Some exoplanet and related news


Exoplanets search and  watch for near-Earth objects such as asteroids that could pose a risk to Earth in the future top list of astronomy priorities

Extra-solar planet studies received strong endorsement in a once-a-decade astronomy and astrophysics prioritization report of the National Research Council. .



Numerical simulations that show that the Sun captured comets from other stars

Oort cloud comets are currently believed to have formed in the Sun's protoplanetary disk and to have been ejected to large heliocentric orbits by the giant planets. Detailed models of this process fail to reproduce all of the available observational constraints, however.



Latest Kepler data includes over 700 exoplanet candidates

And here the list of Kepler confirmed detections. Or here the candidates. But the full list gives an ACCESS DENIED error.




Thousands of planets in our solar system

"Our old view, that the Solar System had nine planets will be supplanted by a view that there are hundreds if not thousands of planets in our Solar System," and ... "only the tip of the iceberg had been found in terms of planets within our own Solar System."



A New Way to Weigh Planets.

Champion, D., et al. (2010). MEASURING THE MASS OF SOLAR SYSTEM PLANETS USING PULSAR TIMING The Astrophysical Journal, 720 (2) DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/720/2/L201

"While spacecraft are likely to produce the most accurate measurements for individual solar system bodies, the pulsar technique is sensitive to planetary system masses and has the potential to provide the most accurate values of these masses".



A snapshot what stars do in the future

Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI), download as pdf


The multicolor snapshot, at top, taken with Wide Field Camera 3 aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, captures the central region of the giant globular cluster Omega Centauri. All the stars in the image are moving in random directions, like a swarm of bees. Astronomers used Hubble's exquisite resolving power to measure positions for stars in 2002 and 2006.

From these measurements, they can predict the stars' future movement. The bottom illustration charts the future positions of the stars highlighted by the white box in the top image. Each streak represents the motion of the star over the next 600 years. The motion between dots corresponds to 30 years.



Why is the Earth moving away from the sun?

This is no news, so just for the record



Exoplanet's atmosphere is laid bare or here

The first direct measurement of the atmospheric spectrum of a planet outside our solar system: HR 8799, which is 130 light-years from Earth.



Cold cores could provide important information about how stars form

"It's always coldest just before a star is born".



Kepler bags first rocky exoplanet

 The planet Kepler-10b is believed to have a density on par with that of iron – making it much denser than Earth. The exoplanet orbits a star about 560 light years from Earth. The team determined the planet's density by making three different observations. First, they determined its radius relative to the star's by measuring how much light it blocks when it transits between Earth and its star. Then they determined its mass (again relative to its star) by measuring the wobble of the star caused by the orbiting planet. The final, and crucial step was to determine the radius and mass of the star itself, which was done by measuring the vibrational frequency of "starquakes" on the star.

Putting it all together the team believes that the planet’s density is about 8.8 g/cm3, which is on par with Mercury



Nuclear reaction defies expectations

The fission of mercury-180 was expected to be a "symmetric" reaction that would result in two equal fragments but instead produced two nuclei with quite different masses, an "asymmetric" reaction that poses a significant challenge to theorists.



NASA spies storm stretching across the Sun



Physicists find new clue in coronal heating mystery or here



Planck Satellite Team Uncovers Secrets of the Universe



Planet Affects a Star's Spin or here



Inclined Orbits Prevail in Exoplanetary Systems



Hottest planet till now

The exoplanet, called WASP-33b, was discovered back in 2010, by the SuperWASP planet-hunting project. It orbits very close to its star, and a year on it lasts precisely 1.22 days. Athmosphere temperature 3200 Grad Celsius.



Something different: Which-way detector unlocks some mystery of the double-slit experiment

One of the greatest puzzles of the double-slit experiment – and quantum physics in general – is why electrons seem to act differently when being observed.






Why don't exoplanets match astronomers' expectations? A dispatch from the American Astronomical Society meeting






Moon's Core 'Seen'



Probe keeps keen eye on Sun



Global Eruption Rocks the Sun: Scientists Re-Evaluate Ideas About Solar Storms

Explosions on the sun are not localized or isolated events (..) Instead, solar activity is interconnected by magnetism over breathtaking distances. Solar flares, tsunamis, coronal mass ejections--they can go off all at once, hundreds of thousands of miles apart, in a dizzyingly-complex concert of violence.


Asymmetric Supernovae: Not All Stellar Explosions Expand Sphericall

Exploding supernovae which don't follow the rules.... No news if you've read these pages




Radioactive decay accounts for half of Earth's heat

"One thing we can say with near certainty is that radioactive decay alone is not enough to account for Earth's heat energy," says KamLAND collaborator Stuart Freedman of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California. "Whether the rest is primordial heat or comes from another source is an unanswered question."

One possibility that has been mooted in the past is that a natural nuclear reactor exists deep within the Earth and produces heat via a fission chain reaction. Data from KamLAND and Borexino do not rule out the possibility of such an underground reactor but place upper limits on how much heat could be produced by the reactor deep, if it exists. KamLAND sets this limit at about 5 TW, while Borexino puts it at about 3 TW.




Elusive Sun waves come into focus

"Peter Cargill (..)welcomes the new results. "Potentially, this is a huge change into how researchers tackle the heating of the corona," he says. Cargill believes that models will need to consider how Alfvénic waves are damped within the corona."



Trojan collision may have shaped the Moon



Extraterrestrial life could be extremely rare



Astronomers find elusive planets in decade-old Hubble data



Does 0.0072992 says something to you? Changes spotted in fundamental constant



Further doubts cast over lunar formation models

No big news. It was to be expected... Read here how Harvard explains this fact.... (I don't comment this. Think about it for one or two seconds or alternatively search for yourself for comments on this)



Cosmic-ray theory gets the cold shoulder

Neutrinos that are expected to be produced alongside high-energy cosmic rays in the violent explosions that mark the deaths of massive stars – but after looking at hundreds of these explosions, no such neutrinos have been found.



White dwarfs eaten in supernova flare-up

A step in the right direction...