Enhanced Constraints on the Interior Composition and Structure of Terrestrial Exoplanets
Posted in Science Space Physics

Enhanced Constraints on the Interior Composition and Structure of Terrestrial Exoplanets

Exoplanet interior modelling usually makes the assumption that the elemental abundances of a planet are identical to those of its host star. Host stellar abundances are good proxies of planetary abundances, but only for refractory elements. This is particularly true for terrestrial planets, as evidenced by the relative differences in bulk chemical composition between the…

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First Exomoon Found! A Neptune-Sized Moon Orbiting a Jupiter-Sized Planet
Posted in Science Space Physics

First Exomoon Found! A Neptune-Sized Moon Orbiting a Jupiter-Sized Planet

A pair of astronomers combing through data from the Kepler spacecraft have discovered the first exomoon. The moon is in the Kepler 1625 system about 8,000 light years away, in the constellation Cygnus. It orbits the gas giant Kepler 1625b, and, unlike all the moons in our Solar System, this one is a “gas moon.”…

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Evidence of A Moon Outside Our Solar System Within A Stellar Habitable Zone
Posted in Science Space Physics

Evidence of A Moon Outside Our Solar System Within A Stellar Habitable Zone

Using NASA’s Hubble and Kepler space telescopes, astronomers have uncovered tantalizing evidence of what could be the first discovery of a moon orbiting a planet outside our solar system. This moon candidate, which is 8,000 light-years from Earth in the Cygnus constellation, orbits a gas-giant planet that, in turn, orbits a star called Kepler-1625. Researchers…

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Technosignatures are NASA’s New Target for Detecting Other Civilizations in Space. Wait. What’s a Technosignature?
Posted in Science Space Physics

Technosignatures are NASA’s New Target for Detecting Other Civilizations in Space. Wait. What’s a Technosignature?

NASA is targeting technosignatures in its renewed effort to detect alien civilizations. Congress asked NASA to re-boot its search for other civilizations a few months ago. Their first step towards that goal is the NASA Technosignatures Workshop, held in Houston from September 26th to 28th, 2018. If you’ve never stared out to space at night…

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The Closest Planet Ever Discovered Outside the Solar System Could be Habitable With a Dayside Ocean
Posted in Science Space Physics

The Closest Planet Ever Discovered Outside the Solar System Could be Habitable With a Dayside Ocean

In of August of 2016, astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) confirmed the existence of an Earth-like planet around Proxima Centauri – the closest star to our Solar System. In addition, they confirmed that this planet (Proxima b) orbited within its star’s habitable zone. Since that time, multiple studies have been conducted to determine…

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Europan Space Whales Anyone? Planets Covered by Deep Oceans Can Still Have Life on Them
Posted in Science Technology

Europan Space Whales Anyone? Planets Covered by Deep Oceans Can Still Have Life on Them

In recent decades, astronomers have discovered many planets that they believe are “Earth-like” in nature, meaning that they appear to be terrestrial (i.e. rocky) and orbit their stars at the right distance to support the existence of liquid water on their surfaces. Unfortunately, recent research has indicated that many of these planets may in fact…

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