    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


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duffell, Paul C.; Chiang, Eugene


    Numerical hydrodynamics calculations are performed to determine the conditions under which giant planet eccentricities can be excited by parent gas disks. Unlike in other studies, Jupiter-mass planets are found to have their eccentricities amplified—provided their orbits start off as eccentric. We disentangle the web of co-rotation, co-orbital, and external resonances to show that this finite-amplitude instability is consistent with that predicted analytically. Ellipticities can grow until they reach of order of the disk's aspect ratio, beyond which the external Lindblad resonances that excite eccentricity are weakened by the planet's increasingly supersonic epicyclic motion. Forcing the planet to still larger eccentricities causes catastrophic eccentricity damping as the planet collides into gap walls. For standard parameters, the range of eccentricities for instability is modest; the threshold eccentricity for growth (∼0.04) is not much smaller than the final eccentricity to which orbits grow (∼0.07). If this threshold eccentricity can be lowered (perhaps by non-barotropic effects), and if the eccentricity driving documented here survives in 3D, it may robustly explain the low-to-moderate eccentricities ≲0.1 exhibited by many giant planets (including Jupiter and Saturn), especially those without planetary or stellar companions

  3. Experience of Elementary School Students with the Use of WebQuests (United States)

    Halat, Erdogan


    The aim of this study was to examine the perspectives of primary school students on the use of WebQuests in learning. There were nine graduate students, twenty-six 4th grade and thirty 5th grade pupils involved in this study, which took place over eight weeks in a graduate course. The graduate students designed and developed their WebQuests as a…

  4. Planets, stars and stellar systems

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  5. Dictionary of Minor Planet Names

    CERN Document Server

    Schmadel, Lutz D


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

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

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


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

  7. How Do Earth-Sized, Short-Period Planets Form? (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Matching theory to observation often requires creative detective work. In a new study, scientists have used a clever test to reveal clues about the birth of speedy, Earth-sized planets.Former Hot Jupiters?Artists impression of a hot Jupiter with an evaporating atmosphere. [NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech]Among the many different types of exoplanets weve observed, one unusual category is that of ultra-short-period planets. These roughly Earth-sized planets speed around their host stars at incredible rates, with periods of less than a day.How do planets in this odd category form? One popular theory is that they were previously hot Jupiters, especially massive gas giants orbiting very close to their host stars. The close orbit caused the planets atmospheres to be stripped away, leaving behind only their dense cores.In a new study, a team of astronomers led by Joshua Winn (Princeton University) has found a clever way to test this theory.Planetary radius vs. orbital period for the authors three statistical samples (colored markers) and the broader sample of stars in the California Kepler Survey. [Winn et al. 2017]Testing MetallicitiesStars hosting hot Jupiters have an interesting quirk: they typically have metallicities that are significantly higher than an average planet-hosting star. It is speculated that this is because planets are born from the same materials as their host stars, and hot Jupiters require the presence of more metals to be able to form.Regardless of the cause of this trend, if ultra-short-period planets are in fact the solid cores of former hot Jupiters, then the two categories of planets should have hosts with the same metallicity distributions. The ultra-short-period-planet hosts should therefore also be weighted to higher metallicities than average planet-hosting stars.To test this, the authors make spectroscopic measurements and gather data for a sample of stellar hosts split into three categories:64 ultra-short-period planets (orbital period shorter than a


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.


    Planetary migration poses a serious challenge to theories of planet formation. In gaseous and planetesimal disks, migration can remove planets as quickly as they form. To explore migration in a planetesimal disk, we combine analytic and numerical approaches. After deriving general analytic migration rates for isolated planets, we use N-body simulations to confirm these results for fast and slow migration modes. Migration rates scale as m -1 (for massive planets) and (1 + (e H /3) 3 ) -1 , where m is the mass of a planet and e H is the eccentricity of the background planetesimals in Hill units. When multiple planets stir the disk, our simulations yield the new result that large-scale migration ceases. Thus, growing planets do not migrate through planetesimal disks. To extend these results to migration in gaseous disks, we compare physical interactions and rates. Although migration through a gaseous disk is an important issue for the formation of gas giants, we conclude that migration has little impact on the formation of terrestrial planets.

  9. Plan for Living on a Restless Planet Sets NASA's Solid Earth Agenda (United States)

    Solomon, Sean C.; Baker, Victor R.; Bloxham, Jeremy; Booth, Jeffrey; Donnellan, Andrea; Elachi, Charles; Evans, Diane; Rignot, Eric; Burbank, Douglas; Chao, Benjamin F.; Chave, Alan; Gillespie, Alan; Herring, Thomas; Jeanloz, Raymond; LaBrecque, John; Minster, Bernard; Pittman, Walter C., III; Simons, Mark; Turcotte, Donald L.; Zoback, Mary Lou C.

    What are the most important challenges facing solid Earth science today and over the next two decades? And what is the best approach for NASA, in partnership with other agencies, to address those challenges? A new report, Living on a Restless Planet, provides a blueprint for answering these questions. The top priority for a new spacecraft mission in the area of solid Earth science over the next 5 years, according to this report, is a satellite dedicated to Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR). At the request of NASA, the Solid Earth Science Working Group (SESWG) developed a strategy for the highest priority objectives in solid Earth science for the space agency over the next 25 years. The strategy addresses six challenges that are of fundamental scientific importance, have strong implications for society, and are amenable to substantial progress through a concerted series of scientific observations from space.

  10. Planet Formation (United States)

    Podolak, Morris


    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

  11. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets. (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Frank; Chassefière, Eric; Breuer, Doris; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Kulikov, Yuri N; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Biernat, Helfried K; Leblanc, Francois; Kallio, Esa; Lundin, Richard; Westall, Frances; Bauer, Siegfried J; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Gröller, Hannes; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Hausleitner, Walter; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Leitzinger, Martin; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Motschmann, Uwe; Odert, Petra; Paresce, Francesco; Parnell, John; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rauer, Heike; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Spohn, Tilman; Stadelmann, Anja; Stangl, Günter; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J


    The evolution of Earth-like habitable planets is a complex process that depends on the geodynamical and geophysical environments. In particular, it is necessary that plate tectonics remain active over billions of years. These geophysically active environments are strongly coupled to a planet's host star parameters, such as mass, luminosity and activity, orbit location of the habitable zone, and the planet's initial water inventory. Depending on the host star's radiation and particle flux evolution, the composition in the thermosphere, and the availability of an active magnetic dynamo, the atmospheres of Earth-like planets within their habitable zones are differently affected due to thermal and nonthermal escape processes. For some planets, strong atmospheric escape could even effect the stability of the atmosphere.

  12. On the Detectability of Planet X with LSST (United States)

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


    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.

  13. Final Report: Quantification of Uncertainty in Extreme Scale Computations (QUEST)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marzouk, Youssef [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Conrad, Patrick [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Bigoni, Daniele [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Parno, Matthew [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)


    QUEST (\\url{}) is a SciDAC Institute that is focused on uncertainty quantification (UQ) in large-scale scientific computations. Our goals are to (1) advance the state of the art in UQ mathematics, algorithms, and software; and (2) provide modeling, algorithmic, and general UQ expertise, together with software tools, to other SciDAC projects, thereby enabling and guiding a broad range of UQ activities in their respective contexts. QUEST is a collaboration among six institutions (Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of Southern California, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas at Austin, and Duke University) with a history of joint UQ research. Our vision encompasses all aspects of UQ in leadership-class computing. This includes the well-founded setup of UQ problems; characterization of the input space given available data/information; local and global sensitivity analysis; adaptive dimensionality and order reduction; forward and inverse propagation of uncertainty; handling of application code failures, missing data, and hardware/software fault tolerance; and model inadequacy, comparison, validation, selection, and averaging. The nature of the UQ problem requires the seamless combination of data, models, and information across this landscape in a manner that provides a self-consistent quantification of requisite uncertainties in predictions from computational models. Accordingly, our UQ methods and tools span an interdisciplinary space across applied math, information theory, and statistics. The MIT QUEST effort centers on statistical inference and methods for surrogate or reduced-order modeling. MIT personnel have been responsible for the development of adaptive sampling methods, methods for approximating computationally intensive models, and software for both forward uncertainty propagation and statistical inverse problems. A key software product of the MIT QUEST effort is the MIT

  14. Microbiome Data Science: Understanding Our Microbial Planet. (United States)

    Kyrpides, Nikos C; Eloe-Fadrosh, Emiley A; Ivanova, Natalia N


    Microbiology is experiencing a revolution brought on by recent developments in sequencing technology. The unprecedented volume of microbiome data being generated poses significant challenges that are currently hindering progress in the field. Here, we outline the major bottlenecks and propose a vision to advance microbiome research as a data-driven science. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. WebQuests for Reflection and Conceptual Change: Variations on a Popular Model for Guided Inquiry. (United States)

    Young, David L.; Wilson, Brent G.

    WebQuests have become a popular form of guided inquiry using Web resources. The goal of WebQuests is to help students think and reason at higher levels,and use information to solve problems. This paper presents modifications to the WebQuest model drawing on primarily on schema theory. It is believed that these changes will further enhance student…

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

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


    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.

  17. Embedding spiritual value through science learning (United States)

    Johan, H.; Suhandi, A.; Wulan, A. R.; Widiasih; Ruyani, A.; Karyadi, B.; Sipriyadi


    The purpose of this study was to embed spiritual value through science learning program especially earth planet. Various phenomena in earth planet describe a divinity of super power. This study used quasi experimental method with one group pre-test-post-test design. Convenience sampling was conducted in this study. 23 pre-service physics teacher was involved. Pre-test and post-test used a questionnaire had been conducted to collected data of spiritual attitude. Open ended question had been utilized at post-test to collected data. A fourth indicators of spiritual value related to divinity of God was used to embed spiritual value. The results show a shifted of students’ awareness to divinity of God. Before implementing the earth planet learning, 85.8% of total students strongly agree that learning activity embed spiritual value while after learning process, it increased be 93.4%. After learning earth planet, it known that students’ spiritual value was influenced by character of earth planet concept which unobservable and media visual which display each incredible phenomena process in our earth planet. It can be concluded that spiritual value can be embedded through unobservable phenomena of during learning earth planet process.


    This edition of Global Change Research News focuses on the publication of the new OurChanging Planet: The FY2000 U.S. Global Change Research Program. This annual report to the Congress was prepared under the auspices ofthe President's National Science and Technology Council. It...

  19. WebQuest experience: Pre-Service secondary maths and chemistry teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erdoğan Halat


    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to examine the impact of developing WebQuests on the attention, confidence, relevance and satisfaction, or motivation, of pre-service secondary mathematics and chemistry teachers in the instructional technologies and material design course. There were a total of 67 pre-service teachers, 32 pre-service secondary mathematics teachers and 35 pre-service secondary chemistry teachers involved in this study, which took place over seven weeks. The pre-service teachers in both groups designed their WebQuests suitable for the level of high-school students. The researcher used a questionnaire in the collection of the data to find the motivational level of the participants. It was given to the participants by the researcher before and after the instruction during a single class period. The paired-samples t-test, independent samples t-test and ANCOVA were used in the analysis of the quantitative data. The study showed that designing WebQuests had more effect on the attention, confidence and relevance of the pre-service chemistry teachers than of the pre-service mathematics teachers. However, in general, although developing WebQuests had positive effects on the motivational levels of both pre-service secondary maths and chemistry teachers, there were no statistically significant differences found in relation to the motivational levels of both groups.

  20. Masses, Radii, and Orbits of Small Kepler Planets: The Transition from Gaseous to Rocky Planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marcy, G.W.; et al., [Unknown; Hekker, S.


    We report on the masses, sizes, and orbits of the planets orbiting 22 Kepler stars. There are 49 planet candidates around these stars, including 42 detected through transits and 7 revealed by precise Doppler measurements of the host stars. Based on an analysis of the Kepler brightness measurements,


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veras, Dimitri; Crepp, Justin R.; Ford, Eric B.


    Direct imaging searches have begun to detect planetary and brown dwarf companions and to place constraints on the presence of giant planets at large separations from their host star. This work helps to motivate such planet searches by predicting a population of young giant planets that could be detectable by direct imaging campaigns. Both the classical core accretion and the gravitational instability model for planet formation are hard pressed to form long-period planets in situ. Here, we show that dynamical instabilities among planetary systems that originally formed multiple giant planets much closer to the host star could produce a population of giant planets at large (∼ 10 2 -10 5 AU) separations. We estimate the limits within which these planets may survive, quantify the efficiency of gravitational scattering into both stable and unstable wide orbits, and demonstrate that population analyses must take into account the age of the system. We predict that planet scattering creates detectable giant planets on wide orbits that decreases in number on timescales of ∼ 10 Myr. We demonstrate that several members of such populations should be detectable with current technology, quantify the prospects for future instruments, and suggest how they could place interesting constraints on planet formation models.

  2. The science of EChO (United States)

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Cho, James Y.-K.; Griffith, Caitlin A.; Grasset, Olivier; Grenfell, Lee; Guillot, Tristan; Koskinen, Tommi T.; Moses, Julianne I.; Pinfield, David; Tennyson, Jonathan; Tessenyi, Marcell; Wordsworth, Robin; Aylward, Alan; van Boekel, Roy; Coradini, Angioletta; Encrenaz, Therese; Snellen, Ignas; Zapatero-Osorio, Maria R.; Bouwman, Jeroen; Coudé du Foresto, Vincent; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Mueller-Wodarg, Ingo; Pallé, Enric; Selsis, Franck; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Beaulieu, Jean-Philippe; Henning, Thomas; Meyer, Michael; Micela, Giuseppina; Ribas, Ignasi; Stam, Daphne; Swain, Mark; Krause, Oliver; Ollivier, Marc; Pace, Emanuele; Swinyard, Bruce; Ade, Peter A. R.; Achilleos, Nick; Adriani, Alberto; Agnor, Craig B.; Afonso, Cristina; Allende Prieto, Carlos; Bakos, Gaspar; Barber, Robert J.; Barlow, Michael; Bernath, Peter; Bézard, Bruno; Bordé, Pascal; Brown, Linda R.; Cassan, Arnaud; Cavarroc, Céline; Ciaravella, Angela; Cockell, Charles; Coustenis, Athéna; Danielski, Camilla; Decin, Leen; De Kok, Remco; Demangeon, Olivier; Deroo, Pieter; Doel, Peter; Drossart, Pierre; Fletcher, Leigh N.; Focardi, Matteo; Forget, Francois; Fossey, Steve; Fouqué, Pascal; Frith, James; Galand, Marina; Gaulme, Patrick; González Hernández, Jonay I.; Grassi, Davide; Griffin, Matt J.; Grözinger, Ulrich; Guedel, Manuel; Guio, Pactrick; Hainaut, Olivier; Hargreaves, Robert; Hauschildt, Peter H.; Heng, Kevin; Heyrovsky, David; Hueso, Ricardo; Irwin, Pat; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Kervella, Patrick; Kipping, David; Kovacs, Geza; La Barbera, Antonino; Lammer, Helmut; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Leto, Giuseppe; Lopez Morales, Mercedes; Valverde, Lopez Miguel A.; Lopez-Puertas, Manuel; Lovi, Christophe; Maggio, Antonio; Maillard, Jean-Pierre; Prado, Jesus Maldonado; Marquette, Jean-Baptiste; Martin-Torres, Francisco J.; Maxted, Pierre; Miller, Steve; Molinari, Sergio; Montes, David; Moro-Martin, Amaya; Mousis, Olivier; Tuong, Napoléon Nguyen; Nelson, Richard; Orton, Glenn S.; Pantin, Eric; Pascale, Enzo; Pezzuto, Stefano; Poretti, Ennio; Prinja, Raman; Prisinzano, Loredana; Réess, Jean-Michel; Reiners, Ansgar; Samuel, Benjamin; Sanz Forcada, Jorge; Sasselov, Dimitar; Savini, Giorgio; Sicardy, Bruno; Smith, Alan; Stixrude, Lars; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Vasisht, Gautam; Vinatier, Sandrine; Viti, Serena; Waldmann, Ingo; White, Glenn J.; Widemann, Thomas; Yelle, Roger; Yung, Yuk; Yurchenko, Sergey


    The science of extra-solar planets is one of the most rapidly changing areas of astrophysics and since 1995 the number of planets known has increased by almost two orders of magnitude. A combination of ground-based surveys and dedicated space missions has resulted in 560-plus planets being detected, and over 1200 that await confirmation. NASA's Kepler mission has opened up the possibility of discovering Earth-like planets in the habitable zone around some of the 100,000 stars it is surveying during its 3 to 4-year lifetime. The new ESA's Gaia mission is expected to discover thousands of new planets around stars within 200 parsecs of the Sun. The key challenge now is moving on from discovery, important though that remains, to characterisation: what are these planets actually like, and why are they as they are? In the past ten years, we have learned how to obtain the first spectra of exoplanets using transit transmission and emission spectroscopy. With the high stability of Spitzer, Hubble, and large ground-based telescopes the spectra of bright close-in massive planets can be obtained and species like water vapour, methane, carbon monoxide and dioxide have been detected. With transit science came the first tangible remote sensing of these planetary bodies and so one can start to extrapolate from what has been learnt from Solar System probes to what one might plan to learn about their faraway siblings. As we learn more about the atmospheres, surfaces and near-surfaces of these remote bodies, we will begin to build up a clearer picture of their construction, history and suitability for life. The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory, EChO, will be the first dedicated mission to investigate the physics and chemistry of Exoplanetary Atmospheres. By characterising spectroscopically more bodies in different environments we will take detailed planetology out of the Solar System and into the Galaxy as a whole. EChO has now been selected by the European Space Agency to be

  3. Implementing a Self-Regulated "WebQuest" Learning System for Chinese Elementary Schools (United States)

    Hsiao, Hsien-Sheng; Tsai, Chung-Chieh; Lin, Chien-Yu; Lin, Chih-Cheng


    The rapid growth of Internet has resulted in the rise of WebQuest learning recently. Teachers encourage students to participate in the searching for knowledge on different topics. When using WebQuest, students' self-regulation is often the key to successful learning. Therefore, this study establishes a self-regulated learning system to assist…

  4. WebQuests as Perceived by Teachers: Implications for Online Teaching and Learning (United States)

    Zheng, R.; Perez, J.; Williamson, J.; Flygare, J.


    The WebQuest as an instructional tool has recently been widely adopted in K-16 education. However, its underlying principles and functionality are not well understood, which has resulted in an inconsistency in practice. This study identifies the underlying constructs of WebQuests as perceived by teachers and variables affecting their perceptions…

  5. Primordial atmosphere incorporation in planetary embryos and the origin of Neon in terrestrial planets (United States)

    Jaupart, Etienne; Charnoz, Sebatien; Moreira, Manuel


    The presence of Neon in terrestrial planet mantles may be attributed to the implantation of solar wind in planetary precursors or to the dissolution of primordial solar gases captured from the accretionary disk into an early magma ocean. This is suggested by the Neon isotopic ratio similar to those of the Sun observed in the Earth mantle. Here, we evaluate the second hypothesis. We use general considerations of planetary accretion and atmospheric science. Using current models of terrestrial planet formation, we study the evolution of standard planetary embryos with masses in a range of 0.1-0.2 MEarth, where MEarth is the Earth's mass, in an annular region at distances between 0.5 and 1.5 Astronomical Units from the star. We determine the characteristics of atmospheres that can be captured by such embryos for a wide range of parameters and calculate the maximum amount of Neon that can be dissolved in the planet. Our calculations may be directly transposed to any other planet. However, we only know of the amount of Neon in the Earth's solid mantle. Thus we use Earth to discuss our results. We find that the amount of dissolved Neon is too small to account for the present-day Neon contents of the Earth's mantle, if the nebular gas disk completely disappears before the largest planetary embryos grow to be ∼0.2 MEarth. This leaves solar irradiation as the most likely source of Neon in terrestrial planets for the most standard case of planetary formation models.

  6. Geographies of Mars seeing and knowing the red planet

    CERN Document Server

    Lane, K Maria D


    One of the first maps of Mars, published by an Italian astronomer in 1877, with its pattern of canals, fueled belief in intelligent life forms on the distant red planet-a hope that continued into the 1960s. Although the Martian canals have long since been dismissed as a famous error in the history of science, K. Maria D. Lane argues that there was nothing accidental about these early interpretations. Indeed, she argues, the construction of Mars as an incomprehensibly complex and engineered world both reflected and challenged dominant geopolitical themes during a time of majo

  7. Observability of planet-disc interactions in CO kinematics (United States)

    Pérez, Sebastián; Casassus, S.; Benítez-Llambay, P.


    Empirical evidence of planets in gas-rich circumstellar discs is required to constrain giant planet formation theories. Here we study the kinematic patterns which arise from planet-disc interactions and their observability in CO rotational emission lines. We perform three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations of single giant planets, and predict the emergent intensity field with radiative transfer. Pressure gradients at planet-carved gaps, spiral wakes and vortices bear strong kinematic counterparts. The iso-velocity contours in the CO(2-1) line centroids vo reveal large-scale perturbations, corresponding to abrupt transitions from below sub-Keplerian to super-Keplerian rotation along with radial and vertical flows. The increase in line optical depth at the edge of the gap also modulates vo, but this is a mild effect compared to the dynamical imprint of the planet-disc interaction. The large-scale deviations from the Keplerian rotation thus allow the planets to be indirectly detected via the first moment maps of molecular gas tracers, at ALMA angular resolutions. The strength of these deviations depends on the mass of the perturber. This initial study paves the way to eventually determine the mass of the planet by comparison with more detailed models.

  8. Radio images of the planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Pater, I.


    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

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

    Dehant, V; Asael, D; Baland, R M; Baludikay, B K; Beghin, J; Belza, J; Beuthe, M; Breuer, D; Chernonozhkin, S; Claeys, Ph; Cornet, Y; Cornet, L; Coyette, A; Debaille, V; Delvigne, C; Deproost, M H; De WInter, N; Duchemin, C; El Atrassi, F; François, C; De Keyser, J; Gillmann, C; Gloesener, E; Goderis, S; Hidaka, Y; Höning, D; Huber, M; Hublet, G; Javaux, E J; Karatekin, Ö; Kodolanyi, J; Revilla, L Lobo; Maes, L; Maggiolo, R; Mattielli, N; Maurice, M; McKibbin, S; Morschhauser, A; Neumann, W; Noack, L; Pham, L B S; Pittarello, L; Plesa, A C; Rivoldini, A; Robert, S; Rosenblatt, P; Spohn, T; Storme, J -Y; Tosi, N; Trinh, A; Valdes, M; Vandaele, A C; Vanhaecke, F; Van Hoolst, T; Van Roosbroek, N; Wilquet, V; Yseboodt, M


    The Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP) 'PLANET TOPERS' (Planets: Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their Reservoirs) addresses the fundamental understanding of the thermal and compositional evolution of the different reservoirs of planetary bodies (core, mantle, crust, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and space) considering interactions and feedback mechanisms. Here we present the first results after 2 years of project work.

  10. Science, religion, and the quest for knowledge and truth: an Islamic perspective (United States)

    Guessoum, Nidhal


    This article consists of two parts. The first one is to a large extent a commentary on John R. Staver's "Skepticism, truth as coherence, and constructivist epistemology: grounds for resolving the discord between science and religion?" The second part is a related overview of Islam's philosophy of knowledge and, to a certain degree, science. In responding to Staver's thesis, I rely strongly on my scientific education and habit of mind; I also partly found my views on my Islamic background, though I enlarge my scope to consider western philosophical perspectives as well. I differ with Staver in his definition of the nature, scope, and goals of religion (concisely, "explaining the world and how it works"), and I think this is the crux of the matter in attempting to resolve the perceived "discord" between science and religion. The heart of the problem is in the definition of the domains of action of science and religion, and I address this issue at some length, both generically and using Islamic principles, which are found to be very widely applicable. The concept of "reality," so important to Staver's thesis, is also critically reviewed. The philosophy of knowledge (and of science) in Islam is briefly reviewed in the aim of showing the great potential for harmony between the two "institutions" (religion and science), on the basis of the following philosophy: science describes nature, whereas religion gives us not only a philosophy of existence but also an interpretative cloak for the discoveries of science and for the meaning of the cosmos and nature. I conclude by insisting that though science and religion can be considered as two worldviews that propose to describe "reality" and to explain our existence and that of the world; they may come to compete for humans' minds and appear to enter into a conflicting position, but only if and when we confuse their domains and modes of action. [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.][InlineMediaObject not available: see

  11. Results from occultations by minor planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, G.E.


    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.)

  12. Modeling circumbinary planets: The case of Kepler-38 (United States)

    Kley, Wilhelm; Haghighipour, Nader


    Context. Recently, a number of planets orbiting binary stars have been discovered by the Kepler space telescope. In a few systems the planets reside close to the dynamical stability limit. Owing to the difficulty of forming planets in such close orbits, it is believed that they have formed farther out in the disk and migrated to their present locations. Aims: Our goal is to construct more realistic models of planet migration in circumbinary disks and to determine the final position of these planets more accurately. In our work, we focus on the system Kepler-38 where the planet is close to the stability limit. Methods: The evolution of the circumbinary disk is studied using two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. We study locally isothermal disks as well as more realistic models that include full viscous heating, radiative cooling from the disk surfaces, and radiative diffusion in the disk midplane. After the disk has been brought into a quasi-equilibrium state, a 115 Earth-mass planet is embedded and its evolution is followed. Results: In all cases the planets stop inward migration near the inner edge of the disk. In isothermal disks with a typical disk scale height of H/r = 0.05, the final outcome agrees very well with the observed location of planet Kepler-38b. For the radiative models, the disk thickness and location of the inner edge is determined by the mass in the system. For surface densities on the order of 3000 g/cm2 at 1 AU, the inner gap lies close to the binary and planets stop in the region between the 5:1 and 4:1 mean-motion resonances with the binary. A model with a disk with approximately a quarter of the mass yields a final position very close to the observed one. Conclusions: For planets migrating in circumbinary disks, the final position is dictated by the structure of the disk. Knowing the observed orbits of circumbinary planets, radiative disk simulations with embedded planets can provide important information on the physical state of the

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

    Kwok, Ping-Wai


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


    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.


    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 ∼ ⊕ .

  15. Learning to Design WebQuests: An Exploration in Preservice Social Studies Education (United States)

    Bates, Alisa


    Effective uses of technology in social studies methods courses is an under-researched field. This study focused on the development of WebQuests to engage teacher candidate's exploration of the Internet as an authentic medium for inquiry in social studies education. Analysis of appropriateness of tasks in the WebQuests, depth of ideas and audience…

  16. La oportunidad WebQuest


    Fierro Monteagudo, José Luis


    Los procesos creativos permiten el desarrollo de unas relaciones de enseñanza-aprendizaje mucho más fecundas que los procesos de repetición o acumulación. Al crear, en el más amplio sentido de la palabra, los alumnos se documentan, comparan, sintetizan, reflexionan, se posicionan, expresan, crecen y conocen. La creación abre un ciclo extraordinario de aprendizaje significativo. Las WebQuest son una excelente vía para canalizar los procesos creativos y suponen un estímulo y una oportunidad ext...

  17. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology (United States)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph; Deming, Drake


    The first light from an extrasolar planet was recently detected. These results, obtained for two transiting extrasolar planets at different infrared wavelengths, open a new era in the field of extrasolar planet detection and characterization because for the first time we can now detect planets beyond the solar system directly. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope at 24 microns, we observed the modulation of combined light (star plus planet) from the HD 209458 system as the planet disappeared behind the star during secondary eclipse and later re-emerged, thereby isolating the light from the planet. We obtained a planet-to-star ratio of 0.26% at 24 microns, corresponding to a brightness temperature of 1130 + / - 150 K. We will describe this result in detail, explain what it can tell us about the atmosphere of HD 209458 b, and discuss implications for the field of astrobiology. These results represent a significant step on the path to detecting terrestrial planets around other stars and in understanding their atmospheres in terms of composition and temperature.

  18. Stellar oscillations in planet-hosting giant stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hatzes, Artie P; Zechmeister, Mathias [Thueringer Landessternwarte, Sternwarte 5, D-07778 (Germany)], E-mail:


    Recently a number of giant extrasolar planets have been discovered around giant stars. These discoveries are important because many of these giant stars have intermediate masses in the range 1.2-3 Msun. Early-type main sequence stars of this mass range have been avoided by radial velocity planet search surveys due the difficulty of getting the requisite radial velocity precision needed for planet discoveries. Thus, giant stars can tell us about planet formation for stars more massive than the sun. However, the determination of stellar masses for giant stars is difficult due to the fact that evolutionary tracks for stars covering a wide range of masses converge to the same region of the H-R diagram. We report here on stellar oscillations in three planet-hosting giant stars: HD 13189, {beta} Gem, and {iota} Dra. Precise stellar radial velocity measurements for these stars show variations whose periods and amplitudes are consistent with solar-like p-mode oscillations. The implied stellar masses for these objects based on the characteristics of the stellar oscillations are consistent with the predictions of stellar isochrones. An investigation of stellar oscillations in planet hosting giant stars offers us the possibility of getting an independent determination of the stellar mass for these objects which is of crucial importance for extrasolar planet studies.

  19. Modeling climate diversity, tidal dynamics and the fate of volatiles on TRAPPIST-1 planets (United States)

    Turbet, Martin; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Forget, François; Selsis, Franck; Tobie, Gabriel; Caldas, Anthony; Naar, Joseph; Gillon, Michaël


    TRAPPIST-1 planets are invaluable for the study of comparative planetary science outside our solar system and possibly habitability. Both transit timing variations (TTV) of the planets and the compact, resonant architecture of the system suggest that TRAPPIST-1 planets could be endowed with various volatiles today. First, we derived from N-body simulations possible planetary evolution scenarios, and show that all the planets are likely in synchronous rotation. We then used a versatile 3D global climate model (GCM) to explore the possible climates of cool planets around cool stars, with a focus on the TRAPPIST-1 system. We investigated the conditions required for cool planets to prevent possible volatile species to be lost permanently by surface condensation, irreversible burying or photochemical destruction. We also explored the resilience of the same volatiles (when in condensed phase) to a runaway greenhouse process. We find that background atmospheres made of N2, CO, or O2 are rather resistant to atmospheric collapse. However, even if TRAPPIST-1 planets were able to sustain a thick background atmosphere by surviving early X/EUV radiation and stellar wind atmospheric erosion, it is difficult for them to accumulate significant greenhouse gases like CO2, CH4, or NH3. CO2 can easily condense on the permanent nightside, forming CO2 ice glaciers that would flow toward the substellar region. A complete CO2 ice surface cover is theoretically possible on TRAPPIST-1g and h only, but CO2 ices should be gravitationally unstable and get buried beneath the water ice shell in geologically short timescales. Given TRAPPIST-1 planets large EUV irradiation (at least 103 × Titan's flux), CH4 and NH3 are photodissociated rapidly and are thus hard to accumulate in the atmosphere. Photochemical hazes could then sedimentate and form a surface layer of tholins that would progressively thicken over the age of the TRAPPIST-1 system. Regarding habitability, we confirm that few bars of CO2

  20. Reaching for the red planet (United States)

    David, L


    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.

  1. The Quest CCS Project - MMV Technology Deployment Through Two Years of Operation (United States)

    O'Brien, S.


    In September 2012, Shell, on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project venture (Shell Canada Energy, Chevron Canada Limited, Marathon Oil Canada Corporation), announced that it was proceeding to construct the Quest Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project near Fort Saskatchewan. Quest is the world's first large-scale commercial application of CCS at an oil sands operation, and it is now capturing more than one million tonnes of CO2 per year from the Scotford Upgrader. It is a fully integrated project, involving CO2 capture at the bitumen upgrader, transportation along a 65 km pipeline, and CO2 storage in a deep saline aquifer (the Basal Cambrian Sands). Construction was completed in August 2015, and the Quest project was certified for commercial operation in September 2015. The Measurement, Monitoring and Verification (MMV) program for Quest is comprehensive, with a variety of technologies being used to monitor the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere. These include a Lightsource system for atmospheric monitoring, extensive groundwater sampling, DAS VSPs to assess the development of the CO2 plume, a microseismic array to measure any induced seismic activity, and temperature and pressure gauges for reservoir monitoring. Over two years of operations, this program has been optimized to address key risks while improving operational efficiency. Quest has now successfully captured and stored more than 2 million tonnes of CO2 with no MMV indications of any storage issues.

  2. Probing Extragalactic Planets Using Quasar Microlensing (United States)

    Dai, Xinyu; Guerras, Eduardo


    Previously, planets have been detected only in the Milky Way galaxy. Here, we show that quasar microlensing provides a means to probe extragalactic planets in the lens galaxy, by studying the microlensing properties of emission close to the event horizon of the supermassive black hole of the background quasar, using the current generation telescopes. We show that a population of unbound planets between stars with masses ranging from Moon to Jupiter masses is needed to explain the frequent Fe Kα line energy shifts observed in the gravitationally lensed quasar RXJ 1131–1231 at a lens redshift of z = 0.295 or 3.8 billion lt-yr away. We constrain the planet mass-fraction to be larger than 0.0001 of the halo mass, which is equivalent to 2000 objects ranging from Moon to Jupiter mass per main-sequence star.

  3. The 4-percent universe

    CERN Document Server

    Panek, Richard


    It is one of the most disturbing aspects of our universe: only four per cent of it consists of the matter that makes up every star, planet, and every book. The rest is completely unknown. Acclaimed science writer Richard Panek tells the story of the handful of scientists who have spent the past few decades on a quest to unlock the secrets of “dark matter" and the even stranger substance called “dark energy". These are perhaps the greatest mysteries in science,and solving them will reshape our understanding of the universe and our place in it. The stakes could not be higher. Panek's fast-paced

  4. The cosmic cocktail three parts dark matter

    CERN Document Server

    Freese, Katherine


    The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe-from our bodies and the air we breathe to the planets and stars-constitute only 5 percent of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The rest is known as dark matter and dark energy, because their precise identities are unknown. The Cosmic Cocktail is the inside story of the epic quest to solve one of the most compelling enigmas of modern science - what is the universe made of? - told by one of today's foremost pioneers in the study of dark matter. Blending cutting-edge science with her own behind-the-scenes insights as a leading researcher in the

  5. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries. (United States)

    Muñoz, Diego J; Lai, Dong


    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.

  6. Properties of Planet-Forming Prostellar Disks (United States)

    Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor); Lubow, Stephen


    The proposal achieved many of its objectives. The main area of investigation was the interaction of young planets with surrounding protostellar disks. The grant funds were used to support visits by CoIs and visitors: Gordon Ogilvie, Gennaro D Angelo, and Matthew Bate. Funds were used for travel and partial salary support for Lubow. We made important progress in two areas described in the original proposal: secular resonances (Section 3) and nonlinear waves in three dimensions (Section 5). In addition, we investigated several new areas: planet migration, orbital distribution of planets, and noncoorbital corotation resonances.

  7. The Fate of Exomoons when Planets Scatter (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Four examples of close-encounter outcomes: a) the moon stays in orbit around its host, b) the moon is captured into orbit around its perturber, c) and d) the moon is ejected from the system from two different starting configurations. [Adapted from Hong et al. 2018]Planet interactions are thought to be common as solar systems are first forming and settling down. A new study suggests that these close encounters could have a significant impact on the moons of giant exoplanets and they may generate a large population of free-floating exomoons.Chaos in the SystemIn the planetplanet scattering model of solar-system formation, planets are thought to initially form in closely packed systems. Over time, planets in a system perturb each other, eventually entering an instability phase during which their orbits cross and the planets experience close encounters.During this scattering process, any exomoons that are orbiting giant planets can be knocked into unstable orbits directly by close encounters with perturbing planets. Exomoons can also be disturbed if their host planets properties or orbits change as a consequence of scattering.Led by Yu-Cian Hong (Cornell University), a team of scientists has now explored the fate of exomoons in planetplanet scattering situations using a suite of N-body numerical simulations.Chances for SurvivalHong and collaborators find that the vast majority roughly 80 to 90% of exomoons around giant planets are destabilized during scattering and dont survive in their original place in the solar system. Fates of these destabilized exomoons include:moon collision with the star or a planet,moon capture by the perturbing planet,moon ejection from the solar system,ejection of the entire planetmoon system from the solar system, andmoon perturbation onto a new heliocentric orbit as a planet.Unsurprisingly, exomoons that have close-in orbits and those that orbit larger planets are the most likely to survive close encounters; as an example, exomoons on

  8. Planet-driven Spiral Arms in Protoplanetary Disks. II. Implications (United States)

    Bae, Jaehan; Zhu, Zhaohuan


    We examine whether various characteristics of planet-driven spiral arms can be used to constrain the masses of unseen planets and their positions within their disks. By carrying out two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations varying planet mass and disk gas temperature, we find that a larger number of spiral arms form with a smaller planet mass and a lower disk temperature. A planet excites two or more spiral arms interior to its orbit for a range of disk temperatures characterized by the disk aspect ratio 0.04≤slant {(h/r)}p≤slant 0.15, whereas exterior to a planet’s orbit multiple spiral arms can form only in cold disks with {(h/r)}p≲ 0.06. Constraining the planet mass with the pitch angle of spiral arms requires accurate disk temperature measurements that might be challenging even with ALMA. However, the property that the pitch angle of planet-driven spiral arms decreases away from the planet can be a powerful diagnostic to determine whether the planet is located interior or exterior to the observed spirals. The arm-to-arm separations increase as a function of planet mass, consistent with previous studies; however, the exact slope depends on disk temperature as well as the radial location where the arm-to-arm separations are measured. We apply these diagnostics to the spiral arms seen in MWC 758 and Elias 2–27. As shown in Bae et al., planet-driven spiral arms can create concentric rings and gaps, which can produce a more dominant observable signature than spiral arms under certain circumstances. We discuss the observability of planet-driven spiral arms versus rings and gaps.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Brasser, Ramon; Ida, Shigeru


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

  11. Extrasolar Planets Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Cassen, Patrick; Quirrenbach, Andreas


    Research on extrasolar planets is one of the most exciting fields of activity in astrophysics. In a decade only, a huge step forward has been made from the early speculations on the existence of planets orbiting "other stars" to the first discoveries and to the characterization of extrasolar planets. This breakthrough is the result of a growing interest of a large community of researchers as well as the development of a wide range of new observational techniques and facilities. Based on their lectures given at the 31st Saas-Fee Advanced Course, Andreas Quirrenbach, Tristan Guillot and Pat Cassen have written up up-to-date comprehensive lecture notes on the "Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets", "Physics of Substellar Objects Interiors, Atmospheres, Evolution" and "Protostellar Disks and Planet Formation". This book will serve graduate students, lecturers and scientists entering the field of extrasolar planets as detailed and comprehensive introduction.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lithwick, Yoram; Xie Jiwei; Wu Yanqin


    Most planet pairs in the Kepler data that have measured transit time variations (TTVs) are near first-order mean-motion resonances. We derive analytical formulae for their TTV signals. We separate planet eccentricity into free and forced parts, where the forced part is purely due to the planets' proximity to resonance. This separation yields simple analytical formulae. The phase of the TTV depends sensitively on the presence of free eccentricity: if the free eccentricity vanishes, the TTV will be in phase with the longitude of conjunctions. This effect is easily detectable in current TTV data. The amplitude of the TTV depends on planet mass and free eccentricity, and it determines planet mass uniquely only when the free eccentricity is sufficiently small. We analyze the TTV signals of six short-period Kepler pairs. We find that three of these pairs (Kepler 18, 24, 25) have a TTV phase consistent with zero. The other three (Kepler 23, 28, 32) have small TTV phases, but ones that are distinctly non-zero. We deduce that the free eccentricities of the planets are small, ∼< 0.01, but not always vanishing. Furthermore, as a consequence of this, we deduce that the true masses of the planets are fairly accurately determined by the TTV amplitudes, within a factor of ∼< 2. The smallness of the free eccentricities suggests that the planets have experienced substantial dissipation. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the observed pile-up of Kepler pairs near mean-motion resonances is caused by resonant repulsion. But the fact that some of the planets have non-vanishing free eccentricity suggests that after resonant repulsion occurred there was a subsequent phase in the planets' evolution when their eccentricities were modestly excited, perhaps by interplanetary interactions.

  13. Extrasolar Planets: Towards Comparative Planetology beyond the Solar System (United States)

    Khan, A. H.


    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

  14. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets (United States)

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


    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.

  15. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stone, James M.; Proga, Daniel


    We present two-dimensional hydrodynamic models of thermally driven winds from highly irradiated, close-in extrasolar planets. We adopt a very simple treatment of the radiative heating processes at the base of the wind, and instead focus on the differences between the properties of outflows in multidimensions in comparison to spherically symmetric models computed with the same methods. For hot (T ∼> 2 x 10 4 K) or highly ionized gas, we find that strong (supersonic) polar flows are formed above the planet surface which produce weak shocks and outflow on the night side. In comparison to a spherically symmetric wind with the same parameters, the sonic surface on the day side is much closer to the planet surface in multidimensions, and the total mass-loss rate is reduced by almost a factor of 4. We also compute the steady-state structure of interacting planetary and stellar winds. Both winds end in a termination shock, with a parabolic contact discontinuity which is draped over the planet separating the two shocked winds. The planetary wind termination shock and the sonic surface in the wind are well separated, so that the mass-loss rate from the planet is essentially unaffected. However, the confinement of the planetary wind to the small volume bounded by the contact discontinuity greatly enhances the column density close to the planet, which might be important for the interpretation of observations of absorption lines formed by gas surrounding transiting planets.

  17. Capture of free-floating planets by planetary systems (United States)

    Goulinski, Nadav; Ribak, Erez N.


    Evidence of exoplanets with orbits that are misaligned with the spin of the host star may suggest that not all bound planets were born in the protoplanetary disc of their current planetary system. Observations have shown that free-floating Jupiter-mass objects can exceed the number of stars in our Galaxy, implying that capture scenarios may not be so rare. To address this issue, we construct a three-dimensional simulation of a three-body scattering between a free-floating planet and a star accompanied by a Jupiter-mass bound planet. We distinguish between three different possible scattering outcomes, where the free-floating planet may get weakly captured after the brief interaction with the binary, remain unbound or 'kick out' the bound planet and replace it. The simulation was performed for different masses of the free-floating planets and stars, as well as different impact parameters, inclination angles and approach velocities. The outcome statistics are used to construct an analytical approximation of the cross-section for capturing a free-floating planet by fitting their dependence on the tested variables. The analytically approximated cross-section is used to predict the capture rate for these kinds of objects, and to estimate that about 1 per cent of all stars are expected to experience a temporary capture of a free-floating planet during their lifetime. Finally, we propose additional physical processes that may increase the capture statistics and whose contribution should be considered in future simulations in order to determine the fate of the temporarily captured planets.

  18. The impact of red noise in radial velocity planet searches: only three planets orbiting GJ 581? (United States)

    Baluev, Roman V.


    We perform a detailed analysis of the latest HARPS and Keck radial velocity data for the planet-hosting red dwarf GJ 581, which attracted a lot of attention in recent time. We show that these data contain important correlated noise component (`red noise') with the correlation time-scale of the order of 10 d. This red noise imposes a lot of misleading effects while we work in the traditional white-noise model. To eliminate these misleading effects, we propose a maximum-likelihood algorithm equipped by an extended model of the noise structure. We treat the red noise as a Gaussian random process with an exponentially decaying correlation function. Using this method we prove that (i) planets b and c do exist in this system, since they can be independently detected in the HARPS and Keck data, and regardless of the assumed noise models; (ii) planet e can also be confirmed independently by both the data sets, although to reveal it in the Keck data it is mandatory to take the red noise into account; (iii) the recently announced putative planets f and g are likely just illusions of the red noise; (iv) the reality of the planet candidate GJ 581 d is questionable, because it cannot be detected from the Keck data, and its statistical significance in the HARPS data (as well as in the combined data set) drops to a marginal level of ˜2σ, when the red noise is taken into account. Therefore, the current data for GJ 581 really support the existence of no more than four (or maybe even only three) orbiting exoplanets. The planet candidate GJ 581 d requests serious observational verification.

  19. Oxidative stress measured in vivo without an exogenous contrast agent using QUEST MRI (United States)

    Berkowitz, Bruce A.


    Decades of experimental studies have implicated excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the decline of tissue function during normal aging, and as a pathogenic factor in a vast array of fatal or debilitating morbidities. This massive body of work has important clinical implications since many antioxidants are FDA approved, readily cross blood-tissue barriers, and are effective at improving disease outcomes. Yet, the potential benefits of antioxidants have remained largely unrealized in patients because conventional methods cannot determine the dose, timing, and drug combinations to be used in clinical trials to localize and decrease oxidative stress. To address this major problem and improve translational success, new methods are urgently needed that non-invasively measure the same ROS biomarker both in animal models and patients with high spatial resolution. Here, we summarize a transformative solution based on a novel method: QUEnch-assiSTed MRI (QUEST MRI). The QUEST MRI index is a significant antioxidant-induced improvement in pathophysiology, or a reduction in 1/T1 (i.e., R1). The latter form of QUEST MRI provides a unique measure of uncontrolled production of endogenous, paramagnetic reactive oxygen species (ROS). QUEST MRI results to-date have been validated by gold standard oxidative stress assays. QUEST MRI has high translational potential because it does not use an exogenous contrast agent and requires only standard MRI equipment. Summarizing, QUEST MRI is a powerful non-invasive approach with unprecedented potential for (i) bridging antioxidant treatment in animal models and patients, (ii) identifying tissue subregions exhibiting oxidative stress, and (iii) coupling oxidative stress localization with behavioral dysfunction, disease pathology, and genetic vulnerabilities to serve as a marker of susceptibility.

  20. Extrasolar planets : - From gaseous giant planets to rocky planets. - Steps towards the detection of life biomarkers.

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva


    Today, great efforts are made to detect Earth-mass rocky planets in the so-called habitable zone of their host stars. What are the difficulties, the instrumental projects  and the already detected interesting systems ?

  1. Outward Migration of Giant Planets in Orbital Resonance (United States)

    D'Angelo, G.; Marzari, F.


    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.

  2. Resonance – Journal of Science Education | Indian Academy of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 18; Issue 3. Challenges in the Quest for Clean Energies - Background. Sheela K Ramasesha. Series Article Volume 18 Issue 3 March 2013 pp 206-217. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  3. The metallicities of stars with and without transiting planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Latham, David W.


    Host star metallicities have been used to infer observational constraints on planet formation throughout the history of the exoplanet field. The giant planet metallicity correlation has now been widely accepted, but questions remain as to whether the metallicity correlation extends to the small...... terrestrial-sized planets. Here, we report metallicities for a sample of 518 stars in the Kepler field that have no detected transiting planets and compare their metallicity distribution to a sample of stars that hosts small planets (). Importantly, both samples have been analyzed in a homogeneous manner...... using the same set of tools (Stellar Parameters Classification tool). We find the average metallicity of the sample of stars without detected transiting planets to be and the sample of stars hosting small planets to be . The average metallicities of the two samples are indistinguishable within...


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trani, Alessandro A.; Bressan, Alessandro; Mapelli, Michela; Spera, Mario


    Recent observations suggest ongoing planet formation in the innermost parsec of the Galactic center. The supermassive black hole (SMBH) might strip planets or planetary embryos from their parent star, bringing them close enough to be tidally disrupted. Photoevaporation by the ultraviolet field of young stars, combined with ongoing tidal disruption, could enhance the near-infrared luminosity of such starless planets, making their detection possible even with current facilities. In this paper, we investigate the chance of planet tidal captures by means of high-accuracy N -body simulations exploiting Mikkola's algorithmic regularization. We consider both planets lying in the clockwise (CW) disk and planets initially bound to the S-stars. We show that tidally captured planets remain on orbits close to those of their parent star. Moreover, the semimajor axis of the planetary orbit can be predicted by simple analytic assumptions in the case of prograde orbits. We find that starless planets that were initially bound to CW disk stars have mild eccentricities and tend to remain in the CW disk. However, we speculate that angular momentum diffusion and scattering by other young stars in the CW disk might bring starless planets into orbits with low angular momentum. In contrast, planets initially bound to S-stars are captured by the SMBH on highly eccentric orbits, matching the orbital properties of the clouds G1 and G2. Our predictions apply not only to planets but also to low-mass stars initially bound to the S-stars and tidally captured by the SMBH.

  5. A questão da universidade e da formação em ciências sociais

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Gemignani Garcia


    Full Text Available A análise histórica dos processos sociais e intelectuais que caracterizam a formação cultural e científica na modernidade contemporânea permite a reconstrução de questões culturais e educacionais que se fazem constantemente presentes hoje no dia-a-dia da vida universitária na forma de problemas acadêmicos e administrativos. Situada na intersecção das áreas de história intelectual, sociologia da ciência e das instituições científicas e sociologia da educação e da cultura, essa perspectiva de investigação aborda, primeiro, os amplos processos institucionais nas esferas da política, da economia e da cultura que situam a questão contemporânea da universidade e da formação em ciências sociais; em seguida, expõe alguns aspectos centrais do debate sociológico acerca da natureza da disciplina e do perfil da formação em ciência social; e, finalmente, discute certos pressupostos e categorias básicas das atuais propostas de reforma universitária.The historical analysis of the social and intellectual processes that characterise the cultural and scientific education in contemporary modernity allows for the reconstruction of cultural and educational questions, which are perceived as academic and administrative problems in our daily lives at the university. The approach adopted in this paper is situated at the intersection between intellectual history, the sociology of science and scientific institutions and the sociology of education and culture. It discusses, firstly, the wide institutional processes in the political, economic and cultural spheres that circumscribe the contemporary questions of the university and the education in social sciences; secondly, it analyses some of the central aspects of the sociological debate on the nature of the discipline and the profile of the education in social sciences; finally it looks at a few premises and basic categories of the present proposals for the reform of the university.

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

    Macintosh, Bruce

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation coronagraph constructed for the Gemini Observatory. GPI will see first light this fall. It will be the most advanced planet-imaging system in operation - an order of magnitude more sensitive than any current instrument, capable of detecting and spectroscopically characterizing young Jovian planets 107 times fainter than their parent star at separations of 0.2 arcseconds. GPI was built from the beginning as a facility-class survey instrument, and the observatory will employ it that way. Our team has been selected by Gemini Observatory to carry out an 890-hour program - the GPI Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) campaign from 2014-2017. We will observe 600 stars spanning spectral types A-M. We will use published young association catalogs and a proprietary list in preparation that adds several hundred new young (pc) and adolescent (pc) stars. The range of separations studied by GPI is completely inaccessible to Doppler and transit techniques (even with Kepler or TESS)— GPI offers a new window into planet formation. We will use GPI to produce the first-ever robust census of giant planet populations in the 5-50 AU range, allowing us to: 1) illuminate the formation pathways of Jovian planets; 2) reconstruct the early dynamical evolution of systems, including migration mechanisms and the interaction with disks and belts of debris; and 3) bridge the gap between Jupiter and the brown dwarfs with the first examples of cool low- gravity planetary atmospheres. Simulations predict this survey will discover approximately 50 exoplanets, increasing the number of exoplanet images by an order of magnitude, enough for statistical investigation. This Origins of Solar Systems proposal will support the execution of the GPI Exoplanet Survey campaign. We will develop tools needed to execute the survey efficiently. We will refine the existing GPI data pipeline to a final version that robustly removes residual speckle artifacts and provides

  7. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets. (United States)

    Koskinen, Tommi T; Lavvas, Panayotis; Harris, Matthew J; Yelle, Roger V


    The detection of hot atomic hydrogen and heavy atoms and ions at high altitudes around close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) such as HD209458b implies that these planets have hot and rapidly escaping atmospheres that extend to several planetary radii. These characteristics, however, cannot be generalized to all close-in EGPs. The thermal escape mechanism and mass loss rate from EGPs depend on a complex interplay between photochemistry and radiative transfer driven by the stellar UV radiation. In this study, we explore how these processes change under different levels of irradiation on giant planets with different characteristics. We confirm that there are two distinct regimes of thermal escape from EGPs, and that the transition between these regimes is relatively sharp. Our results have implications for thermal mass loss rates from different EGPs that we discuss in the context of currently known planets and the detectability of their upper atmospheres.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beaugé, C.; Nesvorný, D.


    Doppler and transit observations of exoplanets show a pile-up of Jupiter-size planets in orbits with a 3 day period. A fraction of these hot Jupiters have retrograde orbits with respect to the parent star's rotation, as evidenced by the measurements of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. To explain these observations we performed a series of numerical integrations of planet scattering followed by the tidal circularization and migration of planets that evolved into highly eccentric orbits. We considered planetary systems having three and four planets initially placed in successive mean-motion resonances, although the angles were taken randomly to ensure orbital instability in short timescales. The simulations included the tidal and relativistic effects, and precession due to stellar oblateness. Our results show the formation of two distinct populations of hot Jupiters. The inner population (Population I) is characterized by semimajor axis a 1 Gyr and fits nicely the observed 3 day pile-up. A comparison between our three-planet and four-planet runs shows that the formation of hot Jupiters is more likely in systems with more initial planets. Due to the large-scale chaoticity that dominates the evolution, high eccentricities and/or high inclinations are generated mainly by close encounters between the planets and not by secular perturbations (Kozai or otherwise). The relative proportion of retrograde planets seems of be dependent on the stellar age. Both the distribution of almost aligned systems and the simulated 3 day pile-up also fit observations better in our four-planet simulations. This may suggest that the planetary systems with observed hot Jupiters were originally rich in the number of planets, some of which were ejected. In a broad perspective, our work therefore hints on an unexpected link between the hot Jupiters and recently discovered free floating planets.

  9. NASA’s Universe of Learning: Providing a Direct Connection to NASA Science for Learners of all Ages with ViewSpace (United States)

    Lawton, Brandon L.; Rhue, Timothy; Smith, Denise A.; Squires, Gordon K.; Biferno, Anya A.; Lestition, Kathleen; Cominsky, Lynn R.; Godfrey, John; Lee, Janice C.; Manning, Colleen


    NASA's Universe of Learning creates and delivers science-driven, audience-driven resources and experiences designed to engage and immerse learners of all ages and backgrounds in exploring the universe for themselves. The project is the result of a unique partnership between the Space Telescope Science Institute, Caltech/IPAC, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and Sonoma State University, and is one of 27 competitively-selected cooperative agreements within the NASA Science Mission Directorate STEM Activation program. The NASA's Universe of Learning team draws upon cutting-edge science and works closely with Subject Matter Experts (scientists and engineers) from across the NASA Astrophysics Physics of the Cosmos, Cosmic Origins, and Exoplanet Exploration themes. As one example, NASA’s Universe of Learning program is uniquely able to provide informal learning venues with a direct connection to the science of NASA astrophysics via the ViewSpace platform. ViewSpace is a modular multimedia exhibit where people explore the latest discoveries in our quest to understand the universe. Hours of awe-inspiring video content connect users’ lives with an understanding of our planet and the wonders of the universe. This experience is rooted in informal learning, astronomy, and earth science. Scientists and educators are intimately involved in the production of ViewSpace material. ViewSpace engages visitors of varying backgrounds and experience at museums, science centers, planetariums, and libraries across the United States. In addition to creating content, the Universe of Learning team is updating the ViewSpace platform to provide for additional functionality, including the introduction of digital interactives to make ViewSpace a multi-modal learning experience. During this presentation we will share the ViewSpace platform, explain how Subject Matter Experts are critical in creating content for ViewSpace, and how we are addressing audience

  10. Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars. (United States)

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


    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.

  11. What We Know about the Impacts of WebQuests: A Review of Research (United States)

    Abbitt, Jason; Ophus, John


    This article examines the body of research investigating the impacts of the WebQuest instructional strategy on teaching and learning. The WebQuest instructional strategy is often praised as an inquiry-oriented activity, which effectively integrates technology into teaching and learning. The results of research suggest that while this strategy may…

  12. "Black Boy": A Story of Soul-Making and a Quest for the Real. (United States)

    Howland, Jacob


    The general character and significance of a quest for the real gives "Black Boy" its special form. The autobiography displays the development of Wright's soul and the nature of his own specifically artistic quest. The opening scene metaphorically prefigures the shape and movement of Wright's formative experiences as a whole. (LHW)

  13. Absence of a Metallicity Effect for Ultra-short-period Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winn, Joshua N.; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Isaacson, Howard; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Rogers, Leslie; Petigura, Erik A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Schlaufman, Kevin C.; Cargile, Phillip; Hebb, Leslie


    Ultra-short-period (USP) planets are a newly recognized class of planets with periods shorter than one day and radii smaller than about 2  R ⊕ . It has been proposed that USP planets are the solid cores of hot Jupiters that have lost their gaseous envelopes due to photo-evaporation or Roche lobe overflow. We test this hypothesis by asking whether USP planets are associated with metal-rich stars, as has long been observed for hot Jupiters. We find the metallicity distributions of USP-planet and hot-Jupiter hosts to be significantly different ( p = 3 × 10 −4 ) based on Keck spectroscopy of Kepler stars. Evidently, the sample of USP planets is not dominated by the evaporated cores of hot Jupiters. The metallicity distribution of stars with USP planets is indistinguishable from that of stars with short-period planets with sizes between 2 and 4  R ⊕ . Thus, it remains possible that the USP planets are the solid cores of formerly gaseous planets that are smaller than Neptune.

  14. Absence of a Metallicity Effect for Ultra-short-period Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Winn, Joshua N. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 4 Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540 (United States); Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Isaacson, Howard; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Rogers, Leslie [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Petigura, Erik A.; Howard, Andrew W. [Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Schlaufman, Kevin C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Cargile, Phillip [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Hebb, Leslie [Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456 (United States)


    Ultra-short-period (USP) planets are a newly recognized class of planets with periods shorter than one day and radii smaller than about 2  R {sub ⊕}. It has been proposed that USP planets are the solid cores of hot Jupiters that have lost their gaseous envelopes due to photo-evaporation or Roche lobe overflow. We test this hypothesis by asking whether USP planets are associated with metal-rich stars, as has long been observed for hot Jupiters. We find the metallicity distributions of USP-planet and hot-Jupiter hosts to be significantly different ( p = 3 × 10{sup −4}) based on Keck spectroscopy of Kepler stars. Evidently, the sample of USP planets is not dominated by the evaporated cores of hot Jupiters. The metallicity distribution of stars with USP planets is indistinguishable from that of stars with short-period planets with sizes between 2 and 4  R {sub ⊕}. Thus, it remains possible that the USP planets are the solid cores of formerly gaseous planets that are smaller than Neptune.

  15. Giant planet population synthesis: comparing theory with observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benz, W; Mordasini, C; Alibert, Y; Naef, D


    The characteristics of the now over 250 known extra-solar giant planets begin to provide a database with which current planet formation theories can be put to the test. To do this, we synthesize the expected planet population based on the core-accretion scenario by sampling initial conditions in a Monte Carlo fashion. We then apply appropriate observational detection biases and compare the resulting population with the one actually detected. Quantitative statistical tests allow us to determine how well the models are reproducing the observed samples. The model can be applied to compute the expected planet population detectable with different techniques (radial velocity measurements, transits, gravitational lensing, etc) or orbiting stars of different masses. In the latter case, we show that forming Jupiter-mass planets orbiting M dwarfs within the lifetime of proto-planetary disks is indeed possible. However, the models predict that with decreasing stellar mass, the ratio of Jupiter- to Neptune-mass planets will sharply decrease

  16. Giant planet population synthesis: comparing theory with observations (United States)

    Benz, W.; Mordasini, C.; Alibert, Y.; Naef, D.


    The characteristics of the now over 250 known extra-solar giant planets begin to provide a database with which current planet formation theories can be put to the test. To do this, we synthesize the expected planet population based on the core-accretion scenario by sampling initial conditions in a Monte Carlo fashion. We then apply appropriate observational detection biases and compare the resulting population with the one actually detected. Quantitative statistical tests allow us to determine how well the models are reproducing the observed samples. The model can be applied to compute the expected planet population detectable with different techniques (radial velocity measurements, transits, gravitational lensing, etc) or orbiting stars of different masses. In the latter case, we show that forming Jupiter-mass planets orbiting M dwarfs within the lifetime of proto-planetary disks is indeed possible. However, the models predict that with decreasing stellar mass, the ratio of Jupiter- to Neptune-mass planets will sharply decrease.

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


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


    In order to characterize the physical properties of an extra-solar planet one needs to detect planetary radiation, either visible (VIS) to near-infrared (NIR) reflected starlight or infrared (IR) thermal radiation. Both the reflected and thermal flux depend on the size of the planet, the distance between the planet and the star, the distance between the observer and the planet, and the planet’s phase angle (i.e. the angle between the star and the observer as seen from the planet). Moreover, t...

  18. Rapid Estimation of Gustatory Sensitivity Thresholds with SIAM and QUEST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Höchenberger


    Full Text Available Adaptive methods provide quick and reliable estimates of sensory sensitivity. Yet, these procedures are typically developed for and applied to the non-chemical senses only, i.e., to vision, audition, and somatosensation. The relatively long inter-stimulus-intervals in gustatory studies, which are required to minimize adaptation and habituation, call for time-efficient threshold estimations. We therefore tested the suitability of two adaptive yes-no methods based on SIAM and QUEST for rapid estimation of taste sensitivity by comparing test-retest reliability for sucrose, citric acid, sodium chloride, and quinine hydrochloride thresholds. We show that taste thresholds can be obtained in a time efficient manner with both methods (within only 6.5 min on average using QUEST and ~9.5 min using SIAM. QUEST yielded higher test-retest correlations than SIAM in three of the four tastants. Either method allows for taste threshold estimation with low strain on participants, rendering them particularly advantageous for use in subjects with limited attentional or mnemonic capacities, and for time-constrained applications during cohort studies or in the testing of patients and children.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O'Brien, David P.; Raymond, Sean N.


    Prior work has found that a variety of terrestrial planetary compositions are expected to occur within known extrasolar planetary systems. However, such studies ignored the effects of giant planet migration, which is thought to be very common in extrasolar systems. Here we present calculations of the compositions of terrestrial planets that formed in dynamical simulations incorporating varying degrees of giant planet migration. We used chemical equilibrium models of the solid material present in the disks of five known planetary host stars: the Sun, GJ 777, HD4203, HD19994, and HD213240. Giant planet migration has a strong effect on the compositions of simulated terrestrial planets as the migration results in large-scale mixing between terrestrial planet building blocks that condensed at a range of temperatures. This mixing acts to (1) increase the typical abundance of Mg-rich silicates in the terrestrial planets' feeding zones and thus increase the frequency of planets with Earth-like compositions compared with simulations with static giant planet orbits, and (2) drastically increase the efficiency of the delivery of hydrous phases (water and serpentine) to terrestrial planets and thus produce waterworlds and/or wet Earths. Our results demonstrate that although a wide variety of terrestrial planet compositions can still be produced, planets with Earth-like compositions should be common within extrasolar planetary systems.

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


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barge P.


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

  2. Planet Ocean (United States)

    Afonso, Isabel


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

  3. Space life sciences: A status report (United States)


    The scientific research and supporting technology development conducted in the Space Life Sciences Program is described. Accomplishments of the past year are highlighted. Plans for future activities are outlined. Some specific areas of study include the following: Crew health and safety; What happens to humans in space; Gravity, life, and space; Sustenance in space; Life and planet Earth; Life in the Universe; Promoting good science and good will; Building a future for the space life sciences; and Benefits of space life sciences research.

  4. Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using SOFIA (United States)

    Deming, Drake


    Topics include: the landscape of extrasolar planets, why focus on transiting planets, some history and Spitzer results, problems in atmospheric structure or hot Jupiters and hot super Earths, what observations are needed to make progress, and what SOFIA can currently do and comments on optimized instruments.

  5. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation (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.


    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

  6. 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: [Centre for Planetary Sciences, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4 (Canada)


    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.

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

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


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

  8. The Pluto Case and the Nature of Science (United States)

    Nóbrega de Albuquerque, Vanessa; Leite, Cristina


    Pluto had its classification changed in 2006, from planet to “dwarf planet”. This change had great impact in the media. Pluto returned to the news due to the arrival of New Horizons probe to Pluto in July 2015. Whereas the understanding of the complexity involved in the definition of celestial bodies could help us to show science as a historic, social, collective, non-linear and non-neutral process, it is presented a historical survey of the episodes involving the various definitions for planet, since the first observations of the sky made by our ancestors until the resolutions that defined which are the attributes of a "planet " made at the 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, meeting at which it was decided to reclassify Pluto. In order contribute to help perform discussions about the nature of science involving Astronomy themes, it is explained which features of scientific knowledge become evident during the study of the mentioned episodes.

  9. Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences: Accelerating Scientific Discovery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hules, John A.


    Scientists today rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, and computational science, as well as large-scale computing and networking facilities, to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab's Computing Sciences organization researches, develops, and deploys new tools and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research in such areas as global climate change, combustion, fusion energy, nanotechnology, biology, and astrophysics

  10. The planetesimal-driven migration of planets: Observational consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panichi, F.


    The role of planetary migration in a non–self-gravity planetesimals disk is analyzed in this paper. I calculate the migration rate exerted on a planet due to the gravitational interaction with a planetesimals disk both numerically and analytically. I use two different configurations for the disk-planet interaction: corotating (with an inclination of 0◦ with respect to the plane of motion of the disk) and counter-rotating (with an inclination of 180◦) planet. I perform 2D numerical simulations of disks with 104 planetesimals with or without a Rayleigh distribution in eccentricity. I show that counter- and co-rotating planets have different migration rates: retrograde planets migrate faster than the prograde ones. The migration rate depends on the ratio between the planet to planetesimal mass and on the initial mean eccentricity of planetesimals. I compare numerical simulations with analytical theories of dynamical friction and linear theory of density waves. In both cases each theory can explain only parts of the simulation results. A more general and powerful analytical theory of planet migration must be realized. Finally I simulate the observation of co- and counter-rotating massless disks of planetesimals with the interferometer ALMA. With the high resolution of ALMA it is possible to characterize the gap created by the resonances overlap. I show that in the two cases different resonance conditions create gaps with different extensions which can be observed with ALMA for a distance of 100 parsec and a disk size of 100 A.U., and for disks of 20 A.U. and a distance of 50 parsec. With this simple method it is possible to calculate the planet’s mass in both cases studying the indirect presence of the planet. The case of massive disks are also investigated. In this case planet migration creates a large modification of the planetesimals density profile that can be studied observing the brightness surface profile of the disk. Conversely to other detection

  11. Star-planet systems as possible progenitors of cataclysmic binaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Livio, M.; Soker, N.


    The evolution of a star-planet system is studied, in the phase in which the star becomes a red giant, thus enabling the planet to accrete mass either from its envelope or from its wind. It is found that for planets which are embedded in the envelope, there exists a certain critical initial mass, under which the planets are totally evaporated while spiralling-in. Planets with an initial mass above this critical value are all transformed into low-mass stellar companions to the giant's core. The final masses of these secondaries are almost independent of their initial mass and their initial separation, as long as the latter is greater than a certain critical value. The final masses are essentially determined by the giant's envelope mass. The star-planet separation is found to increase for planets that accrete from the stellar wind, when tidal effects are neglected. Possible consequences of these results on the problem of formation of low-mass cataclysmic binaries are discussed. (author)

  12. Worlds beyond our own the search for habitable planets

    CERN Document Server

    Sengupta, Sujan


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

  13. Dynamical Constraints on Non-Transiting Planets at Trappist-1 (United States)

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


    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.

  14. Four new planets around giant stars and the mass-metallicity correlation of planet-hosting stars (United States)

    Jones, M. I.; Jenkins, J. S.; Brahm, R.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Olivares E., F.; Melo, C. H. F.; Rojo, P.; Jordán, A.; Drass, H.; Butler, R. P.; Wang, L.


    Context. Exoplanet searches have revealed interesting correlations between the stellar properties and the occurrence rate of planets. In particular, different independent surveys have demonstrated that giant planets are preferentially found around metal-rich stars and that their fraction increases with the stellar mass. Aims: During the past six years we have conducted a radial velocity follow-up program of 166 giant stars to detect substellar companions and to characterize their orbital properties. Using this information, we aim to study the role of the stellar evolution in the orbital parameters of the companions and to unveil possible correlations between the stellar properties and the occurrence rate of giant planets. Methods: We took multi-epoch spectra using FEROS and CHIRON for all of our targets, from which we computed precision radial velocities and derived atmospheric and physical parameters. Additionally, velocities computed from UCLES spectra are presented here. By studying the periodic radial velocity signals, we detected the presence of several substellar companions. Results: We present four new planetary systems around the giant stars HIP 8541, HIP 74890, HIP 84056, and HIP 95124. Additionally, we study the correlation between the occurrence rate of giant planets with the stellar mass and metallicity of our targets. We find that giant planets are more frequent around metal-rich stars, reaching a peak in the detection of f = 16.7+15.5-5.9% around stars with [Fe/H] ~ 0.35 dex. Similarly, we observe a positive correlation of the planet occurrence rate with the stellar mass, between M⋆ ~ 1.0 and 2.1 M⊙, with a maximum of f = 13.0+10.1-4.2% at M⋆ = 2.1 M⊙. Conclusions: We conclude that giant planets are preferentially formed around metal-rich stars. In addition, we conclude that they are more efficiently formed around more massive stars, in the stellar mass range of ~1.0-2.1 M⊙. These observational results confirm previous findings for solar

  15. Many skies alternative histories of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars

    CERN Document Server

    Upgren, Arthur


    Many Skies: Alternative Histories of the Sun, Moon, Planets, and Stars examines the changes in science that  alternative solar, stellar, and galactic arrangements would have brought, and explores the different theologies, astrologies, and methods of tracking time that would have developed to reflect them. Our perception of our surroundings, the number of gods we worship, the symbols we use in art and literature, even the way we form nations and empires are all closely tied to our particular (and accidental) placement in the universe.  Upgren also explores the actual ways tha

  16. Initial plasma production by induction electric field on QUEST tokamak

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasegawa, Makoto; Nakamura, Kazuo; Sato, Kohnosuke


    Induction electric field by center solenoid coil plays a roll to produce initial plasma. According to Townsend avalanche theory, minimum electric field for plasma breakdown depends on neutral gas pressure and connection length. On QUEST spherical tokamak, a connection length is evaluated as 966m on null point neighborhood with coil current ratio I PF26 /I CS =0.1, and induction electric field considering eddy current of vacuum vessel is evaluated as about 0.1 V/m on null point neighborhood. With Townsend avalanche theory, these values manage to produce initial plasma on QUEST. (author)

  17. Pioneering the red planet; adventures on Martian soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Peijl, I.; Veraart, M.


    Mars has always obsessed humankind - the Red planet, the ‘New Earth’. And with the recent successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover, Mars is closer than ever. Ever since 1960, we have actively been sending probes and rovers to observe the planet, but not without defeat. The road to the red planet

  18. Planet map generation by tetrahedral subdivision

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mogensen, Torben Ægidius


    We present a method for generating pseudo-random, zoomable planet maps for games and art.  The method is based on spatial subdivision using tetrahedrons.  This ensures planet maps without discontinuities caused by mapping a flat map onto a sphere. We compare the method to other map...

  19. Migration of planetesimals during last stages of giant planet accumulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ipatov, S.I.


    The migration and accumulation of bodies from the giant planet's feeding zones are investigated after the main part of mass of these planets had been formed. These investigations are based on the computer simulation results for the evolving spatial disks which initially consisted of a few almost formed planets and hundreds of identical bodies in Uranus and Neptune zone. It is shown that the total mass of bodies penetrated in the asteroid zone from the giant planet zones could be ten times as large as the Earth mass. The beyond-Neptune belt could form during accumulation of the giant planets. Evolution of the planet orbits under encounters of planets with planetesimals is investigated

  20. A Direct Path to Finding Earth-Like Planets (United States)

    Heap, Sara R.; Linder, Don J.


    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.