Sample records for swansea planet peak

  1. Extrasolar Planet Transits Observed at Kitt Peak National Observatory (United States)

    Sada, Pedro V.; Deming, Drake; Jennings, Donald E.; Jackson, Brian k.; Hamilton, Catrina M.; Fraine, Jonathan; Peterson, Steven W.; Haase, Flynn; Bays, Kevin; Lunsford, Allen; O'Gorman, Eamon


    We obtained J-, H-, and JH-band photometry of known extrasolar planet transiting systems at the 2.1 m Kitt Peak National Observatory Telescope using the FLAMINGOS infrared camera between 2008 October and 2011 October. From the derived light curves we have extracted the midtransit times, transit depths and transit durations for these events. The precise midtransit times obtained help improve the orbital periods and also constrain transit-time variations of the systems. For most cases the published system parameters successfully accounted for our observed light curves, but in some instances we derive improved planetary radii and orbital periods. We complemented our 2.1 m infrared observations using CCD z‧-band and B-band photometry (plus two Hα filter observations) obtained with the Kitt Peak Visitor Center Telescope, and with four H-band transits observed in 2007 October with the NSO’s 1.6 m McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. The principal highlights of our results are (1) Our ensemble of J-band planetary radii agree with optical radii, with the best-fit relation being (Rp/R∗)J = 0.0017 + 0.979(Rp/R∗)vis. (2) We observe starspot crossings during the transit of WASP-11/HAT-P-10. (3) We detect starspot crossings by HAT-P-11b (Kepler-3b), thus confirming that the magnetic evolution of the stellar active regions can be monitored even after the Kepler mission has ended. (4) We confirm a grazing transit for HAT-P-27/WASP-40. In total, we present 57 individual transits of 32 known exoplanet systems.

  2. The Littoral Pycnogonida of the Swansea Area of the United Kingdom

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey was carried out at the Mumbles Pier Ares of Swansea in the United Kingdom to determine whether or not oil spills and other human activity in the region affected the distribution of Pycnogonids (Sea spiders) within the area. Results indicate that the oil spills have no effect on the presence or absence of these ...

  3. Annual Energy Production (AEP) optimization for tidal power plants based on Evolutionary Algorithms - Swansea Bay Tidal Power Plant AEP optimization (United States)

    Kontoleontos, E.; Weissenberger, S.


    In order to be able to predict the maximum Annual Energy Production (AEP) for tidal power plants, an advanced AEP optimization procedure is required for solving the optimization problem which consists of a high number of design variables and constraints. This efficient AEP optimization procedure requires an advanced optimization tool (EASY software) and an AEP calculation tool that can simulate all different operating modes of the units (bidirectional turbine, pump and sluicing mode). The EASY optimization software is a metamodel-assisted Evolutionary Algorithm (MAEA) that can be used in both single- and multi-objective optimization problems. The AEP calculation tool, developed by ANDRITZ HYDRO, in combination with EASY is used to maximize the tidal annual energy produced by optimizing the plant operation throughout the year. For the Swansea Bay Tidal Power Plant project, the AEP optimization along with the hydraulic design optimization and the model testing was used to evaluate all different hydraulic and operating concepts and define the optimal concept that led to a significant increase of the AEP value. This new concept of a triple regulated “bi-directional bulb pump turbine” for Swansea Bay Tidal Power Plant (16 units, nominal power above 320 MW) along with its AEP optimization scheme will be presented in detail in the paper. Furthermore, the use of an online AEP optimization during operation of the power plant, that will provide the optimal operating points to the control system, will be also presented.

  4. Muusikamaailm : Tšehhi Filharmoonikud Ashkenazyga. Swansea festivali lõpetas Paavo Järvi. Steieri sügisfestivalilt. Ooperifestival Wexfordis / Priit Kuusk

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Kuusk, Priit, 1938-


    Tšehhi. Filh. Ork. kontserdireisist Inglismaale uue peadirigendi V.Ashkenazy juhatusel. Swansea sügisfestivalist Walesimaal. 23. okt. toimunud rahvusvahelisest Euroopa Ringhäälingute Liidu ooperiõhtu ülekandest Euroraadios. Uue muusika festivalist "Steirische Herbst" Austrias. Wexfordi ooperifestivalist Iirimaal/Tšehhi Filharmoonia Orkester//BBC Walesi Rahvusorkester//City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

  5. 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...

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

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


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

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


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


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

  8. 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

  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.

  10. Searching for extragalactic planets


    Baltz, Edward A.; Gondolo, Paolo


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

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

    Owen, James E.; Wu, Yanqin


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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Theory of Giant Planets (United States)

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

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

  15. 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?

  16. 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...

  17. BINARY MINOR PLANETS (United States)

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

  18. Students Discover Unique Planet (United States)


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

  19. Peak flow meter (image) (United States)

    A peak flow meter is commonly used by a person with asthma to measure the amount of air that can be ... become narrow or blocked due to asthma, peak flow values will drop because the person cannot blow ...

  20. 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.

  1. The formation of planets in circumbinary discs (United States)

    Pelupessy, F. I.; Portegies Zwart, S.


    We examine the formation of planets around binary stars in light of the recently discovered systems Kepler 16, 34 and 35. We conduct hydrodynamical simulations of self-gravitating discs around binary systems. The selected binary and disc parameters are chosen consistent with observed systems. The discs are evolved until they settle in a quasi-equilibrium and the resulting systems are compared with the parameters of Kepler 16, 34 and 35. We find a close correspondence of the peak density at the inner disc gap and the orbit of the observed planets. We conclude, based on our simulations, that the orbits of the observed Kepler planets are determined by the size of the inner disc gap which for these systems results from the binary driving. This mediates planet formation either through the density enhancement or through planetary trapping at the density gradient inversion in the inner disc. For all three systems the current eccentricity of the planetary orbit is less than the disc eccentricity in the simulations. This, together with the long-term stability of the orbits argues against in situ formation (e.g. a direct collapse scenario of the material in the ring). Conducting additional simulations of systems with a wider range of parameters (taken from a survey of eclipsing binaries), we find that the planet semimajor axis and binary eccentricity in such a scenario should be tightly correlated providing an observational test of this formation mechanism.

  2. Protostars and Planets VI (United States)

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

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

  3. Why is the diffraction peak a peak?

    CERN Document Server

    Cornille, H


    It is proved that the high-energy differential cross section for an elastic process has a maximum exactly in the forward direction and that the slope of the diffraction peak is at most (log s)/sup 2/. The widths of the diffraction peaks defined by the absorptive part and the differential cross section are compared. The assumptions are that the amplitude is dominated by the even signature amplitude and that the total cross section, if it decreases, decreases less fast than s/sup -1/2/. Strictly speaking, the results hold only for a sequence of energies approaching infinity. The proofs are given for the spin-O- spin-O case, but it is not unreasonable to hope that they can be generalized to arbitrary spins. (13 refs).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Location of Planet X

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrington, R.S.


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

  7. Peak Experience Project (United States)

    Scott, Daniel G.; Evans, Jessica


    This paper emerges from the continued analysis of data collected in a series of international studies concerning Childhood Peak Experiences (CPEs) based on developments in understanding peak experiences in Maslow's hierarchy of needs initiated by Dr Edward Hoffman. Bridging from the series of studies, Canadian researchers explore collected…

  8. Stochasticity and predictability in terrestrial planet formation (United States)

    Hoffmann, Volker; Grimm, Simon L.; Moore, Ben; Stadel, Joachim


    Terrestrial planets are thought to be the result of a vast number of gravitational interactions and collisions between smaller bodies. We use numerical simulations to show that practically identical initial conditions result in a wide array of final planetary configurations. This is a result of the chaotic evolution of trajectories which are highly sensitive to minuscule displacements. We determine that differences between systems evolved from virtually identical initial conditions can be larger than the differences between systems evolved from very different initial conditions. This implies that individual simulations lack predictive power. For example, there is not a reproducible mapping between the initial and final surface density profiles. However, some key global properties can still be extracted if the statistical spread across many simulations is considered. Based on these spreads, we explore the collisional growth and orbital properties of terrestrial planets, which assemble from different initial conditions (we vary the initial planetesimal distribution, planetesimal masses, and giant planet orbits.). Confirming past work, we find that the resulting planetary systems are sculpted by sweeping secular resonances. Configurations with giant planets on eccentric orbits produce fewer and more massive terrestrial planets on tighter orbits than those with giants on circular orbits. This is further enhanced if the initial mass distribution is biased to the inner regions. In all cases, the outer edge of the system is set by the final location of the ν6 resonance and we find that the mass distribution peaks at the ν5 resonance. Using existing observations, we find that extrasolar systems follow similar trends. Although differences between our numerical modelling and exoplanetary systems remain, we suggest that CoRoT-7, HD 20003 and HD 20781 may host undetected giant planets.

  9. Planets and satellites galore (United States)

    Marsden, B. G.


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

  10. The Planet Formation Imager (United States)

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


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

  11. The Planet Venus (United States)


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

  12. Planets and Pucks. (United States)

    Brueningsen, Christopher; Krawiec, Wesley


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

  13. 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...

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

    Kohler, Susanna


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

  15. 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.

  16. Trojan twin planets (United States)

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


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

  17. Planet formation around millisecond pulsars (United States)

    Banit, Menashe; Ruderman, Malvin; Shaham, Jacob


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

  18. 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.…

  19. Rainbows, polarization, and the search for habitable planets. (United States)

    Bailey, Jeremy


    Current proposals for the characterization of extrasolar terrestrial planets rest primarily on the use of spectroscopic techniques. While spectroscopy is effective in detecting the gaseous components of a planet's atmosphere, it provides no way of detecting the presence of liquid water, the defining characteristic of a habitable planet. In this paper, I investigate the potential of an alternative technique for characterizing the atmosphere of a planet using polarization. By looking for a polarization peak at the "primary rainbow" scattering angle, it is possible to detect the presence of liquid droplets in a planet's atmosphere and constrain the nature of the liquid through its refractive index. Single scattering calculations are presented to show that a well-defined rainbow scattering peak is present over the full range of likely cloud droplet sizes and clearly distinguishes the presence of liquid droplets from solid particles such as ice or dust. Rainbow scattering has been used in the past to determine the nature of the cloud droplets in the Venus atmosphere and by the POLarization and Directionality of Earth Reflectances (POLDER) instrument to distinguish between liquid and ice clouds in the Earth atmosphere. While the presence of liquid water clouds does not guarantee the presence of water at the surface, this technique could complement spectroscopic techniques for characterizing the atmospheres of potential habitable planets. The disk-integrated rainbow peak for Earth is estimated to be at a degree of polarization of 12.7% or 15.5% for two different cloud cover scenarios. The observation of this rainbow peak is shown to be feasible with the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronograph mission in similar total integration times to those required for spectroscopic characterization.

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

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


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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Peak-interviewet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raalskov, Jesper; Warming-Rasmussen, Bent

    Peak-interviewet er en særlig effektiv metode til at gøre ubevidste menneskelige ressourcer bevidste. Fokuspersonen (den interviewede) interviewes om en selvvalgt, personlig succesoplevelse. Terapeuten/coachen (intervieweren) spørger ind til processen, som ledte hen til denne succes. Herved afdæk...

  4. Automated asteroseismic peak detections (United States)

    de Montellano, A. García Saravia Ortiz; Hekker, S.; Themeßl, N.


    Space observatories such as Kepler have provided data that can potentially revolutionise our understanding of stars. Through detailed asteroseismic analyses we are capable of determining fundamental stellar parameters and reveal the stellar internal structure with unprecedented accuracy. However, such detailed analyses, known as peak bagging, have so far been obtained for only a small percentage of the observed stars while most of the scientific potential of the available data remains unexplored. One of the major challenges in peak bagging is identifying how many solar-like oscillation modes are visible in a power density spectrum. Identification of oscillation modes is usually done by visual inspection which is time-consuming and has a degree of subjectivity. Here, we present a peak detection algorithm specially suited for the detection of solar-like oscillations. It reliably characterises the solar-like oscillations in a power density spectrum and estimates their parameters without human intervention. Furthermore, we provide a metric to characterise the false positive and false negative rates to provide further information about the reliability of a detected oscillation mode or the significance of a lack of detected oscillation modes. The algorithm presented here opens the possibility for detailed and automated peak bagging of the thousands of solar-like oscillators observed by Kepler.

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

    Lissauer, Jack


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

  6. 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.

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


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


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

  8. 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 (

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

    Anderson, John


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

  10. Planet X - ract or fiction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, J.


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

  11. The hunt for Planet X

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Croswell, Ken


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

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

    Anderson, John


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

  13. 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...

  14. 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....

  15. Giant Planet Formation and Migration (United States)

    Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Johansen, Anders


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

  16. Kitt Peak speckle camera. (United States)

    Breckinridge, J B; McAlister, H A; Robinson, W G


    The speckle camera in regular use at Kitt Peak National Observatory since 1974 is described in detail. The design of the atmospheric dispersion compensation prisms, the use of film as a recording medium, the accuracy of double star measurements, and the next generation speckle camera are discussed. Photographs of double star speckle patterns with separations from 1.4 sec of arc to 4.7 sec of arc are shown to illustrate the quality of image formation with this camera, the effects of seeing on the patterns, and to illustrate the isoplanatic patch of the atmosphere.

  17. Peak-Finding Algorithms. (United States)

    Hung, Jui-Hung; Weng, Zhiping


    Microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies have greatly expedited the discovery of genomic DNA that can be enriched using various biochemical methods. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is a general method for enriching chromatin fragments that are specifically recognized by an antibody. The resulting DNA fragments can be assayed by microarray (ChIP-chip) or sequencing (ChIP-seq). This introduction focuses on ChIP-seq data analysis. The first step of analyzing ChIP-seq data is identifying regions in the genome that are enriched in a ChIP sample; these regions are called peaks. © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  18. Search for planet X (United States)

    Harrington, Robert S.


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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.


    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.

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

    Moses, Julianne I


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

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

    Chance, Quadry


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

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

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


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

  5. Spectral analysis of crater central peak material (ccp) (United States)

    Galiano, A.; Palomba, E.; Longobardo, A.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Carrozzo, F. G.; Tosi, F.


    The dwarf planet Ceres, the largest and most massive object in the main asteroid belt, is dark and heavily cratered by impacts. The detection of bright spots, especially in the Occator crater, suggested a vertical gradient in Ceres mineralogical composition. Geologic mapping of Ceres enabled the identification of various surface features of interest. Here we focus our attention on the geologic units known as crater central peak material (ccp). Ccp composes the central peak of several complex craters, probably representative of fresher material coming from the subsurface as a consequence of the impact. We carried out a spectral analysis of ccps found on Ceres to investigate the mineralogical properties of the subsurface material.

  6. Armenian Names of the Planets (United States)

    Harutyunian, Haik A.


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

  7. 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...

  8. Planets, stars and stellar systems

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  9. Evolution of Earth Like Planets (United States)

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


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohr, Jakob; Olsen, Kasper


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

  11. Peak flow meter use - slideshow (United States)

    ... page: // Peak flow meter use - Series—Peak flow meter use - part one To use the sharing ... slide 7 out of 7 Overview A peak flow meter helps you check how well your asthma ...

  12. 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.

  13. Tectonic evolution of terrestrial planets (United States)

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


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

  14. Dictionary of Minor Planet Names

    CERN Document Server

    Schmadel, Lutz


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

  15. Dictionary of minor planet names

    CERN Document Server

    Schmadel, Lutz D


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

  16. Characterizing K2 Planet Discoveries (United States)

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


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

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

    Williams, D M; Kasting, J F


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

  18. Dynamical evidence for Planet X (United States)

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


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

  19. Exploring Mercury: The Iron Planet


    Stevenson, David J.


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

  20. Guldlok og de nye planeter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke


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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.


    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    The main thrust of this paper is peak shaving with a Stochastic hydro model. In peak sharing, the amount of hydro energy scheduled may be a minimum but it serves to replace less efficient thermal units. The sample system is die Kainji .... ni = average number of times the system load is in state Li in period k. 5. Numerical ...

  4. Finding Spring on Planet X (United States)

    Simoson, Andrew J.


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

  5. Monster telescope hunts blue planets

    CERN Multimedia

    Leake, J


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

  6. MEMS AO for Planet Finding (United States)

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


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

  7. Tracking Planets around the Sun (United States)

    Riddle, Bob


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

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

    Kaufmann, William


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

  9. Venus and Mercury as Planets (United States)


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koll, Daniel D. B.; Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)


    Next-generation space telescopes will allow us to characterize terrestrial exoplanets. To do so effectively it will be crucial to make use of all available data. We investigate which atmospheric properties can, and cannot, be inferred from the broadband thermal phase curve of a dry and tidally locked terrestrial planet. First, we use dimensional analysis to show that phase curves are controlled by six nondimensional parameters. Second, we use an idealized general circulation model to explore the relative sensitivity of phase curves to these parameters. We find that the feature of phase curves most sensitive to atmospheric parameters is the peak-to-trough amplitude. Moreover, except for hot and rapidly rotating planets, the phase amplitude is primarily sensitive to only two nondimensional parameters: (1) the ratio of dynamical to radiative timescales and (2) the longwave optical depth at the surface. As an application of this technique, we show how phase curve measurements can be combined with transit or emission spectroscopy to yield a new constraint for the surface pressure and atmospheric mass of terrestrial planets. We estimate that a single broadband phase curve, measured over half an orbit with the James Webb Space Telescope, could meaningfully constrain the atmospheric mass of a nearby super-Earth. Such constraints will be important for studying the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial exoplanets as well as characterizing the surface conditions on potentially habitable planets.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Kasdin, N. J.; Braems, I.


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

  15. Growing and moving planets in disks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan


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

  16. 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…

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

    Solomon, S. C.


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

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

    Goldreich, P.; Ward, W. R.


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

  19. Observational biases for transiting planets (United States)

    Kipping, David M.; Sandford, Emily


    Observational biases distort our view of nature, such that the patterns we see within a surveyed population of interest are often unrepresentative of the truth we seek. Transiting planets currently represent the most informative data set on the ensemble properties of exoplanets within 1 au of their star. However, the transit method is inherently biased due to both geometric and detection-driven effects. In this work, we derive the overall observational biases affecting the most basic transit parameters from first principles. By assuming a trapezoidal transit and using conditional probability, we infer the expected distribution of these terms both as a joint distribution and in a marginalized form. These general analytic results provide a baseline against which to compare trends predicted by mission-tailored injection/recovery simulations and offer a simple way to correct for observational bias. Our results explain why the observed population of transiting planets displays a non-uniform impact parameter distribution, with a bias towards near-equatorial geometries. We also find that the geometric bias towards observed planets transiting near periastron is attenuated by the longer durations which occur near apoastron. Finally, we predict that the observational bias with respect to ratio-of-radii is super-quadratic, scaling as (RP/R⋆)5/2, driven by an enhanced geometric transit probability and modestly longer durations.

  20. The Giant Planet Satellite Exospheres (United States)

    McGrath, M. A.


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

  1. Celestial mechanics of planet shells (United States)

    Barkin, Yu V.; Vilke, V. G.


    The motion of a planet consisting of an external shell (mantle) and a core (rigid body), which are connected by a visco-elastic layer and mutually gravitationally interact with each other and with an external celestial body (considered as a material point), is studied (Barkin, 1999, 2002a,b; Vilke, 2004). Relative motions of the core and mantle are studied on the assumption that the centres of mass of the planet and external body move on unperturbed Keplerian orbits around the general centre of mass of the system. The core and mantle of the planet have axial symmetry and have different principal moments of inertia. The differential action of the external body on the core and mantle cause the periodic relative displacements of their centres of mass and their relative turns. An approximate solution of the problem was obtained on the basis of the linearization, averaging and small-parameter methods. The obtained analytical results are applied to the study of the possible relative displacements of the core and mantle of the Earth under the gravitational action of the Moon. For the suggested two-body Earth model and in the simple case of a circular (model) lunar orbit the new phenomenon of periodic translatory-rotary oscillations of the core with a fortnightly period the mantle was observed. The more remarkable phenomenon is the cyclic rotation with the same period (13.7 days) of the core relative to the mantle with a ‘large’ amplitude of 152 m (at the core surface).The results obtained confirm the general concept described by Barkin (1999, 2002a,b) that induced relative shell oscillations can control and dictate the cyclic and secular processes of energization of the planets and satellites in definite rhythms and on different time scales.The results obtained mean that giant moments and forces produce energy which causes in particular deformations of the viscoelastic layer between planet shells. This process is realized with different intensities on different time

  2. Planets, pluralism, and conceptual lineage (United States)

    Brusse, Carl


    Conceptual change can occur for a variety of reasons; some more scientifically significant than others. The 2006 definition of 'planet', which saw Pluto reclassified as a dwarf planet, is an example toward the more mundane end of the scale. I argue however that this case serves as a useful example of a related phenomenon, whereby what appears to be a single kind term conceals two or more distinct concepts with independent scientific utility. I examine the historical background to this case, as a template for developing additional evidence for pluralist approaches to conceptual disputes within science and elsewhere. "I would like to note that the two speakers who have spoken so far have both done the same extremely insulting gaffe," he said. "They have used the expression 'a physical definition of a planet' - by implication, suggesting that a dynamical definition is not physics!" He said he felt he had to teach the panel "something you should know": that dynamics was indeed physics, and in fact was addressed before solid-state physics in every textbook ever written." (Boyle, 2010, p. 126)

  3. Atmospheric Dynamics of Irradiated Planets (United States)

    Dobbs-Dixon, Ian


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

  4. Ultrasonic Transducer Peak-to-Peak Optical Measurement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Skarvada


    Full Text Available Possible optical setups for measurement of the peak-to-peak value of an ultrasonic transducer are described in this work. The Michelson interferometer with the calibrated nanopositioner in reference path and laser Doppler vibrometer were used for the basic measurement of vibration displacement. Langevin type of ultrasonic transducer is used for the purposes of Electro-Ultrasonic Nonlinear Spectroscopy (EUNS. Parameters of produced mechanical vibration have to been well known for EUNS. Moreover, a monitoring of mechanical vibration frequency shift with a mass load and sample-transducer coupling is important for EUNS measurement.

  5. 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.

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

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


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

  7. 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.

  8. Hubbert's Peak: A Physicist's View (United States)

    McDonald, Richard


    Oil and its by-products, as used in manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation, are the lifeblood of today's 7 billion-person population and our 65T world economy. Despite this importance, estimates of future oil production seem dominated by wishful thinking rather than quantitative analysis. Better studies are needed. In 1956, Dr. M.King Hubbert proposed a theory of resource production and applied it successfully to predict peak U.S. oil production in 1970. Thus, the peak of oil production is referred to as ``Hubbert's Peak.'' Prof. Al Bartlett extended this work in publications and lectures on population and oil. Both Hubbert and Bartlett place peak world oil production at a similar time, essentially now. This paper extends this line of work to include analyses of individual countries, inclusion of multiple Gaussian peaks, and analysis of reserves data. While this is not strictly a predictive theory, we will demonstrate a ``closed'' story connecting production, oil-in-place, and reserves. This gives us the ``most likely'' estimate of future oil availability. Finally, we will comment on synthetic oil and the possibility of carbon-neutral synthetic oil for a sustainable future.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esteves, Lisa J.; Mooij, Ernst J. W. De [Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H4 (Canada); Jayawardhana, Ray, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail: [Physics and Astronomy, York University, Toronto, Ontario L3T 3R1 (Canada)


    We present a comprehensive analysis of planetary phase variations, including possible planetary light offsets, using eighteen quarters of data from the Kepler space telescope. Our analysis found fourteen systems with significant detections in each of the phase curve components: planet’s phase function, secondary eclipse, Doppler boosting, and ellipsoidal variations. We model the full phase curve simultaneously, including primary and secondary transits, and derive albedos, day- and night-side temperatures and planet masses. Most planets manifest low optical geometric albedos (< 0.25), with the exception of Kepler-10b, Kepler-91b, and KOI-13b. We find that KOI-13b, with a small eccentricity of 0.0006 ± 0.0001, is the only planet for which an eccentric orbit is favored. We detect a third harmonic for HAT-P-7b for the first time, and confirm the third harmonic for KOI-13b reported in Esteves et al.: both could be due to their spin–orbit misalignments. For six planets, we report a planetary brightness peak offset from the substellar point: of those, the hottest two (Kepler-76b and HAT-P-7b) exhibit pre-eclipse shifts or on the evening-side, while the cooler four (Kepler-7b, Kepler-8b, Kepler-12b, and Kepler-41b) peak post-eclipse or on the morning-side. Our findings dramatically increase the number of Kepler planets with detected planetary light offsets, and provide the first evidence in the Kepler data for a correlation between the peak offset direction and the planet’s temperature. Such a correlation could arise if thermal emission dominates light from hotter planets that harbor hot spots shifted toward the evening-side, as theoretically predicted, while reflected light dominates cooler planets with clouds on the planet’s morning-side.

  10. Changing Phases of Alien Worlds: Probing Atmospheres of Kepler Planets with High-precision Photometry (United States)

    Esteves, Lisa J.; De Mooij, Ernst J. W.; Jayawardhana, Ray


    We present a comprehensive analysis of planetary phase variations, including possible planetary light offsets, using eighteen quarters of data from the Kepler space telescope. Our analysis found fourteen systems with significant detections in each of the phase curve components: planet’s phase function, secondary eclipse, Doppler boosting, and ellipsoidal variations. We model the full phase curve simultaneously, including primary and secondary transits, and derive albedos, day- and night-side temperatures and planet masses. Most planets manifest low optical geometric albedos (< 0.25), with the exception of Kepler-10b, Kepler-91b, and KOI-13b. We find that KOI-13b, with a small eccentricity of 0.0006 ± 0.0001, is the only planet for which an eccentric orbit is favored. We detect a third harmonic for HAT-P-7b for the first time, and confirm the third harmonic for KOI-13b reported in Esteves et al.: both could be due to their spin-orbit misalignments. For six planets, we report a planetary brightness peak offset from the substellar point: of those, the hottest two (Kepler-76b and HAT-P-7b) exhibit pre-eclipse shifts or on the evening-side, while the cooler four (Kepler-7b, Kepler-8b, Kepler-12b, and Kepler-41b) peak post-eclipse or on the morning-side. Our findings dramatically increase the number of Kepler planets with detected planetary light offsets, and provide the first evidence in the Kepler data for a correlation between the peak offset direction and the planet’s temperature. Such a correlation could arise if thermal emission dominates light from hotter planets that harbor hot spots shifted toward the evening-side, as theoretically predicted, while reflected light dominates cooler planets with clouds on the planet’s morning-side.

  11. Trapping Dust to Form Planets (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Growing a planet from a dust grain is hard work! A new study explores how vortices in protoplanetary disks can assist this process.When Dust Growth FailsTop: ALMA image of the protoplanetary disk of V1247 Orionis, with different emission components labeled. Bottom: Synthetic image constructed from the best-fit model. [Kraus et al. 2017]Gradual accretion onto a seed particle seems like a reasonable way to grow a planet from a grain of dust; after all, planetary embryos orbit within dusty protoplanetary disks, which provides them with plenty of fuel to accrete so they can grow. Theres a challenge to this picture, though: the radial drift problem.The radial drift problem acknowledges that, as growing dust grains orbit within the disk, the drag force on them continues to grow as well. For large enough dust grains perhaps around 1 millimeter the drag force will cause the grains orbits to decay, and the particles drift into the star before they are able to grow into planetesimals and planets.A Close-Up Look with ALMASo how do we overcome the radial drift problem in order to form planets? A commonly proposed mechanism is dust trapping, in which long-lived vortices in the disk trap the dust particles, preventing them from falling inwards. This allows the particles to persist for millions of years long enough to grow beyond the radial drift barrier.Observationally, these dust-trapping vortices should have signatures: we would expect to see, at millimeter wavelengths, specific bright, asymmetric structures where the trapping occurs in protoplanetary disks. Such disk structures have been difficult to spot with past instrumentation, but the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made some new observations of the disk V1247 Orionis that might be just what were looking for.Schematic of the authors model for the disk of V1247 Orionis. [Kraus et al. 2017]Trapped in a Vortex?ALMAs observations of V1247 Orionis are reported by a team of scientists led by Stefan

  12. No planet for HD 166435


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


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

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


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

  15. 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.

  16. All for the Planet, the Planet for everyone! (United States)

    Drndarski, Marina


    The Eco-Musketeers are unique voluntary group of students. They have been established in Belgrade, in Primary school 'Drinka Pavlović'. Since the founding in year 2000, Eco-Musketeers have been involved in peer and citizens education guided by motto: All for the planet, the planet for all! Main goals of this group are spreading and popularization of environmental approach as well as gaining knowledge through collaborative projects and research. A great number of students from other schools in Serbia have joined Eco-Musketeers in observations aiming to better understand the problem of global climate change. In the past several years Eco-Musketeers have also participated in many national and international projects related to the active citizenship and rising the awareness of the importance of biodiversity and environment for sustainable development of society. In this presentation we will show some of the main activities, eco-performances and actions of our organization related to the environment, biodiversity, conservation and recycling, such as: spring cleaning the streets of Belgrade, cleaning the Sava and the Danube river banks, removing insect moth pupae in the area of Lipovica forest near Belgrade. Also, Eco-Musketeers worked on education of employees of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia about energy efficiency. All the time, we have working on raising public awareness of the harmful effects of plastic bags on the environment, too. In order to draw attention on rare and endangered species in Serbia and around the globe, there were several performing street-plays about biodiversity and also the plays about the water ecological footprint. Eco-Musketeers also participated in international projects Greenwave-signs of spring (Fibonacci project), European Schools For A Living Planet (WWF Austria and Erste stiftung) and Eco Schools. The eco dream of Eco-Musketeers is to influence the Government of the Republic of Serbia to determine and declare a 'green habits week'. This should

  17. Space based microlensing planet searches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tisserand Patrick


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

  18. 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.

  19. Pathway to the galactic distribution of planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Novati, S. Calchi; Gould, A.; Udalski, A.


    distance estimates for each lens, with error bars that are small compared to the Sun's Galactocentric distance. The ensemble therefore yields a well-defined cumulative distribution of lens distances. In principle it is possible to compare this distribution against a set of planets detected in the same...... experiment in order to measure the Galactic distribution of planets. Since these Spitzer observations yielded only one planet, this is not yet possible in practice. However, it will become possible as larger samples are accumulated....

  20. Optical and X-ray transients from planet-star mergers (United States)

    Metzger, B. D.; Giannios, D.; Spiegel, D. S.


    We evaluate the prompt electromagnetic signatures of the merger between a massive close-in planet (a 'hot Jupiter') and its host star, events with an estimated Galactic rate of ˜0.1-1 yr-1. Depending on the ratio of the mean density of the planet ρ¯p to that of the star ρ¯⊙, a planet-star merger results in three possible outcomes. If ρ¯p/ρ¯⊙≳5, then the planet directly plunges below the stellar atmosphere before being disrupted by tidal forces. The dissipation of orbital energy creates a hot wake behind the planet, producing a extreme ultraviolet (EUV)/soft X-ray transient that increases in brightness and temperature as the planet sinks below the stellar surface. The peak luminosity LEUV/X ≲ 1036 erg s-1 is achieved weeks to months prior to merger, after which the stellar surface is enshrouded by an outflow driven by the merger. The final stages of the inspiral are accompanied by an optical transient powered by the recombination of hydrogen in the outflow, which peaks at a luminosity of ˜1037-1038 erg s-1 on a time-scale ˜days. If the star is instead significantly denser (ρ¯p/ρ¯⊙≲5), then the planet overflows its Roche lobe above the stellar surface. For ρ¯p/ρ¯⊙≲1 mass transfer is stable, resulting in the planet being accreted on the relatively slow time-scale set by tidal dissipation. However, for an intermediate-density range 1≲ρ¯p/ρ¯⊙≲5 mass transfer may instead be unstable, resulting in the dynamical disruption of the planet into an accretion disc around the star. Outflows from the super-Eddington accretion disc power an optical transient with a peak luminosity of ˜1037-1038 erg s-1 and characteristic duration ˜week-months. Emission from the disc itself becomes visible once the accretion rate decreases below the Eddington rate, resulting in a bolometric brightening and shift of the spectral peak to ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Optical transients from both direct-impact merger and tidal-disruption events in some

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

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


    The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy and astrophysics in the twenty-first century, capturing the public's attention as well as that of the astronomical community. This nascent field was conceived in 1989 with the discovery of a candidate planetary companion to HD114762 [35] and was born in 1995 with the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg-b [37] orbiting a main sequence star. As of March, 2011, over 500 exoplanets have been discovered* and 106 are known to transit or cross their host star, as viewed from Earth. Of these transiting planets, 15 have been announced by the Kepler Mission, which was launched into an Earth-trailing, heliocentric orbit in March, 2009 [1,4,6,15,18,20,22,31,32,34,36,43]. In addition, over 1200 candidate transiting planets have already been detected by Kepler [5], and vigorous follow-up observations are being conducted to vet these candidates. As the false-positive rate for Kepler is expected to be quite low [39], Kepler has effectively tripled the number of known exoplanets. Moreover, Kepler will provide an unprecedented data set in terms of photometric precision, duration, contiguity, and number of stars. Kepler's primary science objective is to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets transiting their Sun-like host stars in the habitable zone, that range of orbital distances for which liquid water would pool on the surface of a terrestrial planet such as Earth, Mars, or Venus. This daunting task demands an instrument capable of measuring the light output from each of over 100,000 stars simultaneously with an unprecedented photometric precision of 20 parts per million (ppm) at 6.5-h intervals. The large number of stars is required because the probability of the geometrical alignment of planetary orbits that permit observation of transits is the ratio of the size of the star to the size of the planetary orbit. For Earth-like planets in 1-astronomical unit (AU) orbits† about sun-like stars

  2. Numerical simulations for terrestrial planets formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji J.


    Full Text Available We investigate the formation of terrestrial planets in the late stage of planetary formation using two-planet model. At that time, the protostar has formed for about 3 Myr and the gas disk has dissipated. In the model, the perturbations from Jupiter and Saturn are considered. We also consider variations of the mass of outer planet, and the initial eccentricities and inclinations of embryos and planetesimals. Our results show that, terrestrial planets are formed in 50 Myr, and the accretion rate is about 60%–80%. In each simulation, 3–4 terrestrial planets are formed inside “Jupiter” with masses of 0.15–3.6 M⊕. In the 0.5–4 AU, when the eccentricities of planetesimals are excited, planetesimals are able to accrete material from wide radial direction. The plenty of water material of the terrestrial planet in the Habitable Zone may be transferred from the farther places by this mechanism. Accretion may also happen a few times between two giant planets only if the outer planet has a moderate mass and the small terrestrial planet could survive at some resonances over time scale of 108 yr.

  3. 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

  4. The interior structure of the giant planets (United States)

    Zharkov, V. N.


    An overview of the principal ideas and data pertaining to the construction of models of the interior structure of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune is presented. Topics discussed include: the concept of Jupiter and Saturn as planets with hydrogenic crusts; the theory of the figure of rotating planets in hydrostatic equilibrium; a gas-liquid dynamic model of the giant planets; analysis of observational data; abundances of elements and groups of cosmochemical substances; equations of state; and the role of Jupiter in the formation of the earth and the giant planets.

  5. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B


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

  6. Drivers of peak sales for pharmaceutical brands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fischer, Marc; Leeflang, Peter S. H.; Verhoef, Peter C.


    Peak sales are an important metric in the pharmaceutical industry. Specifically, managers are focused on the height-of-peak-sales and the time required achieving peak sales. We analyze how order of entry and quality affect the level of peak sales and the time-to-peak-sales of pharmaceutical brands.

  7. On the Unique Solution of Planet and Star Parameters from an Extrasolar Planet Transit Light Curve (United States)

    Seager, S.; Mallén-Ornelas, G.

    A unique analytical solution of planet and star parameters can be derived from an extrasolar planet transit light curve under a number of assumptions. This analytical solution can be used to choose the best planet transit candidates for radial velocity follow-up measurements. In practice, high photometric precision (Ornelas (2003) for full details.

  8. Global stratigraphy. [of planet Mars (United States)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Scott, David H.; Greeley, Ronald


    Attention is given to recent major advances in the definition and documentation of Martian stratigraphy and geology. Mariner 9 provided the images for the first global geologic mapping program, resulting in the recognition of the major geologic processes that have operated on the planet, and in the definition of the three major chronostratigraphic divisions: the Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian Systems. Viking Orbiter images permitted the recognition of additional geologic units and the formal naming of many formations. Epochs are assigned absolute ages based on the densities of superposed craters and crater-flux models. Recommendations are made with regard to future areas of study, namely, crustal stratigraphy and structure, the highland-lowland boundary, the Tharsis Rise, Valles Marineris, channels and valley networks, and possible Martian oceans, lakes, and ponds.

  9. Chemistry of the outer planets (United States)

    Scattergood, Thomas W.


    Various aspects were studied of past or present chemistry in the atmospheres of the outer planets and their satellites using lab simulations. Three areas were studied: (1) organic chemistry induced by kinetically hot hydrogen atoms in the region of Jupiter's atmosphere containing the ammonia cirrus clouds; (2) the conversion of NH3 into N2 by plasmas associated with entry of meteors and other objects into the atmosphere of early Titan; and (3) the synthesis of simple hydrocarbons and HCN by lightning in mixtures containing N2, CH4, and NH3 representing the atmospheres of Titan and the outer planets. The results showed that: (1) hot H2 atoms formed from the photodissociation of NH3 in Jupiter's atmosphere could account for some of the atmospheric chemistry in the ammonia cirrus cloud region; (2) the thermalization of hot H2 atoms in atmospheres predominated by molecular H is not as rapid as predicted by elastic collision theory; (3) the net quantum loss of NH3 in the presence of a 200 fold excess of H2 is 0.02, much higher than was expected from the amount of H2 present; (4) the conversion of NH3 into N2 in plasmas associated with infalling meteors is very efficient and rapid, and could account for most of the N2 present on Titan; (5) the yields of C2H2 and HCN from lightning induced chemistry in mixtures of CH4 and N2 is consistent with quenched thermodynamic models of the discharge core; and (6) photolysis induced by the UV light emitted by the gases in the hot plasmas may account for some, if not most, of the excess production of C2H6 and the more complex hydrocarbons.

  10. Spatial peak-load pricing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arellano, M. Soledad; Serra, Pablo [Universidad de Chile, Dept. of Industrial Engineering, Santiago (Chile)


    This article extends the traditional electricity peak-load pricing model to include transmission costs. In the context of a two-node, two-technology electric power system, where suppliers face inelastic demand, we show that when the marginal plant is located at the energy-importing center, generators located away from that center should pay the marginal capacity transmission cost; otherwise, consumers should bear this cost through capacity payments. Since electric power transmission is a natural monopoly, marginal-cost pricing does not fully cover costs. We propose distributing the revenue deficit among users in proportion to the surplus they derive from the service priced at marginal cost. (Author)

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

    Triaud, Amaury; SPECULOOS Team; TRAPPIST-1 Team


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

  12. Planet 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...

  13. Detecting planets around stars in nearby galaxies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Covone, G; de Ritis, R; Dominik, M; Marino, AA

    The only way to detect planets around stars at distances greater than or similar to several kpc is by (photometric or astrometric) microlensing (mu L) observations. In this paper, we show that the capability of photometric mu L extends to the detection of signals caused by planets around stars in

  14. 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...

  15. Double Planet Meets Triple Star (United States)


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

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


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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Comprehensive wide-band magnitudes and albedos for the planets, with applications to exo-planets and Planet Nine (United States)

    Mallama, Anthony; Krobusek, Bruce; Pavlov, Hristo


    Complete sets of reference magnitudes in all 7 Johnson-Cousins bands (U, B, V, R, I, RC and IC) and the 5 principal Sloan bands (u', g', r', i', and z') are presented for the 8 planets. These data are accompanied by illumination phase functions and other formulas which characterize the instantaneous brightness of the planets. The main source of Johnson-Cousins magnitudes is a series of individualized photometric studies reported in recent years. Gaps in that dataset were filled with magnitudes synthesized in this study from published spectrophotometry. The planetary Sloan magnitudes, which are established here for the first time, are an average of newly recorded Sloan filter photometry, synthetic magnitudes and values transformed from the Johnson-Cousins system. Geometric albedos derived from these two sets of magnitudes are consistent within each photometric system and between the systems for all planets and in all bands. This consistency validates the albedos themselves as well as the magnitudes from which they were derived. In addition, a quantity termed the delta stellar magnitude is introduced to indicate the difference between the magnitude of a planet and that of its parent star. A table of these delta values for exo-planets possessing a range of physical characteristics is presented. The delta magnitudes are for phase angle 90° where a planet is near the greatest apparent separation from its star. This quantity may be useful in exo-planet detection and observation strategies when an estimate of the signal-to-noise ratio is needed. Likewise, the phase curves presented in this paper can be used for characterizing exo-planets. Finally, magnitudes for the proposed Planet Nine are estimated, and we note that P9 may be especially faint at red and near-IR wavelengths.

  20. 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

  1. Feasibility and benefits of pulsar planet characterization (United States)

    Nekola Novakova, J.; Petrasek, T.


    Planet orbiting neutron stars seem to be rare, but all the more interesting for science due to their origins. Characterizing the composition of pulsar planets could elucidate processes involved in supernova fallback disks, accretion of companion star material, potential survival of planetary cores in the post-MS phase of their stars, and more. However, the small size and unusual spectral distribution of neutron stars make any spectroscopic measurements very difficult if not impossible in the near future. We set to estimate the feasibility of spectroscopy of planets orbiting specifically pulsars, and to review other possible methods of characterization of the planets, such as emissions caused by aurorae. We conclude that spectroscopic characterization of pulsar planets is unlikely to be achieved in the near future, though not entirely impossible, but possible auroral emissions and thermal emissions present more feasible means of at least roughly characterizing planets in pulsar systems. Moreover, they could in theory reveal planets around young pulsars where there is too much timing noise compared to "recycled" millisecond pulsars. While researching pulsar planetary systems could hardly be further from the popular search for "Earth 2.0", it could yield extremely valuable data for planetary science, radio astronomy, astrophysics and other fields, and it could help us answer some fundamental questions about exoplanetary origins and evolutions. For these reasons, we think it worthwhile to pursue this topic.

  2. 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.

  3. Exploring the planets a memoir

    CERN Document Server

    Taylor, Fred


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

  4. Used planet: a global history. (United States)

    Ellis, Erle C; Kaplan, Jed O; Fuller, Dorian Q; Vavrus, Steve; Klein Goldewijk, Kees; Verburg, Peter H


    Human use of land has transformed ecosystem pattern and process across most of the terrestrial biosphere, a global change often described as historically recent and potentially catastrophic for both humanity and the biosphere. Interdisciplinary paleoecological, archaeological, and historical studies challenge this view, indicating that land use has been extensive and sustained for millennia in some regions and that recent trends may represent as much a recovery as an acceleration. Here we synthesize recent scientific evidence and theory on the emergence, history, and future of land use as a process transforming the Earth System and use this to explain why relatively small human populations likely caused widespread and profound ecological changes more than 3,000 y ago, whereas the largest and wealthiest human populations in history are using less arable land per person every decade. Contrasting two spatially explicit global reconstructions of land-use history shows that reconstructions incorporating adaptive changes in land-use systems over time, including land-use intensification, offer a more spatially detailed and plausible assessment of our planet's history, with a biosphere and perhaps even climate long ago affected by humans. Although land-use processes are now shifting rapidly from historical patterns in both type and scale, integrative global land-use models that incorporate dynamic adaptations in human-environment relationships help to advance our understanding of both past and future land-use changes, including their sustainability and potential global effects.

  5. 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 ?

  6. 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.

  7. Radio emission of the sun and planets

    CERN Document Server

    Zheleznyakov, V V


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

  8. Kepler-16: A Transiting Circumbinary Planet


    Doyle, Laurance R.; Carter, Joshua A.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Slawson, Robert W.; Howell, Steve B.; Winn, Joshua N.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Prsa, Andrej; Welsh, William F.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Latham, David; Torres, Guillermo; Buchhave, Lars A.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Fortney, Jonathan J.


    We report the detection of a planet whose orbit surrounds a pair of low-mass stars. Data from the Kepler spacecraft reveal transits of the planet across both stars, in addition to the mutual eclipses of the stars, giving precise constraints on the absolute dimensions of all three bodies. The planet is comparable to Saturn in mass and size, and is on a nearly circular 229-day orbit around its two parent stars. The eclipsing stars are 20% and 69% as massive as the sun, and have an eccentric 41-...

  9. The Planets Approach to Migration Tools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zierau, Eld; van Wijk, Caroline


    This paper discusses the Planets approach to migration tool development. The approach consists of enhancing existing migration tools rather than developing tools from scratch. This pragmatic approach is based on the Planets view of the current situation for migration tools and two claims. The first...... claim is that the market will cover the required tools for commonly used formats. The second claim is that in the long term less tools will be required due to growing use of archiving standard formats. The Planets view on the current situation, the scope of tool development and the claims stated are...

  10. Neurofeedback training for peak performance. (United States)

    Graczyk, Marek; Pąchalska, Maria; Ziółkowski, Artur; Mańko, Grzegorz; Łukaszewska, Beata; Kochanowicz, Kazimierz; Mirski, Andrzej; Kropotov, Iurii D


    One of the applications of the Neurofeedback methodology is peak performance in sport. The protocols of the neurofeedback are usually based on an assessment of the spectral parameters of spontaneous EEG in resting state conditions. The aim of the paper was to study whether the intensive neurofeedback training of a well-functioning Olympic athlete who has lost his performance confidence after injury in sport, could change the brain functioning reflected in changes in spontaneous EEG and event related potentials (ERPs). The case is presented of an Olympic athlete who has lost his performance confidence after injury in sport. He wanted to resume his activities by means of neurofeedback training. His QEEG/ERP parameters were assessed before and after 4 intensive sessions of neurotherapy. Dramatic and statistically significant changes that could not be explained by error measurement were observed in the patient. Neurofeedback training in the subject under study increased the amplitude of the monitoring component of ERPs generated in the anterior cingulate cortex, accompanied by an increase in beta activity over the medial prefrontal cortex. Taking these changes together, it can be concluded that that even a few sessions of neurofeedback in a high performance brain can significantly activate the prefrontal cortical areas associated with increasing confidence in sport performance.

  11. Neurofeedback training for peak performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Graczyk


    Full Text Available [b]aim[/b]. One of the applications of the Neurofeedback methodology is peak performance in sport. The protocols of the neurofeedback are usually based on an assessment of the spectral parameters of spontaneous EEG in resting state conditions. The aim of the paper was to study whether the intensive neurofeedback training of a well-functioning Olympic athlete who has lost his performance confidence after injury in sport, could change the brain functioning reflected in changes in spontaneous EEG and event related potentials (ERPs. [b]case study[/b]. The case is presented of an Olympic athlete who has lost his performance confidence after injury in sport. He wanted to resume his activities by means of neurofeedback training. His QEEG/ERP parameters were assessed before and after 4 intensive sessions of neurotherapy. Dramatic and statistically significant changes that could not be explained by error measurement were observed in the patient. [b]conclusion[/b]. Neurofeedback training in the subject under study increased the amplitude of the monitoring component of ERPs generated in the anterior cingulate cortex, accompanied by an increase in beta activity over the medial prefrontal cortex. Taking these changes together, it can be concluded that that even a few sessions of neurofeedback in a high performance brain can significantly activate the prefrontal cortical areas associated with increasing confidence in sport performance.

  12. [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.

  13. BINARY MINOR PLANETS V4.0 (United States)

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

  14. Planet Earth”is ours (United States)

    Hartung, Jack

    Planet Earth” belongs to us. In this case, I'm not referring to the planet, earth, on which we live and which we consider our home in space. Instead, I'm saying that the upcoming television series, “Planet Earth,” belongs to us, the earth and space science community.Several years ago the AGU Council voted to provide $10,000 as “seed money” to initiate what was to become “Planet Earth.” To be sure, the series would not have happened without support from the Annenberg Foundation ($3,000,000) and the IBM Corporation ($1,000,000), but we were there, up front, where a little bit meant a lot.

  15. Symbiotic planet: a new look at evolution

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Margulis, Lynn


    ...." "In Symbiotic Planet, renowned scientist Lynn Margulis shows that symbiosis, which simply means members of different species living in physical contact with each other, is crucial to the origins...

  16. The origin of planets orbiting millisecond pulsars (United States)

    Tavani, Marco; Brookshaw, Leigh


    A model for the formation of planets around millisecond pulsar which no longer have stellar companions is suggested. Detailed hydrodynamical models are presented which suggest that planet formation can occur either in a low-mass X-ray binary progenitor to a progenitor of a star-vaporizing millisecond pulsar when the neutron star is accreting material driven off its companion by X-ray irradiation or after a pulsar has formed and is vaporizing its companion. In both cases a circumbinary disk is created in which planets can form on a timescale of 10 exp 5 to 10 exp 6 yrs and the planets can survive a second phase in which the companion star moves toward the pulsar and is completely vaporized.

  17. 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.

  18. BINARY MINOR PLANETS V6.0 (United States)

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

  19. BINARY MINOR PLANETS V5.0 (United States)

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

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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Sickafoose, Amanda A.


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

  4. Astronomers find distant planet like Jupiter

    CERN Multimedia


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

  5. BINARY MINOR PLANETS V8.0 (United States)

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

  6. BINARY MINOR PLANETS V2.0 (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We present data tables giving basic orbital and physical parameters for well-observed or suspected binary/multiple minor planets and the Pluto system, based on a...

  7. BINARY MINOR PLANETS V9.0 (United States)

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

  8. BINARY MINOR PLANETS V3.0 (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We present data tables giving basic orbital and physical parameters for well-observed or suspected binary/multiple minor planets and the Pluto system, based on a...

  9. BINARY MINOR PLANETS V7.0 (United States)

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

  10. Facility Location with Double-peaked Preferences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Filos-Ratsikas, Aris; Li, Minming; Zhang, Jie


    We study the problem of locating a single facility on a real line based on the reports of self-interested agents, when agents have double-peaked preferences, with the peaks being on opposite sides of their locations. We observe that double-peaked preferences capture real-life scenarios and thus...... complement the well-studied notion of single-peaked preferences. We mainly focus on the case where peaks are equidistant from the agents’ locations and discuss how our results extend to more general settings. We show that most of the results for single-peaked preferences do not directly apply to this setting...

  11. 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.

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

    Liu, H.-S.


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


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.V. Savich


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

  14. The SEEDs of Planet Formation: Indirect Signatures of Giant Planets in Transitional Disks (United States)

    Grady, Carol; Currie, T.


    We live in a planetary system with 2 gas giant planets, and as a resu lt of RV, transit, microlensing, and transit timing studies have ide ntified hundreds of giant planet candidates in the past 15 years. Su ch studies have preferentially concentrated on older, low activity So lar analogs, and thus tell us little about .when, where, and how gian t planets form in their disks, or how frequently they form in disks associated with intermediate-mass stars.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duffell, Paul C.; Chiang, Eugene, E-mail:, E-mail: [Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Astrophysics Center, University of California, Berkeley (United States)


    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.

  16. The HARPS-N Rocky Planet Search

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  17. 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.

  18. Building Better Planet Populations for EXOSIMS (United States)

    Garrett, Daniel; Savransky, Dmitry


    The Exoplanet Open-Source Imaging Mission Simulator (EXOSIMS) software package simulates ensembles of space-based direct imaging surveys to provide a variety of science and engineering yield distributions for proposed mission designs. These mission simulations rely heavily on assumed distributions of planetary population parameters including semi-major axis, planetary radius, eccentricity, albedo, and orbital orientation to provide heuristics for target selection and to simulate planetary systems for detection and characterization. The distributions are encoded in PlanetPopulation modules within EXOSIMS which are selected by the user in the input JSON script when a simulation is run. The earliest written PlanetPopulation modules available in EXOSIMS are based on planet population models where the planetary parameters are considered to be independent from one another. While independent parameters allow for quick computation of heuristics and sampling for simulated planetary systems, results from planet-finding surveys have shown that many parameters (e.g., semi-major axis/orbital period and planetary radius) are not independent. We present new PlanetPopulation modules for EXOSIMS which are built on models based on planet-finding survey results where semi-major axis and planetary radius are not independent and provide methods for sampling their joint distribution. These new modules enhance the ability of EXOSIMS to simulate realistic planetary systems and give more realistic science yield distributions.

  19. Methodology for the AutoRegressive Planet Search (ARPS) Project (United States)

    Feigelson, Eric; Caceres, Gabriel; ARPS Collaboration


    The detection of periodic signals of transiting exoplanets is often impeded by the presence of aperiodic photometric variations. This variability is intrinsic to the host star in space-based observations (typically arising from magnetic activity) and from observational conditions in ground-based observations. The most common statistical procedures to remove stellar variations are nonparametric, such as wavelet decomposition or Gaussian Processes regression. However, many stars display variability with autoregressive properties, wherein later flux values are correlated with previous ones. Providing the time series is evenly spaced, parametric autoregressive models can prove very effective. Here we present the methodology of the Autoregessive Planet Search (ARPS) project which uses Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models to treat a wide variety of stochastic short-memory processes, as well as nonstationarity. Additionally, we introduce a planet-search algorithm to detect periodic transits in the time-series residuals after application of ARIMA models. Our matched-filter algorithm, the Transit Comb Filter (TCF), replaces the traditional box-fitting step. We construct a periodogram based on the TCF to concentrate the signal of these periodic spikes. Various features of the original light curves, the ARIMA fits, the TCF periodograms, and folded light curves at peaks of the TCF periodogram can then be collected to provide constraints for planet detection. These features provide input into a multivariate classifier when a training set is available. The ARPS procedure has been applied NASA's Kepler mission observations of ~200,000 stars (Caceres, Dissertation Talk, this meeting) and will be applied in the future to other datasets.

  20. 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

  1. Osteoporosis: Peak Bone Mass in Women (United States)

    ... Home Osteoporosis Osteoporosis: Peak Bone Mass in Women Osteoporosis: Peak Bone Mass in Women Bones are the ... No. 15-7891 Last Reviewed 2015-06 NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center 2 ...

  2. Global models of planet formation and evolution (United States)

    Mordasini, C.; Mollière, P.; Dittkrist, K.-M.; Jin, S.; Alibert, Y.


    Despite the strong increase in observational data on extrasolar planets, the processes that led to the formation of these planets are still not well understood. However, thanks to the high number of extrasolar planets that have been discovered, it is now possible to look at the planets as a population that puts statistical constraints on theoretical formation models. A method that uses these constraints is planetary population synthesis where synthetic planetary populations are generated and compared to the actual population. The key element of the population synthesis method is a global model of planet formation and evolution. These models directly predict observable planetary properties based on properties of the natal protoplanetary disc, linking two important classes of astrophysical objects. To do so, global models build on the simplified results of many specialized models that address one specific physical mechanism. We thoroughly review the physics of the sub-models included in global formation models. The sub-models can be classified as models describing the protoplanetary disc (of gas and solids), those that describe one (proto)planet (its solid core, gaseous envelope and atmosphere), and finally those that describe the interactions (orbital migration and N-body interaction). We compare the approaches taken in different global models, discuss the links between specialized and global models, and identify physical processes that require improved descriptions in future work. We then shortly address important results of planetary population synthesis like the planetary mass function or the mass-radius relationship. With these statistical results, the global effects of physical mechanisms occurring during planet formation and evolution become apparent, and specialized models describing them can be put to the observational test. Owing to their nature as meta models, global models depend on the results of specialized models, and therefore on the development of

  3. Spectro-Polarimetry of Self-Luminous Extrasolar Planets

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ... planets because their intrinsic temperature is extremely low but they are heated strongly by the impinging stellar radiation and hence radiation of such planets are the reflected star light that is governed by the stellar radiation, orbital distance and albedo of the planet. These planets cannot be resolved from the host stars.

  4. A model to forecast peak spreading. (United States)


    As traffic congestion increases, the K-factor, defined as the proportion of the 24-hour traffic volume that occurs during the peak hour, may decrease. This behavioral response is known as peak spreading: as congestion grows during the peak travel tim...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  6. Comparison of the Two Followup Observation Strategies for Gravitational Microlensing Planet Searches


    Han, Cheongho; Kim, Yong-Gi


    There are two different strategies of followup observations for the detection of planets by using microlensing. One is detecting the light curve anomalies affected by the planetary caustic from continuous monitoring of all events detected by microlensing survey programs (type I strategy) and the other is detecting anomalies near the peak amplification affected by the central caustic from intensive monitoring of high amplification events (type II strategy). It was shown by Griest & Safizadeh t...

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

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


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

  8. 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.

  9. 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,

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

    Macintosh, Bruce

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

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

    Skuljan, J.


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  13. 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.

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

    Kohler, Susanna


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

  15. Planetesimals early differentiation and consequences for planets

    CERN Document Server

    Weiss, Benjamin P


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

  16. Eating a planet and spinning up (United States)

    Qureshi, Ahmed; Naoz, Smadar; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.


    One of the predictions of high eccentricity planetary migration is that many planets will end up plunging into their host stars. We investigate the consequence of planetary mergers on their stellar hosts’ spin-period. Energy and angular momentum conservation yield that a planet consumption by a star will spin-up of the star. We find that our calculations align with the observed bifurcation in the stellar spin-period in young clusters. After a Sun-like star has eaten a planet, it will then, spin down due to magnetic braking, consistent with the observed lack of fast rotators in old clusters. The agreement between the calculations presented here and the observed spin-period of stars in young clusters provides circumstantial evidence that planetary accretion onto their host stars is a generic feature in planetary-system evolution.

  17. Dark matter and the habitability of planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooper, Dan; Steffen, Jason H., E-mail:, E-mail: [Center for Particle Astrophysics, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States)


    In many models, dark matter particles can elastically scatter with nuclei in planets, causing those particles to become gravitationally bound. While the energy expected to be released through the subsequent annihilations of dark matter particles in the interior of the Earth is negligibly small (a few megawatts in the most optimistic models), larger planets that reside in regions with higher densities of slow moving dark matter could plausibly capture and annihilate dark matter at a rate high enough to maintain liquid water on their surfaces, even in the absence of additional energy from starlight or other sources. On these rare planets, it may be dark matter rather than light from a host star that makes it possible for life to emerge, evolve, and survive.

  18. Planck intermediate results - LII. Planet flux densities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Akrami, Y.; Ashdown, M.; Aumont, J.


    Measurements of flux density are described for five planets, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, across the six Planck High Frequency Instrument frequency bands (100–857 GHz) and these are then compared with models and existing data. In our analysis, we have also included estimates...... of the brightness of Jupiter and Saturn at the three frequencies of the Planck Low Frequency Instrument (30, 44, and 70 GHz). The results provide constraints on the intrinsic brightness and the brightness time-variability of these planets. The majority of the planet flux density estimates are limited by systematic...... errors, but still yield better than 1% measurements in many cases. Applying data from Planck HFI, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), and the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) to a model that incorporates contributions from Saturn’s rings to the planet’s total flux density suggests a best...

  19. Spectroscopic follow up of Kepler planet candidates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Latham..[], D. W.; Cochran, W. D.; Marcy, G.W.


    Spectroscopic follow-up observations play a crucial role in the confirmation and characterization of transiting planet candidates identified by Kepler. The most challenging part of this work is the determination of radial velocities with a precision approaching 1 m/s in order to derive masses from...... spectroscopic orbits. The most precious resource for this work is HIRES on Keck I, to be joined by HARPS-North on the William Herschel Telescope when that new spectrometer comes on line in two years. Because a large fraction of the planet candidates are in fact stellar systems involving eclipsing stars...... and not planets, our strategy is to start with reconnaissance spectroscopy using smaller telescopes, to sort out and reject as many of the false positives as possible before going to Keck. During the first Kepler observing season in 2009, more than 100 nights of telescope time were allocated for this work, using...

  20. International Conference and Advanced School Planet Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Jeltsch, Rolf; Pinto, Alberto; Viana, Marcelo


    The focus of this volume is research carried out as part of the program Mathematics of Planet Earth, which provides a platform to showcase the essential role of mathematics in addressing planetary problems and creating a context for mathematicians and applied scientists to foster mathematical and interdisciplinary developments that will be necessary to tackle a myriad of issues and meet future global challenges. Earth is a planet with dynamic processes in its mantle, oceans and atmosphere creating climate, causing natural disasters, and influencing fundamental aspects of life and life-supporting systems. In addition to these natural processes, human activity has increased to the point where it influences the global climate, impacts the ability of the planet to feed itself and threatens the stability of these systems. Issues such as climate change, sustainability, man-made disasters, control of diseases and epidemics, management of resources, risk analysis, and global integration have come to the fore. Written...

  1. Neutron star planets: Atmospheric processes and irradiation (United States)

    Patruno, A.; Kama, M.


    Of the roughly 3000 neutron stars known, only a handful have sub-stellar companions. The most famous of these are the low-mass planets around the millisecond pulsar B1257+12. New evidence indicates that observational biases could still hide a wide variety of planetary systems around most neutron stars. We consider the environment and physical processes relevant to neutron star planets, in particular the effect of X-ray irradiation and the relativistic pulsar wind on the planetary atmosphere. We discuss the survival time of planet atmospheres and the planetary surface conditions around different classes of neutron stars, and define a neutron star habitable zone based on the presence of liquid water and retention of an atmosphere. Depending on as-yet poorly constrained aspects of the pulsar wind, both Super-Earths around B1257+12 could lie within its habitable zone.

  2. Why 400 Years to Discover Countless Planets? (United States)

    Carr, Paul H.


    In 1584, Dominican monk Giordano Bruno envisioned the stars as "countless suns with countless earths, all rotating around their suns." Searching for intellectual freedom, he fled his native Italy to Protestant Switzerland and Germany, but in 1600 the Roman Inquisition condemned him for heresy. He was burned at the stake. Fast-forwarding to 1995, the Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz announced the discovery of a planet orbiting a star similar to our sun (51 Pegasi). In 2010, 500 planets had been found orbiting 421 stars. On Feb 2, 2011, NASA announced 1200 planet candidates. It took 400 years for telescope technology to advance and for Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Bradley, and Foucault to make major contributions, culminating in today's astrophysics with digital imaging and processing. Contrasting with Bruno, in 2010 Dominican Francisco Ayala, who had been president of the Sigma Xi and AAAS, won the 1.6M Templeton Prize for affirming life's spiritual dimension.

  3. A Maximum Radius for Habitable Planets. (United States)

    Alibert, Yann


    We compute the maximum radius a planet can have in order to fulfill two constraints that are likely necessary conditions for habitability: 1- surface temperature and pressure compatible with the existence of liquid water, and 2- no ice layer at the bottom of a putative global ocean, that would prevent the operation of the geologic carbon cycle to operate. We demonstrate that, above a given radius, these two constraints cannot be met: in the Super-Earth mass range (1-12 Mearth), the overall maximum that a planet can have varies between 1.8 and 2.3 Rearth. This radius is reduced when considering planets with higher Fe/Si ratios, and taking into account irradiation effects on the structure of the gas envelope.

  4. The formation of planets by disc fragmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stamatellos Dimitris


    Full Text Available I discuss the role that disc fragmentation plays in the formation of gas giant and terrestrial planets, and how this relates to the formation of brown dwarfs and low-mass stars, and ultimately to the process of star formation. Protostellar discs may fragment, if they are massive enough and can cool fast enough, but most of the objects that form by fragmentation are brown dwarfs. It may be possible that planets also form, if the mass growth of a proto-fragment is stopped (e.g. if this fragment is ejected from the disc, or suppressed and even reversed (e.g by tidal stripping. I will discuss if it is possible to distinguish whether a planet has formed by disc fragmentation or core accretion, and mention of a few examples of observed exoplanets that are suggestive of formation by disc fragmentation.

  5. Planet Earth week featured at Fall Meeting (United States)

    The Fall Meeting has been dubbed “Planet Earth Week,” in part to salute the upcoming 7-week PBS television series and university course that will be previewed at the meeting. At least four of the seven 1-hour segments of “Planet Earth” will be shown daily at the the Fall Meeting. AGU provided some of the seed money for the new series, which will have its television premiere on Wednesday, January 22, 1986, on PBS at 9 P.M. EST.

  6. The Magnetic Field of Planet Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulot, G.; Finlay, Chris; Constable, C. G.


    The magnetic field of the Earth is by far the best documented magnetic field of all known planets. Considerable progress has been made in our understanding of its characteristics and properties, thanks to the convergence of many different approaches and to the remarkable fact that surface rocks...... yr) to the longest (virtually the age of the Earth) time scales are finally reviewed, underlining the respective roles of the magnetohydodynamics at work in the core, and of the slow dynamic evolution of the planet as a whole....

  7. Guide to the universe inner planets

    CERN Document Server

    Grier, Jennifer


    This volume in the Greenwood Guides to the Universe series covers the inner planets-Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Thematic chapters discuss all of the many areas of astronomical research surrounding each subject, providing readers with the most up-to-date understanding of current knowledge and the ways in which it has been obtained. Like all of the books in this series, Inner Planets is scientifically sound, but written with the student in mind. It is an excellent first step for researching the exciting scientific discoveries of the Earth and its closest neighbors.

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

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


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

  9. Direct imaging of extra-solar planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  10. Empirical study of simulated two-planet microlensing events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu, Wei; Gould, Andrew; Penny, Matthew [Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Mao, Shude [National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100012 (China); Gendron, Rieul, E-mail: [Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester, Alan Turing Building, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom)


    We undertake the first study of two-planet microlensing models recovered from simulations of microlensing events generated by realistic multiplanet systems in which 292 planetary events, including 16 two-planet events, were detected from 6690 simulated light curves. We find that when two planets are recovered, their parameters are usually close to those of the two planets in the system most responsible for the perturbations. However, in 1 of the 16 examples, the apparent mass of both detected planets was more than doubled by the unmodeled influence of a third, massive planet. This fraction is larger than but statistically consistent with the roughly 1.5% rate of serious mass errors due to unmodeled planetary companions for the 274 cases from the same simulation in which a single planet is recovered. We conjecture that an analogous effect due to unmodeled stellar companions may occur more frequently. For 7 out of 23 cases in which two planets in the system would have been detected separately, only one planet was recovered because the perturbations due to the two planets had similar forms. This is a small fraction (7/274) of all recovered single-planet models, but almost a third of all events that might plausibly have led to two-planet models. Still, in these cases, the recovered planet tends to have parameters similar to one of the two real planets most responsible for the anomaly.

  11. A new type of Ambiguity in the Planet and Binary Interpretations of Central Perturbations of High-magnification Gravitational Microlensing Events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choi, J.-Y; Shin, I.-G; Han, C.


    High-magnification microlensing events provide an important channel to detect planets. Perturbations near the peak of a high-magnification event can be produced either by a planet or a binary companion. It is known that central perturbations induced by both types of companions can be generally....... For OGLE-2011-BLG-0950/MOA-2011-BLG-336, the stellar binary model is formally excluded with Δχ2 ~ 105 and the planetary model is preferred. However, it is difficult to claim a planet discovery because systematic residuals of data from the planetary model are larger than the difference between the planetary...

  12. The geomorphic structure of the runoff peak

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Rigon


    Full Text Available This paper develops a theoretical framework to investigate the core dependence of peak flows on the geomorphic properties of river basins. Based on the theory of transport by travel times, and simple hydrodynamic characterization of floods, this new framework invokes the linearity and invariance of the hydrologic response to provide analytical and semi-analytical expressions for peak flow, time to peak, and area contributing to the peak runoff. These results are obtained for the case of constant-intensity hyetograph using the Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF curves to estimate extreme flow values as a function of the rainfall return period. Results show that, with constant-intensity hyetographs, the time-to-peak is greater than rainfall duration and usually shorter than the basin concentration time. Moreover, the critical storm duration is shown to be independent of rainfall return period as well as the area contributing to the flow peak. The same results are found when the effects of hydrodynamic dispersion are accounted for. Further, it is shown that, when the effects of hydrodynamic dispersion are negligible, the basin area contributing to the peak discharge does not depend on the channel velocity, but is a geomorphic propriety of the basin. As an example this framework is applied to three watersheds. In particular, the runoff peak, the critical rainfall durations and the time to peak are calculated for all links within a network to assess how they increase with basin area.

  13. [A peak recognition algorithm designed for chromatographic peaks of transformer oil]. (United States)

    Ou, Linjun; Cao, Jian


    In the field of the chromatographic peak identification of the transformer oil, the traditional first-order derivative requires slope threshold to achieve peak identification. In terms of its shortcomings of low automation and easy distortion, the first-order derivative method was improved by applying the moving average iterative method and the normalized analysis techniques to identify the peaks. Accurate identification of the chromatographic peaks was realized through using multiple iterations of the moving average of signal curves and square wave curves to determine the optimal value of the normalized peak identification parameters, combined with the absolute peak retention times and peak window. The experimental results show that this algorithm can accurately identify the peaks and is not sensitive to the noise, the chromatographic peak width or the peak shape changes. It has strong adaptability to meet the on-site requirements of online monitoring devices of dissolved gases in transformer oil.

  14. Eating on an interconnected planet (United States)

    MacDonald, Graham K.


    Balance Sheets: A Handbook (Rome: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) 2013 FAOSTAT: FAO Statistical Databases (Rome: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) Foley J A et al 2011 Solutions for a cultivated planet Nature 478 337-42 Headey D 2011 Rethinking the global food crisis: the role of trade shocks Food Policy 36 136-46 Hertel T W, Burke M B and Lobell D B 2010 The poverty implications of climate-induced crop yield changes by 2030 Glob. Environ. Change 20 577-85 Kastner T, Rivas M J I, Koch W and Nonhebel S 2012 Global changes in diets and the consequences for land requirements for food Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 109 6868-72 Lambin E F and Meyfroidt P 2011 Global land use change, economic globalization, and the looming land scarcity Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 108 3465-72 Lobell D B, Cassman K G and Field C B 2009 Crop yield gaps: their importance, magnitudes, and causes Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 34 179 Naylor R L and Falcon W P 2010 Food security in an era of economic volatility Popul. Dev. Rev. 36 693-723 Ray D K, Ramankutty N, Mueller N D, West P C and Foley J A 2012 Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation Nature Commun. 3 1293 Suweis S, Rinaldo A, Maritan A and D'Odorico P 2013 Water-controlled wealth of nations Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 110 4230-3 Thornton P K, Jones P G, Alagarswamy G and Andresen J 2009 Spatial variation of crop yield response to climate change in East Africa Glob. Environ. Change 19 54-65

  15. Positioning and applications for planet earth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhagen, S.; Retscher, G.; Santos, M.C.; Ding, X.L.; Gao, Y.; Jin, S.G.


    GNSS, InSAR and LIDAR are identified as important techniques when it comes to monitoring and remote sensing of our planet Earth and its atmosphere. In fact, these techniques can be considered as key elements of the Global Geodetic Observing System. Examples of applications are: environmental

  16. Polarization Spectra of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, D.M.


    We present simulated spectra of the flux and degree of polarization of starlight that is reflected by extrasolar giant planets (EGPs). In particular the polarization depends strongly on the structure of the planetary atmosphere, and appears to be a valuable tool for the characterization of EGPs.

  17. How photos of planets reach the earth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Roos


    Full Text Available The way in which photos of planets are transmitted to the earth is discussed. Problems that may arise during transmission are mentioned and a method to detect and correct errors is discussed. This is a survey article and the aim was not to give a rigorous mathematical explanation.

  18. Abiotic production of methane in terrestrial planets. (United States)

    Guzmán-Marmolejo, Andrés; Segura, Antígona; Escobar-Briones, Elva


    On Earth, methane is produced mainly by life, and it has been proposed that, under certain conditions, methane detected in an exoplanetary spectrum may be considered a biosignature. Here, we estimate how much methane may be produced in hydrothermal vent systems by serpentinization, its main geological source, using the kinetic properties of the main reactions involved in methane production by serpentinization. Hydrogen production by serpentinization was calculated as a function of the available FeO in the crust, given the current spreading rates. Carbon dioxide is the limiting reactant for methane formation because it is highly depleted in aqueous form in hydrothermal vent systems. We estimated maximum CH4 surface fluxes of 6.8×10(8) and 1.3×10(9) molecules cm(-2) s(-1) for rocky planets with 1 and 5 M⊕, respectively. Using a 1-D photochemical model, we simulated atmospheres with volume mixing ratios of 0.03 and 0.1 CO2 to calculate atmospheric methane concentrations for the maximum production of this compound by serpentinization. The resulting abundances were 2.5 and 2.1 ppmv for 1 M⊕ planets and 4.1 and 3.7 ppmv for 5 M⊕ planets. Therefore, low atmospheric concentrations of methane may be produced by serpentinization. For habitable planets around Sun-like stars with N2-CO2 atmospheres, methane concentrations larger than 10 ppmv may indicate the presence of life.

  19. Detection and characterization of extrasolar planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferlet R.


    Full Text Available The main methods to detect planets orbiting stars other than our Sun are briefly described, together with their present results. Some characteristics of the known systems are emphasized. Particularly interesting are the transiting exoplanets which allow to reveal their atmospheres and ultimately identify biosignatures.

  20. The magnetospheres of the outer planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mcnutt, R.L., Jr. (USAF, Geophysics Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, MA (United States))


    Research on the magnetospheres of all of the outer planets including Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto is reviewed for the 1987-1990 time period. Particular attention is given to magnetospheric structure, plasma transport, Jovian aurora, Io and the plasma torus, Titan and its magnetospheric interactions, rings and dusty plasmas, magnetospheric convection, and satellite interactions.

  1. Finding Terrestrial Planets Using External Occulters (United States)

    Heap, Sara


    In order to identify a detected exoplanet as an Earth-like (habitable) planet, we must obtain its spectrum to verify that its atmosphere shows evidence of water vapor. We argue that a regular, optical telescope combined with a large occulter to block light from the star offers the most promising, cost-effective way to detect and characterize exoplanets.

  2. Climate model studies of synchronously rotating planets. (United States)

    Joshi, Manoj


    M stars constitute 75% of main sequence stars though, until recently, their star systems have not been considered suitable places for habitable planets to exist. In this study the climate of a synchronously rotating planet around an M dwarf star is evaluated using a three-dimensional global atmospheric circulation model. The presence of clouds and evaporative cooling at the surface of the planet result in a cooler surface temperature at the subsolar point. Water ice forms at the polar regions and on the dark side, where the minimum temperature lies between -30 degrees C and 0 degrees C. As expected, rainfall is extremely high on the starlit side and extremely low on the dark side. The presence of a dry continent causes higher temperatures on the dayside, and allows accumulation of snow on the nightside. The absence of any oceans leads to higher day-night temperature differences, consistent with previous work. The present study reinforces recent conclusions that synchronously rotating planets within the circumstellar habitable zones of M dwarf stars should be habitable, and therefore M dwarf systems should not be excluded in future searches for exoplanets.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Katherina Feng, Y.; Wright, Jason T.; Nelson, Benjamin; Wang, Sharon X.; Ford, Eric B. [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 525 Davey Lab, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States); Howard, Andrew W., E-mail: [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)


    We present an update to seven stars with long-period planets or planetary candidates using new and archival radial velocities from Keck-HIRES and literature velocities from other telescopes. Our updated analysis better constrains orbital parameters for these planets, four of which are known multi-planet systems. HD 24040 b and HD 183263 c are super-Jupiters with circular orbits and periods longer than 8 yr. We present a previously unseen linear trend in the residuals of HD 66428 indicative of an additional planetary companion. We confirm that GJ 849 is a multi-planet system and find a good orbital solution for the c component: it is a 1 M {sub Jup} planet in a 15 yr orbit (the longest known for a planet orbiting an M dwarf). We update the HD 74156 double-planet system. We also announce the detection of HD 145934 b, a 2 M {sub Jup} planet in a 7.5 yr orbit around a giant star. Two of our stars, HD 187123 and HD 217107, at present host the only known examples of systems comprising a hot Jupiter and a planet with a well constrained period greater than 5 yr, and with no evidence of giant planets in between. Our enlargement and improvement of long-period planet parameters will aid future analysis of origins, diversity, and evolution of planetary systems.

  4. Planck intermediate results. LII. Planet flux densities (United States)

    Planck Collaboration; Akrami, Y.; Ashdown, M.; Aumont, J.; Baccigalupi, C.; Ballardini, M.; Banday, A. J.; Barreiro, R. B.; Bartolo, N.; Basak, S.; Benabed, K.; Bernard, J.-P.; Bersanelli, M.; Bielewicz, P.; Bonavera, L.; Bond, J. R.; Borrill, J.; Bouchet, F. R.; Boulanger, F.; Bucher, M.; Burigana, C.; Butler, R. C.; Calabrese, E.; Cardoso, J.-F.; Carron, J.; Chiang, H. C.; Colombo, L. P. L.; Comis, B.; Couchot, F.; Coulais, A.; Crill, B. P.; Curto, A.; Cuttaia, F.; de Bernardis, P.; de Rosa, A.; de Zotti, G.; Delabrouille, J.; Di Valentino, E.; Dickinson, C.; Diego, J. M.; Doré, O.; Ducout, A.; Dupac, X.; Elsner, F.; Enßlin, T. A.; Eriksen, H. K.; Falgarone, E.; Fantaye, Y.; Finelli, F.; Frailis, M.; Fraisse, A. A.; Franceschi, E.; Frolov, A.; Galeotta, S.; Galli, S.; Ganga, K.; Génova-Santos, R. T.; Gerbino, M.; González-Nuevo, J.; Górski, K. M.; Gruppuso, A.; Gudmundsson, J. E.; Hansen, F. K.; Helou, G.; Henrot-Versillé, S.; Herranz, D.; Hivon, E.; Jaffe, A. H.; Jones, W. C.; Keihänen, E.; Keskitalo, R.; Kiiveri, K.; Kim, J.; Kisner, T. S.; Krachmalnicoff, N.; Kunz, M.; Kurki-Suonio, H.; Lagache, G.; Lamarre, J.-M.; Lasenby, A.; Lattanzi, M.; Lawrence, C. R.; Le Jeune, M.; Lellouch, E.; Levrier, F.; Liguori, M.; Lilje, P. B.; Lindholm, V.; López-Caniego, M.; Ma, Y.-Z.; Macías-Pérez, J. F.; Maggio, G.; Maino, D.; Mandolesi, N.; Maris, M.; Martin, P. G.; Martínez-González, E.; Matarrese, S.; Mauri, N.; McEwen, J. D.; Melchiorri, A.; Mennella, A.; Migliaccio, M.; Miville-Deschênes, M.-A.; Molinari, D.; Moneti, A.; Montier, L.; Moreno, R.; Morgante, G.; Natoli, P.; Oxborrow, C. A.; Paoletti, D.; Partridge, B.; Patanchon, G.; Patrizii, L.; Perdereau, O.; Piacentini, F.; Plaszczynski, S.; Polenta, G.; Rachen, J. P.; Racine, B.; Reinecke, M.; Remazeilles, M.; Renzi, A.; Rocha, G.; Romelli, E.; Rosset, C.; Roudier, G.; Rubiño-Martín, J. A.; Ruiz-Granados, B.; Salvati, L.; Sandri, M.; Savelainen, M.; Scott, D.; Sirri, G.; Spencer, L. D.; Suur-Uski, A.-S.; Tauber, J. A.; Tavagnacco, D.; Tenti, M.; Toffolatti, L.; Tomasi, M.; Tristram, M.; Trombetti, T.; Valiviita, J.; Van Tent, F.; Vielva, P.; Villa, F.; Wehus, I. K.; Zacchei, A.


    Measurements of flux density are described for five planets, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, across the six Planck High Frequency Instrument frequency bands (100-857 GHz) and these are then compared with models and existing data. In our analysis, we have also included estimates of the brightness of Jupiter and Saturn at the three frequencies of the Planck Low Frequency Instrument (30, 44, and 70 GHz). The results provide constraints on the intrinsic brightness and the brightness time-variability of these planets. The majority of the planet flux density estimates are limited by systematic errors, but still yield better than 1% measurements in many cases. Applying data from Planck HFI, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), and the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) to a model that incorporates contributions from Saturn's rings to the planet's total flux density suggests a best fit value for the spectral index of Saturn's ring system of βring = 2.30 ± 0.03 over the 30-1000 GHz frequency range. Estimates of the polarization amplitude of the planets have also been made in the four bands that have polarization-sensitive detectors (100-353 GHz); this analysis provides a 95% confidence level upper limit on Mars's polarization of 1.8, 1.7, 1.2, and 1.7% at 100, 143, 217, and 353 GHz, respectively. The average ratio between the Planck-HFI measurements and the adopted model predictions for all five planets (excluding Jupiter observations for 353 GHz) is 1.004, 1.002, 1.021, and 1.033 for 100, 143, 217, and 353 GHz, respectively. Model predictions for planet thermodynamic temperatures are therefore consistent with the absolute calibration of Planck-HFI detectors at about the three-percent level. We compare our measurements with published results from recent cosmic microwave background experiments. In particular, we observe that the flux densities measured by Planck HFI and WMAP agree to within 2%. These results allow experiments operating in the mm

  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. Dynamical Evolution Induced by Planet Nine (United States)

    Batygin, Konstantin; Morbidelli, Alessandro


    The observational census of trans-Neptunian objects with semimajor axes greater than ˜ 250 {au} exhibits unexpected orbital structure that is most readily attributed to gravitational perturbations induced by a yet-undetected, massive planet. Although the capacity of this planet to (I) reproduce the observed clustering of distant orbits in physical space, (II) facilitate the dynamical detachment of their perihelia from Neptune, and (III) excite a population of long-period centaurs to extreme inclinations is well-established through numerical experiments, a coherent theoretical description of the dynamical mechanisms responsible for these effects remains elusive. In this work, we characterize the dynamical processes at play from semi-analytic grounds. We begin by considering a purely secular model of orbital evolution induced by Planet Nine and show that it is at odds with the ensuing stability of distant objects. Instead, the long-term survival of the clustered population of long-period Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) is enabled by a web of mean-motion resonances driven by Planet Nine. Then, by taking a compact-form approach to perturbation theory, we show that it is the secular dynamics embedded within these resonances that regulate the orbital confinement and perihelion detachment of distant KBOs. Finally, we demonstrate that the onset of large-amplitude oscillations of the orbital inclinations is accomplished through the capture of low-inclination objects into a high-order secular resonance, and we identify the specific harmonic that drives the evolution. In light of the developed qualitative understanding of the governing dynamics, we offer an updated interpretation of the current observational data set within the broader theoretical framework of the Planet Nine hypothesis.

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

    Wacker, J. F.


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

  8. Peak distortion effects in analytical ion chromatography. (United States)

    Wahab, M Farooq; Anderson, Jordan K; Abdelrady, Mohamed; Lucy, Charles A


    The elution profile of chromatographic peaks provides fundamental understanding of the processes that occur in the mobile phase and the stationary phase. Major advances have been made in the column chemistry and suppressor technology in ion chromatography (IC) to handle a variety of sample matrices and ions. However, if the samples contain high concentrations of matrix ions, the overloaded peak elution profile is distorted. Consequently, the trace peaks shift their positions in the chromatogram in a manner that depends on the peak shape of the overloading analyte. In this work, the peak shapes in IC are examined from a fundamental perspective. Three commercial IC columns AS16, AS18, and AS23 were studied with borate, hydroxide and carbonate as suppressible eluents. Monovalent ions (chloride, bromide, and nitrate) are used as model analytes under analytical (0.1 mM) to overload conditions (10-500 mM). Both peak fronting and tailing are observed. On the basis of competitive Langmuir isotherms, if the eluent anion is more strongly retained than the analyte ion on an ion exchanger, the analyte peak is fronting. If the eluent is more weakly retained on the stationary phase, the analyte peak always tails under overload conditions regardless of the stationary phase capacity. If the charge of the analyte and eluent anions are different (e.g., Br(-) vs CO3(2-)), the analyte peak shapes depend on the eluent concentration in a more complex pattern. It was shown that there are interesting similarities with peak distortions due to strongly retained mobile phase components in other modes of liquid chromatography.

  9. 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.

  10. PeakRanger: A cloud-enabled peak caller for ChIP-seq data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grossman Robert


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP, coupled with massively parallel short-read sequencing (seq is used to probe chromatin dynamics. Although there are many algorithms to call peaks from ChIP-seq datasets, most are tuned either to handle punctate sites, such as transcriptional factor binding sites, or broad regions, such as histone modification marks; few can do both. Other algorithms are limited in their configurability, performance on large data sets, and ability to distinguish closely-spaced peaks. Results In this paper, we introduce PeakRanger, a peak caller software package that works equally well on punctate and broad sites, can resolve closely-spaced peaks, has excellent performance, and is easily customized. In addition, PeakRanger can be run in a parallel cloud computing environment to obtain extremely high performance on very large data sets. We present a series of benchmarks to evaluate PeakRanger against 10 other peak callers, and demonstrate the performance of PeakRanger on both real and synthetic data sets. We also present real world usages of PeakRanger, including peak-calling in the modENCODE project. Conclusions Compared to other peak callers tested, PeakRanger offers improved resolution in distinguishing extremely closely-spaced peaks. PeakRanger has above-average spatial accuracy in terms of identifying the precise location of binding events. PeakRanger also has excellent sensitivity and specificity in all benchmarks evaluated. In addition, PeakRanger offers significant improvements in run time when running on a single processor system, and very marked improvements when allowed to take advantage of the MapReduce parallel environment offered by a cloud computing resource. PeakRanger can be downloaded at the official site of modENCODE project:

  11. Zonal flow magnetic field interaction in the semi-conducting region of giant planets (United States)

    Cao, Hao; Stevenson, David J.


    All four giant planets in the Solar System feature zonal flows on the order of 100 m/s in the cloud deck, and large-scale intrinsic magnetic fields on the order of 1 Gauss near the surface. The vertical structure of the zonal flows remains obscure. The end-member scenarios are shallow flows confined in the radiative atmosphere and deep flows throughout the entire planet. The electrical conductivity increases rapidly yet smoothly as a function of depth inside Jupiter and Saturn. Deep zonal flows will inevitably interact with the magnetic field, at depth with even modest electrical conductivity. Here we investigate the interaction between zonal flows and magnetic fields in the semi-conducting region of giant planets. Employing mean-field electrodynamics, we show that the interaction will generate detectable poloidal magnetic field perturbations spatially correlated with the deep zonal flows. Assuming the peak amplitude of the dynamo α-effect to be 0.1 mm/s, deep zonal flows on the order of 0.1-1 m/s in the semi-conducting region of Jupiter and Saturn would generate poloidal magnetic perturbations on the order of 0.01%-1% of the background dipole field. These poloidal perturbations should be detectable with the in-situ magnetic field measurements from the Juno mission and the Cassini Grand Finale. This implies that magnetic field measurements can be employed to constrain the properties of deep zonal flows in the semi-conducting region of giant planets.

  12. Early Giant Planet Candidates from the SDSS-III MARVELS Planet Survey (United States)

    Thomas, Neil; Ge, J.; Li, R.; Sithajan, S.; Chen, Y.; Shi, J.; Ma, B.; Liu, J.


    We report the first discoveries of giant planet candidates from the SDSS-III MARVELS survey. These candidates are found using the new MARVELS data pipeline developed at UF from scratch over the past two years. Unlike the old data pipeline, 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). The result is long-term RV precisions that approach the photon limits in many cases and has yielded four giant planet candidates of ~1-6 Jupiter mass from only the initial fraction of data processed with the new techniques. More survey data is being processed which will likely lead to discoveries of additional giant planet candidates that will be verified and characterized with follow-up observations by the MARVELS team. The MARVELS survey has produced the largest homogeneous RV measurements of 3300 V=7.6-12 FGK stars with well defined cadence 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” within 0.6 AU in the planet orbital distribution of intermediate-mass stars real?

  13. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph High Accuracy Optical Propagation Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) project is considering several approaches to discovering planets orbiting stars far from earth and assessing their suitability to...

  14. Stars rich in heavy metals tend to harbor planets

    CERN Multimedia


    "A comparison of 754 nearby stars like our Sun - some with planets and some without - shows definitively that the more iron and other metals there are in a star, the greater the chance it has a companion planet" (1 page).

  15. Probing Planet Formation with APOGEE: A Dichotomy in Planet Orbital-Periods and Stellar Metallicities (United States)

    Wilson, Robert Forrest; Teske, Johanna; Majewski, Steven R.; Cunha, Katia; Smith, Verne; Souto, Diogo; Bender, Chad; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Troup, Nicholas; ALLENDE PRIETO, CARLOS; Stassun, Keivan G.; Skrutskie, Michael; ALMEIDA, ANDRES; Brinkmann, Jonathan; APOGEE


    The Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) is a near-infrared (1.5-1.7 microns), high resolution (R~22,500), high S/N (>100), spectroscopic survey as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Among the goals of this survey is multi-epoch monitoring of exoplanetary systems discovered by the Kepler mission, resulting in very high S/N (typically a few hundred) observations of Planet-hosting stars. The combined visits and sensitivity of the Sloan 2.5-meter telescope yield stellar parameters for a large number of planet-hosting systems with higher precision (e.g., $\\sigma_{[Fe/H]} earth) exoplanetary systems. In particular, we find that planets with orbital periods P ≤ 8.5 days have statistically more metal-enriched hosts than planets with P > 8.5 days. This dichotomy implies that there may be different formation histories between these two populations. For example, there may be a protoplanetary disk inner-radius (such as the gas co-rotation radius or the dust-sublimation radius) with a metallicity-dependence at the time of planet formation that allows small, rocky planets to either form or migrate closer in to their host star in metal-rich conditions. In addition, based on previous work about the "Evaporation Valley", there is theoretical support that this critical period of 8.5 days may be tied to the bulk composition of the two exoplanet populations.

  16. 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.

  17. The interplay between X-ray photoevaporation and planet formation


    Rosotti, Giovanni P.; Ercolano, Barbara; Owen, James. E.; Armitage, Philip J.


    We assess the potential of planet formation instigating the early formation of a photoevaporation driven gap, up to radii larger than typical for photoevaporation alone. For our investigation we make use of hydrodynamics models of photoevaporating discs with a giant planet embedded. We find that, by reducing the mass accretion flow onto the star, discs that form giant planets will be dispersed at earlier times than discs without planets by X-ray photoevaporation. By clearing the portion of th...

  18. The Gemini Deep Planet Survey - GDPS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lafreniere, D; Doyon, R; Marois, C; Nadeau, D; Oppenheimer, B R; Roche, P F; Rigaut, F; Graham, J R; Jayawardhana, R; Johnstone, D; Kalas, P G; Macintosh, B; Racine, R


    We present the results of the Gemini Deep Planet Survey, a near-infrared adaptive optics search for giant planets and brown dwarfs around nearby young stars. The observations were obtained with the Altair adaptive optics system at the Gemini North telescope and angular differential imaging was used to suppress the speckle noise of the central star. Detection limits for the 85 stars observed are presented, along with a list of all faint point sources detected around them. Typically, the observations are sensitive to angular separations beyond 0.5-inch with 5{sigma} contrast sensitivities in magnitude difference at 1.6 {micro}m of 9.6 at 0.5-inch, 12.9 at 1-inch, 15 at 2-inch, and 16.6 at 5-inch. For the typical target of the survey, a 100 Myr old K0 star located 22 pc from the Sun, the observations are sensitive enough to detect planets more massive than 2 M{sub Jup} with a projected separation in the range 40-200 AU. Depending on the age, spectral type, and distance of the target stars, the minimum mass that could be detected with our observations can be {approx}1 M{sub Jup}. Second epoch observations of 48 stars with candidates (out of 54) have confirmed that all candidates are unrelated background stars. A detailed statistical analysis of the survey results, which provide upper limits on the fractions of stars with giant planet or low mass brown dwarf companions, is presented. Assuming a planet mass distribution dn/dm {proportional_to} m{sup -1.2} and a semi-major axis distribution dn/da {proportional_to} a{sup -1}, the upper limits on the fraction of stars with at least one planet of mass 0.5-13 M{sub Jup} are 0.29 for the range 10-25 AU, 0.13 for 25-50 AU, and 0.09 for 50-250 AU, with a 95% confidence level; this result is weakly dependent on the semi-major axis distribution power-law index. Without making any assumption on the mass and semi-major axis distributions, the fraction of stars with at least one brown dwarf companion having a semi-major axis in the

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. A Young Three-Planet System in the Hyades (United States)

    Mann, Andrew; Newton, Elisabeth; Rizzuto, Aaron; Vanderburg, Andrew


    Planets are nor born in their final state; instead, before reaching a more mature and stable phase, young planets have their structures, orbits, and atmospheres disrupted by their environment. Early changes in planetary systems can have profound implications for the final configuration of the planets, which makes it critical to study planets during their most formative years (0-1 Gyr). However, most of the known planets have poorly constrained ages or are older than the timescales of interest. In the latest K2 data release we identified a 3-planet system in the Hyades cluster (700 Myr). The smallest of these planets is Earth-sized, creating a unique opportunity to study small, rocky planets while they are still evolving. However, the parameters of this planet are poorly constrained from the K2 light curve, and the ephemeris needs updating. The largest planet should have a large atmospheric scale-height based on similar planets, but could be flat if material in the upper atmosphere has not yet settled. Here we propose Spitzer observations of both planets to significantly improve their parameters, lock the ephemerides well into the era of JWST, take early steps to characterize their atmospheres, and search for expected transit timing variations.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Currie, Thayne [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Subaru Telescope (Japan); Cloutier, Ryan [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Canada); Brittain, Sean [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, Clemson, SC (United States); Grady, Carol; Kuchner, Marc J. [Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysics Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (United States); Muto, Takayuki [Division of Liberal Arts, Kogakuin University, Tokyo (Japan); Kenyon, Scott J. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA (United States)


    We report Gemini Planet Imager H-band high-contrast imaging/integral field spectroscopy and polarimetry of the HD 100546, a 10 Myr old early-type star recently confirmed to host a thermal infrared (IR) bright (super-)Jovian protoplanet at wide separation, HD 100546 b. We resolve the inner disk cavity in polarized light, recover the thermal IR-bright arm, and identify one additional spiral arm. We easily recover HD 100546 b and show that much of its emission plausibly originates from an unresolved point source. The point-source component of HD 100546 b has extremely red IR colors compared to field brown dwarfs, qualitatively similar to young cloudy super-Jovian planets; however, these colors may instead indicate that HD 100546 b is still accreting material from a circumplanetary disk. Additionally, we identify a second point-source-like peak at r{sub proj} ∼ 14 AU, located just interior to or at the inner disk wall consistent with being a <10–20 M{sub J} candidate second protoplanet—“HD 100546 c”—and lying within a weakly polarized region of the disk but along an extension of the thermal IR-bright spiral arm. Alternatively, it is equally plausible that this feature is a weakly polarized but locally bright region of the inner disk wall. Astrometric monitoring of this feature over the next 2 years and emission line measurements could confirm its status as a protoplanet, rotating disk hot spot that is possibly a signpost of a protoplanet, or a stationary emission source from within the disk.

  3. Bayesian Peak Picking for NMR Spectra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yichen Cheng


    Full Text Available Protein structure determination is a very important topic in structural genomics, which helps people to understand varieties of biological functions such as protein-protein interactions, protein–DNA interactions and so on. Nowadays, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR has often been used to determine the three-dimensional structures of protein in vivo. This study aims to automate the peak picking step, the most important and tricky step in NMR structure determination. We propose to model the NMR spectrum by a mixture of bivariate Gaussian densities and use the stochastic approximation Monte Carlo algorithm as the computational tool to solve the problem. Under the Bayesian framework, the peak picking problem is casted as a variable selection problem. The proposed method can automatically distinguish true peaks from false ones without preprocessing the data. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first effort in the literature that tackles the peak picking problem for NMR spectrum data using Bayesian method.

  4. Tectonics, Climate and Earth's highest peaks (United States)

    Robl, Jörg; Prasicek, Günther; Hergarten, Stefan


    Prominent peaks characterized by high relief and steep slopes are among the most spectacular morphological features on Earth. In collisional orogens they result from the interplay of tectonically driven crustal thickening and climatically induced destruction of overthickened crust by erosional surface processes. The glacial buzz-saw hypothesis proposes a superior status of climate in limiting mountain relief and peak altitude due to glacial erosion. It implies that peak altitude declines with duration of glacial occupation, i.e., towards high latitudes. This is in strong contrast with high peaks existing in high latitude mountain ranges (e.g. Mt. St. Elias range) and the idea of peak uplift due to isostatic compensation of spatially variable erosional unloading an over-thickened orogenic crust. In this study we investigate landscape dissection, crustal thickness and vertical strain rates in tectonically active mountain ranges to evaluate the influence of erosion on (latitudinal) variations in peak altitude. We analyze the spatial distribution of serval thousand prominent peaks on Earth extracted from the global ETOPO1 digital elevation model with a novel numerical tool. We compare this dataset to crustal thickness, thickening rate (vertical strain rate) and mean elevation. We use the ratios of mean elevation to peak elevation (landscape dissection) and peak elevation to crustal thickness (long-term impact of erosion on crustal thickness) as indicators for the influence of erosional surface processes on peak uplift and the vertical strain rate as a proxy for the mechanical state of the orogen. Our analysis reveals that crustal thickness and peak elevation correlate well in orogens that have reached a mechanically limited state (vertical strain rate near zero) where plate convergence is already balanced by lateral extrusion and gravitational collapse and plateaus are formed. On the Tibetan Plateau crustal thickness serves to predict peak elevation up to an altitude

  5. Peak Vegetation Growth 1993 - Direct Download (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer is a grid map of 1993 peak vegetation growth for Alaska and the conterminous United States. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 kilometer and the map...

  6. Peak Vegetation Growth 1995 - Direct Download (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer is a grid map of 1995 peak vegetation growth for Alaska and the conterminous United States. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 kilometer and the map...

  7. Peak Vegetation Growth 2004 - Direct Download (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer is a grid map of 2004 peak vegetation growth for Alaska and the conterminous United States. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 kilometer and the map...

  8. Peak Vegetation Growth 1991 - Direct Download (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer is a grid map of 1991 peak vegetation growth for Alaska and the conterminous United States. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 kilometer and the map...

  9. Peak Vegetation Growth 1998 - Direct Download (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer is a grid map of 1998 peak vegetation growth for Alaska and the conterminous United States. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 kilometer and the map...

  10. Peak Vegetation Growth 1997 - Direct Download (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer is a grid map of 1997 peak vegetation growth for Alaska and the conterminous United States. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 kilometer and the map...

  11. Peak Vegetation Growth 2000 - Direct Download (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer is a grid map of 2000 peak vegetation growth for Alaska and the conterminous United States. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 kilometer and the map...

  12. Peak Vegetation Growth 2003 - Direct Download (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer is a grid map of 2003 peak vegetation growth for Alaska and the conterminous United States. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 kilometer and the map...

  13. Peak Vegetation Growth 2005 - Direct Download (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer is a grid map of 2005 peak vegetation growth for Alaska and the conterminous United States. The nominal spatial resolution is 1 kilometer and the map...

  14. Bayesian Peak Picking for NMR Spectra

    KAUST Repository

    Cheng, Yichen


    Protein structure determination is a very important topic in structural genomics, which helps people to understand varieties of biological functions such as protein-protein interactions, protein–DNA interactions and so on. Nowadays, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has often been used to determine the three-dimensional structures of protein in vivo. This study aims to automate the peak picking step, the most important and tricky step in NMR structure determination. We propose to model the NMR spectrum by a mixture of bivariate Gaussian densities and use the stochastic approximation Monte Carlo algorithm as the computational tool to solve the problem. Under the Bayesian framework, the peak picking problem is casted as a variable selection problem. The proposed method can automatically distinguish true peaks from false ones without preprocessing the data. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first effort in the literature that tackles the peak picking problem for NMR spectrum data using Bayesian method.

  15. Amplification of postwildfire peak flow by debris (United States)

    Kean, Jason W.; McGuire, Luke; Rengers, Francis; Smith, Joel B.; Staley, Dennis M.


    In burned steeplands, the peak depth and discharge of postwildfire runoff can substantially increase from the addition of debris. Yet methods to estimate the increase over water flow are lacking. We quantified the potential amplification of peak stage and discharge using video observations of postwildfire runoff, compiled data on postwildfire peak flow (Qp), and a physically based model. Comparison of flood and debris flow data with similar distributions in drainage area (A) and rainfall intensity (I) showed that the median runoff coefficient (C = Qp/AI) of debris flows is 50 times greater than that of floods. The striking increase in Qp can be explained using a fully predictive model that describes the additional flow resistance caused by the emergence of coarse-grained surge fronts. The model provides estimates of the amplification of peak depth, discharge, and shear stress needed for assessing postwildfire hazards and constraining models of bedrock incision.

  16. Global Earthquake Hazard Distribution - Peak Ground Acceleration (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Global Earthquake Hazard Distribution-peak ground acceleration is a 2.5 minute grid of global earthquake hazards developed using Global Seismic Hazard Program...

  17. Global Earthquake Hazard Distribution - Peak Ground Acceleration (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Global Earthquake Hazard Distribution-Peak Ground Acceleration is a 2.5 by 2.5 minute grid of global earthquake hazards developed using Global Seismic Hazard Program...

  18. Fewer peak trials per session facilitate acquisition of peak responding despite elimination of response rate differences. (United States)

    Kaiser, Daren H


    It has been shown in previous research [Kaiser, D.H., 2008. The proportion of fixed interval trials to probe trials affects acquisition of the peak procedure fixed interval timing task. Behav. Process., 77 (1), 100-108] that rats acquired peak responding sooner when fewer peak trials were presented during sessions of training with the peak procedure timing task. One potential problem with that research was that there were large differences in response rates among the groups. The present experiment attempted to examine the effect of proportion of peak trials when differences in response rate were controlled. Two groups of rats were each simultaneously tested with two versions of the peak procedure. One group was tested with 10% peak trials per session, and the other group was tested with 50% peak trials per session. For both of the groups, one of the panel lights and levers was associated with the traditional peak procedure. The other panel light and lever was associated with a similar peak procedure; however, reinforcement was provided at the end of each peak trial. This manipulation eliminated differences in response rate among the groups, however, Group 10% acquired peak responding more quickly than Group 50%, effectively replicating previous work in the absence of a response bias.

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

    Owen, Tobias; Encrenaz, Therese


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

  20. Gravitational Microlensing of Earth-mass Planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpsøe, Kennet Bomann West

    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...... that utilises the lensing effect of light bend in the gravitational of stars to detect perturbations in said gravitational field, which can be caused by bound planets. So far the discovery of 16 exoplanets detected with gravitational microlensing have been published. The discovery rate with this method is low...... because of the lack of dedicated resources for this method, but this will change in the near future with the completion of several global telescope networks like SONG, Korean Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) and the Las Cumbres Global Telescope network. The gravitational microlensing method is also...

  1. 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

  2. Mathematical models and methods for planet Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Locatelli, Ugo; Ruggeri, Tommaso; Strickland, Elisabetta


    In 2013 several scientific activities have been devoted to mathematical researches for the study of planet Earth. The current volume presents a selection of the highly topical issues presented at the workshop “Mathematical Models and Methods for Planet Earth”, held in Roma (Italy), in May 2013. The fields of interest span from impacts of dangerous asteroids to the safeguard from space debris, from climatic changes to monitoring geological events, from the study of tumor growth to sociological problems. In all these fields the mathematical studies play a relevant role as a tool for the analysis of specific topics and as an ingredient of multidisciplinary problems. To investigate these problems we will see many different mathematical tools at work: just to mention some, stochastic processes, PDE, normal forms, chaos theory.

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

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


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

  4. International Conference and Advanced School Planet Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Jeltsch, Rolf; Pinto, Alberto; Viana, Marcelo


    The focus of this volume is research carried out as part of the program Mathematics of Planet Earth, which provides a platform to showcase the essential role of mathematics in addressing problems of an economic and social nature and creating a context for mathematicians and applied scientists to foster mathematical and interdisciplinary developments that will be necessary to tackle a myriad of issues and meet future global economic and social challenges. Earth is a planet with dynamic processes in its mantle, oceans and atmosphere creating climate, causing natural disasters, and influencing fundamental aspects of life and life-supporting systems. In addition to these natural processes, human activity has developed highly complex systems, including economic and financial systems; the World Wide Web; frameworks for resource management, transportation, energy production and utilization; health care delivery, and social organizations. This development has increased to the point where it impacts the stability and ...

  5. Improved peak shape fitting in alpha spectra




    Peak overlap is a recurrent issue ina lpha-particle spectrometry, not only in routine analyses but also in the high-resolution spectra from which reference values for alpha emission probabilities are derived. In this work, improved peak shape formulae are presented for the deconvolution of alpha-particle spectra. They have been implemented as fit functions in a spreadsheet application and optimum fit parameters were searched with built-in optimisation routines. Deconvolution results are shown...

  6. 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}.

  7. Planet Earth” wins Emmy (United States)

    Planet Earth,” the seven-part public television series that explores the strides made in the earth sciences since the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-1958, won a 1986 Emmy award last month from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the category of Outstanding Informational Series. The series was produced by WQED/Pittsburgh in association with the National Academy of Sciences.

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

    Farihi, Jay


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

  9. Biases in Cometary Catalogues and Planet X


    Horner, J.; Evans, N. W.


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

  10. Dust to Dust: Evidence for Planet Formation?


    Schneider, G.; Hines, D. C.; Silverstone, M. D.; Weinberger, A J; Becklin, E. E.; Smith, B. A.


    We discuss the properties of several circumstellar debris disk systems imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer in a survey of young stars with known far-IR excesses. These dusty disks around young ($\\sim$ 5--8 Myr) unembedded stars exhibit morphological anisotropies and other characteristics which are suggestive of recent or on-going planet formation. We consider evidence for the evolution of populations of collisionally produced disk grains...

  11. Photopolarimetry team outer planets mission definition phase (United States)


    The work is reported of the Photopolarimetry Team in identifying scientific objectives for photometer/polarimeter experiments for outer planet flyby missions. A discussion of the scientific objectives which can be attained with a photometer/polarimeter experiment, and summaries of the special studies which were performed for the Photopolarimetry Team are presented along with a description of the photometer/polarimeter design which was developed for the Meteoroid Detection Team.

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

    Marov, M. Y.


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

  13. Evolution of ore deposits on terrestrial planets (United States)

    Burns, R. G.


    Ore deposits on terrestrial planets materialized after core formation, mantle evolution, crustal development, interactions of surface rocks with the hydrosphere and atmosphere, and, where life exists on a planet, the involvement of biological activity. Core formation removed most of the siderophilic and chalcophilic elements, leaving mantles depleted in many of the strategic and noble metals relative to their chondritic abundances. Basaltic magma derived from partial melting of the mantle transported to the surface several metals contained in immiscible silicate and sulfide melts. Magmatic ore deposits were formed during cooling, fractional crystallization and density stratification from the basaltic melts. Such ore deposits found in earth's Archean rocks were probably generated during early histories of all terrestrial planets and may be the only types of igneous ores on Mars. Where plate tectonic activity was prevalent on a terrestrial planet, temporal evolution of ore deposits took place. Repetitive episodes of subduction modified the chemical compositions of the crust and upper mantles, leading to porphyry copper and molybdenum ores in calc-alkaline igneous rocks and granite-hosted tin and tungsten deposits. Such plate tectonic-induced mineralization in relatively young igneous rocks on earth may also have produced hydrothermal ore deposits on Venus in addition to the massive sulfide and cumulate chromite ores associated with Venusian mafic igneous rock. Sedimentary ore deposits resulting from mechanical and chemical weathering in reducing atmospheres in Archean earth included placer deposits (e.g., uraninite, gold, pyrite ores). Chromite, ilmenite, and other dense unreactive minerals could also be present on channel floors and in valley networks on Mars, while banded iron formations might underlie the Martian northern plains regions. As oxygen evolved in earth's atmosphere, so too did oxide ores. By analogy, gossans above sulfide ores probably occur on Mars

  14. Tectonic evolution of the terrestrial planets. (United States)

    Head, J W; Solomon, S C


    The style and evolution of tectonics on the terrestrial planets differ substantially. The style is related to the thickness of the lithosphere and to whether the lithosphere is divided into distinct, mobile plates that can be recycled into the mantle, as on Earth, or is a single spherical shell, as on the moon, Mars, and Mercury. The evolution of a planetary lithosphere and the development of plate tectonics appear to be influenced by several factors, including planetary size, chemistry, and external and internal heat sources. Vertical tectonic movement due to lithospheric loading or uplift is similar on all of the terrestrial planets and is controlled by the local thickness and rheology of the lithosphere. The surface of Venus, although known only at low resolution, displays features both similar to those on Earth (mountain belts, high plateaus) and similar to those on the smaller planets (possible impact basins). Improved understanding of the tectonic evolution of Venus will permit an evaluation of the relative roles of planetary size and chemistry in determining evolutionary style.

  15. SIM's Search for Planets Orbiting White Dwarfs (United States)

    Subasavage, John P., Jr.


    Once launched, The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) will be the most precise astrometric instrument ever developed. These capabilities are vital to exoplanetary studies, in particular, for low-mass, Earthlike planets. I propose to use SIM to observe a sample ( 25-50) of nearby white dwarfs in hopes of detecting planetary companions with masses in the 10 Earth mass range on average. Because of the nature of white dwarfs' spectral signatures (a few broad, if any, absorption lines), current radial velocity planet hunting techniques are not viable. Astrometry is currently the only technique capable of detecting low mass planets around white dwarfs and SIM would be the best suited astrometric instrument to do so. Planetary detections around white dwarfs would better enable us to probe planetary formation theory as well as planetary evolution theory in conjunction with stellar evolution. Because astrometric signatures are inversely related to distance, the closer the system, the larger the signature (all else being equal). Because most stars will eventually end their lives as white dwarfs, these objects are plentiful and on average, closer to the Sun than more rare objects. Thus, a number of white dwarfs are close enough to the Sun to permit low mass planetary signature detections. Given that white dwarfs are the remnants of main-sequence dwarfs with spectral classes from B to K (thus far), we could better understand planetary formation over a broader range of objects than those currently investigated using radial velocity techniques (F, G, and K stars primarily).

  16. Bayesian Hypothesis Testing for Planet Finding (United States)

    Braems, I.; Kasdin, N. J.


    One of the most important performance metrics of any space planet finding system is integration time. The time needed to make a positive detection of an extrasolar planet determines the number of systems we can observe for the life of the mission and the stability requirements of the spacecraft and optical control systems. Most astronomical detection approaches rely on fairly simple signal-to-noise calculations and a threshold determined by the ability of the human eye to extract the planet image from the background (usually a signal-to-noise ratio of five). In this paper we present an alternative approach to detection using Bayesian hypothesis testing. This optimal approach provides a quantitative measure of the probability of detection under various conditions and integration times (such as known or unknown background levels) and under different prior assumptions. We also show how the technique allows for a much higher probability of detection for shorter integration times than the previous photometric approaches. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for this work and Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA) for its support of Ms. Braems.

  17. A Three-Planet Extrasolar System (United States)

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


    Using the ultra-precise HARPS spectro-graph on ESO’s 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, a team of astronomers1 has discovered that a nearby star is host to three Neptune-mass planets. The in-nermost planet is most probably rocky, while the outermost is the first known Neptune-mass planet to reside in the habitable zone. This unique system is likely further enriched by an asteroid belt. Z% Lovis et al. 2006, Nature 441, 305. The team is composed of Christophe Lovis, Michel Mayor, Francesco Pepe, Didier Queloz, and Stéphane Udry (Observatoire de l’Université de Genève, Switzerland), Nuno C. Santos (Observatoire de l’Uni-versité de Genève, Switzerland, Centro de Astro-nomia e Astrofisica da Universidade de Lisboa and Centro de Geofisica de Evora, Portugal), Yann Alibert, Willy Benz, Christoph Mordasini (Physikalisches Institut der Universität Bern, Switzerland), François Bouchy (Observatoire de Haute-Provence and IAP, France), Alexandre C. M. Correia (Uni-versidade de Aveiro, Portugal), Jacques Laskar (IMCCE-CNRS, Paris, France), Jean-Loup Bertaux (Service d’Aéronomie du CNRS, France), and Jean-Pierre Sivan (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, France).

  18. The Calan-Hertfordshire extrasolar planet search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinfield D.J.


    Full Text Available The detailed study of the exoplanetary systems HD189733 and HD209458 has given rise to a wealth of exciting information on the physics of exoplanetary atmospheres. To further our understanding of the make-up and processes within these atmospheres we require a larger sample of bright transiting planets. We have began a project to detect more bright transiting planets in the southern hemisphere by utilising precision radial-velocity measurements. We have observed a constrained sample of bright, inactive and metal-rich stars using the HARPS instrument and here we present the current status of this project, along with our first discoveries which include a brown dwarf/extreme-Jovian exoplanet found in the brown dwarf desert region around the star HD191760 and improved orbits for three other exoplanetary systems HD48265, HD143361 and HD154672. Finally, we briefly discuss the future of this project and the current prospects we have for discovering more bright transiting planets.

  19. Extreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager: XAOPI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B A; Graham, J; Poyneer, L; Sommargren, G; Wilhelmsen, J; Gavel, D; Jones, S; Kalas, P; Lloyd, J; Makidon, R; Olivier, S; Palmer, D; Patience, J; Perrin, M; Severson, S; Sheinis, A; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Troy, M; Wallace, K


    Ground based adaptive optics is a potentially powerful technique for direct imaging detection of extrasolar planets. Turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere imposes some fundamental limits, but the large size of ground-based telescopes compared to spacecraft can work to mitigate this. We are carrying out a design study for a dedicated ultra-high-contrast system, the eXtreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager (XAOPI), which could be deployed on an 8-10m telescope in 2007. With a 4096-actuator MEMS deformable mirror it should achieve Strehl >0.9 in the near-IR. Using an innovative spatially filtered wavefront sensor, the system will be optimized to control scattered light over a large radius and suppress artifacts caused by static errors. We predict that it will achieve contrast levels of 10{sup 7}-10{sup 8} at angular separations of 0.2-0.8 inches around a large sample of stars (R<7-10), sufficient to detect Jupiter-like planets through their near-IR emission over a wide range of ages and masses. We are constructing a high-contrast AO testbed to verify key concepts of our system, and present preliminary results here, showing an RMS wavefront error of <1.3 nm with a flat mirror.

  20. 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.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jang-Condell, Hannah, E-mail: [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Wyoming, 1000 East University, Department 3905, Laramie, WY 82071 (United States)


    To date, several exoplanets have been discovered orbiting stars with close binary companions (a ≲ 30 AU). The fact that planets can form in these dynamically challenging environments implies that planet formation must be a robust process. The initial protoplanetary disks in these systems from which planets must form should be tidally truncated to radii of a few AU, which indicates that the efficiency of planet formation must be high. Here, we examine the truncation of circumstellar protoplanetary disks in close binary systems, studying how the likelihood of planet formation is affected over a range of disk parameters. If the semimajor axis of the binary is too small or its eccentricity is too high, the disk will have too little mass for planet formation to occur. However, we find that the stars in the binary systems known to have planets should have once hosted circumstellar disks that were capable of supporting planet formation despite their truncation. We present a way to characterize the feasibility of planet formation based on binary orbital parameters such as stellar mass, companion mass, eccentricity, and semimajor axis. Using this measure, we can quantify the robustness of planet formation in close binaries and better understand the overall efficiency of planet formation in general.

  2. 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.

  3. Discovering Extrasolar Planets with Microlensing Surveys (United States)

    Wambsganss, J.


    An astronomical survey is commonly understood as a mapping of a large region of the sky, either photometrically (possibly in various filters/wavelength ranges) or spectroscopically. Often, catalogs of objects are produced/provided as the main product or a by-product. However, with the advent of large CCD cameras and dedicated telescopes with wide-field imaging capabilities, it became possible in the early 1990s, to map the same region of the sky over and over again. In principle, such data sets could be combined to get very deep stacked images of the regions of interest. However, I will report on a completely different use of such repeated maps: Exploring the time domain for particular kinds of stellar variability, namely microlens-induced magnifications in search of exoplanets. Such a time-domain microlensing survey was originally proposed by Bohdan Paczynski in 1986 in order to search for dark matter objects in the Galactic halo. Only a few years later three teams started this endeavour. I will report on the history and current state of gravitational microlensing surveys. By now, routinely 100 million stars in the Galactic Bulge are monitored a few times per week by so-called survey teams. All stars with constant apparent brightness and those following known variability patterns are filtered out in order to detect the roughly 2000 microlensing events per year which are produced by stellar lenses. These microlensing events are identified "online" while still in their early phases and then monitored with much higher cadence by so-called follow-up teams. The most interesting of such events are those produced by a star-plus-planet lens. By now of order 30 exoplanets have been discovered by these combined microlensing surveys. Microlensing searches for extrasolar planets are complementary to other exoplanet search techniques. There are two particular advantages: The microlensing method is sensitive down to Earth-mass planets even with ground-based telecopes, and it

  4. Planet Hunters, Undergraduate Research, and Detection of Extrasolar Planet Kepler-818 b (United States)

    Baker, David; Crannell, Graham; Duncan, James; Hays, Aryn; Hendrix, Landon


    Detection of extrasolar planets provides an excellent research opportunity for undergraduate students. In Spring 2012, we searched for transiting extrasolar planets using Kepler spacecraft data in our Research Experience in Physics course at Austin College. Offered during the regular academic year, these Research Experience courses engage students in the scientific process, including proposal writing, paper submission, peer review, and oral presentations. Since 2004, over 190 undergraduate students have conducted authentic scientific research through Research Experience courses at Austin College.Zooniverse’s citizen science Planet Hunters web site offered an efficient method for rapid analysis of Kepler data. Light curves from over 5000 stars were analyzed, of which 2.3% showed planetary candidates already tagged by the Kepler team. Another 1.5% of the light curves suggested eclipsing binary stars, and 1.6% of the light curves had simulated planets for training purposes.One of the stars with possible planetary transits had not yet been listed as a planetary candidate. We reported possible transits for Kepler ID 4282872, which later was promoted to planetary candidate KOI-1325 in 2012 and confirmed to host extrasolar planet Kepler-818 b in 2016 (Morton et al. 2016). Kepler-818 b is a “hot Neptune” with period 10.04 days, flux decrease during transit ~0.4%, planetary radius 4.69 Earth radii, and semi-major axis 0.089 au.

  5. Predicting Peak Flows following Forest Fires (United States)

    Elliot, William J.; Miller, Mary Ellen; Dobre, Mariana


    Following forest fires, peak flows in perennial and ephemeral streams often increase by a factor of 10 or more. This increase in peak flow rate may overwhelm existing downstream structures, such as road culverts, causing serious damage to road fills at stream crossings. In order to predict peak flow rates following wildfires, we have applied two different tools. One is based on the U.S.D.A Natural Resource Conservation Service Curve Number Method (CN), and the other is by applying the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) to the watershed. In our presentation, we will describe the science behind the two methods, and present the main variables for each model. We will then provide an example of a comparison of the two methods to a fire-prone watershed upstream of the City of Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, where a fire spread model was applied for current fuel loads, and for likely fuel loads following a fuel reduction treatment. When applying the curve number method, determining the time to peak flow can be problematic for low severity fires because the runoff flow paths are both surface and through shallow lateral flow. The WEPP watershed version incorporates shallow lateral flow into stream channels. However, the version of the WEPP model that was used for this study did not have channel routing capabilities, but rather relied on regression relationships to estimate peak flows from individual hillslope polygon peak runoff rates. We found that the two methods gave similar results if applied correctly, with the WEPP predictions somewhat greater than the CN predictions. Later releases of the WEPP model have incorporated alternative methods for routing peak flows that need to be evaluated.

  6. 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...

  7. The Delivery of Water During Terrestrial Planet Formation (United States)

    O'Brien, David P.; Izidoro, Andre; Jacobson, Seth A.; Raymond, Sean N.; Rubie, David C.


    The planetary building blocks that formed in the terrestrial planet region were likely very dry, yet water is comparatively abundant on Earth. Here we review the various mechanisms proposed for the origin of water on the terrestrial planets. Various in-situ mechanisms have been suggested, which allow for the incorporation of water into the local planetesimals in the terrestrial planet region or into the planets themselves from local sources, although all of those mechanisms have difficulties. Comets have also been proposed as a source, although there may be problems fitting isotopic constraints, and the delivery efficiency is very low, such that it may be difficult to deliver even a single Earth ocean of water this way. The most promising route for water delivery is the accretion of material from beyond the snow line, similar to carbonaceous chondrites, that is scattered into the terrestrial planet region as the planets are growing. Two main scenarios are discussed in detail. First is the classical scenario in which the giant planets begin roughly in their final locations and the disk of planetesimals and embryos in the terrestrial planet region extends all the way into the outer asteroid belt region. Second is the Grand Tack scenario, where early inward and outward migration of the giant planets implants material from beyond the snow line into the asteroid belt and terrestrial planet region, where it can be accreted by the growing planets. Sufficient water is delivered to the terrestrial planets in both scenarios. While the Grand Tack scenario provides a better fit to most constraints, namely the small mass of Mars, planets may form too fast in the nominal case discussed here. This discrepancy may be reduced as a wider range of initial conditions is explored. Finally, we discuss several more recent models that may have important implications for water delivery to the terrestrial planets.

  8. The Pan-Pacific Planet Search. VII. The Most Eccentric Planet Orbiting a Giant Star (United States)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Jones, M. I.; Horner, Jonathan; Kane, Stephen R.; Marshall, J. P.; Mustill, A. J.; Jenkins, J. S.; Pena Rojas, P. A.; Zhao, Jinglin; Villaver, Eva; Butler, R. P.; Clark, Jake


    Radial velocity observations from three instruments reveal the presence of a 4 M Jup planet candidate orbiting the K giant HD 76920. HD 76920b has an orbital eccentricity of 0.856 ± 0.009, making it the most eccentric planet known to orbit an evolved star. There is no indication that HD 76920 has an unseen binary companion, suggesting a scattering event rather than Kozai oscillations as a probable culprit for the observed eccentricity. The candidate planet currently approaches to about four stellar radii from its host star, and is predicted to be engulfed on a ∼100 Myr timescale due to the combined effects of stellar evolution and tidal interactions.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Stable habitable zones of single Jovian planet systems (United States)

    Agnew, Matthew T.; Maddison, Sarah T.; Thilliez, Elodie; Horner, Jonathan


    With continued improvement in telescope sensitivity and observational techniques, the search for rocky planets in stellar habitable zones is entering an exciting era. With so many exoplanetary systems available for follow-up observations to find potentially habitable planets, one needs to prioritize the ever-growing list of candidates. We aim to determine which of the known planetary systems are dynamically capable of hosting rocky planets in their habitable zones, with the goal of helping to focus future planet search programmes. We perform an extensive suite of numerical simulations to identify regions in the habitable zones of single Jovian planet systems where Earth-mass planets could maintain stable orbits, specifically focusing on the systems in the Catalog of Earth-like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA). We find that small, Earth-mass planets can maintain stable orbits in cases where the habitable zone is largely, or partially, unperturbed by a nearby Jovian, and that mutual gravitational interactions and resonant mechanisms are capable of producing stable orbits even in habitable zones that are significantly or completely disrupted by a Jovian. Our results yield a list of 13 single Jovian planet systems in CELESTA that are not only capable of supporting an Earth-mass planet on stable orbits in their habitable zone, but for which we are also able to constrain the orbits of the Earth-mass planet such that the induced radial velocity signals would be detectable with next generation instruments.

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

    Abe, Y.; Abe-Ouchi, A.


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

  15. A Re-appraisal of the Habitability of Planets Around M Dwarf Stars


    Tarter, Jill C.; Backus, Peter R.; Mancinelli, Rocco L; Aurnou, Jonathan M.; Backman, Dana E.; Basri, Gibor S.; Boss, Alan P.; Clarke, Andrew; Deming, Drake; Laurance R. Doyle; Feigelson, Eric D.; Freund, Friedmann; Grinspoon, David H.; Haberle, Robert M.; Hauck II, Steven A.


    Stable, hydrogen-burning, M dwarf stars comprise about 75% of all stars in the Galaxy. They are extremely long-lived and because they are much smaller in mass than the Sun (between 0.5 and 0.08 MSun), their temperature and stellar luminosity are low and peaked in the red. We have re-examined what is known at present about the potential for a terrestrial planet forming within, or migrating into, the classic liquid-surface-water habitable zone close to an M dwarf star. Observations of protoplan...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinse, Tobias C. [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Korea, Republic of); Haghighipour, Nader [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI (United States); Kostov, Veselin B. [Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (United States); Goździewski, Krzysztof, E-mail: [Toruń Centre for Astronomy of the Nicolai Copernicus University, Grudziadzka 5 (Poland)


    We have studied the possibility that a third circumbinary planet in the Kepler-47 planetary system is the source of the single unexplained transiting event reported during the discovery of these planets. We applied the MEGNO technique to identify regions in the phase space where a third planet can maintain quasi-periodic orbits, and assessed the long-term stability of the three-planet system by integrating the entire five bodies (binary + planets) for 10 Myr. We identified several stable regions between the two known planets as well as a region beyond the orbit of Kepler-47c where the orbit of the third planet could be stable. To constrain the orbit of this planet, we used the measured duration of the unexplained transit event (∼4.15 hr) and compared that with the transit duration of the third planet in an ensemble of stable orbits. To remove the degeneracy among the orbits with similar transit durations, we considered the planet to be in a circular orbit and calculated its period analytically. The latter places an upper limit of 424 days on the orbital period of the third planet. Our analysis suggests that if the unexplained transit event detected during the discovery of the Kepler-47 circumbinary system is due to a planetary object, this planet will be in a low eccentricity orbit with a semi-major axis smaller than 1.24 AU. Further constraining of the mass and orbital elements of this planet requires a re-analysis of the entire currently available data, including those obtained post-announcement of the discovery of this system. We present details of our methodology and discuss the implication of the results.

  17. Planet Formation Instrument for the Thirty Meter Telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  18. Atmospheric tides in Earth-like planets (United States)

    Auclair-Desrotour, P.; Laskar, J.; Mathis, S.


    Context. Atmospheric tides can strongly affect the rotational dynamics of planets. In the family of Earth-like planets, which includes Venus, this physical mechanism coupled with solid tides makes the angular velocity evolve over long timescales and determines the equilibrium configurations of their spin. Aims: Unlike the solid core, the atmosphere of a planet is subject to both tidal gravitational potential and insolation flux coming from the star. The complex response of the gas is intrinsically linked to its physical properties. This dependence has to be characterized and quantified for application to the wide variety of extrasolar planetary systems. Methods: We develop a theoretical global model where radiative losses, which are predominant in slowly rotating atmospheres, are taken into account. We analytically compute the perturbation of pressure, density, temperature, and velocity field caused by a thermogravitational tidal perturbation. From these quantities, we deduce the expressions of atmospheric Love numbers and tidal torque exerted on the fluid shell by the star. The equations are written for the general case of a thick envelope and the simplified one of a thin isothermal atmosphere. Results: The dynamics of atmospheric tides depends on the frequency regime of the tidal perturbation: the thermal regime near synchronization and the dynamical regime characterizing fast-rotating planets. Gravitational and thermal perturbations imply different responses of the fluid, I.e. gravitational tides and thermal tides, which are clearly identified. The dependence of the torque on the tidal frequency is quantified using the analytic expressions of the model for Earth-like and Venus-like exoplanets and is in good agreement with the results given by global climate models (GCM) simulations.Introducing dissipative processes such as radiation regularizes the tidal response of the atmosphere, otherwise it is singular at synchronization. Conclusions: We demonstrate the

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

    Rose, Ian Robert

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

  20. The Spherical Bolometric Albedo of Planet Mercury


    Mallama, Anthony


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

  1. Physical properties of the planet Mercury (United States)

    Clark, Pamela E.


    The global physical properties of Mercury are summarized with attention given to its figure and orbital parameters. The combination of properties suggests that Mercury has an extensive iron-rich core, possibly with a still-functioning dynamo, which is 42 percent of the interior by volume. Mercury's three major axes are comparable in size, indicating that the planet is a triaxial ellipsoid rather than an oblate spheroid. In terms of the domination of its surface by an intermediate plains terrane, it is more Venus- or Mars-like; however, due to the presence of a large metallic magnetic core, its interior may be more earth-like.

  2. Probing Protoplanetary Disks: From Birth to Planets (United States)

    Guilfoil Cox, Erin


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

  3. Mars: A water-rich planet (United States)

    Carr, Michael H.


    Good geomorphic evidence is presented for a planet that was once water rich, and that a lower limit on the amount of water available for a given Martian watershed may be estimated by assuming that the volume of material eroded was equal to the volume of water available. This estimate, coupled with high latitude water estimates of 50 to 100 m gives a global inventory of about 500 m total water in the subsurface. It was emphasized that this is a lower limit as considerable water may be bound in weathered debris and in primary minerals.

  4. Extrasolar planet observational studies: the Italian contribution. (United States)

    Gratton, R.; Desidera, S.; Claudi, R.

    We review the Italian contribution to observationals studies of extrasolar planets. Various techniques are used, including high precision radial velocities, transits, time delays, and direct imaging. Italian groups participate to some of the most interesting projects of the next decade, including imaging, photometry and astrometry. We will focus our attention on a few of these projects, including results obtained with SARG at TNG, those expected from OmegaTrans at VST, SPHERE at VLT and EPICS at E-ELT, with the PLATO satellite, and with GAIA.

  5. How to use your peak flow meter (United States)

    ... discharge COPD - control drugs COPD - quick-relief drugs COPD - what to ask your doctor Exercise-induced asthma Exercising and asthma at school Make peak flow a habit! Signs of an asthma attack Stay away from asthma triggers Review Date 2/15/2016 Updated by: Neil K. ...

  6. Some Phenomenological Aspects of the Peak Experience (United States)

    Rosenblatt, Howard S.; Bartlett, Iris


    This article relates the psychological dynamics of "peak experiences" to two concepts, intentionality and paradoxical intention, within the philosophical orientation of phenomenology. A review of early philosophical theories of self (Kant and Hume) is presented and compared with the experiential emphasis found in the phenomenology of Husserl.…

  7. Toward a Galactic Distribution of Planets. I. Methodology and Planet Sensitivities of the 2015 High-cadence Spitzer Microlens Sample (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Udalski, A.; Calchi Novati, S.; Chung, S.-J.; Jung, Y. K.; Ryu, Y.-H.; Shin, I.-G.; Gould, A.; Lee, C.-U.; Albrow, M. D.; Yee, J. C.; Han, C.; Hwang, K.-H.; Cha, S.-M.; Kim, D.-J.; Kim, H.-W.; Kim, S.-L.; Kim, Y.-H.; Lee, Y.; Park, B.-G.; Pogge, R. W.; KMTNet Collaboration; Poleski, R.; Mróz, P.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Skowron, J.; Szymański, M. K.; Kozłowski, S.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pawlak, M.; OGLE Collaboration; Beichman, C.; Bryden, G.; Carey, S.; Fausnaugh, M.; Gaudi, B. S.; Henderson, C. B.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Wibking, B.; Spitzer Team


    We analyze an ensemble of microlensing events from the 2015 Spitzer microlensing campaign, all of which were densely monitored by ground-based high-cadence survey teams. The simultaneous observations from Spitzer and the ground yield measurements of the microlensing parallax vector {{\\boldsymbol{π }}}{{E}}, from which compact constraints on the microlens properties are derived, including ≲25% uncertainties on the lens mass and distance. With the current sample, we demonstrate that the majority of microlenses are indeed in the mass range of M dwarfs. The planet sensitivities of all 41 events in the sample are calculated, from which we provide constraints on the planet distribution function. In particular, assuming a planet distribution function that is uniform in {log}q, where q is the planet-to-star mass ratio, we find a 95% upper limit on the fraction of stars that host typical microlensing planets of 49%, which is consistent with previous studies. Based on this planet-free sample, we develop the methodology to statistically study the Galactic distribution of planets using microlensing parallax measurements. Under the assumption that the planet distributions are the same in the bulge as in the disk, we predict that ∼1/3 of all planet detections from the microlensing campaigns with Spitzer should be in the bulge. This prediction will be tested with a much larger sample, and deviations from it can be used to constrain the abundance of planets in the bulge relative to the disk.

  8. Multiple equilibria on planet Dune: Climate-vegetation dynamics on a sandy planet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cresto Aleina, F.; Baudena, M.; D' Andrea, F.; Provenzale, A


    We study the interaction between climate and vegetation on an ideal water-limited planet, focussing on the influence of vegetation on the global water cycle. We introduce a simple mechanistic box model consisting in a two-layer representation of the atmosphere and a two-layer soil scheme. The model

  9. Habitable Planets with Dynamic System of Global Air-Liquid-Solid Planet and Life (United States)

    Miura, Y.; Kato, T.


    Habitable zone is dynamic three phase states (air-liquid-solid), which will be obtained in water-planet with volatile exchanges. Water and carbon-bearing grains at older extraterrestrial stones suggest that there are no global ocean water system.

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

    Papagiannis, M D


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

  11. A young massive planet in a star-disk system. (United States)

    Setiawan, J; Henning, Th; Launhardt, R; Müller, A; Weise, P; Kürster, M


    There is a general consensus that planets form within disks of dust and gas around newly born stars. Details of their formation process, however, are still a matter of ongoing debate. The timescale of planet formation remains unclear, so the detection of planets around young stars with protoplanetary disks is potentially of great interest. Hitherto, no such planet has been found. Here we report the detection of a planet of mass (9.8+/-3.3)M(Jupiter) around TW Hydrae (TW Hya), a nearby young star with an age of only 8-10 Myr that is surrounded by a well-studied circumstellar disk. It orbits the star with a period of 3.56 days at 0.04 au, inside the inner rim of the disk. This demonstrates that planets can form within 10 Myr, before the disk has been dissipated by stellar winds and radiation.

  12. Constraints on a second planet in the WASP-3 system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maciejewski, G.; Niedzielski, A.; Nowak, G.; Deka, B.; Adamów, M.; Górecka, M. [Centre for Astronomy, Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Informatics, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Grudziadzka 5, 87-100 Torun (Poland); Wolszczan, A. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Neuhäuser, R.; Errmann, R.; Seeliger, M. [Astrophysikalisches Institut und Universitäts-Sternwarte, Schillergässchen 2-3, D-07745 Jena (Germany); Winn, J. N.; McKnight, L. [Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Fernández, M.; Aceituno, F. J. [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía 3, E-18008 Granada (Spain); Ohlert, J. [Michael Adrian Observatorium, Astronomie Stiftung Trebur, D-65468 Trebur (Germany); Dimitrov, D. [Institute of Astronomy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 72 Tsarigradsko Chausse Blvd., 1784 Sofia (Bulgaria); Latham, D. W.; Esquerdo, G. A.; Holman, M. J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Jensen, E. L. N. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081 (United States); and others


    There have been previous hints that the transiting planet WASP-3b is accompanied by a second planet in a nearby orbit, based on small deviations from strict periodicity of the observed transits. Here we present 17 precise radial velocity (RV) measurements and 32 transit light curves that were acquired between 2009 and 2011. These data were used to refine the parameters of the host star and transiting planet. This has resulted in reduced uncertainties for the radii and masses of the star and planet. The RV data and the transit times show no evidence for an additional planet in the system. Therefore, we have determined the upper limit on the mass of any hypothetical second planet, as a function of its orbital period.

  13. Autonomous Observing and Planet Discovery with the Automated Planet Finder (APF) (United States)

    Burt, Jennifer; Hanson, Russell; Holden, Bradford; Butler, R. Paul; Vogt, Steven S.; Laughlin, Greg


    The Automated Planet Finder (APF) is a dedicated, ground-based precision radial velocity facility located at Lick Observatory, operated by University of California Observatories (UCO). The 2.4-m telescope and accompanying high-resolution echelle spectrograph were specifically designed for the purpose of detecting planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars. The telescope is operated every night (weather permitting) to achieve meaningful signal-to-noise gains from high cadence observing and to avoid the aliasing problems inherent to planets whose periods are close to the lunar month.The APF has been taking science quality data for over a year and has contributed to two planet discovery papers with data at a 1 m/s level of precision. The detection of these planets, especially the Uranus mass planet around GL687, indicates that the APF telescope is well suited to the discovery of low-mass planets orbiting low-mass stars in the as-yet relatively un-surveyed region of the sky near the north celestial pole.To take full advantage of the consistent influx of data it is necessary to analyze each night's results before deciding the next evening's targets. We are in the process of developing a fully automated reduction pipeline that will take data from raw FITS files to final radial velocity values and integrate those values into a master database. The database is then run through the publicly available Systemic console, a publically available software package for the analysis and combined multiparameter fitting of Doppler radial velocity observations. Systemic will re-calculate the possibility of planetary signals in the data and use this value, along with other considerations such as the star's brightness and chromospheric activity level, to assign it a priority rating for future observations.When the telescope is again on sky it uses a suite of stellar and atmospheric calibrations derived from the part year's observations to calculate the expected exposure time for

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

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


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

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

    Margot, J. L.


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

  16. A Distant Planet: Finding Superman's Krypton (United States)

    Ricca, B.


    In 2012, Neil deGrasse Tyson made headlines when he appeared in a Superman comic book and pinpointed a real planet (located in Corvus) that matched the description of Superman's homeworld, the fictional planet of Krypton. This story tracked all over the world. Why? I will look at the figure of Superman, whose backstory—orphan from an exploding planet—is somehow known by everyone from the age of eight on. I will look at how specific astronomical phenomena (in the sky and in the news) may have inspired Superman's young teenaged creators in the 1930s to create this iconic modern myth—a myth, like many, grounded in astronomy. My goal is to show that comics—which we normally think of as juvenile, throwaway entertainment— actually tried to base themselves (and certainly were inspired by) actual astronomical events in the thirties and forties, made more accessible to the public by new scientific explanations, including a real supernova that may have inspired the destruction of Krypton.

  17. Photometric Defocus Observations of Transiting Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias C. Hinse


    Full Text Available We have carried out photometric follow-up observations of bright transiting extrasolar planets using the CbNUOJ 0.6 m telescope. We have tested the possibility of obtaining high photometric precision by applying the telescope defocus technique, allowing the use of several hundred seconds in exposure time for a single measurement. We demonstrate that this technique is capable of obtaining a root-mean-square scatter of sub-millimagnitude order over several hours for a V ~10 host star, typical for transiting planets detected from ground-based survey facilities. We compared our results with transit observations from a telescope operated in in-focus mode. High photometric precision was obtained due to the collection of a larger amount of photons, resulting in a higher signal compared to other random and systematic noise sources. Accurate telescope tracking is likely to further contribute to lowering systematic noise by exposing the same pixels on the CCD. Furthermore, a longer exposure time helps reduce the effect of scintillation noise which otherwise has a significant effect for small-aperture telescopes operated in in-focus mode. Finally we present the results of modelling four light-curves in which a root-mean-square scatter of 0.70 to 2.3 milli-magnitudes was achieved.

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

    Gingerich, Owen; MacLachlan, James


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

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

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


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

  20. Probing Planets in Extragalactic Galaxies Using Quasar Microlensing


    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 Fek...

  1. ESPRI: Astrometric planet search with PRIMA at the VLTI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ségransan D.


    Full Text Available The ESPRI consortium will conduct an astrometric survey for extrasolar planets, using the PRIMA facility at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. Our scientific goals include determining orbital inclinations and masses for planets already known from radial-velocity surveys, searches for planets around nearby stars of all masses, and around young stars. The consortium has built the PRIMA differential delay lines, developed an astrometric operation and calibration plan, and will deliver astrometric data reduction software.

  2. White dwarf pollution by planets in stellar binaries


    Hamers, S.; Portegies, F, Zwart S.


    Approximately $0.2 \\pm 0.2$ of white dwarfs (WDs) show signs of pollution by metals, which is likely due to the accretion of tidally disrupted planetary material. Models invoking planet-planet interactions after WD formation generally cannot explain pollution at cooling times of several Gyr. We consider a scenario in which a planet is perturbed by Lidov-Kozai oscillations induced by a binary companion and exacerbated by stellar mass loss, explaining pollution at long cooling times. Our comput...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thalmann, C.; Garufi, A.; Quanz, S. P.; Daemgen, S.; Engler, N. [ETH Zurich, Institute for Astronomy, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zurich (Switzerland); Janson, M. [Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); Boccaletti, A. [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UPMC Paris 6, Sorbonne Université, 5 place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon CEDEX (France); Sissa, E.; Gratton, R.; Desidera, S. [INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padova (Italy); Salter, G.; Langlois, M. [Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, F-13388 Marseille (France); Benisty, M.; Bonnefoy, M.; Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Lannier, J. [Université Grenoble Alpes, IPAG, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Dominik, C. [Anton Pannekoek Institute, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam (Netherlands); Feldt, M.; Henning, T., E-mail: [Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); and others


    LkCa 15 hosts a pre-transitional disk as well as at least one accreting protoplanet orbiting in its gap. Previous disk observations have focused mainly on the outer disk, which is cleared inward of ∼50 au. The planet candidates, on the other hand, reside at orbital radii around 15 au, where disk observations have been unreliable until recently. Here, we present new J -band imaging polarimetry of LkCa 15 with SPHERE IRDIS, yielding the most accurate and detailed scattered-light images of the disk to date down to the planet-hosting inner regions. We find what appear to be persistent asymmetric structures in the scattering material at the location of the planet candidates, which could be responsible at least for parts of the signals measured with sparse-aperture masking. These images further allow us to trace the gap edge in scattered light at all position angles and search the inner and outer disks for morphological substructure. The outer disk appears smooth with slight azimuthal variations in polarized surface brightness, which may be due to shadowing from the inner disk or a two-peaked polarized phase function. We find that the near-side gap edge revealed by polarimetry matches the sharp crescent seen in previous ADI imaging very well. Finally, the ratio of polarized disk to stellar flux is more than six times larger in the J -band than in the RI bands.

  4. Effect of gear ratio on peak power and time to peak power in BMX cyclists. (United States)

    Rylands, Lee P; Roberts, Simon J; Hurst, Howard T


    The aim of this study was to ascertain if gear ratio selection would have an effect on peak power and time to peak power production in elite Bicycle Motocross (BMX) cyclists. Eight male elite BMX riders volunteered for the study. Each rider performed three, 10-s maximal sprints on an Olympic standard indoor BMX track. The riders' bicycles were fitted with a portable SRM power meter. Each rider performed the three sprints using gear ratios of 41/16, 43/16 and 45/16 tooth. The results from the 41/16 and 45/16 gear ratios were compared to the current standard 43/16 gear ratio. Statistically, significant differences were found between the gear ratios for peak power (F(2,14) = 6.448; p = .010) and peak torque (F(2,14) = 4.777; p = .026), but no significant difference was found for time to peak power (F(2,14) = 0.200; p = .821). When comparing gear ratios, the results showed a 45/16 gear ratio elicited the highest peak power,1658 ± 221 W, compared to 1436 ± 129 W and 1380 ± 56 W, for the 43/16 and 41/16 ratios, respectively. The time to peak power showed a 41/16 tooth gear ratio attained peak power in -0.01 s and a 45/16 in 0.22 s compared to the 43/16. The findings of this study suggest that gear ratio choice has a significant effect on peak power production, though time to peak power output is not significantly affected. Therefore, selecting a higher gear ratio results in riders attaining higher power outputs without reducing their start time.

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

    Cortes, Jorge; Kipping, David


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

  6. Star-Planet Interactions in X-rays


    Poppenhaeger, K.


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

  7. Reading the Signatures of Extrasolar Planets in Debris Disks (United States)

    Kuchner, Marc J.


    An extrasolar planet sculpts the famous debris dish around Fomalhaut; probably ma ny other debris disks contain planets that we could locate if only we could better recognize their signatures in the dust that surrounds them. But the interaction between planets and debris disks involves both orbital resonances and collisions among grains and rocks in the disks --- difficult processes to model simultanemus]y. I will describe new 3-D models of debris disk dynamics that incorporate both collisions and resonant trapping of dust for the first time, allowing us to decode debris disk images and read the signatures of the planets they contain.

  8. On the dynamical habitability of Trojan planets in exoplanetary systems (United States)

    Schwarz, R.; Funk, B.; Bazsó, Á.; Eggl, S.


    Besides the hierarchical configurations exoplanets have been observed in so far, Earth-analogs can theoretically exist in co-orbital motion with giant planets. Those so-called Trojan planets share the same orbit as their Jovian hosts, trailing or leading by approximately 60 degrees in mean anomaly. If a giant planet was situated in the habitable zone (HZ) of an exoplanetary system coorbital terrestrial worlds could in principle also be habitable provided their orbits are "tame enough". In this paper, we study the dynamical properties of Earth-like Trojan planets in their host stars' respective HZs. We investigate the orbital stability of possible Trojan planets near the Lagrangian equilibrium points L_4 and L_5 for several candidate systems. Our numerical simulations have been carried out using the planar three-body problem, in case the extrasolar system contains only one known planet and the n-body problem with more than one planet in the system. We study the stability region around the equilibrium points and counted the number of stable orbits concentrating on the dependencies between the semimajor axis, the eccentricity and the argument of perihelion of the Trojan planet. We found that of the investigated 14 systems 6 support stable Trojan planets in the system's HZ, namely HD 5891, HD 28185, WASP-41, HD 11755, HD 221287 and HD 13908.

  9. Future prospects for the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lunine J.I.


    Full Text Available Several distinctly different techniques have detected almost 500 planets orbiting around main-sequence stars, 45 multiple planet systems, and a number of extrasolar planets have been the subject of direct study. Hundreds of other “candidate” planets detected by the Kepler spacecraft await confirmation of their existence. Planets are thus common phenomena around stars, and the prospects seem good in the next few years for establishing statistics on the occurrence of Earth-sized planets. Extension of the most successful technique of Doppler spectroscopy in sensitivity to detect Earth-mass planets around Sun-like stars will be limited by the noise generated by the stellar photospheres themselves. The James Webb Space Telescope will have the capability to measure atmospheric abundances of certain gases and of liquid water on extrasolar planets, including “superEarths” within a factor of two of the radius of the Earth. The ultimate goal of measuring the atmospheric composition of an Earth-sized planet orbiting at 1 AU around a star like the Sun remains a daunting challenge that is perhaps twenty years in the future.

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

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


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

  11. Transiting exoplanets: From planet statistics to their physical nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.


    Full Text Available The colloquium "Detection and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets" was held at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence and discussed the status of transiting exoplanet investigations in a 4.5 day meeting. Topics addressed ranged from planet detection, a discussion on planet composition and interior structure, atmospheres of hot-Jupiter planets, up to the effect of tides and the dynamical evolution of planetary systems. Here, I give a summary of the recent developments of transiting planet detections and investigations discussed at this meeting.

  12. Planet signatures in collisionally active debris discs: scattered light images (United States)

    Thebault, P.; Kral, Q.; Ertel, S.


    Context. Planet perturbations have been often invoked as a potential explanation for many spatial structures that have been imaged in debris discs. So far this issue has been mostly investigated with pure N-body numerical models, which neglect the crucial effect collisions within the disc can have on the disc's response to dynamical perturbations. Aims: We numerically investigate how the coupled effect of collisions and radiation pressure can affect the formation and survival of radial and azimutal structures in a disc perturbed by a planet. We consider two different set-ups: a planet embedded within an extended disc and a planet exterior to an inner debris ring. One important issue we want to address is under which conditions a planet's signature can be observable in a collisionally active disc. Methods: We use our DyCoSS code, which is designed to investigate the structure of perturbed debris discs at dynamical and collisional steady-state, and derive synthetic images of the system in scattered light. The planet's mass and orbit, as well as the disc's collisional activity (parameterized by its average vertical optical depth τ0) are explored as free parameters. Results: We find that collisions always significantly damp planet-induced spatial structures. For the case of an embedded planet, the planet's signature, mostly a density gap around its radial position, should remain detectable in head-on images if Mplanet ≥ MSaturn. If the system is seen edge-on, however, inferring the presence of the planet is much more difficult, as only weak asymmetries remain in a collisionally active disc, although some planet-induced signatures might be observable under very favourable conditions. For the case of an inner ring and an external planet, planetary perturbations cannot prevent collision-produced small fragments from populating the regions beyond the ring. The radial luminosity profile exterior to the ring is in most cases close to the one it should have in the absence

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

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


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

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

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


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

  15. Improved peak shape fitting in alpha spectra. (United States)

    Pommé, S; Caro Marroyo, B


    Peak overlap is a recurrent issue in alpha-particle spectrometry, not only in routine analyses but also in the high-resolution spectra from which reference values for alpha emission probabilities are derived. In this work, improved peak shape formulae are presented for the deconvolution of alpha-particle spectra. They have been implemented as fit functions in a spreadsheet application and optimum fit parameters were searched with built-in optimisation routines. Deconvolution results are shown for a few challenging spectra with high statistical precision. The algorithm outperforms the best available routines for high-resolution spectrometry, which may facilitate a more reliable determination of alpha emission probabilities in the future. It is also applicable to alpha spectra with inferior energy resolution. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Peak oil, food systems, and public health. (United States)

    Neff, Roni A; Parker, Cindy L; Kirschenmann, Frederick L; Tinch, Jennifer; Lawrence, Robert S


    Peak oil is the phenomenon whereby global oil supplies will peak, then decline, with extraction growing increasingly costly. Today's globalized industrial food system depends on oil for fueling farm machinery, producing pesticides, and transporting goods. Biofuels production links oil prices to food prices. We examined food system vulnerability to rising oil prices and the public health consequences. In the short term, high food prices harm food security and equity. Over time, high prices will force the entire food system to adapt. Strong preparation and advance investment may mitigate the extent of dislocation and hunger. Certain social and policy changes could smooth adaptation; public health has an essential role in promoting a proactive, smart, and equitable transition that increases resilience and enables adequate food for all.

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


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

  18. A Planet Soon to Meet Its Demise (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    A tiny telescope has discovered a scalding hot world orbiting its star 1,300 light-years from us. KELT-16b may only be around for a few more hundreds of thousands of years, however.Dont Underestimate Tiny TelescopesThe KELT-North telescope in Arizona. This tiny telescope was responsible for the discovery of KELT-16b. [Vanderbilt University]In an era of ever larger observatories, you might think that theres no longer a place for small-aperture ground-based telescopes. But small ground-based telescopes have been responsible for the discovery and characterization of around 250 exoplanets so far and these are the targets that are especially useful for exoplanet science, as they aremore easily followed up than the faint discoveries made by telescopes like Kepler.The Kilogree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) consists of two telescopes one in Arizona and one in South Africa that each have a 4.2-centimeter aperture. In total, KELT observes roughly 70% of the entire sky searching for planets transiting bright hosts. And its recently found quite an interesting one: KELT-16b. In a publication led by Thomas Oberst (Westminster College in Pennsylvania), a team of scientists presents their find.Combined follow-up light curves obtained for KELT-16b from 19 transits. The best-fit period is just under a day. [Oberst et al. 2017]A Hot WorldKELT-16b is whats known as a hot Jupiter. Using the KELT data and follow-up observations of 19 transits, Oberst and collaborators estimate KELT-16bs radius at roughly 1.4 times that of Jupiter and its mass at 2.75 times Jupiters. Its equilibrium temperature is a scalding 2453 K caused by the fact that it orbits so close to its host star that it completes each orbit in a mere 0.97 days!This short period is extremely unusual: there are only five other known transiting exoplanets with periods shorter than a day. KELT-16b is orbiting very close to its host, making it subject to extreme irradiation and strong tidal forces.Based on KELT-16bs orbit

  19. Ten Reasons to Take Peak Oil Seriously

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Brecha


    Full Text Available Forty years ago, the results of modeling, as presented in The Limits to Growth, reinvigorated a discussion about exponentially growing consumption of natural resources, ranging from metals to fossil fuels to atmospheric capacity, and how such consumption could not continue far into the future. Fifteen years earlier, M. King Hubbert had made the projection that petroleum production in the continental United States would likely reach a maximum around 1970, followed by a world production maximum a few decades later. The debate about “peak oil”, as it has come to be called, is accompanied by some of the same vociferous denials, myths and ideological polemicizing that have surrounded later representations of The Limits to Growth. In this review, we present several lines of evidence as to why arguments for a near-term peak in world conventional oil production should be taken seriously—both in the sense that there is strong evidence for peak oil and in the sense that being societally unprepared for declining oil production will have serious consequences.

  20. Revisiting Twomey's approximation for peak supersaturation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. J. Shipway


    Full Text Available Twomey's seminal 1959 paper provided lower and upper bound approximations to the estimation of peak supersaturation within an updraft and thus provides the first closed expression for the number of nucleated cloud droplets. The form of this approximation is simple, but provides a surprisingly good estimate and has subsequently been employed in more sophisticated treatments of nucleation parametrization. In the current paper, we revisit the lower bound approximation of Twomey and make a small adjustment that can be used to obtain a more accurate calculation of peak supersaturation under all potential aerosol loadings and thermodynamic conditions. In order to make full use of this improved approximation, the underlying integro-differential equation for supersaturation evolution and the condition for calculating peak supersaturation are examined. A simple rearrangement of the algebra allows for an expression to be written down that can then be solved with a single lookup table with only one independent variable for an underlying lognormal aerosol population. While multimodal aerosol with N different dispersion characteristics requires 2N+1 inputs to calculate the activation fraction, only N of these one-dimensional lookup tables are needed. No additional information is required in the lookup table to deal with additional chemical, physical or thermodynamic properties. The resulting implementation provides a relatively simple, yet computationally cheap, physically based parametrization of droplet nucleation for use in climate and Numerical Weather Prediction models.

  1. The Hong Kong Peak Tram Illusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping-Hui Chiu


    Full Text Available Hong Kong Peak Tram Illusion is the perceived slant of buildings towards the peak away from the vertical while observers travel on the Hong Kong peak tram. We measured the perceived tilt of the buildings from true vertical (illusion size using a rotary pitch while an identical pitch read the slope of the hill. The illusion was hypothesized to be jointly determined by at least four factors: (i the reclining position of the observer, (ii the frame of the tram window, (iii the direction of motion, and (iv additional reference cues from outside the window. Our results showed that the illusion: (i was reduced by up to 20% when observers sat with a wedge on their back and up to 40% when they stood up. (ii remained even when observers moved closer to the window to avoid the effect of the frame. (iii was 20% larger when the tram was descending, as opposed to ascending. (iv was less apparent during the day. The illusion appears to be due to integration of the above sensory information as it cannot be accounted for by each factor alone. The illusion provides a unique venue to study cross-modal sensory interaction in the nature setting.

  2. Minor Planet Center Data Processing Challenges (United States)

    Rudenko, Michael


    The Minor Planet Center (MPC) is the single worldwide location for receipt and distribution of positional measurements of minor planets, comets and outer irregular natural satellites of the major planets. The MPC is responsible for the identification, designation and orbit computation for all of these objects.Over 2 million observations are received each month via the internet, and are validated and processed in near real time. The observations come in batches whose formats are checked and whose observations are run through a number of other routine checks such as departure from great circle motion, prior publication, single observations, near duplicates, etc. Some or all of a batch of observations may be returned to its sender if they fail one or more of the checks. After the observations have been validated, they are processed to produce orbits of newly discovered objects or used to update the orbits of known objects.Given the volume of observations, the sheer number of known objects against which to possibly match, the shortness of the time interval over which each object was likely observed, and the uncertainties in the positions, and occasionally possible errors in times, reported, a number of data processing challenges face the MPC. These include the following: Identifying observations of objects reported as new with already known objects; linking together sets of observations from different nights (possibly at different apparitions) which may belong to the same object; determining if a set of observations has been assigned to the wrong object; determining if an object with a very short arc is possibly a Near-Earth object; determining and examining the range of possible variant orbits of newly discovered Near-Earth objects with very short observation arcs for cases which indicate an object is potentially on a collision course with Earth; linking observations to known artificial satellites and/or booster stages and other space "junk"; prioritizing newly

  3. A reappraisal of the habitability of planets around M dwarf stars. (United States)

    Tarter, Jill C; Backus, Peter R; Mancinelli, Rocco L; Aurnou, Jonathan M; Backman, Dana E; Basri, Gibor S; Boss, Alan P; Clarke, Andrew; Deming, Drake; Doyle, Laurance R; Feigelson, Eric D; Freund, Friedmann; Grinspoon, David H; Haberle, Robert M; Hauck, Steven A; Heath, Martin J; Henry, Todd J; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L; Joshi, Manoj M; Kilston, Steven; Liu, Michael C; Meikle, Eric; Reid, I Neill; Rothschild, Lynn J; Scalo, John; Segura, Antigona; Tang, Carol M; Tiedje, James M; Turnbull, Margaret C; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Weber, Arthur L; Young, Richard E


    Stable, hydrogen-burning, M dwarf stars make up about 75% of all stars in the Galaxy. They are extremely long-lived, and because they are much smaller in mass than the Sun (between 0.5 and 0.08 M(Sun)), their temperature and stellar luminosity are low and peaked in the red. We have re-examined what is known at present about the potential for a terrestrial planet forming within, or migrating into, the classic liquid-surface-water habitable zone close to an M dwarf star. Observations of protoplanetary disks suggest that planet-building materials are common around M dwarfs, but N-body simulations differ in their estimations of the likelihood of potentially habitable, wet planets that reside within their habitable zones, which are only about one-fifth to 1/50th of the width of that for a G star. Particularly in light of the claimed detection of the planets with masses as small as 5.5 and 7.5 M(Earth) orbiting M stars, there seems no reason to exclude the possibility of terrestrial planets. Tidally locked synchronous rotation within the narrow habitable zone does not necessarily lead to atmospheric collapse, and active stellar flaring may not be as much of an evolutionarily disadvantageous factor as has previously been supposed. We conclude that M dwarf stars may indeed be viable hosts for planets on which the origin and evolution of life can occur. A number of planetary processes such as cessation of geothermal activity or thermal and nonthermal atmospheric loss processes may limit the duration of planetary habitability to periods far shorter than the extreme lifetime of the M dwarf star. Nevertheless, it makes sense to include M dwarf stars in programs that seek to find habitable worlds and evidence of life. This paper presents the summary conclusions of an interdisciplinary workshop ( sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and convened at the SETI Institute.

  4. Searching for Circumprimary and Circumbinary Planets in Kepler Data (United States)

    Haghighipour, Nader

    We propose to use the currently available data from the Kepler space telescope (specifically, variations in transit and eclipse timing) to detect planets in circumprimary and circumbinary orbits in binary star systems. The detection of planets in close binary stars during the past decade and the recent success of the Kepler space telescope in detecting planets in circumbinary orbits strongly suggest that planet formation in and around binary stars is robust and planets of variety of sizes may exist in dual-star systems. Given that approximately 60% of the main and pre-main sequence stars are in binaries, many of such planet-hosting dual-stars are expected to exist which naturally leads to several fundamental questions on the formation, characteristics, frequency, and habitability of their planets. However, the small number of the currently known planets in binary star systems (only 8) does not allow for arriving at statistically meaningful answers to these questions. The success of the Kepler space telescope in identifying more than 2300 planetary candidates (of which many may be in close dual-stars) and over 2100 eclipsing binaries has provided rich grounds for searching for planet-hosting binary stars and increasing the number of their planets. We propose to use the data from quarter 0 (Q0) to quarter 6 (Q6), to identify the signature(s) of planet(s) in and around binary stars by analyzing the variations in the times of planetary transit or the eclipses of the binary. We will use the transit timing variations of the +2300 planetary candidates for detecting stellar companions to their planet-hosting stars, and the eclipse timing variations of the +2100 binary star systems to detect circumbinary planets. We have developed a powerful algorithm dubbed as QATS that allows us to analyze eclipse and transit timing variations accurately and efficiently. To properly account for the frequency of planets in binary stars systems and comparing that with the frequency of

  5. 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.

  6. Improving EEG signal peak detection using feature weight learning ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Asrul Adam

    the combination of eye gaze and EEG for brain–machine interfacing have ... first and second half waves, peak width, ascending peak slope of the ... half wave. Acir et al [1] introduced an additional feature of peak amplitude, defined as the peak-to-peak amplitude of the second half wave, and also two addition features of the.

  7. The CORALIE survey for southern extrasolar planets. XVII. New and updated long period and massive planets (United States)

    Marmier, M.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Lovis, C.; Naef, D.; Santos, N. C.; Alonso, R.; Alves, S.; Berthet, S.; Chazelas, B.; Demory, B.-O.; Dumusque, X.; Eggenberger, A.; Figueira, P.; Gillon, M.; Hagelberg, J.; Lendl, M.; Mardling, R. A.; Mégevand, D.; Neveu, M.; Sahlmann, J.; Sosnowska, D.; Tewes, M.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.


    Context. Since 1998, a planet-search program around main sequence stars within 50 pc in the southern hemisphere has been carried out with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph at La Silla Observatory. Aims: With an observing time span of more than 14 years, the CORALIE survey is now able to unveil Jovian planets on Jupiter's period domain. This growing period-interval coverage is important for building formation and migration models since observational constraints are still weak for periods beyond the ice line. Methods: Long-term precise Doppler measurements with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph, together with a few additional observations made with the HARPS spectrograph on the ESO 3.6 m telescope, reveal radial velocity signatures of massive planetary companions on long-period orbits. Results: In this paper we present seven new planets orbiting HD 27631, HD 98649, HD 106515A, HD 166724, HD 196067, HD 219077, and HD 220689, together with the CORALIE orbital parameters for three already known planets around HD 10647, HD 30562, and HD 86226. The period range of the new planetary companions goes from 2200 to 5500 days and covers a mass domain between 1 and 10.5 MJup. Surprisingly, five of them present very high eccentricities above e > 0.57. A pumping scenario by Kozai mechanism may be invoked for HD 106515Ab and HD 196067b, which are both orbiting stars in multiple systems. Since the presence of a third massive body cannot be inferred from the data of HD 98649b, HD 166724b, and HD 219077b, the origin of the eccentricity of these systems remains unknown. Except for HD 10647b, no constraint on the upper mass of the planets is provided by Hipparcos astrometric data. Finally, the hosts of these long period planets show no metallicity excess. The CORALIE radial velocity measurements discussed in this paper are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via on observations

  8. 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.

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

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


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

  10. Planet-disc interaction in laminar and turbulent discs (United States)

    Stoll, Moritz H. R.; Picogna, Giovanni; Kley, Wilhelm


    In weakly ionised discs turbulence can be generated through the vertical shear instability (VSI). Embedded planets are affected by a stochastic component in the torques acting on them, which can impact their migration. In this work we study the interplay between a growing planet embedded in a protoplanetary disc and the VSI turbulence. We performed a series of 3D hydrodynamical simulations for locally isothermal discs with embedded planets in the mass range from 5 to 100 Earth masses. We study planets embedded in an inviscid disc that is VSI unstable, becomes turbulent, and generates angular momentum transport with an effective α = 5 × 10-4. This is compared to the corresponding viscous disc using exactly this α-value. In general we find that the planets have only a weak impact on the disc turbulence. Only for the largest planet (100 M⊕) does the turbulent activity become enhanced inside of the planet. The depth and width of a gap created by the more massive planets (30,100 M⊕) in the turbulent disc equal exactly that of the corresponding viscous case, leading to very similar torque strengths acting on the planet, with small stochastic fluctuations for the VSI disc. At the gap edges vortices are generated that are stronger and longer-lived in the VSI disc. Low mass planets (with Mp ≤ 10 M⊕) do not open gaps in the disc in either case, but generate for the turbulent disc an overdensity behind the planet that exerts a significant negative torque. This can boost the inward migration in VSI turbulent discs well above the Type I rate. Owing to the finite turbulence level in realistic 3D discs the gap depth will always be limited and migration will not stall in inviscid discs.

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

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


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

  12. Gamma-Ray Burst Formation Rate Inferred from the Spectral Peak EnergyndashPeak Luminosity Relation


    Yonetoku, D.; Murakami, T.; Nakamura, T.; Yamazaki, Ryo; Inoue, A.K.; Ioka, K.


    We estimate a gamma-ray burst (GRB) formation rate based on the new relation between the spectral peak energy (Ep) and the peak luminosity. The new relation is derived by combining the data of Ep and the peak luminosities by BeppoSAX and BATSE, and it looks considerably tighter and more reliable than the relations suggested by the previous works. Using the new Ep-luminosity relation, we estimate redshifts of the 689 GRBs without known distances in the BATSE catalog and derive a GRB formation ...

  13. Planet-wide sand motion on mars (United States)

    Bridges, N.T.; Bourke, M.C.; Geissler, P.E.; Banks, M.E.; Colon, C.; Diniega, S.; Golombek, M.P.; Hansen, C.J.; Mattson, S.; McEwen, A.S.; Mellon, M.T.; Stantzos, N.; Thomson, B.J.


    Prior to Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data, images of Mars showed no direct evidence for dune and ripple motion. This was consistent with climate models and lander measurements indicating that winds of sufficient intensity to mobilize sand were rare in the low-density atmosphere. We show that many sand ripples and dunes across Mars exhibit movement of as much as a few meters per year, demonstrating that Martian sand migrates under current conditions in diverse areas of the planet. Most motion is probably driven by wind gusts that are not resolved in global circulation models. A past climate with a thicker atmosphere is only required to move large ripples that contain coarse grains. ?? 2012 Geological Society of America.

  14. Geology and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  15. Spectral Astrometry Mission for Planets Detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Erskine, D J; Edelstein, J


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

  16. YETI – search for young transiting planets******

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neuhäuser Ralph


    Full Text Available We present our search for young transiting planets at ages of 2 to 20 Myr. Towards this goal, we monitor a number of young open clusters with the YETI network. YETI consists of 0.4-2 m-sized telescopes at different longitudes that observe continuously over timescales much longer than a night. In our first cluster Trumpler 37 we found more than 350 variable stars. Also two transiting candidates were found so far, for which follow-up is partly done. The first candidate turned out to be an eclipsing binary with an M-type companion. We describe the research done on these two transiting candidates.

  17. Host Star Evolution for Planet Habitability. (United States)

    Gallet, Florian; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis


    With about 2000 exoplanets discovered within a large range of different configurations of distance from the star, size, mass, and atmospheric conditions, the concept of habitability cannot rely only on the stellar effective temperature anymore. In addition to the natural evolution of habitability with the intrinsic stellar parameters, tidal, magnetic, and atmospheric interactions are believed to have strong impact on the relative position of the planets inside the so-called habitable zone. Moreover, the notion of habitability itself strongly depends on the definition we give to the term "habitable". The aim of this contribution is to provide a global and up-to-date overview of the work done during the last few years about the description and the modelling of the habitability, and to present the physical processes currently includes in this description.

  18. The magnetodiscs and aurorae of giant planets

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  19. Uranus - The planet, rings and satellites (United States)

    Miner, Ellis D.

    The present overview of available data regarding Uranus and its planetary structures encompasses ground- and space-based observations of the planet with specific attention given to the interpretation of Voyager 2 data. A brief examination of historical observations is given which includes its discovery, position determination, and the related discoveries of Uranus' five large satellites and rings. The observational data preceding the Voyager 2 mission are reviewed in terms of the planetary interior, atmosphere, and magnetosphere. The Voyager 2 mission is given detailed treatment with descriptions of NASA's development and deployment of the spacecraft as well as detailed data from the Uranus encounter. Reference is given to structure and composition of Uranus' atmosphere, valid models of the interior, and wave-particle interactions in the magnetosphere. The structures of the rings and satellites are examined with reference to specific observational requirements from future missions.

  20. Energy conversion processes in the outer planets (United States)

    Gierasch, P. J.; Conrath, B. J.


    Energy conversion processes which are potentially important in the outer planets at pressures greater than obut 0.1 bar are reviewed. Generation of buoyancy contrasts by condensation of various constituents is discussed with emphasis on the possible significance of phase changes in substances such as Si and Mg compounds at deep levels. It is demonstrated that, in the absence of nonequilibrium thermodynamic processes, strong kinetic energy generation must accompany the transport of heat out of the high temperature planetary interiors. The possibly dominant role of lagged parahydrogen conversion in the convective transport of heat at levels where T is less than 300 K is discussed. Measurements which may ultimately contribute to a better understanding of energy conversion processes are summarized.

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

    Gonzalez, Guillermo


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

  2. Kepler constraints on planets near hot Jupiters. (United States)

    Steffen, Jason H; Ragozzine, Darin; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Carter, Joshua A; Ford, Eric B; Holman, Matthew J; Rowe, Jason F; Welsh, William F; Borucki, William J; Boss, Alan P; Ciardi, David R; Quinn, Samuel N


    We present the results of a search for planetary companions orbiting near hot Jupiter planet candidates (Jupiter-size candidates with orbital periods near 3 d) identified in the Kepler data through its sixth quarter of science operations. Special emphasis is given to companions between the 21 interior and exterior mean-motion resonances. A photometric transit search excludes companions with sizes ranging from roughly two-thirds to five times the size of the Earth, depending upon the noise properties of the target star. A search for dynamically induced deviations from a constant period (transit timing variations) also shows no significant signals. In contrast, comparison studies of warm Jupiters (with slightly larger orbits) and hot Neptune-size candidates do exhibit signatures of additional companions with these same tests. These differences between hot Jupiters and other planetary systems denote a distinctly different formation or dynamical history.

  3. The Planets Testbed: Science for Digital Preservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seamus Ross


    Full Text Available The preservation of digital objects requires specific software tools or services. These can be characterisation tools that abstract the essential characteristics of a digital object from a file, migration tools that convert digital objects to different formats, or emulation tools that render digital objects in their original context on a new infrastructure. Until recently digital preservation has been characterised by practices and processes that could best be described as more art and craft than science. The Planets Testbed provides a controlled environment where preservation tools can be tested and evaluated, and where experiment results can be empirically compared. This paper presents an overview of the Testbed application, an analysis of the experiment methodology and a description of the Testbed's web service approach.

  4. Exploring the veiled planet. [Venus observations (United States)


    An overview of data obtained from various experiments which characterize geological features and atmospheric properties of Venus is presented. Data from the two Pioneer sounder probes (one located at Venus's equator and the other near the north pole) exhibit a reversal in the equator-to-pole temperature patterns at 60 km altitude which suggests that two circulation cells exist within the atmospheric region. However, the atmospheric temperature and pressure beneath the clouds are found to be nearly identical everywhere on Venus and both temperature and pressure conditions at the surface are lower than first expected. The identification of sulphur dioxide clouds which appear to coincide with Venus's characteristic global patterns of C- and Y-shaped dark markings support the hypothesis of a regular pattern of planet spanning breaks in the upper cloud layer. Explanations of a Venus sulphur cycle and of observed magnetic field structures are suggested

  5. Extrasolar planets and their host stars

    CERN Document Server

    von Braun, Kaspar


    This book explores the relations between physical parameters of extrasolar planets and their respective parent stars. Planetary parameters are often directly dependent upon their stellar counterparts. In addition, the star is almost always the only visible component of the system and contains most of the system mass. Consequently, the parent star heavily influences every aspect of planetary physics and astrophysics. Drs. Kaspar von Braun and Tabetha Boyajian use direct methods to characterize exoplanet host starts that minimize the number of assumptions needed to be made in the process. The book provides a background on interferometric techniques for stellar diameter measurements, illustrates the authors' approach on using additional data to fully characterize the stars, provides a comprehensive update on the current state of the field, and examines in detail a number of historically significant and well-studied exoplanetary systems.

  6. Kepler constraints on planets near hot Jupiters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steffen, Jason H.; /Fermilab; Ragozzine, Darin; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; /UC, Santa Cruz, Astron. Astrophys.; Carter, Joshua A.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Ford, Eric B.; /Florida U.; Holman, Matthew J.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Rowe, Jason F.; /NASA, Ames; Welsh, William F.; /San Diego State U., Astron. Dept.; Borucki, William J.; /NASA, Ames; Boss, Alan P.; /Carnegie Inst., Wash., D.C., DTM; Ciardi, David R.; /Caltech /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.


    We present the results of a search for planetary companions orbiting near hot Jupiter planet candidates (Jupiter-size candidates with orbital periods near 3 d) identified in the Kepler data through its sixth quarter of science operations. Special emphasis is given to companions between the 2:1 interior and exterior mean-motion resonances. A photometric transit search excludes companions with sizes ranging from roughly two-thirds to five times the size of the Earth, depending upon the noise properties of the target star. A search for dynamically induced deviations from a constant period (transit timing variations) also shows no significant signals. In contrast, comparison studies of warm Jupiters (with slightly larger orbits) and hot Neptune-size candidates do exhibit signatures of additional companions with these same tests. These differences between hot Jupiters and other planetary systems denote a distinctly different formation or dynamical history.

  7. Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Gonzalez


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

  8. 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

  9. The Nature of Inhabited Planets and their Inhabitants

    CERN Document Server

    Simpson, Fergus


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


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kipping, D. M.; Torres, G.; Buchhave, L. A.


    In most theories of planet formation, the snow-line represents a boundary between the emergence of the interior rocky planets and the exterior ice giants. The wide separation of the snow-line makes the discovery of transiting worlds challenging, yet transits would allow for detailed subsequent...

  11. Developments in Planet Detection using Transit Timing Variations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steffen, Jason H.; /Fermilab; Agol, Eric; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.


    In a transiting planetary system, the presence of a second planet will cause the time interval between transits to vary. These transit timing variations (TTV) are particularly large near mean-motion resonances and can be used to infer the orbital elements of planets with masses that are too small to detect by any other means. The author presents the results of a study of simulated data where they show the potential that this planet detection technique has to detect and characterize secondary planets in transiting systems. These results have important ramifications for planetary transit searches since each transiting system presents an opportunity for additional discoveries through a TTV analysis. They present such an analysis for 13 transits of the HD 209458 system that were observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. This analysis indicates that a putative companion in a low-order, mean-motion resonance can be no larger than the mass of the Earth and constitutes, to date, the most sensitive probe for extrasolar planets that orbit main sequence stars. The presence or absence of small planets in low-order, mean-motion resonances has implications for theories of the formation and evolution of planetary systems. Since TTV is most sensitive in these regimes, it should prove a valuable tool not only for the detection of additional planets in transiting systems, but also as a way to determine the dominant mechanisms of planet formation and the evolution of planetary systems.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nesvold, Erika R. [Department of Physics, University of Maryland Baltimore County 1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore, MD 21250 (United States); Kuchner, Marc J., E-mail:, E-mail: [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, Code 667 Greenbelt, MD 21230 (United States)


    We apply our 3D debris disk model, SMACK, to simulate a planet on a circular orbit near a ring of planetesimals that are experiencing destructive collisions. Previous simulations of a planet opening a gap in a collisionless debris disk have found that the width of the gap scales as the planet mass to the 2/7th power (α = 2/7). We find that gap sizes in a collisional disk still obey a power law scaling with planet mass, but that the index α of the power law depends on the age of the system t relative to the collisional timescale t {sub coll} of the disk by α = 0.32(t/t {sub coll}){sup –0.04}, with inferred planet masses up to five times smaller than those predicted by the classical gap law. The increased gap sizes likely stem from the interaction between collisions and the mean motion resonances near the chaotic zone. We investigate the effects of the initial eccentricity distribution of the disk particles and find a negligible effect on the gap size at Jovian planet masses, since collisions tend to erase memory of the initial particle eccentricity distributions. Finally, we find that the presence of Trojan analogs is a potentially powerful diagnostic of planets in the mass range ∼1-10 M {sub Jup}. We apply our model to place new upper limits on planets around Fomalhaut, HR 4796 A, HD 202628, HD 181327, and β Pictoris.

  13. Transiting circumbinary planets Kepler-34 b and Kepler-35 b. (United States)

    Welsh, William F; Orosz, Jerome A; Carter, Joshua A; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Lissauer, Jack J; Prša, Andrej; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Short, Donald R; Torres, Guillermo; Winn, Joshua N; Doyle, Laurance R; Barclay, Thomas; Batalha, Natalie; Bloemen, Steven; Brugamyer, Erik; Buchhave, Lars A; Caldwell, Caroline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Christiansen, Jessie L; Ciardi, David R; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Fortney, Jonathan J; Gautier, Thomas N; Gilliland, Ronald L; Haas, Michael R; Hall, Jennifer R; Holman, Matthew J; Howard, Andrew W; Howell, Steve B; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M; Klaus, Todd C; Latham, David W; Li, Jie; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Mazeh, Tsevi; Quintana, Elisa V; Robertson, Paul; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H; Windmiller, Gur; Koch, David G; Borucki, William J


    Most Sun-like stars in the Galaxy reside in gravitationally bound pairs of stars (binaries). Although long anticipated, the existence of a 'circumbinary planet' orbiting such a pair of normal stars was not definitively established until the discovery of the planet transiting (that is, passing in front of) Kepler-16. Questions remained, however, about the prevalence of circumbinary planets and their range of orbital and physical properties. Here we report two additional transiting circumbinary planets: Kepler-34 (AB)b and Kepler-35 (AB)b, referred to here as Kepler-34 b and Kepler-35 b, respectively. Each is a low-density gas-giant planet on an orbit closely aligned with that of its parent stars. Kepler-34 b orbits two Sun-like stars every 289 days, whereas Kepler-35 b orbits a pair of smaller stars (89% and 81% of the Sun's mass) every 131 days. The planets experience large multi-periodic variations in incident stellar radiation arising from the orbital motion of the stars. The observed rate of circumbinary planets in our sample implies that more than ∼1% of close binary stars have giant planets in nearly coplanar orbits, yielding a Galactic population of at least several million.

  14. SPHERE: A Planet Finder Instrument for the VLT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  15. SPHERE: A planet finder instrument for the VLT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  16. Masses, radii, and orbits of small Kepler planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.


    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...

  17. Ratio of peak height to peak area as selection criterion for solid standards in soil analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gerwinski, W.


    The shapes of extinction curves in atomic absorption spectroscopy with direct analysis of solid samples show remarkable differences between different types of samples. The influence of matrix components on this phenomenon has been investigated. The precision of analytical results performed with the aid of reference materials and preceded by calibration with both liquid and solid standards has been compared. Furthermore, the correlation between the precision of analytical results and the ratio of peak height to peak area has been investigated.


    Segerstrom, Kenneth; Weisner, R.C.


    On the basis of a mineral survey, most of the Laramie Peak Wilderness study area in Wyoming was concluded to have little promise for the occurrence of mineral or energy resources. Only three small areas in the northern part, one extending outside the study area to Esterbrook, were found to have probable mineral-resource potential for copper and lead. The geologic setting precludes the presence of fossil-fuel resources in the study area. There are no surface indications that geothermal energy could be developed within or near the study area.

  19. Particle creation by peak electric field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adorno, T.C. [Tomsk State University, Department of Physics, Tomsk (Russian Federation); Gavrilov, S.P. [Tomsk State University, Department of Physics, Tomsk (Russian Federation); Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Department of General and Experimental Physics, St. Petersburg (Russian Federation); Gitman, D.M. [Tomsk State University, Department of Physics, Tomsk (Russian Federation); P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow (Russian Federation); University of Sao Paulo, Institute of Physics, CP 66318, Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)


    The particle creation by the so-called peak electric field is considered. The latter field is a combination of two exponential parts, one exponentially increasing and another exponentially decreasing. We find exact solutions of the Dirac equation with the field under consideration with appropriate asymptotic conditions and calculate all the characteristics of particle creation effect, in particular, differential mean numbers of created particle, total number of created particles, and the probability for a vacuum to remain a vacuum. Characteristic asymptotic regimes are discussed in detail and a comparison with the pure asymptotically decaying field is considered. (orig.)

  20. Energy peaks: A high energy physics outlook (United States)

    Franceschini, Roberto


    Energy distributions of decay products carry information on the kinematics of the decay in ways that are at the same time straightforward and quite hidden. I will review these properties and discuss their early historical applications, as well as more recent ones in the context of (i) methods for the measurement of masses of new physics particle with semi-invisible decays, (ii) the characterization of Dark Matter particles produced at colliders, (iii) precision mass measurements of Standard Model particles, in particular of the top quark. Finally, I will give an outlook of further developments and applications of energy peak method for high energy physics at colliders and beyond.

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

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


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

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

    Cole, George H. A.

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

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


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

  4. Directly Imaged Giant Planets: What Do We Hope to Learn? (United States)

    Marley, Mark


    As we move into an era when GPI and SPHERE are (hopefully) discovering and characterizing new young giant planets, it is worthwhile to step back and review our science goals for young giant planets. Of course for individual planets we ideally would hope to measure mass, radius, atmospheric composition, temperature, and cloud properties, but how do these characteristics fit into our broader understanding of planetary system origin and evolution theories? In my presentation I will review both the specifics of what we hope to learn from newly discovered young worlds as well as how these characteristics inform our broader understanding of giant planets and planetary systems. Finally I will consider the limitations realistic datasets will place on our ability to understand newly discovered planets, illustrating with data from any new such worlds that are available by the conference date.

  5. Giant Planets Can Act as Stabilizing Agents on Debris Disks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muñoz-Gutiérrez, M. A.; Pichardo, B.; Peimbert, A., E-mail: [Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apdo. postal 70-264 Ciudad Universitaria, México (Mexico)


    We have explored the evolution of a cold debris disk under the gravitational influence of dwarf-planet-sized objects (DPs), both in the presence and absence of an interior giant planet. Through detailed long-term numerical simulations, we demonstrate that when the giant planet is not present, DPs can stir the eccentricities and inclinations of disk particles, in linear proportion to the total mass of the DPs; on the other hand, when the giant planet is included in the simulations, the stirring is approximately proportional to the mass squared. This creates two regimes: below a disk mass threshold (defined by the total mass of DPs), the giant planet acts as a stabilizing agent of the orbits of cometary nuclei, diminishing the effect of the scatterers; above the threshold, the giant contributes to the dispersion of the particles.

  6. 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.

  7. Kepler Planets Tend to Have Siblings of the Same Size (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    After 8.5 years of observations with the Kepler space observatory, weve discovered a large number of close-in, tightly-spaced, multiple-planet systems orbiting distant stars. In the process, weve learned a lot about the properties about these systems and discovered some unexpected behavior. A new study explores one of the properties that has surprised us: planets of the same size tend to live together.Orbital architectures for 25 of the authors multiplanet systems. The dots are sized according to the planets relative radii and colored according to mass. Planets of similar sizes and masses tend to live together in the same system. [Millholland et al. 2017]Ordering of SystemsFrom Keplers observations of extrasolar multiplanet systems, we have seen that the sizes of planets in a given system arent completely random. Systems that contain a large planet, for example, are more likely to contain additional large planets rather than additional planets of random size. So though there is a large spread in the radii weve observed for transiting exoplanets, the spread within any given multiplanet system tends to be much smaller.This odd behavior has led us to ask whether this clustering occurs not just for radius, but also for mass. Since the multiplanet systems discovered by Kepler most often contain super-Earths and mini-Neptunes, which have an extremely large spread in densities, the fact that two such planets have similar radii does not guarantee that they have similar masses.If planets dont cluster in mass within a system, this would raise the question of why planets coordinate only their radii within a given system. If they do cluster in mass, it implies that planets within the same system tend to have similar densities, potentially allowing us to predict the sizes and masses of planets we might find in a given system.Insight into MassesLed by NSF graduate research fellow Sarah Millholland, a team of scientists at Yale University used recently determined masses for

  8. Capture of terrestrial-sized moons by gas giant planets. (United States)

    Williams, Darren M


    Terrestrial moons with masses >0.1 M (symbol in text) possibly exist around extrasolar giant planets, and here we consider the energetics of how they might form. Binary-exchange capture can occur if a binary-terrestrial object (BTO) is tidally disrupted during a close encounter with a giant planet and one of the binary members is ejected while the other remains as a moon. Tidal disruption occurs readily in the deep gravity wells of giant planets; however, the large encounter velocities in the wells make binary exchange more difficult than for planets of lesser mass. In addition, successful capture favors massive binaries with large rotational velocities and small component mass ratios. Also, since the interaction tends to leave the captured moons on highly elliptical orbits, permanent capture is only possible around planets with sizable Hill spheres that are well separated from their host stars.

  9. Planet destruction and the shaping of planetary nebulae (United States)

    Boyle, L. A.; Redman, M. P.


    The shaping of PNe as a result of an interaction with a planet is a hypothesis that has been suggested for nearly two decades. However, exploring the idea observationally is challenging due to the lack of capabilities needed to detect any evidence of such a scenario. Nonetheless, we propose that the hypothesis can be indirectly tested via a combination of exoplanet formation and evolution theories, the star and planet formation histories of the galaxy and the tidal evolution of star-planet systems. We present a calculation of the fraction of planetary nebulae in the galaxy today which have undergone an interaction with a planet, concluding that a significant number of visible planetary nebulae may have been shaped by a planet.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  11. Outreach Plans for Storm Peak Laboratory (United States)

    Hallar, A. G.; McCubbin, I. B.


    The Desert Research Institute (DRI) operates a high elevation facility, Storm Peak Laboratory (SPL), located on the west summit of Mt. Werner in the Park Range near Steamboat Springs, Colorado at an elevation 10,500 ft. SPL provides an ideal location for long-term research on the interactions of atmospheric aerosol and gas- phase chemistry with cloud and natural radiation environments. SPL includes an office-type laboratory room for computer and instrumentation setup with outside air ports and cable access to the roof deck, a full kitchen and two bunk rooms with sleeping space for nine persons. We plan to create a unique summer undergraduate education experiences for students of diversity at Storm Peak Laboratory. As stressed by the College Pathways to Science Education Standards [Siebert and McIntosh, 2001], to support changes in K-12 science education transformations must first be made at the college level, including inquiry-oriented opportunities to engage in meaningful research. These workshops will be designed to allow students to experience the excitement of science, increasing their likelihood of pursing careers within the fields of scientific education or research.

  12. NITPICK: peak identification for mass spectrometry data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steen Hanno


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The reliable extraction of features from mass spectra is a fundamental step in the automated analysis of proteomic mass spectrometry (MS experiments. Results This contribution proposes a sparse template regression approach to peak picking called NITPICK. NITPICK is a Non-greedy, Iterative Template-based peak PICKer that deconvolves complex overlapping isotope distributions in multicomponent mass spectra. NITPICK is based on fractional averagine, a novel extension to Senko's well-known averagine model, and on a modified version of sparse, non-negative least angle regression, for which a suitable, statistically motivated early stopping criterion has been derived. The strength of NITPICK is the deconvolution of overlapping mixture mass spectra. Conclusion Extensive comparative evaluation has been carried out and results are provided for simulated and real-world data sets. NITPICK outperforms pepex, to date the only alternate, publicly available, non-greedy feature extraction routine. NITPICK is available as software package for the R programming language and can be downloaded from

  13. Peak heart rates at extreme altitudes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundby, C; Van Hall, Gerrit


    We have measured maximal heart rate during a graded maximal bicycle exercise test to exhaustion in five healthy climbers before and during an expedition to Mt. Everest. Maximal heart rates at sea level were 186 (177-204) beats/min(-1) at sea level and 170 (169-182) beats/min(-1) with acute hypoxia....... After 1, 4 and 6 weeks of acclimatization to 5400 m, maximal heart rates were 155 (135-182), 158 (144-182), and 155 (140-183) beats/min(-1), respectively. Heart rates of two of the climbers were measured during their attempt to reach the summit of Mt. Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen....... The peak heart rates at 8,750 m for the two climbers were 142 and 144 beats/min(-1), which were similar to their maximal heart rates during exhaustive bicycle exercise at 5,400 m, the values being 144 and 148 beats/min(-1), respectively. The peak heart rates at 8,750 m are in agreement with other field...

  14. Planet population synthesis driven by pebble accretion in cluster environments (United States)

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


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

  15. The Status of Kepler's Search for Earth-size Planets (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M.; Kepler Team


    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 photometer is a 0.95-m effective aperture, wide field of view Schmidt camera in an Earth-trailing orbit that monitors over 150,000 stars brighter than 16th magnitude in a 115 square degree field of view. The mission has had two major public data releases, providing the astronomical community with four months of nearly continuous, high-precision photometry of all stars targeted as part of the Kepler planet search. A catalog of approximately 1,000 stars with transiting planet candidates -- more than 70% of which are smaller than Neptune -- accompanied the data release (Borucki et al. 2011). As Kepler collects more data, it gains sensitivity to smaller planets at longer orbital periods. This is reflected in the catalog as it contains sizable numbers of candidates that are earth-sized as well as sizable numbers of candidates in the habitable zone. Multiple transit systems are abundant in the released data. Dynamical studies suggest that the false-positive rate for these systems will be smaller than for the general sample. Moreover, the potential for determining planet masses via transit timing variations hold much promise for confirming the smaller planet candidates. Ground-based follow-up observations, transit timing observations, and blend analyses to rule out false positives have all played a major role in establishing the planet interpretation, leading to major mission milestones such as the discovery of Kepler's first rocky planet, Kepler-10b, and the discovery of six transiting planets orbiting the same star, Kepler-11. We present an overview of the status of the mission -- its health, performance, discoveries to date, our progress in determining the frequencies of planets, and our strategies moving forward. Funding for this mission is provided by the NASA Science Mission Directorate.

  16. Young Stars Poised for Production of Rocky Planets (United States)


    "signatures" of crystalline pyroxene and olivine, i.e. peaks at wavelength 9.2 and 11.3 µm, respectively, are clearly visible in the spectrum of the inner stellar disc, demonstrating the presence of these species in that region of the disc. The Sun was born about 4,500 million years ago from a cold and massive cloud of interstellar gas and dust that collapsed under its own gravitational pull. A dusty disc was present around the young star, in which the Earth and other planets, as well as comets and asteroids were later formed. This epoch is long gone, but we may still witness that same process by observing the infrared emission from very young stars and the dusty protoplanetary discs around them. So far, however, the available instrumentation did not allow a study of the distribution of the different components of the dust in such discs; even the closest known are too far away for the best single telescopes to resolve them. But now, as Francesco Paresce, Project Scientist for the VLT Interferometer and a member of the team from ESO explains, "With the VLTI we can combine the light from two well-separated large telescopes to obtain unprecedented angular resolution. This has allowed us, for the first time, to peer directly into the innermost region of the discs around some nearby young stars, right in the place where we expect planets like our Earth are forming or will soon form". Specifically, new interferometric observations of three young stars by an international team [2], using the combined power of two 8.2-m VLT telescopes a hundred metres apart, has achieved sufficient image sharpness (about 0.02 arcsec) to measure the infrared emission from the inner region of the discs around three stars (corresponding approximately to the size of the Earth's orbit around the Sun) and the emission from the outer part of those discs. The corresponding infrared spectra have provided crucial information about the chemical composition of the dust in the discs and also about the average

  17. , Recorded at Ladron Peak, Central New Mexico (United States)

    Ricketts, J. W.; Kelley, S.; Read, A. S.; Karlstrom, K. E.


    Ladron Peak, situated on the western flank of the Rio Grande rift ~30 miles NW of Socorro, NM, is composed of Precambrian granitic and metamorphic assemblages that have been faulted and uplifted during the late Tertiary formation of the rift. The area is bounded on three sides by normal faults, including the anomalously low-angle (~26°) Jeter fault to the east, which places Precambrian rocks in the footwall against Paleozoic and Mesozoic fault slivers, and mainly Cenozoic Santa Fe Group basin fill in the hanging wall. New apatite fission track (AFT) thermochronological data collected at 22 locations along the NE and SE margins of Ladron Peak give a range of ages from 10.9 ± 1.9 to 20.4 ± 8.6 Ma. Samples within the footwall include granitic and metasedimentary rocks that have mean track lengths of 13.1 to 14.1 μm; one quartzite sample has a mean track length of 12.5 μm, suggesting time in the partial annealing zone. Within the hanging wall block, new AFT ages from the Permian Bursum and Abo Formations give cooling ages of 23.1 ± 3.3 Ma. and 59.9 ± 12.4 Ma., respectively. The Bursum Formation sample, with a track length of 13.7 μm, cooled below the 110°C isotherm during the Miocene, while the Abo Formation sample, with a track length of 11.2 μm, was only partially reset prior to rift-related deformation. Mylonitized granitic and metamorphic rocks in the immediate footwall preserve dip-slip lineations that are parallel to slip on the Jeter fault. This suggests that strain associated with exhumation was recorded by both brittle and ductile deformation. Although this type of deformation is common within metamorphic core complexes in highly extended terranes, ductile normal faulting has not been recognized within the Rio Grande rift in New Mexico, though there is some suggestion of ductile deformation around Blanca Peak in the San Luis Valley in Colorado. These observations imply one or both of the following: (1) Ductile deformation at Ladron Peak was

  18. Terraforming planet Dune: Climate-vegetation interactions on a sandy planet (United States)

    Cresto Aleina, F.; Baudena, M.; D'Andrea, F.; Provenzale, A.


    The climate and the biosphere of planet Earth interact in multiple, complicated ways and on many spatial and temporal scales. Some of these processes can be studied with the help of simple mathematical models, as done for the effects of vegetation on albedo in desert areas and for the mechanisms by which terrestrial vegetation affects water fluxes in arid environments. Conceptual models of this kind do not attempt at providing quantitative descriptions of the climate-biosphere interaction, but rather to explore avenues and mechanisms which can play a role in the real system, providing inspiration for further research. In this work, we develop a simple conceptual box model in the spirit illustrated above, to explore whether and how vegetation affects the planetary hydrologic cycle. We imagine a planet with no oceans and whose surface is entirely covered with sand, quite similar to planet Dune of the science-fiction series by Frank Herbert (1965). We suppose that water is entirely in the sand, below the surface. Without vegetation, only evaporation takes place, affecting the upper sand layer for a maximum depth of a few cm. The amount of water that is evaporated in the atmosphere is relatively small, and not sufficient to trigger a full hydrologic cycle. The question is what happens to this planet when vegetation is introduced: the root depth can reach a meter or more, and plant transpiration can then transfer a much larger amount of water to the atmosphere. One may wonder whether the presence of vegetation is sufficient to trigger a hydrologic cycle with enough precipitation to sustain the vegetation itself and, if the answer is positive, what is the minimum vegetation cover that is required to maintain the cycle active. In more precise terms, we want to know whether the introduction of vegetation and of the evapotranspiration feedback allows for the existence of multiple equilibria (or solutions) in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system. Although the box model

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    Kochemasov, G. G.


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

  1. Peak Wind Tool for General Forecasting (United States)

    Barrett, Joe H., III


    The expected peak wind speed of the day is an important forecast element in the 45th Weather Squadron's (45 WS) daily 24-Hour and Weekly Planning Forecasts. The forecasts are used for ground and space launch operations at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). The 45 WS also issues wind advisories for KSC/CCAFS when they expect wind gusts to meet or exceed 25 kt, 35 kt and 50 kt thresholds at any level from the surface to 300 ft. The 45 WS forecasters have indicated peak wind speeds are challenging to forecast, particularly in the cool season months of October - April. In Phase I of this task, the Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) developed a tool to help the 45 WS forecast non-convective winds at KSC/CCAFS for the 24-hour period of 0800 to 0800 local time. The tool was delivered as a Microsoft Excel graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI displayed the forecast of peak wind speed, 5-minute average wind speed at the time of the peak wind, timing of the peak wind and probability the peak speed would meet or exceed 25 kt, 35 kt and 50 kt. For the current task (Phase II ), the 45 WS requested additional observations be used for the creation of the forecast equations by expanding the period of record (POR). Additional parameters were evaluated as predictors, including wind speeds between 500 ft and 3000 ft, static stability classification, Bulk Richardson Number, mixing depth, vertical wind shear, temperature inversion strength and depth and wind direction. Using a verification data set, the AMU compared the performance of the Phase I and II prediction methods. Just as in Phase I, the tool was delivered as a Microsoft Excel GUI. The 45 WS requested the tool also be available in the Meteorological Interactive Data Display System (MIDDS). The AMU first expanded the POR by two years by adding tower observations, surface observations and CCAFS (XMR) soundings for the cool season months of March 2007 to April 2009. The POR was expanded

  2. Mars: A water-rich planet? (United States)

    Carr, M.H.


    Mars had outgassed at least 0.5 to 1 km of water, 10 to 20 bar of CO2, and 0.1 to 0.3 bar of N2. The volatiles that have been retained are mostly in the cratered uplands. Terrain softening, fretted channels, debris flows, and closed depressions indicate that at least the upper 2 km of the cratered uplands at high latitudes (>30??) contain ice in amounts that exceed the porosity, estimated to be 10-20%. Theoretical studies, and lack of these features in the cratered uplands at low latitudes, suggest that the upper 1 km of the uplands at low latitudes is ice poor. However, valley networks indicate that water was present near the surface early in the planet's history, although in amounts smaller than at high latitudes. The entire upper 1 km, planetwide is estimated to have contained 75-125 m of water at the end of heavy bombardment. The largest sink for water is the megaregolith below 1 km. Episodic eruption of water from the deep megaregolith cut many of the large outflow channels. From the volume of water needed to cut the circum-Chryse channels, and assuming uniform planetwide distribution of water, the deep megaregolith is estimated to have contained at least 350 m of water at the end of heavy bombardment, thereby giving a total minimum inventory of 424-475 m planetwide. Most of the water lost from the low-latitude uplands by diffusion and in cutting the valley networks is now believed to be in the polar layered terrains. Most of the water involved in cutting the outflow channels is in the low-lying northern plains where a variety of features that have been attributed to ground ice is present. A large fraction of the planet's surface has been overplated with water-poor volcanics, of which we have samples in the SNC meteorites. The younger volcanics have reacted extensively with the old volatile-rich basement. Some of the CO2 and N2 outgassed was lost during heavy bombardment by impact erosion of the atmosphere and other processes. The remaining was fixed

  3. Students learn how to cool the planet (United States)

    Santos, Anabela


    I teach students aged 13/14 years in the eighth grade. In the natural sciences we study aspects of the greenhouse effect and global warming. At the time I was reading the book "Como Arrefecer o Planeta" (How to cool the planet) by Professor João Lin Yun, a scientist and researcher at the University of Lisbon. I thought the book explicitly clarified this issue and would be very accessible to my students. I had an idea of teaching this academic content differently than usual. Therefore I suggested that the students read this book, which they did without exception. As I noticed that the students had a great interest in the book, I thought to invite the author to visit our school and spend a day with us. Professor Lin Yun readily accepted the invitation. In the classroom, the students prepared the contents of the book in order to discuss the subjects with the book's author and question the author about their doubts and the clarifications they needed. They also created a PowerPoint where they conveyed their interpretation of the book. Professor Lin Yun spent a day with students, where there were moments of debate and didactic-ludic work. It was a very fascinating and enriching experience because students learn differently, outside the classroom and in the presence of the author of the book they have read. They were also prepared for the assessment test and were more sensitive to the issue of climate change and other environmental changes. In response to some questions - It was humans, each of us with our carbon footprint, we have created this problem. So if we had the ability to create the problem, we also have the ability to solve it? - Our individual contribution is important and meaningful? They concluded that in view of the current changes, we must change attitudes, to overcome these new challenges. The models of behavior and thoughts inherited from our ancestors must be replaced by modern solutions and decision-making regarding the future. Albert Einstein said

  4. Harvesting alternate energies from our planet (United States)

    Rath, Bhakta B.


    Recent price fluctuations have focused attention on the phenomenal increase of global energy consumption in recent years. We have almost reached a peak in global oil production. Total world consumption of oil will rise by nearly 60% between 1999 and 2020. In 1999 consumption was 86 million barrels of oil per day, which has reached a peak of production extracted from most known oil reserves. These projections, if accurate, will present an unprecedented crisis to the global economy and industry. As an example, in the United States, nearly 40% of energy usage is provided by petroleum, of which nearly a third is used in transportation. An aggressive search for alternate energy sources, both renewable and nonrenewable, is vital. This article will review national and international perspectives on the exploration of alternate energies with a focus on energy derivable from the ocean.

  5. Emissions Scenarios and Fossil-fuel Peaking (United States)

    Brecha, R.


    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emissions scenarios are based on detailed energy system models in which demographics, technology and economics are used to generate projections of future world energy consumption, and therefore, of greenhouse gas emissions. Built into the assumptions for these scenarios are estimates for ultimately recoverable resources of various fossil fuels. There is a growing chorus of critics who believe that the true extent of recoverable fossil resources is much smaller than the amounts taken as a baseline for the IPCC scenarios. In a climate optimist camp are those who contend that "peak oil" will lead to a switch to renewable energy sources, while others point out that high prices for oil caused by supply limitations could very well lead to a transition to liquid fuels that actually increase total carbon emissions. We examine a third scenario in which high energy prices, which are correlated with increasing infrastructure, exploration and development costs, conspire to limit the potential for making a switch to coal or natural gas for liquid fuels. In addition, the same increasing costs limit the potential for expansion of tar sand and shale oil recovery. In our qualitative model of the energy system, backed by data from short- and medium-term trends, we have a useful way to gain a sense of potential carbon emission bounds. A bound for 21st century emissions is investigated based on two assumptions: first, that extractable fossil-fuel resources follow the trends assumed by "peak oil" adherents, and second, that little is done in the way of climate mitigation policies. If resources, and perhaps more importantly, extraction rates, of fossil fuels are limited compared to assumptions in the emissions scenarios, a situation can arise in which emissions are supply-driven. However, we show that even in this "peak fossil-fuel" limit, carbon emissions are high enough to surpass 550 ppm or 2°C climate protection guardrails. Some

  6. Evaluation of Preservation Planning within OAIS, based on the Planets Functional Model


    Sierman, Barbara; Wheatley, Paul


    This report gives an overview of the Planets Functional Model and relates it to the Planets deliverables. It also gives a set of recommendations for the OAIS model. The Report was part of the European FP6 Project Planets

  7. Tim Peake and Britain's road to space

    CERN Document Server

    Seedhouse, Erik


    This book puts the reader in the flight suit of Britain’s first male astronaut, Tim Peake. It chronicles his life, along with the Principia mission and the down-to-the-last-bolt descriptions of life aboard the ISS, by way of the hurdles placed by the British government and the rigors of training at Russia’s Star City military base. In addition, this book discusses the learning curves required in astronaut and mission training and the complexity of the technologies required to launch an astronaut and keep them alive for months on end. This book underscores the fact that technology and training, unlike space, do not exist in a vacuum; complex technical systems, like the ISS, interact with the variables of human personality, and the cultural background of the astronauts. .

  8. Peak Electric Load Relief in Northern Manhattan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hildegaard D. Link


    Full Text Available The aphorism “Think globally, act locally,” attributed to René Dubos, reflects the vision that the solution to global environmental problems must begin with efforts within our communities. PlaNYC 2030, the New York City sustainability plan, is the starting point for this study. Results include (a a case study based on the City College of New York (CCNY energy audit, in which we model the impacts of green roofs on campus energy demand and (b a case study of energy use at the neighborhood scale. We find that reducing the urban heat island effect can reduce building cooling requirements, peak electricity loads stress on the local electricity grid and improve urban livability.

  9. Comparison of five portable peak flow meters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaucia Nency Takara


    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To compare the measurements of spirometric peak expiratory flow (PEF from five different PEF meters and to determine if their values are in agreement. Inaccurate equipment may result in incorrect diagnoses of asthma and inappropriate treatments. METHODS: Sixty-eight healthy, sedentary and insufficiently active subjects, aged from 19 to 40 years, performed PEF measurements using Air Zone®, Assess®, Galemed®, Personal Best® and Vitalograph® peak flow meters. The highest value recorded for each subject for each device was compared to the corresponding spirometric values using Friedman's test with Dunn's post-hoc (p<0.05, Spearman's correlation test and Bland-Altman's agreement test. RESULTS: The median and interquartile ranges for the spirometric values and the Air Zone®, Assess®, Galemed®, Personal Best® and Vitalograph® meters were 428 (263-688 L/min, 450 (350-800 L/min, 420 (310-720 L/min, 380 (300-735 L/min, 400 (310-685 L/min and 415 (335-610 L/min, respectively. Significant differences were found when the spirometric values were compared to those recorded by the Air Zone® (p<0.001 and Galemed ® (p<0.01 meters. There was no agreement between the spirometric values and the five PEF meters. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the values recorded from Galemed® meters may underestimate the actual value, which could lead to unnecessary interventions, and that Air Zone® meters overestimate spirometric values, which could obfuscate the need for intervention. These findings must be taken into account when interpreting both devices' results in younger people. These differences should also be considered when directly comparing values from different types of PEF meters.

  10. Comparison of five portable peak flow meters. (United States)

    Takara, Glaucia Nency; Ruas, Gualberto; Pessoa, Bruna Varanda; Jamami, Luciana Kawakami; Di Lorenzo, Valéria Amorim Pires; Jamami, Mauricio


    To compare the measurements of spirometric peak expiratory flow (PEF) from five different PEF meters and to determine if their values are in agreement. Inaccurate equipment may result in incorrect diagnoses of asthma and inappropriate treatments. Sixty-eight healthy, sedentary and insufficiently active subjects, aged from 19 to 40 years, performed PEF measurements using Air Zone, Assess, Galemed, Personal Best and Vitalograph peak flow meters. The highest value recorded for each subject for each device was compared to the corresponding spirometric values using Friedman's test with Dunn's post-hoc (p<0.05), Spearman's correlation test and Bland-Altman's agreement test. The median and interquartile ranges for the spirometric values and the Air Zone, Assess, Galemed, Personal Best and Vitalograph meters were 428 (263-688 L/min), 450 (350-800 L/min), 420 (310-720 L/min), 380 (300-735 L/min), 400 (310-685 L/min) and 415 (335-610 L/min), respectively. Significant differences were found when the spirometric values were compared to those recorded by the Air Zone(R) (p<0.001) and Galemed (p<0.01) meters. There was no agreement between the spirometric values and the five PEF meters. The results suggest that the values recorded from Galemed meters may underestimate the actual value, which could lead to unnecessary interventions, and that Air Zone meters overestimate spirometric values, which could obfuscate the need for intervention. These findings must be taken into account when interpreting both devices' results in younger people. These differences should also be considered when directly comparing values from different types of PEF meters.

  11. Sample distribution in peak mode isotachophoresis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rubin, Shimon [Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa (Israel); Schwartz, Ortal [Russel Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa (Israel); Bercovici, Moran, E-mail: [Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa (Israel); Russel Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa (Israel)


    We present an analytical study of peak mode isotachophoresis (ITP), and provide closed form solutions for sample distribution and electric field, as well as for leading-, trailing-, and counter-ion concentration profiles. Importantly, the solution we present is valid not only for the case of fully ionized species, but also for systems of weak electrolytes which better represent real buffer systems and for multivalent analytes such as proteins and DNA. The model reveals two major scales which govern the electric field and buffer distributions, and an additional length scale governing analyte distribution. Using well-controlled experiments, and numerical simulations, we verify and validate the model and highlight its key merits as well as its limitations. We demonstrate the use of the model for determining the peak concentration of focused sample based on known buffer and analyte properties, and show it differs significantly from commonly used approximations based on the interface width alone. We further apply our model for studying reactions between multiple species having different effective mobilities yet co-focused at a single ITP interface. We find a closed form expression for an effective-on rate which depends on reactants distributions, and derive the conditions for optimizing such reactions. Interestingly, the model reveals that maximum reaction rate is not necessarily obtained when the concentration profiles of the reacting species perfectly overlap. In addition to the exact solutions, we derive throughout several closed form engineering approximations which are based on elementary functions and are simple to implement, yet maintain the interplay between the important scales. Both the exact and approximate solutions provide insight into sample focusing and can be used to design and optimize ITP-based assays.

  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. Literature in Focus : Playing with Planets

    CERN Multimedia


    If you think the future is a mystery, think again. With a solid foothold in realism, an extraordinary insight into scientific and technological developments, and a dry sense of humor, Nobel laureate Professor Gerardus ’t Hoof confidently dissects fact from fiction and shows us what our future might really hold. Professor ’t Hooft takes the reader firmly by the hand and, within the boundaries of solid physics and proven laws of nature, takes us on a ride into the world of the future, which holds remarkable surprises for us all. "Do you dream of intergalaxy space travel, time warps and mini-mes? t’Hooft asks. "Then please get yourself some more science fiction books, for fiction that is. But for those who are interested in the real world, let me tell you what we CAN expect for the future." Gerardus t’Hooft Playing with Planets World Scientific Publishing, 17 March 2008, 3pm In the Library, Bldg 52-1-052 Tea and coffee will be served

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

    Diaz-Merced, Wanda Liz Liz


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

  15. Surviving Armageddon - Solutions for a Threatened Planet (United States)

    McGuire, Bill


    What do earthquakes, magma, asteroid 1950DA, and global warming have in common? All are very real natural disasters, already under way; all are also the focus of intensive work by scientists, aimed at preventing, predicting, or at least limiting their impact on civilization. Using the latest chilling data and taking care to draw a clear line between scientific fact and fiction, McGuire discusses the various ways that scientists have already started to prepare for survival. Solutions on earth range from 'space reflectors' to prevent global warming, to pressure-relieving 'robot excavators' to stop volcanic eruptions. In space, NASA is developing rocket motors to gently nudge asteroids out of Earth's path, and plans to have all threatening asteroids larger than 1km detected by 2008, thereby enabling us to predict possible collisions up to 2880. The book provides the strategies to the problems we face, and concludes optimistically with ways in which we can use technology to protect our society and planet from global catastrophe.

  16. The Earth is a Planet Too! (United States)

    Cairns, Brian


    When the solar system formed, the sun was 30 dimmer than today and Venus had an ocean. As the sun brightened, a runaway greenhouse effect caused the Venus ocean to boil away. At times when Earth was younger, the sun less bright, and atmospheric CO2 less, Earth froze over (snowball Earth). Earth is in the sweet spot today. Venus is closer to sun than Earth is, but cloud-covered Venus absorbs only 25 of incident sunlight, while Earth absorbs 70. Venus is warmer because it has a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect of several hundred degrees. Earth is Goldilocks choice among the planets, the one that is just right for life to exist. Not too hot. Not too cold. How does the Earth manage to stay in this habitable range? Is there a Gaia phenomenon keeping the climate in bounds? A nice idea, but it doesnt work. Today, greenhouse gas levels are unprecedented compared to the last 450,000 years.

  17. Accounting for planet-shaped planetary nebulae (United States)

    Sabach, Efrat; Soker, Noam


    By following the evolution of several observed exoplanetary systems, we show that by lowering the mass-loss rate of single solar-like stars during their two giant branches, these stars will swallow their planets at the tip of their asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase. This will most likely lead the stars to form elliptical planetary nebulae (PNe). Under the traditional mass-loss rate these stars will hardly form observable PNe. Stars with a lower mass-loss rate as we propose, about 15 per cent of the traditional mass-loss rate of single stars, leave the AGB with much higher luminosities than what traditional evolution produces. Hence, the assumed lower mass-loss rate might also account for the presence of bright PNe in old stellar populations. We present the evolution of four exoplanetary systems that represent stellar masses in the range of 0.9-1.3 M⊙. The justification for this low mass-loss rate is our assumption that the stellar samples that were used to derive the traditional average single-star mass-loss rate were contaminated by stars that suffer binary interaction.

  18. 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 ...

  19. Peak expiratory flow rate and Pulse Pressure values during the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study assessed the peak expiratory flow rate and pulse pressure during the luteal and menstruation phases of the menstrual cycle. The peak expiratory flow rate and pulse pressure were measured using the Wright's Peak Flow Meter and Mercury Sphygmomanometer respectively. The peak expiratory flow rate and ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Imaeda


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

  1. Detecting tree-like multicellular life on extrasolar planets. (United States)

    Doughty, Christopher E; Wolf, Adam


    Over the next two decades, NASA and ESA are planning a series of space-based observatories to find Earth-like planets and determine whether life exists on these planets. Previous studies have assessed the likelihood of detecting life through signs of biogenic gases in the atmosphere or a red edge. Biogenic gases and the red edge could be signs of either single-celled or multicellular life. In this study, we propose a technique with which to determine whether tree-like multicellular life exists on extrasolar planets. For multicellular photosynthetic organisms on Earth, competition for light and the need to transport water and nutrients has led to a tree-like body plan characterized by hierarchical branching networks. This design results in a distinct bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) that causes differing reflectance at different sun/view geometries. BRDF arises from the changing visibility of the shadows cast by objects, and the presence of tree-like structures is clearly distinguishable from flat ground with the same reflectance spectrum. We examined whether the BRDF could detect the existence of tree-like structures on an extrasolar planet by using changes in planetary albedo as a planet orbits its star. We used a semi-empirical BRDF model to simulate vegetation reflectance at different planetary phase angles and both simulated and real cloud cover to calculate disk and rotation-averaged planetary albedo for a vegetated and non-vegetated planet with abundant liquid water. We found that even if the entire planetary albedo were rendered to a single pixel, the rate of increase of albedo as a planet approaches full illumination would be comparatively greater on a vegetated planet than on a non-vegetated planet. Depending on how accurately planetary cloud cover can be resolved and the capabilities of the coronagraph to resolve exoplanets, this technique could theoretically detect tree-like multicellular life on exoplanets in 50 stellar systems.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cowan, Nicolas B. [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, 2131 Tech Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Voigt, Aiko [Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstr. 53, D-20146 Hamburg (Germany); Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: [Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)


    In order to understand the climate on terrestrial planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, one would like to know their thermal inertia. We use a global climate model to simulate the thermal phase variations of Earth analogs and test whether these data could distinguish between planets with different heat storage and heat transport characteristics. In particular, we consider a temperate climate with polar ice caps (like the modern Earth) and a snowball state where the oceans are globally covered in ice. We first quantitatively study the periodic radiative forcing from, and climatic response to, rotation, obliquity, and eccentricity. Orbital eccentricity and seasonal changes in albedo cause variations in the global-mean absorbed flux. The responses of the two climates to these global seasons indicate that the temperate planet has 3 Multiplication-Sign the bulk heat capacity of the snowball planet due to the presence of liquid water oceans. The obliquity seasons in the temperate simulation are weaker than one would expect based on thermal inertia alone; this is due to cross-equatorial oceanic and atmospheric energy transport. Thermal inertia and cross-equatorial heat transport have qualitatively different effects on obliquity seasons, insofar as heat transport tends to reduce seasonal amplitude without inducing a phase lag. For an Earth-like planet, however, this effect is masked by the mixing of signals from low thermal inertia regions (sea ice and land) with that from high thermal inertia regions (oceans), which also produces a damped response with small phase lag. We then simulate thermal light curves as they would appear to a high-contrast imaging mission (TPF-I/Darwin). In order of importance to the present simulations, which use modern-Earth orbital parameters, the three drivers of thermal phase variations are (1) obliquity seasons, (2) diurnal cycle, and (3) global seasons. Obliquity seasons are the dominant source of phase variations for most viewing angles. A

  3. Peak-valley-peak pattern of histone modifications delineates active regulatory elements and their directionality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pundhir, Sachin; Bagger, Frederik Otzen; Lauridsen, Felicia Kathrine Bratt


    Formation of nucleosome free region (NFR) accompanied by specific histone modifications at flanking nucleosomes is an important prerequisite for enhancer and promoter activity. Due to this process, active regulatory elements often exhibit a distinct shape of histone signal in the form of a peak......-valley-peak (PVP) pattern. However, different features of PVP patterns and their robustness in predicting active regulatory elements have never been systematically analyzed. Here, we present PARE, a novel computational method that systematically analyzes the H3K4me1 or H3K4me3 PVP patterns to predict NFRs. We show...

  4. 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.

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

    Noack, Lena; Snellen, Ignas; Rauer, Heike


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

  6. Design and Performance of the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (United States)

    White, Mary L.; Shaklan, Stuart; Lisman, P. Doulas; Ho, Timothy; Mouroulis, Pantazis; Basinger, Scott; Ledeboer, Bill; Kwack, Eug; Kissil, Andy; Mosier, Gary; hide


    Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph, one of two potential architectures, is described. The telescope is designed to make a visible wavelength survey of the habitable zones of at least thirty stars in search of earth-like planets. The preliminary system requirements, optical parameters, mechanical and thermal design, operations scenario and predicted performance is presented. The 6-meter aperture telescope has a monolithic primary mirror, which along with the secondary tower, are being designed to meet the stringent optical tolerances of the planet-finding mission. Performance predictions include dynamic and thermal finite element analysis of the telescope optics and structure, which are used to make predictions of the optical performance of the system.

  7. IAU Planet Definition: Some Confusions and Their Modifications


    Sarma, R.; Baruah, K.; Sarma, J. K.


    International Astronomical Union (IAU) has passed the must needed definition of planet in its general assembly held in Prague during August 2006. The definition had to be passed by means of voting. A group of scientists who raised the banner of revolt against the IAU definition has pointed out that the IAU has failed to give an acceptable definition regarding a planet. A brief description of the serious objections found in the definition of planet has been discussed here. In this paper an att...

  8. Directly Imaging Planets with SCExAO: First Results (United States)

    Currie, Thayne M.; Guyon, Olivier; Jovanovic, Nemanja; Lozi, Julien; Tamura, Motohide; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Uyama, Taichi; Garcia, Eugenio


    We present the first science results from the newly commissioned Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics project, an experimental system dedicated to image faint jovian planets around nearby stars. SCExAO is now achieving true extreme AO capability. We describe the typical performance of SCExAO, the first images of benchmark exoplanets and planet-forming disks, and SCExAO’s first science results. Finally, we briefly chart the path forward for SCExAO to achieve its full scientific capability, including imaging mature planets in reflected light.

  9. Can You Hear That Peak? Utilization of Auditory and Visual Feedback at Peak Limb Velocity (United States)

    Loria, Tristan; de Grosbois, John; Tremblay, Luc


    Purpose: At rest, the central nervous system combines and integrates multisensory cues to yield an optimal percept. When engaging in action, the relative weighing of sensory modalities has been shown to be altered. Because the timing of peak velocity is the critical moment in some goal-directed movements (e.g., overarm throwing), the current study…

  10. OccuPeak: ChIP-Seq peak calling based on internal background modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, Bouke A.; van Duijvenboden, Karel; van den Boogaard, Malou; Christoffels, Vincent M.; Barnett, Phil; Ruijter, Jan M.


    ChIP-seq has become a major tool for the genome-wide identification of transcription factor binding or histone modification sites. Most peak-calling algorithms require input control datasets to model the occurrence of background reads to account for local sequencing and GC bias. However, the

  11. Development of peak performance in track cycling. (United States)

    Schumacher, Y O; Mueller, P; Keul, J


    Retrospective analysis of peak performances can be a usefull tool for the estimation of future trends in high performance sports. The purpose of this study was to investigate the evolution of performance in track cycling from 1979 to 1999 and to asses age- and gender-related differences. We studied the results of the world track cycling championships for this period in 200 m, 1000 m, individual and team pursuit races for elite and junior athletes. Overall trends, performance differences between rank 1 and 5, gender- and age-related differences were calculated. They show a significant (ptrack cycling endurance disciplines. New technical developments show no statistical significant impact. The performance gap between male and female athletes is constant, independent of discipline or race distance and comparable to observations in other sports. Age-related differences in performance is most visible in disciplines requiring short, high intensity power output. Based on these data, estimation of possible winning times and adaptation of training programs for future track cycling competitions might be facilitated.

  12. Human behavioral complexity peaks at age 25 (United States)

    Brugger, Peter


    Random Item Generation tasks (RIG) are commonly used to assess high cognitive abilities such as inhibition or sustained attention. They also draw upon our approximate sense of complexity. A detrimental effect of aging on pseudo-random productions has been demonstrated for some tasks, but little is as yet known about the developmental curve of cognitive complexity over the lifespan. We investigate the complexity trajectory across the lifespan of human responses to five common RIG tasks, using a large sample (n = 3429). Our main finding is that the developmental curve of the estimated algorithmic complexity of responses is similar to what may be expected of a measure of higher cognitive abilities, with a performance peak around 25 and a decline starting around 60, suggesting that RIG tasks yield good estimates of such cognitive abilities. Our study illustrates that very short strings of, i.e., 10 items, are sufficient to have their complexity reliably estimated and to allow the documentation of an age-dependent decline in the approximate sense of complexity. PMID:28406953

  13. On the problem of the search for Planet X based on its perturbation of the outer planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomes, R.S. (Observatorio Nacional, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil))


    The present consideration of the systematic residuals which emerge when Uranus and Neptune observations are compared to their theories will proceed from the supposition that these discrepancies are due to an unknown 'planet X'. An effort is accordingly made to ascertain the ideal region, rather than a specific position or positions, in which the existence of such a planet will account for the systematic residuals. The problematic relationship of the probable albedo of a planet X to the mass it must possess, in view of the present calculations, is assessed. 5 refs.

  14. Star-planet interactions. IV. Possibility of detecting the orbit-shrinking of a planet around a red giant (United States)

    Meynet, Georges; Eggenberger, Patrick; Privitera, Giovanni; Georgy, Cyril; Ekström, Sylvia; Alibert, Yann; Lovis, Christophe


    The surface rotations of some red giants are so fast that they must have been spun up by tidal interaction with a close companion, either another star, a brown dwarf, or a planet. We focus here on the case of red giants that are spun up by tidal interaction with a planet. When the distance between the planet and the star decreases, the spin period of the star decreases, the orbital period of the planet decreases, and the reflex motion of the star increases. We study the change rate of these three quantities when the circular orbit of a planet of 15 MJ that initially orbits a 2 M⊙ star at 1 au shrinks under the action of tidal forces during the red giant phase. We use stellar evolution models coupled with computations of the orbital evolution of the planet, which allows us to follow the exchanges of angular momentum between the star and the orbit in a consistent way. We obtain that the reflex motion of the red giant star increases by more than 1 m s-1 per year in the last 40 yr before the planet engulfment. During this phase, the reflex motion of the star is between 660 and 710 m s-1. The spin period of the star increases by more than about 10 min per year in the last 3000 yr before engulfment. During this period, the spin period of the star is shorter than 0.7 yr. During this same period, the variation in orbital period, which is shorter than 0.18 yr, is on the same order of magnitude. Changes in reflex-motion and spin velocities are very small and thus most likely out of reach of being observed. The most promising way of detecting this effect is through observations of transiting planets, that is, through changes of the beginning or end of the transit. For the relatively long orbital periods expected around red giants, long observing runs of typically a few years are needed. Interesting star-planet systems that currently are in this stage of orbit-shrinking would be red giants with fast rotation (above typically 4-5 km s-1), a low surface gravity (log g lower

  15. Protein production: planet, profit, plus people? (United States)

    Aiking, Harry


    Food sustainability and food security are increasingly in the spotlight and increasingly intertwined. According to some projections we will need to nearly double food production in the next 4 decades. This article argues that protein production and consumption are pivotal to sustainability, because anthropogenic contributions to the nitrogen cycle are 100-200% compared with a contribution of 1-2% to the carbon cycle by mineral fuel combustion, with biodiversity as the main casualty. Because 1 kg animal protein requires ∼ 6 kg plant protein, its large-scale production by means of factory farming is a major driver of biodiversity loss, climate change, and freshwater depletion. Furthermore, intensive livestock production is associated with antibiotics resistance and increasing incidence of emerging diseases. Therefore, a "reversed" diet transition back to less animal protein could make a difference. Some European countries, such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, and The Netherlands, have published integrated policy reports addressing food security, sustainability, and health combined. The food industry is focusing on food safety and increasingly on sustainability. An important issue is consumer communication, because consumer "framing" is radically different from that of governmental and industrial policy makers. There is no "one size fits all." A huge range of differences exists between countries and between distinct groups of consumers within countries; getting consumers to change their diets in a more sustainable direction is likely to require much more than gentle nudging. National governments and the United Nations should assume their responsibilities and initiate a global strategy integrating sustainability, food security, nutrition, and equity. To date, the profit pillar of sustainability has taken precedence over planet and people. It is time to redress the balance. © 2014 American Society for Nutrition.

  16. Short-term observations of double peaked Na emission from Mercury's exosphere (United States)

    Massetti, Stefano; Mangano, Valeria; Milillo, Anna; Mura, Alessandro; Orsini, Stefano; Plainaki, Christina


    Analysis of a sequence of short-term ground-based observations of the Na emission from the exosphere of Mercury, recorded during three consecutive days (June 7-9, 2012), is presented. We observed a stable double-peak pattern where the exospheric Na emission was confined close to the nominal magnetospheric cusp footprints. During a series of scheduled observations of the global Na emission from the THEMIS telescope, achieved by scanning the whole planet's disc, we performed some extra measurements by recording the Na emission from a narrow North-South strip only, centred above the two Na emission peaks. When possible, these complementary measurements were recorded when the NASA Messenger spacecraft, orbiting around Mercury, was outside the planet's magnetosphere, in order to have contemporary in-situ data of the unperturbed interplanetary magnetic field. Our aim was to inspect the existence of short-term variabilities, which were never been reported before from ground-based observations, and their possible relationship with IMF variations. In spite of the fact that Mercury possess a miniature magnetosphere, characterized by fast reconnection events that develops on a timescale of few minutes (1-3 min), ground-based observations show that the exospheric Na emission pattern can be globally stable for a very prolonged period (some days), but it seems it can also shows variations in the time range of tens of minutes. In specific, we observed a decrease of the South/North ratio due to the decrease of the Na release from the southern cusp with respect to the northern one. This event lasted for about one hour, within several minor in-phase variations that involved both hemispheres.

  17. Climate variations on Earth-like circumbinary planets. (United States)

    Popp, Max; Eggl, Siegfried


    The discovery of planets orbiting double stars at close distances has sparked increasing scientific interest in determining whether Earth-analogues can remain habitable in such environments and how their atmospheric dynamics is influenced by the rapidly changing insolation. In this work we present results of the first three-dimensional numerical experiments of a water-rich planet orbiting a double star. We find that the periodic forcing of the atmosphere has a noticeable impact on the planet's climate. Signatures of the forcing frequencies related to the planet's as well as to the binary's orbital periods are present in a variety of climate indicators such as temperature and precipitation, making the interpretation of potential observables challenging. However, for Earth-like greenhouse gas concentrations, the variable forcing does not change the range of insolation values allowing for habitable climates substantially.

  18. Climate variations on Earth-like circumbinary planets (United States)

    Popp, Max; Eggl, Siegfried


    The discovery of planets orbiting double stars at close distances has sparked increasing scientific interest in determining whether Earth-analogues can remain habitable in such environments and how their atmospheric dynamics is influenced by the rapidly changing insolation. In this work we present results of the first three-dimensional numerical experiments of a water-rich planet orbiting a double star. We find that the periodic forcing of the atmosphere has a noticeable impact on the planet's climate. Signatures of the forcing frequencies related to the planet's as well as to the binary's orbital periods are present in a variety of climate indicators such as temperature and precipitation, making the interpretation of potential observables challenging. However, for Earth-like greenhouse gas concentrations, the variable forcing does not change the range of insolation values allowing for habitable climates substantially.


    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Midcourse Space Experiment Infrared Minor Planet Survey (MIMPS) includes infrared data for 168 main-belt asteroids serendipitously observed by the Midcourse...

  20. The early evolution of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    CERN Document Server

    Raulin, François; Muller, Christian; Nixon, Conor; Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings : Volume 35


    “The Early Evolution of the Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets” presents the main processes participating in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. A group of experts in the different fields provide an update of our current knowledge on this topic. Several papers in this book discuss the key role of nitrogen in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. The earliest setting and evolution of planetary atmospheres of terrestrial planets is directly associated with accretion, chemical differentiation, outgassing, stochastic impacts, and extremely high energy fluxes from their host stars. This book provides an overview of the present knowledge of the initial atmospheric composition of the terrestrial planets. Additionally it includes some papers about the current exoplanet discoveries and provides additional clues to our understanding of Earth’s transition from a hot accretionary phase into a habitable world. All papers included were reviewed by experts in their respective fields. We are ...

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

    Claudia, Tacu Cristina


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

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

    Pollack, J. B.; Bodenheimer, P.


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

  3. Junkyard planet: travels in the billion-dollar trash trade

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Minter, Adam


    .... In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter-- veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner-- travels deeply into a vast, often hidden, multibillion-dollar industry that's transforming our economy and environment...

  4. The quest for very low-mass planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  5. An Earth-mass planet orbiting α Centauri B. (United States)

    Dumusque, Xavier; Pepe, Francesco; Lovis, Christophe; Ségransan, Damien; Sahlmann, Johannes; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Mayor, Michel; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno; Udry, Stéphane


    Exoplanets down to the size of Earth have been found, but not in the habitable zone--that is, at a distance from the parent star at which water, if present, would be liquid. There are planets in the habitable zone of stars cooler than our Sun, but for reasons such as tidal locking and strong stellar activity, they are unlikely to harbour water-carbon life as we know it. The detection of a habitable Earth-mass planet orbiting a star similar to our Sun is extremely difficult, because such a signal is overwhelmed by stellar perturbations. Here we report the detection of an Earth-mass planet orbiting our neighbour star α Centauri B, a member of the closest stellar system to the Sun. The planet has an orbital period of 3.236 days and is about 0.04 astronomical units from the star (one astronomical unit is the Earth-Sun distance).

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

    Bodenheimer, Peter

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

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

    Jackson, Brian

    The discoveries of more than 100 roughly Earth-sized bodies with orbital periods less than 1 day, ultra-short-period planets or candidates (USPs), have challenged planet formation theories, and evidence suggests USPs may be the remnants of gaseous planets that shed their atmospheres. Indeed, many hot Jupiters are near Roche-Lobe overflow (RLO), and tidal decay can push them the rest of the way in. Recent work has shown stable RLO (atmospheres lost via a steady outflow and thin accretion disk) probably cannot produce USPs on its own but suggested unstable RLO (atmospheres quickly shed on dynamical timescales) may. In fact, stable RLO may drive overflowing hot Jupiters into unstable RLO, and by analogy with the common-envelope binaries, the core that remains can drive off the gaseous envelope at the cost of its orbital energy. Wellestablished mass-radius relations for gaseous planets, coupled to simple energy and angular momentum considerations, provide a connection between the observed masses and periods for USPs and their putative progenitor gaseous planets, with few free parameters. We propose to investigate the hypothesis that USPs originate through tidal decay and a combination of stable and unstable Roche-lobe overflow of short-period gaseous planets through the following studies: -We will explore the planetary masses, orbital periods, etc. that produce unstable RLO using the Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) suite. -We will relate the observed periods and masses of USPs to their putative progenitor masses and periods to see whether they are consistent with the unstable RLO hypothesis. This proposal is directly relevant to the Exoplanets Research Program since it seeks to "understand the ... physical processes of exoplanets" and "improve understanding of [their] origins" through "theoretical studies ... and modeling'". We also expect that it will have broad impacts on a variety of astrophysical topics: -Ultra-short period planets could

  8. Earth-type planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) (United States)

    Marov, M. Y.; Davydov, V. D.


    Spacecraft- and Earth-based studies on the physical nature of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are reported. Charts and graphs are presented on planetary surface properties, rotational parameters, atmospheric compositions, and astronomical characteristics.

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

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


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Pirrone


    Full Text Available In the last decade a significant number of projects and programmes in different domains of Earth Observation and environmental monitoring have generated a substantial amount of data and knowledge on different aspects related to environmental quality and sustainability. Big data generated by in-situ or satellite platforms are being collected and archived with a plethora of systems and instruments making difficult the sharing of data and transfer of knowledge to stakeholders and policy makers to support key economic and societal sectors. The overarching goal of ERAPLANET is to strengthen the European Research Area in the domain of Earth Observation in coherence with the European participation in the Group on Earth Observation (GEO and Copernicus. The expected impact is to strengthen European leadership within the forthcoming GEO 2015-2025 Work Plan. ERA-PLANET is designed to reinforce the interface with user communities, whose needs the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS intends to address. It will provide more accurate, comprehensive and authoritative information to policy and decision-makers in key societal benefit areas, such as Smart Cities and Resilient Societies; Resource efficiency and Environmental management; Global changes and Environmental treaties; Polar areas and Natural resources. ERA-PLANET will provide advanced decision-support tools and technologies aimed to better monitor our global environment and share the information and knowledge available in the different domains of Earth Observation.

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

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


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

  13. The interplay between X-ray photoevaporation and planet formation (United States)

    Rosotti, Giovanni; Ercolano, Barbara; Owen, James; Armitage, Phil


    Planets form from gas and dust discs that orbit young stars. The evolution and final dispersal of protoplanetary discs holds therefore a particular importance, especially in terms of timescales. In particular, observations reveal that most (if not all) discs go through the "transitional disc" phase, which is currently interpreted as the last stage before the disc dispersal. Photoevaporation and planet formation have been studied as possible physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of these discs. While it is likely that more than one mechanism is at play, the interplay between them has until now not been studied in detail. I will show results from 2d simulations of protoplanetary discs undergoing X-ray photoevaporation with an embedded giant planet. By reducing the mass accretion flow onto the star, discs thatw form giant planets will be dispersed at earlier times than discs without planets by X-ray photoevaporation. This process, planet formation induced photoevaporation (PIPE), is able to produce transition disc that for a given mass accretion rate have larger holes when compared to standard X-ray photoevaporation. This constitutes a possible route for the formation of the observed class of accreting transition discs with large holes, which are otherwise difficult to explain by planet formation or photoevaporation alone. Moreover, assuming that a planet is able to filter dust completely, PIPE produces a transition disc with a large hole and may provide a mechanism to quickly shut down accretion. This process appears to be too slow however to explain the observed desert in the population of transition disc with large holes and low mass accretion rates.

  14. X-ray insights into star and planet formation


    Feigelson, Eric D.


    Although stars and planets form in cold environments, X-rays are produced in abundance by young stars. This review examines the implications of stellar X-rays for star and planet formation studies, highlighting the contributions of NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Chandra X-ray Observatory. Seven topics are covered: X-rays from protostellar outflow shocks, X-rays from the youngest protostars, the stellar initial mass function, the structure of young stellar clusters, the...

  15. Planetary radio astronomy: Earth, giant planets, and beyond


    H. O. Rucker; Panchenko, M.; Weber, C.


    The magnetospheric phenomenon of non-thermal radio emission is known since the serendipitous discovery of Jupiter as radio planet in 1955, opening the new field of "Planetary Radio Astronomy". Continuous ground-based observations and, in particular, space-borne measurements have meanwhile produced a comprehensive picture of a fascinating research area. Space missions as the Voyagers to the Giant Planets, specifically Voyager 2 further to Uranus and Neptune, Galileo orbiting ...

  16. 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.

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

    McDonald, George; Kreidberg, Laura; Lopez, Eric


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

  18. New planet hints at life in the stars

    CERN Multimedia

    Dalton, A W


    Astronomers have detected a distant planet 100 light years from Earth, circling Tau1 Gruis, its star, in the constellation of Grus (the crane). The planet, similar in appearance to Jupiter, is three times as far away from its star as the Earth is from the Sun and takes four years to revolve around the star, in a roughly circular orbit. Scientists believe this type of planetary orbit is the most promising for finding worlds that contain life (1 page).

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

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


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

  20. Analysis of Science Attitudes for K2 Planet Hunter Mission (United States)


    stated was “designed to detect transits of Earth-size planets in the ‘habitable zone’ orbiting 9<mv᝿, F through M type dwarf stars… in the...Flaring stars • Accreting stars and interacting binaries • Galaxies and supernovae • Microlenses C. THESIS OBJECTIVE AND SCOPE This thesis focuses on...forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit. (2) A “ dwarf planet

  1. Background heatflow on hotspot planets - Io and Venus (United States)

    Stevenson, David J.; Mcnamara, Sean C.


    It is suggested that there is no simple relationship between lithospheric thickness and heatflow on planets where volcanism dominates the heatflow. This applies locally and globally, even away from regions of volcanic activity. This indicates that there is no basis for the assumption that the Io heatflow is as low as (or lower than) the hotspot component alone would suggest. A model is presented to describe the heatflow on hotspot planets. The model is applied to Io and Venus.

  2. 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.

  3. An extrasolar planetary system with three Neptune-mass planets. (United States)

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


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

  4. Stable and habitable systems with two giant planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Jason J.; Graham, James R.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Kalas, Paul; Chiang, Eugene; Duchêne, Gaspard [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Pueyo, Laurent; Chen, Christine; Greenbaum, Alexandra Z. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Nielsen, Eric L. [SETI Institute, Carl Sagan Center, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Millar-Blanchaer, Max [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada); Ammons, S. Mark [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, Livermore, CA 94040 (United States); Bulger, Joanna [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States); Cardwell, Andrew; Goodsell, Stephen J. [Gemini Observatory, Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile); Chilcote, Jeffrey K. [Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada); Doyon, René [Institut de Recherche sur les Exoplanètes, Départment de Physique, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada); Draper, Zachary H. [University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2 (Canada); Esposito, Thomas M.; Fitzgerald, Michael P. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); and others


    We present Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) observations of AU Microscopii, a young M dwarf with an edge-on, dusty debris disk. Integral field spectroscopy and broadband imaging polarimetry were obtained during the commissioning of GPI. In our broadband imaging polarimetry observations, we detect the disk only in total intensity and find asymmetries in the morphology of the disk between the southeast (SE) and northwest (NW) sides. The SE side of the disk exhibits a bump at 1″ (10 AU projected separation) that is three times more vertically extended and three times fainter in peak surface brightness than the NW side at similar separations. This part of the disk is also vertically offset by 69 ± 30 mas to the northeast at 1″ when compared to the established disk midplane and is consistent with prior Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and Hubble Space Telescope/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph observations. We see hints that the SE bump might be a result of detecting a horizontal sliver feature above the main disk that could be the disk backside. Alternatively, when including the morphology of the NW side, where the disk midplane is offset in the opposite direction ∼50 mas between 0.″4 and 1.″2, the asymmetries suggest a warp-like feature. Using our integral field spectroscopy data to search for planets, we are 50% complete for ∼4 M{sub Jup} planets at 4 AU. We detect a source, resolved only along the disk plane, that could either be a candidate planetary mass companion or a compact clump in the disk.

  6. Dawn at Vesta: Characterizing a minor planet (United States)

    Pieters, C.; Russell, C.; Raymond, C.; Dawn Team


    The Dawn spacecraft arrived at Vesta in July 2011, spent more than a year exploring the surface with orbital instruments, and is now on its way to Ceres to do the same [1]. Beginning the investigations at Vesta, we were in the unique position of having what we believed to be samples from the surface (the HED family of meteorites) to guide our planning of scientific exploration. We also had telescopic spectra of Vesta that linked it to the meteorites [2] and had spatially resolved images of Vesta from HST [3] that indicated variations exist across the surface, and that an enormous depression occurs at the south pole. Since the HED meteorites show evidence of early melting and differentiation, we expected an ancient evolved anhydrous surface, perhaps similar to that of the Moon complete with early magma ocean. Although the Moon has often been considered a small body 'end member' that can be used to study early terrestrial planet evolution, with the year-long exploration of Vesta by Dawn, we now have extensive information for an even smaller differentiated planetary body with which to compare and test models and paradigms. We now know that both bodies are heavily cratered and exhibit at least one enormous basin that models predict should have excavated (and possibly exposed) the mantle [4]. Nevertheless, although compositional diversity is found on both, evidence for mantle material has been illusive. These two airless differentiated silicate bodies are ancient and essentially (but not completely) anhydrous. Regionally coherent areas containing H as well as OH are identified across the surface of Vesta [5] but exhibit no apparent relation to OH recently detected on the Moon [6]. Instead, Vesta's hydrated areas are spatially correlated with low-albedo regions, suggesting an exogeneous source (such as delivery by and mixing with carbonaceous chondritic material) [5,7]. Vesta exhibits its own style of space weathering that transforms fresh craters into background soils

  7. 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


    Walter, Stephen R.; Rojas, Vernonica; Kollmann, Auriel


    Over 700 earthquakes occurred in the vicinity of Lassen Peak, California, from February 1981 through December 1983. These earthquakes define a broad, northwest-trending seismic zone that extends from the Sierra Nevada through the Lassen Peak area and either terminates or is offset to the northeast about 20 kilometers northwest of Lassen Peak. Approximately 25% of these earthquakes are associated with the geothermal system south of Lassen Peak. Earthquakes in the geothermal area generally occur at depths shallower than 6 kilometers.

  9. A contribution to peak load pricing theory and application


    N. Vijayamohanan Pillai


    The present paper attempts at a contribution to peak load pricing, in both theory and application. The general result from the traditional theory that charges the off-peak consumers marginal operating costs only and the peak users marginal operating plus marginal capacity costs, since it is the on-peakers who press against capacity, has already been called into question in the literature. It has also been shown that the equity norms are violated in the traditional peak load pricing, whereby o...

  10. High-resolution spectroscopic view of planet formation sites (United States)

    Regály, Zsolt; Kiss, Laszlo; Sándor, Zsolt; Dullemond, Cornelis P.


    Theories of planet formation predict the birth of giant planets in the inner, dense, and gas-rich regions of the circumstellar disks around young stars. These are the regions from which strong CO emission is expected. Observations have so far been unable to confirm the presence of planets caught in formation. We have developed a novel method to detect a giant planet still embedded in a circumstellar disk by the distortions of the CO molecular line profiles emerging from the protoplanetary disk's surface. The method is based on the fact that a giant planet significantly perturbs the gas velocity flow in addition to distorting the disk surface density. We have calculated the emerging molecular line profiles by combining hydrodynamical models with semianalytic radiative transfer calculations. Our results have shown that a giant Jupiter-like planet can be detected using contemporary or future high-resolution near-IR spectrographs such as VLT/CRIRES or ELT/METIS. We have also studied the effects of binarity on disk perturbations. The most interesting results have been found for eccentric circumprimary disks in mid-separation binaries, for which the disk eccentricity - detectable from the asymmetric line profiles - arises from the gravitational effects of the companion star. Our detailed simulations shed new light on how to constrain the disk kinematical state as well as its eccentricity profile. Recent findings by independent groups have shown that core-accretion is severely affected by disk eccentricity, hence detection of an eccentric protoplanetary disk in a young binary system would further constrain planet formation theories.

  11. Hole-y Debris Disks, Batman! Where are the planets? (United States)

    Bailey, V.; Meshkat, T.; Hinz, P.; Kenworthy, M.; Su, K. Y. L.


    Giant planets at wide separations are rare and direct imaging surveys are resource-intensive, so a cheaper marker for the presence of giant planets is desirable. One intriguing possibility is to use the effect of planets on their host stars' debris disks. Theoretical studies indicate giant planets can gravitationally carve sharp boundaries and gaps in their disks; this has been seen for HR 8799, β Pic, and tentatively for HD 95086 (Su et al. 2009, Lagrange et al. 2010, Moor et al. 2013). If more broadly demonstrated, this link could help guide target selection for next generation direct imaging surveys. Using Spitzer MIPS/IRS spectral energy distributions (SEDs), we identify several dozen systems with two-component and/or large inner cavity disks (aka Hole-y Debris Disks). With LBT/LBTI, VLT/NaCo, GeminiS/NICI, MMT/Clio and Magellan/Clio, we survey a subset these SEDselected targets (~20). In contrast to previous disk-selected planet surveys (e.g.: Janson et al. 2013, Wahhaj et al. 2013) we image primarily in the thermal IR (L'-band), where planet-to-star contrast is more favorable and background contaminants less numerous. Thus far, two of our survey targets host planet-mass companions, both of which were discovered in L'-band after they were unrecognized or undetectable in H-band. For each system in our sample set, we will investigate whether the known companions and/or companions below our detection threshold could be responsible for the disk architecture. Ultimately, we will increase our effective sample size by incorporating detection limits from surveys that have independently targeted some of our systems of interest. In this way we will refine the conditions under which disk SED-based target selection is likely to be useful and valid.

  12. Fast migration of low-mass planets in radiative discs (United States)

    Pierens, A.


    Low-mass planets are known to undergo Type I migration and this process must have played a key role during the evolution of planetary systems. Analytical formulae for the disc torque have been derived assuming that the planet evolves on a fixed circular orbit. However, recent work has shown that in isothermal discs, a migrating protoplanet may also experience dynamical corotation torques that scale with the planet drift rate. The aim of this study is to examine whether dynamical corotation torques can also affect the migration of low-mass planets in non-isothermal discs. We performed 2D radiative hydrodynamical simulations to examine the orbital evolution outcome of migrating protoplanets as a function of disc mass. We find that a protoplanet can enter a fast migration regime when it migrates in the direction set by the entropy-related horseshoe drag and when the Toomre stability parameter is less than a threshold value below which the horseshoe region contracts into a tadpole-like region. In that case, an underdense trapped region appears near the planet, with an entropy excess compared to the ambient disc. If the viscosity and thermal diffusivity are small enough so that the entropy excess is conserved during migration, the planet then experiences strong corotation torques arising from the material flowing across the planet orbit. During fast migration, we observe that a protoplanet can pass through the zero-torque line predicted by static torques. We also find that fast migration may help in disrupting the mean-motion resonances that are formed by convergent migration of embryos.

  13. 7 CFR 457.163 - Nursery peak inventory endorsement. (United States)


    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Nursery peak inventory endorsement. 457.163 Section... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.163 Nursery peak inventory endorsement. Nursery Crop Insurance Peak Inventory Endorsement This endorsement is not continuous and must be...

  14. Peak-power-point monitor for solar panel (United States)

    Schloss, A. I.


    Attempt was made to determine solar cell panel peak power capability without disrupting power flow from panel. Separate solar cell strings were switched from panel circuits, and increasingly larger loads were added rapidly until peak power points were transversed. String wattage output was recorded and all stored string measurements summed together indicate peak power point in panel.

  15. Family practitioners perception of, knowledge about and use of peak ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Peak flow meters were underutilised by family practitioners. The cost of the peak flow meter was an important reported cause of underutilisation. It is recommended that the importance of the peak flow meter in the management of asthma be emphasised at the undergraduate and continuing medical education level.


    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wittink, Harriet; Takken, Tim; de Groot, Janke; Reneman, Michiel; Peters, Roelof; Vanhees, Luc


    Objectives: To cross-validate the existing peak rate of oxygen consumption (VO2peak) prediction equations in Dutch law enforcement officers and to determine whether these prediction equations can be used to predict VO2peak for groups and in a single individual. A further objective was to report

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

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


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

  18. 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

  19. Peak expiratory flow at increased barometric pressure: comparison of peak flow meters and volumetric spirometer. (United States)

    Thomas, P S; Ng, C; Bennett, M


    Increasing numbers of patients are receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an intensive care treatment, some of whom have pre-existing airway obstruction. Spirometers are the ideal instruments for measuring airway obstruction, but peak flow meters are useful and versatile devices. The behaviour of both types of device was therefore studied in a hyperbaric unit under conditions of increased pressure. It is important to have a non-electrical indicator of airway obstruction, to minimize the fire risk in the hyperoxic environment. The hypothesis was tested that, assuming that dynamic resistance is unchanged, both the Wright's standard and mini-peak flow meters would over-read peak expiratory flow (PEF) under increased pressure when compared with a volumetric spirometer, as the latter is unaffected by air density. It was postulated that a correction factor could be derived so that PEF meters could be used in this setting. Seven normal subjects performed volume-dependent spirometry to derive PEF, and manoeuvres using both standard and mini PEF meters at sea level, under hyperbaric conditions at 303, 253 and 152 kPa (3, 2.5 and 1.5 atmospheres respectively; 1 atmosphere absolute=101.08 kPa), and again at sea level. There was a progressive and significant decline in PEF with increasing pressure as measured by the spirometer (69.46+/-0.8% baseline at 303 kPa compared with 101 kPa), while the PEF meters showed a progressive increase in their readings (an increase of 7.86+/-1.69% at 303 kPa with the mini PEF meter). Using these data points, a correction factor was derived which allows appropriate values to be calculated from the Wright's meter readings under these conditions.

  20. Short-term observations of double-peaked Na emission from Mercury's exosphere (United States)

    Massetti, S.; Mangano, V.; Milillo, A.; Mura, A.; Orsini, S.; Plainaki, C.


    We report the analysis of short-term ground-based observations of the exospheric Na emission (D1 and D2 lines) from Mercury, which was characterized by two high-latitude peaks confined near the magnetospheric cusp footprints. During a series of scheduled observations from the Télescope Héliographique pour l'Etude du Magnétisme et des Instabilités Solaires (THEMIS) telescope, achieved by scanning the whole planet, we implemented a series of extra measurements by recording the Na emission from a narrow north-south strip only, centered above the two emission peaks. Our aim was to inspect the existence of short-term variations, which were never analyzed before from ground-based observations, and their possible correlation with interplanetary magnetic field variations. Though Mercury possesses a miniature magnetosphere, characterized by fast reconnection events that develop on a timescale of few minutes, ground-based observations show that the exospheric Na emission pattern can be globally stable for a prolonged period (some days) and also exhibits fluctuations in the time range of tens of minutes.

  1. Stabilization of ammonia-rich hydrate inside icy planets. (United States)

    Naden Robinson, Victor; Wang, Yanchao; Ma, Yanming; Hermann, Andreas


    The interior structure of the giant ice planets Uranus and Neptune, but also of newly discovered exoplanets, is loosely constrained, because limited observational data can be satisfied with various interior models. Although it is known that their mantles comprise large amounts of water, ammonia, and methane ices, it is unclear how these organize themselves within the planets-as homogeneous mixtures, with continuous concentration gradients, or as well-separated layers of specific composition. While individual ices have been studied in great detail under pressure, the properties of their mixtures are much less explored. We show here, using first-principles calculations, that the 2:1 ammonia hydrate, (H 2 O)(NH 3 ) 2 , is stabilized at icy planet mantle conditions due to a remarkable structural evolution. Above 65 GPa, we predict it will transform from a hydrogen-bonded molecular solid into a fully ionic phase O 2- ([Formula: see text]) 2 , where all water molecules are completely deprotonated, an unexpected bonding phenomenon not seen before. Ammonia hemihydrate is stable in a sequence of ionic phases up to 500 GPa, pressures found deep within Neptune-like planets, and thus at higher pressures than any other ammonia-water mixture. This suggests it precipitates out of any ammonia-water mixture at sufficiently high pressures and thus forms an important component of icy planets.

  2. Giant Planet Interior Physics from Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (United States)

    Fortney, Jonathan J.; Thorngren, Daniel; Line, Michael R.; Morley, Caroline


    Transiting planets give us excellent probes of giant exoplanet structure (from mass and radius) and atmospheres (from transit and occultation spectroscopy). However, the combined power of these observations to understand how the planetary interior structure may impact its atmosphere has not yet been fully exploited. This will change with JWST. In particular, near-infrared wavelengths have less water opacity than mid-IR wavelengths, which allows us to probe thermal emission from deeper, hotter regions of the atmosphere. In some circumstances we should be able to see thermal emission coming from below the radiative-convective boundary in the atmosphere, including the adiabat itself. This adiabat continues into the planet’s very deep interior -- the specific entropy of this adiabat sets the planetary radius at a given mass. Hot internal adiabats, which we should be able to ``see” in thermal emission, should be present for the most inflated hot Jupiters, and planets like warm Neptunes that are strongly influenced by tidal heating (e.g. GJ 436b, Morley et al. 2017). Determining the flux coming from these atmospheric depths can be an important constraint on structure models of planets that have aimed to understand giant planet bulk metal enrichment, which is an important constraint on formation models. These flux detections can also provide novel and reasonably direct constraints on planetary tidal Q for eccentric planets. We highlight how we expect JWST to open up this new window into exoplanetary physics.

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

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


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

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

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


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

  5. Evolution of planet crossing asteroids in the inner Main Belt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribeiro, A O; Roig, F, E-mail: [Observatorio Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, 20921-400, RJ (Brazil)


    We studied the dynamical evolution of asteroids in terrestrial planet crossing orbits, located between 2.1 and 2.5 AU. The evolution is analyzed by direct numerical integration of massless particles under the gravitational influence of all planets from Venus to Neptune. The simulations include the Yarkovsky effect, introduced as a non conservative force that produces a slow variation of the average orbital semimajor axis. Our analysis focuses on the test particles that can reach the middle and outer regions of the Main Belt (semimajor axis > 2.5 AU) during their evolution, since these may be relevant for understanding the transport mechanisms of asteroids from the inner Belt. These mechanisms could help to explain, for example, the existence of basaltic asteroids beyond 2.5 AU assuming that these bodies originate in the Vesta family, located at {approx} 2.3 AU. We found that, although some orbits that reach the middle and outer regions of the Belt can become temporarily detached from the planet crossing regime, and may have their orbital eccentricities damped due to capture at some mean motion resonances, such orbits survive for only a few hundred thousand years and, ultimately, the test particles return to the planet crossing regime being eventually discarded by close encounters with the planets. These results seem to indicate that a transport mechanism based only on planetary encounters and resonant capture might not be efficient enough to justify the presence of basaltic asteroids beyond 2.5 AU.

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

    Silva, Douglas; Valio, Adriana


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borucki, William J.; /NASA, Ames; Koch, David; /NASA, Ames; Basri, Gibor; /UC, Berkeley; Batalha, Natalie; /San Jose State U.; Brown, Timothy; /Las Cumbres Observ.; Caldwell, Douglas; /SETI Inst., Mtn. View; Caldwell, John; /York U., Canada; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen; /Aarhus U.; Cochran, William D.; /Texas U.; DeVore, Edna; /SETI Inst., Mtn. View; Dunham, Edward W.; /Lowell Observ. /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.


    The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet's surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler monitored 156,000 stars, and five new exoplanets with sizes between 0.37 and 1.6 Jupiter radii and orbital periods from 3.2 to 4.9 days were discovered. The density of the Neptune-sized Kepler-4b is similar to that of Neptune and GJ 436b, even though the irradiation level is 800,000 times higher. Kepler-7b is one of the lowest-density planets ({approx}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.


    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.

  9. A planet in transition: The onset of plate tectonics on Earth between 3 and 2 Ga?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kent C. Condie


    Full Text Available Many geological and geochemical changes are recorded on Earth between 3 and 2 Ga. Among the more important of these are the following: (1 increasing proportion of basalts with “arc-like” mantle sources; (2 an increasing abundance of basalts derived from enriched (EM and depleted (DM mantle sources; (3 onset of a Great Thermal Divergence in the mantle; (4 a decrease in degree of melting of the mantle; (5 beginning of large lateral plate motions; (6 appearance of eclogite inclusions in diamonds; (7 appearance and rapid increase in frequency of collisional orogens; (8 rapid increase in the production rate of continental crust as recorded by zircon age peaks; (9 appearance of ophiolites in the geologic record, and (10 appearance of global LIP (large igneous province events some of which correlate with global zircon age peaks. All of these changes may be tied directly or indirectly to cooling of Earth's mantle and corresponding changes in convective style and the strength of the lithosphere, and they may record the gradual onset and propagation of plate tectonics around the planet. To further understand the changes that occurred between 3 and 2 Ga, it is necessary to compare rocks, rock associations, tectonics and geochemistry during and between zircon age peaks. Geochemistry of peak and inter-peak basalts and TTGs needs to be evaluated in terms of geodynamic models that predict the existence of an episodic thermal regime between stagnant-lid and plate tectonic regimes in early planetary evolution.

  10. Automatic peak selection by a Benjamini-Hochberg-based algorithm. (United States)

    Abbas, Ahmed; Kong, Xin-Bing; Liu, Zhi; Jing, Bing-Yi; Gao, Xin


    A common issue in bioinformatics is that computational methods often generate a large number of predictions sorted according to certain confidence scores. A key problem is then determining how many predictions must be selected to include most of the true predictions while maintaining reasonably high precision. In nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based protein structure determination, for instance, computational peak picking methods are becoming more and more common, although expert-knowledge remains the method of choice to determine how many peaks among thousands of candidate peaks should be taken into consideration to capture the true peaks. Here, we propose a Benjamini-Hochberg (B-H)-based approach that automatically selects the number of peaks. We formulate the peak selection problem as a multiple testing problem. Given a candidate peak list sorted by either volumes or intensities, we first convert the peaks into [Formula: see text]-values and then apply the B-H-based algorithm to automatically select the number of peaks. The proposed approach is tested on the state-of-the-art peak picking methods, including WaVPeak [1] and PICKY [2]. Compared with the traditional fixed number-based approach, our approach returns significantly more true peaks. For instance, by combining WaVPeak or PICKY with the proposed method, the missing peak rates are on average reduced by 20% and 26%, respectively, in a benchmark set of 32 spectra extracted from eight proteins. The consensus of the B-H-selected peaks from both WaVPeak and PICKY achieves 88% recall and 83% precision, which significantly outperforms each individual method and the consensus method without using the B-H algorithm. The proposed method can be used as a standard procedure for any peak picking method and straightforwardly applied to some other prediction selection problems in bioinformatics. The source code, documentation and example data of the proposed method is available at

  11. Automatic Peak Selection by a Benjamini-Hochberg-Based Algorithm

    KAUST Repository

    Abbas, Ahmed


    A common issue in bioinformatics is that computational methods often generate a large number of predictions sorted according to certain confidence scores. A key problem is then determining how many predictions must be selected to include most of the true predictions while maintaining reasonably high precision. In nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based protein structure determination, for instance, computational peak picking methods are becoming more and more common, although expert-knowledge remains the method of choice to determine how many peaks among thousands of candidate peaks should be taken into consideration to capture the true peaks. Here, we propose a Benjamini-Hochberg (B-H)-based approach that automatically selects the number of peaks. We formulate the peak selection problem as a multiple testing problem. Given a candidate peak list sorted by either volumes or intensities, we first convert the peaks into p-values and then apply the B-H-based algorithm to automatically select the number of peaks. The proposed approach is tested on the state-of-the-art peak picking methods, including WaVPeak [1] and PICKY [2]. Compared with the traditional fixed number-based approach, our approach returns significantly more true peaks. For instance, by combining WaVPeak or PICKY with the proposed method, the missing peak rates are on average reduced by 20% and 26%, respectively, in a benchmark set of 32 spectra extracted from eight proteins. The consensus of the B-H-selected peaks from both WaVPeak and PICKY achieves 88% recall and 83% precision, which significantly outperforms each individual method and the consensus method without using the B-H algorithm. The proposed method can be used as a standard procedure for any peak picking method and straightforwardly applied to some other prediction selection problems in bioinformatics. The source code, documentation and example data of the proposed method is available at © 2013

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

    Nesvorny, David

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

  13. Millimeter-wave spectra of the Jovian planets (United States)

    Joiner, Joanna; Steffes, Paul G.


    The millimeter wave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is critical for understanding the subcloud atmospheric structure of the Jovian planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). This research utilizes a combination of laboratory measurements, computer modeling, and radio astronomical observation in order to obtain a better understanding of the millimeter-wave spectra of the Jovian planets. The pressure broadened absorption from gaseous ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) was measured in the laboratory under simulated conditions for the Jovian atmospheres. Researchers developed new formalisms for computing the absorptivity of gaseous NH3 and H2S based on their laboratory measurements. They developed a radiative transfer and thermochemical model to predict the abundance and distribution of absorbing constituents in the Jovian atmospheres. They used the model to compute the millimeter wave emission from the Jovian planets.

  14. Libration of arguments of circumbinary-planet orbits at resonance (United States)

    Schubart, Joachim


    The paper refers to fictitious resonant orbits of planet type that surround both components of a binary system. In case of 16 studied examples a suitable choice of the starting values leads to a process of libration of special angular arguments and to an evolution with an at least temporary stay of the planet in the resonant orbit. The ratio of the periods of revolution of the binary and a planet is equal to 1:5. Eight orbits depend on the ratio 1:5 of the masses of the binary components, but two other ratios appear as well. The basis of this study is the planar, elliptic or circular restricted problem of three bodies, but remarks at the end of the text refer to a four-body problem.

  15. SIM's Search for Planets Orbiting Nearby White Dwarfs - Update (United States)

    Subasavage, John P., Jr.


    I propose to use the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) to observe a sample ( 25-50) of nearby white dwarfs in hopes of detecting planetary companions with masses in the 10 Earth mass range on average. Because of the nature of white dwarfs' spectral signatures (a few broad, if any, absorption lines), current radial velocity planet hunting techniques are not viable. Astrometry is currently the only technique capable of detecting low mass planets around white dwarfs and SIM would be the best suited astrometric instrument to do so once launched. As part of a SIM Science Study, I present a detailed evaluation of the star fields in the vicinity of nearby white dwarfs within 20 pc and with V white dwarfs with accuate trigonometric parallaxes and photometry. This effort will aid in the selection of white dwarfs to be targeted for planet searches using SIM by maximizing planetary sensitivities while minimizing total mission time spent on these observations.

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

    Tremaine, S.


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

  17. Exploring planets and moons in our Solar System

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva


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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Irwin, Patrick G. J


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

  19. Outer Planet Missions with Electric Propulsion Systems—Part I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Renato Huaura Solórzano


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

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

    Marley, Mark S.


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