Category Archives: Exoplanets

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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Extrasolar Planets: A Search to Span Solar Systems

Recently, I have started work as an undergraduate research assistant in the Physics and Astronomy department at my university. The project I was assigned to is of a stellar nature; we are attempting to find evidence of extrasolar planets, or planets around other stars. Though we haven’t found any planets yet, I keep thinking about … Continue reading Extrasolar Planets: A Search to Span Solar Systems Continue reading Continue reading

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Blog 5: TESS

NASA’s new exoplanet telescope, the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite), was launched April 18, 2018 and is expected to find 20,000 exoplanets during its 2 year primary mission. This is huge increase compared to the 3,933 that are currently confirmed. Among these planets will hopefully be multiple rocky planets in the habitable zone, or zone … Continue reading Blog 5: TESS Continue reading Continue reading

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Chemical Composition of Exoplanet Atmospheres

One goal of studying exoplanet atmospheres is to understand its composition and temperature. Specifically, we want to be able to recognize planets that could potentially have atmospheres most similar to Earth’s (with water vapor, oxygen, ozone, and carbon dioxide) – with the main objective being to find planets with strong water features that could support … Continue reading Chemical Composition of Exoplanet Atmospheres Continue reading Continue reading

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Awesome Planetary Formation Videos

I’d love to show you a whole bunch of videos that show planetary formation! Some showcase certain parts of formation better than others but they all are pretty awesome. Beginning of Solar System formation (from gas cloud to disk) from ESA (0:39) Why is the Solar System Flat? from Minute Physics (3:12) Planetary Formation – […] Continue reading Continue reading

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