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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:32 am 
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Possible exomoon may be an ocean-covered world as big as Saturn

https://www.newscientist.com/article/21 ... as-saturn/

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Planet Formation in Cometary Rings

https://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=38647

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What the scientists are finding is that dense rings of comets can become a construction zone for planets of super-Earth size. The makeup of the material in these ring systems varies, from two that are rich in ice (Fomalhaut and HD 32297) to one that is depleted in ice but rich in carbon (HR 4796A). Take a look at the image below, showing the ring surrounding HR 4796A, and you’ll see how strikingly tight the band of dust around this relatively young stellar system is.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:29 pm 
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Comets Detected Outside Our Solar System for the First Time

http://www.newsweek.com/comets-detected ... ime-696446

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:11 am 
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Astronomers Spy Planet-Spawning Vortex around Young Star

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... oung-star/

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Deeper glimpses into protoplanetary disks shed light on how planets are born

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:10 pm 
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‘Monster’ Planet Discovery Challenges Formation Theory

http://www.astrowatch.net/2017/11/monst ... enges.html

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Its existence challenges theories of planet formation which state that a planet of this size could not be formed by such a small star. According to these theories, small stars can readily form rocky planets but do not gather enough material together to form Jupiter-sized planets.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:43 pm 
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The 20 Possibly Habitable Exoplanets Where We Might Find Alien Life

https://www.outerplaces.com/science/ite ... eti-aliens

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:54 pm 
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Astronomers Use Shadowy Alien Worlds to Peer Inside Stars

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ide-stars/

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New analyses allow scientists to measure stellar densities using orbiting planets


and...

Scientists: Water worlds exoplanets not live longer than 1 billion years

https://theqtimes.com/scientists-water- ... -years/597

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:39 am 
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Extremely massive exoplanet discovered in the Milky Way's bulge

https://phys.org/news/2017-11-extremely ... bulge.html

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According to the study, OGLE-2016-BLG-1190Lb appears to be an extremely massive planet with a mass of about 13.4 Jupiter masses. Such high mass puts the object right at the deuterium burning limit—the conventional boundary between planets and brown dwarfs. Therefore, the researchers do not exclude the possibility that the newly found planet could be a low-mass brown dwarf.

OGLE-2016-BLG-1190Lb orbits its parent star approximately every three years at a distance of about 2.0 AU. The host is a G dwarf with a mass of 0.89 solar masses. The system is located some 22,000 light years away from the Earth.


Is that a planet in your bulge, or are you just happy to see me?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:46 am 
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The first evidence of planets around another star was found in… 1917?

http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/the-first- ... s-found-in…-1917

Quote:
In that year of 1917, the Dutch-American astronomer Adrian van Maanen published a short paper announcing the discovery of two different stars with "high proper motion"; that is, stars that appear to be moving across the sky with faster than normal speed. He had actually taken a glass photographic plate of a different star for a different reason, but when he compared it to an older plate taken of the same part of the sky he noticed that a very faint star in the field had noticeably moved.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:19 pm 
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BetaDraconis wrote:
The first evidence of planets around another star was found in… 1917?

http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/the-first- ... s-found-in…-1917

Quote:
In that year of 1917, the Dutch-American astronomer Adrian van Maanen published a short paper announcing the discovery of two different stars with "high proper motion"; that is, stars that appear to be moving across the sky with faster than normal speed. He had actually taken a glass photographic plate of a different star for a different reason, but when he compared it to an older plate taken of the same part of the sky he noticed that a very faint star in the field had noticeably moved.

The link above is dysfunctional, it should be...

[url]http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/the-first-evidence-of-planets-around-another-star-was-found-in…-1917[/url]

However, trying to make it a hotlink doesn't work, apparently because the message board software doesn't like or recognize the ellipsis near the end of the URL (the ellipsis being the three dots near the end; it's actually a single character, not three individual dots, periods or decimal points). You'll just have to copy-and-paste the text highlighted in bronze color.

And the quote may be somewhat misleading, as it seems to imply that the movement of the faint star in itself indicated a planet. But that's because it's out of context. The full story goes on describe how the spectrum of that star taken back then, with modern analysis, shows "the chemical composition of the material seen in the white dwarf spectrum matches that of asteroids in our own solar system."

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:13 pm 
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Exoplanets Lurking in Dusty Disks Reveal Their Secrets

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... r-secrets/

Quote:
A new mathematical model suggests planets interact with these structures in complex ways


Curious as to why this wouldn't be evident since we have two ringed planets in our solar system with signifcant, natural satellites. Wouldn't Jupiter and Saturn be models for stellar disks of dust?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:46 am 
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Eleven Light-Years Away, an Earth-Size Planet That May Be Habitable

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/scie ... s-128.html

C'mon gang! We're goin' to Ross 128 for December's meeting!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:18 pm 
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A Visual Guide to the Search for Exoplanets

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/sa ... xoplanets/


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:35 am 
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A Case for an Atmosphere on Super-Earth 55 Cancri e

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.38 ... a9278/meta

Quote:
The phase curve of 55 Cancri e is dominated by thermal emission with an eastward-shifted hotspot. We determine the heat redistribution efficiency to be ${1.47}_{-0.25}^{+0.30}$, which implies that the advective timescale is on the same order as the radiative timescale. This requirement cannot be met by the bare-rock planet scenario because heat transport by currents of molten lava would be too slow. The phase curve thus favors the scenario with a substantial atmosphere.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:28 pm 
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BetaDraconis wrote:
Eleven Light-Years Away, an Earth-Size Planet That May Be Habitable

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/scie ... s-128.html

C'mon gang! We're goin' to Ross 128 for December's meeting!

Indeed, Ross 128 (the star) is relatively accessible for a modest telescope, so you could take a virtual trip there. See this Bob King article...

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... nksgiving/

Quote:
While you and I aren't going to see Ross 128b anytime soon, we can have the pleasure of seeing its host sun, Ross 128. Currently visible in a dark sky before the start of dawn, this newsy red dwarf is just 1.1° southwest of 3rd-magnitude Beta (β) Virginis. To find the dwarf and its mind's-eye planet, center Beta in the field of view and use the AAVSO map to star-hop right to it.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:16 pm 
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Exoplanet Hunters Rethink Search for Alien Life

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... lien-life/

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:54 pm 
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JoeStieber wrote:
Indeed, Ross 128 (the star) is relatively accessible for a modest telescope, so you could take a virtual trip there. See this Bob King article...

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... nksgiving/

The sky was pretty clear on Saturday morning, 25-November-2017, so I went to Carranza Field in Wharton State Forest, NJ, before morning twilight to look for Ross 128. I was able to see it with my 85 mm spotting scope at 60x. I also took a snapshot beforehand and viewed it on the camera's display screen to augment my finder charts.

Further details and a labeled mouseover image are currently at the top of my web page... http://sjastro.org/

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:18 am 
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Lone alien planet has most eccentric orbit ever detected around old giant star

http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017 ... ar/9181110

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Astronomers have discovered a single alien planet orbiting an elderly giant star with an extraordinarily weird path.


For ASTRA members keen on science fiction, check out Hal Clement's Cycle of Fire. While it does take place in a binary system, unlike the aforementioned exoplanet, it's a tale about a planet inhabited by two sentient species. One which exists when the planet freezes, and another which exists while its surface boils.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:26 am 
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K2-136: A Binary System in the Hyades Cluster Hosting a Neptune-sized Planet

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.38 ... a9921/meta

Quote:

We report the discovery of a Neptune-size planet (${R}_{{\rm{p}}}=3.0\,{R}_{\oplus }$) in the Hyades Cluster. The host star is in a binary system, comprising a K5V star and M7/8V star with a projected separation of 40 au. The planet orbits the primary star with an orbital period of 17.3 days and a transit duration of 3 hrs. The host star is bright (V = 11.2, J = 9.1) and so may be a good target for precise radial velocity measurements. K2-136A c is the first Neptune-sized planet to be found orbiting in a binary system within an open cluster. The Hyades is the nearest star cluster to the Sun, has an age of 625–750 Myr, and forms one of the fundamental rungs in the distance ladder; understanding the planet population in such a well-studied cluster can help us understand and set constraints on the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:02 pm 
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The gibberish script in the quote has been replaced with a meaningful equivalent in red below.

BetaDraconis wrote:
Quote:

We report the discovery of a Neptune-size planet (planet radius = 3 earth radii) in the Hyades Cluster. blah, blah, blah...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:17 am 
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Google discovers new planet which proves Solar System is not unique

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017 ... e-planets/

Obligatory Joe Stieber, "That headline is nonsense".

tl;dr: Kepler 90 has eight planets arranged like our own system, and it was discovered by an artificial intelligence.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:23 pm 
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Billions Of Exoplanets? Count On It, Say Space Scientists

https://www.forbes.com/sites/billrether ... cientists/

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Says Guillem Anglada-Escude, an astrophysicist at Queen Mary University of London, and part of the team that discovered Proxima b, Earth’s closest exoplanet: “100 billion is a reasonable number.”

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:08 pm 
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A new kind of animal in the exoplanet zoo

https://astrobites.org/2018/01/05/titanic-exoplanets/

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In today’s paper, Lora et al. consider exoplanets similar to one of the most tantalizingly Earth-like yet alien bodies in the Solar System: Titan.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:21 pm 
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New Directly Imaged Planet Challenges Planet Formation Theories

https://astrobites.org/2018/01/18/direc ... -theories/

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HIP 65426 b was discovered 830 milliarcseconds from its host star HIP 65426. To put that separation into context, 830 milliarcseconds is the size of a human hair at a distance of 25 meters, or just under 2 inches at the height of a passenger jet. Using the distance to the star measured by Gaia, this separation converts to a projected separation axis (since we do not know the inclination of the orbit) of 92 au. Using the age of the star (~14 Myr derived from nearby cluster members) the authors fit the spectrum of the planet and found it to be 6-12 Jupiter masses with an effective temperature of 1300-1600 K and a radius of ~1.5 Jupiter radii. This places HIP 65426 b in a range of parameter space particularly interesting in the study of cloud formation in giant planets and brown dwarfs. Figure 2 shows a comparison of the observed spectrum to model atmospheres and observed brown dwarfs of similar mass and temperature.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:42 pm 
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Accidentally Finding a Solar Twin

https://astrobites.org/2018/01/23/accid ... olar-twin/

Meet HD 45184.

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