Sample records for terrestrial planet finder

  1. 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...

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. Metrology system for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (United States)

    Shaklin, Stuart; Marchen, Luis; Zhao, Feng; Peters, Robert D.; Ho, Tim; Holmes, Buck


    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) employs an aggressive coronagraph designed to obtain better than 1e-10 contrast inside the third Airy ring. Minute changes in low-order aberration content scatter significant light at this position. One implication is the requirement to control low-order aberrations induced by motion of the secondary mirror relative to the primary mirror; sub-nanometer relative positional stability is required. We propose a 6-beam laser truss to monitor the relative positions of the two mirrors. The truss is based on laser metrology developed for the Space Interferometry Mission.

  5. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph : technology and mission design studies (United States)

    Ford, Virginia G.


    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) coronagraph study involves exploring the technologies that enable a coronagraph style instrument to image and characterize earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars. Testbeds have been developed to demonstrate the emerging technologies needed for this effort and an architecture study has resulted in designs of a facility that will provide the environment needed for the technology to function in this role. A broad community of participants is involved in this work through studies, analyses, fabrication of components, and participation in the design effort. The scope of activities - both on the technology side and in the architecture study side - will be presented in this paper. The status and the future plans of the activities will be reviewed.

  6. Architecture trade study for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer (United States)

    Lay, Oliver P.; Gunter, Steven M.; Hamlin, Louise A.; Henry, Curt A.; Li, Ying-Yong; Martin, Stefan R.; Purcell, George H., Jr.; Ware, Brent; Wertz, Julie A.; Noecker, M. Charley


    The Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer (TPF-I) is a space-based NASA mission for the direct detection of Earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars. At the mid-infrared wavelength range of interest, a sun-like star is ~107 times brighter than an earth-like planet, with an angular offset of ~50 mas. A set of formation-flying collector telescopes direct the incoming light to a common location where the beams are combined and detected. The relative locations of the collecting apertures, the way that the beams are routed to the combiner, and the relative amplitudes and phases with which they are combined constitute the architecture of the system. This paper evaluates six of the most promising solutions: the Linear Dual Chopped Bracewell (DCB), X-Array, Diamond DCB, Z-Array, Linear-3 and Triangle architectures. Each architecture is constrained to fit inside the shroud of a Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle using a parametric model for mass and volume. Both single and dual launch options are considered. The maximum separation between spacecraft is limited by stray light considerations. Given these constraints, the performance of each architecture is assessed by modeling the number of stars that can be surveyed and characterized spectroscopically during the mission lifetime, and by modeling the imaging properties of the configuration and the robustness to failures. The cost and risk for each architecture depends on a number of factors, including the number of launches, and mass margin. Quantitative metrics are used where possible. A matrix of the architectures and ~30 weighted discriminators was formed. Each architecture was assigned a score for each discriminator. Then the scores were multiplied by the weights and summed to give a total score for each architecture. The X-Array and Linear DCB were judged to be the strongest candidates. The simplicity of the three-collector architectures was not rated to be sufficient to compensate for their reduced performance and

  7. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph 2005: Overview of Technology Development and System Design Studies (United States)

    Ford, Virginia G.


    Technology research, design trades, and modeling and analysis guide the definition of a Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph Mission that will search for and characterize earth-like planets around near-by stars. Operating in visible wavebands, this mission will use coronagraphy techniques to suppress starlight to enable capturing and imaging the reflected light from a planet orbiting in the habitable zone of its parent star. The light will be spectrally characterized to determine the presence of life-indicating chemistry in the planet atmosphere.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. APF—The Lick Observatory Automated Planet Finder (United States)

    Vogt, Steven S.; Radovan, Matthew; Kibrick, Robert; Butler, R. Paul; Alcott, Barry; Allen, Steve; Arriagada, Pamela; Bolte, Mike; Burt, Jennifer; Cabak, Jerry; Chloros, Kostas; Cowley, David; Deich, William; Dupraw, Brian; Earthman, Wayne; Epps, Harland; Faber, Sandra; Fischer, Debra; Gates, Elinor; Hilyard, David; Holden, Brad; Johnston, Ken; Keiser, Sandy; Kanto, Dick; Katsuki, Myra; Laiterman, Lee; Lanclos, Kyle; Laughlin, Greg; Lewis, Jeff; Lockwood, Chris; Lynam, Paul; Marcy, Geoffrey; McLean, Maureen; Miller, Joe; Misch, Tony; Peck, Michael; Pfister, Terry; Phillips, Andrew; Rivera, Eugenio; Sandford, Dale; Saylor, Mike; Stover, Richard; Thompson, Matthew; Walp, Bernie; Ward, James; Wareham, John; Wei, Mingzhi; Wright, Chris


    The Automated Planet Finder (APF) is a facility purpose-built for the discovery and characterization of extrasolar planets through high-cadence Doppler velocimetry of the reflex barycentric accelerations of their host stars. Located atop Mt. Hamilton, the APF facility consists of a 2.4-m telescope and its Levy spectrometer, an optical echelle spectrometer optimized for precision Doppler velocimetry. APF features a fixed format spectral range from 374 nm - 970 nm, and delivers a "Throughput" (resolution * slit width product) of 114,000 arc-seconds, with spectral resolutions up to 150,000. Overall system efficiency (fraction of photons incident on the primary mirror that are detected by the science CCD) on blaze at 560 nm in planet-hunting mode is 15%. First-light tests on the RV standard stars HD 185144 and HD 9407 demonstrate sub-meter per second precision (RMS per observation) held over a 3-month period. This paper reviews the basic features of the telescope, dome, and spectrometer, and gives a brief summary of first-light performance.

  12. 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.

  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. Final A&T stages of the Gemini Planet Finder (United States)

    Hartung, Markus; Macintosh, Bruce; Poyneer, Lisa; Savransky, Dimitri; Gavel, Donald; Palmer, Dave; Thomas, Sandrine; Dillon, Daren; Chilcote, Jeffrey; Ingraham, Patrick; Sadakuni, Naru; Wallace, Kent; Perrin, Marshall; Marois, Christian; Maire, Jerome; Rantakyro, Fredrik; Hibon, Pascale; Saddlemyer, Les; Goodsell, Stephen


    The Gemini Planet Finder (GPI) is currently in its final Acceptance & Testing stages at the University of Santa Cruz, California. GPI is an XAO system based on a tweeter & woofer architecture (43 & 9 actuators across the pupil), with the tweeter being a Boston Michromachines 64^2 MEMS device. The XAO AO system is tightly integrated with a Lyot apodizing coronagraph. Acceptance has started in February 2013. After the conclusive acceptance review shipment is scheduled mid 2013 to ensure readiness for commissioning at the Gemini South telescope on Cerro Pachon, Chile, end of 2013, matching the summer window of the southern hemisphere. According to current estimates the 3 year (~800 allocated hours) planet finding campaign might discover, image, and spectroscopically analyze 20 to 40 new exo-planets.Final acceptance testing of the integrated instrument can always emerge a number of unforeseen challenges as we are eventually using cold chamber and flexure rig installations. The latest developments will be reported. Also, we will give an overview of GPI's lab performance, the interplay between subsystems such as the calibration unit (CAL) with the AO bench. (The CAL principal purpose is to maintain a clean and centered XAO PSF on the coronagraph.) We report on-going optimizations on the AO controler loop to filter vibrations and last but not least achieved contrast performance applying speckle nulling. Furthermore, we will give an outlook of possible but challenging future upgrades as the implementation of a predictive controler or exchanging the conventional 48x48 SH WFS with a pyramid. With the ELT area arising, GPI will proof as a versatile and path-finding testbed for AO technologies on the next generation of ground-based telescopes.

  15. Achieving autonomous data flow of the Automated Planet Finder (APF) (United States)

    Burt, Jennifer; Hanson, Russell; Rivera, Eugenio; Holden, Brad; Vogt, Steven S.; Butler, R. Paul; Arriagada, Pamela; 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), atop Mt. Hamilton in California. The 2.4-m telescope and accompanying high-resolution echelle spectrograph were specifically designed for the purpose of detecting planets in the liquid water 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. To take full advantage of the consistent influx of data it is necessary to analyze each night's results before designing the next evening's target list. To address this requirement, we are in the process of developing a fully automated reduction pipeline that will take each night's data from raw FITS files to final radial velocity values and integrate those values into a master database. The database is then accessed by the publicly available Systemic console, a general-purpose software package for the analysis and combined multiparameter fitting of Doppler radial velocity observations. As each stellar system is updated, Systemic evaluates the probability that a planetary signal is present in the data, and uses 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 once again on sky it determines the optimal targets to observe in real time using an in-house dynamic scheduler.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Mars : a small terrestrial planet


    Mangold, N.; Baratoux, David; Witasse, O.; Encrenaz, T.; Sotin, C.


    Mars is characterized by geological landforms familiar to terrestrial geologists. It has a tenuous atmosphere that evolved differently from that of Earth and Venus and a differentiated inner structure. Our knowledge of the structure and evolution of Mars has strongly improved thanks to a huge amount of data of various types (visible and infrared imagery, altimetry, radar, chemistry, etc) acquired by a dozen of missions over the last two decades. In situ data have provided ground truth for rem...

  20. Mars: a small terrestrial planet (United States)

    Mangold, N.; Baratoux, D.; Witasse, O.; Encrenaz, T.; Sotin, C.


    Mars is characterized by geological landforms familiar to terrestrial geologists. It has a tenuous atmosphere that evolved differently from that of Earth and Venus and a differentiated inner structure. Our knowledge of the structure and evolution of Mars has strongly improved thanks to a huge amount of data of various types (visible and infrared imagery, altimetry, radar, chemistry, etc) acquired by a dozen of missions over the last two decades. In situ data have provided ground truth for remote-sensing data and have opened a new era in the study of Mars geology. While large sections of Mars science have made progress and new topics have emerged, a major question in Mars exploration—the possibility of past or present life—is still unsolved. Without entering into the debate around the presence of life traces, our review develops various topics of Mars science to help the search of life on Mars, building on the most recent discoveries, going from the exosphere to the interior structure, from the magmatic evolution to the currently active processes, including the fate of volatiles and especially liquid water.

  1. 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.

  2. Performance of the VLT Planet Finder SPHERE. I. Photometry and astrometry precision with IRDIS and IFS in laboratory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zurlo, A.; Vigan, A.; Mesa, D.; Gratton, R.; Moutou, C.; Langlois, M.; Claudi, R.U.; Pueyo, L.; Boccaletti, A.; Baruffolo, A.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Costille, A.; Desidera, S.; Dohlen, K.; Feldt, M.; Fusco, T.; Henning, T.; Kasper, M.; Martinez, P.; Moeller-Nilsson, O.; Mouillet, D.; Pavlov, A.; Puget, P.; Sauvage, J.-F.; Turatto, M.; Udry, S.; Vakili, F.; Waters, R.; Wildi, R.F.


    Context. The new planet finder for the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE), just had its first light in Paranal. A dedicated instrument for the direct detection of planets, SPHERE, is composed of a polametric camera in visible light, the

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Remote sensing of planetary properties and biosignatures on extrasolar terrestrial planets. (United States)

    Des Marais, David J; Harwit, Martin O; Jucks, Kenneth W; Kasting, James F; Lin, Douglas N C; Lunine, Jonathan I; Schneider, Jean; Seager, Sara; Traub, Wesley A; Woolf, Neville J


    The major goals of NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and the European Space Agency's Darwin missions are to detect terrestrial-sized extrasolar planets directly and to seek spectroscopic evidence of habitable conditions and life. Here we recommend wavelength ranges and spectral features for these missions. We assess known spectroscopic molecular band features of Earth, Venus, and Mars in the context of putative extrasolar analogs. The preferred wavelength ranges are 7-25 microns in the mid-IR and 0.5 to approximately 1.1 microns in the visible to near-IR. Detection of O2 or its photolytic product O3 merits highest priority. Liquid H2O is not a bioindicator, but it is considered essential to life. Substantial CO2 indicates an atmosphere and oxidation state typical of a terrestrial planet. Abundant CH4 might require a biological source, yet abundant CH4 also can arise from a crust and upper mantle more reduced than that of Earth. The range of characteristics of extrasolar rocky planets might far exceed that of the Solar System. Planetary size and mass are very important indicators of habitability and can be estimated in the mid-IR and potentially also in the visible to near-IR. Additional spectroscopic features merit study, for example, features created by other biosignature compounds in the atmosphere or on the surface and features due to Rayleigh scattering. In summary, we find that both the mid-IR and the visible to near-IR wavelength ranges offer valuable information regarding biosignatures and planetary properties; therefore both merit serious scientific consideration for TPF and Darwin.


    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)

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

    Pepin, Robert O.


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

  17. A Google Earth Grand Tour of the Terrestrial Planets (United States)

    De Paor, Declan; Coba, Filis; Burgin, Stephen


    Google Earth is a powerful instructional resource for geoscience education. We have extended the virtual globe to include all terrestrial planets. Downloadable Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files (Google Earth's scripting language) associated with this paper include lessons about Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars. We created "grand…


    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.

  19. Mantles of terrestrial planets immediately following magma ocean solidification (United States)

    Scheinberg, A. L.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Zhong, S.; Parmentier, E.


    Energy of accretion in terrestrial planets is expected to create liquid silicate magma oceans. Their solidification processes create silicate differentiation and set the initial mantle structure for the planet. Solidification results in a compositionally unstable density profile, leading to cumulate Rayleigh-Taylor overturn in the early stages of planetary history. The pattern and timescale of overturn, in which cold, dense surface material sinks to the core mantle boundary, has implications for core dynamo production, volatile escape and fundamental differences between differently-sized bodies. Our fully spherical mantle models reaffirm previous work suggesting harmonic degree of overturn is dependent on viscosity contrast and layer thickness. We then explore the dependence of overturn morphology in the early mantles of Mars, Earth, Mercury and the Moon on these parameters and on the respective planets’ characteristics using a composition- and temperature-dependent viscosity model. Initial results indicate that fractional solidification and overturn in terrestrial planets always creates some radius range in which the mantle is azimuthally compositionally heterogeneous. After overturn, compositional stability in the mantle suppresses the onset of thermal convection; the broad conclusions of this work indicate that the earliest solid mantle of terrestrial planets is compositionally differentiated and stable.

  20. Terrestrial Planet Formation: Constraining the Formation of Mercury (United States)

    Lykawka, Patryk Sofia; Ito, Takashi


    How the four terrestrial planets of the solar system formed is one of the most fundamental questions in the planetary sciences. Particularly, the formation of Mercury remains poorly understood. We investigated terrestrial planet formation by performing 110 high-resolution N-body simulation runs using more than 100 embryos and 6000 disk planetesimals representing a primordial protoplanetary disk. To investigate the formation of Mercury, these simulations considered an inner region of the disk at 0.2-0.5 au (the Mercury region) and disks with and without mass enhancements beyond the ice line location, a IL, in the disk, where a IL = 1.5, 2.25, and 3.0 au were tested. Although Venus and Earth analogs (considering both orbits and masses) successfully formed in the majority of the runs, Mercury analogs were obtained in only nine runs. Mars analogs were also similarly scarce. Our Mercury analogs concentrated at orbits with a ˜ 0.27-0.34 au, relatively small eccentricities/inclinations, and median mass m ˜ 0.2 {M}\\oplus . In addition, we found that our Mercury analogs acquired most of their final masses from embryos/planetesimals initially located between 0.2 and ˜1-1.5 au within 10 Myr, while the remaining mass came from a wider region up to ˜3 au at later times. Although the ice line was negligible in the formation of planets located in the Mercury region, it enriched all terrestrial planets with water. Indeed, Mercury analogs showed a wide range of water mass fractions at the end of terrestrial planet formation.

  1. Lunar and terrestrial planet formation in the Grand Tack scenario (United States)

    Jacobson, S. A.; Morbidelli, A.


    We present conclusions from a large number of N-body simulations of the giant impact phase of terrestrial planet formation. We focus on new results obtained from the recently proposed Grand Tack model, which couples the gas-driven migration of giant planets to the accretion of the terrestrial planets. The giant impact phase follows the oligarchic growth phase, which builds a bi-modal mass distribution within the disc of embryos and planetesimals. By varying the ratio of the total mass in the embryo population to the total mass in the planetesimal population and the mass of the individual embryos, we explore how different disc conditions control the final planets. The total mass ratio of embryos to planetesimals controls the timing of the last giant (Moon-forming) impact and its violence. The initial embryo mass sets the size of the lunar impactor and the growth rate of Mars. After comparing our simulated outcomes with the actual orbits of the terrestrial planets (angular momentum deficit, mass concentration) and taking into account independent geochemical constraints on the mass accreted by the Earth after the Moon-forming event and on the time scale for the growth of Mars, we conclude that the protoplanetary disc at the beginning of the giant impact phase must have had most of its mass in Mars-sized embryos and only a small fraction of the total disc mass in the planetesimal population. From this, we infer that the Moon-forming event occurred between approximately 60 and approximately 130 Myr after the formation of the first solids and was caused most likely by an object with a mass similar to that of Mars. PMID:25114304

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

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


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 (United States)


    Detection of life on other planets requires identification of biosignatures, i.e., observable planetary properties that robustly indicate the presence of a biosphere. One of the most widely accepted biosignatures for an Earth-like planet is an atmosphere where oxygen is a major constituent. Here we show that lifeless habitable zone terrestrial planets around any star type may develop oxygen-dominated atmospheres as a result of water photolysis, because the cold trap mechanism that protects H{sub 2}O on Earth is ineffective when the atmospheric inventory of non-condensing gases (e.g., N{sub 2}, Ar) is low. Hence the spectral features of O{sub 2} and O{sub 3} alone cannot be regarded as robust signs of extraterrestrial life.

  4. Probing Terrestrial Planet Formation with Extreme Disk Variability (United States)

    Su, Kate; Rieke, George; Gaspar, Andras; Jackson, Alan


    Spitzer has advanced our knowledge about the critical stages of terrestrial planet formation (and in some cases destruction) by discovering young stars orbited by 1.) silica dust emission close to their terrestrial zones indicative of the violent collisions, and 2.) variable disk emission arising from the aftermath of asteroid-size impacts. The variable emission provides a unique opportunity to learn about asteroid-sized bodies in young exoplanetary systems and to explore planetesimal collisions and their aftermaths during the era of terrestrial-planet-building. We propose continued study of debris disk variability, focused in two areas: (1) to provide continuous monitoring of systems where our existing program has discovered substantial variations indicative of major ongoing episodes of planetesimal impacts; and (2) to investigate intensively possible variations in the dust content of systems that show prominent crystalline emission features to establish a link between the two indicators of planet building. Together these objectives will prepare us for the JWST era, when we will again obtain mid-infrared spectra of these systems, and of both higher spectral resolution and signal to noise than has been possible previously. This program will extend the time-domain study of extreme debris disks as an important heritage of the Spitzer warm mission.

  5. Formation of telluric planets and the origin of terrestrial water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Sean


    Full Text Available Simulations of planet formation have failed to reproduce Mars’ small mass (compared with Earth for 20 years. Here I will present a solution to the Mars problem that invokes large-scale migration of Jupiter and Saturn while they were still embedded in the gaseous protoplanetary disk. Jupiter first migrated inward, then “tacked” and migrated back outward when Saturn caught up to it and became trapped in resonance. If this tack occurred when Jupiter was at 1.5 AU then the inner disk of rocky planetesimals and embryos is truncated and the masses and orbits of all four terrestrial planet are quantitatively reproduced. As the giant planets migrate back outward they re-populate the asteroid belt from two different source populations, matching the structure of the current belt. C-type material is also scattered inward to the terrestrial planet-forming zone, delivering about the right amount of water to Earth on 10-50 Myr timescales.

  6. Origin and evolution of life on terrestrial planets. (United States)

    Brack, A; Horneck, G; Cockell, C S; Bérces, A; Belisheva, N K; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Liseau, Réne; Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Franck; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J


    The ultimate goal of terrestrial planet-finding missions is not only to discover terrestrial exoplanets inside the habitable zone (HZ) of their host stars but also to address the major question as to whether life may have evolved on a habitable Earth-like exoplanet outside our Solar System. We note that the chemical evolution that finally led to the origin of life on Earth must be studied if we hope to understand the principles of how life might evolve on other terrestrial planets in the Universe. This is not just an anthropocentric point of view: the basic ingredients of terrestrial life, that is, reduced carbon-based molecules and liquid H(2)O, have very specific properties. We discuss the origin of life from the chemical evolution of its precursors to the earliest life-forms and the biological implications of the stellar radiation and energetic particle environments. Likewise, the study of the biological evolution that has generated the various life-forms on Earth provides clues toward the understanding of the interconnectedness of life with its environment.

  7. THE PROJECT: an Observatory / Transport Spaceship for Discovering and Populating Habitable Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets (United States)

    Kilston, S.


    Recent extrasolar planet discoveries and related progress in astrophysics have refined our knowledge of the implications of the Drake equation. The Space Interferometry Mission and the planned Terrestrial Planet Finder will deepen this understanding, and begin pointing the way to places we need to explore at closer range. If the correct resolution of the Fermi paradox regarding intelligent extraterrestrials (``where are they?") is found to lie in the actual scarcity of such beings, it may turn out that we are more advanced than most other life-forms in our galaxy. In this case, a main purpose in finding planets may be to find places for us to go: astronomy will once again play a major role in human navigation and migration. We describe a strawman design concept for an astronomical observatory ship designed for launch beyond our solar system within several hundred years. This ship design would employ plausible physics, biology, technology, sociology, and economics to carry one million passengers in a one-G environment shielded from space radiation. A cruising speed under 0.01 c, slower than in many science-fiction concepts, minimizes power requirements and the danger from collisional impacts. The ship would contain all subsystems needed to sustain multi-generational life on a voyage of thousands of years, as well as the observatories to identify for human settlement a habitable extrasolar planet. Even the modestly advanced technology described here could spread intelligent life throughout our galaxy within 40 million years, a very small fraction of the galaxy's age. Motivation for such an ambitious project is three-fold: expanding our knowledge of the universe, enlisting the efforts and enthusiasms of humankind toward a very grand goal which will stimulate progress in all aspects of our cultures and technologies, and participating in the process of spreading life so its survivability and fruition are enhanced.

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

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Roberge, Aki


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

  9. Unique Spectroscopy and Imaging of Terrestrial Planets with JWST (United States)

    Villanueva, Geronimo Luis; JWST Mars Team


    In this talk, I will present the main capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) for performing observations of terrestrial planets, using Mars as a test case. The distinctive vantage point of JWST at the Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2) will allow sampling the full observable disk, permitting the study of short-term phenomena, diurnal processes (across the East-West axis) and latitudinal processes between the hemispheres (including seasonal effects) with excellent spatial resolutions (0.07 arcsec at 2 um). Spectroscopic observations will be achievable in the 0.7-5 um spectral region with NIRSpec at a maximum resolving power of 2700, and with 8000 in the 1-1.25 um range. Imaging will be attainable with NIRCam at 4.3 um and with two narrow filters near 2 um, while the nightside will be accessible with several filters in the 0.5 to 2 um. Such a powerful suite of instruments will be a major asset for the exploration and characterization of Mars, and terrestrial planets in general. Some science cases include the mapping of the water D/H ratio, investigations of the Martian mesosphere via the characterization of the non-LTE CO2 emission at 4.3 um, studies of chemical transport via observations of the O2 nightglow at 1.27 um, high cadence mapping of the variability dust and water ice clouds, and sensitive searches for trace species and hydrated features on the planetary surface.

  10. 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.

  11. Sulfuric acid aerosols in the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets (United States)

    McGouldrick, Kevin; Toon, Owen B.; Grinspoon, David H.


    Clouds and hazes composed of sulfuric acid are observed to exist or postulated to have once existed on each of the terrestrial planets with atmospheres in our solar system. Venus today maintains a global cover of clouds composed of a sulfuric acid/water solution that extends in altitude from roughly 50 km to roughly 80 km. Terrestrial polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) form on stratospheric sulfuric acid aerosols, and both PSCs and stratospheric aerosols play a critical role in the formation of the ozone hole. Stratospheric aerosols can modify the climate when they are enhanced following volcanic eruptions, and are a current focus for geoengineering studies. Rain is made more acidic by sulfuric acid originating from sulfur dioxide generated by industry on Earth. Analysis of the sulfur content of Martian rocks has led to the hypothesis that an early Martian atmosphere, rich in SO 2 and H 2O, could support a sulfur-infused hydrological cycle. Here we consider the plausibility of frozen sulfuric acid in the upper clouds of Venus, which could lead to lightning generation, with implications for observations by the European Space Agency's Venus Express and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Venus Climate Orbiter (also known as Akatsuki). We also present simulations of a sulfur-rich early Martian atmosphere. We find that about 40 cm/yr of precipitation having a pH of about 2.0 could fall in an early Martian atmosphere, assuming a surface temperature of 273 K, and SO 2 generation rates consistent with the formation of Tharsis. This modeled acid rain is a powerful sink for SO 2, quickly removing it and preventing it from having a significant greenhouse effect.

  12. Conditions of Passage and Entrapment of Terrestrial Planets in Spin-Orbit Resonances (United States)


    May 25 ABSTRACT The dynamical evolution of terrestrial planets resembling Mercury in the vicinity of spin-orbit resonances is investigated using... planet and assuming a zero obliquity. We find that a Mercury -like planet with a current value of orbital eccentricity (0.2056) is always captured in... Mercury rarely fails to align itself into this state of unstable equilibrium before it traverses 2:1 resonance. Key words: celestial mechanics – planets

  13. Optical Software to Calculate Terrestrial Planet Finder Contrast Including Polarization Effects Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — BRO will provide commercially available optics software that dependably calculates image plane irradiance to the precision required by TPF missions. Calculations...

  14. The LAPS Project: A tutorial, online model to simulate the atmosphere of any terrestrial planet (United States)

    Turbet, M.; Schott, C.; Forget, F.


    The LAPS (Live Atmospheres-of-Planets Simulator) is a live 1-D radiative-convective version of the LMD Global Climate Model, available on The LAPS provides an accelerated and interactive simulation of the climate of any terrestrial planet and exoplanet.

  15. The origins of volatiles in the terrestrial planets (United States)

    Halliday, Alex N.


    , presumably in the form of water, would need to predate it. Therefore, Earth probably acquired volatile elements from chondritic material admixed with Solar and cometary contributions during the main stages of accretion, but this was accompanied or followed by greater but variable depletion in 1H, 12C, 14N and 130Xe possibly supplemented by the addition of a late veneer. Venus and Mars display a broadly similar pattern of C and N depletion relative to noble gases when chondrite normalised, based on the minimum budgets deduced from their atmospheres. The strong depletion of 1H, 12C, 14N and 130Xe relative to other noble gases in terrestrial planets, and possibly Xe isotopic fractionation as well, could be explained by the early removal of these elements from the inner circumstellar disk, from the planets, or from silicate reservoirs themselves. Some of the lost 1H, 12C, 14N and possibly 130Xe could be in the metallic cores of terrestrial planets. However, carbon, nitrogen and xenon also all form low temperature species with ionization potentials less than that of hydrogen. The depletion of these four elements as well as the strong Xe isotopic fractionation may therefore also relate to loss of ions formed from solar EUV in the inner circumstellar disk and in protoplanetary atmospheres.

  16. Hydrocode modeling of oblique impacts into terrestrial planets (United States)

    Kendall, Jordan D.

    The abundance of moderately siderophile elements ("iron-loving"; e.g., Co, Ni) in the Earth's mantle is 10 to 100 times larger than predicted by chemical equilibrium between silicate melt and iron at low pressure, but it does match expectation for equilibrium at high pressure and temperature. Recent studies of differentiated planetesimal impacts assume that planetesimal cores survive the impact intact as concentrated masses that passively settle from a zero initial velocity and undergo turbulent entrainment in a global magma ocean; under these conditions, cores greater than 10 km in diameter do not fully mix without a sufficiently deep magma ocean. I have performed hydrocode simulations that revise this assumption and yield a clearer picture of the impact process for differentiated planetesimals possessing iron cores with radius = 100 km that impact into magma oceans. The impact process strips away the silicate mantle of the planetesimal and then stretches the iron core, dispersing the liquid iron into a much larger volume of the underlying liquid silicate mantle. Lagrangian tracer particles track the initially intact iron core as the impact stretches and disperses the core. The final displacement distance of initially closest tracer pairs gives a metric of core stretching. The statistics of stretching imply mixing that separates the iron core into sheets, ligaments, and smaller fragments, on a scale of 10 km or less. The impact dispersed core fragments undergo further mixing through turbulent entrainment as the molten iron fragments sink through the magma ocean and settle deeper into the planet. My results thus support the idea that iron in the cores of even large differentiated planetesimals can chemically equilibrate deep in a terrestrial magma ocean. The largest known impact on the Moon formed the South Pole-Aitken (SP-A) basin and excavated material as deep as the mantle. Here I suggest that large impacts eject enough material to cover the farside of the Moon

  17. Beyond the principle of plentitude: a review of terrestrial planet habitability. (United States)

    Gaidos, E; Deschenes, B; Dundon, L; Fagan, K; Menviel-Hessler, L; Moskovitz, N; Workman, M


    We review recent work that directly or indirectly addresses the habitability of terrestrial (rocky) planets like the Earth. Habitability has been traditionally defined in terms of an orbital semimajor axis within a range known as the habitable zone, but it is also well known that the habitability of Earth is due to many other astrophysical, geological, and geochemical factors. We focus this review on (1) recent refinements to habitable zone calculations; (2) the formation and orbital stability of terrestrial planets; (3) the tempo and mode of geologic activity (e.g., plate tectonics) on terrestrial planets; (4) the delivery of water to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone; and (5) the acquisition and loss of terrestrial planet carbon and nitrogen, elements that constitute important atmospheric gases responsible for habitable conditions on Earth's surface as well as being the building blocks of the biosphere itself. Finally, we consider recent work on evidence for the earliest habitable environments and the appearance of life itself on our planet. Such evidence provides us with an important, if nominal, calibration point for our search for other habitable worlds.

  18. The origin of methane and biomolecules from a CO2 cycle on terrestrial planets (United States)

    Civiš, Svatopluk; Knížek, Antonín; Ivanek, Ondřej; Kubelík, Petr; Zukalová, Markéta; Kavan, Ladislav; Ferus, Martin


    Understanding the chemical evolution of newly formed terrestrial planets involves uncertainties in atmospheric chemical composition and assessing the plausibility of biomolecule synthesis. In this study, an original scenario for the origin of methane on Mars and terrestrial planets is suggested. Carbon dioxide in Martian and other planetary atmospheres can be abiotically converted into a mixture of methane and carbon monoxide by `methanogenesis' on porous mineral photoactive surfaces under soft ultraviolet irradiation. On young planets exposed to heavy bombardment by interplanetary matter, this process can be followed by biomolecule synthesis through the reprocessing of reactive reducing atmospheres by impact-induced shock waves. The proposed mechanism of methanogenesis may help to answer the question concerning the formation of methane and carbon monoxide by photochemical processes, the formation of biomolecules on early Earth and other terrestrial planets, and the source and seasonal variation of methane concentrations on Mars.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schlichting, Hilke E.; Warren, Paul H. [UCLA, Department of Earth and Space Science, 595 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Yin Qingzhu, E-mail: [UCD, Department of Geology, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States)


    The final stage of terrestrial planet formation consists of the clean-up of residual planetesimals after the giant impact phase. Dynamically, a residual planetesimal population is needed to damp the high eccentricities and inclinations of the terrestrial planets to circular and coplanar orbits after the giant impact stage. Geochemically, highly siderophile element (HSE) abundance patterns inferred for the terrestrial planets and the Moon suggest that a total of about 0.01 M{sub Circled-Plus} of chondritic material was delivered as 'late veneer' by planetesimals to the terrestrial planets after the end of giant impacts. Here, we combine these two independent lines of evidence for a leftover population of planetesimals and show that: (1) a residual population of small planetesimals containing 0.01 M{sub Circled-Plus} is able to damp the high eccentricities and inclinations of the terrestrial planets after giant impacts to their observed values. (2) At the same time, this planetesimal population can account for the observed relative amounts of late veneer added to the Earth, Moon, and Mars provided that the majority of the accreted late veneer was delivered by small planetesimals with radii {approx}< 10 m. These small planetesimal sizes are required to ensure efficient damping of the planetesimal's velocity dispersion by mutual collisions, which in turn ensures sufficiently low relative velocities between the terrestrial planets and the planetesimals such that the planets' accretion cross sections are significantly enhanced by gravitational focusing above their geometric values. Specifically, we find that, in the limit that the relative velocity between the terrestrial planets and the planetesimals is significantly less than the terrestrial planets' escape velocities, gravitational focusing yields a mass accretion ratio of Earth/Mars {approx}({rho}{sub Circled-Plus }/{rho}{sub mars})(R{sub Circled-Plus }/R{sub mars}){sup 4} {approx} 17, which

  20. Atmospheric circulation modeling of super Earths and terrestrial extrasolar planets using the SPARC/MITgcm (United States)

    Kataria, T.; Showman, A. P.; Haberle, R. M.; Marley, M. S.; Fortney, J. J.; Freedman, R. S.


    The field of exoplanets continues to be a booming field of research in astronomy and planetary science, with numerous ground-based (e.g., SuperWASP, HARPS-N and S) and space-based surveys (e.g., Kepler) that detect and characterize planets ranging from hot Jupiters, Jovian-sized planets orbiting less than 0.1 AU from their star, to super Earths and terrestrial exoplanets, planets that have masses equal to or less than 10 times that of Earth with a range of orbital distances. Atmospheric circulation modeling plays an important role in the characterization of these planets, helping to constrain observations that probe their atmospheres. These models have proven successful in understanding observations of transiting exoplanets (when the planet passes in front of the star along our line of sight) particularly when the planet is passing through secondary eclipse (when the planet's dayside is visible). In modeling super Earths and terrestrial exoplanets, we must consider not only planets with thick fluid envelopes, but also traditional terrestrial planets with solid surfaces and thinner atmospheres. To that end, we present results from studies investigating the atmospheric circulation of these classes of planets using the SPARC/MITgcm, a state-of-the-art model which couples the MIT General Circulation Model with a plane-parallel, two-stream, non-gray radiative transfer model. We will present results from two studies, the first focusing on the circulation of GJ 1214b, a super-Earth detected by the MEarth ground-based survey, and a second study which explores the circulation of terrestrial exoplanets orbiting M-dwarfs.


    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.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brasser, R.; Ida, S. [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550 (Japan); Matsumura, S. [School of Science and Engineering, Division of Physics, Fulton Building, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN (United Kingdom); Mojzsis, S. J. [Collaborative for Research in Origins (CRiO), Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, UCB 399, 2200 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0399 (United States); Werner, S. C. [The Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, University of Oslo, Sem Saelandsvei 24, NO-0371 Oslo (Norway)


    The Grand Tack model of terrestrial planet formation has emerged in recent years as the premier scenario used to account for several observed features of the inner solar system. It relies on the early migration of the giant planets to gravitationally sculpt and mix the planetesimal disk down to ∼1 au, after which the terrestrial planets accrete from material remaining in a narrow circumsolar annulus. Here, we investigate how the model fares under a range of initial conditions and migration course-change (“tack”) locations. We run a large number of N-body simulations with tack locations of 1.5 and 2 au and test initial conditions using equal-mass planetary embryos and a semi-analytical approach to oligarchic growth. We make use of a recent model of the protosolar disk that takes into account viscous heating, includes the full effect of type 1 migration, and employs a realistic mass–radius relation for the growing terrestrial planets. Our results show that the canonical tack location of Jupiter at 1.5 au is inconsistent with the most massive planet residing at 1 au at greater than 95% confidence. This favors a tack farther out at 2 au for the disk model and parameters employed. Of the different initial conditions, we find that the oligarchic case is capable of statistically reproducing the orbital architecture and mass distribution of the terrestrial planets, while the equal-mass embryo case is not.

  3. 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

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

    Hamano, Keiko; Abe, Yutaka; Genda, Hidenori


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jun; Abbot, Dorian S. [Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Liu, Yonggang [Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Hu, Yongyun, E-mail: [Laboratory for Climate and Atmosphere-Ocean Studies, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing (China)


    Surface liquid water is essential for standard planetary habitability. Calculations of atmospheric circulation on tidally locked planets around M stars suggest that this peculiar orbital configuration lends itself to the trapping of large amounts of water in kilometers-thick ice on the night side, potentially removing all liquid water from the day side where photosynthesis is possible. We study this problem using a global climate model including coupled atmosphere, ocean, land, and sea ice components as well as a continental ice sheet model driven by the climate model output. For a waterworld, we find that surface winds transport sea ice toward the day side and the ocean carries heat toward the night side. As a result, nightside sea ice remains O(10 m) thick and nightside water trapping is insignificant. If a planet has large continents on its night side, they can grow ice sheets O(1000 m) thick if the geothermal heat flux is similar to Earth's or smaller. Planets with a water complement similar to Earth's would therefore experience a large decrease in sea level when plate tectonics drives their continents onto the night side, but would not experience complete dayside dessiccation. Only planets with a geothermal heat flux lower than Earth's, much of their surface covered by continents, and a surface water reservoir O(10%) of Earth's would be susceptible to complete water trapping.

  6. On the Present and Past Secular Architecture of the Terrestrial Planets (United States)

    Agnor, Craig B.


    Understanding the origin, stability, and long-term evolution of the solar system is a classic problem in dynamical astronomy.Over time-scales longer than 0.1Myr the orbital evolution of the solar system is primarily driven by secular dynamics (i.e., those related to orbital precession). Indeed, using a linearised model of the solar system, Laplace and Lagrange were able to show that secular variations of the terrestrial planets' eccentricities are bounded and stable from orbit crossing.The secular architecture the terrestrial planets is often described in terms of the eccentricity and inclination amplitudes of the linear eigenmodes or in terms of the system's so-called angular momentum deficit. These quantities are constant in the linear approximation and their values for the observed solar system have been used as constraints on the primordial evolution of the planets, including models of terrestrial planet formation (e.g., Raymond et al. 2009, Jacobson and Morbidelli 2014), giant planet migration (e.g., Brasser et al. 2009, Agnor and Lin 2012) and aspects of the terrestrial late veneer (e.g., Raymond et al. 2013). However, as is well-known, the orbital evolution of the terrestrial planets is not linear and the secular amplitudes change with time. Long-term integrations and analytic arguments have shown the evolution of the inner planets to be chaotic with characteristic lyapunov times of \\sim 5 Myr (e.g., Laskar 1989, Batygin & Laughlin 2008). This nonlinear behaviour is driven by the interaction of secular resonances (e.g., Laskar 1990, Lithwick and Wu 2011). The resulting chaotic orbital diffusion of the terrestrial planets may be modest or lead to instability of the system (Laskar 2008). Further, orbital integrations demonstrate that Mercury may evolve to orbit crossing with Venus over the next 5Gyr with a probability of about one percent (Laskar and Gastineau 2009). At the meeting I will present results of new long-term orbital integrations of the solar

  7. Surface history of Mercury - Implications for terrestrial planets (United States)

    Murray, B. C.; Strom, R. G.; Trask, N. J.; Gault, D. E.


    A plausible surface history of Mercury is presented which is suggested by Mariner 10 television pictures. Five periods are postulated which are delineated by successive variations in the modification of the surface by external and internal processes: accretion and differentiation, terminal heavy bombardment, formation of the Caloris basin, flooding of that basin and other areas, and light cratering accumulated on the smooth plains. Each period is described in detail; the overall history is compared with the surface histories of Venus, Mars, and the moon; and the implications of this history for earth are discussed. It is tentatively concluded that: Mercury is a differentiated planet most likely composed of a large iron core enclosed by a relatively thin silicate layer; heavy surface bombardment occurred about four billion years ago, which probably affected all the inner planets, and was followed by a period of volcanic activity; no surface modifications caused by tectonic, volcanic, or atmospheric processes took place after the volcanic period.

  8. KOI-3158: The oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Campante T. L.


    Full Text Available The first discoveries of exoplanets around Sun-like stars have fueled efforts to find ever smaller worlds evocative of Earth and other terrestrial planets in the Solar System. While gas-giant planets appear to form preferentially around metal-rich stars, small planets (with radii less than four Earth radii can form under a wide range of metallicities. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the Universe’s history when metals were far less abundant. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of KOI-3158, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk, which hosts five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus. We used asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that KOI-3158 formed when the Universe was less than 20 % of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the Universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, providing scope for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy.

  9. Evolving dynamical regimes during secular cooling of terrestrial planets : insights and inferences from numerical models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thienen, Peter van


    Although plate tectonics is the present-day mode of geodynamics on Earth, it is not so on Mars and Venus, and probably also not during the early history of the Earth. In this thesis, the conditions under which plate tectonics may operate on terrestrial planets are investigated. Numerical model

  10. Using large impacts to constrain the thermal evolution of the terrestrial planets (United States)

    Padovan, S.; Tosi, N.; Plesa, A.-C.; Ruedas, T.


    Thermal evolution models of the terrestrial planets are directly constrained by only few observations (nature, volume, and age of the crust). In this work we show how local data sets, pertaining to the volume and time of emplacement of volcanic material within large impact basins, can provide additional constraints on the global evolution of Mercury, Mars, and the Moon.

  11. Water vapour and hydrogen in the terrestrial-planet-forming region of a protoplanetary disk. (United States)

    Eisner, J A


    Planetary systems (ours included) formed in disks of dust and gas around young stars. Disks are an integral part of the star and planet formation process, and knowledge of the distribution and temperature of inner-disk material is crucial for understanding terrestrial planet formation, giant planet migration, and accretion onto the central star. Although the inner regions of protoplanetary disks in nearby star-forming regions subtend only a few nano-radians, near-infrared interferometry has recently enabled the spatial resolution of these terrestrial zones. Most observations have probed only dust, which typically dominates the near-infrared emission. Here I report spectrally dispersed near-infrared interferometric observations that probe the gas (which dominates the mass and dynamics of the inner disk), in addition to the dust, within one astronomical unit (1 au, the Sun-Earth distance) of the young star MWC 480. I resolve gas, including water vapour and atomic hydrogen, interior to the edge of the dust disk; this contrasts with results of previous spectrally dispersed interferometry observations. Interactions of this accreting gas with migrating planets may lead to short-period exoplanets like those detected around main-sequence stars. The observed water vapour is probably produced by the sublimation of migrating icy bodies, and provides a potential reservoir of water for terrestrial planets.

  12. CoRoT: a first space mission to find terrestrial planets (United States)

    Barge, P.; Baglin, A.; Auvergne, M.; Buey, J.-T.; Catala, C.; Michel, E.; Weiss, W. W.; Deleuil, M.; Jorda, L.; Moutou, C.; COROT Team


    CoRoT is a space mission devoted to broadband star photometry in visible light during long observing runs. Developed by CNES with a wide european cooperation, it will be launched in 2006 with two pionneering scientific programs: star seismology and detection of terrestrial planets. CoRoT will use the transit method looking for terrestrial planets slightly larger than the Earth. It will check the existence (or absence) of big ``hot-terrestrials" and will discover, quite certainly, a large number of close-in giants. Our understanding on the origin and evolution of these ``hot" planets will certainly be greatly improved thanks to the strong sample enlargement and to the possibility to measure the planet mass from Doppler follow-up. We give in this paper a brief overview of the instrument, the satellite and the expected detection capabilities. Planetary radii will be measured down to Uranus size around solar type stars and down to Earth size around M type stars. Orbital periods will be determined up to 75 days.

  13. Determining Symmetry Properties of Gravitational Fields of Terrestrial Group Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.A. Kascheev


    Full Text Available Numerous models of gravity fields of the Solar system bodies have been constructed recently owing to successful space missions. These models are sets of harmonic coefficients of gravity potential expansion in series of spherical functions, which is Laplace series. The sets of coefficients are different in quantity of numerical parameters, sources and composition of the initial observational data, methods to obtain and process them, and, consequently, in a variety of properties and accuracy characteristics. For this reason, the task of comparison of different models of celestial bodies considered in the paper is of interest and relevant. The main purpose of this study is comparison of the models of gravitational potential of the Earth, Moon, Mars, and Venus with the quantitative criteria of different types of symmetries developed by us. It is assumed that some particular symmetry of the density distribution function of the planetary body causes similar symmetry of its gravitational potential. The symmetry of gravitational potential, in its turn, imposes additional conditions (restrictions, which must be satisfied by the harmonic coefficients. The paper deals with seven main types of symmetries: central, axial, two symmetries specular relative to the equatorial planes and prime meridian, as well as three rotational symmetries (at π angle around the coordinate system axes. According to the results of calculations carried out for the Earth, Moon, Mars, and Venus, the values of the criteria vary considerably for different types of symmetries and for different planets. It means that the specific value of each criterion corresponding to a particular celestial body is indicative of the properties and internal structure characteristics of the latter and, therefore, it can be used as a tool for comparative planetology. On the basis of the performed calculations, it is possible to distinguish two groups of celestial bodies having similar properties of

  14. Formation and survival of water vapor in the terrestrial planet-forming region. (United States)

    Bethell, Thomas; Bergin, Edwin


    Recent astronomical observations have revealed what may prove to be the ubiquity of water vapor during the early stages of planet formation. We present here a simple mechanism showing how water vapor forms in situ and is capable of shielding itself from molecule-destroying stellar radiation. The absorption of this radiation by water can control the thermodynamics of the terrestrial planet-forming zone. Similar to Earth's ozone layer, which shelters the chemistry of life, the water layer protects other water molecules and allows for a rich organic chemistry. The total abundance of water vapor in the natal habitable zone is equal to that of several thousand oceans.

  15. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Jehin, Emmanuël; Agol, Eric; Deck, Katherine M.; Lederer, Susan M.; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Ingalls, James G.; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Raymond, Sean N.; Selsis, Franck; Turbet, Martin; Barkaoui, Khalid; Burgasser, Adam; Burleigh, Matthew R.; Carey, Sean J.; Chaushev, Aleksander; Copperwheat, Chris M.; Delrez, Laetitia; Fernandes, Catarina S.; Holdsworth, Daniel L.; Kotze, Enrico J.; Van Grootel, Valérie; Almleaky, Yaseen; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier


    One focus of modern astronomy is to detect temperate terrestrial exoplanets well-suited for atmospheric characterisation. A milestone was recently achieved with the detection of three Earth-sized planets transiting (i.e. passing in front of) a star just 8% the mass of the Sun 12 parsecs away1. Indeed, the transiting configuration of these planets combined with the Jupiter-like size of their host star - named TRAPPIST-1 - makes possible in-depth studies of their atmospheric properties with current and future astronomical facilities1,2,3. Here we report the results of an intensive photometric monitoring campaign of that star from the ground and with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our observations reveal that at least seven planets with sizes and masses similar to the Earth revolve around TRAPPIST-1. The six inner planets form a near-resonant chain such that their orbital periods (1.51, 2.42, 4.04, 6.06, 9.21, 12.35 days) are near ratios of small integers. This architecture suggests that the planets formed farther from the star and migrated inward4,5. The seven planets have equilibrium temperatures low enough to make possible liquid water on their surfaces6,7,8. PMID:28230125

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

    Jaupart, Etienne; Charnoz, Sebatien; Moreira, Manuel


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

  17. Accurate Treatment of Collisions and Water-Delivery in Models of Terrestrial Planet Formation (United States)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Maindl, Thomas; Schaefer, Christoph


    It is widely accepted that collisions among solid bodies, ignited by their interactions with planetary embryos is the key process in the formation of terrestrial planets and transport of volatiles and chemical compounds to their accretion zones. Unfortunately, due to computational complexities, these collisions are often treated in a rudimentary way. Impacts are considered to be perfectly inelastic and volatiles are considered to be fully transferred from one object to the other. This perfect-merging assumption has profound effects on the mass and composition of final planetary bodies as it grossly overestimates the masses of these objects and the amounts of volatiles and chemical elements transferred to them. It also entirely neglects collisional-loss of volatiles (e.g., water) and draws an unrealistic connection between these properties and the chemical structure of the protoplanetary disk (i.e., the location of their original carriers). We have developed a new and comprehensive methodology to simulate growth of embryos to planetary bodies where we use a combination of SPH and N-body codes to accurately model collisions as well as the transport/transfer of chemical compounds. Our methodology accounts for the loss of volatiles (e.g., ice sublimation) during the orbital evolution of their careers and accurately tracks their transfer from one body to another. Results of our simulations show that traditional N-body modeling of terrestrial planet formation overestimates the amount of the mass and water contents of the final planets by over 60% implying that not only the amount of water they suggest is far from being realistic, small planets such as Mars can also form in these simulations when collisions are treated properly. We will present details of our methodology and discuss its implications for terrestrial planet formation and water delivery to Earth.

  18. The carbonate-silicate cycle and CO2/climate feedbacks on tidally locked terrestrial planets. (United States)

    Edson, Adam R; Kasting, James F; Pollard, David; Lee, Sukyoung; Bannon, Peter R


    Atmospheric gaseous constituents play an important role in determining the surface temperatures and habitability of a planet. Using a global climate model and a parameterization of the carbonate-silicate cycle, we explored the effect of the location of the substellar point on the atmospheric CO(2) concentration and temperatures of a tidally locked terrestrial planet, using the present Earth continental distribution as an example. We found that the substellar point's location relative to the continents is an important factor in determining weathering and the equilibrium atmospheric CO(2) level. Placing the substellar point over the Atlantic Ocean results in an atmospheric CO(2) concentration of 7 ppmv and a global mean surface air temperature of 247 K, making ∼30% of the planet's surface habitable, whereas placing it over the Pacific Ocean results in a CO(2) concentration of 60,311 ppmv and a global temperature of 282 K, making ∼55% of the surface habitable.

  19. Space Weather Storm Responses at Mars: Lessons from A Weakly Magnetized Terrestrial Planet (United States)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Dong, C. F.; Ma, Y. J.; Curry, S. M.; Li, Yan; Lee, C. O.; Hara, T.; Lillis, R.; Halekas, J.; Connerney, J. E.; Espley, J.; Brain, D. A.; Dong, Y.; Jakosky, B. M.; Thiemann, E.; Eparvier, F.; Leblanc, F.; Withers, P.; Russell, C. T.


    Much can be learned from terrestrial planets that appear to have had the potential to be habitable, but failed to realize that potential. Mars shows evidence of a once hospitable surface environment. The reasons for its current state, and in particular its thin atmosphere and dry surface, are of great interest for what they can tell us about habitable zone planet outcomes. A main goal of the MAVEN mission is to observe Mars' atmosphere responses to solar and space weather influences, and in particular atmosphere escape related to space weather `storms' caused by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). Numerical experiments with a data-validated MHD model suggest how the effects of an observed moderately strong ICME compare to what happens during a more extreme event. The results suggest the kinds of solar and space weather conditions that can have evolutionary importance at a planet like Mars.

  20. Water loss from terrestrial planets with CO{sub 2}-rich atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Pierrehumbert, R. T., E-mail: [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 60637 IL (United States)


    Water photolysis and hydrogen loss from the upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets is of fundamental importance to climate evolution but remains poorly understood in general. Here we present a range of calculations we performed to study the dependence of water loss rates from terrestrial planets on a range of atmospheric and external parameters. We show that CO{sub 2} can only cause significant water loss by increasing surface temperatures over a narrow range of conditions, with cooling of the middle and upper atmosphere acting as a bottleneck on escape in other circumstances. Around G-stars, efficient loss only occurs on planets with intermediate CO{sub 2} atmospheric partial pressures (0.1-1 bar) that receive a net flux close to the critical runaway greenhouse limit. Because G-star total luminosity increases with time but X-ray and ultraviolet/ultravoilet luminosity decreases, this places strong limits on water loss for planets like Earth. In contrast, for a CO{sub 2}-rich early Venus, diffusion limits on water loss are only important if clouds caused strong cooling, implying that scenarios where the planet never had surface liquid water are indeed plausible. Around M-stars, water loss is primarily a function of orbital distance, with planets that absorb less flux than ∼270 W m{sup –2} (global mean) unlikely to lose more than one Earth ocean of H{sub 2}O over their lifetimes unless they lose all their atmospheric N{sub 2}/CO{sub 2} early on. Because of the variability of H{sub 2}O delivery during accretion, our results suggest that many 'Earth-like' exoplanets in the habitable zone may have ocean-covered surfaces, stable CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O-rich atmospheres, and high mean surface temperatures.

  1. How can periodic orbits puzzle out the coexistence of terrestrial planets with giant eccentric ones? (United States)

    Antoniadou, K. I.; Libert, A.-S.


    Hitherto unprecedented detections of exoplanets have been triggered by missions and ground based telescopes. The quest of ``exo-Earths'' has become intriguing and the long-term stability of planetary orbits is a crucial factor for the biosphere to evolve. Planets in mean-motion resonances (MMRs) prompt the investigation of the dynamics in the framework of the three-body problem, where the families of stable periodic orbits constitute the backbone of stability domains in phase space. In this talk, we address the question of the possible coexistence of terrestrial planets with a giant companion on circular or eccentric orbit and explore the extent of the stability regions, when both the eccentricity of the outer giant planet and the semi-major axis of the inner terrestrial one vary, i.e. we investigate both non-resonant and resonant configurations. The families of periodic orbits in the restricted three-body problem are computed for the 3/2, 2/1, 5/2, 3/1, 4/1 and 5/1 MMRs. We then construct maps of dynamical stability (DS-maps) to identify the boundaries of the stability domains where such a coexistence is allowed. Guided by the periodic orbits, we delve into regular motion in phase space and propose the essential values of the orbital elements, in order for such configurations to survive long time spans and hence, for observations to be complemented or revised.

  2. The role of pre-impact topography in impact melt emplacement on terrestrial planets (United States)

    Neish, C. D.; Herrick, R. R.; Zanetti, M.; Smith, D.


    On terrestrial planets, flow-like deposits of impact melt are commonly found exterior to fresh impact craters. Often, these deposits are asymmetric about the crater rim, and the direction of flow may relate to either the pre-impact topography or the impact azimuth. In this work, we seek to determine the primary mechanism responsible for impact melt emplacement on two very different terrestrial worlds: the Moon and Venus. Newly derived stereo topography data allows us to investigate the role of pre-impact topography in melt emplacement on Venus for the first time. We determine that pre-impact topography plays an important role in melt emplacement around complex craters on the Moon but not on Venus. This difference may relate to the differences in gravity (and hence, crater depth and melt volume) on the two worlds. Melt trapped in the relatively deep lunar craters may require additional momentum to be pushed over the crater rim, and therefore emerges preferentially from the region of rim crest low. This added momentum might come from uplift during the crater modification stage. For the shallower craters on Venus, the downrange momentum imparted in oblique impacts may be sufficient to push the melt up and over the crater rim, explaining the correlation between melt direction and impact azimuth. Understanding the emplacement of impact melt on terrestrial planets of different sizes and geologic histories provides added insight into the impact cratering process.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Bustamante, Sebastian; Cuartas, Pablo A. [Instituto de Fisica-FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 67 No. 53-108, Medellin (Colombia); Hoyos, Jaime H., E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail: [Departamento de Ciencias Basicas, Universidad de Medellin, Carrera 87 No. 30-65, Medellin (Colombia)


    Magnetic protection of potentially habitable planets plays a central role in determining their actual habitability and/or the chances of detecting atmospheric biosignatures. Here we develop a thermal evolution model of potentially habitable Earth-like planets and super-Earths (SEs). Using up-to-date dynamo-scaling laws, we predict the properties of core dynamo magnetic fields and study the influence of thermal evolution on their properties. The level of magnetic protection of tidally locked and unlocked planets is estimated by combining simplified models of the planetary magnetosphere and a phenomenological description of the stellar wind. Thermal evolution introduces a strong dependence of magnetic protection on planetary mass and rotation rate. Tidally locked terrestrial planets with an Earth-like composition would have early dayside magnetopause distances between 1.5 and 4.0 R{sub p} , larger than previously estimated. Unlocked planets with periods of rotation {approx}1 day are protected by magnetospheres extending between 3 and 8 R{sub p} . Our results are robust in comparison with variations in planetary bulk composition and uncertainties in other critical model parameters. For illustration purposes, the thermal evolution and magnetic protection of the potentially habitable SEs GL 581d, GJ 667Cc, and HD 40307g were also studied. Assuming an Earth-like composition, we found that the dynamos of these planets are already extinct or close to being shut down. While GL 581d is the best protected, the protection of HD 40307g cannot be reliably estimated. GJ 667Cc, even under optimistic conditions, seems to be severely exposed to the stellar wind, and, under the conditions of our model, has probably suffered massive atmospheric losses.

  4. Terrestrial exo-planet science by nulling interferometry: instrument design and scientific performance (United States)

    Wallner, Oswald; Ergenzinger, Klaus; Johann, Ulrich


    The detection of terrestrial exo-planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars as well as the proof of biomarkers is one of the most exciting goals in Astrophysics today. A nulling interferometer operated in the mid-infrared wavelength regime allows for overcoming the obstacles of huge contrast ratio and small angular separation between star and planet. Dedicated missions, as ESA's DARWIN or NASA's TPF-I, are implemented as a closely controlled formation of free-flying spacecraft which carry the distributed payload. We discuss various implementation alternatives and present an optimized design of the DARWIN instrument including the science payload and the formation-flying subsystem. We analyze the achievable scientific performance of the DARWIN instrument by taking into account the target properties and the instrument performance. We show that the DARWIN mission is feasible and that the mission goals can be fulfilled.

  5. The origin of methane and biomolecules from a CO2 cycle on terrestrial planets

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Civiš, Svatopluk; Knížek, Antonín; Ivanek, Ondřej; Kubelík, Petr; Zukalová, Markéta; Kavan, Ladislav; Ferus, Martin


    Roč. 1, č. 10 (2017), s. 721-726 E-ISSN 2397-3366 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA17-05076S; GA ČR GA13-07724S Grant - others:Akademie věd - GA AV ČR(CZ) R200401721; Akademie věd - GA AV ČR(CZ) R200401521 Institutional support: RVO:61388955 Keywords : biomolecules * CO2 cycle on terrestrial planets * Mars Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry

  6. A Versatile Technique to Enable Sub-milli-Kelvin Instrument Stability for Precise Radial Velocity Measurements: Tests with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (United States)

    Stefansson, Gudmundur; Hearty, Frederick; Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Anderson, Tyler; Levi, Eric; Bender, Chad; Nelson, Matthew; Monson, Andrew; Blank, Basil; Halverson, Samuel; Henderson, Chuck; Ramsey, Lawrence; Roy, Arpita; Schwab, Christian; Terrien, Ryan


    Insufficient instrument thermomechanical stability is one of the many roadblocks for achieving 10 cm s-1 Doppler radial velocity precision, the precision needed to detect Earth-twins orbiting solar-type stars. Highly temperature and pressure stabilized spectrographs allow us to better calibrate out instrumental drifts, thereby helping in distinguishing instrumental noise from astrophysical stellar signals. We present the design and performance of the Environmental Control System (ECS) for the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF), a high-resolution (R = 50,000) fiber-fed near-infrared (NIR) spectrograph for the 10 {{m}} Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory. HPF will operate at 180 {{K}}, driven by the choice of an H2RG NIR detector array with a 1.7 μ {{m}} cutoff. This ECS has demonstrated 0.6 {mK} rms stability over 15 days at both 180 and 300 {{K}}, and maintained high-quality vacuum (\\lt {10}-7 {Torr}) over months, during long-term stability tests conducted without a planned passive thermal enclosure surrounding the vacuum chamber. This control scheme is versatile and can be applied as a blueprint to stabilize future NIR and optical high-precision Doppler instruments over a wide temperature range from ˜77 {{K}} to elevated room temperatures. A similar ECS is being implemented to stabilize NEID, the NASA/NSF NN-EXPLORE spectrograph for the 3.5 {{m}} WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak, operating at 300 {{K}}. A [full SolidWorks 3D-CAD model] and a comprehensive parts list of the HPF ECS are included with this manuscript to facilitate the adaptation of this versatile environmental control scheme in the broader astronomical community. Certain commercial equipment, instruments, or materials are identified in this paper in order to specify the experimental procedure adequately. Such identification is not intended to imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor is it intended to imply that the materials or equipment

  7. Critical Masses for Various Terrestrial Planet Atmospheric Gases and Water in/on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin-gun Liu


    Full Text Available The lower critical mass boundaries (CM for various atmospheric gas species on terrestrial planets are estimated. The CM is different for different gas molecules. Except for He, the observed atmospheric compositions of the terrestrial planets are consistent with these estimates. The lower CM boundary for gaseous H2O is calculated as 8.06 × 1026 g, which is significantly greater than the Martian mass (6.419 × 1026 g. Thus, Mars is not capable of retaining H2O in its atmosphere. If the speculated ocean on Mars and the claimed H2O ice in the Martian soil are true, both the ocean and ice had to be derived earlier from H2O degassed from the Martian interior after the surface temperature cooled much below 100°C. These watery bodies cannot be sustained for long durations because evaporation and sublimation would turn them into gaseous H2O, which would be lost to outer-space. It is concluded that H2O in/on Mars is inherent and that the primordial planetesimals that formed Mars must have contained appreciable amounts of hydrous minerals, if the oceans and/or H2O ice on Mars are true.

  8. Abiotic nitrogen fixation on terrestrial planets: reduction of NO to ammonia by FeS. (United States)

    Summers, David P; Basa, Ranor C B; Khare, Bishun; Rodoni, David


    Understanding the abiotic fixation of nitrogen and how such fixation can be a supply of prebiotic nitrogen is critical for understanding both the planetary evolution of, and the potential origin of life on, terrestrial planets. As nitrogen is a biochemically essential element, sources of biochemically accessible nitrogen, especially reduced nitrogen, are critical to prebiotic chemistry and the origin of life. Loss of atmospheric nitrogen can result in loss of the ability to sustain liquid water on a planetary surface, which would impact planetary habitability and hydrological processes that shape the surface. It is known that NO can be photochemically converted through a chain of reactions to form nitrate and nitrite, which can be subsequently reduced to ammonia. Here, we show that NO can also be directly reduced, by FeS, to ammonia. In addition to removing nitrogen from the atmosphere, this reaction is particularly important as a source of reduced nitrogen on an early terrestrial planet. By converting NO directly to ammonia in a single step, ammonia is formed with a higher product yield (~50%) than would be possible through the formation of nitrate/nitrite and subsequent conversion to ammonia. In conjunction with the reduction of NO, there is also a catalytic disproportionation at the mineral surface that converts NO to NO₂ and N₂O. The NO₂ is then converted to ammonia, while the N₂O is released back in the gas phase, which provides an abiotic source of nitrous oxide.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  10. Geometric principles for constructing radar panoramas of the surface of Venus: Hypsometric features of the Moon and terrestrial planets (United States)

    Rzhiga, O. N.; Tyuflin, Y. S.; Belenkiy, Y. G.; Rodionova, Z. F.; Dekhtyareva, K. I.


    The physographic curves of the moon and terrestrial planets, drawn both for the entire surface as a whole and for individual hemispheres, were compared to discover the common consistencies and individual features in the distribution of hypsometric levels. In 1983 to 1984 the automated interplanetary stations (AMS) Venera 15 and 16 made radar maps of the planet Venus. The synthesized images are the basic initial material for photogrammetric and catrographic processing to create maps of the Venus surface. These principles are discussed.

  11. Synthetic spectra of simulated terrestrial atmospheres containing possible biomarker gases (United States)

    Schindler, T. L.; Kasting, J. F.


    NASA's proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder, a space-based interferometer, will eventually allow spectroscopic analyses of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. Such analyses would provide information about the existence of life on these planets. One strategy in the search for life is to look for evidence of O3 (and hence O2) in a planet's atmosphere; another is to look for gases that might be present in an atmosphere analogous to that of the inhabited early Earth. In order to investigate these possibilities, we have calculated synthetic spectra for several hypothetical terrestrial-type atmospheres. The model atmospheres represent four different scenarios. The first two, representing inhabited terrestrial planets, are an Earth-like atmosphere containing variable amounts of oxygen and an early Earth-type atmosphere containing methane. In addition, two cases representing Mars-like and early Venus-like atmospheres were evaluated, to provide possible "false positive" spectra. The calculated spectra suggest that ozone could be detected by an instrument like Terrestrial Planet Finder if the O2 concentration in the planet's atmosphere is > or = 200 ppm, or 10(-3) times the present atmospheric level. Methane should be observable on an early-Earth type planet if it is present in concentrations of 100 ppm or more. Methane has both biogenic and abiogenic sources, but concentrations exceeding 1000 ppm, or 0.1% by volume, would be difficult to produce from abiogenic sources alone. High methane concentrations in a planet's atmosphere are therefore another potential indicator for extraterrestrial life.

  12. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Terrestrial Planets: Building Blocks and Differentiation (United States)


    The session "Terrestrial Planets: Building Blocks and Differentiation: included the following topics:Magnesium Isotopes in the Earth, Moon, Mars, and Pallasite Parent Body: High-Precision Analysis of Olivine by Laser-Ablation Multi-Collector ICPMS; Meteoritic Constraints on Collision Rates in the Primordial Asteroid Belt and Its Origin; New Constraints on the Origin of the Highly Siderophile Elements in the Earth's Upper Mantle; Further Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd Isotopic Data on Planetary Materials and Consequences for Planetary Differentiation; A Deep Lunar Magma Ocean Based on Neodymium, Strontium and Hafnium Isotope Mass Balance Partial Resetting on Hf-W System by Giant Impacts; On the Problem of Metal-Silicate Equilibration During Planet Formation: Significance for Hf-W Chronometry ; Solid Metal-Liquid Metal Partitioning of Pt, Re, and Os: The Effect of Carbon; Siderophile Element Abundances in Fe-S-Ni-O Melts Segregated from Partially Molten Ordinary Chondrite Under Dynamic Conditions; Activity Coefficients of Silicon in Iron-Nickel Alloys: Experimental Determination and Relevance for Planetary Differentiation; Reinvestigation of the Ni and Co Metal-Silicate Partitioning; Metal/Silicate Paritioning of P, Ga, and W at High Pressures and Temperatures: Dependence on Silicate Melt Composition; and Closure of the Fe-S-Si Liquid Miscibility Gap at High Pressure and Its Implications for Planetary Core Formation.

  13. Magma ocean fractional crystallization and cumulate overturn in terrestrial planets: Implications for Mars (United States)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Parmentier, E. M.; Hess, P. C.


    Crystallization of a magma ocean on a large terrestrial planet that is significantly melted by the energy of accretion may lead to an unstable cumulate density stratification, which may overturn to a stable configuration. Overturn of the initially unstable stratification may produce an early basaltic crust and differentiated mantle reservoirs. Such a stable compositional stratification can have important implications for the planet's subsequent evolution by delaying or suppressing thermal convection and by influencing the distribution of radiogenic heat sources. We use simple models for fractional crystallization of a martian magma ocean, and calculate the densities of the resulting cumulates. While the simple models presented do not include all relevant physical processes, they are able to describe to first order a number of aspects of martian evolution. The models describe the creation of magma source regions that differentiated early in the history of Mars, and present the possibility of an early, brief magnetic field initiated by cold overturned cumulates falling to the core- mantle boundary. In a model that includes the density inversion at about 7.5 GPa, where olivine and pyroxene float in the remaining magma ocean liquids while garnet sinks, cumulate overturn sequesters alumina in the deep martian interior. The ages and compositions of source regions are consistent with SNC meteorite data.

  14. Refractory Abundances of Terrestrial Planets and Their Stars: Testing [Si/Fe] Correlations with TESS and PLATO (United States)

    Wolfgang, Angie; Fortney, Jonathan


    In standard models for planet formation, solid material in protoplanetary disks coagulate and collide to form rocky bodies. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that their chemical composition will follow the abundances of refractory elements, such as Si and Fe, in the host star, which has also accreted material from the disk. Backed by planet formation simulations which validate this assumption, planetary internal structure models have begun to use stellar abundances to break degeneracies in low-mass planet compositions inferred only from mass and radius. Inconveniently, our own Solar System contradicts this approach, as its terrestrial bodies exhibit a range of rock/iron ratios and the Sun's [Si/Fe] ratio is offset from the mean planetary [Si/Fe]. In this work, we explore what number and quality of observations we need to empirically measure the exoplanet-star [Si/Fe] correlation, given future transit missions, RV follow-up, and stellar characterization. Specifically, we generate synthetic datasets of terrestrial planet masses and radii and host star abundances assuming that the planets’ bulk [Si/Fe] ratio exactly tracks that of their host stars. We assign measurement uncertainties corresponding to expected precisions for TESS, PLATO, Gaia, and future RV instrumentation, and then invert the problem to infer the planet-star [Si/Fe] correlation given these observational constraints. Comparing the result to the generated truth, we find that 1% precision on the planet radii is needed to test whether [Si/Fe] ratios are correlated between exoplanet and host star. On the other hand, lower precisions can test for systematic offsets between planet and star [Si/Fe], which can constrain the importance of giant impacts for extrasolar terrestrial planet formation.

  15. Terrestrial planet formation in a protoplanetary disk with a local mass depletion: A successful scenario for the formation of Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izidoro, A.; Winter, O. C. [UNESP, Univ. Estadual Paulista - Grupo de Dinâmica Orbital and Planetologia, Guaratinguetá, CEP 12.516-410, São Paulo (Brazil); Haghighipour, N. [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Tsuchida, M., E-mail:, E-mail: [UNESP, Univ. Estadual Paulista, DCCE-IBILCE, São José do Rio Preto, CEP 15.054-000, São Paulo (Brazil)


    Models of terrestrial planet formation for our solar system have been successful in producing planets with masses and orbits similar to those of Venus and Earth. However, these models have generally failed to produce Mars-sized objects around 1.5 AU. The body that is usually formed around Mars' semimajor axis is, in general, much more massive than Mars. Only when Jupiter and Saturn are assumed to have initially very eccentric orbits (e ∼ 0.1), which seems fairly unlikely for the solar system, or alternately, if the protoplanetary disk is truncated at 1.0 AU, simulations have been able to produce Mars-like bodies in the correct location. In this paper, we examine an alternative scenario for the formation of Mars in which a local depletion in the density of the protosolar nebula results in a non-uniform formation of planetary embryos and ultimately the formation of Mars-sized planets around 1.5 AU. We have carried out extensive numerical simulations of the formation of terrestrial planets in such a disk for different scales of the local density depletion, and for different orbital configurations of the giant planets. Our simulations point to the possibility of the formation of Mars-sized bodies around 1.5 AU, specifically when the scale of the disk local mass-depletion is moderately high (50%-75%) and Jupiter and Saturn are initially in their current orbits. In these systems, Mars-analogs are formed from the protoplanetary materials that originate in the regions of disk interior or exterior to the local mass-depletion. Results also indicate that Earth-sized planets can form around 1 AU with a substantial amount of water accreted via primitive water-rich planetesimals and planetary embryos. We present the results of our study and discuss their implications for the formation of terrestrial planets in our solar system.

  16. Water and the Interior Structure of Terrestrial Planets and Icy Bodies (United States)

    Monteux, J.; Golabek, G. J.; Rubie, D. C.; Tobie, G.; Young, E. D.


    Water content and the internal evolution of terrestrial planets and icy bodies are closely linked. The distribution of water in planetary systems is controlled by the temperature structure in the protoplanetary disk and dynamics and migration of planetesimals and planetary embryos. This results in the formation of planetesimals and planetary embryos with a great variety of compositions, water contents and degrees of oxidation. The internal evolution and especially the formation time of planetesimals relative to the timescale of radiogenic heating by short-lived 26Al decay may govern the amount of hydrous silicates and leftover rock-ice mixtures available in the late stages of their evolution. In turn, water content may affect the early internal evolution of the planetesimals and in particular metal-silicate separation processes. Moreover, water content may contribute to an increase of oxygen fugacity and thus affect the concentrations of siderophile elements within the silicate reservoirs of Solar System objects. Finally, the water content strongly influences the differentiation rate of the icy moons, controls their internal evolution and governs the alteration processes occurring in their deep interiors.

  17. Repercussions of thermal atmospheric tides on the rotation of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (United States)

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


    Semidiurnal atmospheric thermal tides are important for terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone of their host stars. With solid tides, they torque these planets, thus contributing to determine their rotation states as well as their climate. Given the complex dynamics of thermal tides, analytical models are essential to understand its dependence on the structure and rotation of planetary atmospheres and the tidal frequency. In this context, the state of the art model proposed in the 60’s by Lindzen and Chapman explains well the properties of thermal tides in the asymptotic regime of Earth-like rapid rotators but predicts a non-physical diverging tidal torque in the vicinity of the spin-orbit synchronization. In this work, we present a new model that addresses this issue by taking into account dissipative processes through a Newtonian cooling. First, we recover the tidal torque recently obtained with numerical simulations using General Circulation Models (GCM). Second, we show that the tidal response is very sensitive to the atmospheric structure, particularly to the stability with respect to convection. A strong stable stratification is able to annihilate the atmospheric tidal torque, leading to synchronization, while a convective atmosphere will be submitted to a strong torque, leading to a non-synchronized rotation state.

  18. 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.

  19. Scaling of time-dependent stagnant lid convection: Application to small-scale convection on Earth and other terrestrial planets (United States)

    Solomatov, V. S.; Moresi, L.-N.


    Small-scale convection associated with instabilities at the bottom of the lithospheric plates on the Earth and other terrestrial planets occurs in the stagnant lid regime of temperature-dependent viscosity convection. Systematic numerical simulations of time-dependent, internally heated stagnant lid convection suggest simple scaling relationships for a variety of convective parameters and in a broad range of power law viscosities. Application of these scaling relationships to the Earth's oceanic lithosphere shows that for either diffusion or dislocation viscosity of olivine, convective instabilities occur in the lower part of the lithosphere between 85 and 100 km depth (the rheological sublayer). ``Wet'' olivine satisfies constraints on the heat flux and mantle temperature better than ``dry'' olivine, supporting the view that the upper mantle of the Earth is wet. This is also consistent with the fact that the rheological sublayer is located below the Gutenberg discontinuity which was proposed to represent a sharp change in water content. The viscosity of asthenosphere is (3-6)×1018Pas, consistent with previous estimates. The velocities of cold plumes are relatively high reaching several meters per year in the dislocation creep regime. A low value of the heat flux in old continental cratons suggests that continental lithosphere might be convectively stable unless it is perturbed by processes associated with plate tectonics and hot plumes. The absence of plate tectonics on other terrestrial planets and the low heat transport efficiency of stagnant lid convection can lead to widespread melting during the thermal evolution of the terrestrial planets. If the terrestrial planets are dry, small-scale convection cannot occur at subsolidus temperatures.

  20. Collisional erosion and the non-chondritic composition of the terrestrial planets. (United States)

    O'Neill, Hugh St C; Palme, Herbert


    The compositional variations among the chondrites inform us about cosmochemical fractionation processes during condensation and aggregation of solid matter from the solar nebula. These fractionations include: (i) variable Mg-Si-RLE ratios (RLE: refractory lithophile element), (ii) depletions in elements more volatile than Mg, (iii) a cosmochemical metal-silicate fractionation, and (iv) variations in oxidation state. Moon- to Mars-sized planetary bodies, formed by rapid accretion of chondrite-like planetesimals in local feeding zones within 106 years, may exhibit some of these chemical variations. However, the next stage of planetary accretion is the growth of the terrestrial planets from approximately 102 embryos sourced across wide heliocentric distances, involving energetic collisions, in which material may be lost from a growing planet as well as gained. While this may result in averaging out of the 'chondritic' fractionations, it introduces two non-chondritic chemical fractionation processes: post-nebular volatilization and preferential collisional erosion. In the latter, geochemically enriched crust formed previously is preferentially lost. That post-nebular volatilization was widespread is demonstrated by the non-chondritic Mn/Na ratio in all the small, differentiated, rocky bodies for which we have basaltic samples, including the Moon and Mars. The bulk silicate Earth (BSE) has chondritic Mn/Na, but shows several other compositional features in its pattern of depletion of volatile elements suggestive of non-chondritic fractionation. The whole-Earth Fe/Mg ratio is 2.1+/-0.1, significantly greater than the solar ratio of 1.9+/-0.1, implying net collisional erosion of approximately 10 per cent silicate relative to metal during the Earth's accretion. If this collisional erosion preferentially removed differentiated crust, the assumption of chondritic ratios among all RLEs in the BSE would not be valid, with the BSE depleted in elements according to their

  1. The Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Planets:Clues to the Origins and Early Evolution of Venus, Earth, and Mars (United States)

    Baines, Kevin H.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Bullock, Mark A.; Grinspoon, David H,; Mahaffy, Paul; Russell, Christopher T.; Schubert, Gerald; Zahnle, Kevin


    We review the current state of knowledge of the origin and early evolution of the three largest terrestrial planets - Venus, Earth, and Mars - setting the stage for the chapters on comparative climatological processes to follow. We summarize current models of planetary formation, as revealed by studies of solid materials from Earth and meteorites from Mars. For Venus, we emphasize the known differences and similarities in planetary bulk properties and composition with Earth and Mars, focusing on key properties indicative of planetary formation and early evolution, particularly of the atmospheres of all three planets. We review the need for future in situ measurements for improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of our planetary neighbors and Earth, and suggest the accuracies required of such new in situ data. Finally, we discuss the role new measurements of Mars and Venus have in understanding the state and evolution of planets found in the habitable zones of other stars.

  2. Nitrogen fixation on early Mars and other terrestrial planets: experimental demonstration of abiotic fixation reactions to nitrite and nitrate. (United States)

    Summers, David P; Khare, Bishun


    Understanding the abiotic fixation of nitrogen is critical to understanding planetary evolution and the potential origin of life on terrestrial planets. Nitrogen, an essential biochemical element, is certainly necessary for life as we know it to arise. The loss of atmospheric nitrogen can result in an incapacity to sustain liquid water and impact planetary habitability and hydrological processes that shape the surface. However, our current understanding of how such fixation may occur is almost entirely theoretical. This work experimentally examines the chemistry, in both gas and aqueous phases, that would occur from the formation of NO and CO by the shock heating of a model carbon dioxide/nitrogen atmosphere such as is currently thought to exist on early terrestrial planets. The results show that two pathways exist for the abiotic fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere into the crust: one via HNO and another via NO(2). Fixation via HNO, which requires liquid water, could represent fixation on a planet with liquid water (and hence would also be a source of nitrogen for the origin of life). The pathway via NO(2) does not require liquid water and shows that fixation could occur even when liquid water has been lost from a planet's surface (for example, continuing to remove nitrogen through NO(2) reaction with ice, adsorbed water, etc.).

  3. Implications of the TTV-detection of close-in terrestrial planets around M stars for their origin and dynamical evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rastegar S.


    Full Text Available It has been shown that an Earth-size planet or a super-Earth, in resonance with a transiting Jupiter-like body around an M star, can create detectable TTV signals (Kirste & Haghighipour, 2011. Given the low masses of M stars and their circumstellar disks, it is expected that the transiting giant planet to have formed at large distances and migrated to its close-in orbit. That implies, the terrestrial planet has to form during the migration of the giant planet, be captured in resonances, and migrate with the giant body to short-period orbits. To determine the possibility of this scenario, we have studied the dynamics of a disk of protoplanetary embryos and the formation of terrestrial planets during the migration of a Jupiter-like planet around an M star. Results suggest that unless the terrestrial planet was also formed at large distances and carried to its close-in resonant orbit by the giant planet, it is unlikely for this object to form in small orbits. We present the details of our simulations and discuss the implication of the results for the origin of the terrestrial planet.

  4. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Thermal models of Mercury. Ph.D. Thesis (United States)

    Leake, M. A.


    Recent and more complex thermal models of Mercury and the terrestrial planets are discussed or noted. These models isolate a particular aspect of the planet's thermal history in an attempt to understand that parameter. Among these topics are thermal conductivity, convection, radiogenic sources of heat, other heat sources, and the problem of the molten core and regenerative dynamo.

  5. Multilingual Maps of the Terrestrial Planets and their Moons: the East and Central European Edition (United States)

    Hargitai, H.; Berczi, Sz.

    added more details. We also look for a new color-code, since the natural terrestrial map colors scheme can not be used here: colors like blue or green can be misinterpreted easily. The colors on a terrestrial topographic map use a color system that reflects general vegetation cover (green) and the hydrologic system (blue). Part of this color system, however, can also be found in nature: in yellowing leaves (green-yellow-brown). On Mars or the Moon we try to find a color system that reflect the general colors of these planets but also allows discretion of the colors that reflect height or/and terrain type. The maps are available via internet for free pdf download at References: Hargitai H. I., Rükl A., Gabzdyl P., Roša D., Kundera T., Marjanac T., Ozimkowsky W., Peneva E., Bandrova T., Oreshina L. S., Baeva L. Y, Krasnopevtseva B. V, Shingareva K. B. (2001-2006) Maps of Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Phobos and Deimos, Central European Edition. Budapest 2 Shingareva K. B., J. Zimbelman, M. Buchroithner, H. I. Hargitai (2006): The Realization of ICA Commission Projects on Planetary Cartography Cartographica Volume 40, issue 4. 3

  6. The non-homogeneous accumulation model for terrestrial planet formation and the consequences for the atmosphere of Venus (United States)

    Turekian, K. K.; Clark, S. P., Jr.


    The nonhomogeneous-accumulation model for the formation of the terrestrial planets is described, and its consequences for the formation of the Venusian atmosphere are assayed in the context of our knowledge of the composition of the earth and carbonaceous chondrites. The relative abundances of the low-temperature condensibles in the reservoirs at the earth's surface are applied to Venus. Although carbonaceous chondrites show similar properties for the chemically bound elements, they show large deficiencies for the rare gases. The major gases on Venus, by volume, are predicted to be 98.12% CO2, 1.86% N2 and 0.02% Ar-40.

  7. 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].

  8. The provenances of asteroids, and their contributions to the volatile inventories of the terrestrial planets

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Alexander, C M O'D; Bowden, R; Fogel, M L; Howard, K T; Herd, C D K; Nittler, L R


    Determining the source(s) of hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen accreted by Earth is important for understanding the origins of water and life and for constraining dynamical processes that operated during planet formation...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David; Dumusque, Xavier; Gettel, Sara; Latham, David W.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Johnson, John Asher; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Pepe, Francesco; Udry, Stéphane; Lovis, Christophe [Observatoire Astronomique de l' Université de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix (Switzerland); Collier Cameron, Andrew; Haywood, Raphaëlle D. [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews Fife KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Molinari, Emilio; Cosentino, Rosario; Fiorenzano, Aldo F. M.; Harutyunyan, Avet [INAF - Fundación Galileo Galilei, Rambla José Ana Fernandez Pérez 7, E-38712 Breña Baja (Spain); Affer, Laura [INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, I-90124 Palermo (Italy); Bonomo, Aldo S. [INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Pino Torinese (Italy); Figueira, Pedro, E-mail: [Centro de Astrofìsica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); and others


    Kepler-93b is a 1.478 ± 0.019 R {sub ⊕} planet with a 4.7 day period around a bright (V = 10.2), astroseismically characterized host star with a mass of 0.911 ± 0.033 M {sub ☉} and a radius of 0.919 ± 0.011 R {sub ☉}. Based on 86 radial velocity observations obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo and 32 archival Keck/HIRES observations, we present a precise mass estimate of 4.02 ± 0.68 M {sub ⊕}. The corresponding high density of 6.88 ± 1.18 g cm{sup –3} is consistent with a rocky composition of primarily iron and magnesium silicate. We compare Kepler-93b to other dense planets with well-constrained parameters and find that between 1 and 6 M {sub ⊕}, all dense planets including the Earth and Venus are well-described by the same fixed ratio of iron to magnesium silicate. There are as of yet no examples of such planets with masses >6 M {sub ⊕}. All known planets in this mass regime have lower densities requiring significant fractions of volatiles or H/He gas. We also constrain the mass and period of the outer companion in the Kepler-93 system from the long-term radial velocity trend and archival adaptive optics images. As the sample of dense planets with well-constrained masses and radii continues to grow, we will be able to test whether the fixed compositional model found for the seven dense planets considered in this paper extends to the full population of 1-6 M {sub ⊕} planets.

  10. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Jehin, Emmanuël; Agol, Eric; Deck, Katherine M; Lederer, Susan M; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Ingalls, James G; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Raymond, Sean N; Selsis, Franck; Turbet, Martin; Barkaoui, Khalid; Burgasser, Adam; Burleigh, Matthew R; Carey, Sean J; Chaushev, Aleksander; Copperwheat, Chris M; Delrez, Laetitia; Fernandes, Catarina S; Holdsworth, Daniel L; Kotze, Enrico J; Van Grootel, Valérie; Almleaky, Yaseen; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier


    One aim of modern astronomy is to detect temperate, Earth-like exoplanets that are well suited for atmospheric characterization. Recently, three Earth-sized planets were detected that transit (that is, pass in front of) a star with a mass just eight per cent that of the Sun, located 12 parsecs away. The transiting configuration of these planets, combined with the Jupiter-like size of their host star-named TRAPPIST-1-makes possible in-depth studies of their atmospheric properties with present-day and future astronomical facilities. Here we report the results of a photometric monitoring campaign of that star from the ground and space. Our observations reveal that at least seven planets with sizes and masses similar to those of Earth revolve around TRAPPIST-1. The six inner planets form a near-resonant chain, such that their orbital periods (1.51, 2.42, 4.04, 6.06, 9.1 and 12.35 days) are near-ratios of small integers. This architecture suggests that the planets formed farther from the star and migrated inwards. Moreover, the seven planets have equilibrium temperatures low enough to make possible the presence of liquid water on their surfaces.

  11. Constraints on the Mineral Evolution of Terrestrial Planets Using Statistical Correlations Among the Mineral-Forming Elements (United States)

    Hummer, D. R.; Hazen, R. M.; Golden, J.; Downs, R. T.


    The mineralogy of terrestrial planets is governed not only by size, bulk chemical composition, planetary differentiation processes, and secondary geochemical processes, but also by the fundamental way in which a planet's constituent elements parse themselves into mineral species. To gain insight into which elements tend to associate with each other to form minerals, we have used the IMA mineralogical database ( to conduct a statistical analysis of the number of known mineral species containing each of the 72 mineral-forming elements, as well as how many species contain both X and Y for every possible X-Y pair of elements. The frequency with which elements X and Y occur together in the nominal chemical formulae of minerals was compared with the expected rate of co-occurrence (assuming that elements are distributed among mineral species randomly). The results reveal that among the most strongly correlated element pairs are H-O, Na-Si, Al-Si, S-Ag, O-Si, Si-Ca, and O-Ca. Examples of strongly anti-correlated pairs are O-S, O-Ag, Si-S, O-Sb, O-Se, H-Ag, and Si-As. The strength of these correlations and anti-correlations varied by many orders of magnitude (as measured by their p-value in a chi-squared test for variable dependence), ranging from near 1 to an astounding 10-304. Out of 2520 unique element pairs, 1688 were statistically significant (p-value groups, 2) crystal chemical considerations of size and charge similarities among cations, especially within silicate structures, 3) group relationships on the periodic table, and 4) soft vs. hard ion relationships. These principles, along with the specific correlations they produce, can serve as a valuable guide in explaining the mineral evolution of Earth's crust, and predicting the mineralogy of terrestrial planets even when the bulk composition is significantly different than that of Earth.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  13. Tectonomagmatic evolution of the terrestrial planets: importance for understanding of processes of their formation and subsequent development (United States)

    Sharkov, E.; Bogatikov, O.


    Our knowledge about formation and evolution of the terrestrial planets (the Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury and, possibly, the Moon) based on different physical and geochemical speculations and models. The main disadvantage of such hypotheses is their abstract character and ignoring any data on tectonomagmatic evolution of those planets. At the same time, just this type of data provide an important information, which is necessary for elaborating of a present-day theory of their formation and evolution. The Earth has been much better studied compared to the other planets, therefore we will discuss the main questions of planetary tectonomagmatic evolution using the Earth as example plus involve other data on the Moon and the terrestrial planets. Two dominating hypotheses about composition of the primordial Earth's crust exist now: (1) traditional implies that the primordial crust had basic composition, whereas the sialic crust resulted from a geosyncline process or, in modern terms, from processes at convergent plate margins, and (2) primordial crust was sialic; the plate tectonic mechanisms started in the Middle Paleoproterozoic and resulted in oceanic spreading and formation of the secondary oceanic crust. Both models require a global melting of a primary chondritic material to form the primordial crust. The final result depends on the degree of melt differentiation during solidification of a magmatic ocean. Such a solidification, due to differences between adiabatic and melting-points gradients had to proceed in bottom-top direction (Jeffries, 1929) and resulted in accumulation of low-temperature derivates in the primordial crust. Geological data, namely granite-dominated Archean crust, and results of studying of detrital zircon from Australia supports the primordial-sialic crust hypothesis. The Moon which is four times smaller than Earth has a basic primordial crust. Such a difference can be explained by different depths of their magmatic oceans. The Early

  14. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-like Worlds


    Ehlmann, B. L.; Dressing, C.D.; Farley, K. A.; Fischer, W. W.; Knutson, H. A.; Stevenson, D. J.; Yung, Y. L.


    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar system's longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky pla...

  15. 3D hydrodynamic simulations of tidal disruption of terrestrial planets around white dwarfs (United States)

    Liu, Shangfei; Zhang, Jinsu; Lin, Douglas N. C.


    Recent K2 mission spotted striking variability due to a group of minor bodies transiting white dwarf WD 1145+017 with periods ranging from 4.5 hours to 4.9 hours. One of the formation scenarios is that those transiting objects are the debris of a tidally disrupted minor planet. This scenario is consistent with fact that the white dwarf also hosts a dusty disk and displays strong metal atmospheric pollution. In this work, we perform state-of-the-art three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations to study the consequences of tidal disruption of planets with various differentiated compositions by a white dwarf. We study the general outcomes of tidal disruption including partially disruption and total disruption. We also apply our results to the WD 1145+017 system to infer the physical and orbital properties of the progenitor.

  16. Effect of Fe Content on Olivine Viscosity at the P-T Conditions of Terrestrial-Planet Interiors (United States)

    Raterron, P.; Holyoke, C. W., III; Tokle, L.; Hilairet, N.; Merkel, S.; Hirth, G.; Weidner, D. J.


    The top parts of the mantle of terrestrial planets are olivine-rich, with Fe/(Mg+Fe) ratio lower than 2% for Mercury, up to 25-30% for Mars, and intermediate compositions for the Earth, the Moon and Venus. Results of experiments at low pressure (Zhao et al., 2009, EPSL, 287, 229-240) indicate that increasing Fe content dramatically decreases olivine viscosity. Thus, the Martian upper mantle may be 10 times less viscous than the Earth's at the same conditions. However, there is no data available on the effect of iron on olivine plasticity at pressures relevant to planetary interiors. We deformed polycrystalline olivine specimens with various Fe contents ranging from 0% (pure forsterite) to 100% (pure fayalite), at temperatures (T) in excess of 1000°C and pressures (P) in the range of 2 - 6 GPa, in the Deformation-DIA apparatus (D-DIA) coupled with X-ray synchrotron radiation. Pressure, differential stress and strain rate were measured in situ by X-ray diffraction and radiography. Stacked cylindrical specimens with different iron contents were deformed in series to compare their viscosities at identical T, P and differential stress. We observed that increasing pressure dramatically decreases the viscosity contrast between Fe-poor olivine and Fe-rich olivine, while increasing differential stress has the opposite effect. Hence, the range of viscosities expected in planetary mantles - in the low-P and high-stress regime of the uppermost mantle and in the high-P and low-stress regime of the deep mantle - may be radically different, depending on their iron contents. We will present these new data which may have significant implications for the convection mode and thermal history of terrestrial-planet mantles.

  17. The Role of Comets as Possible Contributors of Water and Prebiotic Organics to Terrestrial Planets (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.; Charnley, S. B.


    The question of exogenous delivery of organics and water to Earth and other young planets is of critical importance for understanding the origin of Earth's water, and for assessing the prospects for existence of Earth-like exo-planets. Viewed from a cosmic perspective, Earth is a dry planet yet its oceans are enriched in deuterium by a large factor relative to nebular hydrogen. Can comets have delivered Earth's water? The deuterium content of comets is key to ,assessing their role as contributors of water to Earth. Icy bodies today reside in two distinct reservoirs, the Oort Cloud and the Kuiper Disk (divided into the classical disk, the scattered disk, and the detached or extended disk populations). Orbital parameters can indicate the cosmic storage reservoir for a given comet. Knowledge of the diversity of comets within a reservoir assists in assessing their possible contribution to early Earth, but requires quantitative knowledge of their components - dust and ice. Strong gradients in temperature and chemistry in the proto-planetary disk, coupled with dynamical dispersion of an outer disk of icy planetesimals, imply that comets from KD and OC reservoirs should have diverse composition. The primary volatiles (native to the nucleus) provide the preferred metric for building a taxonomy for comets, and the number of comets so quantified is growing rapidly. Taxonomies based on native species (primary volatiles) are now beginning to emerge [1, 2, 3]. The measurement of cosmic parameters such as the nuclear spin temperatures for H2O, NH3 and CH4, and of enrichment factors for isotopologues (D/H in water and hydrogen cyanide, N-14/N-15 in CN and hydrogen cyanide) provide additional tests of the origin of cometary material. I will provide an overview of these aspects, and implications for the origin of Earth's water and prebiotic organics.

  18. Asteroid impacts on terrestrial planets: the effects of super-Earths and the role of the ν6 resonance (United States)

    Smallwood, Jeremy L.; Martin, Rebecca G.; Lepp, Stephen; Livio, Mario


    With N-body simulations of a planetary system with an asteroid belt, we investigate how the asteroid impact rate on the Earth is affected by the architecture of the planetary system. We find that the ν6 secular resonance plays an important role in the asteroid collision rate with the Earth. Compared to exoplanetary systems, the Solar system is somewhat special in its lack of a super-Earth mass planet in the inner Solar system. We therefore first consider the effects of the presence of a super-Earth in the terrestrial planet region. We find a significant effect for super-Earths with a mass of around 10 M⊕ and a separation greater than about 0.7 au. For a super-Earth which is interior to the Earth's orbit, the number of asteroids colliding with Earth increases the closer the super-Earth is to the Earth's orbit. This is the result of multiple secular resonance locations causing more asteroids to be perturbed on to Earth-crossing orbits. When the super-Earth is placed exterior to Earth's orbit, the collision rate decreases substantially because the ν6 resonance no longer exists in the asteroid belt region. We also find that changing the semimajor axis of Saturn leads to a significant decrease in the asteroid collision rate, though increasing its mass increases the collision rate. These results may have implications for the habitability of exoplanetary systems.

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    ... Credit Homes & Mortgages Health & Fitness Jobs & Making Money Privacy, Identity & Online Security Blog Video & Media Friend Finder Scam Alerts Looking for Business Guidance? Get Email Updates Blog ... Privacy Policy About Us Contact Us Share Our Resources. ...

  20. Healthcare Finder API (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — All of the data used on the web application is available through this API. There are multiple collections of data available through the API. 1....

  1. The provenances of asteroids, and their contributions to the volatile inventories of the terrestrial planets. (United States)

    Alexander, C M O'D; Bowden, R; Fogel, M L; Howard, K T; Herd, C D K; Nittler, L R


    Determining the source(s) of hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen accreted by Earth is important for understanding the origins of water and life and for constraining dynamical processes that operated during planet formation. Chondritic meteorites are asteroidal fragments that retain records of the first few million years of solar system history. The deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) values of water in carbonaceous chondrites are distinct from those in comets and Saturn's moon Enceladus, implying that they formed in a different region of the solar system, contrary to predictions of recent dynamical models. The D/H values of water in carbonaceous chondrites also argue against an influx of water ice from the outer solar system, which has been invoked to explain the nonsolar oxygen isotopic composition of the inner solar system. The bulk hydrogen and nitrogen isotopic compositions of CI chondrites suggest that they were the principal source of Earth's volatiles.

  2. Towards Understanding the Climate of Venus Applications of Terrestrial Models to Our Sister Planet

    CERN Document Server

    Bonnet, Roger-Maurice; Grinspoon, David; Koumoutsaris, Symeon; Lebonnois, Sebastien; Titov, Dmitri


    ESA’s Venus Express Mission has monitored Venus since April 2006, and scientists worldwide have used mathematical models to investigate its atmosphere and model its circulation. This book summarizes recent work to explore and understand the climate of the planet through a research program under the auspices of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland. Some of the unique elements that are discussed are the anomalies with Venus’ surface temperature (the huge greenhouse effect causes the surface to rise to 460°C, without which would plummet as low as -40°C), its unusual lack of solar radiation (despite being closer to the Sun, Venus receives less solar radiation than Earth due to its dense cloud cover reflecting 76% back) and the juxtaposition of its atmosphere and planetary rotation (wind speeds can climb up to 200 m/s, much faster than Venus’ sidereal day of 243 Earth-days).

  3. A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri. (United States)

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Amado, Pedro J; Barnes, John; Berdiñas, Zaira M; Butler, R Paul; Coleman, Gavin A L; de la Cueva, Ignacio; Dreizler, Stefan; Endl, Michael; Giesers, Benjamin; Jeffers, Sandra V; Jenkins, James S; Jones, Hugh R A; Kiraga, Marcin; Kürster, Martin; López-González, Marίa J; Marvin, Christopher J; Morales, Nicolás; Morin, Julien; Nelson, Richard P; Ortiz, José L; Ofir, Aviv; Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Reiners, Ansgar; Rodríguez, Eloy; Rodrίguez-López, Cristina; Sarmiento, Luis F; Strachan, John P; Tsapras, Yiannis; Tuomi, Mikko; Zechmeister, Mathias


    At a distance of 1.295 parsecs, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri (α Centauri C, GL 551, HIP 70890 or simply Proxima) is the Sun's closest stellar neighbour and one of the best-studied low-mass stars. It has an effective temperature of only around 3,050 kelvin, a luminosity of 0.15 per cent of that of the Sun, a measured radius of 14 per cent of the radius of the Sun and a mass of about 12 per cent of the mass of the Sun. Although Proxima is considered a moderately active star, its rotation period is about 83 days (ref. 3) and its quiescent activity levels and X-ray luminosity are comparable to those of the Sun. Here we report observations that reveal the presence of a small planet with a minimum mass of about 1.3 Earth masses orbiting Proxima with a period of approximately 11.2 days at a semi-major-axis distance of around 0.05 astronomical units. Its equilibrium temperature is within the range where water could be liquid on its surface.

  4. On the evolution of terrestrial planets: Bi-stability, stochastic effects, and the non-uniqueness of tectonic states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B. Weller


    Full Text Available The Earth is the only body in the solar system for which significant observational constraints are accessible to such a degree that they can be used to discriminate between competing models of Earth's tectonic evolution. It is a natural tendency to use observations of the Earth to inform more general models of planetary evolution. However, our understating of Earth's evolution is far from complete. In recent years, there has been growing geodynamic and geochemical evidence that suggests that plate tectonics may not have operated on the early Earth, with both the timing of its onset and the length of its activity far from certain. Recently, the potential of tectonic bi-stability (multiple stable, energetically allowed solutions has been shown to be dynamically viable, both from analytical analysis and through numeric experiments in two and three dimensions. This indicates that multiple tectonic modes may operate on a single planetary body at different times within its temporal evolution. It also allows for the potential that feedback mechanisms between the internal dynamics and surface processes (e.g., surface temperature changes driven by long term climate evolution, acting at different thermal evolution times, can cause terrestrial worlds to alternate between multiple tectonic states over giga-year timescales. The implication within this framework is that terrestrial planets have the potential to migrate through tectonic regimes at similar ‘thermal evolution times’ (e.g., points were they have a similar bulk mantle temperature and energies, but at very different ‘temporal times’ (time since planetary formation. It can be further shown that identical planets at similar stages of their evolution may exhibit different tectonic regimes due to random variations. Here, we will discuss constraints on the tectonic evolution of the Earth and present a novel framework of planetary evolution that moves toward probabilistic arguments based on

  5. Modulation of Terrestrial Convection by Tropospheric Humidity, and Implications for Other Planets (United States)

    Genio, Anthony Del


    For decades, deep cumulus convection was viewed as consisting partly of undilute plumes that do not interact with their surrounding environment in order to explain their observed tendency to reach or penetrate the tropical tropopause. This behavior was built into all cumulus parameterizations used in terrestrial global climate and numerical weather prediction models, and it still persists in some models today. In the past decade, though, some embarrassing failures of global models have come to light, notably their tendency to rain over land near noon rather than in late afternoon or evening as observed, and the absence in the models of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), the major source of intraseasonal (30-90 day) precipitation variability in the Indian Ocean, West Pacific, and surrounding continental regions. In the past decade it has become clear that an important missing component of parameterizations is strong turbulent entrainment of drier environmental air into cumulus updrafts, which reduces the buoyancy of the updrafts and thus limits their vertical development. Tropospheric humidity thus serves as a throttle on convective penetration to high altitudes and delays the convective response to large-scale destabilizing influences in the environment.

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

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


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

  7. BS-virus-finder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gao, Shengjie; Hu, Xuesong; Xu, Fengping


    Background: DNA methylation plays a key role in the regulation of gene expression and carcinogenesis. Bisulfite sequencing studies mainly focus on calling SNP, DMR, and ASM. Until now, only a few software tools focus on virus integration using bisulfite sequencing data. Findings: We have developed...... a new and easy-to-use software tool, named BS-virus-finder (BSVF, RRID:SCR_015727), to detect viral integration breakpoints in whole human genomes. The tool is hosted at Conclusions: BS-virus-finder demonstrates high sensitivity and specificity. It is useful in epigenetic...... studies and to reveal the relationship between viral integration and DNA methylation. BS-virus-finder is the first software tool to detect virus integration loci by using bisulfite sequencing data....

  8. 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 ...

  9. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution: Introduction. Ph.D. Thesis (United States)

    Leake, M. A.


    The relative ages of various geologic units and structures place tight constraints on the origin of the Moon and the planet Mercury, and thus provide a better understanding of the geologic histories of these bodies. Crater statistics, a reexamination of lunar geologic maps, and the compilation of a geologic map of a quarter of Mercury's surface based on plains units dated relative to crater degradation classes were used to determine relative ages. This provided the basis for deducing the origin of intercrater plains and their role in terrestrial planet evolution.

  10. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part I: atmospheric expansion and thermal escape. (United States)

    Erkaev, Nikolai V; Lammer, Helmut; Odert, Petra; Kulikov, Yuri N; Kislyakova, Kristina G; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Biernat, Helfried


    The recently discovered low-density "super-Earths" Kepler-11b, Kepler-11f, Kepler-11d, Kepler-11e, and planets such as GJ 1214b represent the most likely known planets that are surrounded by dense H/He envelopes or contain deep H₂O oceans also surrounded by dense hydrogen envelopes. Although these super-Earths are orbiting relatively close to their host stars, they have not lost their captured nebula-based hydrogen-rich or degassed volatile-rich steam protoatmospheres. Thus, it is interesting to estimate the maximum possible amount of atmospheric hydrogen loss from a terrestrial planet orbiting within the habitable zone of late main sequence host stars. For studying the thermosphere structure and escape, we apply a 1-D hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model that solves the equations of mass, momentum, and energy conservation for a planet with the mass and size of Earth and for a super-Earth with a size of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth). We calculate volume heating rates by the stellar soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) and expansion of the upper atmosphere, its temperature, density, and velocity structure and related thermal escape rates during the planet's lifetime. Moreover, we investigate under which conditions both planets enter the blow-off escape regime and may therefore experience loss rates that are close to the energy-limited escape. Finally, we discuss the results in the context of atmospheric evolution and implications for habitability of terrestrial planets in general.

  11. Polyamorphic Transformations in Fe-Ni-C Liquids: Implications for Chemical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets: Fe-Ni-C liquid structural change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lai, Xiaojing [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI USA; Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI USA; Chen, Bin [Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI USA; Wang, Jianwei [Department of Geology and Geophysics, Center for Computation and Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA USA; Kono, Yoshio [HPCAT, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Argonne IL USA; Zhu, Feng [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI USA


    During the formation of the Earth's core, the segregation of metallic liquids from silicate mantle should have left behind evident geochemical imprints on both the mantle and the core. Some distinctive geochemical signatures of the mantle-derived rocks likely own their origin to the metal-silicate differentiation of the primitive Earth, setting our planet apart from undifferentiated meteorites as well as terrestrial planets or moons isotopically and compositionally. Understanding the chemical evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies requires knowledge on properties of both liquid iron alloys and silicates equilibrating under physicochemical conditions pertinent to the deep magma ocean. Here we report experimental and computational results on the pressure-induced structural evolution of iron-nickel liquids alloyed with carbon. Our X-ray diffraction experiments up to 7.3 gigapascals (GPa) demonstrate that Fe-Ni (Fe90Ni10) liquids alloyed with 3 and 5 wt % carbon undergo a polyamorphic liquid structure transition at approximately 5 GPa. Corroborating the experimental observations, our first-principles molecular dynamic calculations reveal that the structural transitions result from the marked prevalence of three-atom face-sharing polyhedral connections in the liquids at >5 GPa. The structure and polyamorphic transitions of liquid iron-nickel-carbon alloys govern their physical and chemical properties and may thus cast fresh light on the chemical evolution of terrestrial planets and moons.

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

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


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


    CERN Document Server is produced by the bibliophiles at 13th Generation Media of Berkeley, California. Our goal is to provide fellow readers unbiased realtime information about books available online. Rather than selling books ourselves (does the world rea wannabe?), we've teamed up with over 15,000 of the finest booksellers online to bring you the largest book catalog available anywhere, either online or offline.

  14. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Discussion of the nature, origin and role of the intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon. Ph.D. Thesis (United States)

    Leake, M. A.


    The nature and origin of the intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon as determined through geologic mapping, crater statistics, and remotely sensed data are summarized. Implications of these results regarding scarp formation, absolute ages, and terrestrial planet surfaces are included. The role of the intercrater plains is defined and future work which might lead to a better understanding of these units and terrestrial planet evolution is outlined.

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

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


    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar systems longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere. Here we review current understanding and update the timeline of key processes in early Mars history. We then draw on knowledge of exoplanets and the other solar system terrestrial planets to identify six broad questions of high importance to the development and sustaining of habitability (unprioritized): (1) Is small planetary size fatal? (2) How do magnetic fields influence atmospheric evolution? (3) To what extent does starting composition dictate subsequent evolution, including redox processes and the availability of water and organics? (4) Does early impact bombardment have a net deleterious or beneficial influence? (5) How do planetary climates respond to stellar evolution, e.g., sustaining early liquid water in spite of a faint young Sun? (6) How important are the timescales of climate forcing and their dynamical drivers? Finally, we suggest crucial types of Mars measurements (unprioritized) to address these questions: (1) in situ petrology at multiple units/sites; (2) continued quantification of volatile reservoirs and new isotopic measurements of H, C, N, O, S, Cl, and noble gases in rocks that sample multiple stratigraphic sections; (3) radiometric age dating of units in stratigraphic sections and from key volcanic and impact units; (4) higher-resolution measurements of heat flux, subsurface structure, and magnetic field anomalies coupled with absolute age dating. Understanding the evolution of early Mars will feed forward to

  16. The sustainability of habitability on terrestrial planets: Insights, questions, and needed measurements from Mars for understanding the evolution of Earth-like worlds (United States)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; Fassett, C. I.; Fischer, W. W.; Fraeman, A. A.; Golombek, M. P.; Hamilton, V. E.; Hayes, A. G.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Hu, R.; Jakosky, B. M.; Johnson, J. R.; Kasting, J. F.; Kerber, L.; Kinch, K. M.; Kite, E. S.; Knutson, H. A.; Lunine, J. I.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Mangold, N.; McCubbin, F. M.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Quantin-Nataf, C.; Rice, M. S.; Stack, K. M.; Stevenson, D. J.; Stewart, S. T.; Toplis, M. J.; Usui, T.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Wordsworth, R. D.; Wray, J. J.; Yingst, R. A.; Yung, Y. L.; Zahnle, K. J.


    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar system's longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere. Here we review current understanding and update the timeline of key processes in early Mars history. We then draw on knowledge of exoplanets and the other solar system terrestrial planets to identify six broad questions of high importance to the development and sustaining of habitability (unprioritized): (1) Is small planetary size fatal? (2) How do magnetic fields influence atmospheric evolution? (3) To what extent does starting composition dictate subsequent evolution, including redox processes and the availability of water and organics? (4) Does early impact bombardment have a net deleterious or beneficial influence? (5) How do planetary climates respond to stellar evolution, e.g., sustaining early liquid water in spite of a faint young Sun? (6) How important are the timescales of climate forcing and their dynamical drivers? Finally, we suggest crucial types of Mars measurements (unprioritized) to address these questions: (1) in situ petrology at multiple units/sites; (2) continued quantification of volatile reservoirs and new isotopic measurements of H, C, N, O, S, Cl, and noble gases in rocks that sample multiple stratigraphic sections; (3) radiometric age dating of units in stratigraphic sections and from key volcanic and impact units; (4) higher-resolution measurements of heat flux, subsurface structure, and magnetic field anomalies coupled with absolute age dating. Understanding the evolution of early Mars will feed forward to

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

    Bennett, D.; Rhie, S. H.

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

  18. IdentiFINDER Laboratory Exercise

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weinmann-Smith, Robert [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)


    The identiFINDER2 is an easily portable handheld NaI gamma detector. The IAEA uses the safeguards version of the identiFINDER2 and calls it the HM-5. The HM-5 has built in software to analyze the detection signal specifically for IAEA verification applications.

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

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


    The technique of gravitational microlensing is currently unique in its ability to provide a sample of terrestrial exoplanets around both Galactic disk and bulge stars, allowing to measure their abundance and determine their distribution with respect to mass and orbital separation. Thus, valuable information for testing models of planet formation and orbital migration is gathered, constituting an important piece in the puzzle for the existence of life forms throughout the Universe. In order to achieve these goals in reasonable time, a well-coordinated effort involving a network of either 2m or 4×1m telescopes at each site is required. It could lead to the first detection of an Earth-mass planet outside the Solar system, and even planets less massive than Earth could be discovered. From April 2008, ARTEMiS (Automated Robotic Terrestrial Exoplanet Microlensing Search) is planned to provide a platform for a three-step strategy of survey, follow-up, and anomaly monitoring. As an expert system embedded in eSTAR (e-Science Telescopes for Astronomical Research), ARTEMiS will give advice for follow-up based on a priority algorithm that selects targets to be observed in order to maximize the expected number of planet detections, and will also alert on deviations from ordinary microlensing light curves by means of the SIGNALMEN anomaly detector. While the use of the VOEvent (Virtual Observatory Event) protocol allows a direct interaction with the telescopes that are part of the HTN (Heterogeneous Telescope Networks) consortium, additional interfaces provide means of communication with all existing microlensing campaigns that rely on human observers. The success of discovering a planet by microlensing critically depends on the availability of a telescope in a suitable location at the right time, which can mean within 10 min. To encourage follow-up observations, microlensing campaigns are therefore releasing photometric data in real time. On ongoing planetary anomalies, world

  20. Introduction to IdentiFINDERs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rees, Brian G. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)


    These are slides from a presentation. The identiFINDER provides information on radiation levels. It can automatically identify isotopes in its library. It can save spectra for transfer to a computer, and has a 4-8 hour battery life. The following is covered: an overview, operating modes, getting started, finder mode, search, identification mode, dose & rate, warning & alarm, options (ultra LGH), options (identifinder2), and general procedure.

  1. Software review: SciFinder


    Cavaller, Víctor


    SciFinder is a CAS software client application designed primarily for use by professional chemists in commercial organizations. Versions for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems are available. SciFinder Scholar is a version designed for universities and other academic institutions and lacks some supplementary features for multi-database searching. They are both designed with a graphic interface, making them both particularly suitable for searching the Registry file for ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. Forming the Flora Family: Implications for the Near-Earth Asteroid Population and Large Terrestrial Planet Impactors (United States)

    Vokrouhlický, David; Bottke, William F.; Nesvorný, David


    Formed from a catastrophic collision of a parent body larger than 150 km in diameter, the Flora family is located in the innermost part of the main belt near the {ν }6 secular resonance. Objects in this region, when pushed onto planet-crossing orbits, tend to have relatively high probabilities of striking the Earth. These factors suggest that Flora may be a primary source of present-day LL chondrite-like NEOs and Earth/Moon impactors. To investigate this possibility, we used collisional and dynamical models to track the evolution of Flora family members. We created an initial Flora family and followed test asteroids 1 and 3 km in diameter using a numerical code that accounted for both planetary perturbations and nongravitational effects. Our Flora family members reproduce the observed semimajor axis, eccentricity, and inclination distributions of the real family after ≃ 1 to 1.4 Gyr. A consistency with the surface age inferred from crater spatial densities found on (951) Gaspra may favor the latter age. Our combined collisional and dynamical runs indicate that the family has lost nearly 90% of its initial kilometer-sized members. At its peak, 100{--}300 {Myr} after the family-forming event, Flora family members filled NEO space with nearly 1000 D≥slant 1 {km} size bodies before fading to its present contribution of 35-50 such NEOs. Therefore, it is not currently a major source of large NEOs. We also find 700-950 and 35-47 kilometer-sized asteroids struck the Earth and Moon, respectively, most within the first 300 Myr after family formation. These results imply that Flora played a major role in providing impacts to the mid-Proterozoic Earth.

  5. Hydrothermal simulation experiments as a tool for studies of the origin of life on Earth and other terrestrial planets: a review. (United States)

    Holm, Nils G; Andersson, Eva


    life on Earth and probably also to the other terrestrial planets.

  6. Environmental control system for Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF) (United States)

    Hearty, Fred; Levi, Eric; Nelson, Matt; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Burton, Adam; Ramsey, Lawrence; Bender, Chad; Terrien, Ryan; Halverson, Samuel; Robertson, Paul; Roy, Arpita; Blank, Basil; Blanchard, Ken; Stefansson, Gudmundur


    HPF is an ultra-stable, precision radial velocity near infrared spectrograph with a unique environmental control scheme. The spectrograph will operate at a mid-range temperature of 180K, approximately half way between room temperature and liquid nitrogen temperature; it will be stable to sub -milli-Kelvin(mK) levels over a calibration cycle and a few mK over months to years. HPF's sensor is a 1.7 micron H2RG device by Teledyne. The environmental control boundary is a 9 m2 thermal enclosure that completely surrounds the optical train and produces a near blackbody cavity for all components. A large, pressure - stabilized liquid nitrogen tank provides the heat sink for the system via thermal straps while a multichannel resistive heater control system provides the stabilizing heat source. High efficiency multi-layer insulation blanketing provides the outermost boundary of the thermal enclosure to largely isolate the environmental system from ambient conditions. The cryostat, a stainless steel shell derived from the APOGEE design, surrounds the thermal enclosure and provides a stable, high quality vacuum environment. The full instrument will be housed in a passive 'meat -locker' enclosure to add a degree of additional thermal stability and as well as protect the instrument. Effectiveness of this approach is being empirically demonstrated via long duration scale model testing. The full scale cryostat and environmental control system are being constructed for a 2016 delivery of the instrument to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. This report describes the configuration of the hardware and the scale-model test results as well as projections for performance of the full system.

  7. APF-The Lick Observatory Automated Planet Finder (United States)


    Figure 11 is an optical ghost we have nick- named the “Red Rascal ”. The feature is mostly from light red- ward of 600 nm reflected off the central...However, despite numerous attempts, it was not possible to completely eliminate all ghosts in the system. The Red Rascal was the one that remained...predom- inantly red 1% ghost that reflects directly back onto the CCD. Though annoying, the Red Rascal ghost serves as a useful map of the pupil, allowing

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

    Beichman, Charles A.


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

  9. Symbolic PathFinder v7

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luckow, Kasper Søe; Păsăreanu, Corina


    We describe Symbolic PathFinder v7 in terms of its updated design addressing the changes of Java PathFinder v7 and of its new optimization when computing path conditions. Furthermore, we describe the Symbolic Execution Tree Extension; a newly added feature that allows for outputting the symbolic...

  10. 3D Indoor Building Environment Reconstruction using calibration of Range finder Data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jamali, Ali; Anton, François; Rahman, Alias Abdul


    Measurement (EDM) and Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) are mostly used. In this paper, several techniques for indoor 3D building data acquisition have been investigated. For reducing the time and cost of indoor building data acquisition process, the Trimble LaserAce 1000 range finder is used. The accuracy...... of the rangefinder is evaluated and a simple spatial model is reconstructed from real data. This technique is rapid (it requires a shorter time as compared to others), but the results show inconsistencies in horizontal angles for short distances in indoor environments. The range finder was calibrated using a least...

  11. The effect of lunarlike satellites on the orbital infrared light curves of Earth-analog planets. (United States)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas A; Gaidos, Eric; Williams, Darren M


    We have investigated the influence of lunarlike satellites on the infrared orbital light curves of Earth-analog extrasolar planets. Such light curves will be obtained by NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and ESA's Darwin missions as a consequence of repeat observations to confirm the companion status of a putative planet and determine its orbit. We used an energy balance model to calculate disk-averaged infrared (bolometric) fluxes from planet-satellite systems over a full orbital period (one year). The satellites are assumed to lack an atmosphere, have a low thermal inertia like that of the Moon, and span a range of plausible radii. The planets are assumed to have thermal and orbital properties that mimic those of Earth, while their obliquities and orbital longitudes of inferior conjunction remain free parameters. Even if the gross thermal properties of the planet can be independently constrained (e.g., via spectroscopy or visible-wavelength detection of specular glint from a surface ocean), only the largest (approximately Mars-sized) lunarlike satellites can be detected by light curve data from a TPF-like instrument (i.e., one that achieves a photometric signal-to-noise ratio of 10 to 20 at infrared wavelengths). Nondetection of a lunarlike satellite can obfuscate the interpretation of a given system's infrared light curve so that it may resemble a single planet with high obliquity, different orbital longitude of vernal equinox relative to inferior conjunction, and in some cases drastically different thermal characteristics. If the thermal properties of the planet are not independently established, then the presence of a lunarlike satellite cannot be inferred from infrared data, which would thus demonstrate that photometric light curves alone can only be used for preliminary study, and the addition of spectroscopic data will be necessary.

  12. The sustainability of habitability on terrestrial planets: Insights, questions, and needed measurements from Mars for understanding the evolution of Earth-like worlds

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    B L Ehlmann; F S Anderson; J Andrews-Hanna; D C Catling; P R Christensen; B A Cohen; C D Dressing; C S Edwards; L T Elkins-Tanton; K A Farley; C I Fassett; W W Fischer; A A Fraeman; M P Golombek; V E Hamilton; A G Hayes; C D K Herd; B Horgan; R Hu; B M Jakosky; J R Johnson; J F Kasting; L Kerber; K M Kinch; E S Kite; H A Knutson; J I Lunine; P R Mahaffy; N Mangold; F M McCubbin; J F Mustard; P B Niles; C Quantin-Nataf; M S Rice; K M Stack; D J Stevenson; S T Stewart; M J Toplis; T Usui; B P Weiss; S C Werner; R D Wordsworth; J J Wray; R A Yingst; Y L Yung; K J Zahnle


    ... control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar system's longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere...

  13. The sustainability of habitability on terrestrial planets: Insights, questions, and needed measurements from Mars for understanding the evolution of Earth‐like worlds

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ehlmann, B. L; Anderson, F. S; Andrews‐Hanna, J; Catling, D. C; Christensen, P. R; Cohen, B. A; Dressing, C. D; Edwards, C. S; Elkins‐Tanton, L. T; Farley, K. A; Fassett, C. I; Fischer, W. W; Fraeman, A. A; Golombek, M. P; Hamilton, V. E; Hayes, A. G; Herd, C. D. K; Horgan, B; Hu, R; Jakosky, B. M; Johnson, J. R; Kasting, J. F; Kerber, L; Kinch, K. M; Kite, E. S; Knutson, H. A; Lunine, J. I; Mahaffy, P. R; Mangold, N; McCubbin, F. M; Mustard, J. F; Niles, P. B; Quantin‐Nataf, C; Rice, M. S; Stack, K. M; Stevenson, D. J; Stewart, S. T; Toplis, M. J; Usui, T; Weiss, B. P; Werner, S. C; Wordsworth, R. D; Wray, J. J; Yingst, R. A; Yung, Y. L; Zahnle, K. J


    .... Mars provides the solar system's longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere...

  14. 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.

  15. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Alternative thermal histories. Ph.D. Thesis (United States)

    Leake, M. A.


    Interpretations supporting a differentiated, once active Mercury are listed. Alternative scenarios of the planet's thermal history involve: different distributions of accreted materials, including uranium and thorium-rich materials; variations of early melting; and different modes of plains and scarp formation. Arguments are advanced which strongly favor plains formation by volcanism, lack of a primordial surface, and possible identification of remnant tensional features. Studies of remotely sensed data which strongly suggest a modestly homogeneous surface of silicates imply core separation. Reasons for accepting or rejecting various hypotheses for thermal histories of the planet are mentioned.

  16. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Thermal histories of Mercury and the Moon. Ph.D. Thesis (United States)

    Leake, M. A.


    To determine a planet's thermal history, a wide range of data is necessary. These data include remote sensing results, photogeologic evidence, magnetic field and remanent magnetization data, composition and ages of samples, and physical parameters of the planet and its orbit. Few of these data form unambiguous constraints for thermal models of Mercury. Igneous Chronology as the time history of the differentiation and igneous activity, is defined. Igneous Chronology is used here in the sense of the apparent igneous or relative chronology of geologic events, such as plains formation (through whatever mechanism) relative to the crater production and tectonic history (lineament and scarp formation).

  17. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part II: hydrogen coronae and ion escape. (United States)

    Kislyakova, Kristina G; Lammer, Helmut; Holmström, Mats; Panchenko, Mykhaylo; Odert, Petra; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Leitzinger, Martin; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Kulikov, Yuri N; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold


    We studied the interactions between the stellar wind plasma flow of a typical M star, such as GJ 436, and the hydrogen-rich upper atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and a "super-Earth" with a radius of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth), located within the habitable zone at ∼0.24 AU. We investigated the formation of extended atomic hydrogen coronae under the influences of the stellar XUV flux (soft X-rays and EUV), stellar wind density and velocity, shape of a planetary obstacle (e.g., magnetosphere, ionopause), and the loss of planetary pickup ions on the evolution of hydrogen-dominated upper atmospheres. Stellar XUV fluxes that are 1, 10, 50, and 100 times higher compared to that of the present-day Sun were considered, and the formation of high-energy neutral hydrogen clouds around the planets due to the charge-exchange reaction under various stellar conditions was modeled. Charge-exchange between stellar wind protons with planetary hydrogen atoms, and photoionization, lead to the production of initially cold ions of planetary origin. We found that the ion production rates for the studied planets can vary over a wide range, from ∼1.0×10²⁵ s⁻¹ to ∼5.3×10³⁰ s⁻¹, depending on the stellar wind conditions and the assumed XUV exposure of the upper atmosphere. Our findings indicate that most likely the majority of these planetary ions are picked up by the stellar wind and lost from the planet. Finally, we estimated the long-time nonthermal ion pickup escape for the studied planets and compared them with the thermal escape. According to our estimates, nonthermal escape of picked-up ionized hydrogen atoms over a planet's lifetime within the habitable zone of an M dwarf varies between ∼0.4 Earth ocean equivalent amounts of hydrogen (EO(H)) to <3 EO(H) and usually is several times smaller in comparison to the thermal atmospheric escape rates.

  18. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Areal measurement of Mercury's first quadrant. Ph.D. Thesis (United States)

    Leake, M. A.


    Various linear and areal measurements of Mercury's first quadrant which were used in geological map preparation, map analysis, and statistical surveys of crater densities are discussed. Accuracy of each method rests on the determination of the scale of the photograph, i.e., the conversion factor between distances on the planet (in km) and distances on the photograph (in cm). Measurement errors arise due to uncertainty in Mercury's radius, poor resolution, poor coverage, high Sun angle illumination in the limb regions, planetary curvature, limited precision in measuring instruments, and inaccuracies in the printed map scales. Estimates are given for these errors.

  19. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Chronology of surface history of Mercury. Ph.D. Thesis (United States)

    Leake, M. A.


    Phases in the history of the planet Mercury include: (1) condensation and accretion; (2) heating; (3) planetary expansion during heavy bombardment; (4) tidal spin-down and lineament formation; (5) P5 plains emplacement; (6) P4 plains emplacement; (7) peak planetary volume in P3 period; (8) scarp formation; (9) Caloris Basin formation, late class 3; (10) scarp formation and P2 plains formation; (11) smooth plains formation in and around large basins; (12) late or local tectonic stress; and (13) quiescent class 1 period. Although the cooling and contraction of the lithosphere are complete, the core remains molten as an active dynamo, producing the magnetic fields detected by Mariner 10. Plains produced since core formation (P3 to P-1) should record its magnetic activity. Cratering during the Class 2 and Class 1 periods is probably not enough to distribute ballistic materials and homogenize any color differences.

  20. Automatic generation of gene finders for eukaryotic species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Terkelsen, Kasper Munch; Krogh, A.


    Background The number of sequenced eukaryotic genomes is rapidly increasing. This means that over time it will be hard to keep supplying customised gene finders for each genome. This calls for procedures to automatically generate species-specific gene finders and to re-train them as the quantity...... length distributions. The performance of each individual gene predictor on each individual genome is comparable to the best of the manually optimised species-specific gene finders. It is shown that species-specific gene finders are superior to gene finders trained on other species....

  1. Basic Testing of the DUCHAMP Source Finder (United States)

    Westmeier, T.; Popping, A.; Serra, P.


    This paper presents and discusses the results of basic source finding tests in three dimensions (using spectroscopic data cubes) with DUCHAMP, the standard source finder for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder. For this purpose, we generated different sets of unresolved and extended Hi model sources. These models were then fed into DUCHAMP, using a range of different parameters and methods provided by the software. The main aim of the tests was to study the performance of DUCHAMP on sources with different parameters and morphologies and assess the accuracy of DUCHAMP's source parametrisation. Overall, we find DUCHAMP to be a powerful source finder capable of reliably detecting sources down to low signal-to-noise ratios and accurately measuring their position and velocity. In the presence of noise in the data, DUCHAMP's measurements of basic source parameters, such as spectral line width and integrated flux, are affected by systematic errors. These errors are a consequence of the effect of noise on the specific algorithms used by DUCHAMP for measuring source parameters in combination with the fact that the software only takes into account pixels above a given flux threshold and hence misses part of the flux. In scientific applications of DUCHAMP these systematic errors would have to be corrected for. Alternatively, DUCHAMP could be used as a source finder only, and source parametrisation could be done in a second step using more sophisticated parametrisation algorithms.

  2. 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.

  3. Role of tectonomagmatic processes for surface environmental changes and evolution of biosphere on terrestrial planets: Evidence for evolution of the life on the Earth (United States)

    Sharkov, Evgenii; Bogina, Maria

    atmospheric circulation. All these processes finally led to the global glaciations. The latters commenced earlier, in the Paleoproterozoic, simultaneously with first manifestations of Fe-Ti basaltic magmatism, which came into force only in the middle Paleoproterozoic. Thus, a fundamental change in tectonomagmatic activity acted as the trigger for environmental changes and biospheric evolution, supplying a qualitatively new material on the Earth's surface. Data available on Venus and Mars suggest that their tectonomagmatic evolution also occurred at the close scenario. Two major types of morphostructures, which are vast plains, composed by young basaltic flows, and older lightweight uplifted segments with a complicated topography (tesseras on the Venus and earths (terras) on the Mars), can evidence about two-stage evolution of these planets. Presence of drainage systems on Mars and valles on Venus assumes existence of liquid water on early stages of their development. Like on the Earth, red beds and global glacials appeared on the Mars at the middle stage of it's evolu-tion, and may be at this period ancient microorganisms existed on Mars (McKay et al., 1996). Powerful eruptions of gigantic volcanoes of Tharsis and Elysium, probably, led to fall of tem-perature and disappearance of liquid water on Mars. In contrast to Mars, on Venus appeared speeded up greenhouse effect, which also led to dry and very hot surface. So, development of tectonomagmatic processes was favourable for the biosphere evolution only on the Earth.

  4. 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...

  5. Target & Propagation Models for the FINDER Radar (United States)

    Cable, Vaughn; Lux, James; Haque, Salmon


    Finding persons still alive in piles of rubble following an earthquake, a severe storm, or other disaster is a difficult problem. JPL is currently developing a victim detection radar called FINDER (Finding Individuals in Emergency and Response). The subject of this paper is directed toward development of propagation & target models needed for simulation & testing of such a system. These models are both physical (real rubble piles) and numerical. Early results from the numerical modeling phase show spatial and temporal spreading characteristics when signals are passed through a randomly mixed rubble pile.

  6. 12 CFR 7.1002 - National bank acting as finder. (United States)


    ... parties to a transaction. (b) Permissible finder activities. A national bank that acts as a finder may... for a transaction that the parties themselves negotiate and consummate. The following list provides... between interested parties expressions of interest, bids, offers, orders, and confirmations relating to a...

  7. Comparison of Potential ASKAP HI Survey Source Finders (United States)

    Popping, A.; Jurek, R.; Westmeier, T.; Serra, P.; Flöer, L.; Meyer, M.; Koribalski, B.


    The large size of the ASKAP HI surveys DINGO and WALLABY necessitates automated 3D source finding. A performance difference of a few percent corresponds to a significant number of galaxies being detected or undetected. As such, the performance of the automated source finding is of paramount importance to both of these surveys. We have analysed the performance of various source finders to determine which will allow us to meet our survey goals during the DINGO and WALLABY design studies. Here we present a comparison of the performance of five different methods of automated source finding. These source finders are duchamp, gamma-finder, a CNHI finder, a 2d-1d wavelet reconstruction finder and a sigma clipping method (s+c finder). Each source finder was applied to the same three-dimensional data cubes containing (a) point sources with a Gaussian velocity profile and (b) spatially extended model-galaxies with inclinations and rotation profiles. We focus on the completeness and reliability of each algorithm when comparing the performance of the different source finders.

  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. Terrestrial Planet Space Weather Information: An Update (United States)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Li, Y.; Lee, C.; Mays, M. L.; Odstrcil, D.; Jian, L.; Galvin, A. B.; Mewaldt, R. A.; von Rosenvinge, T. T.; Russell, C. T.; Halekas, J. S.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Jakosky, B. M.; Thompson, W. T.; Baker, D. N.; Dewey, R. M.; Zheng, Y.; Holmstrom, M.; Futaana, Y.


    Space weather research is now a solar system-wide enterprise. While with the end of the Venus Express Express mission and MESSENGER, we lost our 'inside' sentinels, new missions such as Solar Orbiter and SPP, and Bepi-Colombo will soon be launched and operating. In the meantime the combination of L1 resources (ACE,WIND,SOHO) and STEREO-A at 1 AU, and Mars Express and MAVEN missions at ~1.5 AU, provide opportunities. Comparative conditions at the Earth orbit and Mars orbit locations are of special interest because they are separated by the region where most solar wind stream interaction regions develop. These alter the propagation of disturbances including the interplanetary CME-driven shocks that make the space radiation affecting future Human mission planning. We share some observational and modeling results thatillustrate present capabilities, as well as developing ones such as ENLIL-based SEP event models that use a range of available observations.

  10. 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.

  11. Does asteroid 4 Vesta, with watery 1 Ceres and the Galilean moons, record the Ringwood-mode iron core construction now predicated for Earth and even apply to the other terrestrial planets? (United States)

    Osmaston, M. F.


    I reason that Vesta, the source of HED but too small for appreciable magmatic resurfacing after accretion had ended, preserves valuable clues as to how the Earth and the other terrestrials were built. Setting the scene. Core formation in the terrestrial planets has long been attributed to the percolation of molten iron accreted from the solar nebula, either inward from the surface or from a magma ocean at depth. But it has been found [1,2] that the 56Fe/54Fe ratio in Earth peridotites still has a chondritic ratio, which rules out that Fe percolation has occurred. So we must revert now to Ringwood's model (1960-1978) e.g.[3] for core formation. This uses the nebula to reduce hot FeO in lavas erupted in volcanoes at the protoplanet's surface. The Fe, which then drains to the bottom of the magma chamber and solidifies, is subsequently 'loadsubducted' rapidly to form the core. For Earth's core alone this would generate ~400 earth-ocean volumes of reaction water, a Solar System benefit already foreseen by Ringwood, water being low in star-forming clouds. The heat for the volcanism is internal (accretion, gravitation, radiogenic) so orbital distance in the presence of nebular opacity is immaterial; and important for making the cores in the Galilean moons, otherwise labelled as being at the 'snowline' in the disc. In order to work, prior iron accretion to form the body must have been in oxide form. Thermodynamically this is correct if the nebula is cool (ringwoodite at the bottom of the upper mantle [8]. Vesta as a record of Ringwood-mode (RM) core formation. Based on its 220km diameter core [9] and a 500km mean overall diameter, the water generated by RM core formation would have given it a water-laden atmosphere containing an effective surface water layer over 30km deep. Current flows in this, presumably below a frozen lid, appear to have carved early deep channels in the uncoherent regolith, well seen as a.m.- conserving spiral channels (5.3hr rotationperiod) outboard

  12. STEME: a robust, accurate motif finder for large data sets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John E Reid

    Full Text Available Motif finding is a difficult problem that has been studied for over 20 years. Some older popular motif finders are not suitable for analysis of the large data sets generated by next-generation sequencing. We recently published an efficient approximation (STEME to the EM algorithm that is at the core of many motif finders such as MEME. This approximation allows the EM algorithm to be applied to large data sets. In this work we describe several efficient extensions to STEME that are based on the MEME algorithm. Together with the original STEME EM approximation, these extensions make STEME a fully-fledged motif finder with similar properties to MEME. We discuss the difficulty of objectively comparing motif finders. We show that STEME performs comparably to existing prominent discriminative motif finders, DREME and Trawler, on 13 sets of transcription factor binding data in mouse ES cells. We demonstrate the ability of STEME to find long degenerate motifs which these discriminative motif finders do not find. As part of our method, we extend an earlier method due to Nagarajan et al. for the efficient calculation of motif E-values. STEME's source code is available under an open source license and STEME is available via a web interface.

  13. Coronal mass ejection (CME) activity of low mass M stars as an important factor for the habitability of terrestrial exoplanets. I. CME impact on expected magnetospheres of Earth-like exoplanets in close-in habitable zones. (United States)

    Khodachenko, Maxim L; Ribas, Ignasi; Lammer, Helmut; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Leitner, Martin; Selsis, Franck; Eiroa, Carlos; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Biernat, Helfried K; Farrugia, Charles J; Rucker, Helmut O


    Low mass M- and K-type stars are much more numerous in the solar neighborhood than solar-like G-type stars. Therefore, some of them may appear as interesting candidates for the target star lists of terrestrial exoplanet (i.e., planets with mass, radius, and internal parameters identical to Earth) search programs like Darwin (ESA) or the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph/Inferometer (NASA). The higher level of stellar activity of low mass M stars, as compared to solar-like G stars, as well as the closer orbital distances of their habitable zones (HZs), means that terrestrial-type exoplanets within HZs of these stars are more influenced by stellar activity than one would expect for a planet in an HZ of a solar-like star. Here we examine the influences of stellar coronal mass ejection (CME) activity on planetary environments and the role CMEs may play in the definition of habitability criterion for the terrestrial type exoplanets near M stars. We pay attention to the fact that exoplanets within HZs that are in close proximity to low mass M stars may become tidally locked, which, in turn, can result in relatively weak intrinsic planetary magnetic moments. Taking into account existing observational data and models that involve the Sun and related hypothetical parameters of extrasolar CMEs (density, velocity, size, and occurrence rate), we show that Earth-like exoplanets within close-in HZs should experience a continuous CME exposure over long periods of time. This fact, together with small magnetic moments of tidally locked exoplanets, may result in little or no magnetospheric protection of planetary atmospheres from a dense flow of CME plasma. Magnetospheric standoff distances of weakly magnetized Earth-like exoplanets at orbital distances

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Tracking of Humans and Robots Using Laser Range Finders (United States)

    Bršcic, Drazen; Sasaki, Takeshi; Hashimoto, Hideki

    There exist various applications where tracking of humans or robots in an area is needed. An example of such applications are Intelligent Spaces, where humans and robots share a common space and their positions are tracked by a system of sensors in the space. In this paper a system for tracking both humans and robots that utilizes laser range finders as sensing devices is described. The details of the extraction of objects from the laser scan, data association and estimation are given, and results of tracking humans and robots are described. Calibration of the distributed laser range finders, which is important for the operation of the tracking system is also described, both in a manual and automated variant and experimental results are given. Finally, the inclusion of a laser range finder onboard the mobile robot in the tracking process is described and accompanied with experimental results. The distributed fusion of static and onboard sensors is also discussed.

  17. Obliquity and Eccentricity Constraints for Terrestrial Exoplanets (United States)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Torres, Stephanie M.


    Exoplanet discoveries over recent years have shown that terrestrial planets are exceptionally common. Many of these planets are in compact systems that result in complex orbital dynamics. A key step toward determining the surface conditions of these planets is understanding the latitudinally dependent flux incident at the top of the atmosphere as a function of orbital phase. The two main properties of a planet that influence the time-dependent nature of the flux are the obliquity and orbital eccentricity of the planet. We derive the criterion for which the flux variation due to obliquity is equivalent to the flux variation due to orbital eccentricity. This equivalence is computed for both the maximum and average flux scenarios, the latter of which includes the effects of the diurnal cycle. We apply these calculations to four known multi-planet systems (GJ 163, K2-3, Kepler-186, and Proxima Centauri), where we constrain the eccentricity of terrestrial planets using orbital dynamics considerations and model the effect of obliquity on incident flux. We discuss the implications of these simulations on climate models for terrestrial planets and outline detectable signatures of planetary obliquity.

  18. Colección programas: SciFinder


    Cavaller, Víctor


    SciFinder es un software informático de CAS diseñado principalmente para el uso por parte de químicos profesionales de organizaciones comerciales. Existen versiones tanto para S.O. Windows como para Macintosh. SciFinder Scholar es la versión pensada para universidades y otras instituciones académicas, en la cual no están presentes ciertas características para búsquedas en varias bases de datos a la vez. Las dos versiones han sido diseñadas con interfaces gráficas, y por eso son...

  19. Terrestrial exoplanets: diversity, habitability and characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Selsis, Franck [CRAL: Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (CNRS), Universite de Lyon, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, 46 allee d' Italie, F-69007 Lyon (France); Kaltenegger, Lisa [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Paillet, Jimmy [ESTEC SCI-SA, Keplerlaan 1, PO Box 299, 2200AG Noordwijk (Netherlands)], E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:


    After a decade rich in giant exoplanet detections, observation techniques have now reached the sensitivity to gain information on the physical structure and chemical content of some of the detected planets and also to find planets of less than 10 M{sub +}. The detection and characterization of Earth-like planets is approaching rapidly and dedicated space observatories are already in operation (CoRoT) or in the development phase (Kepler, Darwin and TPF-I/C). In this paper, we explore the domain of terrestrial planets, emphasizing habitable worlds. We discuss the possibility of performing a spectral characterization of their properties using the next generation of astronomical instruments.

  20. 4D Cellular Automaton Track Finder in the CBM Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akishina Valentina


    The FLES reconstruction and selection package consists of several modules: track finding, track fitting, short-lived particles finding, event building and event selection. The Cellular Automaton (CA track finder algorithm was adapted towards time-based reconstruction. In this article, we describe in detail the modification done to the algorithm, as well as the performance of the developed time-based CA approach.

  1. SearchResultFinder: federated search made easy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trieschnigg, Rudolf Berend; Tjin-Kam-Jet, Kien; Hiemstra, Djoerd

    Building a federated search engine based on a large number existing web search engines is a challenge: implementing the programming interface (API) for each search engine is an exacting and time-consuming job. In this demonstration we present SearchResultFinder, a browser plugin which speeds up

  2. SciFinder: guia ràpida. Desembre 2014


    Universitat de Barcelona. CRAI


    SciFinder és una plataforma produïda pel Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) que dóna accés a la major col·lecció d’informació sobre química, enginyeria química i altres matèries relacionades.

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

    Crisp, D.


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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Detectability of active triangulation range finder: a solar irradiance approach. (United States)

    Liu, Huizhe; Gao, Jason; Bui, Viet Phuong; Liu, Zhengtong; Lee, Kenneth Eng Kian; Peh, Li-Shiuan; Png, Ching Eng


    Active triangulation range finders are widely used in a variety of applications such as robotics and assistive technologies. The power of the laser source should be carefully selected in order to satisfy detectability and still remain eye-safe. In this paper, we present a systematic approach to assess the detectability of an active triangulation range finder in an outdoor environment. For the first time, we accurately quantify the background noise of a laser system due to solar irradiance by coupling the Perez all-weather sky model and ray tracing techniques. The model is validated with measurements with a modeling error of less than 14.0%. Being highly generic and sufficiently flexible, the proposed model serves as a guide to define a laser system for any geographical location and microclimate.

  8. Col·lecció programaris: SciFinder


    Cavaller, Víctor


    SciFinder és un programari informàtic de CAS dissenyat principalment per a l'ús per part de químics professionals d'organitzacions comercials. Existeixen versions tant per a S.O. Windows com per a Macintosh. SciFinder Scholar és la versió pensada per a universitats i altres institucions acadèmiques, en la qual no estan presents certes característiques per a recerques en diverses bases de dades simultàniament. Les dues versions han estat dissenyades amb interfícies gràfiques, i per això són es...

  9. The hardware track finder processor in CMS at CERN

    CERN Document Server

    Kluge, A


    The work covers the design of the Track Finder Processor in the high energy experiment CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid, planned for 2005) at CERN/Geneva. The task of this processor is to identify muons and measure their transverse momentum. The track finder processor makes it possible to determine the physical relevance of each high energetic collision and to forward only interesting data to the data an alysis units. Data of more than two hundred thousand detector cells are used to determine the location of muons and measure their transverse momentum. Each 25 ns a new data set is generated. Measurem ent of location and transverse momentum of the muons can be terminated within 350 ns by using an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit). A pipeline architecture processes new data sets with th e required data rate of 40 MHz to ensure dead time free operation. In the framework of this study specifications and the overall concept of the track finder processor were worked out in detail. Simul ations were performed...

  10. The Voronoi Tessellation Cluster Finder in 2 1 Dimensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soares-Santos, Marcelle; /Fermilab /Sao Paulo U.; de Carvalho, Reinaldo R.; /Sao Jose, INPE; Annis, James; /Fermilab; Gal, Roy R.; /Hawaii U.; La Barbera, Francesco; /Capodimonte Observ.; Lopes, Paulo A.A.; /Valongo Observ.; Wechsler, Risa H.; Busha, Michael T.; Gerke, Brian F.; /SLAC /KIPAC, Menlo Park


    We present a detailed description of the Voronoi Tessellation (VT) cluster finder algorithm in 2+1 dimensions, which improves on past implementations of this technique. The need for cluster finder algorithms able to produce reliable cluster catalogs up to redshift 1 or beyond and down to 10{sup 13.5} solar masses is paramount especially in light of upcoming surveys aiming at cosmological constraints from galaxy cluster number counts. We build the VT in photometric redshift shells and use the two-point correlation function of the galaxies in the field to both determine the density threshold for detection of cluster candidates and to establish their significance. This allows us to detect clusters in a self-consistent way without any assumptions about their astrophysical properties. We apply the VT to mock catalogs which extend to redshift 1.4 reproducing the ?CDM cosmology and the clustering properties observed in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data. An objective estimate of the cluster selection function in terms of the completeness and purity as a function of mass and redshift is as important as having a reliable cluster finder. We measure these quantities by matching the VT cluster catalog with the mock truth table. We show that the VT can produce a cluster catalog with completeness and purity >80% for the redshift range up to {approx}1 and mass range down to {approx}10{sup 13.5} solar masses.

  11. Characterization of potentially habitable planets: Retrieval of atmospheric and planetary properties from emission spectra


    von Paris, P.; P. Hedelt; Selsis, F.; F. Schreier; Trautmann, T.


    An increasing number of potentially habitable terrestrial planets and planet candidates are found by ongoing planet search programs. The search for atmospheric signatures to establish planetary habitability and the presence of life might be possible in the future. We want to quantify the accuracy of retrieved atmospheric parameters which might be obtained from infrared emission spectroscopy. We use synthetic observations of hypothetical habitable planets, constructed with a parametrized atmos...

  12. 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.

  13. RxnFinder: biochemical reaction search engines using molecular structures, molecular fragments and reaction similarity. (United States)

    Hu, Qian-Nan; Deng, Zhe; Hu, Huanan; Cao, Dong-Sheng; Liang, Yi-Zeng


    Biochemical reactions play a key role to help sustain life and allow cells to grow. RxnFinder was developed to search biochemical reactions from KEGG reaction database using three search criteria: molecular structures, molecular fragments and reaction similarity. RxnFinder is helpful to get reference reactions for biosynthesis and xenobiotics metabolism. RxnFinder is freely available via:

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Strategies for chemical reaction searching in SciFinder (United States)



    The bibliographic, chemical structure, and chemical reaction databases produced by Chemical Abstracts Service allow a number of possibilities for chemical reaction searching. While these same databases may be searched through the STN network, many end-users find the intuitive software interface SciFinder simpler, but there still are issues to address. Searching may be performed through keywords, chemical structures, or chemical reactions, and the answers may vary with respect to precision and comprehension. Often combinations of search options may be needed to best solve the problem. Retrosynthetic analyses are easily performed in the chemical reaction database and can give unique insights into synthetic alternatives.

  19. Knickpoint finder: A software tool that improves neotectonic analysis (United States)

    Queiroz, G. L.; Salamuni, E.; Nascimento, E. R.


    This work presents a new software tool for morphometric analysis of drainage networks based on the methods of Hack (1973) and Etchebehere et al. (2004). This tool is applicable to studies of morphotectonics and neotectonics. The software used a digital elevation model (DEM) to identify the relief breakpoints along drainage profiles (knickpoints). The program was coded in Python for use on the ArcGIS platform and is called Knickpoint Finder. A study area was selected to test and evaluate the software's ability to analyze and identify neotectonic morphostructures based on the morphology of the terrain. For an assessment of its validity, we chose an area of the James River basin, which covers most of the Piedmont area of Virginia (USA), which is an area of constant intraplate seismicity and non-orogenic active tectonics and exhibits a relatively homogeneous geodesic surface currently being altered by the seismogenic features of the region. After using the tool in the chosen area, we found that the knickpoint locations are associated with the geologic structures, epicenters of recent earthquakes, and drainages with rectilinear anomalies. The regional analysis demanded the use of a spatial representation of the data after processing using Knickpoint Finder. The results were satisfactory in terms of the correlation of dense areas of knickpoints with active lineaments and the rapidity of the identification of deformed areas. Therefore, this software tool may be considered useful in neotectonic analyses of large areas and may be applied to any area where there is DEM coverage.

  20. Accuracy evaluation of object position determination in the working area of stereo range finder


    Samoylov, А. М.; Grenke, V. V.; Shakirov, I. V.


    The solution of problem on position determination of moving objects system in operating TV stereo range finder has been shown. The technique of accuracy evaluation in determining their position is described. The results of the method application on the TV stereo range finder model are presented.

  1. PathogenFinder - Distinguishing Friend from Foe Using Bacterial Whole Genome Sequence Data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cosentino, Salvatore; Larsen, Mette Voldby; Aarestrup, Frank Møller


    approaches. We describe PathogenFinder (, a web-server for the prediction of bacterial pathogenicity by analysing the input proteome, genome, or raw reads provided by the user. The method relies on groups of proteins, created without regard to their annotated...

  2. Realistic simulation of laser range finder behavior in a smoky environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Formsma, O.; Dijkshoorn, N.; van Noort, S.; Visser, A.; Ruiz-del-Solar, J.; Chown, E.; Plöger, P.G.


    The Urban Search and Rescue Simulation used for RoboCup lacks realistic response of laser range finders on smoke. In this paper, the behavior of a Hokuyo and Sick laser range finder in a smoky environment is studied. The behavior of the lasers is among others a function of the visibility level, and

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The ContactFinder agent: Answering bulletin board questions with referrals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krulwich, B.; Burkey, C. [Center for Strategic Technology Research, Northbrook, IL (United States)


    ContactFinder is an intelligent agent whose approach to assisting users is valuable and innovative in the following four ways. First, ContactFinder operates proactively in reading and responding to messages on electronic bulletin boards rather than acting in response to user queries. Second, ContactFinder assists users by referring them to other people who can help them, rather than attempting to find information that directly answers the user`s specific question. Third, ContactFinder categorizes messages and extracts their topic areas using a set of heuristics that are very efficient and demonstrably highly effective. Fourth, ContactFinder posts its referrals back to the bulletin boards rather than simply communicating with specific users, to increase the information density and connectivity of the system. This paper discusses these aspects of the system and demonstrates their effectiveness in over six months of use on a large-scale internal bulletin board.

  7. 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.

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

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


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

  9. 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.

  10. Design for a source-agile automatic direction finder (ADF) (United States)

    Myler, Harley


    The design is intended for aircraft although any vehicle or even a man-mobile system could use the concept. An automatically reconfigurable antenna using MEMS RF switches is driven to seek signals consistent with the current location of the system. The antenna feeds a Software Defined Radio (SDR) that scans for signals and when a signal is found, it is identified and then the azimuth to the signal is used, along with a signal strength parameter, to confirm the location of the system. This is an extension of the now obsolete Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) aircraft navigation tool that used AM broadcast non-directional beacons (NDB), many of which are still in service. The current system can access any radio signal within the limits of the reconfigurable antenna and the SDR.

  11. In campus location finder using mobile application services (United States)

    Fai, Low Weng; Audah, Lukman


    Navigation services become very common in this era, the application include Google Map, Waze and etc. Although navigation application contains the main routing service in open area but not all of the buildings are recorded in the database. In this project, an application is made for the indoor and outdoor navigation in Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM). It is used to help outsider and new incoming students by navigating them from their current location to destination using mobile application name "U Finder". Thunkable website has been used to build the application for outdoor and indoor navigation. Outdoor navigation is linked to the Google Map and indoor navigation is using the QR code for positioning and routing picture for navigation. The outdoor navigation can route user to the main faculties in UTHM and indoor navigation is only done for the G1 building in UTHM.

  12. 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.

  13. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets. (United States)

    Forget, F; Leconte, J


    What kind of environment may exist on terrestrial planets around other stars? In spite of the lack of direct observations, it may not be premature to speculate on exoplanetary climates, for instance, to optimize future telescopic observations or to assess the probability of habitable worlds. To begin with, climate primarily depends on (i) the atmospheric composition and the volatile inventory; (ii) the incident stellar flux; and (iii) the tidal evolution of the planetary spin, which can notably lock a planet with a permanent night side. The atmospheric composition and mass depends on complex processes, which are difficult to model: origins of volatiles, atmospheric escape, geochemistry, photochemistry, etc. We discuss physical constraints, which can help us to speculate on the possible type of atmosphere, depending on the planet size, its final distance for its star and the star type. Assuming that the atmosphere is known, the possible climates can be explored using global climate models analogous to the ones developed to simulate the Earth as well as the other telluric atmospheres in the solar system. Our experience with Mars, Titan and Venus suggests that realistic climate simulators can be developed by combining components, such as a 'dynamical core', a radiative transfer solver, a parametrization of subgrid-scale turbulence and convection, a thermal ground model and a volatile phase change code. On this basis, we can aspire to build reliable climate predictors for exoplanets. However, whatever the accuracy of the models, predicting the actual climate regime on a specific planet will remain challenging because climate systems are affected by strong positive feedbacks. They can drive planets with very similar forcing and volatile inventory to completely different states. For instance, the coupling among temperature, volatile phase changes and radiative properties results in instabilities, such as runaway glaciations and runaway greenhouse effect.

  14. 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.

  15. In Silico Detection and Typing of Plasmids using PlasmidFinder and Plasmid Multilocus Sequence Typing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carattoli, Alessandra; Zankari, Ea; García-Fernández, Aurora


    into a Web tool called PlasmidFinder that can be used for replicon sequence analysis of raw, contig group, or completely assembled and closed plasmid sequencing data. The PlasmidFinder database currently consists of 116 replicon sequences that match with at least at 80% nucleotide identity all replicon...... of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium isolates. PlasmidFinder identified a total of 103 replicons and between zero and five different plasmid replicons within each of 49 S. Typhimurium draft genomes tested. The pMLST Web tool was able to subtype genomic sequencing data of plasmids, revealing both known...

  16. Terrestrial quarantine considerations for unmanned sample return missions (United States)

    Hoffman, A. R.; Stavro, W.; Miller, L. W.; Taylor, D. M.


    For the purpose of understanding some of the possible implications of a terrestrial quarantine constraint on a mission and for developing a basic approach which can be used to demonstrate compliance beyond that developed for Apollo, a terrestrial quarantine study was performed. It is shown that some of the basic tools developed and used by the planetary quarantine community have applicability to terrestrial quarantine analysis. By using these tools, it is concluded that: (1) the method of biasing the earth aiming point when returning from the planet is necessary but, by itself, may not satisfy terrestrial quarantine constraints; and (2) spacecraft and container design significantly influence contamination transfer.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  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. CoRoT’s first seven planets: An overview*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barge P.


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

  2. Habitable Zones for Earth-mass Planets in Multiple Planetary Systems


    Jianghui, Ji; Lin, Liu; Kinoshita, H; Guangyu, Li


    We perform numerical simulations to study the Habitable zones (HZs) and dynamical structure for Earth-mass planets in multiple planetary systems. For example, in the HD 69830 system, we extensively explore the planetary configuration of three Neptune-mass companions with one massive terrestrial planet residing in 0.07 AU $\\leq a \\leq$ 1.20 AU, to examine the asteroid structure in this system. We underline that there are stable zones of at least $10^5$ yr for low-mass terrestrial planets locat...

  3. 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.

  4. Comparative Planetology of the Terrestrial Inner Planets: Implications for Astrobiology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulze-Makuch, D.; Dohm, J.M.; Fairén, A.G.; Baker, V.R.; Strom, R.G.


    Venus and Mars had likely liquid water on their surface for long periods of time during their history from which life could have originated and then adapted to live in ecological niches such as the subsurface for Mars and the atmosphere for Venus.

  5. Magnetism and thermal evolution of the terrestrial planets (United States)

    Stevenson, D. J.; Spohn, T.; Schubert, G.


    The absence in the cases of Venus and Mars of the substantial intrinsic magnetic fields of the earth and Mercury is considered, in light of thermal history calculations which suggest that, while the cores of Mercury and the earth are continuing to freeze, the cores of Venus and Mars may still be completely liquid. It is noted that completely fluid cores, lacking intrinsic heat sources, are not likely to sustain thermal convection for the age of the solar system, but cool to a subadiabatic, conductive state that cannot maintain a dynamo because of the gravitational energy release and the chemically driven convection that accompany inner core growth. The models presented include realistic pressure- and composition-dependent freezing curves for the core, and material parameters are chosen so that correct present-day values of heat outflow, upper mantle temperature and viscosity, and inner core radius, are obtained for the earth.

  6. Kepler: A Search for Terrestrial Planets - Kepler Data Characterization Handbook (United States)

    Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Christiansen, J. L.; Jenkins, J. M.; Caldwell, D. A.; Barclay, T.; Bryson, S. T.; Burke, C. J.; Campbell, J.; Catanzarite, J.; Clarke, B. D.; a style="text-decoration: none; " href="javascript:void(0); " onClick="displayelement('author_20170008454'); toggleEditAbsImage('author_20170008454_show'); toggleEditAbsImage('author_20170008454_hide'); "> hide


    The Kepler Data Characteristics Handbook (KDCH) provides a description of all phenomena identified in the Kepler data throughout the mission, and an explanation for how these characteristics are handled by the final version of the Kepler Data Processing Pipeline (SOC 9.3).The KDCH complements the Kepler Data Release Notes (KDRNs), which document phenomena and processing unique to a data release. The original motivation for this separation into static, explanatory text and a more journalistic set of figures and tables in the KDRN was for the user to become familiar with the Data Characteristics Handbook, then peruse the short Notes for a new quarter, referring back to the Handbook when necessary. With the completion of the Kepler mission and the final Data Release 25, both the KDCH and the DRN encompass the entire Kepler mission, so the distinction between them is in the level of exposition, not the extent of the time interval discussed.

  7. The effect of vortex finder heights on separation efficiency of dust cyclone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suthin Pholboorn


    Full Text Available The effect of vortex finder heights on separation efficiency of dust cyclone has been experimentally investigated in this present study. The separation efficiency of three cyclones with different vortex finder heights was measured as a function of particle size of dust and velocity of air. Husk ash was used as dust particles in the air. Three values of vortex finder heights of cyclone including 30, 50 and 70 mm were investigated. The inlet velocities of air were varied from 6.61, 7.35, 8.06 to 8.81 m/s. The dimensions of husk ash were conducted into four ranges, 0-150, 150-250, 250-500 and 500-850 micro meters. The experimented result reveals that the separation efficiency of dust cyclone was increased when the particle size of husk ash and the air velocity were increased for all of vortex finder heights. The vortex finder height of 50 mm was observed to have more separation efficiency than the others for all air velocities and particle sizes. The maximum separation efficiencies at the vortex finder height of 50 mm and the velocity of 8.81 m/s for all aforementioned particle ranges were found 98.85, 99.51, 99.69 and 99.91 percentages, respectively.

  8. Real-Time Video Convolutional Face Finder on Embedded Platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamalet Franck


    Full Text Available A high-level optimization methodology is applied for implementing the well-known convolutional face finder (CFF algorithm for real-time applications on mobile phones, such as teleconferencing, advanced user interfaces, image indexing, and security access control. CFF is based on a feature extraction and classification technique which consists of a pipeline of convolutions and subsampling operations. The design of embedded systems requires a good trade-off between performance and code size due to the limited amount of available resources. The followed methodology copes with the main drawbacks of the original implementation of CFF such as floating-point computation and memory allocation, in order to allow parallelism exploitation and perform algorithm optimizations. Experimental results show that our embedded face detection system can accurately locate faces with less computational load and memory cost. It runs on a 275 MHz Starcore DSP at 35 QCIF images/s with state-of-the-art detection rates and very low false alarm rates.

  9. 4D Cellular Automaton Track Finder in the CBM Experiment (United States)

    Akishina, Valentina; Kisel, Ivan


    The CBM experiment (FAIR/GSI, Darmstadt, Germany) will focus on the measurement of rare probes at interaction rates up to 10MHz with data flow of up to 1 TB/s. It requires a novel read-out and data-acquisition concept with self-triggered electronics and free-streaming data. In this case resolving different collisions is a non-trivial task and event building must be performed in software online. That requires full online event reconstruction and selection not only in space, but also in time, so-called 4D event building and selection. This is a task of the First-Level Event Selection (FLES). The FLES reconstruction and selection package consists of several modules: track finding, track fitting, short-lived particles finding, event building and event selection. The Cellular Automaton (CA) track finder algorithm was adapted towards time-based reconstruction. In this article, we describe in detail the modification done to the algorithm, as well as the performance of the developed time-based CA approach.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

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

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


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

  1. 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

  2. Terrestrial atmosphere, water and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coradini M.


    Full Text Available Primitive life, defined as a chemical system capable to transfer its molecular information via self-replication and also capable to evolve, originated about 4 billion years ago from the processing of organic molecules by liquid water. Terrestrial atmosphere played a key role in the process by allowing the permanent presence of liquid water and by participating in the production of carbon-based molecules. Water molecules exhibit specific properties mainly due to a dense network of hydrogen bonds. The carbon-based molecules were either home made in the atmosphere and/or in submarine hydrothermal systems or delivered by meteorites and micrometeorites. The search for possible places beyond the earth where the trilogy atmosphere/water/life could exist is the main objective of astrobiology. Within the Solar System, exploration missions are dedicated to Mars, Europa, Titan and the icy bodies. The discovery of several hundreds of extrasolar planets opens the quest to the whole Milky Way.

  3. 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

  4. 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...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R. [Department of Physical Sciences, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Bagnulo, S. [Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG (United Kingdom); Kowalski, P. M. [GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam (Germany); Shulyak, D. V. [Institute of Astrophysics, Georg-August-University, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, D-37077 Goettingen (Germany); Sterzik, M. F., E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail: [European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 (Chile)


    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for {approx}8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10{sup 2} (10{sup 4}) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M{sub Sun} white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.…

  9. Three regimes of extrasolar planet radius inferred from host star metallicities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W.


    Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high......-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find...... that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (~4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes...

  10. LISA and LISA PathFinder, the endeavour to detect low frequency GWs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Araujo, H [Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BW (United Kingdom); Boatella, C [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Chmeissani, M [Institut de Fisica d' Altes Energies (IFAE), Edifici C, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) (Spain); Conchillo, A [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Garcia-Berro, E [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Grimani, C [Universita degli Studi di Urbino, and INFN Florence, Istituto di Fisica, Via Santa Chiara 27, 61029 Urbino (Italy); Hajdas, W [Department of Particles and Matter, Paul Scherrer Institut, ODRA 120, 5232 Villigen (Switzerland); Lobo, A [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Martinez, L [AtIpic, Parc Tecnologic del Valles, 08290 Cerdanyola del Valles, Barcelona (Spain); Nofrarias, M [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Ortega, J A [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Puigdengoles, C [Institut de Fisica d' Altes Energies (IFAE), Edifici C, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) (Spain); Ramos-Castro, J [Departament d' Enginyeria Electronica, UPC, Campus Nord, Edif. C4, Jordi Girona 1-3, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Sanjuan, J [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Wass, P [Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BW (United Kingdom); Xirgu, X [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain)


    This is a review about LISA and its technology demonstrator, LISAPathFinder. We first describe the conceptual problems which need to be overcome in order to set up a working interferometric detector of low frequency Gravitational Waves (GW), then summarise the solutions to them as currently conceived by the LISA mission team. This will show that some of these solutions require new technological abilities which are still under development, and which need proper test before being fully implemented. LISAPathFinder (LPF) is the the testbed for such technologies. The final part of the paper will address the ideas and concepts behind the PathFinder as well as their impact on LISA.

  11. CT-Finder: A Web Service for CRISPR Optimal Target Prediction and Visualization. (United States)

    Zhu, Houxiang; Misel, Lauren; Graham, Mitchell; Robinson, Michael L; Liang, Chun


    The CRISPR system holds much promise for successful genome engineering, but therapeutic, industrial, and research applications will place high demand on improving the specificity and efficiency of this tool. CT-Finder ( is a web service to help users design guide RNAs (gRNAs) optimized for specificity. CT-Finder accommodates the original single-gRNA Cas9 system and two specificity-enhancing paired-gRNA systems: Cas9 D10A nickases (Cas9n) and dimeric RNA-guided FokI nucleases (RFNs). Optimal target candidates can be chosen based on the minimization of predicted off-target effects. Graphical visualization of on-target and off-target sites in the genome is provided for target validation. Major model organisms are covered by this web service.

  12. Heat-pipe planets (United States)

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


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

  13. Development and implementation of a 'Mental Health Finder' software tool within an electronic medical record system. (United States)

    Swan, D; Hannigan, A; Higgins, S; McDonnell, R; Meagher, D; Cullen, W


    In Ireland, as in many other healthcare systems, mental health service provision is being reconfigured with a move toward more care in the community, and particularly primary care. Recording and surveillance systems for mental health information and activities in primary care are needed for service planning and quality improvement. We describe the development and initial implementation of a software tool ('mental health finder') within a widely used primary care electronic medical record system (EMR) in Ireland to enable large-scale data collection on the epidemiology and management of mental health and substance use problems among patients attending general practice. In collaboration with the Irish Primary Care Research Network (IPCRN), we developed the 'Mental Health Finder' as a software plug-in to a commonly used primary care EMR system to facilitate data collection on mental health diagnoses and pharmacological treatments among patients. The finder searches for and identifies patients based on diagnostic coding and/or prescribed medicines. It was initially implemented among a convenience sample of six GP practices. Prevalence of mental health and substance use problems across the six practices, as identified by the finder, was 9.4% (range 6.9-12.7%). 61.9% of identified patients were female; 25.8% were private patients. One-third (33.4%) of identified patients were prescribed more than one class of psychotropic medication. Of the patients identified by the finder, 89.9% were identifiable via prescribing data, 23.7% via diagnostic coding. The finder is a feasible and promising methodology for large-scale data collection on mental health problems in primary care.

  14. [Canal Finder System 89!!! Improvements and indications after 4 years of experimentation and use]. (United States)

    Lévy, G


    Actually, the CANAL FINDER SYSTEM is the only entirely automated endodontic device. After four years of existence, many evaluations were able to show the qualities of this system regarding root canal penetration, cleaning and shaping. The earlier concerns such as ergonomical problems were solved: automated extraction of the K-file, automated sodium hypochlorite irrigation. A new file was created, particularly well adapted to the root canal shaping of curved canals. This addition has improved the efficiency of the automated instrumentation. The CANAL FINDER SYSTEM has reached a maturity level permitting an excellent reliability and ease of use.

  15. Positive cloud-to-ground lightning detection by a direction-finder network (United States)

    Macgorman, Donald R.; Taylor, William L.


    Consideration is given to the ability of an automatic direction-finder network to identify cloud-to-ground flashes that effectively lower positive charge to the ground (+CG flashes). Records from an extremely low frequency system are examined to determine whether or not 340 +CG flashes detected by the network have coincident waveforms characteristic of +CG flashes. It is found that false detection in the system is negligible for +CG flashes with range-normalized amplitudes of at least 50 direction-finder units. Also, it is shown that no more than about 15 percent of the +CG flashes detected by the system at smaller amplitudes are false detections.

  16. DUCHAMP: a 3D source finder for spectral-line data (United States)

    Whiting, Matthew T.


    This paper describes the DUCHAMP source finder, a piece of software designed to find and describe sources in three-dimensional, spectral-line data cubes. DUCHAMP has been developed with H I (neutral hydrogen) observations in mind, but is widely applicable to many types of astronomical images. It features efficient source detection and handling methods, noise suppression via smoothing or multi-resolution wavelet reconstruction, and a range of graphical and text-based outputs to allow the user to understand the detections. This paper details some of the key algorithms used and illustrates the effectiveness of the finder on different data sets.

  17. EasyGene – a prokaryotic gene finder that ranks ORFs by statistical significance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Thomas Schou; Krogh, Anders Stærmose


    annotated as genes.Results: In this paper, we present a new automated gene-finding method, EasyGene, which estimates the statistical significance of a predicted gene. The gene finder is based on a hidden Markov model (HMM) that is automatically estimated for a new genome. Using extensions of similarities...... is the expected number of ORFs in one megabase of random sequence at the same significance level or better, where the random sequence has the same statistics as the genome in the sense of a third order Markov chain.Conclusions: The result is a flexible gene finder whose overall performance matches or exceeds...

  18. Applications of the Integrated High-Performance CMOS Image Sensor to Range Finders - from Optical Triangulation to the Automotive Field. (United States)

    Wu, Jih-Huah; Pen, Cheng-Chung; Jiang, Joe-Air


    With their significant features, the applications of complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor (CMOS) image sensors covers a very extensive range, from industrialautomation to traffic applications such as aiming systems, blind guidance, active/passiverange finders, etc. In this paper CMOS image sensor-based active and passive rangefinders are presented. The measurement scheme of the proposed active/passive rangefinders is based on a simple triangulation method. The designed range finders chieflyconsist of a CMOS image sensor and some light sources such as lasers or LEDs. Theimplementation cost of our range finders is quite low. Image processing software to adjustthe exposure time (ET) of the CMOS image sensor to enhance the performance oftriangulation-based range finders was also developed. An extensive series of experimentswere conducted to evaluate the performance of the designed range finders. From theexperimental results, the distance measurement resolutions achieved by the active rangefinder and the passive range finder can be better than 0.6% and 0.25% within themeasurement ranges of 1 to 8 m and 5 to 45 m, respectively. Feasibility tests onapplications of the developed CMOS image sensor-based range finders to the automotivefield were also conducted. The experimental results demonstrated that our range finders arewell-suited for distance measurements in this field.

  19. Hvilket lands lov finder anvendelse, når ophavsrettigheder krænkes på Internettet?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Torsten Bjørn


    Artiklen gennemgår de lovvalgsregler, der finder anvendelse i Danmark for ophavsretskrænkelser på Internettet......Artiklen gennemgår de lovvalgsregler, der finder anvendelse i Danmark for ophavsretskrænkelser på Internettet...

  20. GLS-Finder: An Automated Data-Mining System for Fast Profiling Glucosinolates and its Application in Brassica Vegetables (United States)

    A rapid computer-aided program for profiling glucosinolates, “GLS-Finder", was developed. GLS-Finder is a Matlab script based expert system that is capable for qualitative and semi-quantitative analysis of glucosinolates in samples using data generated by ultra-high performance liquid chromatograph...

  1. SysFinder: A customized platform for search, comparison and assisted design of appropriate animal models based on systematic similarity. (United States)

    Yang, Shuang; Zhang, Guoqing; Liu, Wan; Wang, Zhen; Zhang, Jifeng; Yang, Dongshan; Chen, Y Eugene; Sun, Hong; Li, Yixue


    Animal models are increasingly gaining values by cross-comparisons of response or resistance to clinical agents used for patients. However, many disease mechanisms and drug effects generated from animal models are not transferable to human. To address these issues, we developed SysFinder (, a platform for scientists to find appropriate animal models for translational research. SysFinder offers a "topic-centered" approach for systematic comparisons of human genes, whose functions are involved in a specific scientific topic, to the corresponding homologous genes of animal models. Scientific topic can be a certain disease, drug, gene function or biological pathway. SysFinder calculates multi-level similarity indexes to evaluate the similarities between human and animal models in specified scientific topics. Meanwhile, SysFinder offers species-specific information to investigate the differences in molecular mechanisms between humans and animal models. Furthermore, SysFinder provides a user-friendly platform for determination of short guide RNAs (sgRNAs) and homology arms to design a new animal model. Case studies illustrate the ability of SysFinder in helping experimental scientists. SysFinder is a useful platform for experimental scientists to carry out their research in the human molecular mechanisms. Copyright © 2017 Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Genetics Society of China. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Planetary Systems and the Formation of Habitable Planets (United States)

    Dvorak, Rudolf; Maindl, Thomas I.; Burger, Christoph; Schäfer, Christoph; Speith, Roland


    As part of a national scientific network 'Pathways to Habitability' the formation of planets and the delivery of water onto these planets is a key question as water is essential for the development of life. In the first part of the paper we summarize the state of the art of planet formation - which is still under debate in the astronomical community - before we show our results on this topic. The outcome of our numerical simulations depends a lot on the choice of the initial distribution of planetesimals and planetary embryos after gas disappeared in the protoplanetary disk. We also take into account that some of these planetesimals of sizes in the order of the mass of the Moon already contained water; the quantity depends on the distance from the Sun - close-by bodies are dry, but starting from a distance of about 2 AU they can contain substantial amounts of water. We assume that the gas giants and terrestrial planets are already formed when we check the collisions of the small bodies containing water (in the order of a few percent) with the terrestrial planets. We thus are able to give an estimate of the respective contribution to the actual water content (of some Earth-oceans) in the mantle, in the crust and on the surface of Earth. In the second part we discuss in more detail how the formation of larger bodies after a collision may happen as the outcome depends on parameters like collision velocity, impact angle, and the materials involved. We present results obtained by SPH (Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics) simulations. We briefly describe this method and show different scenarios with respect to the formed bodies, possible fragmentation and the water content before and after the collision. In an appendix we discuss detection methods for extrasolar planets (close to 2000 such objects have been discovered so far).


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueta, S.; Sasaki, T., E-mail:, E-mail: [Earth and Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551 (Japan)


    Many extrasolar (bound) terrestrial planets and free-floating (unbound) planets have been discovered. While the existence of bound and unbound terrestrial planets with liquid water is an important question, of particular importance is the question of these planets' habitability. Even for a globally ice-covered planet, geothermal heat from the planetary interior may melt the interior ice, creating an internal ocean covered by an ice shell. In this paper, we discuss the conditions that terrestrial planets must satisfy for such an internal ocean to exist on the timescale of planetary evolution. The question is addressed in terms of planetary mass, distance from a central star, water abundance, and abundance of radiogenic heat sources. In addition, we investigate the structure of the surface H{sub 2}O layers of ice-covered planets by considering the effects of ice under high pressure (high-pressure ice). As a fiducial case, a 1 M{sub ⊕} planet at 1 AU from its central star and with 0.6-25 times the H{sub 2}O mass of the Earth could have an internal ocean. We find that high-pressure ice layers may appear between the internal ocean and the rock portion on a planet with an H{sub 2}O mass over 25 times that of the Earth. The planetary mass and abundance of surface water strongly restrict the conditions under which an extrasolar terrestrial planet may have an internal ocean with no high-pressure ice under the ocean. Such high-pressure ice layers underlying the internal ocean are likely to affect the habitability of the planet.

  6. 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...

  7. Modeling and Implementation of Multi-Position Non-Continuous Rotation Gyroscope North Finder. (United States)

    Luo, Jun; Wang, Zhiqian; Shen, Chengwu; Kuijper, Arjan; Wen, Zhuoman; Liu, Shaojin


    Even when the Global Positioning System (GPS) signal is blocked, a rate gyroscope (gyro) north finder is capable of providing the required azimuth reference information to a certain extent. In order to measure the azimuth between the observer and the north direction very accurately, we propose a multi-position non-continuous rotation gyro north finding scheme. Our new generalized mathematical model analyzes the elements that affect the azimuth measurement precision and can thus provide high precision azimuth reference information. Based on the gyro's principle of detecting a projection of the earth rotation rate on its sensitive axis and the proposed north finding scheme, we are able to deduct an accurate mathematical model of the gyro outputs against azimuth with the gyro and shaft misalignments. Combining the gyro outputs model and the theory of propagation of uncertainty, some approaches to optimize north finding are provided, including reducing the gyro bias error, constraining the gyro random error, increasing the number of rotation points, improving rotation angle measurement precision, decreasing the gyro and the shaft misalignment angles. According them, a north finder setup is built and the azimuth uncertainty of 18" is obtained. This paper provides systematic theory for analyzing the details of the gyro north finder scheme from simulation to implementation. The proposed theory can guide both applied researchers in academia and advanced practitioners in industry for designing high precision robust north finder based on different types of rate gyroscopes.

  8. Problem-based learning using the online Medicare Part D Plan Finder tool. (United States)

    Cutler, Timothy W; Stebbins, Marilyn R; Lai, Eric; Smith, Amanda R; Lipton, Helene Levens


    To implement didactic and problem-based learning curricular innovations aimed at increasing students' knowledge of Medicare Part D, improving their ability to apply the online Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder tool to a patient case, and improving their attitudes toward patient advocacy for Medicare beneficiaries. A survey instrument and a case-based online Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder tool exercise were administered to a single group (n = 120) of second-year pharmacy graduate students prior to and following completion of a course on health policy. Three domains (knowledge, skill mastery and attitudes) were measured before and after two 90-minute lectures on Medicare Part D. The online Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder exercise and Medicare Part D didactic lectures had positive effects on students' knowledge of Part D, attitudes toward patient advocacy, and ability to accurately use the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder tool. The success of these didactic and problem-based curricular innovations in improving pharmacy students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding Part D warrants further evaluation to determine their portability to clinical settings and other pharmacy schools.

  9. A Novel MEMS Gyro North Finder Design Based on the Rotation Modulation Technique. (United States)

    Zhang, Yongjian; Zhou, Bin; Song, Mingliang; Hou, Bo; Xing, Haifeng; Zhang, Rong


    Gyro north finders have been widely used in maneuvering weapon orientation, oil drilling and other areas. This paper proposes a novel Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) gyroscope north finder based on the rotation modulation (RM) technique. Two rotation modulation modes (static and dynamic modulation) are applied. Compared to the traditional gyro north finders, only one single MEMS gyroscope and one MEMS accelerometer are needed, reducing the total cost since high-precision gyroscopes and accelerometers are the most expensive components in gyro north finders. To reduce the volume and enhance the reliability, wireless power and wireless data transmission technique are introduced into the rotation modulation system for the first time. To enhance the system robustness, the robust least square method (RLSM) and robust Kalman filter (RKF) are applied in the static and dynamic north finding methods, respectively. Experimental characterization resulted in a static accuracy of 0.66° and a dynamic repeatability accuracy of 1°, respectively, confirming the excellent potential of the novel north finding system. The proposed single gyro and single accelerometer north finding scheme is universal, and can be an important reference to both scientific research and industrial applications.

  10. ChemINDEX Database; The Professional's Version of ChemFinder.Com


    Roth, Dana L.


    ChemFinder.Com and ChemINDEX are interfaces that access the same database. ChemINDEX, however, provides greatly enhanced search, display and customization features (and without any pop-up ads). The common database has indexed nearly 80K compounds (with an additional 160K synonyms) from over 800 publicly available sites.

  11. 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 (

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Professor: The Animal Planet Optimization


    Satish Gajawada


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke [University of Vienna, Institute for Astrophysics, Tuerkenschanzstr. 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Haghighipour, Nader, E-mail: [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)


    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the {alpha} Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of {alpha} Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the {alpha} Centauri system.

  18. 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....

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Applications of the Integrated High-Performance CMOS Image Sensor to Range Finders — from Optical Triangulation to the Automotive Field (United States)

    Wu, Jih-Huah; Pen, Cheng-Chung; Jiang, Joe-Air


    With their significant features, the applications of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors covers a very extensive range, from industrial automation to traffic applications such as aiming systems, blind guidance, active/passive range finders, etc. In this paper CMOS image sensor-based active and passive range finders are presented. The measurement scheme of the proposed active/passive range finders is based on a simple triangulation method. The designed range finders chiefly consist of a CMOS image sensor and some light sources such as lasers or LEDs. The implementation cost of our range finders is quite low. Image processing software to adjust the exposure time (ET) of the CMOS image sensor to enhance the performance of triangulation-based range finders was also developed. An extensive series of experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of the designed range finders. From the experimental results, the distance measurement resolutions achieved by the active range finder and the passive range finder can be better than 0.6% and 0.25% within the measurement ranges of 1 to 8 m and 5 to 45 m, respectively. Feasibility tests on applications of the developed CMOS image sensor-based range finders to the automotive field were also conducted. The experimental results demonstrated that our range finders are well-suited for distance measurements in this field. PMID:27879789

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Very high-density planets: a possible remnant of gas giants. (United States)

    Mocquet, A; Grasset, O; Sotin, C


    Data extracted from the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia (see show the existence of planets that are more massive than iron cores that would have the same size. After meticulous verification of the data, we conclude that the mass of the smallest of these planets is actually not known. However, the three largest planets, Kepler-52b, Kepler-52c and Kepler-57b, which are between 30 and 100 times the mass of the Earth, have indeed density larger than an iron planet of the same size. This observation triggers this study that investigates under which conditions these planets could represent the naked cores of gas giants that would have lost their atmospheres during their migration towards the star. This study shows that for moderate viscosity values (10(25) Pa s or lower), large values of escape rate and associated unloading stress rate during the atmospheric loss process lead to the explosion of extremely massive planets. However, for moderate escape rate, the bulk viscosity and finite-strain incompressibility of the cores of giant planets can be large enough to retain a very high density during geological time scales. This would make those a new kind of planet, which would help in understanding the interior structure of the gas giants. However, this new family of exoplanets adds some degeneracy for characterizing terrestrial exoplanets.

  5. 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

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


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

  7. Spectral fingerprints of Earth-like planets around FGK stars. (United States)

    Rugheimer, Sarah; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Zsom, Andras; Segura, Antígona; Sasselov, Dimitar


    We present model atmospheres for an Earth-like planet orbiting the entire grid of main sequence FGK stars with effective temperatures ranging from Teff=4250 K to Teff=7000 K in 250 K intervals. We have modeled the remotely detectable spectra of Earth-like planets for clear and cloudy atmospheres at the 1 AU equivalent distance from the VIS to IR (0.4 to 20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges in accordance with the James Webb Space Telescope and future design concepts to characterize exo-Earths. We have also explored the effect of the stellar UV levels as well as spectral energy distribution on a terrestrial atmosphere, concentrating on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. The increase in UV dominates changes of O3, OH, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl, whereas the increase in stellar temperature dominates changes in H2O. The overall effect as stellar effective temperatures and corresponding UV increase is a lower surface temperature of the planet due to a bigger part of the stellar flux being reflected at short wavelengths, as well as increased photolysis. Earth-like atmosphere models show more O3 and OH but less stratospheric CH4, N2O, CH3Cl, and tropospheric H2O (but more stratospheric H2O) with increasing effective temperature of main sequence stars. The corresponding detectable spectral features, on the other hand, show different detectability depending on the wavelength observed. We concentrate on directly imaged planets here as a framework to interpret future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone at varying orbital positions.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    Moses, Julianne I


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

  10. 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.

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

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


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

  12. Integrated Wavefront Corrector Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — One of the critical issues for NASA missions requiring high contrast astrophysical imaging such as Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is wavefront control. Without use...

  13. SynergyFinder: a web application for analyzing drug combination dose-response matrix data. (United States)

    Ianevski, Aleksandr; He, Liye; Aittokallio, Tero; Tang, Jing


    Rational design of drug combinations has become a promising strategy to tackle the drug sensitivity and resistance problem in cancer treatment. To systematically evaluate the pre-clinical significance of pairwise drug combinations, functional screening assays that probe combination effects in a dose-response matrix assay are commonly used. To facilitate the analysis of such drug combination experiments, we implemented a web application that uses key functions of R-package SynergyFinder, and provides not only the flexibility of using multiple synergy scoring models, but also a user-friendly interface for visualizing the drug combination landscapes in an interactive manner. The SynergyFinder web application is freely accessible at ; The R-package and its source-code are freely available at .

  14. The scheme of automatic pseudo Doppler software defined radio direction finder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavlyuk V.V.


    Full Text Available The research describes the implementation approaches of a pseudo Doppler radio direction finding method based on software defined radio technology. A block diagram of an automatic pseudo Doppler software defined radio direction finder is proposed. A hardware functional diagram of specialized software architecture is offered. New schematic solution for antenna commutator and beating software synchronization is realized. For smoothing the bearing measurement of an aperiodic cyclic field based filtering procedure is proposed. By mathematical and experimental modeling a key features of a pseudo Doppler software defined radio direction finder are proved in comparison with the classical implementation: short signals bearing ability, statistical smoothing algorithms implementation convenience, simultaneous multiple frequency channels direction finding possibility, processing information simplification, flexibility and reconfigurability of radio direction finding systems. A prototype that implements the proposed approaches, circuitry design, software and algorithmic solutions is developed.

  15. UP Finder: A COBRA toolbox extension for identifying gene overexpression strategies for targeted overproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xi Wang


    Full Text Available Overexpression of key genes is a basic strategy for overproducing target products via metabolic engineering. Traditionally, identifying those key genes/pathways largely relies on the knowledge of biochemistry and bioinformatics. In this study, a modeling tool named UP Finder was developed to facilitate the rapid identification of gene overexpression strategies. It was based on the COBRA toolbox under MATLAB environment. All the key gene/pathway targets are identified in one click after simply loading a Systems Biology Markup Language model and specifying a metabolite as the targeted product. The outputs are also quantitatively ranked to show the preference for determining overexpression strategies in pathway design. Analysis examples for overproducing lycopene precursor in Escherichia coli and fatty acyl-ACP in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by the UP Finder showed high degree of agreement with the reported key genes in the literatures.

  16. UP Finder: A COBRA toolbox extension for identifying gene overexpression strategies for targeted overproduction. (United States)

    Wang, Xi; Yu, Liang; Chen, Shulin


    Overexpression of key genes is a basic strategy for overproducing target products via metabolic engineering. Traditionally, identifying those key genes/pathways largely relies on the knowledge of biochemistry and bioinformatics. In this study, a modeling tool named UP Finder was developed to facilitate the rapid identification of gene overexpression strategies. It was based on the COBRA toolbox under MATLAB environment. All the key gene/pathway targets are identified in one click after simply loading a Systems Biology Markup Language model and specifying a metabolite as the targeted product. The outputs are also quantitatively ranked to show the preference for determining overexpression strategies in pathway design. Analysis examples for overproducing lycopene precursor in Escherichia coli and fatty acyl-ACP in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by the UP Finder showed high degree of agreement with the reported key genes in the literatures.

  17. Experimental study on the 1550 nm all fiber heterodyne laser range finder. (United States)

    Yang, Fu; He, Yan; Shang, Jianhua; Chen, Weibiao


    In this paper, a 1550 nm all fiber monostatic laser range finder system based on linear chirp modulation and heterodyne detection is presented. The fiber end face signal is used as a range starting indicator. The transmitted laser power is 5 mW with a laser pulse length of 131 micros and a linear chirp bandwidth of 40 MHz. The telescope with an aperture of 3 cm couples the return light into a single mode fiber. Better than 14 cm distance accuracy and 26 dB SNR can be achieved for a wood target at a distance of about 43 m by using the above system setup. Several experiments with different system parameters are conducted. The system performance is tested under variable laser pulse length, linear chirp bandwidth, local oscillator power, and background noise. Finally, an application of the linear chirp modulation heterodyne laser range finder in a spaceborne ranging system is proposed.

  18. PTXT Finder - an application for finding appropriate EHR data elements for data analysis using cross referencing information sources. (United States)

    Lin, Jau-Huei; Haug, Peter J


    PTXT Finder was developed to reduce the manual efforts necessary to map from clinical variables in a decision support system to data elements in an EHR. The descriptions in a data dictionary may be inadequate for pinpointing data elements that represent a clinical variable. Semantics implied in taxonomy and real usage of the element are two important supporting information sources. PTXT Finder provides description, hierarchy, and statistics displays so users can cross-reference among these views.

  19. LISA and LISA PathFinder, the endeavour to detect low frequency GWs


    Ara?jo, H; Boatella, C; Chmeissani, M; Conchillo, A; Garc?a-Berro, E; Grimani, C; Hajdas, W; Lobo, A; Mart?nez, L; Nofrarias, M; Ortega, JA; Puigdengoles, C; Ramos-Castro, J; Sanju?n, J; Wass, P


    This is a review about LISA and its technology demonstrator, LISA PathFinder. We first describe the conceptual problems which need to be overcome in order to set up a working interferometric detector of low frequency Gravitational Waves (GW), then summarise the solutions to them as currently conceived by the LISA mission team. This will show that some of these solutions require new technological abilities which are still under development, and which need proper test before being fully impleme...

  20. UP Finder: A COBRA toolbox extension for identifying gene overexpression strategies for targeted overproduction


    Wang, Xi; Yu, Liang; Chen, Shulin


    Overexpression of key genes is a basic strategy for overproducing target products via metabolic engineering. Traditionally, identifying those key genes/pathways largely relies on the knowledge of biochemistry and bioinformatics. In this study, a modeling tool named UP Finder was developed to facilitate the rapid identification of gene overexpression strategies. It was based on the COBRA toolbox under MATLAB environment. All the key gene/pathway targets are identified in one click after simply...

  1. Fiber optic gyroscope dynamic north-finder algorithm modeling and analysis based on Simulink (United States)

    Zhang, Zhengyi; Liu, Chuntong


    In view of the problems such as the lower automation level and the insufficient precision of the traditional fiber optic gyroscope (FOG) static north-finder, this paper focuses on the in-depth analysis of the FOG dynamic north-finder principle and algorithm. The simulation model of the FOG dynamic north found algorithm with the least square method by points is established using Simulink toolbox, and then the platform rotation speed and sampling frequency, which affect FOG dynamic north found precision obviously, are simulated and calculated, and the optimization analysis is carried out as a key consideration. The simulation results show that, when the platform rotation speed is between 4.5 °/s and 8.5 °/s and the sampling frequency is at about 50 Hz in the case of using the parameters of this paper, the FOG dynamic north finding system can reach the higher precision. And the conclusions can provide the reference and validation for the engineering and practical of FOG dynamic north-finder.

  2. Qibla Finder and Sholat Times Based on Digital Compass, GPS and Microprocessor (United States)

    Sanjaya, W. S. M.; Anggraeni, D.; Nurrahman, F. I.; Kresnadjaja, W. G.; Dewi, I. P.; Mira; Aliah, H.; Marlina, L.


    To performing Sholat, Muslims around the world are required to pay attention to the requirements of Sholat, such as; determining the direction of the Qibla (Kaaba) and the time of Sholat. In this research will be made a real time Qibla Finder and Sholat Times named Q-Bot Ver3 to help Muslims find a Qibla direction and Time of Sholat anywhere. This Qibla Finder and Sholat Times are developed with robotic technology based on Digital Compass, GPS and Microcontroller. To determine the Qibla direction and Sholat times, latitude and longitude data form GPS module processed used spherical triangle trigonometry method, while the compass module used to show the Qibla direction. Moreover, this system has a buzzer which can sound if the device facing to the Qibla. This system is reliable and accurate in determining the Qibla Finder and Sholat Times. Thus, the advantage of the system is can correct the Qibla of Masjid and can help blind people to facing Qibla around the world.

  3. A New Data Concentrator for the CMS Muon Barrel Track Finder

    CERN Document Server

    Triossi, Andrea


    The CMS muon trigger will undergo considerable enhancements in preparation for the LHC \\mbox{run-2}. In order to improve rate reduction and efficiency the full muon trigger chain will be completely redesigned: the plan is to move from a redundant scheme, where the three subdetectors (CSC, DT, RPC) have a separate track finder, to three geographical track finders (barrel, endcap and overlap) that combine trigger primitives of each sub-detector. In particular, the muon barrel track finder (MBTF) will host a new algorithm, that aggregating DT and RPC trigger data, will be able to improve the fake rejection and the muon momentum measurement.This report will focus on the adaptive layer of the MBTF called TwinMux. Its primary role will be to merge, arrange and fan-out the slow optical links from the chambers in faster links (10 Gbps). It will realize a full connectivity matrix between the on-detector electronics and the MBTF allowing for different processing schemes. The TwinMux will be implemented in $\\mu$TCA for...

  4. PPInterFinder--a mining tool for extracting causal relations on human proteins from literature. (United States)

    Raja, Kalpana; Subramani, Suresh; Natarajan, Jeyakumar


    One of the most common and challenging problem in biomedical text mining is to mine protein-protein interactions (PPIs) from MEDLINE abstracts and full-text research articles because PPIs play a major role in understanding the various biological processes and the impact of proteins in diseases. We implemented, PPInterFinder--a web-based text mining tool to extract human PPIs from biomedical literature. PPInterFinder uses relation keyword co-occurrences with protein names to extract information on PPIs from MEDLINE abstracts and consists of three phases. First, it identifies the relation keyword using a parser with Tregex and a relation keyword dictionary. Next, it automatically identifies the candidate PPI pairs with a set of rules related to PPI recognition. Finally, it extracts the relations by matching the sentence with a set of 11 specific patterns based on the syntactic nature of PPI pair. We find that PPInterFinder is capable of predicting PPIs with the accuracy of 66.05% on AIMED corpus and outperforms most of the existing systems. DATABASE URL:

  5. Comparing operational performance of the Virtual Seismologist and FinDer for earthquake early warning. (United States)

    Massin, Frederick; Boese, Maren; Cauzzi, Carlo V.; Clinton, John F.


    An earthquake early warning (EEW) system can provide fast and accurate parameter estimations across wide ranges of source dimensions, event types and epicentral distances by integrating event or ground motion parameter estimations from different EEW algorithms, each of them optimized for specific tasks. We have integrated two such independent EEW algorithms, Virtual Seismologist (VS) and FinDer in the popular open-source seismic monitoring framework, SeisComP3 (SC3). VS(SC3) provides rapid magnitude estimates for network-based point-source origins using conventional triggering and association, while FinDer matches evolving patterns of ground motion to track on-going rupture extent, and hence can provide accurate ground motion predictions for finite fault ruptures. SC3 is operated by a large number of regional seismic network across the world, many of which have a long term interest to develop EEW capabilities. By combining real-time performance with playbacks from significant events, we report on the configuration and performance of VS and FinDer in various different tectonic and monitoring environments - Switzerland, Nicaragua and Southern California. We discuss how real-time EEW reports from these complimentary algorithms can be combined in practice to provide a single EEW from the SC3 system.

  6. Optimization high vortex finder of cyclone separator with computational fluids dynamics simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni Ketut Caturwati


    Full Text Available Cyclone separator is an equipment that separates particles contained in the fluid without using filters. The dust particles in the flue gases can be separated by utilizing centrifugal forces and different densities of particles, so that the exhaust gases to be cleaner before discharged into the environment. In this paper carried out a simulation by Computational of Fluids Dynamics to determine the number of particles that can be separated in several cyclone separator which has a ratio body diameter against vortex finder high varied as : 1:0.5 ; 1:0.75 ; 1:1 ; 1:1.25 and 1:1.5. Fluid inlet are air with antrachite impurity particles that are commonly found in the exhaust gases from tire manufacturers with inlet velocities varied as: 15 m/s and 30 m/s. The results of simulation show the fluids with 15 m/s of inlet velocity is generate particle separation value is higher than the fluids with 30 m/s inlet velocity for ratio of body diameter and height vortex finder a: 1:0.5 and 1:1.5. For both of inlet velocities the best ratio of body diameter and height vortex finder is 1:1.25, where it has the highest values of percentage trapped particles about 86% for 30 m/s input velocity and also for 15 m/s input velocity.

  7. GLS-Finder: A Platform for Fast Profiling of Glucosinolates in Brassica Vegetables. (United States)

    Sun, Jianghao; Zhang, Mengliang; Chen, Pei


    Mass spectrometry combined with related tandem techniques has become the most popular method for plant secondary metabolite characterization. We introduce a new strategy based on in-database searching, mass fragmentation behavior study, formula predicting for fast profiling of glucosinolates, a class of important compounds in brassica vegetables. A MATLAB script-based expert system computer program, "GLS-Finder", was developed. It is capable of qualitative and semi-quantitative analyses of glucosinolates in samples using data generated by ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-high-resolution accurate mass with multi-stage mass fragmentation (UHPLC-HRAM/MS(n)). A suite of bioinformatic tools was integrated into the "GLS-Finder" to perform raw data deconvolution, peak alignment, glucosinolate putative assignments, semi-quantitation, and unsupervised principal component analysis (PCA). GLS-Finder was successfully applied to identify intact glucosinolates in 49 commonly consumed Brassica vegetable samples in the United States. It is believed that this work introduces a new way of fast data processing and interpretation for qualitative and quantitative analyses of glucosinolates, where great efficacy was improved in comparison to identification manually.

  8. Tidal Timelines: Evolution of Terrestrial Exoplanet Habitability Around Low Mass Stars (United States)

    Mullins, K.; Barnes, R.


    The range of orbits for planetary habitability have traditionally been based on the stellar flux that allows liquid water to persist on a planetary surface. However, when considering terrestrial (rocky) planets close to a low mass star (≤0.35M⊙), tidal effects must be considered because of the additional energy input from tidal heating. Of further interest is the time over which habitable conditions are generated by tidal interaction. Tides cause orbital evolution, during which the heat flux varies, which may cause the planet to migrate in and out of habitable zones and possibly result in sterilization. So, the heating history of a planet should be a consideration when searching for life-supporting planets. We apply heat flux limitations on habitability (based on observations within our solar system) and tidally evolve planets across a range of initial conditions of orbits and masses. Our results provide a visualization of the time a planet has spent with a favorable amount of tidal heat for habitability and/or the amount of time until the heating is no longer conducive to habitability. As a greater number of close in terrestrial planets are found, these results can provide a method for identifying those planets with the highest potential for life.

  9. 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.

  10. Is There a Temperature Limit in Planet Formation at 1000 K? (United States)

    Demirci, Tunahan; Teiser, Jens; Steinpilz, Tobias; Landers, Joachim; Salamon, Soma; Wende, Heiko; Wurm, Gerhard


    Dust drifting inward in protoplanetary disks is subject to increasing temperatures. In laboratory experiments, we tempered basaltic dust between 873 K and 1273 K and find that the dust grains change in size and composition. These modifications influence the outcome of self-consistent low speed aggregation experiments showing a transition temperature of 1000 K. Dust tempered at lower temperatures grows to a maximum aggregate size of 2.02 ± 0.06 mm, which is 1.49 ± 0.08 times the value for dust tempered at higher temperatures. A similar size ratio of 1.75 ± 0.16 results for a different set of collision velocities. This transition temperature is in agreement with orbit temperatures deduced for observed extrasolar planets. Most terrestrial planets are observed at positions equivalent to less than 1000 K. Dust aggregation on the millimeter-scale at elevated temperatures might therefore be a key factor for terrestrial planet formation.

  11. Comparison of three multiplex PCR assays for the detection of respiratory viral infections: evaluation of xTAG respiratory virus panel fast assay, RespiFinder 19 assay and RespiFinder SMART 22 assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dabisch-Ruthe Mareike


    Full Text Available Abstract Background A broad spectrum of pathogens is causative for respiratory tract infections, but symptoms are mostly similar. Therefore, the identification of the causative viruses and bacteria is only feasible using multiplex PCR or several monoplex PCR tests in parallel. Methods The analytical sensitivity of three multiplex PCR assays, RespiFinder-19, RespiFinder-SMART-22 and xTAG-Respiratory-Virus-Panel-Fast-Assay (RVP, were compared to monoplex real-time PCR with quantified standardized control material. All assays include the most common respiratory pathogens. Results To compare the analytical sensitivity of the multiplex assays, samples were inoculated with 13 different quantified viruses in the range of 101 to 105 copies/ml. Concordant results were received for rhinovirus, whereas the RVP detected influenzavirus, RSV and hMPV more frequently in low concentrations. The RespiFinder-19 and the RespiFinder-SMART-22 showed a higher analytical sensitivity for adenoviruses and coronaviruses, whereas the RVP was incapable to detect adenovirus and coronavirus in concentrations of 104 copies/ml. The RespiFinder-19 and RespiFinder-SMART-22A did not detect influenzaviruses (104 copies/ml and RSV (103 copies/ml. The detection of all 13 viruses in one sample was only achieved using monoplex PCR. To analyze possible competitive amplification reactions between the different viruses, samples were further inoculated with only 4 different viruses in one sample. Compared to the detection of 13 viruses in parallel, only a few differences were found. The incidence of respiratory viruses was compared in tracheal secretion (TS samples (n = 100 of mechanically ventilated patients in winter (n = 50 and summer (n = 50. In winter, respiratory viruses were detected in 32 TS samples (64% by RespiFinder-19, whereas the detection rate with RVP was only 22%. The most frequent viruses were adenovirus (32% and PIV-2 (20%. Multiple infections were detected

  12. 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

  13. Introduced Terrestrial Species (Future) (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted future potential distributions of terrestrial plants, animals, and pathogens non-native to the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

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


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

  19. Auroral phenomenology and magnetospheric processes earth and other planets

    CERN Document Server

    Keiling, Andreas; Bagenal, Fran; Karlsson, Tomas


    Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Geophysical Monograph Series. Many of the most basic aspects of the aurora remain unexplained. While in the past terrestrial and planetary auroras have been largely treated in separate books, Auroral Phenomenology and Magnetospheric Processes: Earth and Other Planets takes a holistic approach, treating the aurora as a fundamental process and discussing the phenomenology, physics, and relationship with the respective planetary magnetospheres in one volume. While there are some behaviors common in auroras of the diffe

  20. Factors important for women who breastfeed in public: a content analysis of review data from FeedFinder. (United States)

    Simpson, Emma; Garbett, Andrew; Comber, Rob; Balaam, Madeline


    To examine how the breastfeeding experience is represented by users of FeedFinder (a mobile phone application for finding, reviewing and sharing places to breastfeed in public). Content analysis using FeedFinder database. FeedFinder, UK, September 2013-June 2015. Reviews obtained through FeedFinder over a period of 21 months were systematically coded using a conventional content analysis approach, average review scores were calculated for the rating criteria in FeedFinder (comfort, hygiene, privacy, baby facilities) and review texts were analysed for sentiment. We used data from Foursquare to describe the type of venues visited and cross-referenced the location of venues with the Indices of Multiple Deprivation. A total of 1757 reviews were analysed. Of all the reviews obtained, 80% of those were classified as positive, 15.4% were classified as neutral and 4.3% were classified as negative. Important factors that were discussed by women include facilities, service, level of privacy available and qualities of a venue. The majority of venues were classified as cafes (26.4%), shops (24.4%) and pubs (13.4%). Data on IMD were available for 1229 venues mapped within FeedFinder, 23% were located within the most deprived quintile and 16% were located in the least deprived quintile. Women create content that is positive and informative when describing their breastfeeding experience in public. Public health bodies and business owners have the potential to use the data from FeedFinder to impact on service provision. Further work is needed to explore the demographic differences that may help to tailor public health interventions aimed at increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

  1. MacSyFinder: a program to mine genomes for molecular systems with an application to CRISPR-Cas systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie S Abby

    Full Text Available Biologists often wish to use their knowledge on a few experimental models of a given molecular system to identify homologs in genomic data. We developed a generic tool for this purpose.Macromolecular System Finder (MacSyFinder provides a flexible framework to model the properties of molecular systems (cellular machinery or pathway including their components, evolutionary associations with other systems and genetic architecture. Modelled features also include functional analogs, and the multiple uses of a same component by different systems. Models are used to search for molecular systems in complete genomes or in unstructured data like metagenomes. The components of the systems are searched by sequence similarity using Hidden Markov model (HMM protein profiles. The assignment of hits to a given system is decided based on compliance with the content and organization of the system model. A graphical interface, MacSyView, facilitates the analysis of the results by showing overviews of component content and genomic context. To exemplify the use of MacSyFinder we built models to detect and class CRISPR-Cas systems following a previously established classification. We show that MacSyFinder allows to easily define an accurate "Cas-finder" using publicly available protein profiles.MacSyFinder is a standalone application implemented in Python. It requires Python 2.7, Hmmer and makeblastdb (version 2.2.28 or higher. It is freely available with its source code under a GPLv3 license at It is compatible with all platforms supporting Python and Hmmer/makeblastdb. The "Cas-finder" (models and HMM profiles is distributed as a compressed tarball archive as Supporting Information.

  2. 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.

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

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


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

  4. 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....

  5. PEP-SiteFinder: a tool for the blind identification of peptide binding sites on protein surfaces. (United States)

    Saladin, Adrien; Rey, Julien; Thévenet, Pierre; Zacharias, Martin; Moroy, Gautier; Tufféry, Pierre


    Peptide-protein interactions are important to many processes of life, particularly for signal transmission or regulatory mechanisms. When no information is known about the interaction between a protein and a peptide, it is of interest to propose candidate sites of interaction at the protein surface, to assist the design of biological experiments to probe the interaction, or to serve as a starting point for more focused in silico approaches. PEP-SiteFinder is a tool that will, given the structure of a protein and the sequence of a peptide, identify protein residues predicted to be at peptide-protein interface. PEP-SiteFinder relies on the 3D de novo generation of peptide conformations given its sequence. These conformations then undergo a fast blind rigid docking on the complete protein surface, and we have found, as the result of a benchmark over 41 complexes, that the best poses overlap to some extent the experimental patch of interaction for close to 90% complexes. In addition, PEP-SiteFinder also returns a propensity index we have found informative about the confidence of the prediction. The PEP-SiteFinder web server is available at © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  6. Terrestrial and extraterrestrial fullerenes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heymann, D.; Jenneskens, L.W.; Jehlicka, J; Koper, C.; Vlietstra, E. [Rice Univ, Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Earth Science


    This paper reviews reports of occurrences of fullerenes in circumstellar media, interstellar media, meteorites, interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), lunar rocks, hard terrestrial rocks from Shunga (Russia), Sudbury (Canada) and Mitov (Czech Republic), coal, terrestrial sediments from the Cretaceous-Tertiary-Boundary and Pennian-Triassic-Boundary, fulgurite, ink sticks, dinosaur eggs, and a tree char. The occurrences are discussed in the context of known and postulated processes of fullerene formation, including the suggestion that some natural fullerenes might have formed from biological (algal) remains.

  7. SciFinder Scholar 2006: an empirical analysis of research topic query processing. (United States)

    Wagner, A Ben


    Topical search queries in SciFinder Scholar are processed through an extensive set of natural language processing algorithms that greatly enhance the relevance and comprehensiveness of the search results. Little detailed documentation on these algorithms has been published. However, a careful examination of the highlighted hit terms coupled with a comparison of results from small variations in query language reveal much additional, useful information about these algorithms. An understanding of how these algorithms work can lead to better search results and explain many unexpected results, including differing hit counts for singular versus plural query words and phrases.

  8. Oblique Sounding of the Ionosphere by Means of an Ionosonde-Direction Finder with Chirp Signal (United States)

    Vertogradov, G. G.; Uryadov, V. P.; Sklyarevsky, M. S.; Valov, V. A.


    We give a mathematical rationale, an algorithm, and hardware implementation for a multichannel ionosonde-direction finder with chirp signal. The results of experimental studies of twodimensional angle-frequency characteristics on the Cyprus—Rostov-on-Don meridional obliquesounding path are presented. It is shown that both regular (terminator-related) and irregular (caused by the passage of a traveling ionospheric disturbance through the propagation path) transverse (with respect to the propagation path) horizontal gradients of the electron number density lead to a deviation of the azimuth of the high-angle ray in the direction of the Ne gradient. The experimental data are compared with the simulation results.

  9. The inclusion of RPC only segments in the Barrel Muon Track Finder

    CERN Document Server

    CMS Collaboration


    On November 3, 2017 during the LHC fill 6360 and from the run number 306121 RPC-only segments were enable to trigger. In this document we show the impact of the RPC-only segments in the Barrel Muon Track Finder efficiency performance. The efficiency measurement was done with Tag and Probe cut and count following the Muon POG working point recommendations (tight ID and Particle Flow isolation requirements more details can be found in The used dataset was ZMuMu corresponding to each period.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandhaus, Phoebe H.; Debes, John H.; Ely, Justin; Hines, Dean C.; Bourque, Matthew [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)


    The search for transiting habitable exoplanets has broadened to include several types of stars that are smaller than the Sun in an attempt to increase the observed transit depth and hence the atmospheric signal of the planet. Of all spectral types, white dwarfs (WDs) are the most favorable for this type of investigation. The fraction of WDs that possess close-in rocky planets is unknown, but several large angle stellar surveys have the photometric precision and cadence to discover at least one if they are common. Ultraviolet observations of WDs may allow for detection of molecular oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet. We use archival Hubble Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to search for transiting rocky planets around UV-bright WDs. In the process, we discovered unusual variability in the pulsating WD GD 133, which shows slow sinusoidal variations in the UV. While we detect no planets around our small sample of targets, we do place stringent limits on the possibility of transiting planets, down to sub-lunar radii. We also point out that non-transiting small planets in thermal equilibrium are detectable around hotter WDs through infrared excesses, and identify two candidates.

  11. Three regimes of extrasolar planet radius inferred from host star metallicities. (United States)

    Buchhave, Lars A; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W; Sasselov, Dimitar; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Isaacson, Howard; Juncher, Diana; Marcy, Geoffrey W


    Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (∼4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes (radii between 1.7 and 3.9 Earth radii) and ice or gas giant planets (radii greater than 3.9 Earth radii). These transitions correspond well with those inferred from dynamical mass estimates, implying that host star metallicity, which is a proxy for the initial solids inventory of the protoplanetary disk, is a key ingredient regulating the structure of planetary systems.

  12. Full-lifetime simulations of multiple planets across all phases of stellar evolution (United States)

    Veras, D.; Mustill, A. J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Redfield, S.; Georgakarakos, N.; Bowler, A. B.; Lloyd, M. J. S.


    We know that planetary systems are just as common around white dwarfs as around main-sequence stars. However, self-consistently linking a planetary system across these two phases of stellar evolution through the violent giant branch poses computational challenges, and previous studies restricted architectures to equal-mass planets. Here, we remove this constraint and perform over 450 numerical integrations over a Hubble time (14 Gyr) of packed planetary systems with unequal-mass planets. We characterize the resulting trends as a function of planet order and mass. We find that intrusive radial incursions in the vicinity of the white dwarf become less likely as the dispersion amongst planet masses increases. The orbital meandering which may sustain a sufficiently dynamic environment around a white dwarf to explain observations is more dependent on the presence of terrestrial-mass planets than any variation in planetary mass. Triggering unpacking or instability during the white dwarf phase is comparably easy for systems of unequal-mass planets and systems of equal-mass planets; instabilities during the giant branch phase remain rare and require fine-tuning of initial conditions. We list the key dynamical features of each simulation individually as a potential guide for upcoming discoveries.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    Cole, George H. A.

    solar/cosmic abundance of the elements. 8.2. The formation of molecules. 8.3. The compositions of terrestrial materials. 8.4. The moon. 8.5. Venus. 8.6. The material of the Solar System. 8.7. Material in orbit. 9. Finding the ages of rocks: geochronology. 9.1. Atoms and radioactive decay. 9.2. Nuclear reactions. 9.3. An elementary method for dating rocks. 9.4. The closure temperature. 9.5. Selecting a particular decay mode. 9.6. Dating using nuclear reactors. 10. Surfaces and interiors. 10.1. The surface figure. 10.2. The interior. 10.3. The near-surface interior region. 10.4. Free body oscillations. 10.5. Empirical equations of state. 10.6. Fluid bodies. 11. The solid earth. 11.1. General parameters. 11.2. The interior seismic structure. 11.3. An active structure. 11.4. Plates and plate tectonics. 11.5. The inner and outer cores. 11.6. A dynamic earth. 11.7. Comments on the atmosphere. 12. The planets: Mercury and Mars. 12.1. Rotation and temperature. 12.2. Surface details. 12.3. Internal structure of mercury. 12.4. The Mercury atmosphere. 12.5. The general topology of Mars. 12.6. Martian geology. 12.7. Thermal Mars. 12.8. The internal structure of Mars. 12.9. The atmosphere of Mars. 12.10. A tentative history of Mars. 13. Planet Venus. 13.1. First views of the surface. 13.2. Surface details. 13.3. The Venus interior. 13.4. Venus atmosphere. 14. The planets: Jupiter and Saturn. 14.1. Surface features. 14.2. The heat budgets. 14.3. Visible surface compositions. 14.4. General comments on internal conditions. 14.5. Detailed model interiors. 14.6. Comment on interior heat flow. 14.7. Intrinsic magnetic fields. 15. The planets: Uranus and Neptune. 15.1. Surface features. 15.2. Heat budgets. 15.3. Visible surface compositions. 15.4. Internal structure and conditions. 15.5. Comment on interior heat flow. 15.6. Intrinsic magnetism. 16. Satellites of the Solar System. 16.1. The moon. 16.2. The satellites of Mars. 16.3. The larger satellites. 16.4. The smaller satellites. 16

  16. 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.

  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. Applying the ResFinder and VirulenceFinder web-services for easy identification of acquired antibiotic resistance and E. coli virulence genes in bacteriophage and prophage nucleotide sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kleinheinz, Kortine Annina; Joensen, Katrine Grimstrup; Larsen, Mette Voldby


    Extensive research is currently being conducted on the use of bacteriophages for applications in human medicine, agriculture and food manufacturing. However, phages are important vehicles of horisontal gene transfer and play a significant role in bacterial evolution. As a result, concern has been...... of these tools, ResFinder and VirulenceFinder, can be used to identify acquired antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in phage genomes of interest. The general applicability of the tools is demonstrated on data sets of 1,642 phage genomes and 1,442 predicted prophages....

  2. The origin of modern terrestrial life (United States)

    Forterre, Patrick; Gribaldo, Simonetta


    The study of the origin of life covers many areas of expertise and requires the input of various scientific communities. In recent years, this research field has often been viewed as part of a broader agenda under the name of “exobiology” or “astrobiology.” In this review, we have somewhat narrowed this agenda, focusing on the origin of modern terrestrial life. The adjective “modern” here means that we did not speculate on different forms of life that could have possibly appeared on our planet, but instead focus on the existing forms (cells and viruses). We try to briefly present the state of the art about alternative hypotheses discussing not only the origin of life per se, but also how life evolved to produce the modern biosphere through a succession of steps that we would like to characterize as much as possible. PMID:19404443

  3. The Digital Dividend of Terrestrial Broadcasting

    CERN Document Server

    Beutler, Roland


    The “digital revolution” of the last two decades has pervaded innumerable aspects of our daily lives and changed our planet irreversibly. The shift from analog to digital broadcasting has facilitated a seemingly infinite variety of new applications—audience interactivity being but one example. The greater efficiency and compression of digital media have endowed broadcasters with a “digital dividend” of spare transmission capacity over and above the requirements of terrestrial broadcasting. The question is, who will use it, and how? Comparing the European experience with that of broadcasters elsewhere in the world, the author sketches the current status of international frequency management, quantifies the value of the “dividend” itself, analyzes the details of the analog-to-digital switchovers already completed, and posits what the future holds for the sector. As we grapple with new devices, inconceivable a mere generation ago, that allow us to access digital media instantly, anywhere and at any...

  4. PartitionFinder 2: New Methods for Selecting Partitioned Models of Evolution for Molecular and Morphological Phylogenetic Analyses. (United States)

    Lanfear, Robert; Frandsen, Paul B; Wright, April M; Senfeld, Tereza; Calcott, Brett


    PartitionFinder 2 is a program for automatically selecting best-fit partitioning schemes and models of evolution for phylogenetic analyses. PartitionFinder 2 is substantially faster and more efficient than version 1, and incorporates many new methods and features. These include the ability to analyze morphological datasets, new methods to analyze genome-scale datasets, new output formats to facilitate interoperability with downstream software, and many new models of molecular evolution. PartitionFinder 2 is freely available under an open source license and works on Windows, OSX, and Linux operating systems. It can be downloaded from The source code is available at © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

  5. The terrestrial silica pump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna C Carey

    Full Text Available Silicon (Si cycling controls atmospheric CO(2 concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr(-1, accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP. However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr(-1 is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO(2 levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump.

  6. Batteries for terrestrial applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kulin, T.M.


    Extensive research has been conducted in the design and manufacture of very long life vented and sealed maintenance free nickel-cadmium aircraft batteries. These batteries have also been used in a number of terrestrial applications with good success. This study presents an overview of the Ni-Cd chemistry and technology as well as detailed analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the Ni-Cd couple for terrestrial applications. The performance characteristics of both sealed and vented Ni-Cd's are presented. Various charge algorithms are examined and evaluated for effectiveness and ease of implementation. Hardware requirements for charging are also presented and evaluated. The discharge characteristics of vented and sealed Ni-Cd's are presented and compared to other battery chemistries. The performance of Ni-Cd's under extreme environmental conditions is also compared to other battery chemistries. The history of various terrestrial applications is reviewed and some of the lessons learned are presented. Applications discussed include the NASA Middeck Payload Battery, Raytheon Aegis Missile System Battery, THAAD Launcher battery, and the Titan IV battery. The suitability of the Ni-Cd chemistry for other terrestrial applications such as electric vehicles and Uninterruptible Power Supply is discussed.

  7. 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.

  8. Thermal-orbital coupled tidal heating and habitability of Martian-sized extrasolar planets around M stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K. [Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan)


    M-type stars are good targets in the search for habitable extrasolar planets. Due to their low effective temperatures, the habitable zone of M stars is very close to the stars themselves. For planets that are close to their stars, tidal heating plays an important role in thermal and orbital evolutions, especially when the planet's orbit has a relatively large eccentricity. Although tidal heating interacts with the thermal state and the orbit of the planet, such coupled calculations for extrasolar planets around M stars have not been conducted. We perform coupled calculations using simple structural and orbital models and analyze the thermal state and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Considering this planet to be Martian-sized, the tide heats up and partially melts the mantle, maintaining an equilibrium state if the mass of the star is less than 0.2 times the mass of the Sun and the initial eccentricity of the orbit is more than 0.2. The reduction of heat dissipation due to the melted mantle allows the planet to stay in the habitable zone for more than 10 Gyr even though the orbital distance is small. The surface heat flux at the equilibrium state is between that of Mars and Io. The thermal state of the planet mainly depends on the initial value of the eccentricity and the mass of the star.

  9. Vaccine Finder (United States)

    ... list . Showing availability for 25,354 locations. Influenza Vaccine Recommended for everyone greater than or equal to ... which one may be right for you! Flu Vaccines Protects again influenza, commonly called flu, a respiratory ...

  10. Fat Finders (United States)

    Christie-Blick, Kottie


    Every day the media bombards the nation with concern over childhood obesity. More American children than ever before are developing health problems related to their eating habits and lack of exercise. The classroom is the perfect place to deal with this national crisis by speaking directly to the children. If children could become more aware of…

  11. 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.

  12. UWB antenna system for mobile bearing finder of radio and television stations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyryliuk V.A.


    Full Text Available This research discusses the problem of development and manufacturing of the ultra-wideband (UWB antenna element and antenna system on the basis of such element for mobile bearing finder of radio and television signals with the use of direction bearing quasi Doppler method. Due to the research results the mobile ultra-wideband antenna system was suggested. Its elements are new ultra-wideband emitters, which can belong to disco-cone antenna class. Ultra-wideband emitters are provided by foil form of the antenna element. The round function of the AS element, obtained by theoretical modeling and confirmed by practical experiments, has an exponential form. The fifth degree polynomial provides the required accuracy approximation. The combination of the radiator elements, their alignment and soldering is carried out by means of specially designed equipment. Checking of the transmitter parameter is done by proportional constant measuring of standing wave, which takes the meaning less than three values in the frequency range from 95 to 900 MHz. This satisfies the requirements of the ultra-wideband antenna direction bearing finder sources of radio signals. The basic parameters and design features of AS are presented.

  13. Is commercially available point finder accurate and reliable in detecting active auricular acupuncture points? (United States)

    Wang, Shu-Ming; Maranets, Inna; Lin, Eric C; DeZinno, Peggy


    This study was done to determine the specificity and sensitivity of a commercial Pointer Plus (Point finder) in detecting a region of low skin resistance on the ear. This was a prospective blinded study. The study was done at the Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT. The subjects were men and women who work at Yale New Haven Hospital. There were no interventions. Correlations were made between self-reported musculoskeletal pain and the detection of low skin resistance on the ear. The positive predictive value for Pointer Plus detecting low skin resistance correlating to the neck region of French auricular map is 0.76 (76%). The positive predictive value for Pointer Plus to detect low skin resistance area correlating to the low back region of French auricular map is 0.25. The positive predictive value for Pointer Plus in detecting any low in skin resistance on the external auricles in patients who complained of more than two musculoskeletal pains is 0.29. The specificity and sensitivity of a commercial Pointer Plus (point finder) in detecting a region of low skin resistance on the ear being unreliable, depending on the correlating area based on a published auricular map. Additional assessments are needed to support the clinical practice.

  14. PPI finder: a mining tool for human protein-protein interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min He

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The exponential increase of published biomedical literature prompts the use of text mining tools to manage the information overload automatically. One of the most common applications is to mine protein-protein interactions (PPIs from PubMed abstracts. Currently, most tools in mining PPIs from literature are using co-occurrence-based approaches or rule-based approaches. Hybrid methods (frame-based approaches by combining these two methods may have better performance in predicting PPIs. However, the predicted PPIs from these methods are rarely evaluated by known PPI databases and co-occurred terms in Gene Ontology (GO database. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We here developed a web-based tool, PPI Finder, to mine human PPIs from PubMed abstracts based on their co-occurrences and interaction words, followed by evidences in human PPI databases and shared terms in GO database. Only 28% of the co-occurred pairs in PubMed abstracts appeared in any of the commonly used human PPI databases (HPRD, BioGRID and BIND. On the other hand, of the known PPIs in HPRD, 69% showed co-occurrences in the literature, and 65% shared GO terms. CONCLUSIONS: PPI Finder provides a useful tool for biologists to uncover potential novel PPIs. It is freely accessible at

  15. BosFinder: a novel pre-microRNA gene prediction algorithm in Bos taurus. (United States)

    Sadeghi, B; Ahmadi, H; Azimzadeh-Jamalkandi, S; Nassiri, M R; Masoudi-Nejad, A


    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that modulate gene expression transcriptionally (transcriptional activation or inactivation) and/or post-transcriptionally (translation inhibition or degradation of their target mRNAs). This phenomenon has significant roles in growth and developmental processes in plants and animals. Bos taurus is one of the most important livestock animals, having great importance in food and economical sciences and industries. However, limited information is available on Bos taurus constituent miRNAs because its whole genome assembly has been only recently published. Therefore, computational methods have been essential tools in miRNA gene prediction and discovery. Among these, machine-learning-based approaches are used to characterize genome scale pre-miRNAs from expressed sequence tags (ESTs). In this study, a support vector machine model was used to classify 33 structural and thermodynamic features of pre-miRNA genes. Public bovine EST data were obtained from different tissues in various developmental stages. A new algorithm, called BosFinder, was developed to identify and annotate the whole genome's derived pre-miRNAs. We found 18 776 highly potential pre-miRNA sequences. This is the first genome survey report of Bos taurus based on a machine-learning method for pre-miRNA gene finding. The bosfinder program is freely available at © 2014 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  16. 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,…

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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,…

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. Identifying shock microstructures in quartz from terrestrial impacts: new scanning electron microscopy methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamers, M.F.


    Terrestrial impact craters and ejecta layers are widely studied, both as an analogue to craters on other rocky planets, moons and asteroids and for their relevance to the geology of the Earth. Therefore, the correct identification of impact structures and ejecta layers on the Earth is essential, but

  3. Model Atmospheres and Transit Spectra for Hot Rocky Planets (United States)

    Lupu, Roxana

    hot Jupiters in similar transit configurations. For example, Na has been the first species to be detected in an exoplanet atmosphere, by observing the evaporating hotJupiter HD209458b. Understanding the interplay between the magma outgassing and volatile loss will be an important part of this project. Our team has the expertise in the chemistry, radiative transfer, and atmospheric escape modeling at these exotic temperatures. Our recent work has analyzed the emerging atmospheres of terrestrial planets after giant impacts, using a well-established radiativeconvective atmospheric structure code, with an extensive opacity database for all relevant molecules, and the chemistry self-consistently calculated for continental crust and bulk silicate earth compositions. We will expand on this work by considering a wider range of chemical compositions, assessing the importance of clouds and generating cloudy models, and developing dis-equilibrium models by taking into account vertical mixing and photochemistry. Photo-evaporation will be considered in the energy balance between heating, cooling and mass loss. We also have in-house codes to generate high-resolution eclipse spectra and predict transit depths and observable signatures. The development of the atmospheric code, the molecular opacity updates, the atmospheric structure calculations and the high resolution eclipse spectra will be performed by R. Lupu, M. Marley, and R. Freedman at NASA Ames. The atmospheric chemistry grids will be provided by B. Fegley and K. Lodders at Washington University. The transit spectra and observational features will be computed by J. Fortney at UCSC, and the atmospheric escape calculations will be performed by K. Zahnle at NASA Ames. This proposal addresses the following goals of the Exoplanet Research program: explain observations of exoplanetary systems, and understand the chemical and physical processes of exoplanets. Our results will also inform future JWST observations.

  4. Flare Activity and UV Habitability in Extrasolar Planets (United States)

    Abrevaya, Ximena; Cortón, E.; Mauas, P. J. D.


    Usually, dwarf M stars are targets in the search for extraterrestrial life outside of our solar system. They are choose among other stars because they are the most abundant in the galaxy, the liquid- water habitable zone (LW-HZ) is closer to these colder stars and it would be therefore easier to detect a terrestrial planet inside it. However, it is believed that planets in the LW-HZ should be tidally locked, which implies that this planetary body would have a hot face and a cold one, but recent atmospheric modeling provided evidences that the heat in the hot face could be transferred to the cold face. Furthermore there is another factor to analyze if planets around these stars in the LW-HZ could be suitable for life due flare activity in many of these stars (dMe stars), could have a strong impact over potential life beings. In particular in this work we analyze the capability of UV-resistant microorganisms such as halophilic archaea, to survive the strong UV radiation characteristic of flare activity in dMe stars. Our results showed that the microorganisms can survive at the tested doses, showing that this kind of life could thrive in these extreme environments from the UV point of view.

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

    Yamauchi, Masatoshi; Wahlund, Jan-Erik


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

  6. Tidal Heating in Multilayered Terrestrial Exoplanets (United States)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry


    The internal pattern and overall magnitude of tidal heating for spin-synchronous terrestrial exoplanets from 1 to 2.5 R(sub E) is investigated using a propagator matrix method for a variety of layer structures. Particular attention is paid to ice-silicate hybrid super-Earths, where a significant ice mantle is modeled to rest atop an iron-silicate core, and may or may not contain a liquid water ocean. We find multilayer modeling often increases tidal dissipation relative to a homogeneous model, across multiple orbital periods, due to the ability to include smaller volume low viscosity regions, and the added flexure allowed by liquid layers. Gradations in parameters with depth are explored, such as allowed by the Preliminary Earth Reference Model. For ice-silicate hybrid worlds, dramatically greater dissipation is possible beyond the case of a silicate mantle only, allowing non-negligible tidal activity to extend to greater orbital periods than previously predicted. Surface patterns of tidal heating are found to potentially be useful for distinguishing internal structure. The influence of ice mantle depth and water ocean size and position are shown for a range of forcing frequencies. Rates of orbital circularization are found to be 10-100 times faster than standard predictions for Earth-analog planets when interiors are moderately warmer than the modern Earth, as well as for a diverse range of ice-silicate hybrid super-Earths. Circularization rates are shown to be significantly longer for planets with layers equivalent to an ocean-free modern Earth, as well as for planets with high fractions of either ice or silicate melting.

  7. Tidal heating in multilayered terrestrial exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry, E-mail: [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)


    The internal pattern and overall magnitude of tidal heating for spin-synchronous terrestrial exoplanets from 1 to 2.5 R{sub E} is investigated using a propagator matrix method for a variety of layer structures. Particular attention is paid to ice-silicate hybrid super-Earths, where a significant ice mantle is modeled to rest atop an iron-silicate core, and may or may not contain a liquid water ocean. We find multilayer modeling often increases tidal dissipation relative to a homogeneous model, across multiple orbital periods, due to the ability to include smaller volume low viscosity regions, and the added flexure allowed by liquid layers. Gradations in parameters with depth are explored, such as allowed by the Preliminary Earth Reference Model. For ice-silicate hybrid worlds, dramatically greater dissipation is possible beyond the case of a silicate mantle only, allowing non-negligible tidal activity to extend to greater orbital periods than previously predicted. Surface patterns of tidal heating are found to potentially be useful for distinguishing internal structure. The influence of ice mantle depth and water ocean size and position are shown for a range of forcing frequencies. Rates of orbital circularization are found to be 10-100 times faster than standard predictions for Earth-analog planets when interiors are moderately warmer than the modern Earth, as well as for a diverse range of ice-silicate hybrid super-Earths. Circularization rates are shown to be significantly longer for planets with layers equivalent to an ocean-free modern Earth, as well as for planets with high fractions of either ice or silicate melting.


    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.

  9. Observing the Atmospheres of Known Temperate Earth-sized Planets with JWST (United States)

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


    Nine transiting Earth-sized planets have recently been discovered around nearby late-M dwarfs, including the TRAPPIST-1 planets and two planets discovered by the MEarth survey, GJ 1132b and LHS 1140b. These planets are the smallest known planets that may have atmospheres amenable to detection with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We present model thermal emission and transmission spectra for each planet, varying composition and surface pressure of the atmosphere. We base elemental compositions on those of Earth, Titan, and Venus and calculate the molecular compositions assuming chemical equilibrium, which can strongly depend on temperature. Both thermal emission and transmission spectra are sensitive to the atmospheric composition; thermal emission spectra are sensitive to surface pressure and temperature. We predict the observability of each planet’s atmosphere with JWST. GJ 1132b and TRAPPIST-1b are excellent targets for emission spectroscopy with JWST/MIRI, requiring fewer than 10 eclipse observations. Emission photometry for TRAPPIST-1c requires 5-15 eclipses; LHS 1140b and TRAPPIST-1d, TRAPPIST-1e, and TRAPPIST-1f, which could possibly have surface liquid water, may be accessible with photometry. Seven of the nine planets are strong candidates for transmission spectroscopy measurements with JWST, although the number of transits required depends strongly on the planets’ actual masses. Using the measured masses, fewer than 20 transits are required for a 5σ detection of spectral features for GJ 1132b and six of the TRAPPIST-1 planets. Dedicated campaigns to measure the atmospheres of these nine planets will allow us, for the first time, to probe formation and evolution processes of terrestrial planetary atmospheres beyond our solar system.

  10. 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


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clovis Monteiro BRAMANTE


    Full Text Available Instrumentações manual, ultra-sônica e com Canal Finder foram utilizadas para retratamento de 30 dentes com canais obturados com guta-percha e óxido de zinco e eugenol. Avaliaram-se: 1. tempo gasto para a penetração inicial até o ápice; 2. tempo para completar a limpeza; 3. extrusão de material e 4. limpeza dos canais. O Canal Finder foi a técnica que propiciou melhor limpeza, seguida da manual e da ultra-sônica. A parede palatina do canal foi constantemente mais limpa do que a vestibular. Quanto à extrusão, a técnica de ultra-som foi a que propiciou mais extravasamento de material obturador.Endodontic retreatment of 30 teeth filled with guta percha and zinc oxide-eugenol was carried out using manual instrumentation, ultrasonic scaler, and the Canal Finder System. The following variables were evaluated: time spent to reach the apex; time spent to complete cleaning of the canal; apical extrusion of material; and cleanliness of the canals. Results showed the Canal Finder System as providing the highest level of cleanliness of the canal system; lingual walls were constantly cleaner than buccal walls; ultrasonic technique presented a greater degree of apical extrusion of filling material.

  12. Solar-Terrestrial Interactions (United States)


    satellite for polar cap passes during large SEP events to determine the experimental geographic cutoff latitudes for the two energy ranges. 9 These...E. Lamanna, Societa Italiana di Fisica , Bologna, Italy, 1997.) Shea, M.A., and D.F. Smart, Overview of the Effects of Solar Terrestrial Phenomena...Conference, Invited, Rapporteurs, & Highlight Papers, edited by N. Iucci and E. Lamanna, Societa Italiana di Fisica , Bologna, Italy, 1997.) 27

  13. Growing and moving planets in disks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan


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

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

    Kwok, Ping-Wai


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

  15. When the Viking Missions Discovered Life on the Red Planet (United States)

    Bianciardi, G.; Miller, J. D.; Straat, P. A.; Levin, G. V.


    The first (and only) dedicated life detection experiments on another planet were performed by the Viking Landers of 1976. In the Viking Labeled Release (LR) experiment of Levin and Straat, injections of organic compounds into Martian soil samples caused radioactive gas to evolve approaching plateaus of 10,000 - 15,000 cpm over several sols (Martian days). These "actives" were run at lander sites 1 and 2 with similar results. In contrast, the LR response to the 160o C control sample soils was very low. In conjunction with the active experiment results this negative result from the controls satisfied the pre-mission criteria for life. However, a controversy immediately arose concerning a biologic interpretation of the data. In an attempt to resolve this issue in the current work, we have employed complexity analysis of the Viking LR data for the initial six sols, and of terrestrial LR pilot studies using bacteria-laden, active soil (Biol 5) and sterilized soil (Biol 6). . Measures of mathematical complexity permitted a deep analysis of signal structure. Martian LR active response data were strongly superimposable upon the terrestrial biological time series, forming a welldefined cluster; and the heat-treated control samples, terrestrial and Martian, also clustered together, but distant from the active group, suggesting that the LR had, indeed, detected biological activity on Mars. The results presente herein are a key subset of the details published earlier by the same authors (IJASS, 13 (1), 14-26, 2012).

  16. Traitement des sigles dans le dictionnaire d’abrégements on line Acronym Finder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Jairo Giraldo Ortiz


    Full Text Available La siglación, vista como un fenómeno de reducción léxica, se considera con frecuencia como unobstáculo para la comprensión de los textos, en particular por parte de los legos y los profesionalesen formación. Sin embargo, es un fenómeno cada vez más frecuente en todas las lenguas de especialidad(telecomunicaciones, informática, medicina, bioquímica, economía, etc.. Como resultado deesta proliferación, han aparecido en los últimos años diccionarios en línea para almacenar la grancantidad de abreviaciones tanto de la lengua general como de las lenguas de especialidad (e.g.: AcronymFinder, Acronym Server, Wiley InterScience, Acronyma, AbbreviationZ, Siglas, etc.. Todos estosrecursos utilizan a menudo la web como corpus para buscar las formas de reducción léxica. Antes hanexistido otras clases de recursos más populares que no debemos perder de vista; es decir, los diccionariosde siglas publicados en papel, por ejemplo, Alvar (1983, Martínez de Sousa (1984, Carton(1987, Pugh (1987, Bonk (2003, etc.Este artículo tiene por objetivo general determinar el tratamiento que se da a las abreviaciones en eldiccionario en línea Acronym Finder, puesto que se ha constatado una falta de información en estasunidades. Nuestro objetivo específico consiste en establecer un modelo de ficha para el almacenamientoy la descripción de los diferentes tipos de reducción léxica, es decir, las siglas, los acrónimoslas abreviaturas, etc.Este estudio se divide en tres partes, a saber: introducción, metodología y análisis y resultados. Enlo que respecta a la metodología, hemos descrito Acronym Finder. Posteriormente, hemos analizadosu microestructura. Se discuten los resultados, que muestran la información terminográficapresente o no en esta obra. Por último, se presentan las conclusiones de este trabajo y se proponeun modelo de ficha destinado a la recolección y almacenamiento de este tipo de unidades en formatoelectrónico.

  17. From urban air pollution to extra-solar planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boutron, C.F. (ed.)


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

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

    Cohen, Barbara A.


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

  19. The Threatening Magnetic and Plasma Environment of the TRAPPIST-1 Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garraffo, Cecilia; Drake, Jeremy J.; Cohen, Ofer; Alvarado-Gómez, Julian D.; Moschou, Sofia P. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)


    Recently, four additional Earth-mass planets were discovered orbiting the nearby ultracool M8 dwarf, TRAPPIST-1, making a remarkable total of seven planets with equilibrium temperatures compatible with the presence of liquid water on their surface. Temperate terrestrial planets around an M-dwarf orbit close to their parent star, rendering their atmospheres vulnerable to erosion by the stellar wind and energetic electromagnetic and particle radiation. Here, we use state-of-the-art 3D magnetohydrodynamic models to simulate the wind around TRAPPIST-1 and study the conditions at each planetary orbit. All planets experience a stellar wind pressure between 10{sup 3} and 10{sup 5} times the solar wind pressure on Earth. All orbits pass through wind pressure changes of an order of magnitude and most planets spend a large fraction of their orbital period in the sub-Alfvénic regime. For plausible planetary magnetic field strengths, all magnetospheres are greatly compressed and undergo much more dynamic change than that of the Earth. The planetary magnetic fields connect with the stellar radial field over much of the planetary surface, allowing the direct flow of stellar wind particles onto the planetary atmosphere. These conditions could result in strong atmospheric stripping and evaporation and should be taken into account for any realistic assessment of the evolution and habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 planets.

  20. Temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Delrez, Laetitia; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valérie; Burgasser, Adam; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Opitom, Cyrielle; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Sahu, Devendra K.; Bardalez Gagliuffi, Daniella; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier


    Stellar-like objects with effective temperatures of 2700K and below are referred to as “ultracool dwarfs”1. This heterogeneous group includes both extremely low-mass stars and brown dwarfs (substellar objects not massive enough to sustain hydrogen fusion), and represents about 15% of the stellar-like objects in the vicinity of the Sun2. Based on the small masses and sizes of their protoplanetary disks3,4, core-accretion theory for ultracool dwarfs predicts a large, but heretofore undetected population of close-in terrestrial planets5, ranging from metal-rich Mercury-sized planets6 to more hospitable volatile-rich Earth-sized planets7. Here we report the discovery of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting an ultracool dwarf star 12 parsecs away using data collected by the TRAPPIST8 telescope as part of an ongoing prototype transit survey9. The inner two planets receive four and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star10. Eleven orbits remain possible for the third planet based on our data, the most likely resulting in an irradiation significantly smaller than Earth's. The infrared brightness of the host star combined with its Jupiter-like size offer the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system. PMID:27135924

  1. Darwin--a mission to detect and search for life on extrasolar planets. (United States)

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


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

  2. The Threatening Magnetic and Plasma Environment of the TRAPPIST-1 Planets (United States)

    Garraffo, Cecilia; Drake, Jeremy J.; Cohen, Ofer; Alvarado-Gómez, Julian D.; Moschou, Sofia P.


    Recently, four additional Earth-mass planets were discovered orbiting the nearby ultracool M8 dwarf, TRAPPIST-1, making a remarkable total of seven planets with equilibrium temperatures compatible with the presence of liquid water on their surface. Temperate terrestrial planets around an M-dwarf orbit close to their parent star, rendering their atmospheres vulnerable to erosion by the stellar wind and energetic electromagnetic and particle radiation. Here, we use state-of-the-art 3D magnetohydrodynamic models to simulate the wind around TRAPPIST-1 and study the conditions at each planetary orbit. All planets experience a stellar wind pressure between 103 and 105 times the solar wind pressure on Earth. All orbits pass through wind pressure changes of an order of magnitude and most planets spend a large fraction of their orbital period in the sub-Alfvénic regime. For plausible planetary magnetic field strengths, all magnetospheres are greatly compressed and undergo much more dynamic change than that of the Earth. The planetary magnetic fields connect with the stellar radial field over much of the planetary surface, allowing the direct flow of stellar wind particles onto the planetary atmosphere. These conditions could result in strong atmospheric stripping and evaporation and should be taken into account for any realistic assessment of the evolution and habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 planets.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. Extreme water loss and abiotic O2 buildup on planets throughout the habitable zones of M dwarfs. (United States)

    Luger, R; Barnes, R


    We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than ∼1 Gyr could have been in runaway greenhouses for several hundred million years following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase, provided they form with abundant surface water. Such prolonged runaway greenhouses can lead to planetary evolution divergent from that of Earth. During this early runaway phase, photolysis of water vapor and hydrogen/oxygen escape to space can lead to the loss of several Earth oceans of water from planets throughout the habitable zone, regardless of whether the escape is energy-limited or diffusion-limited. We find that the amount of water lost scales with the planet mass, since the diffusion-limited hydrogen escape flux is proportional to the planet surface gravity. In addition to undergoing potential desiccation, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bar of abiotically produced O2, resulting in potential false positives for life. The amount of O2 that builds up also scales with the planet mass; we find that O2 builds up at a constant rate that is controlled by diffusion: ∼5 bar/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ∼25 bar/Myr on super-Earths. As a result, some recently discovered super-Earths in the habitable zone such as GJ 667Cc could have built up as many as 2000 bar of O2 due to the loss of up to 10 Earth oceans of water. The fate of a given planet strongly depends on the extreme ultraviolet flux, the duration of the runaway regime, the initial water content, and the rate at which oxygen is absorbed by the surface. In general, we find that the initial phase of high luminosity may compromise the habitability of many terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars.

  10. Risks for life on habitable planets from superflares of their host stars


    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham


    We explore some of the ramifications arising from superflares on the evolutionary history of Earth, other planets in the Solar system, and exoplanets. We propose that the most powerful superflares can serve as plausible drivers of extinction events, and that their periodicity could correspond to certain patterns in the terrestrial fossil diversity record. On the other hand, weaker superflares may play a positive role in enabling the origin of life through the formation of key organic compound...

  11. 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.

  12. An FPGA based track finder at L1 for CMS at the High Luminosity LHC

    CERN Document Server

    Amstutz, Christian; Balzer, Matthias Norbert; Brooke, James John; Calligaris, Luigi; Cieri, Davide; Clement, Emyr John; Hall, Geoffrey; Harbaum, Tanja Renate; Harder, Kristian; Hobson, Peter; Iles, Gregory Michiel; James, Thomas Owen; Manolopoulos, Konstantinos; Matsushita, Takashi; Morton, Alexander; Newbold, David; Paramesvaran, Sudarshan; Pesaresi, Mark Franco; Reid, Ivan; Rose, A. W; Sander, Oliver; Schuh, Thomas; Shepherd-Themistocleous, Claire; Shtipliyski, Antoni; Summers, Sioni Paris; Tapper, Alexander; Tomalin, Ian; Uchida, Kirika; Vichoudis, Paschalis; Weber, M


    A new CMS Tracker is under development for operation at the High Luminosity LHC from 2025. It includes an outer tracker based on PT-modules which will construct tracker stubs, built by correlating clusters in two closely spaced sensor layers for the rejection of low transverse momentum track hits, and transmit them off-detector at 40MHz. If tracker data is to contribute to maintaining the Level-1 trigger rate under increased luminosity, a crucial component of the upgrade will be the ability to identify tracks with transverse momentum above 3GeV/c by building tracks out of stubs. A concept for an FPGA-based track finder using a fully time-multiplexed spatially pipelined architecture is presented, where track candidates are identified using a projective binning algorithm. Results from a hardware demonstrator system, where a slice of the track trigger will be constructed to help gauge the performance and requirements for a full system, will be included.

  13. Application of the vector modulation method to the north finder capability gyroscope as a directional sensor (United States)

    Celikel, Oguz


    This paper presents the application of the vector modulation method (VMM) to an open-loop interferometric fiber optic gyroscope, called the north finder capability gyroscope (NFCG), designed and assembled in TUBITAK UME (National Metrology Institute of Turkey). The method contains a secondary modulation/demodulation circuit with an AD630 chip, depending on the periodic variation of the orientation of the sensing coil sensitive surface vector with respect to geographic north at a laboratory latitude and collection of dc voltage at the secondary demodulation circuit output in the time domain. The resultant dc voltage proportional to the first-kind Bessel function based on Sagnac phase shift for the first order is obtained as a result of vector modulation together with the Earth's rotation. A new model function is developed and introduced to evaluate the angular errors of the NFCG with VMM in finding geographic north.

  14. Theory and modeling of the magnetic field measurement in LISA PathFinder

    CERN Document Server

    Diaz-Aguilo, M; Lobo, A


    The magnetic diagnostics subsystem of the LISA Technology Package (LTP) on board the LISA PathFinder (LPF) spacecraft includes a set of four tri-axial fluxgate magnetometers, intended to measure with high precision the magnetic field at their respective positions. However, their readouts do not provide a direct measurement of the magnetic field at the positions of the test masses, and hence an interpolation method must be designed and implemented to obtain the values of the magnetic field at these positions. However, such interpolation process faces serious difficulties. Indeed, the size of the interpolation region is excessive for a linear interpolation to be reliable while, on the other hand, the number of magnetometer channels does not provide sufficient data to go beyond the linear approximation. We describe an alternative method to address this issue, by means of neural network algorithms. The key point in this approach is the ability of neural networks to learn from suitable training data representing t...

  15. Milli-Hertz Gravitational Waves: LISA and LISA PathFinder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Araujo, H; Hollington, D; Wass, P [Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BW (United Kingdom); Canizares, P; Conchillo, A; Gesa, L; Lloro, I; Lobo, A; Mateos, I; Sopuerta, CF [Instituto de Ciencias del Espacio, CSIC, Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C-5 Parell, 2a Planta, E-08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Valles), Barcelona (Spain); Chmeissani, M; Puigdengoles, C [Institut de Fisica d' Altes Energies (IFAE), Edifici C, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, (Barcelona) (Spain); Diaz-Aguilo, M; Garcia-Berro, E; Gibert, F [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Edifici Nexus, Gran Capita 2-4, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Grimani, C [Universita degli Studi di Urbino, and INFN Florence, Dipartimento DiSBeF, Via Santa Chiara 27, 61029 Urbino (Italy); Hajdas, W [Department of Particles and Matter, Paul Scherrer Institut, ODRA 120, 5232 Villigen (Switzerland); Nofrarias, M [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gravitationsphysik (Albert-Einstein-Institut), Callinstrasse 38, D-30167 Hannover (Germany); Ramos-Castro, J [Departament d' Enginyeria Electronica, UPC, Campus Nord, Edif. C4, Jordi Girona 1-3, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Sanjuan, J, E-mail: [Department of Physics, University of Florida, NPB-22258 PO Box 118 440, Gainesville FL 32611-8440 (United States)


    Ground based GW detectors are limited at their lower frequency band (1-10 Hz) by settlement gravity gradients and seismic noise, and their sensitivity peaks at around 100 Hz. Sources in this band are mostly short duration signals, and their rates uncertain. Going down to milli-Hertz frequencies significantly increases the number and types of available sources. LISA was planned with the idea to explore a likely richer region of the GW spectrum, beyond that accessible to ground detectors; the latter are however expected to produce the first GW observations. In this paper I will present the main LISA concepts; in particular, emphasis will be placed on LISAPathFinder, the ESA precursor of LISA, in which our research group in Barcelona is heavily involved.

  16. ThioFinder: a web-based tool for the identification of thiopeptide gene clusters in DNA sequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Li

    Full Text Available Thiopeptides are a growing class of sulfur-rich, highly modified heterocyclic peptides that are mainly active against Gram-positive bacteria including various drug-resistant pathogens. Recent studies also reveal that many thiopeptides inhibit the proliferation of human cancer cells, further expanding their application potentials for clinical use. Thiopeptide biosynthesis shares a common paradigm, featuring a ribosomally synthesized precursor peptide and conserved posttranslational modifications, to afford a characteristic core system, but differs in tailoring to furnish individual members. Identification of new thiopeptide gene clusters, by taking advantage of increasing information of DNA sequences from bacteria, may facilitate new thiopeptide discovery and enrichment of the unique biosynthetic elements to produce novel drug leads by applying the principle of combinatorial biosynthesis. In this study, we have developed a web-based tool ThioFinder to rapidly identify thiopeptide biosynthetic gene cluster from DNA sequence using a profile Hidden Markov Model approach. Fifty-four new putative thiopeptide biosynthetic gene clusters were found in the sequenced bacterial genomes of previously unknown producing microorganisms. ThioFinder is fully supported by an open-access database ThioBase, which contains the sufficient information of the 99 known thiopeptides regarding the chemical structure, biological activity, producing organism, and biosynthetic gene (cluster along with the associated genome if available. The ThioFinder website offers researchers a unique resource and great flexibility for sequence analysis of thiopeptide biosynthetic gene clusters. ThioFinder is freely available at

  17. EasyGene – a prokaryotic gene finder that ranks ORFs by statistical significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larsen Thomas


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Contrary to other areas of sequence analysis, a measure of statistical significance of a putative gene has not been devised to help in discriminating real genes from the masses of random Open Reading Frames (ORFs in prokaryotic genomes. Therefore, many genomes have too many short ORFs annotated as genes. Results In this paper, we present a new automated gene-finding method, EasyGene, which estimates the statistical significance of a predicted gene. The gene finder is based on a hidden Markov model (HMM that is automatically estimated for a new genome. Using extensions of similarities in Swiss-Prot, a high quality training set of genes is automatically extracted from the genome and used to estimate the HMM. Putative genes are then scored with the HMM, and based on score and length of an ORF, the statistical significance is calculated. The measure of statistical significance for an ORF is the expected number of ORFs in one megabase of random sequence at the same significance level or better, where the random sequence has the same statistics as the genome in the sense of a third order Markov chain. Conclusions The result is a flexible gene finder whose overall performance matches or exceeds other methods. The entire pipeline of computer processing from the raw input of a genome or set of contigs to a list of putative genes with significance is automated, making it easy to apply EasyGene to newly sequenced organisms. EasyGene with pre-trained models can be accessed at

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Terrestrial Steering Group. 2014. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aastrup, Peter; Aronsson, Mora; Barry, Tom

    implementation of the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan for the next two years. Identify expert networks required for successful implementation of the plan. Identify key gaps and opportunities for the TSG related to plan implementation and identify near-term next steps to address gaps.......The Terrestrial Steering Group (TSG), has initiated the implementation phase of the CBMP Terrestrial Plan. The CBMP Terrestrial Steering Group, along with a set of invited experts (see Appendix A for a participants list), met in Iceland from February 25-27th to develop a three year work plan...... to guide implementation of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan. This report describes the outcome of that workshop. The aim of the workshop was to develop a three year work plan to guide implementation of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan. The participants were tasked with devising an approach to both (a) determine what...

  1. Collisional Mass Loss and Change of Volatile Content in Planet Formation (United States)

    Maindl, Thomas I.; Haghighipour, Nader; Burger, Christoph; Bancelin, David; Schaefer, Christoph


    It is widely accepted that the majority of Earth’s water was delivered to it by water carrying planetesimals and planetary embryos from the outer part of the asteroid belt. Modern planet formation simulations show this process with high resolution, but typically still treat embryo growth and water delivery in a rudimentary way: perfect merging is assumed whenever a collision occurs. This neglects collisional loss of material - especially volatiles - and hence leads to planetary water contents that are far too high. Faced with the challenge of estimating planetary embryo growth and their water content with increased accuracy, we study typical collision scenarios from our previous n-body simulations. These scenarios differ in the masses of the involved planetary embryos, their water contents, the impact angles, and the collision speeds. We perform several suites of detailed simulations with our smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) collision code covering part of the mentioned parameter space. We thrive for deriving a reasonable analytic estimate for collisional mass loss and volatile transfer that can (a) be included efficiently in planet formation simulations and (b) be used as a post-formation means to estimate realistic water budgets of terrestrial planets. While more extensive parameter studies are needed for deriving such a relation, we present first results valid for the simulated range of masses, velocities, and collision angles and discuss their implications for models of terrestrial planet formation.

  2. Microstructure of terrestrial catastrophism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clube, S.V.M. (Oxford Univ. (UK). Dept. of Astrophysics); Napier, W.M. (Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (UK))


    The theory of evolution involving episodic terrestrial catastrophism predicts that the Oort cloud is disturbed by close encounters with massive nebulae. Each disturbance generates bombardment pulses of a few million years duration, the pulse frequencies being determined by the Sun's passage through the spiral arms and central plane of the Galaxy where nebulae concentrate. The structure within a pulse is shown here to be dominated by a series of 'spikes' of approx. 0.01-0.1 Myr duration separated by approx. 0.1-1.0 Myr, each caused by the arrival in circumterrestrial space of the largest comets followed by their disintegration into short-lived Apollo asteroids. Evidence is presented that a bombardment pulse was induced 3-5 Myr ago and that a 'spike' in the form of debris from a Chiron-like progenitor of Encke's comet has dominated the terrestrial environment for the last 0.02 Myr.

  3. PointFinder: a novel web tool for WGS-based detection of antimicrobial resistance associated with chromosomal point mutations in bacterial pathogens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zankari, Ea; Allesøe, Rosa Lundbye; Joensen, Katrine Grimstrup


    enterica, Escherichia coli and Campylobacter jejuni. The web-server ResFinder-2.1 was used to identify acquired antimicrobial resistance genes and two methods, the novel PointFinder (using BLAST) and an in-house method (mapping of raw WGS reads), were used to identify chromosomal point mutations. Results...... or when mapping the reads. Conclusions PointFinder proved, with high concordance between phenotypic and predicted antimicrobial susceptibility, to be a user-friendly web tool for detection of chromosomal point mutations associated with antimicrobial resistance....

  4. Optimal Strategies for Probing Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST (United States)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Line, Michael


    It is imperative that the exoplanet community determines the feasibility and the resources needed to yield high fidelity atmospheric compositions from terrestrial exoplanets. In particular, LHS 1140b and the TRAPPIST-1 system, already slated for observations by JWST’s Guaranteed Time Observers, will be the first two terrestrial planets observed by JWST. I will discuss optimal observing strategies for observing these two systems, focusing on the NIRSpec Prism (1-5μm) and the combination of NIRISS SOSS (1-2.7μm) and NIRSpec G395H (3-5μm). I will also introduce currently unsupported JWST readmodes that have the potential to greatly increase the precision on our atmospheric spectra. Lastly, I will use information content theory to compute the expected confidence interval on the retrieved abundances of key molecular species and temperature profiles as a function of JWST observing cycles.

  5. Extreme alien light allows survival of terrestrial bacteria (United States)

    Johnson, Neil; Zhao, Guannan; Caycedo, Felipe; Manrique, Pedro; Qi, Hong; Rodriguez, Ferney; Quiroga, Luis


    Photosynthetic organisms provide a crucial coupling between the Sun's energy and metabolic processes supporting life on Earth. Searches for extraterrestrial life focus on seeking planets with similar incident light intensities and environments. However the impact of abnormal photon arrival times has not been considered. Here we present the counterintuitive result that broad classes of extreme alien light could support terrestrial bacterial life whereas sources more similar to our Sun might not. Our detailed microscopic model uses state-of-the-art empirical inputs including Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) images. It predicts a highly nonlinear survivability for the basic lifeform Rsp. Photometricum whereby toxic photon feeds get converted into a benign metabolic energy supply by an interplay between the membrane's spatial structure and temporal excitation processes. More generally, our work suggests a new handle for manipulating terrestrial photosynthesis using currently-available extreme value statistics photon sources.

  6. 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

  7. Terrestrial Plume Impingement Testbed Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Masten Space Systems proposes to create a terrestrial plume impingement testbed for generating novel datasets for extraterrestrial robotic missions. This testbed...

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. MHD effects of the solar wind flow around planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. K. Biernat


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

  11. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability. (United States)

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor


    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2 , temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y -1 ) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y -1 ), and

  12. 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.)

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Terrestrial plant methane production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Bruhn, Dan; Møller, Ian M.

    We evaluate all experimental work published on the phenomenon of aerobic methane (CH4) generation in terrestrial plants. We conclude that the phenomenon is true. Four stimulating factors have been observed to induce aerobic plant CH4 production, i.e. cutting injuries, increasing temperature......, ultraviolet radiation and reactive oxygen species. Further, we analyze rates of measured emission of aerobically produced CH4 in pectin and in plant tissues from different studies and argue that pectin is very far from the sole contributing precursor. Hence, scaling up of aerobic CH4 emission needs to take...... the aerobic methane emission in plants. Future work is needed for establishing the relative contribution of several proven potential CH4 precursors in plant material....

  17. Space Weather: Terrestrial Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pulkkinen Tuija


    Full Text Available Space weather effects arise from the dynamic conditions in the Earth’s space environment driven by processes on the Sun. While some effects are influenced neither by the properties of nor the processes within the Earth’s magnetosphere, others are critically dependent on the interaction of the impinging solar wind with the terrestrial magnetic field and plasma environment. As the utilization of space has become part of our everyday lives, and as our lives have become increasingly dependent on technological systems vulnerable to space weather influences, understanding and predicting hazards posed by the active solar events has grown in importance. This review introduces key dynamic processes within the magnetosphere and discusses their relationship to space weather hazards.

  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. Dynamics of the accumulation process of the Earth group of planets: Formation of the reverse rotation of Venus (United States)

    Koslov, N. N.; Eneyev, T. M.


    A numerical simulation of the process of formation of the terrestrial planets is carried within the framework of a new theory for the accumulation of planetary and satellite systems. The numerical simulation permitted determining the parameters of the protoplanetary disk from which Mercury, Venus and the Earth were formed as result of the evolution. The acquisition of a slow retrograde rotation for Venus was discovered during the course of the investigation, whereas Mercury and the Earth acquired direct rotation about their axes. Deviations of the semimajor axes of these three planets as well as the masses of the Earth and Venus from the true values are small as a rule (l 10%). It is shown that during the accumulation of the terrestrial planets, there existed a profound relationship between the process of formation of the orbits and masses of the planet and the process of formation of their rotation about their axes. Estimates are presented for the radii of the initial effective bodies and the time of evolution for the terrestrial accumulation zone.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. AnimalFinder: A semi-automated system for animal detection in time-lapse camera trap images (United States)

    Price Tack, Jennifer L.; West, Brian S.; McGowan, Conor P.; Ditchkoff, Stephen S.; Reeves, Stanley J.; Keever, Allison; Grand, James B.


    Although the use of camera traps in wildlife management is well established, technologies to automate image processing have been much slower in development, despite their potential to drastically reduce personnel time and cost required to review photos. We developed AnimalFinder in MATLAB® to identify animal presence in time-lapse camera trap images by comparing individual photos to all images contained within the subset of images (i.e. photos from the same survey and site), with some manual processing required to remove false positives and collect other relevant data (species, sex, etc.). We tested AnimalFinder on a set of camera trap images and compared the presence/absence results with manual-only review with white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), wild pigs (Sus scrofa), and raccoons (Procyon lotor). We compared abundance estimates, model rankings, and coefficient estimates of detection and abundance for white-tailed deer using N-mixture models. AnimalFinder performance varied depending on a threshold value that affects program sensitivity to frequently occurring pixels in a series of images. Higher threshold values led to fewer false negatives (missed deer images) but increased manual processing time, but even at the highest threshold value, the program reduced the images requiring manual review by ~40% and correctly identified >90% of deer, raccoon, and wild pig images. Estimates of white-tailed deer were similar between AnimalFinder and the manual-only method (~1–2 deer difference, depending on the model), as were model rankings and coefficient estimates. Our results show that the program significantly reduced data processing time and may increase efficiency of camera trapping surveys.

  4. Pla(y)cefully – når børn finder sted gennemt transformationer af institutionelle konstruktioner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgård, Rikke Toft; Toft, Herdis


    , designere, kunstnere, pædagoger og forældre understøtte, at børn finder sted som mennesker i verden? Et svar kunne være, at vi, snarere end at indplacere børn i ’satte’ institutionelle kontekster, lader børn ’sætte’ deres eget sted, fx ved at lade dem ’pla(y)cefully’ transformere, hvad et gulv i en...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Barclay, T.; Huber, D.; Burke, C. J.; Quintana, E. V. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Swift, J. J. [Department of Astronomy and Department of Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Adibekyan, V. Zh. [Centro de Astrofísica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Cochran, W. [Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas at Austin, TX 78712-1205 (United States); Isaacson, H. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Silva Aguirre, V.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Bedding, T. R. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Ragozzine, D. [Department of Physics and Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32901 (United States); Riddle, R. [Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Baranec, C. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Basu, S., E-mail: [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); and others


    The chemical composition of stars hosting small exoplanets (with radii less than four Earth radii) appears to be more diverse than that of gas-giant hosts, which tend to be metal-rich. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the universe's history when metals were more scarce. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of Kepler-444, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk and the host to a compact system of five transiting planets with sizes between those of Mercury and Venus. We validate this system as a true five-planet system orbiting the target star and provide a detailed characterization of its planetary and orbital parameters based on an analysis of the transit photometry. Kepler-444 is the densest star with detected solar-like oscillations. We use asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that Kepler-444 formed when the universe was less than 20% of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the universe's 13.8 billion year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy. The age of Kepler-444 not only suggests that thick-disk stars were among the hosts to the first Galactic planets, but may also help to pinpoint the beginning of the era of planet formation.

  6. PTM MarkerFinder, a software tool to detect and validate spectra from peptides carrying post-translational modifications. (United States)

    Nanni, Paolo; Panse, Christian; Gehrig, Peter; Mueller, Susanne; Grossmann, Jonas; Schlapbach, Ralph


    Mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of peptides carrying post-translational modifications is challenging due to the instability of some modifications during MS analysis. However, glycopeptides as well as acetylated, methylated and other modified peptides release specific fragment ions during CID (collision-induced dissociation) and HCD (higher energy collisional dissociation) fragmentation. These fragment ions can be used to validate the presence of the PTM on the peptide. Here, we present PTM MarkerFinder, a software tool that takes advantage of such marker ions. PTM MarkerFinder screens the MS/MS spectra in the output of a database search (i.e., Mascot) for marker ions specific for selected PTMs. Moreover, it reports and annotates the HCD and the corresponding electron transfer dissociation (ETD) spectrum (when present), and summarizes information on the type, number, and ratios of marker ions found in the data set. In the present work, a sample containing enriched N-acetylhexosamine (HexNAc) glycopeptides from yeast has been analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry on an LTQ Orbitrap Velos using both HCD and ETD fragmentation techniques. The identification result (Mascot .dat file) was submitted as input to PTM MarkerFinder and screened for HexNAc oxonium ions. The software output has been used for high-throughput validation of the identification results. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. BioJava-ModFinder: identification of protein modifications in 3D structures from the Protein Data Bank. (United States)

    Gao, Jianjiong; Prlic, Andreas; Bi, Chunxiao; Bluhm, Wolfgang F; Dimitropoulos, Dimitris; Xu, Dong; Bourne, Philip E; Rose, Peter W


    We developed a new software tool, BioJava-ModFinder, for identifying protein modifications observed in 3D structures archived in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). Information on more than 400 types of protein modifications were collected and curated from annotations in PDB, RESID, and PSI-MOD. We divided these modifications into three categories: modified residues, attachment modifications, and cross-links. We have developed a systematic method to identify these modifications in 3D protein structures. We have integrated this package with the RCSB PDB web application and added protein modification annotations to the sequence diagram and structure display. By scanning all 3D structures in the PDB using BioJava-ModFinder, we identified more than 30 000 structures with protein modifications, which can be searched, browsed, and visualized on the RCSB PDB website. BioJava-ModFinder is available as open source (LGPL license) at ( ). The RCSB PDB can be accessed at .

  8. LC-IMS-MS Feature Finder: detecting multidimensional liquid chromatography, ion mobility and mass spectrometry features in complex datasets. (United States)

    Crowell, Kevin L; Slysz, Gordon W; Baker, Erin S; LaMarche, Brian L; Monroe, Matthew E; Ibrahim, Yehia M; Payne, Samuel H; Anderson, Gordon A; Smith, Richard D


    The addition of ion mobility spectrometry to liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry experiments requires new, or updated, software tools to facilitate data processing. We introduce a command line software application LC-IMS-MS Feature Finder that searches for molecular ion signatures in multidimensional liquid chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry (LC-IMS-MS) data by clustering deisotoped peaks with similar monoisotopic mass, charge state, LC elution time and ion mobility drift time values. The software application includes an algorithm for detecting and quantifying co-eluting chemical species, including species that exist in multiple conformations that may have been separated in the IMS dimension. LC-IMS-MS Feature Finder is available as a command-line tool for download at The Microsoft.NET Framework 4.0 is required to run the software. All other dependencies are included with the software package. Usage of this software is limited to non-profit research to use (see README). Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Using a laser range finder mounted on a MicroVision robot to estimate environmental parameters (United States)

    Fehr, Duc; Papanikolopoulos, Nikos


    In this article we will present a new robot (MicroVision) that has been designed at the University of Minnesota (UMN), Center for Distributed Robotics. Its design reminds of the designs of previous robots built at the UMN such as the COTS Scouts or the eROSIs. It is composed of a body with two wheels and a tail just like the two aforementioned robots. However, the MicroVision has more powerful processing and sensing capabilities and we utilized these to compute areas in the surrounding environment by using a convex hull approach. We are trying to estimate the projected area of an object onto the ground. This is done by the computation of convex hulls that are based on the data received from the MicroVision's laser range finder. Although localization of the robot is an important feature in being able to compute these convex hulls, localization and mapping techniques are only used as a tool and are not an end in this work. The main idea of this work is to demonstrate the ability of the laser carrying MicroVision robot to move around an object in order to get a scan from each side. From these scans, the convex hull of the shape is deduced and its projected area onto the ground is estimated.

  13. Phase-shift correlation method for accurate phase difference estimation in range finder. (United States)

    Liu, Yu-Zhou; Zhao, Bin


    High-precision phase-difference measurement is a key technology for a phase-shift laser range finder. In order to improve the estimation accuracy of phase difference between two sinusoidal signals with identical frequency, the phase-shift correlation method is described. Theoretical analysis shows that the conventional cross-correlation method will bring notable deviations when the true phase difference is close to 0° or 180° in the presence of noise. For reducing the influence of noise, two step calculations--phase-shift autocorrelation and phase-shift cross correlation--are used in the phase-shift correlation method. The estimation bias is eliminated by phase-shift autocorrelation in which the autocorrelation is calculated between the 2π phase-shifted signal and the original signal, and the periodic errors are eliminated by phase-shift cross correlation in which the phase difference is estimated when the true phase difference is near 90° or 270°. The effect of frequency drift on the phase difference is also discussed. The experiment results show that the maximum error of the conventional method is about 0.15°, while the estimation error of our proposed method is much less than 0.01° under the same conditions.

  14. FINDER, A system providing complex decision support for commercial transport replanning operations (United States)

    Bittermann, Vincent; Deker, Guy; Sassus, Pierre; Mielnik, Jean-Christophe; Jud, Jean-Marie


    Decision-aid systems, likely to appear in future aircraft generations, could play a central role in the cockpit thanks to the broad spectrum of functionalities and decision support facilities they will offer to the crew. As part of such systems, the exploratory FINDER mock-up is a knowledge based system (KBS) designed to help crew members continually optimize their flight plan by suggesting solutions considering exhaustive information related to flight context, either on pilot request or upon external information occurrence. The successful evaluation by Air France pilots of that first mock-up dedicated to diversion procedure on pilot request has led to the current development of an enhanced system with nominal enroute operations and real-time capabilities. Nominal enroute operations concern the optimization with respect to an evolutive constraining of favoring environment (due to weather, traffic or regulated areas, and ETOPS constraints). This study paves the way for a future flight assistant system concept which is already under investigation and may take place in SEXTANT Avionique's future development steps.

  15. Can a More User-Friendly Medicare Plan Finder Improve Consumers' Selection of Medicare Plans? (United States)

    Martino, Steven C; Kanouse, David E; Miranda, David J; Elliott, Marc N


    To evaluate the efficacy for consumers of two potential enhancements to the Medicare Plan Finder (MPF)-a simplified data display and a "quick links" home page designed to match the specific tasks that users seek to accomplish on the MPF. Participants (N = 641) were seniors and adult caregivers of seniors who were recruited from a national online panel. Participants browsed a simulated version of the MPF, made a hypothetical plan choice, and reported on their experience. Participants were randomly assigned to one of eight conditions in a fully factorial design: 2 home pages (quick links, current MPF home page) × 2 data displays (simplified, current MPF display) × 2 plan types (stand-alone prescription drug plan [PDP], Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage [MA-PD]). The quick links page resulted in more favorable perceptions of the MPF, improved users' understanding of the information, and increased the probability of choosing the objectively best plan. The simplified data display resulted in a more favorable evaluation of the website, better comprehension of the displayed information, and, among those choosing a PDP only, an increased probability of choosing the best plan. Design enhancements could markedly improve average website users' understanding, ability to use, and experience of using the MPF. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  16. Lightning Radio Source Retrieval Using Advanced Lightning Direction Finder (ALDF) Networks (United States)

    Koshak, William J.; Blakeslee, Richard J.; Bailey, J. C.


    A linear algebraic solution is provided for the problem of retrieving the location and time of occurrence of lightning ground strikes from an Advanced Lightning Direction Finder (ALDF) network. The ALDF network measures field strength, magnetic bearing and arrival time of lightning radio emissions. Solutions for the plane (i.e., no Earth curvature) are provided that implement all of tile measurements mentioned above. Tests of the retrieval method are provided using computer-simulated data sets. We also introduce a quadratic planar solution that is useful when only three arrival time measurements are available. The algebra of the quadratic root results are examined in detail to clarify what portions of the analysis region lead to fundamental ambiguities in source location. Complex root results are shown to be associated with the presence of measurement errors when the lightning source lies near an outer sensor baseline of the ALDF network. In the absence of measurement errors, quadratic root degeneracy (no source location ambiguity) is shown to exist exactly on the outer sensor baselines for arbitrary non-collinear network geometries. The accuracy of the quadratic planar method is tested with computer generated data sets. The results are generally better than those obtained from the three station linear planar method when bearing errors are about 2 deg. We also note some of the advantages and disadvantages of these methods over the nonlinear method of chi(sup 2) minimization employed by the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) and discussed in Cummins et al.(1993, 1995, 1998).

  17. Exploration tools for drug discovery and beyond: applying SciFinder to interdisciplinary research. (United States)

    Haldeman, Margaret; Vieira, Barbara; Winer, Fred; Knutsen, Lars J S


    Chemists have long recognized the value of online databases for surveying the literature of their field. Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) databases covering almost a century's worth of journal articles and patent documents are among the best known and widely used for searching information on compounds. Today's research presents a new challenge, however, as the boundaries of chemistry and biological sciences overlap increasingly. This trend is especially true in the drug discovery field where published findings relating to both chemical and biological entities and their interactions are examined. CAS has expanded its resources to meet the requirements of the new, interdisciplinary challenges faced by today's researchers. This is evident both in the content of CAS databases, which have been expanded to include more biology-related information, and in the technology of the search tools now available to researchers on their desktop. It is the integration of content and search-and-retrieval technology that enables new insights to be made in the vast body of accumulated information. CAS's SciFinder is a widely used research tool for this purpose.

  18. Recognition of flow in everyday life using sensor agent robot with laser range finder (United States)

    Goshima, Misa; Mita, Akira


    In the present paper, we suggest an algorithm for a sensor agent robot with a laser range finder to recognize the flows of residents in the living spaces in order to achieve flow recognition in the living spaces, recognition of the number of people in spaces, and the classification of the flows. House reform is or will be demanded to prolong the lifetime of the home. Adaption for the individuals is needed for our aging society which is growing at a rapid pace. Home autonomous mobile robots will become popular in the future for aged people to assist them in various situations. Therefore we have to collect various type of information of human and living spaces. However, a penetration in personal privacy must be avoided. It is essential to recognize flows in everyday life in order to assist house reforms and aging societies in terms of adaption for the individuals. With background subtraction, extra noise removal, and the clustering based k-means method, we got an average accuracy of more than 90% from the behavior from 1 to 3 persons, and also confirmed the reliability of our system no matter the position of the sensor. Our system can take advantages from autonomous mobile robots and protect the personal privacy. It hints at a generalization of flow recognition methods in the living spaces.

  19. HGT-Finder: A New Tool for Horizontal Gene Transfer Finding and Application to Aspergillus genomes. (United States)

    Nguyen, Marcus; Ekstrom, Alex; Li, Xueqiong; Yin, Yanbin


    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a fast-track mechanism that allows genetically unrelated organisms to exchange genes for rapid environmental adaptation. We developed a new phyletic distribution-based software, HGT-Finder, which implements a novel bioinformatics algorithm to calculate a horizontal transfer index and a probability value for each query gene. Applying this new tool to the Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, and Aspergillus nidulans genomes, we found 273, 542, and 715 transferred genes (HTGs), respectively. HTGs have shorter length, higher guanine-cytosine (GC) content, and relaxed selection pressure. Metabolic process and secondary metabolism functions are significantly enriched in HTGs. Gene clustering analysis showed that 61%, 41% and 74% of HTGs in the three genomes form physically linked gene clusters (HTGCs). Overlapping manually curated, secondary metabolite gene clusters (SMGCs) with HTGCs found that 9 of the 33 A. fumigatus SMGCs and 31 of the 65 A. nidulans SMGCs share genes with HTGCs, and that HTGs are significantly enriched in SMGCs. Our genome-wide analysis thus presented very strong evidence to support the hypothesis that HGT has played a very critical role in the evolution of SMGCs. The program is freely available at HGTFinder.tar.gz.

  20. Forest Fire Finder - DOAS application to long-range forest fire detection (United States)

    Valente de Almeida, Rui; Vieira, Pedro


    Fires are an important factor in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Plant and animal life, in almost every land habitat, are at least partially dependent on the effects of fire. However, their destructive force, which has often proven uncontrollable, is one of our greatest concerns, effectively resulting in several policies in the most important industrialised regions of the globe. This paper aims to comprehensively characterise the Forest Fire Finder (FFF), a forest fire detection system based mainly upon a spectroscopic technique called differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). The system is designed and configured with the goal of detecting higher-than-the-horizon smoke columns by measuring and comparing scattered sunlight spectra. The article covers hardware and software, as well as their interactions and specific algorithms for day mode operation. An analysis of data retrieved from several installations deployed in the course of the last 5 years is also presented. Finally, this paper features a discussion on the most prominent future improvements planned for the system, as well as its ramifications and adaptations, such as a thermal imaging system for short-range fire seeking or environmental quality control.

  1. Parallel 4-Dimensional Cellular Automaton Track Finder for the CBM Experiment (United States)

    Akishina, Valentina; Kisel, Ivan


    The CBM experiment (FAIR/GSI, Darmstadt, Germany) will focus on the measurement of rare probes at interaction rates up to 10 MHz with data flow of up to 1 TB/s. It requires a novel read-out and data-acquisition concept with self-triggered electronics and free-streaming data. In this case resolving different collisions is not a trivial task and event building must be performed in software online. That requires full online event reconstruction and selection not only in space, but also in time, so-called 4D event building and selection. This is a task of the First-Level Event Selection (FLES). The FLES reconstruction and selection package consists of several modules: track finding, track fitting, short-lived particles finding, event building and event selection. The Cellular Automaton (CA) track finder algorithm was adapted towards time-slice-based reconstruction and included into the CBMROOT framework. In this article, we describe the modification done to the algorithm, as well as the performance of the developed time-based approach.

  2. The ROCKSTAR Phase-space Temporal Halo Finder and the Velocity Offsets of Cluster Cores (United States)

    Behroozi, Peter S.; Wechsler, Risa H.; Wu, Hao-Yi


    We present a new algorithm for identifying dark matter halos, substructure, and tidal features. The approach is based on adaptive hierarchical refinement of friends-of-friends groups in six phase-space dimensions and one time dimension, which allows for robust (grid-independent, shape-independent, and noise-resilient) tracking of substructure; as such, it is named ROCKSTAR (Robust Overdensity Calculation using K-Space Topologically Adaptive Refinement). Our method is massively parallel (up to 105 CPUs) and runs on the largest current simulations (>1010 particles) with high efficiency (10 CPU hours and 60 gigabytes of memory required per billion particles analyzed). A previous paper has shown ROCKSTAR to have excellent recovery of halo properties; we expand on these comparisons with more tests and higher-resolution simulations. We show a significant improvement in substructure recovery compared to several other halo finders and discuss the theoretical and practical limits of simulations in this regard. Finally, we present results that demonstrate conclusively that dark matter halo cores are not at rest relative to the halo bulk or substructure average velocities and have coherent velocity offsets across a wide range of halo masses and redshifts. For massive clusters, these offsets can be up to 350 km s-1 at z = 0 and even higher at high redshifts. Our implementation is publicly available at

  3. Yale Image Finder (YIF): a new search engine for retrieving biomedical images (United States)

    Xu, Songhua; McCusker, James; Krauthammer, Michael


    Summary: Yale Image Finder (YIF) is a publicly accessible search engine featuring a new way of retrieving biomedical images and associated papers based on the text carried inside the images. Image queries can also be issued against the image caption, as well as words in the associated paper abstract and title. A typical search scenario using YIF is as follows: a user provides few search keywords and the most relevant images are returned and presented in the form of thumbnails. Users can click on the image of interest to retrieve the high resolution image. In addition, the search engine will provide two types of related images: those that appear in the same paper, and those from other papers with similar image content. Retrieved images link back to their source papers, allowing users to find related papers starting with an image of interest. Currently, YIF has indexed over 140 000 images from over 34 000 open access biomedical journal papers. Availability: Contact: PMID:18614584

  4. Implementation of the data acquisition system for the Overlap Modular Track Finder in the CMS experiment

    CERN Document Server

    Zabolotny, Wojciech; Bunkowski, Karol; Byszuk, Adrian Pawel; Dobosz, Jakub; Doroba, Krzysztof; Pawel Drabik; Gorski, Maciej; Kalinowski, Artur; Kierzkowski, Krzysztof Zdzislaw; Konecki, Marcin Andrzej; Oklinski, Wojciech; Olszewski, Michal; Pozniak, Krzysztof Tadeusz; Zawistowski, Krystian


    The CMS experiment is currently undergoing the upgrade of its trigger, including the Level-1 muon trigger. In the barrel-endcap transition region the Overlap Muon Track Finder (OMTF) combines data from three types of detectors (RPC, DT, and CSC) to find the muon candidates.To monitor the operation of the OMTF, it is important to receive the data which were the basis for the trigger decision. This task must be performed by the Data Acquisition (OMTF DAQ) system.The new MTCA technology applied in the updated trigger allows implementation of the OMTF DAQ together with the OMTF trigger in the MTF7 board. Further concentration of data is performed by standard AMC13 boards.The proposed data concentration methodology assumes parallel filtering and queuing of data arriving from all input links (24 RPC, 30 CSC, and 6 DT). The data are waiting for the trigger decision in the input buffers. The triggered data are then converted into the intermediate 72-bit format and put into the sorter queues. The block responsible for...

  5. Bayesian network feature finder (BANFF): an R package for gene network feature selection. (United States)

    Lan, Zhou; Zhao, Yize; Kang, Jian; Yu, Tianwei


    Network marker selection on genome-scale networks plays an important role in the understanding of biological mechanisms and disease pathologies. Recently, a Bayesian nonparametric mixture model has been developed and successfully applied for selecting genes and gene sub-networks. Hence, extending this method to a unified approach for network-based feature selection on general large-scale networks and creating an easy-to-use software package is on demand. We extended the method and developed an R package, the Bayesian network feature finder (BANFF), providing a package of posterior inference, model comparison and graphical illustration of model fitting. The model was extended to a more general form, and a parallel computing algorithm for the Markov chain Monte Carlo -based posterior inference and an expectation maximization-based algorithm for posterior approximation were added. Based on simulation studies, we demonstrate the use of BANFF on analyzing gene expression on a protein-protein interaction network. CONTACT:, tianwei.yu@emory.eduSupplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:

  6. Impact of an asteroid or comet in the ocean and extinction of terrestrial life (United States)

    Ahrens, T. J.; Okeefe, J. D.


    Finite difference calculations describing the impact mechanics associated with a 10 to 30 km diameter silicate or water object impacting a 5 km deep ocean overlying a silicate solid planet demonstrate that from 12 to 15% of the bolide energy resides in the water. It is speculated that minimal global tsunami run-up heights on the continents would be 300-400 meters, and that such waves would inundate all low altitude continental areas, and strip and silt-over virtually all vegetation. As a result the terrestrial animal food chain would be seriously perturbed. This could in turn cause extinction of large terrestrial animals.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Terrestrial locomotion in arachnids. (United States)

    Spagna, Joseph C; Peattie, Anne M


    In this review, we assess the current state of knowledge on terrestrial locomotion in Arachnida. Arachnids represent a single diverse (>100,000 species) clade containing well-defined subgroups (at both the order and subordinal levels) that vary morphologically around a basic body plan, yet exhibit highly disparate limb usage, running performance, and tarsal attachment mechanisms. Spiders (Araneae), scorpions (Scorpiones), and harvestmen (Opiliones) have received the most attention in the literature, while some orders have never been subject to rigorous mechanical characterization. Most well-characterized taxa move with gaits analogous to the alternating tripod gaits that characterize fast-moving Insecta - alternating tetrapods or alternating tripods (when one pair of legs is lifted from the ground for some other function). However, between taxa, there is considerable variation in the regularity of phasing between legs. Both large and small spiders appear to show a large amount of variation in the distribution of foot-ground contact, even between consecutive step-cycles of a single run. Mechanisms for attachment to vertical surfaces also vary, and may depend on tufts of adhesive hairs, fluid adhesives, silks, or a combination of these. We conclude that Arachnida, particularly with improvements in microelectronic force sensing technology, can serve as a powerful study system for understanding the kinematics, dynamics, and ecological correlates of sprawled-posture locomotion. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment 2004

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, J. M.; Boutrup, S.; Bijl, L. van der

    This report presents the 2004 results of the Danish National Monitoring and Assess-ment Programme for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments (NOVANA). 2004 was the first year in which terrestrial nature was included in the monitoring pro-gramme. The report reviews the state of the groundwater......, watercourses, lakes and marine waters and the pressures upon them and reviews the monitoring of terrestrial natural habitats and selected plants and animals. The report is based on the annual reports prepared for each subprogramme by the Topic Centres. The latter reports are mainly based on data collected...

  18. 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.

  19. Terrestrial Subsurface Ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilkins, Michael J.; Fredrickson, Jim K.


    understanding of the subsurface is continually improving, it is clear that only a small fraction of microbial habitats have been sampled and studied. In this chapter, we will discuss these studies in the context of the distribution of microbial life in the subsurface, the stresses that microorganisms must overcome to survive in these environments, and the metabolic strategies that are employed to harness energy in a region of the planet far-removed from sunlight. Finally, we will consider both beneficial and deleterious effects of microbial activity in the subsurface on human activities in this environment.

  20. MagAO Imaging of Long-period Objects (MILO). I. A Benchmark M Dwarf Companion Exciting a Massive Planet around the Sun-like Star HD 7449 (United States)

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Arriagada, Pamela; Faherty, Jackie; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Kaib, Nathan; Butler, R. Paul; Shectman, Stephen; Weinberger, Alycia; Males, Jared R.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Close, Laird M.; Hinz, Philip M.; Crane, Jeffrey D.; Thompson, Ian; Teske, Johanna; Díaz, Matías; Minniti, Dante; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Adams, Fred C.; Boss, Alan P.


    We present high-contrast Magellan adaptive optics images of HD 7449, a Sun-like star with one planet and a long-term radial velocity (RV) trend. We unambiguously detect the source of the long-term trend from 0.6-2.15 μm at a separation of ˜0.″54. We use the object’s colors and spectral energy distribution to show that it is most likely an M4-M5 dwarf (mass ˜0.1-0.2 {M}⊙ ) at the same distance as the primary and is therefore likely bound. We also present new RVs measured with the Magellan/MIKE and Planet Finder Spectrograph spectrometers and compile these with archival data from CORALIE and HARPS. We use a new Markov chain Monte Carlo procedure to constrain both the mass (\\gt 0.17 {M}⊙ at 99% confidence) and semimajor axis (˜18 AU) of the M dwarf companion (HD 7449B). We also refine the parameters of the known massive planet (HD 7449Ab), finding that its minimum mass is {1.09}-0.19+0.52 MJ, its semimajor axis is {2.33}-0.02+0.01 AU, and its eccentricity is {0.8}-0.06+0.08. We use N-body simulations to constrain the eccentricity of HD 7449B to ≲0.5. The M dwarf may be inducing Kozai oscillations on the planet, explaining its high eccentricity. If this is the case and its orbit was initially circular, the mass of the planet would need to be ≲1.5 MJ. This demonstrates that strong constraints on known planets can be made using direct observations of otherwise undetectable long-period companions. This paper includes data obtained at the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  1. Factors Influencing Depression Endpoints Research (FINDER: baseline results of Italian patients with depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grassi Luigi


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Factors Influencing Depression Endpoints Research (FINDER is a 6-month, prospective, observational study carried out in 12 European countries aimed at investigating health-related quality of life (HRQoL in outpatients receiving pharmacological treatment for a first or new depressive episode. Baseline characteristics of patients enrolled in Italy are presented. Methods All treatment decisions were at the discretion of the investigator. Data were collected at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of treatment. Baseline evaluations included demographics, medical and psychiatric history, and medications used in the last 24 months and prescribed at enrolment. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, was adopted to evaluate depressive symptoms, while somatic and painful physical symptoms were assessed by using the Somatic Symptom Inventory (SSI and a 0 to 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS, HRQoL via 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36, and the European Quality of Life 5-Dimensions (EQ-5D instrument. Results A total of 513 patients were recruited across 38 sites. The mean ± standard deviation (SD age at first depressive episode was 38.7 ± 15.9 years, the mean duration of depression 10.6 ± 12.3 years. The most common psychiatric comorbidities in the previous 24 months were anxiety/panic (72.6% and obsessive/compulsive disorders (13.4%, while 35.9% had functional somatic syndromes. Most patients (65.1% reported pain from any cause. Monotherapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs was prescribed at enrolment in 64.5% and 6.4% of the cases, respectively. The most commonly prescribed agents were sertraline (17.3%, escitalopram (16.2%, venlaflaxine (15.6% and paroxetine (14.8%. The mean HADS subscores for depression and anxiety were 13.3 ± 4.2 and 12.2 ± 3.9, respectively; 76.4% of patients could be defined as being 'probable cases' for depression and 66.2% for anxiety. The

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Charvátová


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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Development and validation of the Overlap Muon Track Finder for the CMS experiment (United States)

    Dobosz, J.; Mietki, P.; Zawistowski, K.; Żarnecki, G.


    Present article is a description of the authors contribution in upgrade and analysis of performance of the Level-1 Muon Trigger of the CMS experiment. The authors are students of University of Warsaw and Gdansk University of Technology. They are collaborating with the CMS Warsaw Group. This article summarises students' work presented during the Students session during the Workshop XXXVIII-th IEEE-SPIE Joint Symposium Wilga 2016. In the first section the CMS experiment is briefly described and the importance of the trigger system is explained. There is also shown basic difference between old muon trigger strategy and the upgraded one. The second section is devoted to Overlap Muon Track Finder (OMTF). This is one of the crucial components of the Level-1 Muon Trigger. The algorithm of OMTF is described. In the third section there is discussed one of the event selection aspects - cut on the muon transverse momentum pT . Sometimes physical muon with pT bigger than a certain threshold is unnecessarily cut and physical muon with lower pT survives. To improve pT selection modified algorithm was proposed and its performance was studied. One of the features of the OMTF is that one physical muon often results in several muon candidates. The Ghost-Buster algorithm is designed to eliminate surplus candidates. In the fourth section this algorithm and its performance on different data samples are discussed. In the fifth section Local Data Acquisition System (Local DAQ) is briefly described. It supports initial system commissioning. The test done with OMTF Local DAQ are described. In the sixth section there is described development of web application used for the control and monitoring of CMS electronics. The application provides access to graphical user interface for manual control and the connection to the CMS hierarchical Run Control.

  7. Theory and modelling of the magnetic field measurement in LISA PathFinder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diaz-Aguilo, M; Garcia-Berro, E [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, c/Esteve Terrades, 5, 08860 Castelldefels (Spain); Lobo, A, E-mail: marc.diaz.aguilo@fa.upc.ed [Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, c/Gran Capita 2-4, Edif. Nexus 104, 08034 Barcelona (Spain)


    The magnetic diagnostics subsystem of the LISA Technology Package (LTP) on board the LISA PathFinder (LPF) spacecraft includes a set of four tri-axial fluxgate magnetometers, intended to measure with high precision the magnetic field at their respective positions. However, their readouts do not provide a direct measurement of the magnetic field at the positions of the test masses, and hence an interpolation method must be designed and implemented to obtain the values of the magnetic field at these positions. However, such an interpolation process faces serious difficulties. Indeed, the size of the interpolation region is excessive for a linear interpolation to be reliable while, on the other hand, the number of magnetometer channels do not provide sufficient data to go beyond the linear approximation. We describe an alternative method to address this issue, by means of neural network algorithms. The key point in this approach is the ability of neural networks to learn from suitable training data representing the behaviour of the magnetic field. Despite the relatively large distance between the test masses and the magnetometers, and the insufficient number of data channels, we find that our artificial neural network algorithm is able to reduce the estimation errors of the field and gradient down to levels below 10%, a quite satisfactory result. Learning efficiency can be best improved by making use of data obtained in on-ground measurements prior to mission launch in all relevant satellite locations and in real operation conditions. Reliable information on that appears to be essential for a meaningful assessment of magnetic noise in the LTP.

  8. AsteroidFinder - the space-borne telescope to search for NEO Asteroids (United States)

    Hartl, M.; Mosebach, H.; Schubert, J.; Michaelis, H.; Mottola, S.; Kührt, E.; Schindler, K.


    This paper presents the mission profile as well as the optical configuration of the space-borne AsteroidFinder telescope. Its main objective is to retrieve asteroids with orbits interior to the earth's orbit. The instrument requires high sensitivity to detect asteroids with a limiting magnitude of equal or larger than 18.5mag (V-Band) and astrometric accuracy of 1arcsec (1σ). This requires a telescope aperture greater than 400cm2, high image stability, detector with high quantum efficiency (peak > 90%) and very low noise, which is only limited by zodiacal background. The telescope will observe the sky between 30° and 60° in solar elongation. The telescope optics is based on a Cook type TMA. An effective 2°×2° field of view (FOV) is achieved by a fast F/3.4 telescope with near diffraction-limited performance. The absence of centre obscuration or spiders in combination with an accessible intermediate field plane and exit pupil allow for efficient stray light mitigation. Design drivers for the telescope are the required point spread function (PSF) values, an extremely efficient stray light suppression (due to the magnitude requirement mentioned above), the detector performance, and the overall optical and mechanical stability for all orientations of the satellite. To accommodate the passive thermal stabilization scheme and the necessary structural stability, the materials selection for the telescope main structure and the mirrors are of vital importance. A focal plane with four EMCCD detectors is envisaged. The EMCCD technology features shorter integration times, which is in favor regarding the pointing performance of the satellite. The launch of the mission is foreseen for the year 2013 with a subsequent mission lifetime of at least 1 year.

  9. Efficient α, β-motif finder for identification of phenotype-related functional modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmidt Matthew C


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial communities in their natural environments exhibit phenotypes that can directly cause particular diseases, convert biomass or wastewater to energy, or degrade various environmental contaminants. Understanding how these communities realize specific phenotypic traits (e.g., carbon fixation, hydrogen production is critical for addressing health, bioremediation, or bioenergy problems. Results In this paper, we describe a graph-theoretical method for in silico prediction of the cellular subsystems that are related to the expression of a target phenotype. The proposed (α, β-motif finder approach allows for identification of these phenotype-related subsystems that, in addition to metabolic subsystems, could include their regulators, sensors, transporters, and even uncharacterized proteins. By comparing dozens of genome-scale networks of functionally associated proteins, our method efficiently identifies those statistically significant functional modules that are in at least α networks of phenotype-expressing organisms but appear in no more than β networks of organisms that do not exhibit the target phenotype. It has been shown via various experiments that the enumerated modules are indeed related to phenotype-expression when tested with different target phenotypes like hydrogen production, motility, aerobic respiration, and acid-tolerance. Conclusion Thus, we have proposed a methodology that can identify potential statistically significant phenotype-related functional modules. The functional module is modeled as an (α, β-clique, where α and β are two criteria introduced in this work. We also propose a novel network model, called the two-typed, divided network. The new network model and the criteria make the problem tractable even while very large networks are being compared. The code can be downloaded from

  10. Unsynchronized scanning with a low-cost laser range finder for real-time range imaging (United States)

    Hatipoglu, Isa; Nakhmani, Arie


    Range imaging plays an essential role in many fields: 3D modeling, robotics, heritage, agriculture, forestry, reverse engineering. One of the most popular range-measuring technologies is laser scanner due to its several advantages: long range, high precision, real-time measurement capabilities, and no dependence on lighting conditions. However, laser scanners are very costly. Their high cost prevents widespread use in applications. Due to the latest developments in technology, now, low-cost, reliable, faster, and light-weight 1D laser range finders (LRFs) are available. A low-cost 1D LRF with a scanning mechanism, providing the ability of laser beam steering for additional dimensions, enables to capture a depth map. In this work, we present an unsynchronized scanning with a low-cost LRF to decrease scanning period and reduce vibrations caused by stop-scan in synchronized scanning. Moreover, we developed an algorithm for alignment of unsynchronized raw data and proposed range image post-processing framework. The proposed technique enables to have a range imaging system for a fraction of the price of its counterparts. The results prove that the proposed method can fulfill the need for a low-cost laser scanning for range imaging for static environments because the most significant limitation of the method is the scanning period which is about 2 minutes for 55,000 range points (resolution of 250x220 image). In contrast, scanning the same image takes around 4 minutes in synchronized scanning. Once faster, longer range, and narrow beam LRFs are available, the methods proposed in this work can produce better results.

  11. 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 ...

  12. M Stars as Targets for Terrestrial Exoplanet Searches And Biosignature Detection (United States)

    Scalo, John; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Segura, Ant Gona; Fridlund, Malcolm; Ribas, Ignasi; Kulikov, Yu. N.; Grenfell, John L.; Rauer, Hieke; Odert, Petra; Leitzinger, Martin; Selsis, F.; Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Eiroa, Carlos; Kasting, Jim; Lammer, Helmut


    The changing view of planets orbiting low mass stars, M stars, as potentially hospitable worlds for life and its remote detection was motivated by several factors, including the demonstration of viable atmospheres and oceans on tidally locked planets, normal incidence of dust disks, including debris disks, detection of planets with masses in the 5-20 M⊕ range, and predictions of unusually strong spectral biosignatures. We present a critical discussion of M star properties that are relevant for the long- and short-term thermal, dynamical, geological, and environmental stability of conventional liquid water habitable zone (HZ) M star planets, and the advantages and disadvantages of M stars as targets in searches for terrestrial HZ planets using various detection techniques. Biological viability seems supported by unmatched very long-term stability conferred by tidal locking, small HZ size, an apparent short-fall of gas giant planet perturbers, immunity to large astrosphere compressions, and several other factors, assuming incidence and evolutionary rate of life benefit from lack of variability. Tectonic regulation of climate and dynamo generation of a protective magnetic field, especially for a planet in synchronous rotation, are important unresolved questions that must await improved geodynamic models, though they both probably impose constraints on the planet mass. M star HZ terrestrial planets must survive a number of early trials in order to enjoy their many Gyr of stability. Their formation may be jeopardized by an insufficient initial disk supply of solids, resulting in the formation of objects too small and/or dry for habitability. The small empirical gas giant fraction for M stars reduces the risk of formation suppression or orbit disruption from either migrating or nonmigrating giant planets, but effects of perturbations from lower mass planets in these systems are uncertain. During the first ~1 Gyr, atmospheric retention is at peril because of intense and

  13. Size distribution of particles in planetary rings. [applied to Saturn and terrestrial planets (United States)

    Greenberg, R.; Davis, D. R.; Hartmann, W. K.; Chapman, C. R.


    Harris (1975) has suggested that the maximum size of particles in a planetary ring is controlled by collisional fragmentation rather than tidal stress. While this conclusion is probably true, estimated radius limits must be revised upward from Harris' values of a few kilometers by at least an order of magnitude. Accretion of particles within the Roche limit is also possible. These considerations affect theories concerning the evolution of Saturn's rings, of the moon, and of possible former satellites of Mercury and Venus. In the case of Saturn's rings, comparison of various theoretical scenarios with available observational evidence suggests that the rings formed from the breakup of larger particles rather than from original condensation as small particles. This process implies a distribution of particle sizes in Saturn's rings possibly ranging up to about 100 km but with most of the cross section in centimeter-scale particles.

  14. Kuiper Prize Lecture - Present and past climates of the terrestrial planets (United States)

    Pollack, James B.


    An evaluation is undertaken of the current understanding of factors shaping the current climates of Venus, Mars, and the earth, in conjunction with the ways in which these planetary climates may have been different in the past. Attention is given to modeling approaches of various levels of sophistication which both characterize current climates and elucidate prior climatic epochs; these are assessed in light of observational data in order to judge degrees of success thus far and formulate major remaining questions for future investigations. Venus is noted to offer excellent opportunities for modeling the greenhouse effect.

  15. Oxidation states of iron in the terrestrial planets: Evidence and implications for accretion models (United States)

    Huguenin, R. L.; Harris, S. L.


    Analyses of Mars spectra reveal that primary minerals may be more iron rich than average basalts on Earth, and the oxidation state of iron in the pyroxines suggests equally high or higher oxygen fugacities on Mars than Earth. Analysis of Mercury spectra reveal that silicate iron contents are substantially lower than those on Mars. Mercury, however, probably has a substantial iron core. This is consistent with a lower oxidation state of iron on Mercury than on Mars. These findings are consistent with predictions of models of equilibrium condensation and homogeneous accretion. Those models predict that Mercury would have negligible Fe(2+) in silicates (Fe/Fe+Mg approx. 0.5). For Mercury iron should be virtually all metallic, while for Mars the iron would be all oxidized as FeS and silicate. Surface measurements of Fe/Fe+Mg on Venus, Earth, and Mars further support the predicted relative increase in Fe/Fe+Mg ratio (increased oxidation state) with distance from the Sun. The implied high oxygen fugacities on Mars (Fe(3+) in silicates) provide additional consistence with the model predictions.

  16. Sulfur Saturation Limits in Silicate Melts and their Implications for Core Formation Scenarios for Terrestrial Planets (United States)

    Holzheid, Astrid; Grove, Timothy L.


    This study explores the controls of temperature, pressure, and silicate melt composition on S solubility in silicate liquids. The solubility of S in FeO-containing silicate melts in equilibrium with metal sulfide increases significantly with increasing temperature but decreases with increasing pressure. The silicate melt structure also exercises a control on S solubility. Increasing the degree of polymerization of the silicate melt structure lowers the S solubility in the silicate liquid. The new set of experimental data is used to expand the model of Mavrogenes and O'Neill(1999) for S solubility in silicate liquids by incorporating the influence of the silicate melt structure. The expected S solubility in the ascending magma is calculated using the expanded model. Because the negative pressure dependence of S solubility is more influential than the positive temperature dependence, decompression and adiabatic ascent of a formerly S-saturated silicate magma will lead to S undersaturation. A primitive magma that is S-saturated in its source region will, therefore, become S-undersaturated as it ascends to shallower depth. In order to precipitate magmatic sulfides, the magma must first cool and undergo fractional crystallization to reach S saturation. The S content in a metallic liquid that is in equilibrium with a magma ocean that contains approx. 200 ppm S (i.e., Earth's bulk mantle S content) ranges from 5.5 to 12 wt% S. This range of S values encompasses the amount of S (9 to 12 wt%) that would be present in the outer core if S is the light element. Thus, the Earth's proto-mantle could be in equilibrium (in terms of the preserved S abundance) with a core-forming metallic phase.

  17. 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 ?

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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-...

  1. 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...

  2. Ozone concentrations and ultraviolet fluxes on Earth-like planets around other stars. (United States)

    Segura, Antígona; Krelove, Kara; Kasting, James F; Sommerlatt, Darrell; Meadows, Victoria; Crisp, David; Cohen, Martin; Mlawer, Eli


    Coupled radiative-convective/photochemical modeling was performed for Earth-like planets orbiting different types of stars (the Sun as a G2V, an F2V, and a K2V star). O(2) concentrations between 1 and 10(-5) times the present atmospheric level (PAL) were simulated. The results were used to calculate visible/near-IR and thermal-IR spectra, along with surface UV fluxes and relative dose rates for erythema and DNA damage. For the spectral resolution and sensitivity currently planned for the first generation of terrestrial planet detection and characterization missions, we find that O(2) should be observable remotely in the visible for atmospheres containing at least 10(-2) PAL of O(2). O(3) should be visible in the thermal-IR for atmospheres containing at least 10(-3) PAL of O(2). CH(4) is not expected to be observable in 1 PAL O(2) atmospheres like that of modern Earth, but it might be observable at thermal-IR wavelengths in "mid-Proterozoic-type" atmospheres containing approximately 10(-1) PAL of O(2). Thus, the simultaneous detection of both O(3) and CH(4) - considered to be a reliable indication of life - is within the realm of possibility. High-O(2) planets orbiting K2V and F2V stars are both better protected from surface UV radiation than is modern Earth. For the F2V case the high intrinsic UV luminosity of the star is more than offset by the much thicker ozone layer. At O(2) levels below approximately 10(-2) PAL, planets around all three types of stars are subject to high surface UV fluxes, with the F2V planet exhibiting the most biologically dangerous radiation environment. Thus, while advanced life is theoretically possible on high-O(2) planets around F stars, it is not obvious that it would evolve as it did on Earth.

  3. Surface flux patterns on planets in circumbinary systems and potential for photosynthesis (United States)

    Forgan, Duncan H.; Mead, Alexander; Cockell, Charles S.; Raven, John A.


    Recently, the Kepler Space Telescope has detected several planets in orbit around a close binary star system. These so-called circumbinary planets will experience non-trivial spatial and temporal distributions of radiative flux on their surfaces, with features not seen in their single-star orbiting counterparts. Earth-like circumbinary planets inhabited by photosynthetic organisms will be forced to adapt to these unusual flux patterns. We map the flux received by putative Earth-like planets (as a function of surface latitude/longitude and time) orbiting the binary star systems Kepler-16 and Kepler-47, two star systems which already boast circumbinary exoplanet detections. The longitudinal and latitudinal distribution of flux is sensitive to the centre-of-mass motion of the binary, and the relative orbital phases of the binary and planet. Total eclipses of the secondary by the primary, as well as partial eclipses of the primary by the secondary add an extra forcing term to the system. We also find that the patterns of darkness on the surface are equally unique. Beyond the planet's polar circles, the surface spends a significantly longer time in darkness than latitudes around the equator, due to the stars' motions delaying the first sunrise of spring (or hastening the last sunset of autumn). In the case of Kepler-47, we also find a weak longitudinal dependence for darkness, but this effect tends to average out if considered over many orbits. In the light of these flux and darkness patterns, we consider and discuss the prospects and challenges for photosynthetic organisms, using terrestrial analogues as a guide.

  4. Habitable Planets Around White and Brown Dwarfs: The Perils of a Cooling Primary (United States)

    Heller, René


    Abstract White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10−6. Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 104 K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable. Key Words: Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Habitable zone—Tides—Exoplanets. Astrobiology 13, 279–291. PMID:23537137


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rugheimer, S.; Sasselov, D. [Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden st., 02138 MA Cambridge (United States); Segura, A. [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México (Mexico); Kaltenegger, L., E-mail: [Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)


    The UV environment of a host star affects the photochemistry in the atmosphere, and ultimately the surface UV environment for terrestrial planets and therefore the conditions for the origin and evolution of life. We model the surface UV radiation environment for Earth-sized planets orbiting FGKM stars in the circumstellar Habitable Zone for Earth through its geological evolution. We explore four different types of atmospheres corresponding to an early-Earth atmosphere at 3.9 Gyr ago and three atmospheres covering the rise of oxygen to present-day levels at 2.0 Gyr ago, 0.8 Gyr ago, and modern Earth. In addition to calculating the UV flux on the surface of the planet, we model the biologically effective irradiance, using DNA damage as a proxy for biological damage. We find that a pre-biotic Earth (3.9 Gyr ago) orbiting an F0V star receives 6 times the biologically effective radiation as around the early Sun and 3520 times the modern Earth–Sun levels. A pre-biotic Earth orbiting GJ 581 (M3.5 V) receives 300 times less biologically effective radiation, about 2 times modern Earth–Sun levels. The UV fluxes calculated here provide a grid of model UV environments during the evolution of an Earth-like planet orbiting a range of stars. These models can be used as inputs into photo-biological experiments and for pre-biotic chemistry and early life evolution experiments.

  6. Forecasting the detectability of known radial velocity planets with the upcoming CHEOPS mission (United States)

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


    The Characterizing Exoplanets Satellite (CHEOPS) mission is planned for launch next year with a major objective being to search for transits of known RV planets, particularly those orbiting bright stars. Since the radial velocity method is only sensitive to planetary mass, the radii, transit depths and transit signal-to-noise values of each RV planet are, a-priori, unknown. Using an empirically calibrated probabilistic mass-radius relation, forecaster (Chen & Kipping 2017a), we address this by predicting a catalog of homogeneous credible intervals for these three keys terms for 468 planets discovered via radial velocities. Of these, we find that the vast majority should be detectable with CHEOPS, including terrestrial bodies, if they have the correct geometric alignment. In particular, we predict that 22 mini-Neptunes and 82 Neptune-sized planets would be suitable for detection and that more than 80% of these will have apparent magnitude of V < 10, making them highly suitable for follow-up characterization work. Our work aims to assist the CHEOPS team in scheduling efforts and highlights the great value of quantifiable, statistically robust estimates for upcoming exoplanetary missions.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wahl, Sean M.; Wilson, Hugh F.; Militzer, Burkhard [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)


    The formation of the giant planets in our solar system, and likely a majority of giant exoplanets, is most commonly explained by the accretion of nebular hydrogen and helium onto a large core of terrestrial-like composition. The fate of this core has important consequences for the evolution of the interior structure of the planet. It has recently been shown that H{sub 2}O, MgO, and SiO{sub 2} dissolve in liquid metallic hydrogen at high temperature and pressure. In this study, we perform ab initio calculations to study the solubility of an innermost metallic core. We find dissolution of iron to be strongly favored above 2000 K over the entire pressure range (0.4-4 TPa) considered. We compare with and summarize the results for solubilities on other probable core constituents. The calculations imply that giant planet cores are in thermodynamic disequilibrium with surrounding layers, promoting erosion and redistribution of heavy elements. Differences in solubility behavior between iron and rock may influence evolution of interiors, particularly for Saturn-mass planets. Understanding the distribution of iron and other heavy elements in gas giants may be relevant in understanding mass-radius relationships, as well as deviations in transport properties from pure hydrogen-helium mixtures.

  8. Correlations between Compositions and Orbits Established by the Giant Impact Era of Planet Formation (United States)

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Lee, Eve J.; Chiang, Eugene


    The giant impact phase of terrestrial planet formation establishes connections between super-Earths’ orbital properties (semimajor axis spacings, eccentricities, mutual inclinations) and interior compositions (the presence or absence of gaseous envelopes). Using N-body simulations and analytic arguments, we show that spacings derive not only from eccentricities, but also from inclinations. Flatter systems attain tighter spacings, a consequence of an eccentricity equilibrium between gravitational scatterings, which increase eccentricities, and mergers, which damp them. Dynamical friction by residual disk gas plays a critical role in regulating mergers and in damping inclinations and eccentricities. Systems with moderate gas damping and high solid surface density spawn gas-enveloped super-Earths with tight spacings, small eccentricities, and small inclinations. Systems in which super-Earths coagulate without as much ambient gas, in disks with low solid surface density, produce rocky planets with wider spacings, larger eccentricities, and larger mutual inclinations. A combination of both populations can reproduce the observed distributions of spacings, period ratios, transiting planet multiplicities, and transit duration ratios exhibited by Kepler super-Earths. The two populations, both formed in situ, also help to explain observed trends of eccentricity versus planet size, and bulk density versus method of mass measurement (radial velocities versus transit timing variations). Simplifications made in this study—including the limited time span of the simulations, and the approximate treatments of gas dynamical friction and gas depletion history—should be improved on in future work to enable a detailed quantitative comparison to the observations.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. 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...