Category Archives: Exoplanets

How Big Can a Planet Get?

Jupiter is big. Not only is it the biggest planet in our solar system, but it is large enough to fit all the other planets in the solar system inside of it. However, Jupiter is not as dense as Earth, and even though it can fit about 1,300 Earths inside of it, it is approximatelyContinue reading “How Big Can a Planet Get?” Continue reading Continue reading

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What do we know about exomoons?

Unfortunately, this question has an easy answer: not much. So far, no exoplanet has been confirmed to have a moon, even though scientists are detecting planets the size of the Jovians. Even though nothing has been confirmed, however, there have been some interesting potential discoveries. We say potential because again, the systems are so farContinue reading “What do we know about exomoons?” Continue reading Continue reading

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the Gliese 581c

Upon learning about exoplanets, I’ve become fascinated with one 20 years light years away from Earth called the Gliese 581c, which resides in the Gliese 581 system. The Gliese 581c was discovered in 2007 using the radial velocity method of detection (tugs on its planet star). At the time of its discovery, it was theContinue reading “the Gliese 581c” Continue reading Continue reading

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detecting exoplanets

Extrasolar planets, aka exoplanets are planets that orbit stars other than our own. Astronomers employ several methods to detect these planets. One such method that fascinates me is the transit method, which is used by looking for a drop in brightness in a small world caused when they pass in front of their parent star.Continue reading “detecting exoplanets” Continue reading Continue reading

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Resilient Life on Earth Increases Possibility of Extraterrestrial Life

Believe it or not, there are organisms on Earth that can survive unimaginable conditions! These beings are called extremophiles, and they’re nothing short of amazing. One example is the tardigrade, which can live in the most extreme heat, cold, dehydration and radiation. The simple fact that these organisms exist give us reason to believe that … Continue reading Resilient Life on Earth Increases Possibility of Extraterrestrial Life Continue reading Continue reading

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The Drake Equation

We hear about aliens all the time, whether in books or movies or tv shows, and this leads us to ponder our own existence. Are we alone, or is there other life out there? This is a question that has plagued mankind since begun exploring interstellar space, and started looking for life in our own … Continue reading The Drake Equation Continue reading Continue reading

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The Rare Earth Hypothesis

I was inspired by Victoria’s post to think more about the Fermi Paradox, and specifically, explanations of the uniqueness of intelligent life on Earth. The Rare Earth Hypothesis is one such explanation; it postulates that conditions favorable to life (and particularly intelligent life) are incredibly rare in the universe. It is in opposition to hypotheses […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Extrasolar planets — Earth-like planets

Extrasolar planets is one of the most interesting astronomical research topics. It can help us answer questions such as whether there are aliens, or is it possible for us to find another “Earth” to live on. An extrasolar planet is defined as a planet that is outside of solar system. The history of extrasolar planet … Continue reading Extrasolar planets — Earth-like planets Continue reading Continue reading

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Exoplanet Properties by Discovery Method

In class, we’ve discussed how the method we use to discover planets may bias the types of planets we find. For example, larger, more massive planets are easier to find with almost any method of discovering planets. Likely because of this, we have found far more Jupiter-sized exoplanets than Earth-sized planets. I wanted to investigate … Continue reading Exoplanet Properties by Discovery Method Continue reading Continue reading

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Exoplanets 101: Does the earth have a twin?

Potential Habitable Planets An extrasolar planet is a planet that orbits a star that’s not our sun. Even though these planets can be recognized, and their sizes measured, they are light years away so it would take astronomers thousands of years to reach these extrasolar planets. To detect these planets, scientists use either one of … Continue reading Exoplanets 101: Does the earth have a twin? Continue reading Continue reading

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