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Sample records for earth planet int

  1. Mission to Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Gregory S.; Huntress, Wesley T.

    1990-01-01

    The rationale behind Mission to Planet Earth is presented, and the program plan is described in detail. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic earth orbits to collect muultidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented large amount of information about the earth and how it functions as a system. Attention is given to the space observatories, the data and information systems, and the interdisciplinary research.

  2. Earth: A Ringed Planet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hancock, L. O.; Povenmire, H.

    2010-12-01

    Among the most beautiful findings of the Space Age have been the discoveries of planetary rings. Not only Saturn but also Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune have rings; Saturn’s ring system has structures newly discovered; even Saturn's moon Rhea itself has a ring. All these are apparently supplied by material from the planetary moons (Rhea's ring by Rhea itself). The question naturally arises, why should the Earth not have a ring, and on the other hand, if it does, why has it not been observed? No rings have yet been observed in the inner solar system, but after all, rings in the inner solar system might simply tend to be fainter and more transient than those of the outer solar system: the inner solar system is more affected by the solar wind, and the Sun’s perturbing gravitational influence is greater. J.A. O’Keefe first suggested (1980) that Earth might have a ring system of its own. An Earth ring could account for some climate events. O’Keefe remarked that formation or thickening of a ring system in Earth’s equatorial plane could drive glaciation by deepening the chill of the winter hemisphere. (It is very well established that volcanic dust is an effective agent for the extinction of sunlight; this factor can be overwhelmingly apparent in eclipse observations.) O’Keefe died in 2000 and the speculation was not pursued, but the idea of an Earth ring has a prima facie reasonableness that calls for its renewed consideration. The program of this note is to hypothesize that, as O’Keefe proposed: (a) an Earth ring system exists; (b) it affects Earth's weather and climate; (c) the tektite strewn fields comprise filaments of the ring fallen to Earth's surface on various occasions of disturbance by comets or asteroids. On this basis, and drawing on the world's weather records, together with the Twentieth Century Reanalysis by NCEP/CIRES covering the period 1870-2010 and the geology of the tektite strewn fields, we herein propose the hypothesized Earth ring

  3. Evolution of Earth Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monroy-Rodríguez, M. A.; Vega, K. M.

    2017-07-01

    In order to study and explain the evolution of our own planet we have done a review of works related to the evolution of Earth-like planets. From the stage of proto-planet to the loss of its atmosphere. The planetary formation from the gas and dust of the proto-planetary disk, considering the accretion by the process of migration, implies that the material on the proto-planet is very mixed. The newborn planet is hot and compact, it begins its process of stratification by gravity separation forming a super dense nucleus, an intermediate layer of convective mantle and an upper mantle that is less dense, with material that emerges from zones at very high pressure The surface with low pressure, in this process the planet expands and cools. This process also releases gas to the surface, forming the atmosphere, with the gas gravitationally bounded. The most important thing for the life of the planet is the layer of convective mantle, which produces the magnetic field, when it stops the magnetic field disappears, as well as the rings of van allen and the solar wind evaporates the atmosphere, accelerating the evolution and cooling of the planet. In a natural cycle of cataclysms and mass extinctions, the solar system crosses the galactic disk every 30 million years or so, the increase in the meteorite fall triggers the volcanic activity and the increase in the release of CO2 into the atmosphere reaching critical levels (4000 billion tons) leads us to an extinction by overheating that last 100 000 years, the time it takes CO2 to sediment to the ocean floor. Human activity will lead us to reach critical levels of CO2 in approximately 300 years.

  4. The Earth: A Changing Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribas, Núria; Màrquez, Conxita

    2013-04-01

    text: We describe a didactic unit that rises from our own living impression about our experience on the planet. Most of us feel the Earth to be a very static place. Rocks don't easily move and most landscapes always look the same over time. Anyone would say (the same way most scientists believed until the beginning of the last century) that our planet has always remained unchanged, never transformed. But then, all of a sudden, as a misfortune for so many humans, natural hazards appear on the scene: an earthquake causing so many disasters, a tsunami carrying away everything in its path, an eruption that can destroy huge surrounding areas but also bring new geographical relief. Science cannot remain oblivious to these events, we must wonder beyond. What does an earthquake mean? Why does it happen? What about an eruption? If it comes from the inside, what can we guess from it? Researching about all of these events, scientists have been able to arrive to some important knowledge of the planet itself: It has been possible to theorize about Earth's interior. It has also been confirmed that the planet has not always been the quiet and stable place we once thought. Continents, as Wegener supposed, do move about and the Tectonic Plates Theory, thanks to the information obtained through earthquakes and eruption, can provide some interesting explanations. But how do we know about our planet's past? How can we prove that the Earth has always been moving and that its surface changes? The Earth's rocks yield the answer. Rocks have been the only witnesses throughout millions of years, since the planet first came to existence. Let's learn how to read them… Shouldn't we realize that rocks are to Geology what books are to History? This discursive process has been distributed in four learning sequences: 1. Land is not as solid nor firm as it would seem, 2. The Earth planet: a puzzle, 3. The rocks also recycle , 4. Field trip to "Sant Miquel del Fai". The subjects take about 30

  5. Earth-class Planets Line Up

    2011-12-20

    This chart compares the first Earth-size planets found around a sun-like star to planets in our own solar system, Earth and Venus. NASA Kepler mission discovered the newfound planets, called Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f.

  6. Exotic Earths: forming habitable worlds with giant planet migration.

    PubMed

    Raymond, Sean N; Mandell, Avi M; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2006-09-08

    Close-in giant planets (e.g., "hot Jupiters") are thought to form far from their host stars and migrate inward, through the terrestrial planet zone, via torques with a massive gaseous disk. Here we simulate terrestrial planet growth during and after giant planet migration. Several-Earth-mass planets also form interior to the migrating jovian planet, analogous to recently discovered "hot Earths." Very-water-rich, Earth-mass planets form from surviving material outside the giant planet's orbit, often in the habitable zone and with low orbital eccentricities. More than a third of the known systems of giant planets may harbor Earth-like planets.

  7. A septet of Earth-sized planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Triaud, Amaury; SPECULOOS Team; TRAPPIST-1 Team

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the astronomical requirements for life to emerge, and to persist, on a planet is one of the most important and exciting scientific endeavours, yet without empirical answers. To resolve this, multiple planets whose sizes and surface temperatures are similar to the Earth, need to be discovered. Those planets also need to possess properties enabling detailed atmospheric characterisation with forthcoming facilities, from which chemical traces produced by biological activity can in principle be identified.I will describe a dedicated search for such planets called SPECULOOS. Our first detection is the TRAPPIST-1 system. Intensive ground-based and space-based observations have revealed that at least seven planets populate this system. We measured their radii and obtained first estimates of their masses thanks to transit-timing variations. I will describe our on-going observational efforts aiming to reduce our uncertainties on the planet properties. The incident flux on the planets ranges from Mercury to Ceres, comprising the Earth, and permitting climatic comparisons between each of those worlds such as is not possible within our Solar system. All seven planets have the potential to harbour liquid water on at least a fraction of their surfaces, given some atmospheric and geological conditions.

  8. ATLAS 1: Encountering Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shea, Charlotte; Mcmahan, Tracy; Accardi, Denise; Tygielski, Michele; Mikatarian, Jeff; Wiginton, Margaret (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    Several NASA science programs examine the dynamic balance of sunlight, atmosphere, water, land, and life that governs Earth's environment. Among these is a series of Space Shuttle-Spacelab missions, named the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS). During the ATLAS missions, international teams of scientists representing many disciplines combine their expertise to seek answers to complex questions about the atmospheric and solar conditions that sustain life on Earth. The ATLAS program specifically investigates how Earth's middle atmosphere and upper atmospheres and climate are affected by both the Sun and by products of industrial and agricultural activities on Earth.

  9. Polar Views of Planet Earth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brochu, Michel

    1983-01-01

    In August, 1981, National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched Dynamics Explorer 1 into polar orbit equipped with three cameras built to view the Northern Lights. The cameras can photograph aurora borealis' faint light without being blinded by the earth's bright dayside. Photographs taken by the satellite are provided. (JN)

  10. From Extrasolar Planets to Exo-Earths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Debra

    2018-06-01

    The ancient Greeks debated whether the Earth was unique, or innumerable worlds existed around other Suns. Twenty five years ago, technology and human ingenuity enabled the discovery of the first extrasolar planet candidates. The architectures of these first systems, with gas giant planets in star-skirting orbits, were unexpected and again raised an echo of that ancient question: is the Earth typical or unique? We are interested in this seemingly anthropocentric question because with all of our searching and discoveries, Earth is the only place where life has been found. It is the question of whether life exists elsewhere that energizes the search for exoplanets. The trajectory of this field has been stunning. After a steady stream of detections with the radial velocity method, a burst of discovery was made possible with the NASA Kepler mission. While thousands of smaller planets have now been found, true Earth analogs have eluded robust detection. However, we are sharpening the knives of our technology and without a doubt we now stand at the threshold of detecting hundreds of Earth analogs. Using Gaia, TESS, WFIRST, JWST and new ground-based spectrographs, we will learn the names and addresses of the worlds that orbit nearby stars and we will be ready to probe their atmospheres. We will finally resolve the ancient question of whether life is unique or common.

  11. Earth-based planet finders power up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clery, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    NASA's Kepler spacecraft has racked up thousands of exoplanet discoveries since its launch in 2009, but before Kepler, the workhorses of exoplanet identification were ground-based instruments that measure tiny stellar wobbles caused by the gravity of an orbiting planet. They are now undergoing a quiet renaissance. The new generation of these devices may be precise enough to find a true Earth twin: a planet with the same mass as ours, orbiting a sunlike star once a year. That's something Kepler—sensitive to planet size, but not mass—can't do. Over the past few months, two new third-generation instruments have opened their eyes to the sky and nearly two dozen others are either under construction or have recently begun service.

  12. The Earth is a Planet Too!

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cairns, Brian

    2014-01-01

    When the solar system formed, the sun was 30 dimmer than today and Venus had an ocean. As the sun brightened, a runaway greenhouse effect caused the Venus ocean to boil away. At times when Earth was younger, the sun less bright, and atmospheric CO2 less, Earth froze over (snowball Earth). Earth is in the sweet spot today. Venus is closer to sun than Earth is, but cloud-covered Venus absorbs only 25 of incident sunlight, while Earth absorbs 70. Venus is warmer because it has a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect of several hundred degrees. Earth is Goldilocks choice among the planets, the one that is just right for life to exist. Not too hot. Not too cold. How does the Earth manage to stay in this habitable range? Is there a Gaia phenomenon keeping the climate in bounds? A nice idea, but it doesnt work. Today, greenhouse gas levels are unprecedented compared to the last 450,000 years.

  13. Astronomy: A small star with an Earth-like planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Drake

    2015-11-01

    A rocky planet close in size to Earth has been discovered in the cosmic vicinity of our Sun. The small size and proximity of the associated star bode well for studies of the planet's atmosphere. See Letter p.204

  14. Plate Tectonics on Earth-like Planets: Implications for Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, L.; Breuer, D.

    2011-12-01

    Plate tectonics has been suggested to be essential for life (see e.g. [1]) due to the replenishment of nutrients and its role in the stabilization of the atmosphere temperature through the carbon-silicate cycle. Whether plate tectonics can prevail on a planet should depend on several factors, e.g. planetary mass, age of the planet, water content (at the surface and in the interior), surface temperature, mantle rheology, density variations in the mantle due to partial melting, and life itself by promoting erosion processes and perhaps even the production of continental rock [2]. In the present study, we have investigated how planetary mass, internal heating, surface temperature and water content in the mantle would factor for the probability of plate tectonics to occur on a planet. We allow the viscosity to be a function of pressure [3], an effect mostly neglected in previous discussions of plate tectonics on exoplanets [4, 5]. With the pressure-dependence of viscosity allowed for, the lower mantle may become too viscous in massive planets for convection to occur. When varying the planetary mass between 0.1 and 10 Earth masses, we find a maximum for the likelihood of plate tectonics to occur for planetary masses around a few Earth masses. For these masses the convective stresses acting at the base of the lithosphere are strongest and may become larger than the lithosphere yield strength. The optimum planetary mass varies slightly depending on the parameter values used (e.g. wet or dry rheology; initial mantle temperature). However, the peak in likelihood of plate tectonics remains roughly in the range of one to five Earth masses for reasonable parameter choices. Internal heating has a similar effect on the occurrence of plate tectonics as the planetary mass, i.e. there is a peak in the probability of plate tectonics depending on the internal heating rate. This result suggests that a planet may evolve as a consequence of radioactive decay into and out of the plate

  15. Uncovering the Chemistry of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Li; Jacobsen, Stein; Sasselov, Dimitar D.

    2015-01-01

    We propose to use evidence from our solar system to understand exoplanets, and in particular, to predict their surface chemistry and thereby the possibility of life. An Earth-like planet, born from the same nebula as its host star, is composed primarily of silicate rocks and an iron-nickel metal core, and depleted in volatile content in a systematic manner. The more volatile (easier to vaporize or dissociate into gas form) an element is in an Earth-like planet, the more depleted the element is compared to its host star. After depletion, an Earth-like planet would go through the process of core formation due to heat from radioactive decay and collisions. Core formation depletes a planet's rocky mantle of siderophile (iron-loving) elements, in addition to the volatile depletion. After that, Earth-like planets likely accrete some volatile-rich materials, called 'late veneer'. The late veneer could be essential to the origins of life on Earth and Earth-like planets, as it also delivers the volatiles such as nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and water to the planet's surface, which are crucial for life to occur. We plan to build an integrative model of Earth-like planets from the bottom up. We would like to infer their chemical compositions from their mass-radius relations and their host stars' elemental abundances, and understand the origins of volatile contents (especially water) on their surfaces, and thereby shed light on the origins of life on them.

  16. Lunar Science from and for Planet Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pieters, M. C.; Hiesinger, H.; Head, J. W., III

    2008-09-01

    Our Moon Every person on Earth is familiar with the Moon. Every resident with nominal eyesight on each continent has seen this near-by planetary body with their own eyes countless times. Those fortunate enough to have binoculars or access to a telescope have explored the craters, valleys, domes, and plains across the lunar surface as changing lighting conditions highlight the mysteries of this marvellously foreign landscape. Schoolchildren learn that the daily rhythm and flow of tides along the coastlines of our oceans are due to the interaction of the Earth and the Moon. This continuous direct and personal link is but one of the many reasons lunar science is fundamental to humanity. The Earth-Moon System In the context of space exploration, our understanding of the Earth-Moon system has grown enormously. The Moon has become the cornerstone for most aspects of planetary science that relate to the terrestrial (rocky) planets. The scientific context for exploration of the Moon is presented in a recent report by a subcommittee of the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council [free from the website: http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11954]. Figure 1 captures the interwoven themes surrounding lunar science recognized and discussed in that report. In particular, it is now recognized that the Earth and the Moon have been intimately linked in their early history. Although they subsequently took very different evolutionary paths, the Moon provides a unique and valuable window both into processes that occurred during the first 600 Million years of solar system evolution (planetary differentiation and the heavy bombardment record) as well as the (ultimately dangerous) impact record of more recent times. This additional role of the Moon as keystone is because the Earth and the Moon share the same environment at 1 AU, but only the Moon retains a continuous record of cosmic events. An Initial Bloom of Exploration and Drought The space age celebrated its 50th

  17. Uncovering the Chemistry of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, L.; Jacobsen, S. B.; Sasselov, D. D.

    2015-12-01

    We propose to use the evidence from our solar system to understand exoplanets, and in particular, to predict their surface chemistry and thereby the possibility of life. An Earth-like planet, born from the same nebula as its host star, is composed primarily of silicate rocks and an iron-nickel metal core, and depleted in volatile content in a systematic manner. The more volatile (easier to vaporize or dissociate into gas form) an element is in an Earth-like planet, the more depleted the element is compared to its host star. After depletion, an Earth-like planet would go through the process of core formation due to heat from radioactive decay and collisions. Core formation depletes a planet's rocky mantle of siderophile (iron-loving) elements, in addition to the volatile depletion. After that, Earth-like planets likely accrete some volatile-rich materials, called "late veneer". The late veneer could be essential to the origins of life on Earth and Earth-like planets, as it also delivers the volatiles such as nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and water to the planet's surface, which are crucial for life to occur. Here we build an integrative model of Earth-like planets from the bottom up. Thus the chemical compositions of Earth-like planets could be inferred from their mass-radius relations and their host stars' elemental abundances, and the origins of volatile contents (especially water) on their surfaces could be understood, and thereby shed light on the origins of life on them. This elemental abundance model could be applied to other rocky exoplanets in exoplanet systems.

  18. An Earth-mass planet orbiting α Centauri B.

    PubMed

    Dumusque, Xavier; Pepe, Francesco; Lovis, Christophe; Ségransan, Damien; Sahlmann, Johannes; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Mayor, Michel; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno; Udry, Stéphane

    2012-11-08

    Exoplanets down to the size of Earth have been found, but not in the habitable zone--that is, at a distance from the parent star at which water, if present, would be liquid. There are planets in the habitable zone of stars cooler than our Sun, but for reasons such as tidal locking and strong stellar activity, they are unlikely to harbour water-carbon life as we know it. The detection of a habitable Earth-mass planet orbiting a star similar to our Sun is extremely difficult, because such a signal is overwhelmed by stellar perturbations. Here we report the detection of an Earth-mass planet orbiting our neighbour star α Centauri B, a member of the closest stellar system to the Sun. The planet has an orbital period of 3.236 days and is about 0.04 astronomical units from the star (one astronomical unit is the Earth-Sun distance).

  19. Earth-type planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marov, M. Y.; Davydov, V. D.

    1975-01-01

    Spacecraft- and Earth-based studies on the physical nature of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are reported. Charts and graphs are presented on planetary surface properties, rotational parameters, atmospheric compositions, and astronomical characteristics.

  20. Kepler Mission to Detect Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Yoji

    2003-01-01

    Kepler Mission to detect Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy was approved by NASA in December 2001 for a 4-5 year mission. The launch is planned in about 5 years. The Kepler observatory will be placed in an Earth-trailing orbit. The unique feature of the Kepler Mission is its ability to detect Earth-like planets orbiting around solar-type stars at a distance similar to that of Earth (from our Sun); such an orbit could provide an environment suitable for supporting life as we know it. The Kepler observatory accomplishes this feat by looking for the transits of planetary object in front of their suns; Kepler has a photometric precision of 10E-5 (0.00001) to achieve such detections. Other ongoing planetary detection programs (based mostly on a technique that looks for the shifting of spectral lines of the primary star due to its planetary companions' motions around it) have detected massive planets (with masses in the range of Jupiter); such massive planets are not considered suitable for supporting life. If our current theories for the formation of planetary systems are valid, we expect to detect about 50 Earth-like planets during Kepler's 4-year mission (assuming a random distribution of the planetary orbital inclinations with respect to the line of sight from Kepler). The number of detection will increase about 640 planets if the planets to be detected are Jupiter-sized.

  1. Kepler Mission to Detect Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Yoji

    2002-01-01

    Kepler Mission to detect Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy was approved by NASA in December 2001 for a 4-5 year mission. The launch is planned in about 5 years. The Kepler observatory will be placed in an Earth-trailing orbit. The unique feature of the Kepler Mission is its ability to detect Earth-like planets orbiting around solar-type stars at a distance similar to that of Earth (from our Sun); such an orbit could provide an environment suitable for supporting life as we know it. The Kepler observatory accomplishes this feat by looking for the transits of planetary object in front of their suns; Kepler has a photometric precision of 10E-5 (0.00001) to achieve such detections. Other ongoing planetary detection programs (based mostly on a technique that looks for the shifting of spectral lines of the primary star due to its planetary companions' motions around it) have detected massive planets (with masses in the range of Jupiter); such massive planets are not considered suitable for supporting life. If our current theories for the formation of planetary systems are valid, we expect to detect about 50 Earth-like planets during Kepler's 4-year mission (assuming a random distribution of the planetary orbital inclinations with respect to the line of sight from Kepler). The number of detection will increase about 640 planets if the planets to be detected are Jupiter-sized.

  2. The search for life on Earth and other planets.

    PubMed

    Gross, Michael

    2012-04-10

    As the NASA rover Curiosity approaches Mars on its quest to look for signs of past or present life there and sophisticated instruments like the space telescopes Kepler and CoRoT keep discovering additional, more Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, science faces the question of how to spot life on other planets. Even here on Earth biotopes remain to be discovered and explored.

  3. Uncovering the Chemistry of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Li; Sasselov, Dimitar; Jacobsen, Stein

    2015-08-01

    We propose to use the evidence from our solar system to understand exoplanets, and in particular, to predict their surface chemistry and thereby the possibility of life. An Earth-like planet, born from the same nebula as its host star, is composed primarily of silicate rocks and an iron-nickel metal core, and depleted in volatile content in a systematic manner. The more volatile (easier to vaporize or dissociate into gas form) an element is in an Earth-like planet, the more depleted the element is compared to its host star. After depletion, an Earth-like planet would go through the process of core formation due to heat from radioactive decay and collisions. Core formation depletes a planet’s rocky mantle of siderophile (iron-loving) elements, in addition to the volatile depletion. After that, Earth-like planets likely accrete some volatile-rich materials, called “late veneer”. The late veneer could be essential to the origins of life on Earth and Earth-like planets, as it also delivers the volatiles such as nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and water to the planet’s surface, which are crucial for life to occur. Here we build an integrative model of Earth-like planets from the bottom up. Thus the chemical compositions of Earth-like planets could be inferred from their mass-radius relations and their host stars’ elemental abundances, and the origins of volatile contents (especially water) on their surfaces could be understood, and thereby shed light on the origins of life on them. This elemental abundance model could be applied to other rocky exoplanets in exoplanet systems.

  4. Climate stability of habitable Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menou, Kristen

    2015-11-01

    The carbon-silicate cycle regulates the atmospheric CO2 content of terrestrial planets on geological timescales through a balance between the rates of CO2 volcanic outgassing and planetary intake from rock weathering. It is thought to act as an efficient climatic thermostat on Earth and, by extension, on other habitable planets. If, however, the weathering rate increases with the atmospheric CO2 content, as expected on planets lacking land vascular plants, the carbon-silicate cycle feedback can become severely limited. Here we show that Earth-like planets receiving less sunlight than current Earth may no longer possess a stable warm climate but instead repeatedly cycle between unstable glaciated and deglaciated climatic states. This has implications for the search for life on exoplanets in the habitable zone of nearby stars.

  5. K2 Finds Earth-Sized Planets Artist Concept

    2016-07-18

    This artist's concept shows NASA's Kepler Space Telescope on its K2 mission. In July 2016, an international team of astronomers announced they had discovered more than 100 new planets using this telescope. The batch includes four planets in the size range of Earth that are orbiting a single dwarf star, depicted in this illustration. Two of these planets are too hot to support life as we know it, but two are in the star's "habitable" zone, where liquid water could exist on the surface. These small, rocky worlds are far closer to their star than Mercury is to our sun. But because the star is smaller and cooler than ours, its habitable zone is much closer. One of the two planets in the habitable zone, K2-72c, has a "year" about 15 Earth-days long -- the time it takes to complete one orbit. This closer planet is likely about 10 percent warmer than Earth. The slightly more distant planet in the habitable zone, K2-72e, has a year lasting 24 Earth days, and would be about 6 percent colder than Earth. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20698

  6. Planet logy : Towards Comparative Planet logy beyond the Solar Earth System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, A. H.

    2011-10-01

    Today Scenario planet logy is a very important concept because now days the scientific research finding new and new planets and our work's range becoming too long. In the previous study shows about 10-12 years the research of planet logy now has changed . Few years ago we was talking about Sun planet, Earth planet , Moon ,Mars Jupiter & Venus etc. included but now the time has totally changed the recent studies showed that mono lakes California find the arsenic food use by micro organism that show that our study is very tiny as compare to planet long areas .We have very well known that arsenic is the toxic agent's and the toxic agent's present in the lakes and micro organism developing and life going on it's a unbelievable point for us but nature always play a magical games. In few years ago Aliens was the story no one believe the Aliens origin but now the aliens showed catch by our space craft and shuttle and every one believe that Aliens origin but at the moment's I would like to mention one point's that we have too more work required because our planet logy has a vast field. Most of the time our scientific mission shows that this planet found liquid oxygen ,this planet found hydrogen .I would like to clear that point's that all planet logy depend in to the chemical and these chemical gave the indication of the life but we are not abele to developed the adaptation according to the micro organism . Planet logy compare before study shows that Sun it's a combination of the various gases combination surrounded in a round form and now the central Sun Planets ,moons ,comets and asteroids In other word we can say that Or Sun has a wide range of the physical and Chemical properties in the after the development we can say that all chemical and physical property engaged with a certain environment and form a various contains like asteroids, moon, Comets etc. Few studies shows that other planet life affected to the out living planet .We can assure with the example the life

  7. Tectonic asymmetry of the earth and other planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pushcharovskiy, Y. M.; Kozlov, V. V.; Sulidi-Kondratyev, Y. D.

    1978-01-01

    The structures of Earth, Mars, Venus, and the Moon are examined and compared. Global tectonic characteristics are presented for each. A comparison of the tectonics reveals the structural asymetry of these planets and the moon. Tectonic asymmetry information for the group is used to interpret certain aspects of the earth's geological past.

  8. A Google Earth Grand Tour of the Terrestrial Planets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Paor, Declan; Coba, Filis; Burgin, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Google Earth is a powerful instructional resource for geoscience education. We have extended the virtual globe to include all terrestrial planets. Downloadable Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files (Google Earth's scripting language) associated with this paper include lessons about Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars. We created "grand…

  9. Eyes on Planet Earth! Exploring Your Local Watershed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Michael J.; Southard, John B.

    2003-01-01

    The American Geological Institute is helping teachers and geoscientists to emphasize the importance of inquiry and active investigation of the world around by selecting "Eyes on Planet Earth: Monitoring Our Changing World" as the theme of this year's Earth Science Week. The activity on the back of this month's poster insert, "Monitoring the…

  10. Planet Earth: Can Other Planets Tell Us Where We Are Going?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherif, Abour H.; Adams, Gerald E.

    1994-01-01

    Makes comparisons between the Earth and other planets to suggest a possible vehicle for predicting the effects of human-made or natural disasters on our Earth. Also included are brief discussions of the following topics: (1) the atmosphere and greenhouse effect; (2) alterations of the biosphere; (3) climate and climatic change; (4) the water…

  11. Two Earth-sized planets orbiting Kepler-20.

    PubMed

    Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Rowe, Jason F; Charbonneau, David; Rogers, Leslie A; Ballard, Sarah; Batalha, Natalie M; Borucki, William J; Bryson, Stephen T; Buchhave, Lars A; Ciardi, David R; Désert, Jean-Michel; Dressing, Courtney D; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Gautier, Thomas N; Henze, Christopher E; Holman, Matthew J; Howard, Andrew; Howell, Steve B; Jenkins, Jon M; Koch, David G; Latham, David W; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Sasselov, Dimitar D; Seager, Sara; Barclay, Thomas; Mullally, Fergal; Seader, Shawn E; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D; Thompson, Susan E; Uddin, Kamal

    2011-12-20

    Since the discovery of the first extrasolar giant planets around Sun-like stars, evolving observational capabilities have brought us closer to the detection of true Earth analogues. The size of an exoplanet can be determined when it periodically passes in front of (transits) its parent star, causing a decrease in starlight proportional to its radius. The smallest exoplanet hitherto discovered has a radius 1.42 times that of the Earth's radius (R(⊕)), and hence has 2.9 times its volume. Here we report the discovery of two planets, one Earth-sized (1.03R(⊕)) and the other smaller than the Earth (0.87R(⊕)), orbiting the star Kepler-20, which is already known to host three other, larger, transiting planets. The gravitational pull of the new planets on the parent star is too small to measure with current instrumentation. We apply a statistical method to show that the likelihood of the planetary interpretation of the transit signals is more than three orders of magnitude larger than that of the alternative hypothesis that the signals result from an eclipsing binary star. Theoretical considerations imply that these planets are rocky, with a composition of iron and silicate. The outer planet could have developed a thick water vapour atmosphere.

  12. An Earth-sized planet with an Earth-like density.

    PubMed

    Pepe, Francesco; Cameron, Andrew Collier; Latham, David W; Molinari, Emilio; Udry, Stéphane; Bonomo, Aldo S; Buchhave, Lars A; Charbonneau, David; Cosentino, Rosario; Dressing, Courtney D; Dumusque, Xavier; Figueira, Pedro; Fiorenzano, Aldo F M; Gettel, Sara; Harutyunyan, Avet; Haywood, Raphaëlle D; Horne, Keith; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Lovis, Christophe; Malavolta, Luca; Mayor, Michel; Micela, Giusi; Motalebi, Fatemeh; Nascimbeni, Valerio; Phillips, David; Piotto, Giampaolo; Pollacco, Don; Queloz, Didier; Rice, Ken; Sasselov, Dimitar; Ségransan, Damien; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Szentgyorgyi, Andrew; Watson, Christopher A

    2013-11-21

    Recent analyses of data from the NASA Kepler spacecraft have established that planets with radii within 25 per cent of the Earth's (R Earth symbol) are commonplace throughout the Galaxy, orbiting at least 16.5 per cent of Sun-like stars. Because these studies were sensitive to the sizes of the planets but not their masses, the question remains whether these Earth-sized planets are indeed similar to the Earth in bulk composition. The smallest planets for which masses have been accurately determined are Kepler-10b (1.42 R Earth symbol) and Kepler-36b (1.49 R Earth symbol), which are both significantly larger than the Earth. Recently, the planet Kepler-78b was discovered and found to have a radius of only 1.16 R Earth symbol. Here we report that the mass of this planet is 1.86 Earth masses. The resulting mean density of the planet is 5.57 g cm(-3), which is similar to that of the Earth and implies a composition of iron and rock.

  13. Microlensing Discovery of an Earth-Mass Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-04-01

    What do we know about planet formation around stars that are so light that they cant fuse hydrogen in their cores? The new discovery of an Earth-mass planet orbiting what is likely a brown dwarf may help us better understand this process.Planets Around Brown Dwarfs?Comparison of the sizes of the Sun, a low-mass star, a brown dwarf, Jupiter, and Earth. [NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCB]Planets are thought to form from the material inprotoplanetary disks around their stellar hosts. But the lowest-mass end of the stellar spectrum brown dwarfs, substellar objects so light that they straddle the boundary between planet and star will have correspondingly light disks. Do brown dwarfs disks typically have enough mass to form Earth-mass planets?To answer this question, scientists have searched for planets around brown dwarfs with marginal success. Thus far, only four such planets have been found and these systems may not be typical, since they were discovered via direct imaging. To build a more representative sample, wed like to discover exoplanets around brown dwarfs via a method that doesnt rely on imaging the faint light of the system.A diagram of how planets are detected via gravitational microlensing. The detectable planet is in orbit around the foreground lens star. [NASA]Lensed Light as a GiveawayConveniently, such a method exists and its recently been used to make a major discovery! The planet OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb was detected as a result of a gravitational microlensing event that was observed both from the ground and from space.The discovery of a planet via microlensing occurs when the light of a distant source star is magnified by a passing foreground star hosting a planet. The light curve of the source shows a distinctive magnification signature as a result of the gravitational lensing from the foreground star, and the gravitational field of the lensing stars planet can add its own detectable blip to the curve.OGLE-2016-BLG-1195LbThe magnification curve of OGLE-2016-BLG-1195

  14. How Do Earth-Sized, Short-Period Planets Form?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-08-01

    Matching theory to observation often requires creative detective work. In a new study, scientists have used a clever test to reveal clues about the birth of speedy, Earth-sized planets.Former Hot Jupiters?Artists impression of a hot Jupiter with an evaporating atmosphere. [NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech]Among the many different types of exoplanets weve observed, one unusual category is that of ultra-short-period planets. These roughly Earth-sized planets speed around their host stars at incredible rates, with periods of less than a day.How do planets in this odd category form? One popular theory is that they were previously hot Jupiters, especially massive gas giants orbiting very close to their host stars. The close orbit caused the planets atmospheres to be stripped away, leaving behind only their dense cores.In a new study, a team of astronomers led by Joshua Winn (Princeton University) has found a clever way to test this theory.Planetary radius vs. orbital period for the authors three statistical samples (colored markers) and the broader sample of stars in the California Kepler Survey. [Winn et al. 2017]Testing MetallicitiesStars hosting hot Jupiters have an interesting quirk: they typically have metallicities that are significantly higher than an average planet-hosting star. It is speculated that this is because planets are born from the same materials as their host stars, and hot Jupiters require the presence of more metals to be able to form.Regardless of the cause of this trend, if ultra-short-period planets are in fact the solid cores of former hot Jupiters, then the two categories of planets should have hosts with the same metallicity distributions. The ultra-short-period-planet hosts should therefore also be weighted to higher metallicities than average planet-hosting stars.To test this, the authors make spectroscopic measurements and gather data for a sample of stellar hosts split into three categories:64 ultra-short-period planets (orbital period shorter than a

  15. Pantheon of Planets Similar to Earth Artist Concept

    2015-07-23

    A newly discovered exoplanet, Kepler-452b, comes the closest of any found so far to matching our Earth-sun system. This artist's conception of a planetary lineup shows habitable-zone planets with similarities to Earth: from left, Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, the just announced Kepler-452b, Kepler-62f and Kepler-186f. Last in line is Earth itself. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19830

  16. The sun,the planets and life on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claudia, Tacu Cristina

    2017-04-01

    We all knowthat Earth,our planet,it's not alone in the Universe.We will discover together a few of its secrets: 0 The influence of the sun on our planet is very important.It provides us thelight ,the warnith and the enery without whice life on Earth wouldn't be possible. 0 Thank to the Sun and the endless spinning of our planet around its own axe and, at the same time around this star,we receive as a gift the day,the night,the seasons. 0In our Solar System there are other spheres appart from the Sun and planets -the asteroids ,wandering pieces of stone.It is said that many milions of years ago it they made a lot of plants and animals disappear. If I have arisen your curiosity,let's go!

  17. Earthlike planets: Surfaces of Mercury, Venus, earth, moon, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, B.; Malin, M. C.; Greeley, R.

    1981-01-01

    The surfaces of the earth and the other terrestrial planets of the inner solar system are reviewed in light of the results of recent planetary explorations. Past and current views of the origin of the earth, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are discussed, and the surface features characteristic of the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus are outlined. Mechanisms for the modification of planetary surfaces by external factors and from within the planet are examined, including surface cycles, meteoritic impact, gravity, wind, plate tectonics, volcanism and crustal deformation. The origin and evolution of the moon are discussed on the basis of the Apollo results, and current knowledge of Mercury and Mars is examined in detail. Finally, the middle periods in the history of the terrestrial planets are compared, and future prospects for the exploration of the inner planets as well as other rocky bodies in the solar system are discussed.

  18. Climate variations on Earth-like circumbinary planets

    PubMed Central

    Popp, Max; Eggl, Siegfried

    2017-01-01

    The discovery of planets orbiting double stars at close distances has sparked increasing scientific interest in determining whether Earth-analogues can remain habitable in such environments and how their atmospheric dynamics is influenced by the rapidly changing insolation. In this work we present results of the first three-dimensional numerical experiments of a water-rich planet orbiting a double star. We find that the periodic forcing of the atmosphere has a noticeable impact on the planet's climate. Signatures of the forcing frequencies related to the planet's as well as to the binary's orbital periods are present in a variety of climate indicators such as temperature and precipitation, making the interpretation of potential observables challenging. However, for Earth-like greenhouse gas concentrations, the variable forcing does not change the range of insolation values allowing for habitable climates substantially. PMID:28382929

  19. Earth Walk: Touring Our Planet's Inner Structure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller, Eric P.

    1995-01-01

    Describes an excursion that effectively helps students visualize the earth's immense size and numerous structures without the usual scale and ratio distortions found in most textbooks and allows students to compare their body's height to a scaled-down earth. (JRH)

  20. Tidal effects on Earth, Planets, Sun by far visiting moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fargion, Daniele

    2016-07-01

    The Earth has been formed by a huge mini-planet collision forming our Earth surface and our Moon today. Such a central collision hit was statistically rare. A much probable skimming or nearby encounter by other moons or planets had to occur. Indeed Recent observations suggest that many planetary-mass objects may be present in the outer solar system between the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. Gravitational perturbations may occasionally bring them into the inner solar system. Their passage near Earth could have generated gigantic tidal waves, large volcanic eruptions, sea regressions, large meteoritic impacts and drastic changes in global climate. They could have caused the major biological mass extinctions in the past in the geological records. For instance a ten times a terrestrial radius nearby impact scattering by a peripherical encounter by a small moon-like object will force huge tidal waves (hundred meter height), able to lead to huge tsunami and Earth-quake. Moreover the historical cumulative planet hits in larger and wider planets as Juppiter, Saturn, Uranus will leave a trace, as observed, in their tilted spin axis. Finally a large fraction of counter rotating moons in our solar system probe and test such a visiting mini-planet captur origination. In addition the Earth day duration variability in the early past did show a rare discountinuity, very probably indebt to such a visiting planet crossing event. These far planets in rare trajectory to our Sun may, in thousands event capture, also explain sudden historical and recent temperature changes.

  1. Biosignatures from Earth-like planets around M dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Segura, Antígona; Kasting, James F; Meadows, Victoria; Cohen, Martin; Scalo, John; Crisp, David; Butler, Rebecca A H; Tinetti, Giovanna

    2005-12-01

    Coupled one-dimensional photochemical-climate calculations have been performed for hypothetical Earth-like planets around M dwarfs. Visible/near-infrared and thermal-infrared synthetic spectra of these planets were generated to determine which biosignature gases might be observed by a future, space-based telescope. Our star sample included two observed active M dwarfs-AD Leo and GJ 643-and three quiescent model stars. The spectral distribution of these stars in the ultraviolet generates a different photochemistry on these planets. As a result, the biogenic gases CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl have substantially longer lifetimes and higher mixing ratios than on Earth, making them potentially observable by space-based telescopes. On the active M-star planets, an ozone layer similar to Earth's was developed that resulted in a spectroscopic signature comparable to the terrestrial one. The simultaneous detection of O2 (or O3) and a reduced gas in a planet's atmosphere has been suggested as strong evidence for life. Planets circling M stars may be good locations to search for such evidence.

  2. Terraforming the Planets and Climate Change Mitigation on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toon, O. B.

    2008-12-01

    Hopefully, purposeful geo-engineering of the Earth will remain a theoretical concept. Of course, we have already inadvertently changed the Earth, and over geologic history life has left an indelible imprint on our planet. We can learn about geo-engineering schemes by reference to Earth history, for example climate changes after volcanic eruptions provide important clues to using sulfates to modify the climate. The terrestrial planets and Titan offer additional insights. For instance, Mars and Venus both have carbon dioxide dominated greenhouses. Both have more than 10 times as much carbon dioxide in their atmospheres as Earth, and both absorb less sunlight than Earth, yet one is much colder than Earth and one is much hotter. These facts provide important insights into carbon dioxide greenhouses that I will review. Mars cools dramatically following planet wide dust storms, and Titan has what is referred to as an anti- greenhouse climate driven by aerosols. These data can be used to reassure us that we can model aerosol caused changes to the climate of a planet, and also provide examples of aerosols offsetting a gas-driven greenhouse effect. People have long considered whether we might make the other planets habitable. While most of the schemes considered belong in the realm of science fiction, it is possible that some schemes might be practical. Terraforming brings to mind a number of issues that are thought provoking, but not so politically charged as geo-engineering. For example: What criteria define habitability, is it enough for people to live in isolated glass enclosures, or do we need to walk freely on the planet? Different creatures have different needs. Is a planet habitable if plants can thrive in the open, or do animals also need to be free? Are the raw materials present on any planet to make it habitable? If not, can we make the materials, or do we have to import them? Is it ethical to change a planetary climate? What if there are already primitive

  3. Life, hierarchy, and the thermodynamic machinery of planet Earth.

    PubMed

    Kleidon, Axel

    2010-12-01

    Throughout Earth's history, life has increased greatly in abundance, complexity, and diversity. At the same time, it has substantially altered the Earth's environment, evolving some of its variables to states further and further away from thermodynamic equilibrium. For instance, concentrations in atmospheric oxygen have increased throughout Earth's history, resulting in an increased chemical disequilibrium in the atmosphere as well as an increased redox gradient between the atmosphere and the Earth's reducing crust. These trends seem to contradict the second law of thermodynamics, which states for isolated systems that gradients and free energy are dissipated over time, resulting in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. This seeming contradiction is resolved by considering planet Earth as a coupled, hierarchical and evolving non-equilibrium thermodynamic system that has been substantially altered by the input of free energy generated by photosynthetic life. Here, I present this hierarchical thermodynamic theory of the Earth system. I first present simple considerations to show that thermodynamic variables are driven away from a state of thermodynamic equilibrium by the transfer of power from some other process and that the resulting state of disequilibrium reflects the past net work done on the variable. This is applied to the processes of planet Earth to characterize the generation and transfer of free energy and its dissipation, from radiative gradients to temperature and chemical potential gradients that result in chemical, kinetic, and potential free energy and associated dynamics of the climate system and geochemical cycles. The maximization of power transfer among the processes within this hierarchy yields thermodynamic efficiencies much lower than the Carnot efficiency of equilibrium thermodynamics and is closely related to the proposed principle of Maximum Entropy Production (MEP). The role of life is then discussed as a photochemical process that generates

  4. Spectral fingerprints of Earth-like planets around FGK stars.

    PubMed

    Rugheimer, Sarah; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Zsom, Andras; Segura, Antígona; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2013-03-01

    We present model atmospheres for an Earth-like planet orbiting the entire grid of main sequence FGK stars with effective temperatures ranging from Teff=4250 K to Teff=7000 K in 250 K intervals. We have modeled the remotely detectable spectra of Earth-like planets for clear and cloudy atmospheres at the 1 AU equivalent distance from the VIS to IR (0.4 to 20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges in accordance with the James Webb Space Telescope and future design concepts to characterize exo-Earths. We have also explored the effect of the stellar UV levels as well as spectral energy distribution on a terrestrial atmosphere, concentrating on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. The increase in UV dominates changes of O3, OH, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl, whereas the increase in stellar temperature dominates changes in H2O. The overall effect as stellar effective temperatures and corresponding UV increase is a lower surface temperature of the planet due to a bigger part of the stellar flux being reflected at short wavelengths, as well as increased photolysis. Earth-like atmosphere models show more O3 and OH but less stratospheric CH4, N2O, CH3Cl, and tropospheric H2O (but more stratospheric H2O) with increasing effective temperature of main sequence stars. The corresponding detectable spectral features, on the other hand, show different detectability depending on the wavelength observed. We concentrate on directly imaged planets here as a framework to interpret future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone at varying orbital positions.

  5. Spectral Fingerprints of Earth-like Planets Around FGK Stars

    PubMed Central

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Zsom, Andras; Segura, Antígona; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We present model atmospheres for an Earth-like planet orbiting the entire grid of main sequence FGK stars with effective temperatures ranging from Teff=4250 K to Teff=7000 K in 250 K intervals. We have modeled the remotely detectable spectra of Earth-like planets for clear and cloudy atmospheres at the 1 AU equivalent distance from the VIS to IR (0.4 to 20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges in accordance with the James Webb Space Telescope and future design concepts to characterize exo-Earths. We have also explored the effect of the stellar UV levels as well as spectral energy distribution on a terrestrial atmosphere, concentrating on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. The increase in UV dominates changes of O3, OH, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl, whereas the increase in stellar temperature dominates changes in H2O. The overall effect as stellar effective temperatures and corresponding UV increase is a lower surface temperature of the planet due to a bigger part of the stellar flux being reflected at short wavelengths, as well as increased photolysis. Earth-like atmosphere models show more O3 and OH but less stratospheric CH4, N2O, CH3Cl, and tropospheric H2O (but more stratospheric H2O) with increasing effective temperature of main sequence stars. The corresponding detectable spectral features, on the other hand, show different detectability depending on the wavelength observed. We concentrate on directly imaged planets here as a framework to interpret future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone at varying orbital positions. Key Words: Habitability—Planetary atmospheres—Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Spectroscopic biosignatures. Astrobiology 13, 251–269. PMID:23537136

  6. The earth as a planet - Paradigms and paradoxes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. L.

    1984-01-01

    The independent growth of the various branches of the earth sciences in the past two decades has led to a divergence of geophysical, geochemical, geological, and planetological models for the composition and evolution of a terrestrial planet. Evidence for differentiation and volcanism on small planets and a magma ocean on the moon contrasts with hypotheses for a mostly primitive, still undifferentiated, and homogeneous terrestrial mantle. In comparison with the moon, the earth has an extraordinarily thin crust. The geoid, which should reflect convection in the mantle, is apparently unrelated to the current distribution of continents and oceanic ridges. If the earth is deformable, the whole mantle should wander relative to the axis of rotation, but the implications of this are seldom discussed. The proposal of a mantle rich in olivine violates expectations based on evidence from extraterrestrial sources. These and other paradoxes force a reexamination of some long-held assumptions.

  7. Birth of an Earth-like Planet (Artist concept)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This artist's conception shows a binary-star, or two-star, system, called HD 113766, where astronomers suspect a rocky Earth-like planet is forming around one of the stars. At approximately 10 to 16 million years old, astronomers suspect this star is at just the right age for forming rocky planets. The system is located approximately 424 light-years away from Earth.

    The two yellow spots in the image represent the system's two stars. The brown ring of material circling closest to the central star depicts a huge belt of dusty material, more than 100 times as much as in our asteroid belt, or enough to build a Mars-size planet or larger. The rocky material in the belt represents the early stages of planet formation, when dust grains clump together to form rocks, and rocks collide to form even more massive rocky bodies called planetesimals. The belt is located in the middle of the system's terrestrial habitable zone, or the region around a star where liquid water could exist on any rocky planets that might form. Earth is located in the middle of our sun's terrestrial habitable zone.

    Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers learned that the belt material in HD 113866 is more processed than the snowball-like stuff that makes up infant solar systems and comets, which contain pristine ingredients from the early solar system. However, it is not as processed as the stuff found in mature planets and asteroids. This means that the dust belt is made out of just the right mix of materials to be forming an Earth-like planet. It is composed mainly of rocky silicates and metal sulfides (like fool's gold), similar to the material found in lava flows.

    The white outer ring shows a concentration of icy dust also detected in the system. This material is at the equivalent position of the asteroid belt in our solar system, but only contains about one-sixth as much material as the inner ring. Astronomers say it is not clear from the Spitzer observations if

  8. Selections from 2017: Atmosphere Around an Earth-Like Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    Editors note:In these last two weeks of 2017, well be looking at a few selections that we havent yet discussed on AAS Nova from among the most-downloaded paperspublished in AAS journals this year. The usual posting schedule will resume in January.Detection of the Atmosphere of the 1.6 M Exoplanet GJ 1132 bPublished March2017Main takeaway:An atmosphere was detected around the roughly Earth-size exoplanet GJ 1132 b using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. A team of scientists led byJohn Southworth (Keele University) found features indicating the presence of an atmosphere in theobservationsof this 1.6-Earth-mass planet as it transits an M-dwarf host star. This is the lowest-mass planet with a detected atmosphere thus far.Why its interesting:M dwarfs are among the most common stars in our galaxy, and weve found manyEarth-sizeexoplanets in or near the habitable zones around M-dwarf hosts. But M dwarfs are also more magnetically active than stars like our Sun, suggesting that the planets in M-dwarfhabitable zones may not be able to support life due to stellar activity eroding their atmospheres. The detection of an atmosphere around GJ 1132 b suggests that some planets orbiting M dwarfsare able to retain their atmospheres which meansthat these planetsmay be an interesting place to search for life after all.How the atmosphere was detected:The measured planetary radius for GJ 1132 b as a function of the wavelength used to observe it. [Southworth et al. 2017]When measuring the radius of GJ 1132 b based on its transits, the authors noticed that the planet appeared to be largerwhen observed in some wavelengths than in others. This can beexplained if the planet has asurface radius of 1.4 Earth radii, overlaid by an atmosphere that extends out another few tenths of an Earth radius. The atmosphere, which may consist of water vapor or methane, is transparent to some wavelengths and absorbs others which is why the apparent size of the planet changes

  9. NASA's mission to planet Earth: Earth observing system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    The topics covered include the following: global climate change; radiation, clouds, and atmospheric water; the ocean; the troposphere - greenhouse gases; land cover and the water cycle; polar ice sheets and sea level; the stratosphere - ozone chemistry; volcanoes; the Earth Observing System (EOS) - how NASA will support studies of global climate change?; research and assessment - EOS Science Investigations; EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS); EOS observations - instruments and spacecraft; a national international effort; and understanding the Earth System.

  10. An international approach to Mission to Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lawrence, Robert M.; Sadeh, Willy Z.; Tsygichko, Viktor N.

    1992-01-01

    The new international political constellation resulting from the disintegration of the Soviet Union opens up unique opportunities for cooperation in the space arena. Precedents since 1955 indicate a pervasive interest in mutual cooperation to use military reconnaissance and surveillance satellites for space observations to enforce treaty verification and compliance. One of the avenues that offer immediate prospects for fruitful cooperation is the incorporation of the military reconnaissance and surveillance satellite capabilities of both U.S. and Russia into the Mission to Planet Earth. Formation of a United Nations Satellite (UNSAT) fleet drawn from the American and Russian space assets is proposed. The role of UNSAT is to provide world wide monitoring of both military and enviromental activities under the umbrella of the Mission to Planet Earth.

  11. Auroral Phenomenology and Magnetospheric Processes: Earth and Other Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2013-07-01

    The dancing glow of the aurorae, the long tendrils of light that seem to reach up into space, has mesmerized scientists for centuries. More than a beautiful display, the aurorae tell us about the Earth—about its atmosphere, its magnetic field, and its relationship with the Sun. As technology developed, researchers looking beyond Earth's borders discovered an array of auroral processes on planets throughout the solar system. In the AGU monograph Auroral Phenomenology and Magnetospheric Processes: Earth and Other Planets, editors Andreas Keiling, Eric Donovan, Fran Bagenal, and Tomas Karlsson explore the many open questions that permeate the science of auroral physics and the relatively recent field of extraterrestrial aurorae. In this interview, Eos talks to Karlsson about extraterrestrial aurorae, Alfvén waves, and the sounds of the northern lights.

  12. Earth as an Extrasolar Planet: Earth Model Validation Using EPOXI Earth Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David; Deming, Drake; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Charbonneau, David; Livengood, Timothy A.; Seager, Sara; Barry, Richard K.; Hearty, Thomas; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.

    2011-06-01

    The EPOXI Discovery Mission of Opportunity reused the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to obtain spatially and temporally resolved visible photometric and moderate resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of Earth. These remote observations provide a rigorous validation of whole-disk Earth model simulations used to better understand remotely detectable extrasolar planet characteristics. We have used these data to upgrade, correct, and validate the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This comprehensive model now includes specular reflectance from the ocean and explicitly includes atmospheric effects such as Rayleigh scattering, gas absorption, and temperature structure. We have used this model to generate spatially and temporally resolved synthetic spectra and images of Earth for the dates of EPOXI observation. Model parameters were varied to yield an optimum fit to the data. We found that a minimum spatial resolution of ∼100 pixels on the visible disk, and four categories of water clouds, which were defined by using observed cloud positions and optical thicknesses, were needed to yield acceptable fits. The validated model provides a simultaneous fit to Earth's lightcurve, absolute brightness, and spectral data, with a root-mean-square (RMS) error of typically less than 3% for the multiwavelength lightcurves and residuals of ∼10% for the absolute brightness throughout the visible and NIR spectral range. We have extended our validation into the mid-infrared by comparing the model to high spectral resolution observations of Earth from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, obtaining a fit with residuals of ∼7% and brightness temperature errors of less than 1 K in the atmospheric window. For the purpose of understanding the observable characteristics of the distant Earth at arbitrary viewing geometry and observing cadence, our validated forward model can be

  13. Earth as an Extrasolar Planet: Earth Model Validation Using EPOXI Earth Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David; Deming, Drake; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Charbonneau, David; Livengood, Timothy A.; Seager, Sara; Barry, Richard; Hearty, Thomas; hide

    2011-01-01

    The EPOXI Discovery Mission of Opportunity reused the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to obtain spatially and temporally resolved visible photometric and moderate resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of Earth. These remote observations provide a rigorous validation of whole disk Earth model simulations used to better under- stand remotely detectable extrasolar planet characteristics. We have used these data to upgrade, correct, and validate the NASA Astrobiology Institute s Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model (Tinetti et al., 2006a,b). This comprehensive model now includes specular reflectance from the ocean and explicitly includes atmospheric effects such as Rayleigh scattering, gas absorption, and temperature structure. We have used this model to generate spatially and temporally resolved synthetic spectra and images of Earth for the dates of EPOXI observation. Model parameters were varied to yield an optimum fit to the data. We found that a minimum spatial resolution of approx.100 pixels on the visible disk, and four categories of water clouds, which were defined using observed cloud positions and optical thicknesses, were needed to yield acceptable fits. The validated model provides a simultaneous fit to the Earth s lightcurve, absolute brightness, and spectral data, with a root-mean-square error of typically less than 3% for the multiwavelength lightcurves, and residuals of approx.10% for the absolute brightness throughout the visible and NIR spectral range. We extend our validation into the mid-infrared by comparing the model to high spectral resolution observations of Earth from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, obtaining a fit with residuals of approx.7%, and temperature errors of less than 1K in the atmospheric window. For the purpose of understanding the observable characteristics of the distant Earth at arbitrary viewing geometry and observing cadence, our validated

  14. Development of educational programs using Dagik Earth, a four dimensional display of the Earth and planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, A.; Akiya, Y.; Yoshida, D.; Odagi, Y.; Yoshikawa, M.; Tsugawa, T.; Takahashi, M.; Kumano, Y.; Iwasaki, S.

    2010-12-01

    We have developed a four-dimensional display system of the Earth and planets to use in schools, science centers, and research institutes. It can display the Earth and planets in three-dimensional way without glasses, and the time variation of the scientific data can be displayed on the Earth and planets image. The system is named Dagik Earth, and educational programs using Dagik Earth have been developed for schools and science centers. Three dimensional displays can show the Earth and planets in exact form without any distortion, which cannot be achieved with two-dimensional display. Furthermore it can provide a sense of reality. There are several systems for the three-dimensional presentation of the Earth, such as Science on a sphere by NOAA, and Geocosmos by Miraikan, Japan. Comparing these systems, the advantage of Dagik Earth is portability and affordability. The system uses ordinary PC and PC projector. Only a spherical screen is the special equipment of Dagik Earth. Therefore Dagik Earth is easy to use in classrooms. Several educational programs have been developed and carried out in high schools, junior high schools, elementary schools and science centers. Several research institutes have used Dagik Earth in their public outreach programs to demonstrate their novel scientific results to public in an attractive way of presentation. A community of users and developers of Dagik Earth is being formed in Japan. In the presentation, the outline of Dagik Earth and the educational programs using Dagik Earth will be presented. Its future plan will also be discussed.

  15. Earth as an extrasolar planet: Earth model validation using EPOXI earth observations.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Tyler D; Meadows, Victoria S; Crisp, David; Deming, Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Livengood, Timothy A; Seager, Sara; Barry, Richard K; Hearty, Thomas; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-06-01

    The EPOXI Discovery Mission of Opportunity reused the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to obtain spatially and temporally resolved visible photometric and moderate resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of Earth. These remote observations provide a rigorous validation of whole-disk Earth model simulations used to better understand remotely detectable extrasolar planet characteristics. We have used these data to upgrade, correct, and validate the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This comprehensive model now includes specular reflectance from the ocean and explicitly includes atmospheric effects such as Rayleigh scattering, gas absorption, and temperature structure. We have used this model to generate spatially and temporally resolved synthetic spectra and images of Earth for the dates of EPOXI observation. Model parameters were varied to yield an optimum fit to the data. We found that a minimum spatial resolution of ∼100 pixels on the visible disk, and four categories of water clouds, which were defined by using observed cloud positions and optical thicknesses, were needed to yield acceptable fits. The validated model provides a simultaneous fit to Earth's lightcurve, absolute brightness, and spectral data, with a root-mean-square (RMS) error of typically less than 3% for the multiwavelength lightcurves and residuals of ∼10% for the absolute brightness throughout the visible and NIR spectral range. We have extended our validation into the mid-infrared by comparing the model to high spectral resolution observations of Earth from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, obtaining a fit with residuals of ∼7% and brightness temperature errors of less than 1 K in the atmospheric window. For the purpose of understanding the observable characteristics of the distant Earth at arbitrary viewing geometry and observing cadence, our validated forward model can be

  16. Sensing Planet Earth - Chalmers' MOOCs on Earth observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobiger, Thomas; Stöhr, Christian; Murtagh, Donal; Forkman, Peter; Galle, Bo; Mellquist, Johan; Soja, Maciej; Berg, Anders; Carvajal, Gisela; Eriksson, Leif; Haas, Rüdiger

    2016-04-01

    An increasing number of universities around the globe produce and conduct Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). In the beginning of 2016, Chalmers University of Technology ran two MOOCs on the topic of Earth observations on the edX platform. Both four week long courses were at introductory level and covered topics related to solid Earth, atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere. It was discussed how one can measure and trace global change and use remote sensing tools for disaster monitoring. Research has attempted to assess the learners' motivations to participate in MOOCs, but there is a need for further case studies about motivations, opportunities and challenges for teachers engaging in MOOC development. In our presentation, we are going to report about the experiences gained from both the MOOC production and the actual course run from the instructors' perspective. After brief introduction to MOOCs in general and at Chalmers in particular, we share experiences and challenges of developing lecture and assessment material, the video production and coordination efforts between and within different actors involved in the production process. Further, we reflect upon the actual run of the course including course statistics and feedback from the learners. We discuss issues such as learner activation and engagement with the material, teacher-learner and student-student interaction as well as the scalability of different learning activities. Finally, we will present our lessons-learned and conclusions on the applicability of MOOCs in the field of Earth science teaching.

  17. Planet Earth: Its Past, Our Present, A Future (?)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kieffer, S. W.

    2012-04-01

    We who have lived through the second half of the 20th century into the 21st century have witnessed a profound transition in the biological and physical relationship between humans and the rest of the planet. In the middle of the last century, our planet still had undeveloped islands: there were frontiers that held new lands, mysteries, adventures, cultures, and resources. However, these islands have merged into a relatively seamless planet by a mobile and expanding population, science and technology, and global communication. We are subject to stealth as well as natural disasters. Natural disasters result from the ongoing geological and meteorological processes on our planet, increasingly exacerbated by human presence and behavior. Stealth disasters, on the other hand, are caused by humans, but involve the natural systems that support us. Examples of stealth disasters are climate change, loss of soils, acidification of the oceans, desertification, and loss of groundwater resources. Civilization is a complex system. It has emergent properties, and a tuning parameter--a parameter that is "tuned" until the unexpected happens. The tuning parameter for populations is the number of members relative to the capacities that support them. Because of our sheer numbers, we are driving the stealth disasters, and we will be affected more severely by natural disasters than we have been in the past on a less densely populated planet. To guide our thinking about geoethical issues, we propose a (hypothetical) world organization modeled after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the U.S., and call it the Center for Disaster Control for Planet Earth (CDCPE). This center would have a scientific body to provide impartial facts and uncertainties, an engineering body to propose and implement technical solutions, a negotiating body to balance the realities of political, economic, religious and cultural values, and an enforcement body that is responsive to all of the inputs. How shall

  18. Imaging plasmas at the Earth and other planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, D. G.

    2006-05-01

    The field of space physics, both at Earth and at other planets, was for decades a science based on local observations. By stitching together measurements of plasmas and fields from multiple locations either simultaneously or for similar conditions over time, and by comparing those measurements against models of the physical systems, great progress was made in understanding the physics of Earth and planetary magnetospheres, ionospheres, and their interactions with the solar wind. However, the pictures of the magnetospheres were typically statistical, and the large-scale global models were poorly constrained by observation. This situation changed dramatically with global auroral imaging, which provided snapshots and movies of the effects of field aligned currents and particle precipitation over the entire auroral oval during quiet and disturbed times. And with the advent of global energetic neutral atom (ENA) and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) imaging, global constraints have similarly been added to ring current and plasmaspheric models, respectively. Such global constraints on global models are very useful for validating the physics represented in those models, physics of energy and momentum transport, electric and magnetic field distribution, and magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. These techniques are also proving valuable at other planets. For example with Hubble Space Telescope imaging of Jupiter and Saturn auroras, and ENA imaging at Jupiter and Saturn, we are gaining new insights into the magnetic fields, gas-plasma interactions, magnetospheric dynamics, and magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling at the giant planets. These techniques, especially ENA and EUV imaging, rely on very recent and evolving technological capabilities. And because ENA and EUV techniques apply to optically thin media, interpretation of their measurements require sophisticated inversion procedures, which are still under development. We will discuss the directions new developments in imaging are

  19. The Runaway Greenhouse Effect on Earth and other Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rabbette, Maura; Pilewskie, Peter; McKay, Christopher; Young, Robert

    2001-01-01

    Water vapor is an efficient absorber of outgoing longwave infrared radiation on Earth and is the primary greenhouse gas. Since evaporation increases with increasing sea surface temperature, and the increase in water vapor further increases greenhouse warming, there is a positive feedback. The runaway greenhouse effect occurs if this feedback continues unchecked until all the water has left the surface and enters the atmosphere. For Mars and the Earth the runaway greenhouse was halted when water vapor became saturated with respect to ice or liquid water respectively. However, Venus is considered to be an example of a planet where the runaway greenhouse effect did occur, and it has been speculated that if the solar luminosity were to increase above a certain limit, it would also occur on the Earth. Satellite data acquired during the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) under clear sky conditions shows that as the sea surface temperature (SST) increases, the rate of outgoing infrared radiation at the top of the atmosphere also increases, as expected. Over the pacific warm pool where the SST exceeds 300 K the outgoing radiation emitted to space actually decreases with increasing SST, leading to a potentially unstable system. This behavior is a signature of the runaway greenhouse effect on Earth. However, the SST never exceeds 303K, thus the system has a natural cap which stops the runaway. According to Stefan-Boltzmann's law the amount of heat energy radiated by the Earth's surface is proportional to (T(sup 4)). However, if the planet has a substantial atmosphere, it can absorb all infrared radiation from the lower surface before the radiation penetrates into outer space. Thus, an instrument in space looking at the planet does not detect radiation from the surface. The radiation it sees comes from some level higher up. For the earth#s atmosphere the effective temperature (T(sub e)) has a value of 255 K corresponding to the middle troposphere, above most of the

  20. On the possibility of Earth-type habitable planets in the 55 Cancri system.

    PubMed

    von Bloh, W; Cuntz, M; Franck, S; Bounama, C

    2003-01-01

    We discuss the possibility of Earth-type planets in the planetary system of 55 Cancri, a nearby G8 V star, which is host to two, possibly three, giant planets. We argue that Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri are in principle possible. Several conditions are necessary. First, Earth-type planets must have formed despite the existence of the close-in giant planet(s). In addition, they must be orbitally stable in the region of habitability considering that the stellar habitable zone is relatively close to the star compared to the Sun because of 55 Cancri's low luminosity and may therefore be affected by the close-in giant planet(s). We estimate the likelihood of Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri based on the integrated system approach previously considered, which provides a way of assessing the long-term possibility of photosynthetic biomass production under geodynamic conditions.

  1. Earth as an Extrasolar Planet: Earth Model Validation Using EPOXI Earth Observations

    PubMed Central

    Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David; Deming, Drake; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Charbonneau, David; Livengood, Timothy A.; Seager, Sara; Barry, Richard K.; Hearty, Thomas; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The EPOXI Discovery Mission of Opportunity reused the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to obtain spatially and temporally resolved visible photometric and moderate resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of Earth. These remote observations provide a rigorous validation of whole-disk Earth model simulations used to better understand remotely detectable extrasolar planet characteristics. We have used these data to upgrade, correct, and validate the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This comprehensive model now includes specular reflectance from the ocean and explicitly includes atmospheric effects such as Rayleigh scattering, gas absorption, and temperature structure. We have used this model to generate spatially and temporally resolved synthetic spectra and images of Earth for the dates of EPOXI observation. Model parameters were varied to yield an optimum fit to the data. We found that a minimum spatial resolution of ∼100 pixels on the visible disk, and four categories of water clouds, which were defined by using observed cloud positions and optical thicknesses, were needed to yield acceptable fits. The validated model provides a simultaneous fit to Earth's lightcurve, absolute brightness, and spectral data, with a root-mean-square (RMS) error of typically less than 3% for the multiwavelength lightcurves and residuals of ∼10% for the absolute brightness throughout the visible and NIR spectral range. We have extended our validation into the mid-infrared by comparing the model to high spectral resolution observations of Earth from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, obtaining a fit with residuals of ∼7% and brightness temperature errors of less than 1 K in the atmospheric window. For the purpose of understanding the observable characteristics of the distant Earth at arbitrary viewing geometry and observing cadence, our validated forward

  2. Kepler Mission: Detecting Earth-sized Planets in Habitable Zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Yoji; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Kepler Mission, which is presently in Phase A, is being proposed for launch in 5 years for a 4-year mission to determine the frequency of Earth-sized or larger planets in habitable zones in our galaxy. Kepler will be placed in an Earth-trailing orbit to provide stable physical environments for the sensitive scientific instruments. The satellite is equipped with a photometric system with the precision of 10E-5, which should be sufficient for detecting the transits of Earth-sized or larger planets in front of dwarf stars similar to the Sun. Approximately 100,000 or more sun-like stars brighter than the 14th apparently magnitude will be monitored continuously for 4 years in a preselected region of the sky, which is about 100 square degrees in size. In addition, Kepler will have a participating scientist program that will enable research in intrinsic variable stars, interacting binaries including cataclysmic stars and X-ray binaries, and a large number of solar analogs in our galaxy. Several ten thousand additional stars may be investigated in the guest observer program open to the whole world.

  3. Kepler Confirms First Earth-Sized Planet Outside Our Solar System (Kepler-20) (Reporter Package)

    2011-12-19

    NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the discovery of the first Earth-size planets outside our solar system orbiting a sun-like star. Located about 1,000 light years from Earth, the Kepler-20 solar system has five planets orbiting a star similar to the Sun. Kepler-20f, the 4th planet in the system, is about 90 percent the size of Earth. Kepler-20f is slightly larger than Earth,with a radius that is 3 percent larger.

  4. Kepler-186f, the First Earth-size Planet in the Habitable Zone Artist Concept

    2014-04-17

    This artist concept depicts Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone, a range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the planet surface.

  5. International Year of Planet Earth - Activities and Plans in Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alaniz-Alvarez, S.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.

    2007-12-01

    IYPE started as a joint initiative by UNESCO and IUGS with participation of several geosciences organizations, and has developed into a major program in geosciences with inclusion of national committees. In this presentation we focus on current activities and plans in our country, and in the international activities. IYPE activities have concentrated in publications and organization of conferences and meetings. A book series on Earth Science Experiments for Children has been defined, with the first books published on "Atmospheric Pressure and Free Fall of Objects" and "Light and Colors". Following books are on "Standing on Archimedes" and "Foucault and the Climate". Books are distributed free to school children, with more than 10,000 copies given of first volume. Other publications include the special issues of El Faro science magazine edited by the National University, with last issue published and distributed electronically and in hard copies this August. Special events include Conference of IYPE Executive Director presented during the International Day of Science Museums in late May in Science Museum Universum. This was followed by a Planet Earth Week in the University. Current plans include an electronic open-access publication, additional publications of the Planet Earth series, articles and special issues in journals and magazines, and events on selected themes from the IYPE science program, particularly on Megacities, Hazards, Resources and Life. The metropolitan area of Mexico City, with around 20 million inhabitants presents special challenges, being at high altitude within an active tectonic and volcanic area requiring major efforts in water supply, water control, rains and waste disposal and management. Involvement in international activities includes translation into Spanish of IYPE publications and the participation in programs and activities. In addition to activities in the different countries, we consider that IYPE should result in initiatives for

  6. Modeling the Surface Temperature of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Silva, Laura; Murante, Giuseppe; Filippi, Luca; Provenzale, Antonello

    2015-05-01

    We introduce a novel Earth-like planet surface temperature model (ESTM) for habitability studies based on the spatial-temporal distribution of planetary surface temperatures. The ESTM adopts a surface energy balance model (EBM) complemented by: radiative-convective atmospheric column calculations, a set of physically based parameterizations of meridional transport, and descriptions of surface and cloud properties more refined than in standard EBMs. The parameterization is valid for rotating terrestrial planets with shallow atmospheres and moderate values of axis obliquity (ɛ ≲ 45{}^\\circ ). Comparison with a 3D model of atmospheric dynamics from the literature shows that the equator-to-pole temperature differences predicted by the two models agree within ≈ 5 K when the rotation rate, insolation, surface pressure and planet radius are varied in the intervals 0.5≲ {Ω }/{{{Ω }}\\oplus }≲ 2, 0.75≲ S/{{S}\\circ }≲ 1.25, 0.3≲ p/(1 bar)≲ 10, and 0.5≲ R/{{R}\\oplus }≲ 2, respectively. The ESTM has an extremely low computational cost and can be used when the planetary parameters are scarcely known (as for most exoplanets) and/or whenever many runs for different parameter configurations are needed. Model simulations of a test-case exoplanet (Kepler-62e) indicate that an uncertainty in surface pressure within the range expected for terrestrial planets may impact the mean temperature by ˜ 60 K. Within the limits of validity of the ESTM, the impact of surface pressure is larger than that predicted by uncertainties in rotation rate, axis obliquity, and ocean fractions. We discuss the possibility of performing a statistical ranking of planetary habitability taking advantage of the flexibility of the ESTM.

  7. Extending Whole-earth Tectonics To The Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, V. R.; Maruyama, S.; Dohm, J. M.

    Based on the need to explain a great many geological and geophysical anomalies on Mars, and stimulated by the new results from the Mars Global Surveyor Mission, we propose a conceptual model of whole-EARTH (Episodic Annular Revolving Thermal Hydrologic) tectonics for the long-term evolution of terrestrial planets. The theory emphasizes (1) the importance of water in planetary evolution, and (2) the physi- cal transitions in modes of mantle convection in relation to planetary heat produc- tion. Depending on their first-order geophysical parameters and following accretion and differentiation from volatile-rich planetessimals, terrestrial planets should evolve through various stages of mantle convection, including magma ocean, plate tectonic, and stagnant lid processes. If a water ocean is able to condense from the planet's early steam atmosphere, an early regime of plate tectonics will follow the initial magma ocean. This definitely happened on earth, probably on Mars, and possibly on Venus. The Mars history led to transfer of large amounts of water to the mantle during the pe- riod of heavy bombardment. Termination of plate tectonics on Mars during the heavy bombardment period led to initiation of superplumes at Tharsis and Elysium, where long-persistent volcanism and water outbursts dominated much of later Martian his- tory. For Venus, warming of the early sun made the surface ocean unstable, eliminating its early plate-tectonic regime. Although Venus now experiences stagnant-lid convec- tion with episodic mantle overturns, the water subducted to its lower mantle during the ancient plate-tectonic regime manifests itself in the initation of volatile-rich plumes that dominate its current tectonic regime.

  8. Then Why Do They Call Earth the Blue Planet?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    While the most common photographs of Earth taken from space show the planet covered in blue water, NASA has managed to produce detailed color images, using satellite imagery, that show the remarkable variation of colors that actually make up the oceanic surface. An ocean s color is determined by the interaction of surface waters with sunlight, and surface waters can contain any number of different particles and dissolved substances, which could then change the color. Then Why Do They Call Earth the Blue Planet? The particles are mostly phytoplankton, the microscopic, single-celled ocean plants that are the primary food source for much marine life. Remote detection of phytoplankton provides information about the uptake and cycling of carbon by the ocean through photosynthesis, as well as the overall health of the water. Inorganic particles and substances dissolved in the water also affect its color, particularly in coastal regions. Satellite images can be used to calculate the concentrations of these materials in surface waters, as well as the levels of biological activity. The satellites allow a global view that is not available from ship or shore. NASA s orbiting satellites offer a unique vantage point for studying the oceans. By resolving the biological, chemical, and physical conditions in surface waters, they have allowed the oceanographic community to make huge leaps in its understanding of oceanographic processes on regional and global fronts. The study of ocean color, in particular, has been integral in helping researchers understand the natural and human-induced changes in the global environment and establishing the role of the oceans in the biochemical cycles of elements that influence the climate and the distribution of life on Earth.

  9. New worlds on the horizon: Earth-sized planets close to other stars.

    PubMed

    Gaidos, Eric; Haghighipour, Nader; Agol, Eric; Latham, David; Raymond, Sean; Rayner, John

    2007-10-12

    The search for habitable planets like Earth around other stars fulfills an ancient imperative to understand our origins and place in the cosmos. The past decade has seen the discovery of hundreds of planets, but nearly all are gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn. Recent advances in instrumentation and new missions are extending searches to planets the size of Earth but closer to their host stars. There are several possible ways such planets could form, and future observations will soon test those theories. Many of these planets we discover may be quite unlike Earth in their surface temperature and composition, but their study will nonetheless inform us about the process of planet formation and the frequency of Earth-like planets around other stars.

  10. Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2010-01-01

    The United States spends approximately four million dollars each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky searching for NEOs. This, however, is insufficient in detecting the majority of NEOs that may present a tangible threat to humanity. A significantly smaller amount of funding supports ways to protect the Earth from such a potential collision or "mitigation." In 2005, a Congressional mandate called for NASA to detect 90 percent of NEOs with diameters of 140 meters of greater by 2020. Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies identifies the need for detection of objects as small as 30 to 50 meters as these can be highly destructive. The book explores four main types of mitigation including civil defense, "slow push" or "pull" methods, kinetic impactors and nuclear explosions. It also asserts that responding effectively to hazards posed by NEOs requires national and international cooperation. Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies is a useful guide for scientists, astronomers, policy makers and engineers.

  11. Carbon trading, climate change, environmental sustainability and saving planet Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yim, W. W.

    2009-12-01

    Carbon trading namely the reduction of future carbon dioxide levels has been widely touted as a solution needed to counter the problem of climate change. However, there are enormous risks involved as the measure tackles only one of the causes of climate change and may prove to be ineffective. This presentation highlights ten points relevant to the discussion on carbon trading, climate change, environmental sustainability and saving planet Earth for increasing public awareness. They include: (1) Climate has changed throughout Earth’s history. (2) The present level of about 388 parts per million level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has already exceeded the maximum level of the past 800,000 years. This value is obtained from air bubbles trapped within the ice in Antarctica but the consequence of further increases remains uncertain. (3) Earth scientists do not have an overwhelming consensus on whether carbon trading alone is an effective measure in mitigating climate change. (4) The present state of the Earth’s demise is largely the result of human actions including population growth and the mismanagement of the Earth. (5) The latest evidence on sea-level changes in the South China Sea a far-field region unaffected by glacial isostatic readjustment is not in support of a ‘rapid’ rate of future sea-level rise through global warming. (6) Volcanic eruptions have an important role in driving the Earth’s climate. Examples of temperature lowering as well as abnormally wet and dry years can both be found in the instrumental record. (7) Humans have drastically modified the ‘natural’ water cycle. This is however not a well recognized cause of climate change compared to the emission of greenhouse gases through fossil fuel consumption. (8) The bulk (~75%) of the rise in mean annual temperature of about 1oC observed at the Hong Kong Observatory Station since record began in 1884 is best explained by the thermal heat island effect. (9) No evidence has been found

  12. The Formation of the Earth-Moon System and the Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation, with emphasis on terrestrial planet accretion and the formation of the Earth-Moon system is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant impacts during the final stages of growth can produce large planetary satellites, such as Earth's Moon. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates.

  13. Mission to Planet Earth. Strategic enterprise plan, 1995-2000

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-05-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) provides long-term understanding of the earth system needed to protect and improve our environment, now and for future generations. This MTPE Strategic Enterprise Plan states how NASA intends to meet its responsibility to the Nation for developing a long-term, integrated program of environmental observation in support of informed decision-making. This plan implements the NASA Strategic Plan for the MTPE Enterprise; it is the first version of a rolling 5-year plan that will be updated annually. It is consistent with the interagency program developed by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the National Science and Technology Council and implemented in large part through the U.S. Global Change Research Program. This report consists of the following sections: (1) introduction; (2) scientific foundation; (3) mission (destination and purposes); (4) principle of operation (ethical and quality assurance standards); (5) customer base (to ensure that the right products and services are delivered); (6) internal and external assessments; (7) assumptions; (8) goals, objectives, and strategies; (9) linkages to other strategic enterprises; and (10) summary.

  14. Mission to Planet Earth. Strategic enterprise plan, 1995-2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) provides long-term understanding of the earth system needed to protect and improve our environment, now and for future generations. This MTPE Strategic Enterprise Plan states how NASA intends to meet its responsibility to the Nation for developing a long-term, integrated program of environmental observation in support of informed decision-making. This plan implements the NASA Strategic Plan for the MTPE Enterprise; it is the first version of a rolling 5-year plan that will be updated annually. It is consistent with the interagency program developed by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the National Science and Technology Council and implemented in large part through the U.S. Global Change Research Program. This report consists of the following sections: (1) introduction; (2) scientific foundation; (3) mission (destination and purposes); (4) principle of operation (ethical and quality assurance standards); (5) customer base (to ensure that the right products and services are delivered); (6) internal and external assessments; (7) assumptions; (8) goals, objectives, and strategies; (9) linkages to other strategic enterprises; and (10) summary.

  15. Mission to Planet Earth Strategic Enterprise Plan 1996-2002

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth's (MTPE's) first Strategic Enterprise Plan, issued in May 1995, defined the Agency's major goals and objectives as well as constraints. This update of the Strategic Enterprise Plan identifies the following major changes: a focused Science Research Plan that integrates space-based and in situ observational critical science to address critical science uncertainties; a technology infusion plan to reduce the cost of future missions; a series of flight opportunities to infuse new science into the overall program; and a tighter coupling between NASA and NOAA to reduce costs and to improve the overall program. Three important new initiatives are also under development and are described briefly in this plan: MTPE Education Strategy, MTPE Commercial Strategy, and an emerging concept for an Integrated Global Observing Strategy. This first update to the MTPE Strategic Enterprise Plan captures these new developments, and takes a significant step forward in planning this complex Earth system science endeavor. The plan and other information on MTPE may be viewed via the Internet at http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/mtpe/.

  16. Modeling the Earth system in the Mission to Planet Earth era

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unninayar, Sushel; Bergman, Kenneth H.

    1993-01-01

    A broad overview is made of global earth system modeling in the Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) era for the multidisciplinary audience encompassed by the Global Change Research Program (GCRP). Time scales of global system fluctuation and change are described in Section 2. Section 3 provides a rubric for modeling the global earth system, as presently understood. The ability of models to predict the future state of the global earth system and the extent to which their predictions are reliable are covered in Sections 4 and 5. The 'engineering' use of global system models (and predictions) is covered in Section 6. Section 7 covers aspects of an increasing need for improved transform algorithms and better methods to assimilate this information into global models. Future monitoring and data requirements are detailed in Section 8. Section 9 covers the NASA-initiated concept 'Mission to Planet Earth,' which employs space and ground based measurement systems to provide the scientific basis for understanding global change. Section 10 concludes this review with general remarks concerning the state of global system modeling and observing technology and the need for future research.

  17. Our Mission to Planet Earth: A guide to teaching Earth system science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    Volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, floods, and El Nino are naturally occurring events over which humans have no control. But can human activities cause additional environmental change? Can scientists predict the global impacts of increased levels of pollutants in the atmosphere? Will the planet warm because increased levels of greenhouse gases, produced by the burning of fossil fuels, trap heat and prevent it from being radiated back into space? Will the polar ice cap melt, causing massive coastal flooding? Have humans initiated wholesale climatic change? These are difficult questions, with grave implications. Predicting global change and understanding the relationships among earth's components have increased in priority for the nation. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), along with many other government agencies, has initiated long-term studies of earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land masses using observations from satellite, balloon, and aircraft-borne instruments. NASA calls its research program Mission to Planet Earth. Because NASA can place scientific instruments far above earth's surface, the program allows scientists to explore earth's components and their interactions on a global scale.

  18. Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars.

    PubMed

    Petigura, Erik A; Howard, Andrew W; Marcy, Geoffrey W

    2013-11-26

    Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size ( ) and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth (1 - 2 R[Symbol: see text] ). We account for Kepler's imperfect detectability of such planets by injecting synthetic planet-caused dimmings into the Kepler brightness measurements and recording the fraction detected. We find that 11 ± 4% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet receiving between one and four times the stellar intensity as Earth. We also find that the occurrence of Earth-size planets is constant with increasing orbital period (P), within equal intervals of logP up to ~200 d. Extrapolating, one finds 5.7(-2.2)(+1.7)% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet with orbital periods of 200-400 d.

  19. An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star.

    PubMed

    Quintana, Elisa V; Barclay, Thomas; Raymond, Sean N; Rowe, Jason F; Bolmont, Emeline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Howell, Steve B; Kane, Stephen R; Huber, Daniel; Crepp, Justin R; Lissauer, Jack J; Ciardi, David R; Coughlin, Jeffrey L; Everett, Mark E; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Ford, Eric B; Adams, Fred C; Still, Martin; Hunter, Roger C; Quarles, Billy; Selsis, Franck

    2014-04-18

    The quest for Earth-like planets is a major focus of current exoplanet research. Although planets that are Earth-sized and smaller have been detected, these planets reside in orbits that are too close to their host star to allow liquid water on their surfaces. We present the detection of Kepler-186f, a 1.11 ± 0.14 Earth-radius planet that is the outermost of five planets, all roughly Earth-sized, that transit a 0.47 ± 0.05 solar-radius star. The intensity and spectrum of the star's radiation place Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone, implying that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and water at its surface, then some of this water is likely to be in liquid form.

  20. Planetary Formation: From The Earth And Moon To Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    An overview of current theories of planetary growth, emphasizing the formation of habitable planets, is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost - to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but if they become massive enough before the protoplanetary disk dissipates, then they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas. Specific issues to be discussed include: (1) how do giant planets influence the formation and habitability of terrestrial planets? (2) could a giant impact leading to lunar formation have occurred - 100 million years after the condensation of the oldest meteorites?

  1. Un-Earth-like interiors of the Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shim, S. H. D.; Nisr, C.; Pagano, M.; Chen, H.; Ko, B.; Noble, S.; Leinenweber, K. D.; Young, P.; Desch, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    A number of exoplanets have been described as "Earth-like" planets (or even exo-earths) based on the mass-radius relations. Yet, significant variations have been documented in elemental abundances of planet-hosting stars, which will result in very different structures and processes in the interiors of rocky exoplanets. Recent data suggest that the Mg/Si ratio can be as small as less than 1 and as large as more than 2, opening the possibilities for the upper mantles to be dominated by pyroxene and olivine, respectively, and the lower mantles to be dominated by bridgmanite and ferropericlase, respectively. The changes in mineralogy will alter key properties, such as discontinuity structures (and therefore scale of mantle mixing), viscosity, and volatiles storage, of the mantle. Partial melting of such mantles would result in different compositions of the crusts, affecting the tectonics. However, the prediction should be made carefully because oxygen fugacity and contents of volatiles can change the mineralogy even for the same bulk composition. In extremely reducing proto-planetary disks, carbides will form instead of oxides and silicates, and become main constituents of planets in the system. Because carbides have high thermal conductivity and low thermal expansivity, internal heat transport of such planets may be dominated by conduction and mantle mixing would be much more limited than that of the Earth. However, the behaviors and properties of carbides need to be understood better at high pressure and high temperature. Some rocky exoplanets may have very thick layers of water and other icy materials. Interactions between ice (or fluid) and rock at extreme conditions would be the key to understand dynamics and habitability of such exoplanets.

  2. Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars

    PubMed Central

    Petigura, Erik A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2013-01-01

    Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size () and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth (). We account for Kepler’s imperfect detectability of such planets by injecting synthetic planet–caused dimmings into the Kepler brightness measurements and recording the fraction detected. We find that 11 ± 4% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet receiving between one and four times the stellar intensity as Earth. We also find that the occurrence of Earth-size planets is constant with increasing orbital period (P), within equal intervals of logP up to ∼200 d. Extrapolating, one finds % of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet with orbital periods of 200–400 d. PMID:24191033

  3. NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers First Earth-size Planet in Habitable Zone of Another Star (Reporter Package)

    2014-04-17

    NASA's Kepler mission has discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a star outside our solar system. The newly discovered planet is called Kepler-186f and is about 10 percent larger than Earth.

  4. The C(4) plant lineages of planet Earth.

    PubMed

    Sage, Rowan F; Christin, Pascal-Antoine; Edwards, Erika J

    2011-05-01

    Using isotopic screens, phylogenetic assessments, and 45 years of physiological data, it is now possible to identify most of the evolutionary lineages expressing the C(4) photosynthetic pathway. Here, 62 recognizable lineages of C(4) photosynthesis are listed. Thirty-six lineages (60%) occur in the eudicots. Monocots account for 26 lineages, with a minimum of 18 lineages being present in the grass family and six in the sedge family. Species exhibiting the C(3)-C(4) intermediate type of photosynthesis correspond to 21 lineages. Of these, 9 are not immediately associated with any C(4) lineage, indicating that they did not share common C(3)-C(4) ancestors with C(4) species and are instead an independent line. The geographic centre of origin for 47 of the lineages could be estimated. These centres tend to cluster in areas corresponding to what are now arid to semi-arid regions of southwestern North America, south-central South America, central Asia, northeastern and southern Africa, and inland Australia. With 62 independent lineages, C(4) photosynthesis has to be considered one of the most convergent of the complex evolutionary phenomena on planet Earth, and is thus an outstanding system to study the mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation.

  5. The Prevalence of Earth-size Planets Orbiting Sun-like Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petigura, Erik; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howard, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In less than two decades since the discovery of the first planet orbiting another Sun-like star, the study of extrasolar planets has matured beyond individual discoveries to detailed characterization of the planet population as a whole. No mission has played more of a role in this paradigm shift than NASA's Kepler mission. Kepler photometry has shown that planets like Earth are common throughout the Milky Way Galaxy. Our group performed an independent search of Kepler photometry using our custom transit-finding pipeline, TERRA, and produced our own catalog of planet candidates. We conducted spectroscopic follow-up of their host stars in order to rule out false positive scenarios and to better constrain host star properties. We measured TERRA's sensitivity to planets of different sizes and orbital periods by injecting synthetic planets into raw Kepler photometry and measuring the recovery rate. Correcting for orbital tilt and survey completeness, we found that ~80% of GK stars harbor one or more planets within 1 AU and that ~22% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet that receives similar levels of stellar radiation as Earth. I will present the latest results from our efforts to characterize the demographics of small planets revealed by Kepler.

  6. Maximum number of habitable planets at the time of Earth's origin: new hints for panspermia?

    PubMed

    von Bloh, Werner; Franck, Siegfried; Bounama, Christine; Schellnhuber, Hans-Joachim

    2003-04-01

    New discoveries have fuelled the ongoing discussion of panspermia, i.e. the transport of life from one planet to another within the solar system (interplanetary panspermia) or even between different planetary systems (interstellar panspermia). The main factor for the probability of interstellar panspermia is the average density of stellar systems containing habitable planets. The combination of recent results for the formation rate of Earth-like planets with our estimations of extrasolar habitable zones allows us to determine the number of habitable planets in the Milky Way over cosmological time scales. We find that there was a maximum number of habitable planets around the time of Earth's origin. If at all, interstellar panspermia was most probable at that time and may have kick-started life on our planet.

  7. The International Year of Planet Earth: Lessons learned.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mulder, E. F.; Janoschek, W. R.

    2007-12-01

    In 2001, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) developed an initiative to launch an International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE). This was followed up directly by UNESCO's Earth Science Division. As politicians, decision makers, the media and the public at large were chosen as the main targets, obtaining a proclamation by the General Assembly of the United Nations was crucial. Not only did the beauty and usefulness of Geosciences have to be demonstrated, but also the potential of the timely use of Geoscientific knowledge to minimise loss of life and property, e.g. during the Tsunami and Katrina disasters, had to be made crystal clear. Some of the lessons learned during the preparation for the IYPE (2007-2009) may be summarized as follows. - Support from scientific organisations: from the onset very positive, many joining as Founding or Associate Partners. - Individual geoscientists: some were sceptical, many (very) positive. - UN diplomats: the major natural disasters in 2004-2005 helped trigger their support throughout the UN proclamation process; so-called small countries proved to be more open-minded in lodging this initiative in the UN Agenda. - Politicians: Support for UN proclamations must be decided at the Ministerial level. This procedure may consume considerable time and cannot be influenced from outside. - National Committees: UN proclamation strongly stimulated the creation of National Committees for the IYPE; on August 31st they number 48 with a potential to reach 60 or more. Most of the actions planned at national level comprise outreach activities. - Fundraising: Significant funds have already been raised by National IYPE Committees. Fundraising for international events and to bolster the infrastructure of the International Year have proved to be more difficult. - Patrons, Goodwill Ambassadors, and Senior Advisors have proved to be essential in promoting the ambitions of the IYPE and in the vital process of fundraising. - Good examples

  8. What is Next? Linking all Samples of Planet Earth.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyborn, L. A.; Lehnert, K.; Klump, J. F.; Arko, R. A.; Cox, S. J. D.; Devaraju, A.; Elger, K.; Murphy, F.; Fleischer, D.

    2016-12-01

    The process of sampling, observing and analyzing physical samples is not unique to the geosciences. Physical sampling (taking specimens) is a fundamental strategy in many natural sciences, typically to support ex-situ observations in laboratories with the goal of characterizing real-world entities or populations. Observations and measurements are made on individual specimens and their derived samples in various ways, with results reported in research publications. Research on an individual sample is often published in numerous articles, based on multiple, potentially unrelated research programs conducted over many years. Even high-volume Earth observation datasets are proxies of real world phenomena and require calibration by measurements made on position located, well described physical samples. Unique, persistent web-compatible identifiers for physical objects and related sampling features are required to ensure their unambiguous citation and connection to related datasets through web identifiers. Identifier systems have been established within specific domains (e.g., bio, geo, hydro) or different sectors (e.g., museums, government agencies, universities), including the International Geo Sample Number (IGSN) in the geosciences, which has been used for rock, fossil, mineral, soil, regolith, fluid, plant and synthetic materials. IGSNs are issued through a governance system that ensures they are globally unique. Each IGSN directs to a digital representation of the physical object via the Handle.net global resolver system, the same system used for resolving DOI. To enable the unique identification of all samples on Planet Earth and of data derived from them, the next step is to ensure IGSNs can either be integrated with comparable identifier systems in other domains/sectors, or introduced into domains that do not have a viable system. A registry of persistent identifier systems for physical samples would allow users to choose which system best suits their needs. Such

  9. A Direct Path to Finding Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heap, Sara R.; Linder, Don J.

    2009-01-01

    As envisaged by the 2000 astrophysics decadal survey panel: The main goal of Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is nothing less than to search for evidence of life on terrestrial planets around nearby stars . Here, we consider how an optical telescope paired with a free-flying occulter blocking light from the star can reach this goal directly, without knowledge of results from prior astrometric, doppler, or transit exoplanet observations. Using design reference missions and other simulations, we explore the potential of TPF-O to find planets in the habitable zone around their central stars, to spectrally characterize the atmospheres of detected planets, and to obtain rudimentary information about their orbits. We emphasize the importance of ozone absorption in the UV spectrum of a planet as a marker of photosynthesis by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

  10. Terrestrial planet formation in the presence of migrating super-Earths

    SciT

    Izidoro, André; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N., E-mail: izidoro.costa@gmail.com, E-mail: morbidelli@oca.eu, E-mail: rayray.sean@gmail.com

    Super-Earths with orbital periods less than 100 days are extremely abundant around Sun-like stars. It is unlikely that these planets formed at their current locations. Rather, they likely formed at large distances from the star and subsequently migrated inward. Here we use N-body simulations to study the effect of super-Earths on the accretion of rocky planets. In our simulations, one or more super-Earths migrate inward through a disk of planetary embryos and planetesimals embedded in a gaseous disk. We tested a wide range of migration speeds and configurations. Fast-migrating super-Earths (τ{sub mig} ∼ 0.01-0.1 Myr) only have a modest effectmore » on the protoplanetary embryos and planetesimals. Sufficient material survives to form rocky, Earth-like planets on orbits exterior to the super-Earths'. In contrast, slowly migrating super-Earths shepherd rocky material interior to their orbits and strongly deplete the terrestrial planet-forming zone. In this situation any Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone are extremely volatile-rich and are therefore probably not Earth-like.« less

  11. The Now Frontier. Pioneer to Jupiter. Man Links Earth and Planets. Issue No. 1-5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1973

    This packet of space science instructional materials includes five issues related to the planet Jupiter. Each issue presents factual material about the planet, diagramatic representations of its movements and positions relative to bright stars or the earth, actual photographs and/or tables of data collected relevant to Pioneer 10, the spacecraft…

  12. Mission to Planet Earth: A program to understand global environmental change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    A description of Mission to Planet Earth, a program to understand global environmental change, is presented. Topics discussed include: changes in the environment; global warming; ozone depletion; deforestation; and NASA's role in global change research.

  13. Jupiter and Planet Earth. [planetary and biological evolution and natural satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of Jupiter and Earth are discussed along with their atmospheres, the radiation belts around both planets, natural satellites, the evolution of life, and the Pioneer 10. Educational study projects are also included.

  14. Scientific coordination of activities for university participation in mission to planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalb, Michael W.

    1994-01-01

    This report describes Universities Space Research Association (USRA) activities in support of the University Participation in Mission to Planet Earth. Specifically it addresses the following areas: personnel assigned to the effort, travel, consultant participants, technical progress, and contract spending.

  15. HABITABILITY OF EARTH-MASS PLANETS AND MOONS IN THE KEPLER-16 SYSTEM

    SciT

    Quarles, B.; Musielak, Z. E.; Cuntz, M., E-mail: billyq@uta.edu, E-mail: zmusielak@uta.edu, E-mail: cuntz@uta.edu

    2012-05-01

    We demonstrate that habitable Earth-mass planets and moons can exist in the Kepler-16 system, known to host a Saturn-mass planet around a stellar binary, by investigating their orbital stability in the standard and extended habitable zone (HZ). We find that Earth-mass planets in satellite-like (S-type) orbits are possible within the standard HZ in direct vicinity of Kepler-16b, thus constituting habitable exomoons. However, Earth-mass planets cannot exist in planetary-like (P-type) orbits around the two stellar components within the standard HZ. Yet, P-type Earth-mass planets can exist superior to the Saturnian planet in the extended HZ pertaining to considerably enhanced back-warming inmore » the planetary atmosphere if facilitated. We briefly discuss the potential detectability of such habitable Earth-mass moons and planets positioned in satellite and planetary orbits, respectively. The range of inferior and superior P-type orbits in the HZ is between 0.657-0.71 AU and 0.95-1.02 AU, respectively.« less

  16. Searching for and characterising extrasolar Earth-like planets and moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Jean

    2002-10-01

    The physical bases of the detection and characterisation of extrasolar Earth-like planets and moons in the reflected light and thermal emission regimes are reviewed. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, including artefacts, in the determination of planet physical parameters (mass, size, albedo, surface and atmospheric conditions etc.). After a short panorama of detection methods and the first findings, new perspectives for these different aspects are also presented. Finally brief account of the ground based programmes and space-based projects and their potentialities for Earth-like planets is made and discussed.

  17. Understanding our Changing Planet: NASA's Earth Science Enterprise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forehand, Lon; Griner, Charlotte (Editor); Greenstone, Renny (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    NASA has been studying the Earth and its changing environment by observing the atmosphere, oceans, land, ice, and snow and their influence on climate and weather since the agency's creation. This study has lead to a new approach to understanding the interaction of the Earth's systems, Earth System Science. The Earth Science Enterprise, NASA's comprehensive program for Earth System Science, uses satellites and other tools to intensively study the Earth. The Earth Science Enterprise has three main components: (1) a series of Earth-observing satellites, (2) an advanced data system and (3) teams of scientist who study the data. Key areas of study include: (1) clouds, (2) water and energy cycles, (3) oceans, (4) chemistry of the atmosphere, (5) land surface, water and ecosystems processes; (6) glaciers and polar ice sheets, and (7) the solid earth.

  18. Learning to Map the Earth and Planets using a Google Earth - based Multi-student Game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Paor, D. G.; Wild, S. C.; Dordevic, M.

    2011-12-01

    We report on progress in developing an interactive geological and geophysical mapping game employing the Google Earth, Google Moon, and Goole Mars virtual globes. Working in groups of four, students represent themselves on the Google Earth surface by selecting an avatar. One of the group drives to each field stop in a model vehicle using game-like controls. When they arrive at a field stop and get out of their field vehicle, students can control their own avatars' movements independently and can communicate with one another by text message. They are geo-fenced and receive automatic messages if they wander off target. Individual movements are logged and stored in a MySQL database for later analysis. Students collaborate on mapping decisions and submit a report to their instructor through a Javascript interface to the Google Earth API. Unlike real mapping, students are not restricted by geographic access and can engage in comparative mapping on different planets. Using newly developed techniques, they can also explore and map the sub-surface down to the core-mantle boundary. Virtual specimens created with a 3D scanner, Gigapan images of outcrops, and COLLADA models of mantle structures such as subducted lithospheric slabs all contribute to an engaging learning experience.

  19. Factors Affecting the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meadows, Victoria; NAI-Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team

    2014-03-01

    Habitability is a measure of an environment's potential to support life. For exoplanets, the concept of habitability can be used broadly - to inform our calculations of the possibility and distribution of life elsewhere - or as a practical tool to inform mission designs and to prioritize specific targets in the search for extrasolar life. Although a planet's habitability does depend critically on the effect of stellar type and planetary semi-major axis on climate balance, work in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology has identified many additional factors that can affect a planet's environment and its potential ability to support life. Life requires material for metabolism and structures, a liquid medium for chemical transport, and an energy source to drive metabolism and other life processes. Whether a planet's surface or sub-surface can provide these requirements is the result of numerous planetary and astrophysical processes that affect the planet's formation and evolution. Many of these factors are interdependent, and fall into three main categories: stellar effects, planetary effects and planetary system effects. Key abiotic processes affecting the resultant planetary environment include photochemistry (e.g. Segura et al., 2003; 2005), stellar effects on climate balance (e.g. Joshii et al., 2012; Shields et al., 2013), atmospheric loss (e.g. Lopez and Fortney, 2013), and gravitational interactions with the star (e.g. Barnes et al., 2013). In many cases, the effect of these processes is strongly dependent on a specific planet's existing environmental properties. Examples include the resultant UV flux at a planetary surface as a product of stellar activity and the strength of a planet's atmospheric UV shield (Segura et al., 2010); and the amount of tidal energy available to a planet to drive plate tectonics and heat the surface (Barnes et al., 2009), which is in turn due to a combination of stellar mass, planetary mass and composition, planetary orbital

  20. Temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star

    PubMed Central

    Gillon, Michaël; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Delrez, Laetitia; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valérie; Burgasser, Adam; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Opitom, Cyrielle; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Sahu, Devendra K.; Bardalez Gagliuffi, Daniella; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2017-01-01

    Stellar-like objects with effective temperatures of 2700K and below are referred to as “ultracool dwarfs”1. This heterogeneous group includes both extremely low-mass stars and brown dwarfs (substellar objects not massive enough to sustain hydrogen fusion), and represents about 15% of the stellar-like objects in the vicinity of the Sun2. Based on the small masses and sizes of their protoplanetary disks3,4, core-accretion theory for ultracool dwarfs predicts a large, but heretofore undetected population of close-in terrestrial planets5, ranging from metal-rich Mercury-sized planets6 to more hospitable volatile-rich Earth-sized planets7. Here we report the discovery of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting an ultracool dwarf star 12 parsecs away using data collected by the TRAPPIST8 telescope as part of an ongoing prototype transit survey9. The inner two planets receive four and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star10. Eleven orbits remain possible for the third planet based on our data, the most likely resulting in an irradiation significantly smaller than Earth's. The infrared brightness of the host star combined with its Jupiter-like size offer the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system. PMID:27135924

  1. Temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star.

    PubMed

    Gillon, Michaël; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M; Delrez, Laetitia; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valérie; Burgasser, Adam J; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Opitom, Cyrielle; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Sahu, Devendra K; Bardalez Gagliuffi, Daniella; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2016-05-12

    Star-like objects with effective temperatures of less than 2,700 kelvin are referred to as 'ultracool dwarfs'. This heterogeneous group includes stars of extremely low mass as well as brown dwarfs (substellar objects not massive enough to sustain hydrogen fusion), and represents about 15 per cent of the population of astronomical objects near the Sun. Core-accretion theory predicts that, given the small masses of these ultracool dwarfs, and the small sizes of their protoplanetary disks, there should be a large but hitherto undetected population of terrestrial planets orbiting them--ranging from metal-rich Mercury-sized planets to more hospitable volatile-rich Earth-sized planets. Here we report observations of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting an ultracool dwarf star only 12 parsecs away. The inner two planets receive four times and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Our data suggest that 11 orbits remain possible for the third planet, the most likely resulting in irradiation significantly less than that received by Earth. The infrared brightness of the host star, combined with its Jupiter-like size, offers the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system.

  2. Temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillon, Michaël; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Delrez, Laetitia; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valérie; Burgasser, Adam J.; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Opitom, Cyrielle; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Sahu, Devendra K.; Bardalez Gagliuffi, Daniella; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2016-05-01

    Star-like objects with effective temperatures of less than 2,700 kelvin are referred to as ‘ultracool dwarfs’. This heterogeneous group includes stars of extremely low mass as well as brown dwarfs (substellar objects not massive enough to sustain hydrogen fusion), and represents about 15 per cent of the population of astronomical objects near the Sun. Core-accretion theory predicts that, given the small masses of these ultracool dwarfs, and the small sizes of their protoplanetary disks, there should be a large but hitherto undetected population of terrestrial planets orbiting them—ranging from metal-rich Mercury-sized planets to more hospitable volatile-rich Earth-sized planets. Here we report observations of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting an ultracool dwarf star only 12 parsecs away. The inner two planets receive four times and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Our data suggest that 11 orbits remain possible for the third planet, the most likely resulting in irradiation significantly less than that received by Earth. The infrared brightness of the host star, combined with its Jupiter-like size, offers the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system.

  3. Hot super-Earths and giant planet cores from different migration histories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cossou, Christophe; Raymond, Sean N.; Hersant, Franck; Pierens, Arnaud

    2014-09-01

    Planetary embryos embedded in gaseous protoplanetary disks undergo Type I orbital migration. Migration can be inward or outward depending on the local disk properties but, in general, only planets more massive than several M⊕ can migrate outward. Here we propose that an embryo's migration history determines whether it becomes a hot super-Earth or the core of a giant planet. Systems of hot super-Earths (or mini-Neptunes) form when embryos migrate inward and pile up at the inner edge of the disk. Giant planet cores form when inward-migrating embryos become massive enough to switch direction and migrate outward. We present simulations of this process using a modified N-body code, starting from a swarm of planetary embryos. Systems of hot super-Earths form in resonant chains with the innermost planet at or interior to the disk inner edge. Resonant chains are disrupted by late dynamical instabilities triggered by the dispersal of the gaseous disk. Giant planet cores migrate outward toward zero-torque zones, which move inward and eventually disappear as the disk disperses. Giant planet cores migrate inward with these zones and are stranded at ~1-5 AU. Our model reproduces several properties of the observed extra-solar planet populations. The frequency of giant planet cores increases strongly when the mass in solids is increased, consistent with the observed giant exoplanet - stellar metallicity correlation. The frequency of hot super-Earths is not a function of stellar metallicity, also in agreement with observations. Our simulations can reproduce the broad characteristics of the observed super-Earth population.

  4. Cosmic ray impact on extrasolar earth-like planets in close-in habitable zones.

    PubMed

    Griessmeier, J-M; Stadelmann, A; Motschmann, U; Belisheva, N K; Lammer, H; Biernat, H K

    2005-10-01

    Because of their different origins, cosmic rays can be subdivided into galactic cosmic rays and solar/stellar cosmic rays. The flux of cosmic rays to planetary surfaces is mainly determined by two planetary parameters: the atmospheric density and the strength of the internal magnetic moment. If a planet exhibits an extended magnetosphere, its surface will be protected from high-energy cosmic ray particles. We show that close-in extrasolar planets in the habitable zone of M stars are synchronously rotating with their host star because of the tidal interaction. For gravitationally locked planets the rotation period is equal to the orbital period, which is much longer than the rotation period expected for planets not subject to tidal locking. This results in a relatively small magnetic moment. We found that an Earth-like extrasolar planet, tidally locked in an orbit of 0.2 AU around an M star of 0.5 solar masses, has a rotation rate of 2% of that of the Earth. This results in a magnetic moment of less than 15% of the Earth's current magnetic moment. Therefore, close-in extrasolar planets seem not to be protected by extended Earth-like magnetospheres, and cosmic rays can reach almost the whole surface area of the upper atmosphere. Primary cosmic ray particles that interact with the atmosphere generate secondary energetic particles, a so-called cosmic ray shower. Some of the secondary particles can reach the surface of terrestrial planets when the surface pressure of the atmosphere is on the order of 1 bar or less. We propose that, depending on atmospheric pressure, biological systems on the surface of Earth-like extrasolar planets at close-in orbital distances can be strongly influenced by secondary cosmic rays.

  5. A CONTINUUM OF PLANET FORMATION BETWEEN 1 AND 4 EARTH RADII

    SciT

    Schlaufman, Kevin C., E-mail: kschlauf@mit.edu

    2015-02-01

    It has long been known that stars with high metallicity are more likely to host giant planets than stars with low metallicity. Yet the connection between host star metallicity and the properties of small planets is only just beginning to be investigated. It has recently been argued that the metallicity distribution of stars with exoplanet candidates identified by Kepler provides evidence for three distinct clusters of exoplanets, distinguished by planet radius boundaries at 1.7 R{sub ⨁} and 3.9 R{sub ⨁}. This would suggest that there are three distinct planet formation pathways for super-Earths, mini-Neptunes, and giant planets. However, as Imore » show through three independent analyses, there is actually no evidence for the proposed radius boundary at 1.7 R{sub ⨁}. On the other hand, a more rigorous calculation demonstrates that a single, continuous relationship between planet radius and metallicity is a better fit to the data. The planet radius and metallicity data therefore provides no evidence for distinct categories of small planets. This suggests that the planet formation process in a typical protoplanetary disk produces a continuum of planet sizes between 1 R{sub ⨁} and 4 R{sub ⨁}. As a result, the currently available planet radius and metallicity data for solar-metallicity F and G stars give no reason to expect that the amount of solid material in a protoplanetary disk determines whether super-Earths or mini-Neptunes are formed.« less

  6. Hydrodynamics of embedded planets' first atmospheres - III. The role of radiation transport for super-Earth planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cimerman, Nicolas P.; Kuiper, Rolf; Ormel, Chris W.

    2017-11-01

    The population of close-in super-Earths, with gas mass fractions of up to 10 per cent represents a challenge for planet formation theory: how did they avoid runaway gas accretion and collapsing to hot Jupiters despite their core masses being in the critical range of Mc ≃ 10 M⊕? Previous three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamical simulations indicate that atmospheres of low-mass planets cannot be considered isolated from the protoplanetary disc, contrary to what is assumed in 1D-evolutionary calculations. This finding is referred to as the recycling hypothesis. In this paper, we investigate the recycling hypothesis for super-Earth planets, accounting for realistic 3D radiation hydrodynamics. Also, we conduct a direct comparison in terms of the evolution of the entropy between 1D and 3D geometries. We clearly see that 3D atmospheres maintain higher entropy: although gas in the atmosphere loses entropy through radiative cooling, the advection of high-entropy gas from the disc into the Bondi/Hill sphere slows down Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction, potentially arresting envelope growth at a sub-critical gas mass fraction. Recycling, therefore, operates vigorously, in line with results by previous studies. However, we also identify an `inner core' - in size ≈25 per cent of the Bondi radius - where streamlines are more circular and entropies are much lower than in the outer atmosphere. Future studies at higher resolutions are needed to assess whether this region can become hydrodynamically isolated on long time-scales.

  7. Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT). VI. A Three-planet System in the Hyades Cluster Including an Earth-sized Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, Andrew W.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Rizzuto, Aaron C.; Kraus, Adam L.; Berlind, Perry; Bieryla, Allyson; Calkins, Michael L.; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Latham, David W.; Mace, Gregory N.; Morris, Nathan R.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Sokal, Kimberly R.; Stefanik, Robert P.

    2018-01-01

    Planets in young clusters are powerful probes of the evolution of planetary systems. Here we report the discovery of three planets transiting EPIC 247589423, a late-K dwarf in the Hyades (≃800 Myr) cluster, and robust detection limits for additional planets in the system. The planets were identified from their K2 light curves as part of our survey of young clusters and star-forming regions. The smallest planet has a radius comparable to Earth ({0.99}-0.04+0.06{R}\\oplus ), making it one of the few Earth-sized planets with a known, young age. The two larger planets are likely a mini-Neptune and a super-Earth, with radii of {2.91}-0.10+0.11{R}\\oplus and {1.45}-0.08+0.11{R}\\oplus , respectively. The predicted radial velocity signals from these planets are between 0.4 and 2 m s-1, achievable with modern precision RV spectrographs. Because the target star is bright (V = 11.2) and has relatively low-amplitude stellar variability for a young star (2-6 mmag), EPIC 247589423 hosts the best known planets in a young open cluster for precise radial velocity follow-up, enabling a robust test of earlier claims that young planets are less dense than their older counterparts.

  8. Discovery and Mass Measurements of a Cold, 10-Earth Mass Planet and Its Host Star

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barry, Richard K.; Muraki, Y.; Han, C.; Bennett, D. P.; Gaudi, B. S.

    2011-01-01

    We present the discovery and mass measurement of the cold, low-mass planet MOA-2009-BLG-266Lb, made with the gravitational microlensing method. This planet has a mass of mp = 10.4 +/- M(Earth) and orbits a star of Mstar = 0.56 +/- 0.09 M(Sun) at a semi-major axis of a = 3.2 + 1.9/-0.5 AU, and an orbital period of 7.6 +7.7/-1.5 yrs. The planet and host star mass measurements are due to the measurement of the microlensing parallax effect. This measurement was primarily due to the orbital motion of the Earth, but the analysis also demonstrates the capability measure micro lensing parallax with the Deep Impact (or EPOXI) spacecraft in a Heliocentric orbit. The planet mass and orbital distance are similar to predictions for the critical core mass needed to accrete a substantial gaseous envelope, and thus may indicate that this planet is a failed gas giant. This and future microlensing detections will test planet formation theory predictions regarding the prevalence and masses of such planets

  9. Two drastically different climate states on an Earth-like land planet with overland water recycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalidindi, S.; Reick, C. H.; Raddatz, T.; Claussen, M.

    2017-12-01

    Prior studies have demonstrated that habitable areas on low-obliquity land planets are confined to the edges of frozen ice caps. Whether such dry planets can maintain long-lived liquid water is unclear. Leconte et al. 2013 argue that on such planets mechanisms like gravity driven ice flows and geothermal flux can maintain liquid water at the edges of thick ice caps and this water may flow back to the lower latitudes through rivers. However, there exists no modelling study which investigates the climate of an Earth-like land planet with an overland recycling mechanism bringing fresh water back from higher to lower latitudes. In our study, by using a comprehensive climate model ICON, we find that an Earth-like land planet with an overland recycling mechanism can exist in two drastically different climate states for the same set of boundary conditions and parameter values: A Cold and Wet (CW) state with dominant low-latitude precipitation and, a Hot and Dry (HD) state with only high-latitude precipitation. For perpetual equinox conditions, both climate states are stable below a certain threshold value of background soil albedo (α) while above that only the CW state is stable. Starting from the HD state and increasing α above the threshold causes an abrupt shift from the HD state to the CW state resulting in a sudden cooling of about 35°C globally which is of the order of the temperature difference between the present-day and the Snowball Earth state. In contrast to the Snowball Earth instability, we find that the sudden cooling in our study is driven by the cloud albedo feedback rather than the snow-albedo feedback. Also, when α in the CW state is reduced back to zero the land planet does not display a closed hysteresis. Our study also has implications for the habitability of Earth-like land planets. At the inner edge of the habitable zone, the higher cloud cover in the CW state cools the planet and may prevent the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. At the outer

  10. Planetary radio astronomy: Earth, giant planets, and beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rucker, H. O.; Panchenko, M.; Weber, C.

    2014-11-01

    The magnetospheric phenomenon of non-thermal radio emission is known since the serendipitous discovery of Jupiter as radio planet in 1955, opening the new field of "Planetary Radio Astronomy". Continuous ground-based observations and, in particular, space-borne measurements have meanwhile produced a comprehensive picture of a fascinating research area. Space missions as the Voyagers to the Giant Planets, specifically Voyager 2 further to Uranus and Neptune, Galileo orbiting Jupiter, and now Cassini in orbit around Saturn since July 2004, provide a huge amount of radio data, well embedded in other experiments monitoring space plasmas and magnetic fields. The present paper as a condensation of a presentation at the Kleinheubacher Tagung 2013 in honour of the 100th anniversary of Prof. Karl Rawer, provides an introduction into the generation mechanism of non-thermal planetary radio waves and highlights some new features of planetary radio emission detected in the recent past. As one of the most sophisticated spacecraft, Cassini, now in space for more than 16 years and still in excellent health, enabled for the first time a seasonal overview of the magnetospheric variations and their implications for the generation of radio emission. Presently most puzzling is the seasonally variable rotational modulation of Saturn kilometric radio emission (SKR) as seen by Cassini, compared with early Voyager observations. The cyclotron maser instability is the fundamental mechanism under which generation and sufficient amplification of non-thermal radio emission is most likely. Considering these physical processes, further theoretical investigations have been started to investigate the conditions and possibilities of non-thermal radio emission from exoplanets, from potential radio planets in extrasolar systems.

  11. Beyond Kepler: Direct Imaging of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belikov, Ruslan

    2012-01-01

    Is there another Earth out there? Is there life on it? People have been asking these questions for over two thousand years, and we finally stand on the verge of answering them. The Kepler space telescope is NASA's first mission designed to study Earthlike exoplanets (exo-Earths), and it will soon tell us how often exo-Earths occur in the habitable zones of their stars. The next natural step after Kepler is spectroscopic characterization of exo-Earths, which would tell us whether they possess an atmosphere, oxygen, liquid water, as well as other biomarkers. In order to do this, directly imaging an exo-Earth may be necessary (at least for Sun-like stars). Directly imaging an exo-Earth is challenging and likely requires a flagship-size optical space telescope with an unprecedented imaging system capable of achieving contrasts of 1(exp 10) very close to the diffraction limit. Several coronagraphs and external occulters have been proposed to meet this challenge and are in development. After first overviewing the history and current state of the field, my talk will focus on the work proceeding at the Ames Coronagraph Experiment (ACE) at the NASA Ames Research Center, where we are developing the Phase Induced Amplitude Apodization (PIAA) coronagraph in a collaboration with JPL. PIAA is a powerful technique with demonstrated aggressive performance that defines the state of the art at small inner working angles. At ACE, we have achieved contrasts of 2(exp -8) with an inner working angle of 2 lambda/D and 1(exp -6) at 1.4 lambda/D. On the path to exo-Earth imaging, we are also pursuing a smaller telescope concept called EXCEDE (EXoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer), which was recently selected for technology development (Category III) by NASA's Explorer program. EXCEDE will do fundamental science on debris disks as well as serve as a technological and scientific pathfinder for an exo-Earth imaging mission.

  12. Signals from the planets, via the Sun to the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solheim, J.-E.

    2013-12-01

    The best method for identification of planetary forcing of the Earth's climate is to investigate periodic variations in climate time series. Some natural frequencies in the Earth climate system seem to be synchronized to planetary cycles, and amplified to a level of detection. The response by the Earth depends on location, and in global averaged series, some planetary signals may be below detection. Comparing sea level rise with sunspot variations, we find phase variations, and even a phase reversal. A periodogram of the global temperature shows that the Earth amplifies other periods than observed in sunspots. A particular case is that the Earth amplifies the 22 yr Hale period, and not the 11 yr Schwabe period. This may be explained by alternating peak or plateau appearance of cosmic ray counts. Among longer periods, the Earth amplifies the 60 yr planetary period and keeps the phase during centennials. The recent global warming may be interpreted as a rising branch of a millennium cycle, identified in ice cores and sediments and also recorded in history. This cycle peaks in the second half of this century, and then a 500 yr cooling trend will start. An expected solar grand minimum due to a 200 yr cycle will introduce additional cooling in the first part of this century.

  13. Kepler-62: a five-planet system with planets of 1.4 and 1.6 Earth radii in the habitable zone.

    PubMed

    Borucki, William J; Agol, Eric; Fressin, Francois; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Rowe, Jason; Isaacson, Howard; Fischer, Debra; Batalha, Natalie; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Fabrycky, Daniel; Désert, Jean-Michel; Bryson, Stephen T; Barclay, Thomas; Bastien, Fabienne; Boss, Alan; Brugamyer, Erik; Buchhave, Lars A; Burke, Chris; Caldwell, Douglas A; Carter, Josh; Charbonneau, David; Crepp, Justin R; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Christiansen, Jessie L; Ciardi, David; Cochran, William D; DeVore, Edna; Doyle, Laurance; Dupree, Andrea K; Endl, Michael; Everett, Mark E; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan; Gautier, Thomas N; Geary, John C; Gould, Alan; Haas, Michael; Henze, Christopher; Howard, Andrew W; Howell, Steve B; Huber, Daniel; Jenkins, Jon M; Kjeldsen, Hans; Kolbl, Rea; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery; Latham, David W; Lee, Brian L; Lopez, Eric; Mullally, Fergal; Orosz, Jerome A; Prsa, Andrej; Quintana, Elisa V; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Sasselov, Dimitar; Seader, Shawn; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H; Still, Martin; Tenenbaum, Peter; Thompson, Susan E; Torres, Guillermo; Twicken, Joseph D; Welsh, William F; Winn, Joshua N

    2013-05-03

    We present the detection of five planets--Kepler-62b, c, d, e, and f--of size 1.31, 0.54, 1.95, 1.61 and 1.41 Earth radii (R⊕), orbiting a K2V star at periods of 5.7, 12.4, 18.2, 122.4, and 267.3 days, respectively. The outermost planets, Kepler-62e and -62f, are super-Earth-size (1.25 R⊕ < planet radius ≤ 2.0 R⊕) planets in the habitable zone of their host star, respectively receiving 1.2 ± 0.2 times and 0.41 ± 0.05 times the solar flux at Earth's orbit. Theoretical models of Kepler-62e and -62f for a stellar age of ~7 billion years suggest that both planets could be solid, either with a rocky composition or composed of mostly solid water in their bulk.

  14. Observing the Atmospheres of Known Temperate Earth-sized Planets with JWST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morley, Caroline V.; Kreidberg, Laura; Rustamkulov, Zafar; Robinson, Tyler; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2017-12-01

    Nine transiting Earth-sized planets have recently been discovered around nearby late-M dwarfs, including the TRAPPIST-1 planets and two planets discovered by the MEarth survey, GJ 1132b and LHS 1140b. These planets are the smallest known planets that may have atmospheres amenable to detection with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We present model thermal emission and transmission spectra for each planet, varying composition and surface pressure of the atmosphere. We base elemental compositions on those of Earth, Titan, and Venus and calculate the molecular compositions assuming chemical equilibrium, which can strongly depend on temperature. Both thermal emission and transmission spectra are sensitive to the atmospheric composition; thermal emission spectra are sensitive to surface pressure and temperature. We predict the observability of each planet’s atmosphere with JWST. GJ 1132b and TRAPPIST-1b are excellent targets for emission spectroscopy with JWST/MIRI, requiring fewer than 10 eclipse observations. Emission photometry for TRAPPIST-1c requires 5-15 eclipses; LHS 1140b and TRAPPIST-1d, TRAPPIST-1e, and TRAPPIST-1f, which could possibly have surface liquid water, may be accessible with photometry. Seven of the nine planets are strong candidates for transmission spectroscopy measurements with JWST, although the number of transits required depends strongly on the planets’ actual masses. Using the measured masses, fewer than 20 transits are required for a 5σ detection of spectral features for GJ 1132b and six of the TRAPPIST-1 planets. Dedicated campaigns to measure the atmospheres of these nine planets will allow us, for the first time, to probe formation and evolution processes of terrestrial planetary atmospheres beyond our solar system.

  15. Understanding the Role of Biology in the Global Environment: NASA'S Mission to Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, William F.

    1996-01-01

    NASA has long used the unique perspective of space as a means of expanding our understanding of how the Earth's environment functions. In particular, the linkages between land, air, water, and life-the elements of the Earth system-are a focus for NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. This approach, called Earth system science, blends together fields like meteorology, biology, oceanography, and atmospheric science. Mission to Planet Earth uses observations from satellites, aircraft, balloons, and ground researchers as the basis for analysis of the elements of the Earth system, the interactions between those elements, and possible changes over the coming years and decades. This information is helping scientists improve our understanding of how natural processes affect us and how we might be affecting them. Such studies will yield improved weather forecasts, tools for managing agriculture and forests, information for fishermen and local planners, and, eventually, an enhanced ability to predict how the climate will change in the future. NASA has designed Mission to Planet Earth to focus on five primary themes: Land Cover and Land Use Change; Seasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction; Natural Hazards; Long-Term Climate Variability; and Atmosphere Ozone.

  16. The Leonard Award Address: On the Difficulties of Making Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stuart Ross

    1999-05-01

    Here I discuss the series of events that led to the formation and evolution of our planet to examine why the Earth is unique in the solar system. A multitude of factors are involved. These begin with the initial size and angular momentum of the fragment that separated from a molecular cloud. These are crucial in determining whether a planetary system or a double star develops from the resulting nebula. Another requirement is that there must be an adequate concentration of heavy elements to provide the two percent 'rock' and 'ice' components of the original nebula. An essential step in forming rocky planets in the inner nebula is loss of gas and depletion of volatile elements due to early solar activity, that is linked to the mass of the central star. The lifetime of the gaseous nebula controls the formation of gas giants. In our system, fine timing was needed to form the gas giant, Jupiter before the gas in the nebula was depleted. Although Uranus and Neptune eventually formed cores large enough to capture gas, they missed out and ended as ice giants The early formation of Jupiter is responsible for the existence of the asteroid belt (and our supply of meteorites) and the small size of Mars while the gas giant now acts as a gravitational shield for the terrestrial planets. The Earth and the other inner planets accreted long after the giant planets in a gas-free inner nebula from volatile-depleted planetesimals that were probably already differentiated into metallic cores and silicate mantles. The accumulation of the Earth from such planetesimals was essentially a stochastic process, accounting for the differences among the four rocky inner planets including the startling contrast between those two apparent twins, Earth and Venus. Impact history and accretion of a few more or less planetesimals were apparently crucial. The origin of the Moon by a single massive impact with a body larger than Mars accounts for the obliquity (and its stability) and spin of the Earth

  17. A Population of planetary systems characterized by short-period, Earth-sized planets.

    PubMed

    Steffen, Jason H; Coughlin, Jeffrey L

    2016-10-25

    We analyze data from the Quarter 1-17 Data Release 24 (Q1-Q17 DR24) planet candidate catalog from NASA's Kepler mission, specifically comparing systems with single transiting planets to systems with multiple transiting planets, and identify a population of exoplanets with a necessarily distinct system architecture. Such an architecture likely indicates a different branch in their evolutionary past relative to the typical Kepler system. The key feature of these planetary systems is an isolated, Earth-sized planet with a roughly 1-d orbital period. We estimate that at least 24 of the 144 systems we examined ([Formula: see text]17%) are members of this population. Accounting for detection efficiency, such planetary systems occur with a frequency similar to the hot Jupiters.

  18. A Population of planetary systems characterized by short-period, Earth-sized planets

    PubMed Central

    Steffen, Jason H.; Coughlin, Jeffrey L.

    2016-01-01

    We analyze data from the Quarter 1–17 Data Release 24 (Q1–Q17 DR24) planet candidate catalog from NASA’s Kepler mission, specifically comparing systems with single transiting planets to systems with multiple transiting planets, and identify a population of exoplanets with a necessarily distinct system architecture. Such an architecture likely indicates a different branch in their evolutionary past relative to the typical Kepler system. The key feature of these planetary systems is an isolated, Earth-sized planet with a roughly 1-d orbital period. We estimate that at least 24 of the 144 systems we examined (≳17%) are members of this population. Accounting for detection efficiency, such planetary systems occur with a frequency similar to the hot Jupiters. PMID:27790984

  19. Searching for New Earths: Teaching Children How We Seek Distant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulliam, C.

    2008-06-01

    Teaching science to children ages 8-13 can be a great challenge, especially if you lack the resources for a full-blown audio/visual presentation. How do you hold their attention and get them involved? One method is to teach a topic no one else covers at this educational level: something exciting and up-to-the-minute, at the cutting edge of science. We developed an interactive 45-minute presentation to convey the two basic techniques used to locate planets orbiting other stars. Activities allowed children to hunt for their own planets in simulated data sets. We also stimulated their imagination by giving each child a take-home, multicolored marble ``planet'' and asking them to discuss their planet's characteristics. The resulting presentation ``Searching for New Earths'' could be adapted to a variety of educational settings.

  20. Dynamics of the Final Stages of Terrestrial Planet Growth and the Formation of the Earth-Moon System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rivera, Eugenio J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation, with emphasis on terrestrial planet accretion and the formation of the Earth-Moon system is presented. These models predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant impacts during the final stages of growth can produce large planetary satellites, such as Earth's Moon. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates.

  1. Atmospheric reconnaissance of the habitable-zone Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Wit, Julien; Wakeford, Hannah R.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Delrez, Laetitia; Gillon, Michaël; Selsis, Frank; Leconte, Jérémy; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Bolmont, Emeline; Bourrier, Vincent; Burgasser, Adam J.; Grimm, Simon; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Owen, James E.; Stamenković, Vlada; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2018-03-01

    Seven temperate Earth-sized exoplanets readily amenable for atmospheric studies transit the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (refs 1,2). Their atmospheric regime is unknown and could range from extended primordial hydrogen-dominated to depleted atmospheres3-6. Hydrogen in particular is a powerful greenhouse gas that may prevent the habitability of inner planets while enabling the habitability of outer ones6-8. An atmosphere largely dominated by hydrogen, if cloud-free, should yield prominent spectroscopic signatures in the near-infrared detectable during transits. Observations of the innermost planets have ruled out such signatures9. However, the outermost planets are more likely to have sustained such a Neptune-like atmosphere10, 11. Here, we report observations for the four planets within or near the system's habitable zone, the circumstellar region where liquid water could exist on a planetary surface12-14. These planets do not exhibit prominent spectroscopic signatures at near-infrared wavelengths either, which rules out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 d, e and f, with significance of 8σ, 6σ and 4σ, respectively. Such an atmosphere is instead not excluded for planet g. As high-altitude clouds and hazes are not expected in hydrogen-dominated atmospheres around planets with such insolation15, 16, these observations further support their terrestrial and potentially habitable nature.

  2. Planetary Defense: Catastrophic Health Insurance for Planet Earth

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1996-10-01

    unclassified, and is cleared for public release. iii Contents Chapter Page Disclaimer...7Ekronkg/1996_B2.html. 5 Bob Kobres, “Meteor Defense,” Whole Earth Review (Fall 1987): 70–73. 6 Victor Clube and Bill Napier, Cosmic Winter ( Basil ...li, China - Whole family crushed to death. 06/30/1908 Tunguska, Siberia - Fire, 2 people killed. (referenced throughout paper) 04/28/1927 Aba , Japan

  3. The chlorine abundance of Earth: Implications for a habitable planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, Z. D.; Draper, D. S.

    2013-05-01

    The Cl, Br and I contents of Earth are depleted by a factor of 10 relative to predicted values from chondritic and solar abundances. Possible explanations for the apparent discrepancy include (1) unrecognized sequestration of Cl in the core, (2) a much higher nebular volatility than normally presumed or (3) a preferential loss of the heavy halogens during planetary accretion. We tested the first assumption by conducting high pressure-temperature equilibration experiments between silicate and metal. At 15 GPa and 1900 °C, the DCl(metal-silicate) value for Cl is less than 0.007, indicating that the core is not a significant reservoir for Cl. The concentration of Cl in all chondritic classes follows a depletion trend very similar to that of Na and Mn, arguing against a low condensation temperature for Cl. Instead, we propose that the depletion of the heavy halogens is due to their unique hydrophilic behavior. Almost half of Earth's Cl and Br inventory resides in the ocean and evaporites, demonstrating the unique affinity for aqueous solutions for these elements. During planetary accretion, there would have been a strong sequestration of halogens into the crustal reservoir. 'Collisional erosion' during planetary accretion provides a mechanism that would uniquely strip the heavy halogens out of an accreting Earth. Had such loss not occurred, the salinity of the oceans would be 10× the present value, and complex life would probably never have evolved.

  4. Kepler Mission: A Mission to Find Earth-size Planets in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, W. J.

    2003-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is a Discovery-class mission designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. It is a wide field of view photometer Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs. It has a 0.95 m aperture and 1.4 m primary and is designed to attain a photometric precision of 2 parts in 10(exp 5) for 12th magnitude solar-like stars for a 6 hr transit duration. It will continuously observe 100,000 main-sequence stars from 9th to 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation for a period of four years with a cadence of 4/hour. An additional 250 stars can be monitored at a cadence of l/minute to do astro-seismology of stars brighter than 11.5 mv. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. When combined with ground-based spectrometric observations of these stars, the positions of the planets relative to the habitable zone can be found. The spectra of the stars are also used to determine the relationships between the characteristics of terrestrial planets and the characteristics of the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. Based on the results of the current Doppler-velocity discoveries, over a thousand giant planets will also be found. Information on the albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of Earth-size planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ are very rare and that life might also be quite rare.

  5. The effect of lunarlike satellites on the orbital infrared light curves of Earth-analog planets.

    PubMed

    Moskovitz, Nicholas A; Gaidos, Eric; Williams, Darren M

    2009-04-01

    We have investigated the influence of lunarlike satellites on the infrared orbital light curves of Earth-analog extrasolar planets. Such light curves will be obtained by NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and ESA's Darwin missions as a consequence of repeat observations to confirm the companion status of a putative planet and determine its orbit. We used an energy balance model to calculate disk-averaged infrared (bolometric) fluxes from planet-satellite systems over a full orbital period (one year). The satellites are assumed to lack an atmosphere, have a low thermal inertia like that of the Moon, and span a range of plausible radii. The planets are assumed to have thermal and orbital properties that mimic those of Earth, while their obliquities and orbital longitudes of inferior conjunction remain free parameters. Even if the gross thermal properties of the planet can be independently constrained (e.g., via spectroscopy or visible-wavelength detection of specular glint from a surface ocean), only the largest (approximately Mars-sized) lunarlike satellites can be detected by light curve data from a TPF-like instrument (i.e., one that achieves a photometric signal-to-noise ratio of 10 to 20 at infrared wavelengths). Nondetection of a lunarlike satellite can obfuscate the interpretation of a given system's infrared light curve so that it may resemble a single planet with high obliquity, different orbital longitude of vernal equinox relative to inferior conjunction, and in some cases drastically different thermal characteristics. If the thermal properties of the planet are not independently established, then the presence of a lunarlike satellite cannot be inferred from infrared data, which would thus demonstrate that photometric light curves alone can only be used for preliminary study, and the addition of spectroscopic data will be necessary.

  6. Water-rich planets: How habitable is a water layer deeper than on Earth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, L.; Höning, D.; Rivoldini, A.; Heistracher, C.; Zimov, N.; Journaux, B.; Lammer, H.; Van Hoolst, T.; Bredehöft, J. H.

    2016-10-01

    Water is necessary for the origin and survival of life as we know it. In the search for life-friendly worlds, water-rich planets therefore are obvious candidates and have attracted increasing attention in recent years. The surface H2O layer on such planets (containing a liquid water ocean and possibly high-pressure ice below a specific depth) could potentially be hundreds of kilometres deep depending on the water content and the evolution of the proto-atmosphere. We study possible constraints for the habitability of deep water layers and introduce a new habitability classification relevant for water-rich planets (from Mars-size to super-Earth-size planets). A new ocean model has been developed that is coupled to a thermal evolution model of the mantle and core. Our interior structure model takes into account depth-dependent thermodynamic properties and the possible formation of high-pressure ice. We find that heat flowing out of the silicate mantle can melt an ice layer from below (in some cases episodically), depending mainly on the thickness of the ocean-ice shell, the mass of the planet, the surface temperature and the interior parameters (e.g. radioactive mantle heat sources). The high pressure at the bottom of deep water-ice layers could also impede volcanism at the water-mantle boundary for both stagnant lid and plate tectonics silicate shells. We conclude that water-rich planets with a deep ocean, a large planet mass, a high average density or a low surface temperature are likely less habitable than planets with an Earth-like ocean.

  7. Making Nature's Wisdom Public: The Affirmation of Planet Earth as a Living Organism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Michael J.

    Planet Earth is a living organism that preserves and regenerates itself and shares information with humans through sensations, feelings, and actions. After early humans migrated from their tropical origins to colder climates, they developed technologies to impose their tropical memories on their new surroundings and lost touch with their ancient…

  8. Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with Earth's Smallest Settlers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cwikla, Julie; Milroy, Scott; Reider, David; Skelton, Tara

    2014-01-01

    Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with the Earth's Smallest Settlers (http://pioneeringmars.org) provides a partnership model for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning that brings university scientists together with high school students to investigate whether cyanobacteria from Antarctica could survive on…

  9. Ozone concentrations and ultraviolet fluxes on Earth-like planets around other stars.

    PubMed

    Segura, Antígona; Krelove, Kara; Kasting, James F; Sommerlatt, Darrell; Meadows, Victoria; Crisp, David; Cohen, Martin; Mlawer, Eli

    2003-01-01

    Coupled radiative-convective/photochemical modeling was performed for Earth-like planets orbiting different types of stars (the Sun as a G2V, an F2V, and a K2V star). O(2) concentrations between 1 and 10(-5) times the present atmospheric level (PAL) were simulated. The results were used to calculate visible/near-IR and thermal-IR spectra, along with surface UV fluxes and relative dose rates for erythema and DNA damage. For the spectral resolution and sensitivity currently planned for the first generation of terrestrial planet detection and characterization missions, we find that O(2) should be observable remotely in the visible for atmospheres containing at least 10(-2) PAL of O(2). O(3) should be visible in the thermal-IR for atmospheres containing at least 10(-3) PAL of O(2). CH(4) is not expected to be observable in 1 PAL O(2) atmospheres like that of modern Earth, but it might be observable at thermal-IR wavelengths in "mid-Proterozoic-type" atmospheres containing approximately 10(-1) PAL of O(2). Thus, the simultaneous detection of both O(3) and CH(4) - considered to be a reliable indication of life - is within the realm of possibility. High-O(2) planets orbiting K2V and F2V stars are both better protected from surface UV radiation than is modern Earth. For the F2V case the high intrinsic UV luminosity of the star is more than offset by the much thicker ozone layer. At O(2) levels below approximately 10(-2) PAL, planets around all three types of stars are subject to high surface UV fluxes, with the F2V planet exhibiting the most biologically dangerous radiation environment. Thus, while advanced life is theoretically possible on high-O(2) planets around F stars, it is not obvious that it would evolve as it did on Earth.

  10. 10 years with Planet Earth essence in the primary school children drawings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Addezio, Giuliana

    2016-04-01

    "10 years with Planet Earth" is the title of the 2016 INGV calendar for primary schools representing the review of a project conceived as support and complement of 15 years long INGV dissemination activities with schools. We realized 10 calendars together with and for primary schools, every year with a subject related to a World in constant evolution. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami waves, magnetic storms and other phenomena are manifestations of the complexity and dynamicity, which began more than four billion years ago and never halted. Since the Earth originated to the first presence of water, life and oxygen, the Cambrian explosion of species, the domain of dinosaurs, the great extinctions and glaciations, the surface of our planet experiences continents collisions, mountains and oceans formation and life forms emerging and disappearing. Every year we have launched a competition asking children to send drawings on themes chosen to stimulate learning about Earth Sciences and Planet Earth dynamics. We intended to raise awareness on issues as water resources availability, protection against natural disasters and control of environmental degradation. For each competition, we chose the most significant drawings to be included in the yearly calendar about the Earth. The authors of drawings were awarded by scientists, journalists, artists and science communicators and even by a minister. Besides the competitions, these drawings depict their own impressions and reflections, providing an opportunity to illustrate the children's point of view. From drawings and texts arise a great consideration and respect for the Planet, raising hopes that similar initiatives can contribute to increase the knowledge of the Earth and of the fragile human ecosystem in the hearts and minds of future active citizens. The project was made possible thanks to the teachers and to the wonderful students of more than 200 schools that sent about 10,000 drawings that have intrigued

  11. UV SURFACE ENVIRONMENT OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING FGKM STARS THROUGH GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

    SciT

    Rugheimer, S.; Sasselov, D.; Segura, A.

    2015-06-10

    The UV environment of a host star affects the photochemistry in the atmosphere, and ultimately the surface UV environment for terrestrial planets and therefore the conditions for the origin and evolution of life. We model the surface UV radiation environment for Earth-sized planets orbiting FGKM stars in the circumstellar Habitable Zone for Earth through its geological evolution. We explore four different types of atmospheres corresponding to an early-Earth atmosphere at 3.9 Gyr ago and three atmospheres covering the rise of oxygen to present-day levels at 2.0 Gyr ago, 0.8 Gyr ago, and modern Earth. In addition to calculating the UVmore » flux on the surface of the planet, we model the biologically effective irradiance, using DNA damage as a proxy for biological damage. We find that a pre-biotic Earth (3.9 Gyr ago) orbiting an F0V star receives 6 times the biologically effective radiation as around the early Sun and 3520 times the modern Earth–Sun levels. A pre-biotic Earth orbiting GJ 581 (M3.5 V) receives 300 times less biologically effective radiation, about 2 times modern Earth–Sun levels. The UV fluxes calculated here provide a grid of model UV environments during the evolution of an Earth-like planet orbiting a range of stars. These models can be used as inputs into photo-biological experiments and for pre-biotic chemistry and early life evolution experiments.« less

  12. Planet Within a Planet: Rotation of the Inner Core of Earth

    PubMed

    Su; Dziewonski; Jeanloz

    1996-12-13

    The time dependence of the orientation of Earth's inner core relative to the mantle was determined using a recently discovered 10-degree tilt in the axis of symmetry of the inner core's seismic-velocity anisotropy. Two methods of analyzing travel-time variations for rays traversing the inner core, on the basis of 29 years of data from the International Seismological Centre (1964-1992), reveal that the inner core appears to rotate about 3 degrees per year faster than the mantle. An anomalous variation in inner-core orientation from 1969 to 1973 coincides in time with a sudden change ("jerk") in the geomagnetic field.

  13. The Thermal States of Accreting Planets: From Mars-like Embryos to a MAD Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, S. T.; Lock, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    The thermal states of rocky planets can vary widely during the process of accretion. The thermal structure affects several major processes on the growing planet, including the mechanics of core formation, pressure-temperature conditions for metal-silicate equilibration, mixing, and atmospheric erosion. Because impact energy is distributed heterogeneously, accretional energy is preferentially deposited in the gravitationally re-equilibrated outer layers of the planet for both small and giant impacts. The resulting stably stratified structure inhibits complete mixing within the mantle. Initially, the specific energy of giant impacts between Mars-mass embryos leads to melting of the mantle. However, as planet formation progresses, the specific energies of giant impacts increase and can drive the mantle into a transient supercritical state. In the hottest regions of the planet, metal and silicates are miscible, and metal exsolution occurs as the structure cools. The cooling time of the supercritical structure is typically longer than the timescale for metal segregation to the core. Thus, these high temperature excursions during planet formation are significant for understanding metal-silicate equilibration. Furthermore, when a supercritical planet is also rapidly rotating, the mantle, atmosphere and disk (MAD) form a continuous dynamic and thermodynamic structure. Lunar origin by condensation from a MAD Earth can explain the major characteristics of the Moon (Lock et al., this meeting). One of the greatest uncertainties in understanding the thermal states of planets during accretion is the changing composition and mass of the atmosphere. After the dispersal of the solar nebula, the thermal boundary condition imposed by the atmosphere can vary between silicate vapor and condensed ices. The coupled problem of atmospheric origin and planetary accretion can be used to constrain the many uncertainties in the growth and divergence of the terrestrial planets in our solar

  14. Spectra of Earth-like Planets through Geological Evolution around FGKM Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rugheimer, S.; Kaltenegger, L.

    2018-02-01

    Future observations of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres will occur for planets at different stages of geological evolution. We expect to observe a wide variety of atmospheres and planets with alternative evolutionary paths, with some planets resembling Earth at different epochs. For an Earth-like atmospheric time trajectory, we simulate planets from the prebiotic to the current atmosphere based on geological data. We use a stellar grid F0V to M8V ({T}{eff}=7000–2400 K) to model four geological epochs of Earth's history corresponding to a prebiotic world (3.9 Ga), the rise of oxygen at 2.0 Ga and at 0.8 Ga, and the modern Earth. We show the VIS–IR spectral features, with a focus on biosignatures through geological time for this grid of Sun-like host stars and the effect of clouds on their spectra. We find that the observability of biosignature gases reduces with increasing cloud cover and increases with planetary age. The observability of the visible O2 feature for lower concentrations will partly depend on clouds, which, while slightly reducing the feature, increase the overall reflectivity, and thus the detectable flux of a planet. The depth of the IR ozone feature contributes substantially to the opacity at lower oxygen concentrations, especially for the high near-UV stellar environments around F stars. Our results are a grid of model spectra for atmospheres representative of Earth's geological history to inform future observations and instrument design and are available online at http://carlsaganinstitute.org/data/.

  15. Effect of UV Radiation on the Spectral Fingerprints of Earth-like Planets Orbiting M Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rugheimer, S.; Kaltenegger, L.; Segura, A.; Linsky, J.; Mohanty, S.

    2015-08-01

    We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with Teff = 2300 K to Teff = 3800 K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data. We set the Earth-like planets at the 1 AU equivalent distance and show spectra from the visible to IR (0.4-20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future ground- and spaced-based missions to characterize exo-Earths. We focus on the effect of UV activity levels on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. To observe signatures of life—O2/O3 in combination with reducing species like CH4—we find that early and active M dwarfs are the best targets of the M star grid for future telescopes. The O2 spectral feature at 0.76 μm is increasingly difficult to detect in reflected light of later M dwarfs owing to low stellar flux in that wavelength region. N2O, another biosignature detectable in the IR, builds up to observable concentrations in our planetary models around M dwarfs with low UV flux. CH3Cl could become detectable, depending on the depth of the overlapping N2O feature. We present a spectral database of Earth-like planets around cool stars for directly imaged planets as a framework for interpreting future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone to design and assess future telescope capabilities.

  16. Two drastically different climate states on an Earth-like terra-planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalidindi, Sirisha; Reick, Christian H.; Raddatz, Thomas; Claussen, Martin

    2018-06-01

    We study an Earth-like terra-planet (water-limited terrestrial planet) with an overland recycling mechanism bringing fresh water back from the high latitudes to the low latitudes. By performing model simulations for such a planet we find two drastically different climate states for the same set of boundary conditions and parameter values: a cold and wet (CW) state with dominant low-latitude precipitation and a hot and dry (HD) state with only high-latitude precipitation. We notice that for perpetual equinox conditions, both climate states are stable below a certain threshold value of background soil albedo while above the threshold only the CW state is stable. Starting from the HD state and increasing background soil albedo above the threshold causes an abrupt shift from the HD state to the CW state resulting in a sudden cooling of about 35 °C globally, which is of the order of the temperature difference between present day and the Snowball Earth state. When albedo starting from the CW state is reduced down to zero the terra-planet does not shift back to the HD state (no closed hysteresis). This is due to the high cloud cover in the CW state hiding the surface from solar irradiation so that surface albedo has only a minor effect on the top of the atmosphere radiation balance. Additional simulations with present-day Earth's obliquity all lead to the CW state, suggesting a similar abrupt transition from the HD state to the CW state when increasing obliquity from zero. Our study also has implications for the habitability of Earth-like terra-planets. At the inner edge of the habitable zone, the higher cloud cover in the CW state cools the planet and may prevent the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. At the outer edge, the resupply of water at low latitudes stabilizes the greenhouse effect and keeps the planet in the HD state and may prevent water from getting trapped at high latitudes in frozen form. Overall, the existence of bistability in the presence of an

  17. Star Masses and Star-Planet Distances for Earth-like Habitability.

    PubMed

    Waltham, David

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0.65 solar masses since, otherwise, Earth would be an extremely atypical inhabited world. It is difficult to remove this anomaly using the assumption that poor habitability of planets orbiting low-mass stars results from unfavorable radiation regimes either before, or after, their stars enter the main sequence. However, the anomaly is well explained if poor habitability results from tidal locking of planets in the HZs of small stars. The expected host-star mass for planets with intelligent life then has a 95% confidence range of 0.78 M ⊙ < M < 1.04 M ⊙ , and the range for planets with at least simple life is 0.57 M ⊙  < M < 1.64 M ⊙ . Key Words: Habitability-Habitable zone-Anthropic-Red dwarfs-Initial mass function. Astrobiology 17, 61-77.

  18. Star Masses and Star-Planet Distances for Earth-like Habitability

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Abstract This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0.65 solar masses since, otherwise, Earth would be an extremely atypical inhabited world. It is difficult to remove this anomaly using the assumption that poor habitability of planets orbiting low-mass stars results from unfavorable radiation regimes either before, or after, their stars enter the main sequence. However, the anomaly is well explained if poor habitability results from tidal locking of planets in the HZs of small stars. The expected host-star mass for planets with intelligent life then has a 95% confidence range of 0.78 M⊙ < M < 1.04 M⊙, and the range for planets with at least simple life is 0.57 M⊙ < M < 1.64 M⊙. Key Words: Habitability—Habitable zone—Anthropic—Red dwarfs—Initial mass function. Astrobiology 17, 61–77. PMID:28103107

  19. AN ANCIENT EXTRASOLAR SYSTEM WITH FIVE SUB-EARTH-SIZE PLANETS

    SciT

    Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Chaplin, W. J.

    The chemical composition of stars hosting small exoplanets (with radii less than four Earth radii) appears to be more diverse than that of gas-giant hosts, which tend to be metal-rich. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the universe's history when metals were more scarce. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of Kepler-444, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk and the host to a compact system of five transiting planets with sizes between those of Mercury and Venus. We validate this system as a true five-planetmore » system orbiting the target star and provide a detailed characterization of its planetary and orbital parameters based on an analysis of the transit photometry. Kepler-444 is the densest star with detected solar-like oscillations. We use asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that Kepler-444 formed when the universe was less than 20% of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the universe's 13.8 billion year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy. The age of Kepler-444 not only suggests that thick-disk stars were among the hosts to the first Galactic planets, but may also help to pinpoint the beginning of the era of planet formation.« less

  20. Discovery of Temperate Earth-Sized Planets Transiting a Nearby Ultracool Dwarf Star

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jehin, Emmanuel; Gillon, Michael; Lederer, Susan M.; Delrez, Laetitia; De Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valerie; Burgasser, Adam; Triaud, Amaury; Demory, Brice-Olivier; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star using data collected by the Liège TRAPPIST telescope, located in la Silla (Chile). TRAPPIST-1 is an isolated M8.0+/-0.5-type dwarf star at a distance of 12.0+/-0.4 parsecs as measured by its trigonometric parallax, with an age constrained to be > 500 Myr, and with a luminosity, mass, and radius of 0.05%, 8% and 11.5% those of the Sun, respectively. The small size of the host star, only slightly larger than Jupiter, translates into Earth-like radii for the three discovered planets, as deduced from their transit depths. The inner two planets receive four and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Several orbits remain possible for the third planet based on our current data. The infrared brightness of the host star combined with its Jupiter-like size offer the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system.

  1. Kepler: NASA's First Mission Capable of Finding Earth-Size Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, William J.

    2009-01-01

    Kepler, a NASA Discovery mission, is a spaceborne telescope designed to search a nearby region of our galaxy for Earth-size planets orbiting in the habitable zone of stars like our sun. The habitable zone is that region around a start where the temperature permits water to be liquid on the surface of a planet. Liquid water is considered essential forth existence of life. Mission Phases: Six mission phases have been defined to describe the different periods of activity during Kepler's mission. These are: launch; commissioning; early science operations, science operations: and decommissioning

  2. Earth observations during Space Shuttle mission STS-45 Mission to Planet Earth - March 24-April 2, 1992

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pitts, David E.; Helfert, Michael R.; Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Mckay, Mary F.; Whitehead, Victor S.; Amsbury, David L.; Bremer, Jeffrey; Ackleson, Steven G.; Evans, Cynthia A.; Wilkinson, M. J.

    1992-01-01

    A description is presented of the activities and results of the Space Shuttle mission STS-45, known as the Mission to Planet Earth. Observations of Mount St. Helens, Manila Bay and Mt. Pinatubo, the Great Salt Lake, the Aral Sea, and the Siberian cities of Troitsk and Kuybyshev are examined. The geological features and effects of human activity seen in photographs of these areas are pointed out.

  3. Collisionless shock structures of Earth and other planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenstadt, Eugene W.; Moses, Stewart L.

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the closing segment of our multi-spacecraft, multi-instrument study of collisionless shock structure. In this last year of our study, we have necessarily concentrated on subjects that limited time and remaining resources could be expected to bring to reasonable stopping points, if not full conclusions. Our attention has been focused therefore on matters that were either well underway when the year began or that could be expected to yield rapidly completed reports publishable quickly in abbreviated versions. Contemporary publication delays prevent any new initiatives from reaching the literature within the year in the best of circumstances. The topics that fell into these categories were detailed plasma wave (pw) phenomenology in slow shocks in the Earth's distant geomagnetic tail, instantaneous orientations of theta(sub Bn) in quasiparallel (Q(sub parallel)) shock structure, and a comprehensive overview of the relationship between structural ULF waves in the Qll shock environment and waves in the magnetosphere, i.e. geomagnetic ULF pulsations. The remainder of this report describes our freshly completed results, discusses two related investigations of pw waves in the foreshock and magnetosheath, and appends the abstracts of published papers and the texts of papers in press.

  4. Environmental microbiology to the rescue of planet earth.

    PubMed

    de Lorenzo, Víctor

    2018-03-24

    Environmental Microbiology has undergone a dramatic transition from being a somewhat marginal branch of Life Sciences to becoming one of the most vibrant and visible areas of contemporary research. The homonymous journal has not only borne witness of the growing interest in environmental microbes that bloomed since the mid-1980s but it has helped also to give visibility to the field and nucleate an active and influential community of authors and readers. During the past 20 years the focus has shifted from individual isolates to communities and microbiomes, from single genomes to metagenomes and from small/medium-scale experimental systems to large/very large scenarios. New challenges that were somewhat marginal when the journal was founded have acquired an unanticipated relevance owing to their impact on the global Earth's homeostasis. They include the unacceptably high atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, the worrying pollution of the oceans with very recalcitrant plastics and microplastics and the noxious effects of micropollutants on many ecosystems. Global problems ask for global solutions and the environmental microbiome - because of its dimension and its amazing activities - may end up being out best instrument to both counter the impact of industrial development and enable a new, sustainable partnership with Nature. © 2018 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. A comprehensive mission to planet Earth: Woods Hole Space Science and Applications Advisory Committee Planning Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The NASA program Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is described in this set of visuals presented in Massachusetts on July 29, 1991. The problem presented in this document is that the earth system is changing and that human activity accelerates the rate of change resulting in increased greenhouse gases, decreasing levels of stratospheric ozone, acid rain, deforestation, decreasing biodiversity, and overpopulation. Various national and international organizations are coordinating global change research. The complementary space observations for this activity are sun-synchronous polar orbits, low-inclination, low altitude orbits, geostationary orbits, and ground measurements. The Geostationary Earth Observatory is the major proposed mission of MTPE. Other proposed missions are EOS Synthetic Aperture Radar, ARISTOTELES Magnetic Field Experiment, and the Global Topography Mission. Use of the NASA DC-8 aircraft is outlined as carrying out the Airborne Science and Applications Program. Approved Earth Probes Program include the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS). Other packages for earth observation are described.

  6. The most conserved genome segments for life detection on Earth and other planets.

    PubMed

    Isenbarger, Thomas A; Carr, Christopher E; Johnson, Sarah Stewart; Finney, Michael; Church, George M; Gilbert, Walter; Zuber, Maria T; Ruvkun, Gary

    2008-12-01

    On Earth, very simple but powerful methods to detect and classify broad taxa of life by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are now standard practice. Using DNA primers corresponding to the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, one can survey a sample from any environment for its microbial inhabitants. Due to massive meteoritic exchange between Earth and Mars (as well as other planets), a reasonable case can be made for life on Mars or other planets to be related to life on Earth. In this case, the supremely sensitive technologies used to study life on Earth, including in extreme environments, can be applied to the search for life on other planets. Though the 16S gene has become the standard for life detection on Earth, no genome comparisons have established that the ribosomal genes are, in fact, the most conserved DNA segments across the kingdoms of life. We present here a computational comparison of full genomes from 13 diverse organisms from the Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya to identify genetic sequences conserved across the widest divisions of life. Our results identify the 16S and 23S ribosomal RNA genes as well as other universally conserved nucleotide sequences in genes encoding particular classes of transfer RNAs and within the nucleotide binding domains of ABC transporters as the most conserved DNA sequence segments across phylogeny. This set of sequences defines a core set of DNA regions that have changed the least over billions of years of evolution and provides a means to identify and classify divergent life, including ancestrally related life on other planets.

  7. Migrating Jupiter up to the habitable zone: Earth-like planet formation and water delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darriba, L. A.; de Elía, G. C.; Guilera, O. M.; Brunini, A.

    2017-11-01

    Context. Several observational works have shown the existence of Jupiter-mass planets covering a wide range of semi-major axes around Sun-like stars. Aims: We aim to analyse the planetary formation processes around Sun-like stars that host a Jupiter-mass planet at intermediate distances ranging from 1 au to 2 au. Our study focusses on the formation and evolution of terrestrial-like planets and water delivery in the habitable zone (HZ) of the system. Our goal is also to analyse the long-term dynamical stability of the resulting systems. Methods: A semi-analytic model was used to define the properties of a protoplanetary disk that produces a Jupiter-mass planet around the snow line, which is located at 2.7 au for a solar-mass star. Then, it was used to describe the evolution of embryos and planetesimals during the gaseous phase up to the formation of the Jupiter-mass planet, and we used the results as the initial conditions to carry out N-body simulations of planetary accretion. We developed sixty N-body simulations to describe the dynamical processes involved during and after the migration of the gas giant. Results: Our simulations produce three different classes of planets in the HZ: "water worlds", with masses between 2.75 M⊕ and 3.57 M⊕ and water contents of 58% and 75% by mass, terrestrial-like planets, with masses ranging from 0.58 M⊕ to 3.8 M⊕ and water contents less than 1.2% by mass, and "dry worlds", simulations of which show no water. A relevant result suggests the efficient coexistence in the HZ of a Jupiter-mass planet and a terrestrial-like planet with a percentage of water by mass comparable to the Earth. Moreover, our study indicates that these planetary systems are dynamically stable for at least 1 Gyr. Conclusions: Systems with a Jupiter-mass planet located at 1.5-2 au around solar-type stars are of astrobiological interest. These systems are likely to harbour terrestrial-like planets in the HZ with a wide diversity of water contents.

  8. FRESIP: A Discovery Mission Concept To Find Earth-Sized Planets Around Solar Like Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, William; Koch, D.; Dunham, E.; Cullers, D.; Webster, L.; Granados, A.; Ford, C.; Reitsema, H.; Cochran, W.; Bell, J.; hide

    1994-01-01

    The current nebular theory postulates that planets are. a consequence of the formation of stars from viscous accretion disks. Condensation from the accretion disk favors the formation of small rocky planets in the hot inner region, and the formation of gas giants in the cool outer region. Consequently, terrestrial-type planet in inner orbits should be commonplace. From geometrical considerations , Borucki and Summers have shown that 1% of planetary systems resembling our solar system should show transits for Earth-sized (or larger) planets. Thus a photometric satellite that uses a wide field of view telescope and a large detector array to simultaneously monitor 5000 target stars should detect 50 planetary systems. To differentiate regularly recurring transits from statistical fluctuations of the stellar flux, one must observe over several orbital periods so that the false positive rate can be reduced to one event or less. A one-meter aperture telescope placed in a halo orbit about either the L1 or L2 Lagrange points and viewing perpendicular to both the orbital and ecliptic planes can view continuously for the required period because neither the Sun, Earth, or Moon would enter the field of view. Model calculations show that the observations should provide statistically significant estimates of the distributions of planetary size, orbital radius, coplanarity, and the frequency of planetary systems that have Earth-sized planets in inner orbits. Because approximately one half of the star systems observed will be binary systems, the frequency of planetary systems orbiting either one or both of the stars can also be determined.

  9. The Stability of Hydrogen-Rich Atmospheres of Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Understanding hydrogen escape is essential to understanding the limits to habitability, both for liquid water where the Sun is bright, but also to assess the true potential of H2 as a greenhouse gas where the Sun is faint. Hydrogen-rich primary atmospheres of Earth-like planets can result either from gravitational capture of solar nebular gases (with helium), or from impact shock processing of a wide variety of volatile-rich planetesimals (typically accompanied by H2O, CO2, and under the right circumstances, CH4). Most studies of hydrogen escape from planets focus on determining how fast the hydrogen escapes. In general this requires solving hydro- dynamic equations that take into account the acceleration of hydrogen through a critical transonic point and an energy budget that should include radiative heating and cooling, thermal conduction, the work done in lifting the hydrogen against gravity, and the residual heat carried by the hydrogen as it leaves. But for planets from which hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which is much simpler, and for which a relatively full-featured treatment of radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ is straightforward. Previous work has overlooked the fact that the H2 molecule is extremely efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, and thus that radiative cooling can be markedly more efficient when H2 is abundant. We map out the region of phase space in which terrestrial planets keep hydrogen-rich atmospheres, which is what we actually want to know for habitability. We will use this framework to reassess Tian et al's hypothesis that H2-rich atmospheres may have been rather long-lived on Earth itself. Finally, we will address the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than 1.6 Earth radii.

  10. US National Committee for the International Year of the Planet Earth: Plans and Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, J. W.

    2007-12-01

    The International Year of the Planet Earth, as proclaimed by Resolution 60/192 of the United Nations General Assembly at its 60th Session, is a 3-year event (2007-2009) aimed at promoting the contribution to sustainable development of society by using geoscience knowledge and information. It is a joint initiative by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS and UNESCO. The US National Committee (USNC) for the International Year of the Planet Earth is responsible for developing national science and outreach activities that contribute to the success of the global awareness on the use of geosociety for society. The USNC plans for a launch activity early in 2008 and a national outreach activity in the fall. Various US based geoscience societies and federal agencies will be conducting IYPE branded activities in support of the year.

  11. Kepler False Positive Rate & Occurrence of Earth-size and Larger Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fressin, Francois; Torres, G.; Charbonneau, D.; Kepler Team

    2013-01-01

    We model the Kepler exoplanet survey targets and their background stars to estimate the occurrence of astrophysical configurations which could mimic an exoplanetary transit. Using real noise level estimates, we compute the number and the characteristics of detectable eclipsing pairs involving stars or planets. We select the fraction of those that would pass the Kepler candidate vetting procedure, including the modeling of the centroid shift of their position on the Kepler camera. By comparing their distribution with that of the Kepler Object Interests from the first 6 quarters of Kepler data, we quantify the false positive rate of Kepler, as a function of candidate planet size and period. Most importantly, this approach allows quantifying and characterizing the distribution of planets, with no assumption of any prior, as the remaining population of the Kepler candidate list minus the simulated population of alternate astrophysical causes. We study the actual detection recovery rate for Kepler that allows reproducing both the KOI size and period distribution as well as their SNR distribution. We estimate the occurrence of planets down to Earth-size, and study if their frequency is correlated with their host star spectral type. This work is supported by the Spitzer General Observer Proposal #80117 - Validating the First Habitable-Zone Planet Candidates Identified by the NASA Kepler Mission, and by the Kepler Participating Scientist Contract led by David Charbonneau, to confirm the planetary nature of candidates identified by the Kepler mission

  12. A statistical look at the retrieval of exoplanetary atmospheres of super Earths and giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocchetto, Marco; Waldmann, Ingo Peter; Tinetti, Giovanna; Yurchenko, Sergey; Tennyson, Jonathan

    2015-08-01

    Over the past decades transit spectroscopy has become one of the pioneering methods to characterise exoplanetary atmospheres. With the increasing number of observations, and the advent of new ground and spaced based instruments, it is now crucial to find the most optimal and objective methodologies to interpret these data, and understand the information content they convey. This is particularly true for smaller and fainter super Earth type planets.In this conference we will present a new take on the spectral retrieval of transiting planets, with particular focus on super Earth atmospheres. TauREx (Waldmann et al. 2015a,b.) is a new line-by-line radiative transfer atmospheric retrieval framework for transmission and emission spectroscopy of exoplanetary atmospheres, optimised for hot Jupiters and super Earths. The code has been built from scratch with the ideas of scalability, flexibility and automation. This allows to run retrievals with minimum user input that can be scaled to large cluster computing. Priors on the number and types of molecules considered are automatically determined using a custom built pattern recognition algorithm able to identify the most likely absorbers/emitters in the exoplanetary spectra, minimising the human bias in selecting the major atmospheric constituents.Using these tools, we investigate the impact of signal to noise, spectral resolution and wavelength coverage on the retrievability of individual model parameters from transit spectra of super Earths, and put our models to test (Rocchetto et al. 2015). Characterisation of the atmospheres of super Earths through transit spectroscopy is paramount, as it can provide an indirect - and so far unique - way to probe the nature of these planets. For the first time we analyse in a systematic way large grids of spectra generated for different observing scenarios. We perform thousands of retrievals aimed to fully map the degeneracies and understand the statistics of current exoplanetary

  13. Understanding Divergent Evolution Among Earth-like Planets, the Case for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, D.

    2001-11-01

    Venus was once considered to be Earth's twin because of its similar size, mass, and solar distance. Prevailing theories early in the 20th century alternately characterized it as a hot, lifeless desert or a cool, habitable swamp. Venus was therefore the target of intense scrutiny during the first three decades of the space age. Those studies found that although Venus and Earth apparently formed in similar parts of the solar nebula, sharing common inventories of refractory and volatile constituents, these two planets followed dramatically different evolutionary paths. While the Earth evolved into the only known oasis for life, Venus developed an almost unimaginably inhospitable environment for such an Earth-like planet. Some features of Venus can be understood as products of its location in the solar system, but other properties and processes governing the evolution and present state of its interior, surface, and climate remain mysterious or even contradictory. A more comprehensive understanding of these factors is clearly essential as NASA embarks on efforts to detect and then characterize Earth-like planets in other solar systems. As part of the National Research Council's effort to identify themes and priorities for solar system exploration over the next decade, an open community panel was formed to provide input on future Venus exploration. A comprehensive investigation of the processes driving the divergent evolution of Venus is emerging as the primary focus. In other words, why is Venus a failed Earth? From this theme, we will define specific measurement objectives, instrument requirements, and mission requirements. Priorities will then be based on a number of factors including the needs for simultaneous or correlative measurements, technology readiness, and available opportunities.

  14. False Negatives for Remote Life Detection on Ocean-Bearing Planets: Lessons from the Early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reinhard, Christopher T.; Olson, Stephanie L.; Schwieterman, Edward W.; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2017-04-01

    Ocean-atmosphere chemistry on Earth has undergone dramatic evolutionary changes throughout its long history, with potentially significant ramifications for the emergence and long-term stability of atmospheric biosignatures. Though a great deal of work has centered on refining our understanding of false positives for remote life detection, much less attention has been paid to the possibility of false negatives, that is, cryptic biospheres that are widespread and active on a planet's surface but are ultimately undetectable or difficult to detect in the composition of a planet's atmosphere. Here, we summarize recent developments from geochemical proxy records and Earth system models that provide insight into the long-term evolution of the most readily detectable potential biosignature gases on Earth - oxygen (O2), ozone (O3), and methane (CH4). We suggest that the canonical O2-CH4 disequilibrium biosignature would perhaps have been challenging to detect remotely during Earth's ˜4.5-billion-year history and that in general atmospheric O2/O3 levels have been a poor proxy for the presence of Earth's biosphere for all but the last ˜500 million years. We further suggest that detecting atmospheric CH4 would have been problematic for most of the last ˜2.5 billion years of Earth's history. More broadly, we stress that internal oceanic recycling of biosignature gases will often render surface biospheres on ocean-bearing silicate worlds cryptic, with the implication that the planets most conducive to the development and maintenance of a pervasive biosphere will often be challenging to characterize via conventional atmospheric biosignatures.

  15. False Negatives for Remote Life Detection on Ocean-Bearing Planets: Lessons from the Early Earth.

    PubMed

    Reinhard, Christopher T; Olson, Stephanie L; Schwieterman, Edward W; Lyons, Timothy W

    2017-04-01

    Ocean-atmosphere chemistry on Earth has undergone dramatic evolutionary changes throughout its long history, with potentially significant ramifications for the emergence and long-term stability of atmospheric biosignatures. Though a great deal of work has centered on refining our understanding of false positives for remote life detection, much less attention has been paid to the possibility of false negatives, that is, cryptic biospheres that are widespread and active on a planet's surface but are ultimately undetectable or difficult to detect in the composition of a planet's atmosphere. Here, we summarize recent developments from geochemical proxy records and Earth system models that provide insight into the long-term evolution of the most readily detectable potential biosignature gases on Earth-oxygen (O 2 ), ozone (O 3 ), and methane (CH 4 ). We suggest that the canonical O 2 -CH 4 disequilibrium biosignature would perhaps have been challenging to detect remotely during Earth's ∼4.5-billion-year history and that in general atmospheric O 2 /O 3 levels have been a poor proxy for the presence of Earth's biosphere for all but the last ∼500 million years. We further suggest that detecting atmospheric CH 4 would have been problematic for most of the last ∼2.5 billion years of Earth's history. More broadly, we stress that internal oceanic recycling of biosignature gases will often render surface biospheres on ocean-bearing silicate worlds cryptic, with the implication that the planets most conducive to the development and maintenance of a pervasive biosphere will often be challenging to characterize via conventional atmospheric biosignatures. Key Words: Biosignatures-Oxygen-Methane-Ozone-Exoplanets-Planetary habitability. Astrobiology 17, 287-297.

  16. Plans for living on a restless planet sets NASA's solid Earth agenda

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Solomon, S. C.; Baker, V. R.; Bloxham, J.; Booth, J.; Donnellan, A.; Elachi, C.; Evans, D.; Rignot, E.; Burbank, D.; Chao, B. F.; hide

    2003-01-01

    What are the most important challenges facing solid Earth science today and over the next two decades? And what is the best approach for NASA, in partnership with other agencies, to address these challenges? A new report, living on a restless planet, provides a blueprint for answering these questions. The top priority for a new spacecraft mission in the area of solid earth science over the next 5 years, according to this report, is a satellite dedicated to interferometric synthetic aperture radar(inSAR).

  17. A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batalha, Natalie M.

    2018-01-01

    A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth "Not too hot, not too cold" begins the prescription for a world that's just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world thanks in large part to NASA's Kepler Mission which launched in 2009 with the objective of finding Goldilocks planets orbiting other stars like our Sun. Indeed, the space telescope opened our eyes to the terrestrial-sized planets that populate the galaxy as well as exotic worlds unlike anything that exists in the solar system. The mission ignited the search for life beyond earth via remote detection of atmospheric biosignatures on exoplanets. Most recently, our collective imagination was awakened by the discovery of Goldilocks worlds orbiting some of the nearest neighbors to the Sun, turning abstractions into destinations. Dr. Batalha will give an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and other key discoveries. She'll give a preview of what's to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those that are concepts taking shape on the drawing board.

  18. The mass of the super-Earth orbiting the brightest Kepler planet hosting star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; HARPS-N Team

    2016-01-01

    HD 179070, aka Kepler-21, is a V = 8.25 oscillating F6IV star and the brightest exoplanet host discovered by Kepler. An early analysis of the Q0 - Q5 Kepler light curves by Howell et al. (2012) revealed transits of a planetary companion, Kepler-21b, with a radius of 1.6 R_Earth and an orbital period of 2.7857 days. However, they could not determine the mass of the planet from the initial radial velocity observations with Keck-HIRES, and were only able to impose a 2s upper limit of about 10 M_Earth. Here we present 82 new radial velocity observations of this system obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph. We detect the Doppler shift signal of Kepler-21b at the 3.6s level, and measure a planetary mass of 5.9 ± 1.6 M_Earth. We also update the radius of the planet to 1.65 ± 0.08 R_Earth, using the now available Kepler Q0 - Q17 photometry for this target. The mass of Kepler-21b appears to fall on the apparent dividing line between super-Earths that have lost all the material in their outer layers and those that have retained a significant amount of volatiles. Based on our results Kepler-21b belongs to the first group. Acknowledgement: This work was supported by funding from the NASA XRP Program and the John Templeton Foundation.

  19. Plan for Living on a Restless Planet Sets NASA's Solid Earth Agenda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, Sean C.; Baker, Victor R.; Bloxham, Jeremy; Booth, Jeffrey; Donnellan, Andrea; Elachi, Charles; Evans, Diane; Rignot, Eric; Burbank, Douglas; Chao, Benjamin F.; Chave, Alan; Gillespie, Alan; Herring, Thomas; Jeanloz, Raymond; LaBrecque, John; Minster, Bernard; Pittman, Walter C., III; Simons, Mark; Turcotte, Donald L.; Zoback, Mary Lou C.

    What are the most important challenges facing solid Earth science today and over the next two decades? And what is the best approach for NASA, in partnership with other agencies, to address those challenges? A new report, Living on a Restless Planet, provides a blueprint for answering these questions. The top priority for a new spacecraft mission in the area of solid Earth science over the next 5 years, according to this report, is a satellite dedicated to Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR). At the request of NASA, the Solid Earth Science Working Group (SESWG) developed a strategy for the highest priority objectives in solid Earth science for the space agency over the next 25 years. The strategy addresses six challenges that are of fundamental scientific importance, have strong implications for society, and are amenable to substantial progress through a concerted series of scientific observations from space.

  20. ISY Mission to Planet Earth Conference: A planning meeting for the International Space Year

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyerson, Harvey

    1991-01-01

    A major theme was the opportunity offered by the International Space Year (ISY) to initiate a long-term program of Earth observation mission coordination and worldwide data standardization. The challenge is immense and extremely time critical. A recommendation was made to inventory the capabilities of Earth observing spacecraft scheduled during the next decade. The ISY effort to strengthen coordination and standardization should emphasize global issues, and also regional initiatives of particular relevance to developing nations. The concepts of a Global Information System Test (GIST) was accepted and applied to specific issues of immediate concern. The importance of ISY Earth observation initiatives extending beyond research to include immediate and direct applications for social and economic development was stressed. Several specific Mission to Planet Earth proposals were developed during the Conference. A mechanism was set up for coordinating participation of the national space agencies or equivalent bodies.

  1. NASA’s Spitzer Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around a Single Star

    2017-02-22

    NASA held a news conference Feb. 22 at the agency’s headquarters to discuss the finding by the Spitzer Space Telescope of seven Earth-sized planets around a tiny, nearby, ultra-cool dwarf star. Three of these planets are in the habitable zone, the region around the star in which liquid water is most likely to thrive on a rocky planet. This is the first time so many planets have been found in a single star's habitable zone, and the first time so many Earth-sized planets have been found around the same star. The finding of this planetary system, called TRAPPIST-1, is the best target yet for studying the atmospheres of potentially habitable, Earth-sized worlds

  2. Cosmogonic curve and positions on it of Earth, asteroids, and the outer planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G. G.

    2013-09-01

    The main point of the comparative wave planetology [1 & others] is the statement: "Orbits make structures". All so different celestial bodies (various sizes, masses, densities, chemichal compositions, physical states, positions in the Universe and so on) have two fundamental properties: movement and rotation. Movements in non-circular (keplerian elliptical, parabolic) orbits with changing accelerations induce in bodies wave warpings (standing waves) which in rotating bodies have 4 orthogonal and diagonal directions. An interference of these directions produces uprising, subsiding and neutral tectonic blocks size of which depends on warping wavelengths. The fundamental wave1 long 2πR (R - a body radius) gives ubiquitous tectonic dichotomy (two hemispheres - segments), the first overtone wave2 long πR produces sectoring. Along with these warpings (wave1 with harmonics) exist tectonic granulations. Granule size depends on orbital frequency: higher frequency - smaller granule, lower frequency - larger granule. Terrestrial planets have the following individual granule sizes (a half of a wavelength): Mercury πR/16, Venus πR/6, Earth πR/4, Mars πR/2, asteroids πR/1 (Fig. 1, bottom). These granule producing warpings tend to bring planetary spheres to polyhedrons which, for simplicity, are represented by the following figures inscribed in the planetary circles: Mercury- 16-gon, Venus- hexagon, Earth- square, Mars- rectangle, asteroids - line (Fig. 2). Obviously, nearer a figure to circle more it is stable, and this is expressed by the ratio of a figure area to the circle area. Mercury has 0.973, Venus 0.830, Earth 0.637, Mars 0.420, asteroids 0. The line for asteroids means the zero ratio, thus zero stability and no planet in the asteroid zone. Earth is unique by its near to the "golden section" value. In Fig. 1 both axes are logarithmic: the abscissa - solar distances of the planets, the ordinate - relative granule sizes (ratio of an individual wave to the

  3. The elemental abundances (with uncertainties) of the most Earth-like planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Haiyang S.; Lineweaver, Charles H.; Ireland, Trevor R.

    2018-01-01

    To first order, the Earth as well as other rocky planets in the Solar System and rocky exoplanets orbiting other stars, are refractory pieces of the stellar nebula out of which they formed. To estimate the chemical composition of rocky exoplanets based on their stellar hosts' elemental abundances, we need a better understanding of the devolatilization that produced the Earth. To quantify the chemical relationships between the Earth, the Sun and other bodies in the Solar System, the elemental abundances of the bulk Earth are required. The key to comparing Earth's composition with those of other objects is to have a determination of the bulk composition with an appropriate estimate of uncertainties. Here we present concordance estimates (with uncertainties) of the elemental abundances of the bulk Earth, which can be used in such studies. First we compile, combine and renormalize a large set of heterogeneous literature values of the primitive mantle (PM) and of the core. We then integrate standard radial density profiles of the Earth and renormalize them to the current best estimate for the mass of the Earth. Using estimates of the uncertainties in i) the density profiles, ii) the core-mantle boundary and iii) the inner core boundary, we employ standard error propagation to obtain a core mass fraction of 32.5 ± 0.3 wt%. Our bulk Earth abundances are the weighted sum of our concordance core abundances and concordance PM abundances. Unlike previous efforts, the uncertainty on the core mass fraction is propagated to the uncertainties on the bulk Earth elemental abundances. Our concordance estimates for the abundances of Mg, Sn, Br, B, Cd and Be are significantly lower than previous estimates of the bulk Earth. Our concordance estimates for the abundances of Na, K, Cl, Zn, Sr, F, Ga, Rb, Nb, Gd, Ta, He, Ar, and Kr are significantly higher. The uncertainties on our elemental abundances usefully calibrate the unresolved discrepancies between standard Earth models under

  4. A carbon dioxide radiance model of the earth planet using the conical earth sensor data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Loulou; Mei, Zhiwu; Tu, Zhijun; Yuan, Jun; He, Ting; Wei, Yi

    2013-10-01

    Climate Modeling results show that about 50% of the Earth's outgoing radiation and 75% of the atmospheric outgoing radiation are contained in the far infrared. Generally the earth is considered as a 220~230 K blackbody, and the peak breadth of the Earth's outgoing radiation is around the wavelength of 10 micron. The atmospheric outgoing radiation are contained with five spectral intervals: the water vapor band from 6.33 to 6.85 microns, the ozone band from 8.9 to 10.1microns, the atmospheric window from 10.75 to 11.75 microns, the carbon dioxide band from 14 to 16 microns, and finally the rotational water vapor band from 21 to 125 microns. The properties of the carbon dioxide band is stable than other bands which has been chosen for the work Spectrum of the earth sensors. But the radiation energy of carbon dioxide band is variety and it is a function of latitude, season and weather conditions. Usually the luminance of the Earth's radiation (14 to 16 μm) is from 3 to 7 W/m2Sr. Earth sensor is an important instrument of the Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS), and it is sensitive to the curve of the earth's and atmospheric outgoing radiation profile to determine the roll and pitch angles of satellite which are relative to nadir vector. Most earth sensors use profile data gathered form Project Scanner taken in August and December 1966. The earth sensor referred in this paper is the conical scanning earth sensor which is mainly used in the LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite. A method to determine the luminance of earth's and atmospheric outgoing radiation (carbon dioxide) using the earth sensor is discussed in this paper. When the conical scanning sensor scan form the space to the earth, a pulse is produced and the pulse breadth is scale with the infrared radiation luminance. Then the infrared radiation luminance can be calculated. A carbon dioxide radiance model of the earth's and atmospheric outgoing radiation is obtained according the luminance data about with

  5. False Negatives for Remote Life Detection on Ocean-Bearing Planets: Lessons from the Early Earth

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Stephanie L.; Schwieterman, Edward W.; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Ocean-atmosphere chemistry on Earth has undergone dramatic evolutionary changes throughout its long history, with potentially significant ramifications for the emergence and long-term stability of atmospheric biosignatures. Though a great deal of work has centered on refining our understanding of false positives for remote life detection, much less attention has been paid to the possibility of false negatives, that is, cryptic biospheres that are widespread and active on a planet's surface but are ultimately undetectable or difficult to detect in the composition of a planet's atmosphere. Here, we summarize recent developments from geochemical proxy records and Earth system models that provide insight into the long-term evolution of the most readily detectable potential biosignature gases on Earth—oxygen (O2), ozone (O3), and methane (CH4). We suggest that the canonical O2-CH4 disequilibrium biosignature would perhaps have been challenging to detect remotely during Earth's ∼4.5-billion-year history and that in general atmospheric O2/O3 levels have been a poor proxy for the presence of Earth's biosphere for all but the last ∼500 million years. We further suggest that detecting atmospheric CH4 would have been problematic for most of the last ∼2.5 billion years of Earth's history. More broadly, we stress that internal oceanic recycling of biosignature gases will often render surface biospheres on ocean-bearing silicate worlds cryptic, with the implication that the planets most conducive to the development and maintenance of a pervasive biosphere will often be challenging to characterize via conventional atmospheric biosignatures. Key Words: Biosignatures—Oxygen—Methane—Ozone—Exoplanets—Planetary habitability. Astrobiology 17, 287–297. PMID:28418704

  6. Dependence of the Onset of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect on the Latitudinal Surface Water Distribution of Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodama, T.; Nitta, A.; Genda, H.; Takao, Y.; O'ishi, R.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Abe, Y.

    2018-02-01

    Liquid water is one of the most important materials affecting the climate and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Liquid water vaporizes entirely when planets receive insolation above a certain critical value, which is called the runaway greenhouse threshold. This threshold forms the inner most limit of the habitable zone. Here we investigate the effects of the distribution of surface water on the runaway greenhouse threshold for Earth-sized planets using a three-dimensional dynamic atmosphere model. We considered a 1 bar atmosphere whose composition is similar to the current Earth's atmosphere with a zonally uniform distribution of surface water. As previous studies have already showed, we also recognized two climate regimes: the land planet regime, which has dry low-latitude and wet high-latitude regions, and the aqua planet regime, which is globally wet. We showed that each regime is controlled by the width of the Hadley circulation, the amount of surface water, and the planetary topography. We found that the runaway greenhouse threshold varies continuously with the surface water distribution from about 130% (an aqua planet) to 180% (the extreme case of a land planet) of the present insolation at Earth's orbit. Our results indicate that the inner edge of the habitable zone is not a single sharp boundary, but a border whose location varies depending on planetary surface condition, such as the amount of surface water. Since land planets have wider habitable zones and less cloud cover, land planets would be good targets for future observations investigating planetary habitability.

  7. Building a Dashboard of the Planet with Google Earth and Earth Engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, R. T.; Hancher, M.

    2016-12-01

    In 2005 Google Earth, a popular 3-D virtual globe, was first released. Scientists immediately recognized how it could be used to tell stories about the Earth. From 2006 to 2009, the "Virtual Globes" sessions of AGU included innovative examples of scientists and educators using Google Earth, and since that time it has become a commonplace tool for communicating scientific results. In 2009 Google Earth Engine, a cloud-based platform for planetary-scale geospatial analysis, was first announced. Earth Engine was initially used to extract information about the world's forests from raw Landsat data. Since then, the platform has proven highly effective for general analysis of georeferenced data, and users have expanded the list of use cases to include high-impact societal issues such as conservation, drought, disease, food security, water management, climate change and environmental monitoring. To support these use cases, the platform has continuously evolved with new datasets, analysis functions, and user interface tools. This talk will give an overview of the latest Google Earth and Earth Engine functionality that allow partners to understand, monitor and tell stories about of our living, breathing Earth. https://earth.google.com https://earthengine.google.com

  8. Human impact on the planet: an earth system science perspective and ethical considerations

    Williams, Richard S.

    2002-01-01

    natural and human history to stop further degradation of Earth?s ecosystems and extinction of its biota? The fate of the biosphere, including humanity, depends on a reaffirmation by all humans of all cultures and religions of the global importance of a planet-wide conservation of the Earth?s biotic heritage. For the world?s religions it means elevation of stewardship of the Earth to a moral imperative and a goal of complete preservation of the Earth?s biotic inheritance, one which is based on a Do No Harm ethic.

  9. Habitability of super-Earth planets around other suns: models including Red Giant Branch evolution.

    PubMed

    von Bloh, W; Cuntz, M; Schröder, K-P; Bounama, C; Franck, S

    2009-01-01

    The unexpected diversity of exoplanets includes a growing number of super-Earth planets, i.e., exoplanets with masses of up to several Earth masses and a similar chemical and mineralogical composition as Earth. We present a thermal evolution model for a 10 Earth-mass planet orbiting a star like the Sun. Our model is based on the integrated system approach, which describes the photosynthetic biomass production and takes into account a variety of climatological, biogeochemical, and geodynamical processes. This allows us to identify a so-called photosynthesis-sustaining habitable zone (pHZ), as determined by the limits of biological productivity on the planetary surface. Our model considers solar evolution during the main-sequence stage and along the Red Giant Branch as described by the most recent solar model. We obtain a large set of solutions consistent with the principal possibility of life. The highest likelihood of habitability is found for "water worlds." Only mass-rich water worlds are able to realize pHZ-type habitability beyond the stellar main sequence on the Red Giant Branch.

  10. Occurrence and core-envelope structure of 1-4× Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars.

    PubMed

    Marcy, Geoffrey W; Weiss, Lauren M; Petigura, Erik A; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W; Buchhave, Lars A

    2014-09-02

    Small planets, 1-4× the size of Earth, are extremely common around Sun-like stars, and surprisingly so, as they are missing in our solar system. Recent detections have yielded enough information about this class of exoplanets to begin characterizing their occurrence rates, orbits, masses, densities, and internal structures. The Kepler mission finds the smallest planets to be most common, as 26% of Sun-like stars have small, 1-2 R⊕ planets with orbital periods under 100 d, and 11% have 1-2 R⊕ planets that receive 1-4× the incident stellar flux that warms our Earth. These Earth-size planets are sprinkled uniformly with orbital distance (logarithmically) out to 0.4 the Earth-Sun distance, and probably beyond. Mass measurements for 33 transiting planets of 1-4 R⊕ show that the smallest of them, R < 1.5 R⊕, have the density expected for rocky planets. Their densities increase with increasing radius, likely caused by gravitational compression. Including solar system planets yields a relation: ρ = 2:32 + 3:19 R=R ⊕ [g cm(-3)]. Larger planets, in the radius range 1.5-4.0 R⊕, have densities that decline with increasing radius, revealing increasing amounts of low-density material (H and He or ices) in an envelope surrounding a rocky core, befitting the appellation ''mini-Neptunes.'' The gas giant planets occur preferentially around stars that are rich in heavy elements, while rocky planets occur around stars having a range of heavy element abundances. Defining habitable zones remains difficult, without benefit of either detections of life elsewhere or an understanding of life's biochemical origins.

  11. Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light-Years from Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Fomalhaut is a bright star 7.7 parsec (25 light year) from Earth that harbors a belt of cold dust with a structure consistent with gravitational sculpting by an orbiting planet. Here, we present optical observations of an exoplanet candidate. Fomalhaut b. In the plane of the belt, Fomalhaut b lies approximately 119 astronomical units (AU) from the star, and within 18 All of the dust belt. We detect counterclockwise orbital motion using Hubble Space Telescope observations separated by 1.73 years. Dynamical models of the interaction between the planet and the belt indicate that the planet's mass is at most three times that of Jupiter for the belt to avoid gravitational disruption. The flux detected at 0.8 micron flux is also consistent with that of a planet with mass a few limes that of Jupiter. The brightness at 0.6 microns and the lack of detection at longer wavelengths suggest that the detected flux may include starlight reflected off a circumplanetary disk, with dimension comparable to the orbits of the Galilean satellites. We also observed variability of unknown origin at 0.6 microns.

  12. Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light Years from Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalas, Paul; Graham, James R.; Chiang, Eugene; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Clampin, Mark; Kite, Edwin S.; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Marois, Christian; Krist, John

    2008-01-01

    Fomalhaut is a bright star 7.7 parsecs (25 light years) from Earth that harbors a belt of cold dust with a structure consistent with gravitational sculpting by an orbiting planet. Here, we present optical observations of an exoplanet candidate, Fomalhaut b. In the plane of the belt, Fomalhaut b lies approximately 119 astronomical units (AU) from the star and 18 AU from the dust belt, matching predictions. We detect counterclockwise orbital motion using Hubble Space Telescope observations separated by 1.73 years. Dynamical models of the interaction between the planet and the belt indicate that the planet's mass is at most three times that of Jupiter for the belt to avoid gravitational disruption. The flux detected at 0.8 m is also consistent with that of a planet with mass no greater than a few times that of Jupiter. The brightness at 0.6 micron and the lack of detection at longer wavelengths suggest that the detected flux may include starlight reflected off a circumplanetary disk, with dimension comparable to the orbits of the Galilean satellites. We also observed variability of unknown origin at 0.6 micron.

  13. Optical images of an exosolar planet 25 light-years from Earth.

    PubMed

    Kalas, Paul; Graham, James R; Chiang, Eugene; Fitzgerald, Michael P; Clampin, Mark; Kite, Edwin S; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Marois, Christian; Krist, John

    2008-11-28

    Fomalhaut, a bright star 7.7 parsecs (25 light-years) from Earth, harbors a belt of cold dust with a structure consistent with gravitational sculpting by an orbiting planet. Here, we present optical observations of an exoplanet candidate, Fomalhaut b. Fomalhaut b lies about 119 astronomical units (AU) from the star and 18 AU of the dust belt, matching predictions of its location. Hubble Space Telescope observations separated by 1.73 years reveal counterclockwise orbital motion. Dynamical models of the interaction between the planet and the belt indicate that the planet's mass is at most three times that of Jupiter; a higher mass would lead to gravitational disruption of the belt, matching predictions of its location. The flux detected at 0.8 mum is also consistent with that of a planet with mass no greater than a few times that of Jupiter. The brightness at 0.6 mum and the lack of detection at longer wavelengths suggest that the detected flux may include starlight reflected off a circumplanetary disk, with dimension comparable to the orbits of the Galilean satellites. We also observe variability of unknown origin at 0.6 mum.

  14. Gravitational mechanism of active life of the Earth, planets and satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkin, Yury

    2010-05-01

    From positions of geodynamic model of the forced gravitational swing, wobble and displacements of shells of a planet are studied and fundamental problems of geodynamics, geology, geophysics, planetary sciences are solved etc.: 1) The mechanism of cyclic variations of activity of natural processes in various time scales. 2) The power of endogenous activity of planetary natural processes on planets and satellites. 3) The phenomenon of polar inversion of natural processes on planets and satellites. 4) Spasmodic and catastrophic changes of activity of natural processes. 5) The phenomenon of twisting of hemispheres (latitude zones or belts) of celestial bodies. 6) Formation of the pear-shaped form of celestial bodies and the mechanism of its change. 7) The ordered planetary structures of geological formations. 8) The phenomena of bipolarity of celestial bodies and antipodality of geology formations. Mechanism. The fundamental feature of a structure of celestial bodies is their shell structure. The most investigated is the internal structure of the Earth. For the Moon and wide set of other bodies of solar system models of an internal structure have been constructed on the basis of the data of observations obtained at studying of their gravitational fields as a result of realization of the appropriate space missions. The basic components for the majority of celestial bodies are the core, the mantle and the crust. To other shells we concern atmospheres (for example, at Venus, Mars, the Titan etc.) and oceanic shells (the Titan, the Earth, Enceladus etc.). Shells are the complex (composite) formations. Planets and satellites are not spherical celestial bodies. The centers of mass of shells of the given planet (or the satellite) and their appropriate principal axes of inertia do not coincide. Accordingly, all their shells are characterized by the certain dynamic oblatenesses. Differences of dynamical oblatenesses results in various forced influences of external celestial

  15. CO2 condensation is a serious limit to the deglaciation of Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turbet, Martin; Forget, Francois; Leconte, Jeremy; Charnay, Benjamin; Tobie, Gabriel

    2017-10-01

    It is widely believed that the carbonate-silicate cycle is the main agent, through volcanism, to trigger deglaciations by CO2 greenhouse warming on Earth and on Earth-like planets when they get in a frozen state. Here we use a 3D Global Climate Model to simulate the ability of planets initially completely frozen to escape from glaciation episodes by accumulating enough gaseous CO2. The model includes CO2 condensation and sublimation processes and the water cycle. We find that planets with Earth-like characteristics (size, mass, obliquity, rotation rate, etc.) orbiting a Sun-like star may never be able to escape from a glaciation era, if their orbital distance is greater than ∼1.27 Astronomical Units (Flux < 847 Wm-2 or 62% of the Solar constant), because CO2 would condense at the poles - here the cold traps - forming permanent CO2 ice caps. This limits the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and thus its greenhouse effect. Furthermore, our results indicate that for (1) high rotation rates (Prot < 24 h), (2) low obliquity (obliquity <23.5°), (3) low background gas partial pressures (<1 bar), and (4) high water ice albedo (H2O albedo > 0.6), this critical limit could occur at a significantly lower equivalent distance (or higher insolation). For each possible configuration, we show that the amount of CO2 that can be trapped in the polar caps depends on the efficiency of CO2 ice to flow laterally as well as its gravitational stability relative to subsurface water ice. We find that a frozen Earth-like planet located at 1.30 AU of a Sun-like star could store as much as 1.5, 4.5 and 15 bars of dry ice at the poles, for internal heat fluxes of 100, 30 and 10 mW m-2, respectively. But these amounts are in fact lower limits. For planets with a significant water ice cover, we show that CO2 ice deposits should be gravitationally unstable. They get buried beneath the water ice cover in geologically short timescales of ∼104 yrs, mainly controlled by the viscosity of water ice

  16. Early Hydrodynamic Escape Limits Rocky Planets to Less Than or Equal to 1.6 Earth Radii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lehmer, O. R.; Catling, D. C.

    2017-01-01

    In the past decade thousands of exoplanet candidates and hundreds of confirmed exoplanets have been found. For sub-Neptune-sized planets, those less than approx. 10 Earth masses, we can separate planets into two broad categories: predominantly rocky planets, and gaseous planets with thick volatile sheaths. Observations and subsequent analysis of these planets show that rocky planets are only found with radii less than approx. 1.6 Earth radii. No rocky planet has yet been found that violates this limit. We propose that hydrodynamic escape of hydrogen rich protoatmospheres, accreted by forming planets, explains the limit in rocky planet size. Following the hydrodynamic escape model employed by Luger et al. (2015), we modelled the XUV driven escape from young planets (less than approx.100 Myr in age) around a Sun-like star. With a simple, first-order model we found that the rocky planet radii limit occurs consistently at approx. 1.6 Earth radii across a wide range of plausible parameter spaces. Our model shows that hydrodynamic escape can explain the observed cutoff between rocky and gaseous planets. Fig. 1 shows the results of our model for rocky planets between 0.5 and 10 Earth masses that accrete 3 wt. % H2/He during formation. The simulation was run for 100 Myr, after that time the XUV flux drops off exponentially and hydrodynamic escape drops with it. A cutoff between rocky planets and gaseous ones is clearly seen at approx. 1.5-1.6 Earth radii. We are only interested in the upper size limit for rocky planets. As such, we assumed pure hydrogen atmospheres and the highest possible isothermal atmospheric temperatures, which will produce an upper limit on the hydrodynamic loss rate. Previous work shows that a reasonable approximation for an upper temperature limit in a hydrogen rich protoatmosphere is 2000-3000 K, consistent with our assumptions. From these results, we propose that the observed dichotomy between mini-Neptunes and rocky worlds is simply explained by

  17. Earth Stewardship: An initiative by the Ecological Society of America to foster engagement to sustain Planet Earth

    Chapin, F. Stuart; Pickett, S.T.A.; Power, Mary E.; Collins, Scott L.; Baron, Jill S.; Inouye, David W.; Turner, Monica G.

    2017-01-01

    The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has responded to the growing commitment among ecologists to make their science relevant to society through a series of concerted efforts, including the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative (1991), scientific assessment of ecosystem management (1996), ESA’s vision for the future (2003), Rapid Response Teams that respond to environmental crises (2005), and the Earth Stewardship Initiative (2009). During the past 25 years, ESA launched five new journals, largely reflecting the expansion of scholarship linking ecology with broader societal issues. The goal of the Earth Stewardship Initiative is to raise awareness and to explore ways for ecologists and other scientists to contribute more effectively to the sustainability of our planet. This has occurred through four approaches: (1) articulation of the stewardship concept in ESA publications and Website, (2) selection of meeting themes and symposia, (3) engagement of ESA sections in implementing the initiative, and (4) outreach beyond ecology through collaborations and demonstration projects. Collaborations include societies and groups of Earth and social scientists, practitioners and policy makers, religious and business leaders, federal agencies, and artists and writers. The Earth Stewardship Initiative is a work in progress, so next steps likely include continued nurturing of these emerging collaborations, advancing the development of sustainability and stewardship theory, improving communication of stewardship science, and identifying opportunities for scientists and civil society to take actions that move the Earth toward a more sustainable trajectory.

  18. Two planets: Earth and Mars - One salt model: The Hydrothermal SCRIW-Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovland, M. T.; Rueslaatten, H.; Johnsen, H. K.; Indreiten, T.

    2011-12-01

    One of the common characteristics of planets Earth and Mars is that both host water (H2O) and large accumulations of salt. Whereas Earth's surface-environment can be regarded as 'water-friendly' and 'salt hostile', the reverse can be said for the surface of Mars. This is because liquid water is stable on Earth, and the atmosphere transports humidity around the globe, whereas on planet Mars, liquid water is unstable, rendering the atmosphere dry and, therefore, 'salt-friendly'. The riddle as to how the salt accumulated in various locations on those two planets is one of long-lasting and great debate. The salt accumulations on Earth are traditionally termed 'evaporites', meaning that they formed by the evaporation of large masses of seawater. How the accumulations on Mars formed is much harder to explain, with a similar model, as surface water, representing a large ocean only existed briefly. Although water molecules and OH-groups may exist in abundance in bound form (crystal water, adsorbed water, etc.), the only place where free water is expected to be stable on Mars is within underground faults, fractures, and crevices. Here it likely occurs as brine or in the form of ice. Based on these conditions, a key to understanding the accumulation of large deposits of salt on both planets is linked to how brines behave in the subsurface when pressurized and heated beyond their supercritical point. At depths greater than about 3 km (i.e., a pressure, P>300 bars) water will no longer boil in a steam phase. Rather, it becomes supercritical and will form a supercritical water 'vapor' (SCRIW) with a specific gravity of typically 0.3 g/cm3. An important characteristic of SCRIW is its inability to dissolve the common sea salts. The salt dissolved in the brines will therefore precipitate as solid particles when brines (seawater on the Earth) move into the supercritical P&T-domain (above 400 C and 300 bars). Numerical modeling of a hydrothermal system in the Atlantis II Deep of the

  19. Check-Up of Planet Earth at the Turn of the Millennium: Anticipated New Phase in Earth Sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaufman, Y. J.; Ramanathan, V.

    1998-01-01

    Langley's remarkable solar and lunar spectra collected from Mt. Whitney inspired Arrhenius to develop the first quantitative climate model in 1896. In 1999, NASA's Earth Observing AM Satellite (EOS-AM) will repeat Langley's experiment, but for the entire planet, thus pioneering calibrated spectral observations from space. Conceived in response to real environmental problems, EOS-AM, in conjunction with other international satellite efforts, will fill a major gap in current efforts by providing quantitative global data sets with a resolution of few kilometers on the physical, chemical and biological elements of the earth system. Thus, like Langley's data, EOS-AM can revolutionize climate research by inspiring a new generation of climate system models and enable us to assess the human impact on the environment.

  20. DETECTABILITY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS IN CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE ZONES OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS WITH SUN-LIKE COMPONENTS

    SciT

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Haghighipour, Nader, E-mail: siegfried.eggl@univie.ac.at

    2013-02-20

    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the {alpha} Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery ofmore » {alpha} Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the {alpha} Centauri system.« less

  1. Confirmation of Earth-Mass Planets Orbiting the Millisecond Pulsar PSR B1257 + 12.

    PubMed

    Wolszczan, A

    1994-04-22

    The discovery of two Earth-mass planets orbiting an old ( approximately 10(9) years), rapidly spinning neutron star, the 6.2-millisecond radio pulsar PSR B1257+12, was announced in early 1992. It was soon pointed out that the approximately 3:2 ratio of the planets' orbital periods should lead to accurately predictable and possibly measurable gravitational perturbations of their orbits. The unambiguous detection of this effect, after 3 years of systematic timing observations of PSR B1257+12 with the 305-meter Arecibo radiotelescope, as well as the discovery of another, moon-mass object in orbit around the pulsar, constitutes irrefutable evidence that the first planetary system around a star other than the sun has been identified.

  2. An independent planet search in the Kepler dataset. II. An extremely low-density super-Earth mass planet around Kepler-87

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ofir, Aviv; Dreizler, Stefan; Zechmeister, Mathias; Husser, Tim-Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Context. The primary goal of the Kepler mission is the measurement of the frequency of Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars. However, the confirmation of the smallest of Kepler's candidates in long periods around FGK dwarfs is extremely difficult or even beyond the limit of current radial velocity technology. Transit timing variations (TTVs) may offer the possibility for these confirmations of near-resonant multiple systems by the mutual gravitational interaction of the planets. Aims: We previously detected the second planet candidate in the KOI 1574 system. The two candidates have relatively long periods (about 114 d and 191 d) and are in 5:3 resonance. We therefore searched for TTVs in this particularly promising system. Methods: The full Kepler data was detrended with the proven SARS pipeline. The entire data allowed one to search for TTVs of the above signals, and to search for additional transit-like signals. Results: We detected strong anti-correlated TTVs of the 114 d and 191 d signals, dynamically confirming them as members of the same system. Dynamical simulations reproducing the observed TTVs allowed us to also determine the masses of the planets. We found KOI 1574.01 (hereafter Kepler-87 b) to have a radius of 13.49 ± 0.55 R⊕ and a mass of 324.2 ± 8.8 M⊕, and KOI 1574.02 (Kepler-87 c) to have a radius of 6.14 ± 0.29 R⊕ and a mass of 6.4 ± 0.8 M⊕. Both planets have low densities of 0.729 and 0.152 g cm-3, respectively, which is non-trivial for such cold and old (7-8 Gyr) planets. Specifically, Kepler-87 c is the lowest-density planet in the super-Earth mass range. Both planets are thus particularly amenable to modeling and planetary structure studies, and also present an interesting case where ground-based photometric follow-up of Kepler planets is very desirable. Finally, we also detected two more short-period super-Earth sized (<2 R⊕) planetary candidates in the system, making the relatively high multiplicity of this system notable

  3. Two planetary systems with transiting Earth-size and super-Earth planets orbiting late-type dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso, E. Díez; Hernández, J. I. González; Suárez Gómez, S. L.; Aguado, D. S.; González Gutiérrez, C.; Suárez Mascareño, A.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; González-Nuevo, J.; Toledo-Padrón, B.; Gracia, J.; de Cos Juez, F. J.; Rebolo, R.

    2018-06-01

    We present two new planetary systems found around cool dwarf stars with data from the K2 mission. The first system was found in K2-XX1 (EPIC 248545986), characterized in this work as M3.0V and observed in the 14th campaign of K2. It consists of three Earth-size transiting planets with radii of 1.1, 1.0 and 1.1 R⊕, showing a compact configuration with orbital periods of 5.24, 7.78 and 10.1 days, close to 2:3:4 resonance. The second was found in K2-XX2 (EPIC 249801827), characterized in this work as M0.5V and observed in the 15th campaign. It consists of two transiting super-Earths with radii 2.0 and 1.8 R⊕ and orbital periods of 6.03 and 20.5 days. The equilibrium temperatures of the atmospheres of these planets are estimated to be in the range of 380-600 K and the amplitudes of signals in transmission spectroscopy are estimated at ˜ 10 ppm.

  4. Properties of an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star: Earth observed by the EPOXI mission.

    PubMed

    Livengood, Timothy A; Deming, L Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Meadows, Victoria S; Robinson, Tyler D; Seager, Sara; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-11-01

    NASA's EPOXI mission observed the disc-integrated Earth and Moon to test techniques for reconnoitering extrasolar terrestrial planets, using the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to observe Earth at the beginning and end of Northern Hemisphere spring, 2008, from a range of ∼1/6 to 1/3 AU. These observations furnish high-precision and high-cadence empirical photometry and spectroscopy of Earth, suitable as "ground truth" for numerically simulating realistic observational scenarios for an Earth-like exoplanet with finite signal-to-noise ratio. Earth was observed at near-equatorial sub-spacecraft latitude on 18-19 March, 28-29 May, and 4-5 June (UT), in the range of 372-4540 nm wavelength with low visible resolving power (λ/Δλ=5-13) and moderate IR resolving power (λ/Δλ=215-730). Spectrophotometry in seven filters yields light curves at ∼372-948 nm filter-averaged wavelength, modulated by Earth's rotation with peak-to-peak amplitude of ≤20%. The spatially resolved Sun glint is a minor contributor to disc-integrated reflectance. Spectroscopy at 1100-4540 nm reveals gaseous water and carbon dioxide, with minor features of molecular oxygen, methane, and nitrous oxide. One-day changes in global cloud cover resulted in differences between the light curve beginning and end of ≤5%. The light curve of a lunar transit of Earth on 29 May is color-dependent due to the Moon's red spectrum partially occulting Earth's relatively blue spectrum. The "vegetation red edge" spectral contrast observed between two long-wavelength visible/near-IR bands is ambiguous, not clearly distinguishing between the verdant Earth diluted by cloud cover versus the desolate mineral regolith of the Moon. Spectrophotometry in at least one other comparison band at short wavelength is required to distinguish between Earth-like and Moon-like surfaces in reconnaissance observations. However, measurements at 850 nm alone, the high-reflectance side of the red edge, could be sufficient to

  5. Occurrence and core-envelope structure of 1–4× Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars

    PubMed Central

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Weiss, Lauren M.; Petigura, Erik A.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Buchhave, Lars A.

    2014-01-01

    Small planets, 1–4× the size of Earth, are extremely common around Sun-like stars, and surprisingly so, as they are missing in our solar system. Recent detections have yielded enough information about this class of exoplanets to begin characterizing their occurrence rates, orbits, masses, densities, and internal structures. The Kepler mission finds the smallest planets to be most common, as 26% of Sun-like stars have small, 1–2 R⊕ planets with orbital periods under 100 d, and 11% have 1–2 R⊕ planets that receive 1–4× the incident stellar flux that warms our Earth. These Earth-size planets are sprinkled uniformly with orbital distance (logarithmically) out to 0.4 the Earth–Sun distance, and probably beyond. Mass measurements for 33 transiting planets of 1–4 R⊕ show that the smallest of them, R < 1.5 R⊕, have the density expected for rocky planets. Their densities increase with increasing radius, likely caused by gravitational compression. Including solar system planets yields a relation: ρ=2.32+3.19R/R⊕ [g cm−3]. Larger planets, in the radius range 1.5–4.0 R⊕, have densities that decline with increasing radius, revealing increasing amounts of low-density material (H and He or ices) in an envelope surrounding a rocky core, befitting the appellation ‘‘mini-Neptunes.’’ The gas giant planets occur preferentially around stars that are rich in heavy elements, while rocky planets occur around stars having a range of heavy element abundances. Defining habitable zones remains difficult, without benefit of either detections of life elsewhere or an understanding of life’s biochemical origins. PMID:24912169

  6. A laboratory demonstration of the capability to image an Earth-like extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

    Trauger, John T; Traub, Wesley A

    2007-04-12

    The detection and characterization of an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star requires a telescope with an extraordinarily large contrast at small angular separations. At visible wavelengths, an Earth-like planet would be 1 x 10(-10) times fainter than the star at angular separations of typically 0.1 arcsecond or less. There are several proposed space telescope systems that could, in principle, achieve this. Here we report a laboratory experiment that reaches these limits. We have suppressed the diffracted and scattered light near a star-like source to a level of 6 x 10(-10) times the peak intensity in individual coronagraph images. In a series of such images, together with simple image processing, we have effectively reduced this to a residual noise level of about 0.1 x 10(-10). This demonstrates that a coronagraphic telescope in space could detect and spectroscopically characterize nearby exoplanetary systems, with the sensitivity to image an 'Earth-twin' orbiting a nearby star.

  7. Theory for the Origin and Evolution of Stars and Planets, Including Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cimorelli, S. A.; Samuels, C.

    2001-05-01

    In this paper we present a novel hypothesis for the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars (including black holes (BHs), giant, mid-size, dwarf, dying and dead stars), planets (including earth), and moons. Present day phenomenon will be used to substantiate the validity of this hypothesis. Every `body' is a multiple type of star, generated from pieces called particle proliferators, of a dislodged/expanded BH which explodes due to a collision with another expanded BH. This includes the sun, and the planet earth, which is a type of dead star. Such that, if we remove layers of the earth, starting with the crust, we will find evidence of each preceding star formation, such as a brown star, a red star, a white star, a blue star, and the remains of the particle proliferator as the innermost core is reached. We intend to show that the hypothesis is consistent with both the available astronomical data regarding stellar evolution and planetary formation; as well as the evolution of the earth itself, by considerations of the available geophysical data. Where data is not available, reasonably simple experiments will be suggested to demonstrate further the consistency and viability of the hypothesis. Theories are presented to help define and explain phenomenon such as how two (or more) BHs expand and collide to form a small `big bang' (it is postulated that there was a small big bang to form each galaxy). This in turn afforded the material/matter to form all the galactic bodies, including the dark matter. The start and development of the planet earth, initially as an emergent piece from the colliding BHs, is given special attention to explain the continuing expansion/growth that takes place in all stars and planets. Also, to explain the formation of the land, the growing/expanding earth (proportional to the ocean bed growth), the division of the continents, and the formation of the ocean beds (possibly long before the oceans existed). Attempts will be made to explain the

  8. Two cultures are better than one: Earth sciences and Art for a better planet sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanza, Tiziana; Rubbia, Giuliana; Negrete, Aquiles

    2015-04-01

    Climate change, pollution, desertification, natural hazard, animals' extinction are some of the problems we face every day. Very often Science and Technology are charged of the solutions while Art is intended mainly for entertainment. Are we sure this is the right attitude? "Technology is a queer thing. It brings you gifts with one hand, and stabs you in the back with the other", says C.P.Snow, author of a milestone book on the Two Cultures, namely Sciences and Humanities. If Science can drive to a rigorous knowledge of the Earth speaking to people's mind, Technology is Science in action. When individuals act very often the reasons behind their actions are linked to their education, values, sense of beauty, presence or absence of feelings, all things pertaining to the emotional sphere of humans usually addressed by humanistic culture. But if in one hand, Science and Technology cannot be left alone to solve the impelling problems that are deteriorating not only our planet resources but also our quality of life, on the other hand the humanistic culture can find a powerful ally in scientific culture for re-awakening in everybody the sense of beauty, values and respect for the planet. To know Earth is to love Earth, since nature is in itself a work of Art. Earth sciences dig out all the secrets that make our planet a unique place in the Universe we know. Every single phenomena can be seen then in a double face value. An Aurora, for instance, can inspire poetry for its beauty and colors but always remains the result of the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth magnetic field. And, most important, an Aurora will never inspire negative feelings. To make our part in creating a common field between Art and Earth sciences, we have created a blog and a related FaceBook page to collect, browsing the web, all the experiences in this trend, to find out that many scientists and artists are already working in this direction as a final and enjoyable surprise.

  9. International Year of Planet Earth Cooperating with Other Years in 2007-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mulder, E. F.

    2006-05-01

    After its inception in 2001, the International Year of Planet Earth was proclaimed for 2008 by the UN General Assembly in December 2005. The UN Year will be in the core of a triennium, starting in January 2007 and closing by the end of 2009. Through UN proclamation, it has gained the political support by 191 UN nations. The International Year of Planet Earth was initiated by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) finding UNESCO's Earth Sciences Division ready as co-initiator. It enjoys the backing of all relevant IUGS's sister unions in ICSU, including IUGG, IGU, IUSS, ISPRS and INQUA among its 12 Founding Partners and AGI, AAPG and AIPG as major USA based international geoscientific organizations. Moreover, the initiative is supported by 26 more geoscientific and other relevant bodies. The aim of the Year, encapsulated in its subtitle Earth sciences for Society, is to build awareness of the relationship between humankind and Planet Earth, and to demonstrate that geoscientists are key players in creating a balanced, sustainable future for both. In this respect it aims to convince politicians to apply the wealth of geodata and information in day-to-day policy making. The International Year includes a Science and an Outreach Programme, both of equal financial size. The ten Science Themes (Groundwater, Hazards, Health, Climate, Resources, Deep Earth, Ocean, Megacities, Soils, and Life) in the Science Programme were selected for their societal impact, their potential for outreach, as well as their multidisciplinary nature and high scientific potential. Brochures with key questions and invitations for scientists to submit project proposals have been printed for each Theme and can be downloaded from www.yearofplanetearth.org. The same bottom-up mode is applied for the Outreach Programme which will operate as a funding body, receiving bids for financial support - for anything from web-based educational resources to commissioning works of art that will help

  10. Mission to Planet Earth: Who provides, controls, and owns the data?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, Don; Brannon, David

    1997-01-01

    Some of the crucial issues associated with national and international partnerships that Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) must face in the coming years are in the areas of data policy, data rights, and international agreements. Even with strictly domestic programs, questions inevitably arise concerning who provides, controls, and owns the data and who can sell, resell, or distribute the data. With the international flavor of MTPE, the complexity of the questions will be compounded. NASA's Commercial Remote Sensing Program at Stennis Space Center is analyzing these questions to identify regulatory frameworks, issues, opportunities, and barriers associated with partnerships and other cooperative efforts between MTPE scientists and the rest of the world.

  11. Extrusive and Intrusive Magmatism Greatly Influence the Tectonic Mode of Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourenco, D.; Tackley, P. J.; Rozel, A.; Ballmer, M.

    2017-09-01

    Plate tectonics on Earth-like planets is typically modelling using a strongly temperature-dependent visco-plastic rheology. Previous analyses have generally focussed on purely thermal convection. However, we have shown that the influence of compositional heterogeneity in the form of continental or oceanic crust can greatly influence plate tectonics by making it easier (i.e. it occurs at a lower yield stress or friction coefficient). Here we present detailed results on this topic, in particular focussing on the influence of intrusive vs. extrusive magmatism on the tectonic mode.

  12. Mission to Planet Earth. The living ocean: Observing ocean color from space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    Measurements of ocean color are part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, which will assess how the global environment is changing. Using the unique perspective available from space, NASA will observe, monitor, and study large-scale environmental processes, focusing on quantifying climate change. NASA will distribute the results of these studies to researchers worldwide to furnish a basis for informed decisions on environmental protection and economic policy. This information packet includes discussion on the reasons for measuring ocean color, the carbon cycle and ocean color, priorities for global climate research, and SeWiFS (sea-viewing wide field-of-view sensor) global ocean color measurements.

  13. Habitable Zone Planets: PLATO, and the search for Earth 2.0

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, D. J. A.

    2015-10-01

    The PLATO mission, part of ESA's Cosmic Vision program, will launch in 2024 and will revolutionize the field of transiting exoplanets. By observing a large sample of bright stars, PLATO will discover thousands of terrestrial planets, including hundreds in the habitable zones of their host stars. The brightness of PLATO targets allows full characterization of both the planets and their host stars, including asteroseismic analysis to precisely determine masses, radii, and ages. Moreover, PLATO host stars will be bright enough to allow atmospheric spectroscopy. Confirmation and characterization of PLATO planets will require a coordinated, ground-based follow-up program to both eliminate false-positives, and derive planetary masses. I will present an introduction to PLATO, discussing the scientific motivation behind the mission, its aims and goals, and the significant contribution that PLATO will make to the search for a second Earth. I will also talk about the requirements and formulation of the follow-up program, showing that the demands are not as onerous as might be feared.

  14. The Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Planets:Clues to the Origins and Early Evolution of Venus, Earth, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baines, Kevin H.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Bullock, Mark A.; Grinspoon, David H,; Mahaffy, Paul; Russell, Christopher T.; Schubert, Gerald; Zahnle, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge of the origin and early evolution of the three largest terrestrial planets - Venus, Earth, and Mars - setting the stage for the chapters on comparative climatological processes to follow. We summarize current models of planetary formation, as revealed by studies of solid materials from Earth and meteorites from Mars. For Venus, we emphasize the known differences and similarities in planetary bulk properties and composition with Earth and Mars, focusing on key properties indicative of planetary formation and early evolution, particularly of the atmospheres of all three planets. We review the need for future in situ measurements for improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of our planetary neighbors and Earth, and suggest the accuracies required of such new in situ data. Finally, we discuss the role new measurements of Mars and Venus have in understanding the state and evolution of planets found in the habitable zones of other stars.

  15. A scientometric prediction of the discovery of the first potentially habitable planet with a mass similar to Earth.

    PubMed

    Arbesman, Samuel; Laughlin, Gregory

    2010-10-04

    The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields.

  16. A Scientometric Prediction of the Discovery of the First Potentially Habitable Planet with a Mass Similar to Earth

    PubMed Central

    Arbesman, Samuel; Laughlin, Gregory

    2010-01-01

    Background The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. Conclusions/Significance Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields. PMID:20957226

  17. Remote Sensing Data Analytics for Planetary Science with PlanetServer/EarthServer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Angelo Pio; Figuera, Ramiro Marco; Flahaut, Jessica; Martinot, Melissa; Misev, Dimitar; Baumann, Peter; Pham Huu, Bang; Besse, Sebastien

    2016-04-01

    Planetary Science datasets, beyond the change in the last two decades from physical volumes to internet-accessible archives, still face the problem of large-scale processing and analytics (e.g. Rossi et al., 2014, Gaddis and Hare, 2015). PlanetServer, the Planetary Science Data Service of the EC-funded EarthServer-2 project (#654367) tackles the planetary Big Data analytics problem with an array database approach (Baumann et al., 2014). It is developed to serve a large amount of calibrated, map-projected planetary data online, mainly through Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Coverage Processing Service (WCPS) (e.g. Rossi et al., 2014; Oosthoek et al., 2013; Cantini et al., 2014). The focus of the H2020 evolution of PlanetServer is still on complex multidimensional data, particularly hyperspectral imaging and topographic cubes and imagery. In addition to hyperspectral and topographic from Mars (Rossi et al., 2014), the use of WCPS is applied to diverse datasets on the Moon, as well as Mercury. Other Solar System Bodies are going to be progressively available. Derived parameters such as summary products and indices can be produced through WCPS queries, as well as derived imagery colour combination products, dynamically generated and accessed also through OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS). Scientific questions translated into queries can be posed to a large number of individual coverages (data products), locally, regionally or globally. The new PlanetServer system uses the the Open Source Nasa WorldWind (e.g. Hogan, 2011) virtual globe as visualisation engine, and the array database Rasdaman Community Edition as core server component. Analytical tools and client components of relevance for multiple communities and disciplines are shared across service such as the Earth Observation and Marine Data Services of EarthServer. The Planetary Science Data Service of EarthServer is accessible on http://planetserver.eu. All its code base is going to be available on GitHub, on

  18. THE NASA-UC ETA-EARTH PROGRAM. II. A PLANET ORBITING HD 156668 WITH A MINIMUM MASS OF FOUR EARTH MASSES

    SciT

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard

    2011-01-10

    We report the discovery of HD 156668 b, an extrasolar planet with a minimum mass of M{sub P} sin i = 4.15 M{sub +}. This planet was discovered through Keplerian modeling of precise radial velocities from Keck-HIRES and is the second super-Earth to emerge from the NASA-UC Eta-Earth Survey. The best-fit orbit is consistent with circular and has a period of P = 4.6455 days. The Doppler semi-amplitude of this planet, K = 1.89 m s{sup -1}, is among the lowest ever detected, on par with the detection of GJ 581 e using HARPS. A longer period (P {approx} 2.3more » years), low-amplitude signal of unknown origin was also detected in the radial velocities and was filtered out of the data while fitting the short-period planet. Additional data are required to determine if the long-period signal is due to a second planet, stellar activity, or another source. Photometric observations using the Automated Photometric Telescopes at Fairborn Observatory show that HD 156668 (an old, quiet K3 dwarf) is photometrically constant over the radial velocity period to 0.1 mmag, supporting the existence of the planet. No transits were detected down to a photometric limit of {approx}3 mmag, ruling out transiting planets dominated by extremely bloated atmospheres, but not precluding a transiting solid/liquid planet with a modest atmosphere.« less

  19. Rotational Variability of Earth's Polar Regions: Implications for Detecting Snowball Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, Nicolas B.; Robinson, Tyler; Livengood, Timothy A.; Deming, Drake; Agol, Eric; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Charbonneau, David; Lisse, Carey M.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Seager, Sara; Shields, Aomawa L.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.

    2011-04-01

    We have obtained the first time-resolved, disk-integrated observations of Earth's poles with the Deep Impact spacecraft as part of the EPOXI mission of opportunity. These data mimic what we will see when we point next-generation space telescopes at nearby exoplanets. We use principal component analysis (PCA) and rotational light curve inversion to characterize color inhomogeneities and map their spatial distribution from these unusual vantage points, as a complement to the equatorial views presented by Cowan et al. in 2009. We also perform the same PCA on a suite of simulated rotational multi-band light curves from NASA's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional spectral Earth model. This numerical experiment allows us to understand what sorts of surface features PCA can robustly identify. We find that the EPOXI polar observations have similar broadband colors as the equatorial Earth, but with 20%-30% greater apparent albedo. This is because the polar observations are most sensitive to mid-latitudes, which tend to be more cloudy than the equatorial latitudes emphasized by the original EPOXI Earth observations. The cloudiness of the mid-latitudes also manifests itself in the form of increased variability at short wavelengths in the polar observations and as a dominant gray eigencolor in the south polar observation. We construct a simple reflectance model for a snowball Earth. By construction, our model has a higher Bond albedo than the modern Earth; its surface albedo is so high that Rayleigh scattering does not noticeably affect its spectrum. The rotational color variations occur at short wavelengths due to the large contrast between glacier ice and bare land in those wavebands. Thus, we find that both the broadband colors and diurnal color variations of such a planet would be easily distinguishable from the modern-day Earth, regardless of viewing angle.

  20. Headlines: Planet Earth: Improving Climate Literacy with Short Format News Videos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenenbaum, L. F.; Kulikov, A.; Jackson, R.

    2012-12-01

    One of the challenges of communicating climate science is the sense that climate change is remote and unconnected to daily life--something that's happening to someone else or in the future. To help face this challenge, NASA's Global Climate Change website http://climate.nasa.gov has launched a new video series, "Headlines: Planet Earth," which focuses on current climate news events. This rapid-response video series uses 3D video visualization technology combined with real-time satellite data and images, to throw a spotlight on real-world events.. The "Headlines: Planet Earth" news video products will be deployed frequently, ensuring timeliness. NASA's Global Climate Change Website makes extensive use of interactive media, immersive visualizations, ground-based and remote images, narrated and time-lapse videos, time-series animations, and real-time scientific data, plus maps and user-friendly graphics that make the scientific content both accessible and engaging to the public. The site has also won two consecutive Webby Awards for Best Science Website. Connecting climate science to current real-world events will contribute to improving climate literacy by making climate science relevant to everyday life.

  1. International Geo-Years: Cooperation Between Planet Earth and Electronic Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mulder, E.

    2005-05-01

    Momentum is growing behind an ambitious international multidisciplinary Earth science initiative. The International Year of Planet Earth project was conceived by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) finding UNESCO's Earth Sciences Division ready as co-initiator. It now enjoys the backing of all relevant IUGS's sister unions in ICSU, including IUGG, and through a Declaration adopted at the International Geological Congress (2004) of the global geoscience community. It has now won the full political backing of 14 nations, together representing half of the world population. The aim of the Year, encapsulated in its subtitle Earth sciences for Society, is to build awareness of the relationship between humankind and Planet Earth, and to demonstrate that geoscientists are key players in creating a balanced, sustainable future for both. 2007 or 2008 is aimed for the officially endorsed UN-year, but the whole project will begin one year ahead and run through to at least one year after the UN-year. The International Year includes a Science and an Outreach Programme, both of equal financial size. The eight Themes (Groundwater, Hazards, Health, Climate, Resources, Deep Earth, Ocean, and Megacities) in the Science Programme were selected for their societal impact, their potential for outreach, as well as their multidisciplinary nature and high scientific potential. Applications for more Themes (on `Soil' and on `Life') are being considered. Brochures with key questions and invitations for scientists to submit project proposals are being printed for each Theme and can be downloaded from www.esfs.org. The same bottom-up mode is applied for the Outreach Programme which will operate as a funding body, receiving bids for financial support - for anything from web-based educational resources to commissioning works of art that will help reinforce to the general public the central message of the Year. There are many potential interfaces and links between this initiative

  2. Asteroid impacts on terrestrial planets: the effects of super-Earths and the role of the ν6 resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smallwood, Jeremy L.; Martin, Rebecca G.; Lepp, Stephen; Livio, Mario

    2018-01-01

    With N-body simulations of a planetary system with an asteroid belt, we investigate how the asteroid impact rate on the Earth is affected by the architecture of the planetary system. We find that the ν6 secular resonance plays an important role in the asteroid collision rate with the Earth. Compared to exoplanetary systems, the Solar system is somewhat special in its lack of a super-Earth mass planet in the inner Solar system. We therefore first consider the effects of the presence of a super-Earth in the terrestrial planet region. We find a significant effect for super-Earths with a mass of around 10 M⊕ and a separation greater than about 0.7 au. For a super-Earth which is interior to the Earth's orbit, the number of asteroids colliding with Earth increases the closer the super-Earth is to the Earth's orbit. This is the result of multiple secular resonance locations causing more asteroids to be perturbed on to Earth-crossing orbits. When the super-Earth is placed exterior to Earth's orbit, the collision rate decreases substantially because the ν6 resonance no longer exists in the asteroid belt region. We also find that changing the semimajor axis of Saturn leads to a significant decrease in the asteroid collision rate, though increasing its mass increases the collision rate. These results may have implications for the habitability of exoplanetary systems.

  3. A review of the US Global Change Research Program and NASA's Mission to Planet Earth/Earth Observing System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Berrien, III; Anderson, James G.; Costanza, Robert; Gates, W. Lawrence; Grew, Priscilla C.; Leinen, Margaret S.; Mayewski, Paul A.; McCarthy, James J.; Sellers, Piers J.

    1995-01-01

    This report reflects the results of a ten-day workshop convened at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography July 19-28, 1995. The workshop was convened as the first phase of a two part review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The workshop was organized to provide a review of the scientific foundations and progress to date in the USGCRP and an assessment of the implications of new scientific insights for future USGCRP and Mission to Planet Earth/Earth Observing System (MTPE/EOS) activities; a review of the role of NASA's MTPE/EOS program in the USGCRP observational strategy; a review of the EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS) as a component of USGCRP data management activities; and an assessment of whether recent developments in the following areas lead to a need to readjust MTPE/EOS plans. Specific consideration was given to: proposed convergence of U.S. environmental satellite systems and programs, evolving international plans for Earth observation systems, advances in technology, and potential expansion of the role of the private sector. The present report summarizes the findings and recommendations developed by the Committee on Global Change Research on the basis of the presentations, background materials, working group deliberations, and plenary discussions of the workshop. In addition, the appendices include summaries prepared by the six working groups convened in the course of the workshop.

  4. The Most Earth Size, Habitable Zone Planets around a Single Star on This Week @NASA – 02/24/2017

    2017-02-24

    NASA held a news conference Feb. 22 at the agency’s headquarters to discuss the finding by the agency’s Spitzer Space Telescope of seven Earth-sized planets around a tiny, relatively nearby, ultra-cool dwarf star. Three of the planets in this system, known as TRAPPIST-1, are in the habitable zone – the region around the star in which liquid water is most likely to thrive on a rocky planet. This is the first time so many planets have been found in a single star's habitable zone outside our solar system, and is the best target yet for studying the atmospheres of potentially habitable, Earth-sized worlds. Also, Kennedy’s Pad 39A, Back in Business, Russian Cargo Ship Arrives at Space Station, RS-25 Engine Tests Resume at Stennis, Structural Testing Begins on SLS Hardware, and 55th Anniversary of Friendship 7 Flight!

  5. The Near-Earth Object Camera: A Next-Generation Minor Planet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainzer, Amy K.; Wright, Edward L.; Bauer, James; Grav, Tommy; Cutri, Roc M.; Masiero, Joseph; Nugent, Carolyn R.

    2015-11-01

    The Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) is a next-generation asteroid and comet survey designed to discover, characterize, and track large numbers of minor planets using a 50 cm infrared telescope located at the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrange point. Proposed to NASA's Discovery program, NEOCam is designed to carry out a comprehensive inventory of the small bodies in the inner regions of our solar system. It address three themes: 1) quantify the potential hazard that near-Earth objects may pose to Earth; 2) study the origins and evolution of our solar system as revealed by its small body populations; and 3) identify the best destinations for future robotic and human exploration. With a dual channel infrared imager that observes at 4-5 and 6-10 micron bands simultaneously through the use of a beamsplitter, NEOCam enables measurements of asteroid diameters and thermal inertia. NEOCam complements existing and planned visible light surveys in terms of orbital element phase space and wavelengths, since albedos can be determined for objects with both visible and infrared flux measurements. NEOCam was awarded technology development funding in 2011 to mature the necessary megapixel infrared detectors.

  6. Looking Down on the Earth: How Satellites Have Revolutionized Our Understanding of Our Home Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freilich, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Earth is a complex, dynamic system we do not yet fully understand. The Earth system, like the human body, comprises diverse components that interact in complex ways. We need to understand the Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere as a single connected system. Our planet is changing on all spatial and temporal scales. This presentation will highlight how satellite observations are revolutionizing our understanding of and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards. Bio: MICHAEL H. FREILICH, Director of the Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. Prior to NASA, he was a Professor and Associate Dean in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. He received Ph.D. in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Univ. of CA., San Diego) in 1982. Dr. Freilich's research focuses on the determination, validation, and geophysical analysis of ocean surface wind velocity measured by satellite-borne microwave radar and radiometer instruments. He has developed scatterometer and altimeter wind model functions, as well as innovative validation techniques for accurately quantifying the accuracy of spaceborne environmental measurements. Dr. Freilich has served on many NASA, National Research Council (NRC), and research community advisory and steering groups, including the WOCE Science Steering Committee, the NASA EOS Science Executive Committee, the NRC Ocean Studies Board, and several NASA data system review committees. Freilich's non-scientific passions include nature photography and soccer refereeing at the youth, high school, and adult levels.

  7. Looking Down on the Earth: How Satellites Have Revolutionized Our Understanding of Our Home Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freilich, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Earth is a complex, dynamic system we do not yet fully understand. The Earth system, like the human body, comprises diverse components that interact in complex ways. We need to understand the Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere as a single connected system. Our planet is changing on all spatial and temporal scales. This presentation will highlight how satellite observations are revolutionizing our understanding of and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards. Bio: MICHAEL H. FREILICH, Director of the Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. Prior to NASA, he was a Professor and Associate Dean in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. He received Ph.D. in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Univ. of CA., San Diego) in 1982. Dr. Freilich's research focuses on the determination, validation, and geophysical analysis of ocean surface wind velocity measured by satellite-borne microwave radar and radiometer instruments. He has developed scatterometer and altimeter wind model functions, as well as innovative validation techniques for accurately quantifying the accuracy of spaceborne environmental measurements. Dr. Freilich has served on many NASA, National Research Council (NRC), and research community advisory and steering groups, including the WOCE Science Steering Committee, the NASA EOS Science Executive Committee, the NRC Ocean Studies Board, and several NASA data system review committees. Freilich's non-scientific passions include nature photography and soccer refereeing at the youth, high school, and adult levels.

  8. The Power of the Crowd: An Up Close and Personal Perspective on Planet Earth.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.

    2015-12-01

    The space-based view of Earth has changed the way we look at our home planet, providing a perspective on the Earth as a system that can only be realized when viewed from a distance. Throughout my career as a researcher, including 2 years as NASA Chief Scientist, this "power of perspective" has been a tool through which I have engaged both colleagues and the public. These capabilities have transformed our understanding of climate and weather phenomena, ecosystem dynamics, changes in the cryosphere, and much more, through their macro-scale look at the various, highly complex components of the Earth system. But within these domains, there is a tremendous amount of small-scale variability that, if appropriately observed, can reveal new information about how elements within the Earth system work in ways that can directly impact people's lives. Consequently, there is a different power in this additional local perspective: it is one fueled by up-close and personal data collection. Through their engagement and commitment, citizen scientists are providing valuable data as well as personalized experience in the collection of those data. This presentation will include video clips that show a diverse set of citizen science projects in North America and worldwide, illustrating this scientifically useful combination of local and global. Such projects engage citizens and scientists alike in efforts to understand the world in which we live.

  9. Melting-induced crustal production helps plate tectonics on Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourenço, Diogo L.; Rozel, Antoine; Tackley, Paul J.

    2016-04-01

    Within our Solar System, Earth is the only planet to be in a mobile-lid regime. It is generally accepted that the other terrestrial planets are currently in a stagnant-lid regime, with the possible exception of Venus that may be in an episodic-lid regime (Armann and Tackley, JGR 2012). Using plastic yielding to self-consistently generate plate tectonics on an Earth-like planet with strongly temperature-dependent viscosity is now well-established, but such models typically focus on purely thermal convection, whereas compositional variations in the lithosphere can alter the stress state and greatly influence the likelihood of plate tectonics. For example, Rolf and Tackley (GRL, 2011) showed that the addition of a continent can reduce the critical yield stress for mobile-lid behaviour by a factor of around two. Moreover, it has been shown that the final tectonic state of the system can depend on the initial condition (Tackley, G3 2000 - part 2). Weller and Lenardic (GRL, 2012) found that the parameter range in which two solutions are obtained increases with viscosity contrast. We can also say that partial melting has a major role in the long-term evolution of rocky planets: (1) partial melting causes differentiation in both major elements and trace elements, which are generally incompatible (Hofmann, Nature 1997). Trace elements may contain heat-producing isotopes, which contribute to the heat loss from the interior; (2) melting and volcanism are an important heat loss mechanism at early times that act as a strong thermostat, buffering mantle temperatures and preventing it from getting too hot (Xie and Tackley, JGR 2004b); (3) mantle melting dehydrates and hardens the shallow part of the mantle (Hirth and Kohlstedt, EPSL 1996) and introduces viscosity and compositional stratifications in the shallow mantle due to viscosity variations with the loss of hydrogen upon melting (Faul and Jackson, JGR 2007; Korenaga and Karato, JGR 2008). We present a set of 2D spherical

  10. Selections from 2015: Earth-Sized Planet Found in Star's Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-03-01

    Editors Note:In these last two weeks of 2015, well be looking at a few selections from among the most-downloaded paperspublished in AAS journals this year. The usual posting schedule will resume after the AAS winter meeting.Discovery and Validation of Kepler-452b: a 1.6 R Super Earth Exoplanet in the Habitable Zone of a G2 StarPublished July2015Main takeaway:A phase-folded light curve showing the transit of Kepler-452b. Its transit lasts 10.5 hours, and its period is 385 days. [Jenkins et al. 2015]A team led by Jon Jenkins (NASA Ames Research Center) announced the discovery and confirmation of Kepler-452b, an exoplanet only 60% larger than Earth and located in the habitable zone of its G2 star. This planet orbits its star at a distance of just over 1 AU, taking 385 days to complete an orbit. Kepler-452b also stands a good chance of being rocky, according to estimates.Why its interesting:Kepler-452b is the first near-Earth-sized planet to be found in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star making this the closest analog to the Earth-Sun system found in the Kepler dataset so far.About the history of the system (and the future of ours?):The authors estimate that the system is ~6 billion years old, and that Kepler-452b has been in the habitable zone of its star throughout its lifetime a substantially longer time than Earth has been around and habitable! Kepler-452bs host star, in addition to being 1.5 billion years older than the Sun, is roughly 10% larger. This system might therefore provide a glimpse of what Earths environment may be like in the future, as the Sun slowly expands on its way to becoming a red giant.CitationJon M. Jenkins et al 2015 AJ 150 56. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/2/56

  11. Climate of Earth-Like Planets With and Without Ocean Heat Transport Orbiting a Range of M and K Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiang, N. Y.; Jablonski, Emma R.; Way, Michael J.; Del Genio, Anthony; Roberge, Aki

    2015-01-01

    The mean surface temperature of a planet is now acknowledged as insufficient to surmise its full potential habitability. Advancing our understanding requires exploration with 3D general circulation models (GCMs), which can take into account how gradients and fluxes across a planet's surface influence the distribution of heat, clouds, and the potential for heterogeneous distribution of liquid water. Here we present 3D GCM simulations of the effects of alternative stellar spectra, instellation, model resolution, and ocean heat transport, on the simulated distribution of heat and moisture of an Earth-like planet (ELP).

  12. A SUPER-EARTH-SIZED PLANET ORBITING IN OR NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE AROUND A SUN-LIKE STAR

    SciT

    Barclay, Thomas; Burke, Christopher J.; Howell, Steve B.

    We present the discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. The host is Kepler-69, a 13.7 mag G4V-type star. We detect two periodic sets of transit signals in the 3-year flux time series of Kepler-69, obtained with the Kepler spacecraft. Using the very high precision Kepler photometry, and follow-up observations, our confidence that these signals represent planetary transits is >99.3%. The inner planet, Kepler-69b, has a radius of 2.24{sup +0.44}{sub -0.29} R{sub Circled-Plus} and orbits the host star every 13.7 days. The outer planet, Kepler-69c, is a super-Earth-sized object with a radiusmore » of 1.7{sup +0.34}{sub -0.23} R{sub Circled-Plus} and an orbital period of 242.5 days. Assuming an Earth-like Bond albedo, Kepler-69c has an equilibrium temperature of 299 {+-} 19 K, which places the planet close to the habitable zone around the host star. This is the smallest planet found by Kepler to be orbiting in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star and represents an important step on the path to finding the first true Earth analog.« less

  13. Celebration of the International Year of Planet Earth in Canada: A Work in Progress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowlan, G. S.; Boyd, J. D.; Reimer, J.

    2009-05-01

    The International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE, 2007-2009) has been the inspiration for a variety of projects across Canada. Local events, including speaker series and educational programs in Earth sciences have taken place in several parts of the country in 2008-09. Most Canadian conferences for Earth scientists have developed programs reflecting IYPE in 2008 and 2009. The Walcott Conference, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Burgess Shale fauna, to be held in Banff in August 2009 has sponsorship from IYPE. All these projects have served to raise the local and national profile of IYPE and provide learning opportunities for many Canadians. The Canadian National Committee for IYPE developed the theme WHERE, which is an acronym for Water, Hazards, Energy, Resources and Environment. The tag line is Where on Earth? Where in Canada? Proposals for projects were sought nationally for projects that would leave a legacy following the completion of IYPE. The initial proposals were recast into a program of consolidated projects and funds were sought to support them, mainly from the private sector. Already completed are 32 fact sheets on mineral and energy resources and a poster on the resources required to build and run a snowmobile. There are several projects in various states of completion at the time of writing: these are showcased at www.EarthSciencesCanada.com and are intended to form a legacy that will last for years to come. Other projects were funded directly by local agencies to celebrate IYPE; an example is new signage in Alberta Provincial Parks funded by the Alberta Geological Survey. The WHERE Challenge asks Canadians aged 10-14 to answer two simple questions: What on Earth is in your stuff and where on Earth does it come from? Thousands of students are expected to enter this contest by the end of February by telling a story about the Earth resources required to build everyday objects. The story can be told in any medium and the more

  14. PlanetServer/EarthServer: Big Data analytics in Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pio Rossi, Angelo; Oosthoek, Jelmer; Baumann, Peter; Beccati, Alan; Cantini, Federico; Misev, Dimitar; Orosei, Roberto; Flahaut, Jessica; Campalani, Piero; Unnithan, Vikram

    2014-05-01

    Planetary data are freely available on PDS/PSA archives and alike (e.g. Heather et al., 2013). Their exploitation by the community is somewhat limited by the variable availability of calibrated/higher level datasets. An additional complexity of these multi-experiment, multi-mission datasets is related to the heterogeneity of data themselves, rather than their volume. Orbital - so far - data are best suited for an inclusion in array databases (Baumann et al., 1994). Most lander- or rover-based remote sensing experiment (and possibly, in-situ as well) are suitable for similar approaches, although the complexity of coordinate reference systems (CRS) is higher in the latter case. PlanetServer, the Planetary Service of the EC FP7 e-infrastructure project EarthServer (http://earthserver.eu) is a state-of-art online data exploration and analysis system based on the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards for Mars orbital data. It provides access to topographic, panchromatic, multispectral and hyperspectral calibrated data. While its core focus has been on hyperspectral data analysis through the OGC Web Coverage Processing Service (Oosthoek et al., 2013; Rossi et al., 2013), the Service progressively expanded to host also sounding radar data (Cantini et al., this volume). Additionally, both single swath and mosaicked imagery and topographic data are being added to the Service, deriving from the HRSC experiment (e.g. Jaumann et al., 2007; Gwinner et al., 2009) The current Mars-centric focus can be extended to other planetary bodies and most components are general purpose ones, making possible its application to the Moon, Mercury or alike. The Planetary Service of EarthServer is accessible on http://www.planetserver.eu References: Baumann, P. (1994) VLDB J. 4 (3), 401-444, Special Issue on Spatial Database Systems. Cantini, F. et al. (2014) Geophys. Res. Abs., Vol. 16, #EGU2014-3784, this volume Heather, D., et al.(2013) EuroPlanet Sci. Congr. #EPSC2013-626 Gwinner, K

  15. Three-dimensional presentation of the earth and planets in classrooms and science centers with a spherical screen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, A.; Tsugawa, T.; Odagi, Y.; Nishi, N.; Miyazaki, S.; Ichikawa, H.

    2012-12-01

    Educational programs have been developed for the earth and planetary science using a three-dimensional presentation system of the Earth and planets with a spherical screen. They have been used in classrooms of universities, high schools, elementary schools, and science centers. Two-dimensional map is a standard tool to present the data of the Earth and planets. However the distortion of the shape is inevitable especially for the map of wide areas. Three-dimensional presentation of the Earth, such as globes, is an only way to avoid this distortion. There are several projects to present the earth and planetary science results in three-dimension digitally, such as Science on a sphere (SOS) by NOAA, and Geo-cosmos by the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), Japan. These projects are relatively large-scale in instruments and cost, and difficult to use in classrooms and small-scale science centers. Therefore we developed a portable, scalable and affordable system of the three-dimensional presentation of the Earth and planets, Dagik Earth. This system uses a spherical screen and a PC projector. Several educational programs have been developed using Dagik Earth under collaboration of the researchers of the earth and planetary science and science education, school teachers, and curators of science centers, and used in schools and museums in Japan, Taiwan and other countries. It helps learners to achieve the proper cognition of the shape and size of the phenomena on the Earth and planets. Current status and future development of the project will be introduced in the presentation.

  16. International Year of Planet Earth - Accomplishments, Activities, Challenges and Plans in Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fucugauchi, J. U.; Perez-Cruz, L. L.; Alaniz-Alvarez, S.

    2009-12-01

    The International Year of Planet Earth started as a joint initiative by UNESCO and IUGS with the participation of several geosciences organizations, and developed into a major international geosciences program for the triennium 2007-2009, with the inclusion and participation of national and regional committees. In this presentation we focus on current activities and plans in our country and the participation in international activities. Mexican community has been part of international programs since the International Geophysical Year, continuing through its participation in other programs, e.g., Upper Mantle, Geodynamics, Lithosphere, IHY, IPY and eGY. IYPE activities have concentrated in publications, OneGeology, radio/TV programs, organization of conferences, meetings and outreach events. A book series on Earth Science Experiments for Children has been edited, with first books published on “Atmospheric Pressure and Free Fall of Objects”, “Light and Colors”, “Standing on Archimedes”, “Foucault and Climate” and “Earth and its Waves “. Books are distributed to schools, with tens of thousand copies distributed nationwide and new editions underway. Other publications include leaflets, books and special El Faro issues (edited by the National University) and articles in other journals. In 2007 the AGU Joint Assembly with international participation from US, Canada, Europe and Latin America was held in Acapulco. Current plans include an electronic open-access journal, additional publications of the Planet Earth series, articles and special issues in journals and magazines, plus events on selected themes from the IYPE science program, particularly on Megacities, Hazards, Resources and Biodiversity. Mexico City metropolitan area, with > 22 million inhabitants presents special challenges, being at high altitude within an active tectonic and volcanic area requiring major efforts in water supply, water control, rains and waste disposal and management

  17. Data and Information in the International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2009)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mulder, E.; Jackson, I.

    2007-05-01

    After its inception in 2001, the International Year of Planet Earth was proclaimed for 2008 by the UN General Assembly in December 2005. The UN Year is in the core of a triennium that started in January 2007 and will be closing by the end of 2009. Through UN proclamation, it has gained the political support by 191 UN nations. The International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) was initiated by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and UNESCO and was actively supported by all Earth science Unions in ICSU and by almost all major Earth Scientific bodies in the world. In this presentation special emphasis will be given to the OneGeology/Transparent Earth project, whose goal is to deliver interoperable digital geological map data for the world at a target scale of 1:1 M. The OneGeology project is an initiative being undertaken by more than 50 Geological Surveys (the numbers continue to grow weekly) and is being backed by six global geoscience bodies (ICOGS, IUGS, IYPE, CGMW, UNESCO and ISCGM). The project will be inclusive and is ensuring all countries may participate - thus depending on their capability and capacity nations will provide access to the geological map data they hold in different ways. For some coverage will at first be raster images; others with more developed systems will dynamically 'serve' geological map data for their territories as a WMS, WFS. For the more sophisticated attributed vector data the project will work in tandem with the IUGS Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information (CGI) and use the global geoscience data model and exchange language (GeoSciML) which a CGI Working Group has been developing. The partnership is a powerful one: in effect the OneGeology Project is providing the wheels and GeoSciML the engine for the roll-out and take-up of a global geoscience standard through the vehicle of a geological map - something all geologists understand. But the OneGeology project has other goals too - by

  18. Check-Up of Planet Earth at the Turn of the Millennium Anticipated New Phase in Earth Sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaufman, Yoram

    1999-01-01

    Langley's remarkable solar and lunar spectra collected from mt. Whitney inspired Arrhenius to develop the first quantitative climate model in 1896. In 1999, NASA's Earth Observing AM Satellite named recently "Terra" (by Ms. Sasha Jones, a 17 year old student in St. Louis, MO) will repeat Langley's experiment, but for the entire planet, thus pioneering calibrated spectral observations from space. Conceived in response to real environmental problems, EOS-AM, in conjunction with other international satellite efforts, will fill a major gap in current efforts by providing quantitative global data sets with a resolution of few kilometers on the physical, chemical and biological elements of the earth system. Thus, like Langley's data, EOS-AM can revolutionize climate research by inspiring a new generation of climate system models and enable us to assess the human impact on the environment. In this talk I shall a give a historical perspective for the need for this expensive mission, give examples of the science that we anticipate to achieve using Terra measurements and describe this exciting mission.

  19. Obtaining coincident image observations for Mission to Planet Earth science data return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newman, Lauri Kraft; Folta, David C.; Farrell, James P.

    1994-01-01

    One objective of the Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) program involves comparing data from various instruments on multiple spacecraft to obtain a total picture of the Earth's systems. To correlate image data from instruments on different spacecraft, these spacecraft must be able to image the same location on the Earth at approximately the same time. Depending on the orbits of the spacecraft involved, complicated operational details must be considered to obtain such observations. If the spacecraft are in similar orbits, close formation flying or synchronization techniques may be used to assure coincident observations. If the orbits are dissimilar, the launch time of the second satellite may need to be restricted in order to align its orbit with that of the first satellite launched. This paper examines strategies for obtaining coincident observations for spacecraft in both similar and dissimilar orbits. Although these calculations may be performed easily for coplanar spacecraft, the non-coplanar case involves additional considerations which are incorporated into the algorithms presented herein.

  20. High-resolution simulations of the final assembly of Earth-like planets. 2. Water delivery and planetary habitability.

    PubMed

    Raymond, Sean N; Quinn, Thomas; Lunine, Jonathan I

    2007-02-01

    The water content and habitability of terrestrial planets are determined during their final assembly, from perhaps 100 1,000-km "planetary embryos " and a swarm of billions of 1-10-km "planetesimals. " During this process, we assume that water-rich material is accreted by terrestrial planets via impacts of water-rich bodies that originate in the outer asteroid region. We present analysis of water delivery and planetary habitability in five high-resolution simulations containing about 10 times more particles than in previous simulations. These simulations formed 15 terrestrial planets from 0.4 to 2.6 Earth masses, including five planets in the habitable zone. Every planet from each simulation accreted at least the Earth's current water budget; most accreted several times that amount (assuming no impact depletion). Each planet accreted at least five water-rich embryos and planetesimals from the past 2.5 astronomical units; most accreted 10-20 water-rich bodies. We present a new model for water delivery to terrestrial planets in dynamically calm systems, with low-eccentricity or low-mass giant planets-such systems may be very common in the Galaxy. We suggest that water is accreted in comparable amounts from a few planetary embryos in a " hit or miss " way and from millions of planetesimals in a statistically robust process. Variations in water content are likely to be caused by fluctuations in the number of water-rich embryos accreted, as well as from systematic effects, such as planetary mass and location, and giant planet properties.

  1. Modeling the Entry of Micrometeoroids into the Atmospheres of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pevyhouse, A. R.; Kress, M. E.

    2011-01-01

    The temperature profiles of micrometeors entering the atmospheres of Earth-like planets are calculated to determine the altitude at which exogenous organic compounds may be released. Previous experiments have shown that flash-heated micrometeorite analogs release organic compounds at temperatures from roughly 500 to 1000 K [1]. The altitude of release is of great importance because it determines the fate of the compound. Organic compounds that are released deeper in the atmosphere are more likely to rapidly mix to lower altitudes where they can accumulate to higher abundances or form more complex molecules and/or aerosols. Variables that are explored here are particle size, entry angle, atmospheric density profiles, spectral type of the parent star, and planet mass. The problem reduces to these questions: (1) How much atmosphere does the particle pass through by the time it is heated to 500 K? (2) Is the atmosphere above sufficient to attenuate stellar UV such that the mixing timescale is shorter than the photochemical timescale for a particular compound? We present preliminary results that the effect of the planetary and particle parameters have on the altitude of organic release.

  2. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XLII. A system of Earth-mass planets around the nearby M dwarf YZ Ceti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astudillo-Defru, N.; Díaz, R. F.; Bonfils, X.; Almenara, J. M.; Delisle, J.-B.; Bouchy, F.; Delfosse, X.; Forveille, T.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Murgas, F.; Pepe, F.; Santos, N. C.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Wünsche, A.

    2017-09-01

    Exoplanet surveys have shown that systems with multiple low-mass planets on compact orbits are common. Except for a few cases, however, the masses of these planets are generally unknown. At the very end of the main sequence, host stars have the lowest mass and hence offer the largest reflect motion for a given planet. In this context, we monitored the low-mass (0.13 M⊙) M dwarf YZ Cet (GJ 54.1, HIP 5643) intensively and obtained radial velocities and stellar-activity indicators derived from spectroscopy and photometry, respectively. We find strong evidence that it is orbited by at least three planets in compact orbits (POrb = 1.97, 3.06, 4.66 days), with the inner two near a 2:3 mean-motion resonance. The minimum masses are comparable to the mass of Earth (M sin I = 0.75 ± 0.13, 0.98 ± 0.14, and 1.14 ± 0.17 M⊕), and they are also the lowest masses measured by radial velocity so far. We note the possibility for a fourth planet with an even lower mass of M sin I = 0.472 ± 0.096 M⊕ at POrb = 1.04 days. An n-body dynamical model is used to place further constraints on the system parameters. At 3.6 parsecs, YZ Cet is the nearest multi-planet system detected to date. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope under the program IDs 180.C-0886(A), 183.C-0437(A), and 191.C-0873(A) at Cerro La Silla (Chile).Radial velocity data (Table B.4) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/605/L11

  3. Tracing the ingredients for a habitable earth from interstellar space through planet formation.

    PubMed

    Bergin, Edwin A; Blake, Geoffrey A; Ciesla, Fred; Hirschmann, Marc M; Li, Jie

    2015-07-21

    We use the C/N ratio as a monitor of the delivery of key ingredients of life to nascent terrestrial worlds. Total elemental C and N contents, and their ratio, are examined for the interstellar medium, comets, chondritic meteorites, and terrestrial planets; we include an updated estimate for the bulk silicate Earth (C/N = 49.0 ± 9.3). Using a kinetic model of disk chemistry, and the sublimation/condensation temperatures of primitive molecules, we suggest that organic ices and macromolecular (refractory or carbonaceous dust) organic material are the likely initial C and N carriers. Chemical reactions in the disk can produce nebular C/N ratios of ∼1-12, comparable to those of comets and the low end estimated for planetesimals. An increase of the C/N ratio is traced between volatile-rich pristine bodies and larger volatile-depleted objects subjected to thermal/accretional metamorphism. The C/N ratios of the dominant materials accreted to terrestrial planets should therefore be higher than those seen in carbonaceous chondrites or comets. During planetary formation, we explore scenarios leading to further volatile loss and associated C/N variations owing to core formation and atmospheric escape. Key processes include relative enrichment of nitrogen in the atmosphere and preferential sequestration of carbon by the core. The high C/N bulk silicate Earth ratio therefore is best satisfied by accretion of thermally processed objects followed by large-scale atmospheric loss. These two effects must be more profound if volatile sequestration in the core is effective. The stochastic nature of these processes hints that the surface/atmospheric abundances of biosphere-essential materials will likely be variable.

  4. The "Planet Earth Week": a National Scientific Festival helping Italy Discover Geosciences.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seno, S.; Coccioni, R.

    2017-12-01

    The "Planet Earth Week- Italy Discovering Geosciences: a More Informed Society is a More Engaged Society" (www.settimanaterra.org) is a science festival that involves the whole of the Italian Regions: founded in 2012, it has become the largest event of Italian Geosciences and one of the biggest European science festivals. During a week in October several locations distributed throughout the Country (see map) are animated by events, called "Geoeventi", to disseminate geosciences to the masses and deliver science education by means of a wide range of activities: hiking, walking in city and town centers, open-door at museums and research centers, guided tours, exhibitions, educational and experimental workshops for children and young people, music and art performances, food and wine events, lectures, conferences, round tables. Universities and colleges, research centers, local Authorities, cultural and scientific associations, parks and museums, professionals organize the Geoeventi. The festival aims at bringing adults and young people to Geosciences, conveying enthusiasm for scientific research and discoveries, promoting sustainable cultural tourism, aware of environmental values and distributed all over Italy. The Geoeventi shed light both on the most spectacular and on the less known geological sites, which are often a stone's throw from home. The Planet Earth Week is growing year after year: the 2016 edition proposed 310 Geoeventi, 70 more than in 2015. The number of places involved in the project also increased and rose from 180 in 2015 to 230 in 2016. This initiative, that is also becoming a significant economic driver for many small companies active in the field of science divulgation, is analyzed, evaluated and put in a transnational network perspective.

  5. Tracing the ingredients for a habitable earth from interstellar space through planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Bergin, Edwin A.; Blake, Geoffrey A.; Ciesla, Fred; Hirschmann, Marc M.; Li, Jie

    2015-01-01

    We use the C/N ratio as a monitor of the delivery of key ingredients of life to nascent terrestrial worlds. Total elemental C and N contents, and their ratio, are examined for the interstellar medium, comets, chondritic meteorites, and terrestrial planets; we include an updated estimate for the bulk silicate Earth (C/N = 49.0 ± 9.3). Using a kinetic model of disk chemistry, and the sublimation/condensation temperatures of primitive molecules, we suggest that organic ices and macromolecular (refractory or carbonaceous dust) organic material are the likely initial C and N carriers. Chemical reactions in the disk can produce nebular C/N ratios of ∼1–12, comparable to those of comets and the low end estimated for planetesimals. An increase of the C/N ratio is traced between volatile-rich pristine bodies and larger volatile-depleted objects subjected to thermal/accretional metamorphism. The C/N ratios of the dominant materials accreted to terrestrial planets should therefore be higher than those seen in carbonaceous chondrites or comets. During planetary formation, we explore scenarios leading to further volatile loss and associated C/N variations owing to core formation and atmospheric escape. Key processes include relative enrichment of nitrogen in the atmosphere and preferential sequestration of carbon by the core. The high C/N bulk silicate Earth ratio therefore is best satisfied by accretion of thermally processed objects followed by large-scale atmospheric loss. These two effects must be more profound if volatile sequestration in the core is effective. The stochastic nature of these processes hints that the surface/atmospheric abundances of biosphere-essential materials will likely be variable. PMID:26150527

  6. The Effect of Varying Atmospheric Pressure upon Habitability and Biosignatures of Earth-like Planets.

    PubMed

    Keles, Engin; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Stracke, Barbara; Rauer, Heike

    2018-02-01

    Understanding the possible climatic conditions on rocky extrasolar planets, and thereby their potential habitability, is one of the major subjects of exoplanet research. Determining how the climate, as well as potential atmospheric biosignatures, changes under different conditions is a key aspect when studying Earth-like exoplanets. One important property is the atmospheric mass, hence pressure and its influence on the climatic conditions. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to understand the influence of atmospheric mass on climate, hence habitability, and the spectral appearance of planets with Earth-like, that is, N 2 -O 2 dominated, atmospheres orbiting the Sun at 1 AU. This work utilizes a 1D coupled, cloud-free, climate-photochemical atmospheric column model; varies atmospheric surface pressure from 0.5 to 30 bar; and investigates temperature and key species profiles, as well as emission and brightness temperature spectra in a range between 2 and 20 μm. Increasing the surface pressure up to 4 bar leads to an increase in the surface temperature due to increased greenhouse warming. Above this point, Rayleigh scattering dominates, and the surface temperature decreases, reaching surface temperatures below 273 K (approximately at ∼34 bar surface pressure). For ozone, nitrous oxide, water, methane, and carbon dioxide, the spectral response either increases with surface temperature or pressure depending on the species. Masking effects occur, for example, for the bands of the biosignatures ozone and nitrous oxide by carbon dioxide, which could be visible in low carbon dioxide atmospheres. Key Words: Planetary habitability and biosignatures-Atmospheres-Radiative transfer. Astrobiology 18, 116-132.

  7. HIGHLIGHTS AND IMPACTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF PLANET EARTH IN HUNGARY

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szarka, L.; Adam, J.; Brezsnyanszky, K.

    2009-12-01

    International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) activities of various geo-science associations, universities, research institutes and private companies in Hungary have been successfully coordinated by the Hungarian National Committee, which was established by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the UNESCO- and the IUGS National Committees. The National Launch Event (April 17, 2008) was followed with a four-days long “Earth Science Fair” at the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest. The IYPE was even briefly reviewed in the Hungarian Parliament. The Science Festival, organized annually by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in 2008 had a special IYPE-inspired slogan: “Science for the Habitable Earth”, where lectures were held about the modern content of the Greek Classical Elements (“earth”, “water”, “air” and “fire”, that is energy) and about the Humanity. In 2008/2009 numerous publications (including the Hungarian version of the IYPE booklet series, under the title GEO-FIFIKA, and the “Geological Map of Hungary for tourists” were produced. Throughout the country, symposia, contests, film shows (e.g., the movie “Another Planet”) and other performances were organized, with increasing media coverage. The worldwide premier of the Planet Earth TV took place in Hungary, on the occasion of the IAGA 11th Scientific Assembly (August 23-30, 2009). One of our conferences (“Earth and Heaven - Geology and Theology”) pointed out that there should be no conflict between science and religion, either in the fields of Earth’s history or evolution. Science (and only science) is able to give reliable knowledge how Nature works, and the investigation of the “ultimate Why” (i.e. the “Primordial Cause”) should be left to religions. At the same time, there are antagonistic conflicts between science and pseudo-science, and also between religions and pseudo-religions. Among the scientific programmes the activity of Geological Institute of

  8. Seismic generated infrasounds on Telluric Planets: Modeling and comparisons between Earth, Venus and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lognonne, P. H.; Rolland, L.; Karakostas, F. G.; Garcia, R.; Mimoun, D.; Banerdt, W. B.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    Earth, Venus and Mars are all planets in which infrasounds can propagate and interact with the solid surface. This leads to infrasound generation for internal sources (e.g. quakes) and to seismic waves generations for atmospheric sources (e.g. meteor, impactor explosions, boundary layer turbulences). Both the atmospheric profile, surface density, atmospheric wind and viscous/attenuation processes are however greatly different, including major differences between Mars/Venus and Earth due to the CO2 molecular relaxation. We present modeling results and compare the seismic/acoustic coupling strength for Earth, Mars and Venus. This modeling is made through normal modes modelling for models integrating the interior, atmosphere, both with realistic attenuation (intrinsic Q for solid part, viscosity and molecular relaxation for the atmosphere). We complete these modeling, made for spherical structure, by integration of wind, assuming the later to be homogeneous at the scale of the infrasound wavelength. This allows us to compute either the Seismic normal modes (e.g. Rayleigh surface waves), or the acoustic or the atmospheric gravity modes. Comparisons are done, for either a seismic source or an atmospheric source, on the amplitude of expected signals as a function of distance and frequency. Effects of local time are integrated in the modeling. We illustrate the Rayleigh waves modelling by Earth data (for large quakes and volcanoes eruptions). For Venus, very large coupling can occur at resonance frequencies between the solid part and atmospheric part of the planet through infrasounds/Rayleigh waves coupling. If the atmosphere reduced the Q (quality coefficient) of Rayleigh waves in general, the atmosphere at these resonance soffers better propagation than Venus crust and increases their Q. For Mars, Rayleigh waves excitations by atmospheric burst is shown and discussed for the typical yield of impacts. The new data of the Nasa INSIGHT mission which carry both seismic and

  9. Exoplanet dynamics. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars.

    PubMed

    Leconte, Jérémy; Wu, Hanbo; Menou, Kristen; Murray, Norman

    2015-02-06

    Planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars are often assumed to be in a state of tidally synchronized rotation, which would considerably affect their putative habitability. Although thermal tides cause Venus to rotate retrogradely, simple scaling arguments tend to attribute this peculiarity to the massive Venusian atmosphere. Using a global climate model, we show that even a relatively thin atmosphere can drive terrestrial planets' rotation away from synchronicity. We derive a more realistic atmospheric tide model that predicts four asynchronous equilibrium spin states, two being stable, when the amplitude of the thermal tide exceeds a threshold that is met for habitable Earth-like planets with a 1-bar atmosphere around stars more massive than ~0.5 to 0.7 solar mass. Thus, many recently discovered terrestrial planets could exhibit asynchronous spin-orbit rotation, even with a thin atmosphere. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  10. Habitable Planetary Systems (un)like our own: Which of the Known Extra-Solar Systems Could Harbor Earth-like Planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, Sean; Mandell, A.; Sigurdsson, S.

    2006-12-01

    Gas giant planets are far easier than terrestrial planets to detect around other stars, and are thought to form much more quickly than terrestrial planets. Thus, in systems with giant planets, the final stages of terrestrial planet formation are strongly affected by the giant planets' dynamical presence. Observations of giant planet orbits may therefore constrain the systems that can harbor potentially habitable, Earth-like planets. We combine two recent studies (1,2) and establish rough inner and outer limits for the giant planet orbits that allow terrestrial planets of at least 0.3 Earth masses to form in the habitable zone (HZ). For a star like the Sun, potentially habitable planets can form in systems with relatively low-eccentricity giant planets inside 0.5 Astronomical Units (AU) or outside 2.5 AU. More than one third of the currently known giant planet systems could have formed and now harbor a habitable planet. We thank NASA Astrobiology Institute for funding, through the Penn State, NASA Goddard, Virtual Planetary Laboratory, and University of Colorado lead teams. (1. Raymond, S.N., 2006, ApJ, 643, L131.; 2. Raymond, S.N., Mandell, A.M., Sigurdsson, S. 2006, Science, 313, 1413).

  11. The harmonic development of the Earth tide generating potential due to the direct effect of the planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, Torsten; Wenzel, Hans-Georg

    1994-09-01

    The time-harmonic development of the Earth tide generating potential due to the direct effect of the planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn has been computed. The catalog of the fully normalized potential coefficients contains 1483 waves. It is based on the DE102 numerical ephemeris of the planets between years 1900 and 2200. Gravity tides due to the planets computed from the catalog at the surface of the Earth have an accuracy of about 0.027 pm/sq s (1 pm/sq s = 10(exp -12) m/sq s = 0.1 ngal) rms and 0.160 / 0.008 pm/sq s at maximum in time / frequency domain using the new benchmark tidal gravity series (Wenzel 1994).

  12. What Every 17-Year Old Should Know about Planet Earth: The Report of a Conference of Educators and Geoscientists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Victor J.; Armstrong, Ronald E.

    1990-01-01

    Presented are the background, conference charge, organization, and results from the "Planet Earth" conference. Discussed were the goals and concepts that every high school senior should know when completing a pre-college education. The issues, goals, and concepts of a curriculum are suggested. (KR)

  13. Q & A with Kathleen M. Reilly, Author of "Planet Earth: 25 Environmental Projects You Can Build Yourself"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curriculum Review, 2008

    2008-01-01

    This article presents an interview with Kathleen M. Reilly, author of "Planet Earth: 25 Environmental Projects You Can Build Yourself." Environmental awareness needs to begin in childhood, and, through this book, Kathleen M. Reilly encourages children to learn about ecology and ecosystems to begin conservation early in their lives. Children ages 9…

  14. Planet Earth, Humans, Gravity and Their Connection to Natural Medicine-Essence from a 5000 Yrs Old Ancient Pedagogy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lakshmanan, S.; Monsanto, C.; Radjendirane, B.

    2015-12-01

    According to the Ancient Indian Science, the fundamental constituents of planet earth are the five elements (Solid, Liquid, Heat, Air and Akash (subtlest energy field)). The same five elements constitute the human body. The Chinese and many other native traditions have used their deep understanding of these elements to live in balance with the planet. David Suzuki has elaborated on this key issue in his classic book, The Legacy: "Today we are in a state of crisis, and we must join together to respond to that crisis. If we do so, Suzuki envisions a future in which we understand that we are the Earth and live accordingly. All it takes is imagination and a determination to live within our, and the planet's, means". Gravity, the common force that connects both the body and earth plays a major role in the metabolism as well as the autonomous function of different organs in the body. Gravity has a direct influence on the fruits and vegetables that are grown on the planet as well. As a result, there is a direct relationship among gravity, food and human health. My talk will cover the missing link between the Earth's Gravity and the human health. A new set of ancient axioms will be used to address this and many other issues that are remain as "major unsolved problems" linking modern Geophysical and Health sciences.

  15. Early stages in the evolution of the atmosphere and climate on the Earth-group planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moroz, V. I.; Mukhin, L. M.

    1977-01-01

    The early evolution of the atmospheres and climate of the Earth, Mars and Venus is discussed, based on a concept of common initial conditions and main processes (besides known differences in chemical composition and outgassing rate). It is concluded that: (1) liquid water appeared on the surface of the earth in the first few hundred million years; the average surface temperature was near the melting point for about the first two eons; CO2 was the main component of the atmosphere in the first 100-500 million years; (2) much more temperate outgassing and low solar heating led to the much later appearance of liquid water on the Martian surface, only one to two billion years ago; the Martian era of rivers, relatively dense atmosphere and warm climate ended as a result of irreversible chemical bonding of CO2 by Urey equilibrium processes; (3) a great lack of water in the primordial material of Venus is proposed; liquid water never was present on the surface of the planet, and there was practically no chemical bonding of CO2; the surface temperature was over 600 K four billion years ago.

  16. PLANETarium Pilot: visualizing PLANET Earth inside-out on the planetarium's full-dome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballmer, Maxim; Wiethoff, Tobias

    2016-04-01

    In the past decade, projection systems in most planetariums, traditional sites of outreach and education, have advanced from interfaces that can display the motion of stars as moving beam spots to systems that are able to visualize multicolor, high-resolution, immersive full-dome videos or images. These extraordinary capabilities are ideally suited for visualization of global processes occurring on the surface and within the interior of the Earth, a spherical body just as the full dome. So far, however, our community has largely ignored this wonderful interface for outreach and education, and any previous geo-shows have mostly been limited to cartoon-style animations. Thus, we here propose a framework to convey recent scientific results on the origin and evolution of our PLANET to the >100 million per-year worldwide audience of planetariums, making the traditionally astronomy-focussed interface a true PLANETarium. In order to do this most efficiently, we intend to show "inside-out" visualizations of scientific datasets and models, as if the audience was positioned in the Earth's core. Such visualizations are expected to be renderable to the dome with little or no effort. For example, showing global geophysical datasets (e.g., gravity, air temperature), or horizontal slices of seismic-tomography images and spherical computer models requires no rendering at all. Rendering of 3D Cartesian datasets or models may further be achieved using standard techiques. Here, we show several example pilot animations. These animations rendered for the full dome are projected back to 2D for visualization on the flatscreen. Present-day science visualizations are typically as intuitive as cartoon-style animations, yet more appealing visually, and clearly with a higher level of detail. In addition to e.g. climate change and natural hazards, themes for any future geo-shows may include the coupled evolution of the Earth's interior and life, from the accretion of our planet to the

  17. PLANETarium Pilot: visualizing PLANET Earth inside-out on the planetarium's full-dome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballmer, M. D.; Wiethoff, T.

    2014-12-01

    In the past decade, projection systems in most planetariums, traditional sites of outreach and education, have advanced from interfaces that can display the motion of stars as moving beam spots to systems that are able to visualize multicolor, high-resolution, immersive full-dome videos or images. These extraordinary capabilities are ideally suited for visualization of global processes occurring on the surface and within the interior of the Earth, a spherical body just as the full dome. So far, however, our community has largely ignored this wonderful interface for outreach and education, and any previous geo-shows have mostly been limited to cartoon-style animations. Thus, we here propose a framework to convey recent scientific results on the origin and evolution of our PLANET to the >100 million per-year worldwide audience of planetariums, making the traditionally astronomy-focussed interface a true PLANETarium. In order to do this most efficiently, we intend to show „inside-out" visualizations of scientific datasets and models, as if the audience was positioned in the Earth's inner core. Such visualizations are expected to be renderable to the dome with little or no effort. For example, showing global geophysical datasets (e.g., gravity, air temperature), or horizontal slices of seismic-tomography images and spherical computer models requires no rendering at all. Rendering of 3D Cartesian datasets or models may further be achieved using standard techiques. Here, we show several example pilot animations. These animations rendered for the full dome are projected back to 2D for visualization on a flatscreen. Present-day science visualizations are typically as intuitive as cartoon-style animations, yet more appealing visually, and clearly with a higher level of detail. In addition to e.g. climate change and natural hazards, themes for any future geo-shows may include the coupled evolution of the Earth's interior and life, from the accretion of our planet to the

  18. Primary school children and teachers discover the nature and science of planet Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinhans, Maarten; Verkade, Alex; Bastings, Mirjam; Reichwein, Maarten

    2016-04-01

    For various reasons primary schools emphasise language and calculus rather than natural sciences. When science is taught at all, examination systems often favour technological tricks and knowledge of the 'right' answer over the process of investigation and logical reasoning towards that answer. Over the long term, this is not conducive to curiosity and scientific attitude in large parts of the population. Since the problem is more serious in primary than in secondary education, and as children start their school career with a natural curiosity and great energy to explore their world, we focus our efforts on primary school teachers in close collaboration with teachers and researchers. Our objective was to spark children's curiosity and their motivation to learn and discover, as well as to help teachers develop self-afficacy in science education. To this end we developed a three-step program with a classroom game and sand-box experiments related to planet Earth and Mars. The classroom game Expedition Mundus simulates science in its focus on asking questions, reasoning towards answers on the basis of multiple sources and collaboration as well as growth of knowledge. Planet Mundus is entirely fictitional to avoid differences in foreknowledge between pupils. The game was tested in hundreds of classes in primary schools and the first years of secondary education and was printed (in Dutch) and distributed over thousands of schools as part of teacher education through university science hubs. Expedition Mundus was developed by the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and De Praktijk. The tested translations in English and German are available on http://www.expeditionmundus.org. Following the classroom game, we conducted simple landscape experiments in sand boxes supported by google earth imagery of real rivers, fans and deltas on Earth and Mars. This was loosely based on our fluvial morphodynamics research. This, in the presence of a

  19. From Planet Earth to Society: a new dynamics in Portugal about Geosciences Education and Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Elizabeth; Abreu Sá, Artur; José Roxo, Maria

    2013-04-01

    Since the United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), during the triennium 2007-2009, under the motto Earth Sciences for Society, many impacts and changes were generated among the Portuguese society. Today is possible to say that those were due to the work of the Portuguese National Committee for the IYPE. After 2009, the Portuguese National Commission for UNESCO created the Portuguese National Committee for the International Programme of Geosciences (IGCP) with the main goal to continue the work done during the IYPE. Among those activities, a Workshop entitled "InFormation in Context" was organized by the UNESCO NatCom - Portugal, in collaboration with the IGCP National Committee and the National Public Television (RTP). This activity was created to reach specially journalists, aiming to give them more information in context, related to Earth matters, mainly related to natural hazards and Climate Change. It is essential that society knows its degree of vulnerability to the occurrence of extreme natural phenomena, which are the basis of natural catastrophes, with serious social and economic consequences. Thus, it is crucial the development of a culture of prevention and precaution, which hinges on a correct information, based in scientific knowledge on causes and consequences of extreme natural phenomena. At the same time, it is necessary the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures, based on the analysis and cartography of risks, and in an effective monitoring process. During these workshops particular emphasis was given to the need to inform and educate the society in general, and students in particular, to the reality of living in a dynamic planet. Particular importance was given to natural hazards, such as those resulting from earthquakes landslides, floods, droughts, heat and cold waves and storms, which are those with the greatest potential danger in Portugal. An informed society is a

  20. Highlights and impacts of the International Year of Planet Earth in Hungary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szarka, László; Ádám, József; Brezsnyánszky, Károly; Haas, János; Kakas, Kristóf; Koppán, András.

    2010-05-01

    IYPE activities of various geo-science associations, universities, research institutes and private companies in Hungary (www.foldev.hu) have been successfully coordinated by the Hungarian National Committee, which was established by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the UNESCO- and the IUGS National Committees. The National Launch Event (April 17, 2008) was followed with a four-days long "Earth Science Fair" at the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest. The IYPE was even briefly reviewed in the Hungarian Parliament. The Science Festival, organized annually by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in 2008 had a special IYPE-inspired slogan: "Science for the Habitable Earth", where lectures were held about the modern content of the Greek Classical Elements ("earth", "water", "air" and "fire", that is energy) and about the Humanity. In 2008/2009 numerous publications (including the Hungarian version of the IYPE booklet series, under the title GEO-FIFIKA, the Természet Világa special issue in February 2009, the IYPE number of Földrajzi Közlemények (Geographical Communications), and the "Geological Map of Hungary for Tourists" were produced. Throughout the country, symposia (e.g. HUNGEO 2008, ELGI 100, MÁFI 140, Geotourism Symposium in October 2009), several contests (Hungarian Television "Delta", Élet és Tudomány on the occasion of the UN year, and the annual contests starting in 2007 at Miskolc University), film shows (e.g., the movie "Another Planet") and other performances (e.g. End of the Ice Age in Hungarian Natural History Museum) were organized, with modest but increasing media coverage. The worldwide premier of the Planet Earth TV took place in Hungary, on the occasion of the IAGA 11th Scientific Assembly (August 23-30, 2009, www.iaga2009sopron.hu). One of our conferences ("Earth and Heaven - Geology and Theology") pointed out that there should be no conflict between science and religion, either in the fields of Earth's history or evolution

  1. Increased insolation threshold for runaway greenhouse processes on Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Forget, Francois; Charnay, Benjamin; Wordsworth, Robin; Pottier, Alizée

    2013-12-01

    The increase in solar luminosity over geological timescales should warm the Earth's climate, increasing water evaporation, which will in turn enhance the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Above a certain critical insolation, this destabilizing greenhouse feedback can `run away' until the oceans have completely evaporated. Through increases in stratospheric humidity, warming may also cause evaporative loss of the oceans to space before the runaway greenhouse state occurs. The critical insolation thresholds for these processes, however, remain uncertain because they have so far been evaluated using one-dimensional models that cannot account for the dynamical and cloud feedback effects that are key stabilizing features of the Earth's climate. Here we use a three-dimensional global climate model to show that the insolation threshold for the runaway greenhouse state to occur is about 375 W m-2, which is significantly higher than previously thought. Our model is specifically developed to quantify the climate response of Earth-like planets to increased insolation in hot and extremely moist atmospheres. In contrast with previous studies, we find that clouds have a destabilizing feedback effect on the long-term warming. However, subsident, unsaturated regions created by the Hadley circulation have a stabilizing effect that is strong enough to shift the runaway greenhouse limit to higher values of insolation than are inferred from one-dimensional models. Furthermore, because of wavelength-dependent radiative effects, the stratosphere remains sufficiently cold and dry to hamper the escape of atmospheric water, even at large fluxes. This has strong implications for the possibility of liquid water existing on Venus early in its history, and extends the size of the habitable zone around other stars.

  2. The Earth Microbiome Project and modeling the planets microbial potential (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    The understanding of Earth's climate and ecology requires multiscale observations of the biosphere, of which microbial life are a major component. However, to acquire and process physical samples of soil, water and air that comprise the appropriate spatial and temporal resolution to capture the immense variation in microbial dynamics, would require a herculean effort and immense financial resources dwarfing even the most ambitious projects to date. To overcome this hurdle we created the Earth Microbiome Project, a crowd-sourced effort to acquire physical samples from researchers around the world that are, importantly, contextualized with physical, chemical and biological data detailing the environmental properties of that sample in the location and time it was acquired. The EMP leverages these existing efforts to target a systematic analysis of microbial taxonomic and functional dynamics across a vast array of environmental parameter gradients. The EMP captures the environmental gradients, location, time and sampling protocol information about every sample donated by our valued collaborators. Physical samples are then processed using a standardized DNA extraction, PCR, and shotgun sequencing protocol to generate comparable data regarding the microbial community structure and function in each sample. To date we have processed >17,000 samples from 40 different biomes. One of the key goals of the EMP is to map the spatiotemporal variability of microbial communities to capture the changes in important functional processes that need to be appropriately expressed in models to provide reliable forecasts of ecosystem phenotype across our changing planet. This is essential if we are to develop economically sound strategies to be good stewards of our Earth. The EMP recognizes that environments are comprised of complex sets of interdependent parameters and that the development of useful predictive computational models of both terrestrial and atmospheric systems requires

  3. Increased insolation threshold for runaway greenhouse processes on Earth-like planets.

    PubMed

    Leconte, Jérémy; Forget, Francois; Charnay, Benjamin; Wordsworth, Robin; Pottier, Alizée

    2013-12-12

    The increase in solar luminosity over geological timescales should warm the Earth's climate, increasing water evaporation, which will in turn enhance the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Above a certain critical insolation, this destabilizing greenhouse feedback can 'run away' until the oceans have completely evaporated. Through increases in stratospheric humidity, warming may also cause evaporative loss of the oceans to space before the runaway greenhouse state occurs. The critical insolation thresholds for these processes, however, remain uncertain because they have so far been evaluated using one-dimensional models that cannot account for the dynamical and cloud feedback effects that are key stabilizing features of the Earth's climate. Here we use a three-dimensional global climate model to show that the insolation threshold for the runaway greenhouse state to occur is about 375 W m(-2), which is significantly higher than previously thought. Our model is specifically developed to quantify the climate response of Earth-like planets to increased insolation in hot and extremely moist atmospheres. In contrast with previous studies, we find that clouds have a destabilizing feedback effect on the long-term warming. However, subsident, unsaturated regions created by the Hadley circulation have a stabilizing effect that is strong enough to shift the runaway greenhouse limit to higher values of insolation than are inferred from one-dimensional models. Furthermore, because of wavelength-dependent radiative effects, the stratosphere remains sufficiently cold and dry to hamper the escape of atmospheric water, even at large fluxes. This has strong implications for the possibility of liquid water existing on Venus early in its history, and extends the size of the habitable zone around other stars.

  4. Bioremediation at a global scale: from the test tube to planet Earth.

    PubMed

    de Lorenzo, Víctor; Marlière, Philippe; Solé, Ricard

    2016-09-01

    Planet Earth's biosphere has evolved over billions of years as a balanced bio-geological system ultimately sustained by sunpower and the large-scale cycling of elements largely run by the global environmental microbiome. Humans have been part of this picture for much of their existence. But the industrial revolution started in the XIX century and the subsequent advances in medicine, chemistry, agriculture and communications have impacted such balances to an unprecedented degree - and the problem has nothing but exacerbated in the last 20 years. Human overpopulation, industrial growth along with unsustainable use of natural resources have driven many sites and perhaps the planetary ecosystem as a whole, beyond recovery by spontaneous natural means, even if the immediate causes could be stopped. The most conspicuous indications of such a state of affairs include the massive change in land use, the accelerated increase in the levels of greenhouse gases, the frequent natural disasters associated to climate change and the growing non-recyclable waste (e.g. plastics and recalcitrant chemicals) that we release to the Environment. While the whole planet is afflicted at a global scale by chemical pollution and anthropogenic emissions, the ongoing development of systems and synthetic biology, metagenomics, modern chemistry and some key concepts from ecological theory allow us to tackle this phenomenal challenge and propose large-scale interventions aimed at reversing and even improving the situation. This involves (i) identification of key reactions or processes that need to be re-established (or altogether created) for ecosystem reinstallation, (ii) implementation of such reactions in natural or designer hosts able to self-replicate and deliver the corresponding activities when/where needed in a fashion guided by sound ecological modelling, (iii) dispersal of niche-creating agents at a global scale and (iv) containment, monitoring and risk assessment of the whole process

  5. Characterizing K2 Planet Discoveries: A Super-Earth Transiting the Bright K Dwarf HIP 116454

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Montet, Benjamin T.; Johnson, John Asher; Buchhave, Lars A.; Zeng, Li; Pepe, Francesco; Collier Cameron, Andrew; Latham, David W.; Molinari, Emilio; Udry, Stéphane; Lovis, Christophe; Matthews, Jaymie M.; Cameron, Chris; Law, Nicholas; Bowler, Brendan P.; Angus, Ruth; Baranec, Christoph; Bieryla, Allyson; Boschin, Walter; Charbonneau, David; Cosentino, Rosario; Dumusque, Xavier; Figueira, Pedro; Guenther, David B.; Harutyunyan, Avet; Hellier, Coel; Kuschnig, Rainer; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Mayor, Michel; Micela, Giusi; Moffat, Anthony F. J.; Pedani, Marco; Phillips, David F.; Piotto, Giampaolo; Pollacco, Don; Queloz, Didier; Rice, Ken; Riddle, Reed; Rowe, Jason F.; Rucinski, Slavek M.; Sasselov, Dimitar; Ségransan, Damien; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Szentgyorgyi, Andrew; Watson, Chris; Weiss, Werner W.

    2015-02-01

    We report the first planet discovery from the two-wheeled Kepler (K2) mission: HIP 116454 b. The host star HIP 116454 is a bright (V = 10.1, K = 8.0) K1 dwarf with high proper motion and a parallax-based distance of 55.2 ± 5.4 pc. Based on high-resolution optical spectroscopy, we find that the host star is metal-poor with [Fe/H] =-0.16 ± 0.08 and has a radius R sstarf = 0.716 ± 0.024 R ⊙ and mass M sstarf = 0.775 ± 0.027 M ⊙. The star was observed by the Kepler spacecraft during its Two-Wheeled Concept Engineering Test in 2014 February. During the 9 days of observations, K2 observed a single transit event. Using a new K2 photometric analysis technique, we are able to correct small telescope drifts and recover the observed transit at high confidence, corresponding to a planetary radius of Rp = 2.53 ± 0.18 R ⊕. Radial velocity observations with the HARPS-N spectrograph reveal a 11.82 ± 1.33 M ⊕ planet in a 9.1 day orbit, consistent with the transit depth, duration, and ephemeris. Follow-up photometric measurements from the MOST satellite confirm the transit observed in the K2 photometry and provide a refined ephemeris, making HIP 116454 b amenable for future follow-up observations of this latest addition to the growing population of transiting super-Earths around nearby, bright stars.

  6. CHARACTERIZING K2 PLANET DISCOVERIES: A SUPER-EARTH TRANSITING THE BRIGHT K DWARF HIP 116454

    SciT

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Montet, Benjamin T.; Johnson, John Asher

    We report the first planet discovery from the two-wheeled Kepler (K2) mission: HIP 116454 b. The host star HIP 116454 is a bright (V = 10.1, K = 8.0) K1 dwarf with high proper motion and a parallax-based distance of 55.2 ± 5.4 pc. Based on high-resolution optical spectroscopy, we find that the host star is metal-poor with [Fe/H] =–0.16 ± 0.08 and has a radius R {sub *} = 0.716 ± 0.024 R {sub ☉} and mass M {sub *} = 0.775 ± 0.027 M {sub ☉}. The star was observed by the Kepler spacecraft during its Two-Wheeled Concept Engineering Test in 2014more » February. During the 9 days of observations, K2 observed a single transit event. Using a new K2 photometric analysis technique, we are able to correct small telescope drifts and recover the observed transit at high confidence, corresponding to a planetary radius of R{sub p} = 2.53 ± 0.18 R {sub ⊕}. Radial velocity observations with the HARPS-N spectrograph reveal a 11.82 ± 1.33 M {sub ⊕} planet in a 9.1 day orbit, consistent with the transit depth, duration, and ephemeris. Follow-up photometric measurements from the MOST satellite confirm the transit observed in the K2 photometry and provide a refined ephemeris, making HIP 116454 b amenable for future follow-up observations of this latest addition to the growing population of transiting super-Earths around nearby, bright stars.« less

  7. Understanding divergent evolution of Earth-like planets: The case for a Venus exploration program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, D.

    The planet Venus is our most Earth-like neighbor in size, mass, and solar distance. In spite of these similarities, the Venus surface and atmosphere are characterized by some of the most enigmatic features seen anywhere in the solar system. Here, we propose a Venus exploration program designed to explain the origin and divergent evolution of the interiors, surfaces, and atmospheres of the terrestrial planets in our solar system, and provide greater insight into the conditions that may affect the habitability of terrestrial planets in other solar systems. This program includes: - The Noble Gas and Trace Gas Explorer is the highest priority mission because itsdata are vital to our understanding of the origin of Venus. This Discovery classmission requires a single entry probe that will carry the state-of-the-art instrumentsneeded to complete the noble gas and trace gas inventories between the cloud topsand the surface. - The Global Geological Process Mapping Orbiter is a Discovery class mission. Itwill carry a C- and/or X-band radar designed for stereo or interferometric imaging,to provide global maps of the surface at horizontal resolutions of 25 to 50 metersto identify and characterize the geologic processes that have shaped the Venussurface. - The Atmospheric Composition Orbiter is a Discovery class mission that will carryremote sensing instruments for characterizing clouds and trace gas variationsthroughout the atmosphere. This mission will collect the data needed tocharacterize the radiative, chemical, and dynamical processes that are maintainingthe thermal structure and composition of the present atmosphere. - The Atmospheric Dynamics Explorer is a New Frontiers class mission that willdeploy 12 to 24 long-lived balloons over a range of latitudes and altitudes toidentify the mechanisms responsible for maintaining the atmosphericsuperrotation. - The Surface and Interior Explorer is a New Frontiers class mission that will deploythree or more long-lived landers on

  8. The runaway Greenhouse revisited: it's "theoretically possible for an Earth-like planet at 1 AU", plus implications for more diverse planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldblatt, C.; Zahnle, K. J.; Crisp, D.; Robinson, T. D.

    2013-12-01

    For water-vapour rich atmospheres, there is an asymptotic limit on thermal emission to space. If more sunlight is absorbed than this limit, energy balance is no longer possible and runaway heating occurs, evaporating the ocean and sterilizing the planet en route. Here, we present recently published work (Goldblatt et al., 2013) which was the first full re-evaluation of the problem since classic 1980's era work (e.g. Watson et al., 1984; Abe & Matsui, 1988; Kasting, 1988). With modern molecular absorption databases and a line-by-line resolution model, we find that the thermal limit is lower than previous estimates (282Wm-2, down from 310Wm-2) and that much more sunlight is absorbed by a steam atmosphere (294Wm-2, up from 222Wm-2). The immediate implication is that a cloud-free moist atmosphere on Earth would cause a runaway greenhouse. Triggering it would simply be a matter of sufficient heating, with around 30,000ppmv being sufficient in our most Earth-like model. This is substantially different than previous calculations, where weak solar absorption meant that a higher solar flux was required. Our published calculations are for the limit of clear-skies; any clouds would reduce both the thermal radiation emitted and the solar radiation absorbed, so clouds could make the runaway greenhouse either more or less likely. It can be shown that and excess of cloud reflection over cloud greenhouse is required to maintain temperate climate on Earth today - but how clouds will change in a warming atmosphere is far from clear. Work in progress (and hopefully ready by December!) on cloudy runaway greenhouse models will hopefully constrain this better. Wider implications for planetary stability will also be discussed. For example, water-world planets, with minimal background gas in the atmosphere may be highly susceptible to runaway greenhouses (heating Europa might take it directly from a snowball to a runaway). High CO2 levels after previous Snowball Earth events did not

  9. Celestial Exoplanet Survey Occulter: A Concept for Direct Imaging of Extrasolar Earth-like Planets from the Ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janson, M.

    2007-02-01

    We present a new concept for detecting and characterizing extrasolar planets down to Earth size or smaller through direct imaging. The New Worlds Observer (NWO) occulter developed by Cash and coworkers is placed in a particular geometrical setup in which fuel requirements are small and the occulter is used in combination with ground-based telescopes, presumably leading to an extreme cost efficiency compared to other concepts with similar science goals. We investigate the various aspects of the given geometry, such as the dynamics and radiation environment of the occulter, and construct a detailed example target list to ensure that an excellent science case can be maintained despite the limited sky coverage. It is found that more than 200 systems can be observed with two to three visits per system, using only a few tons of fuel. For each system, an Earth-sized planet with an Earth-like albedo can be found in the habitable zone in less than 2 hr.

  10. The problem of iron partition between Earth and Moon during simultaneous formation as a double planet system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassidy, W. A.

    1984-01-01

    A planetary model is described which requires fractional vapor/liquid condensation, planet accumulation during condensation, a late start for accumulation of the Moon, and volatile accretion to the surfaces of each planet only near the end of the accumulation process. In the model, initial accumulation of small objects is helped if the agglomerating particles are somewhat sticky. Assuming that growth proceeds through this range, agglomeration continues. If the reservoir of vapor is being preferentially depleted in iron by fractional condensation, an iron-rich planetary core forms. As the temperature decreases, condensing material becomes progressively richer in silicates and poorer in iron, forming the silicate-rich mantle of an already differentiated Earth. A second center of agglomeration successfully forms near the growing Earth after most of the iron in the reservoir has been used up. The bulk composition of the Moon then is similar to the outer mantle of the accumulating Earth.

  11. The Carbonate-Silicate Cycle on Earth-like Planets Near The End Of Their Habitable Lifetimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rushby, A. J.; Mills, B.; Johnson, M.; Claire, M.

    2016-12-01

    The terrestrial cycle of silicate weathering and metamorphic outgassing buffers atmospheric CO2 and global climate over geological time on Earth. To first order, the operation of this cycle is assumed to occur on Earth-like planets in the orbit of other main-sequence stars in the galaxy that exhibit similar continent/ocean configurations. This has important implications for studies of planetary habitability, atmospheric and climatic evolution, and our understanding of the potential distribution of life in the Universe. We present results from a simple biogeochemical carbon cycle model developed to investigate the operation of the carbonate-silicate cycle under conditions of differing planet mass and position within the radiative habitable zone. An active carbonate-silicate cycle does extend the length of a planet's habitable period through the regulation of the CO2 greenhouse. However, the breakdown of the negative feedback between temperature, pCO2, and weathering rates towards the end of a planet's habitable lifespan results in a transitory regime of `carbon starvation' that would inhibit the ability of oxygenic photoautotrophs to metabolize, and result in the collapse of any putative biosphere supported by these organisms, suggesting an earlier limit for the initiation of inhabitable conditions than when considering temperature alone. This conclusion stresses the importance of considering the full suite of planetary properties when determining potential habitability. A small sample of exoplanets was tested using this model, and the length of their habitable periods were found to be significantly longer than that of the Earth, primarily as a function of the differential rates of stellar evolution expected from their host stars. Furthermore, we carried out statistical analysis of a series of model input parameters, determining that both the mass of the planet and the sensitivity of seafloor weathering processes to dissolved CO2 exhibit significant controls on the

  12. The Strategies for SETV and the Search for Exogenous Intelligent Life on Planet Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodorani, M.

    2002-10-01

    are produced by an extraterrestrial intelligence visiting our planet. The importance of studying the anomalies on Earth is to distinguish which ones of them might be possibly due to extraterrestrial intelligence, if this is really the case, and which ones are due to natural phenomena. The paper is accompanied with a rich bibliographic reference source concerning astronomy and physics general subjects, SETI, SETA, SETV, canonic (including Dyson theory) and exotic propulsion and transportation systems, and the physics of atmospheric anomalies.

  13. A 1.9 Earth Radius Rocky Planet and the Discovery of a Non-transiting Planet in the Kepler-20 System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Dumusque, Xavier; Rice, Ken; Vanderburg, Andrew; Mortier, Annelies; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Lopez, Eric; Lundkvist, Mia S.; Kjeldsen, Hans; Affer, Laura; Bonomo, Aldo S.; Charbonneau, David; Collier Cameron, Andrew; Cosentino, Rosario; Figueira, Pedro; Fiorenzano, Aldo F. M.; Harutyunyan, Avet; Haywood, Raphaëlle D.; Johnson, John Asher; Latham, David W.; Lovis, Christophe; Malavolta, Luca; Mayor, Michel; Micela, Giusi; Molinari, Emilio; Motalebi, Fatemeh; Nascimbeni, Valerio; Pepe, Francesco; Phillips, David F.; Piotto, Giampaolo; Pollacco, Don; Queloz, Didier; Sasselov, Dimitar; Ségransan, Damien; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Udry, Stéphane; Watson, Chris

    2016-12-01

    Kepler-20 is a solar-type star (V = 12.5) hosting a compact system of five transiting planets, all packed within the orbital distance of Mercury in our own solar system. A transition from rocky to gaseous planets with a planetary transition radius of ˜1.6 {R}\\oplus has recently been proposed by several articles in the literature. Kepler-20b ({R}p ˜ 1.9 {R}\\oplus ) has a size beyond this transition radius; however, previous mass measurements were not sufficiently precise to allow definite conclusions to be drawn regarding its composition. We present new mass measurements of three of the planets in the Kepler-20 system that are facilitated by 104 radial velocity measurements from the HARPS-N spectrograph and 30 archival Keck/HIRES observations, as well as an updated photometric analysis of the Kepler data and an asteroseismic analysis of the host star ({M}\\star = 0.948+/- 0.051 {M}⊙ and {R}\\star = 0.964+/- 0.018 {R}⊙ ). Kepler-20b is a {1.868}-0.034+0.066 {R}\\oplus planet in a 3.7 day period with a mass of {9.70}-1.44+1.41 {M}\\oplus , resulting in a mean density of {8.2}-1.3+1.5 {{g}} {{cm}}-3, indicating a rocky composition with an iron-to-silicate ratio consistent with that of the Earth. This makes Kepler-20b the most massive planet with a rocky composition found to date. Furthermore, we report the discovery of an additional non-transiting planet with a minimum mass of {19.96}-3.61+3.08 {M}\\oplus and an orbital period of ˜34 days in the gap between Kepler-20f (P ˜ 11 days) and Kepler-20d (P ˜ 78 days). Based on observations made with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on the island of La Palma by the Fundación Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofísica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.

  14. SPE (tm) water electrolyzers in support of mission from planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcelroy, J. F.

    1991-01-01

    During the 1970's, the Solid Polymer Electrolyte (SPE) water electrolyzer, which uses ion exchange membranes as its sole electrolyte, was developed for nuclear submarine metabolic oxygen production. SPE water electrolyzer developments included operation at up to 3,000 psia and at current densities in excess of 1,000 amps per square foot. The SPE water electrolyzer system has accumulated tens of thousands of system hours with the Navies of both the United States and the United Kingdom. During the 1980's, the basic SPE water electrolyzer cell structure developed for the Navies was incorporated into several demonstrators for NASA's Space Station Program. Among these were: (1) the SPE regenerative fuel cell for electrical energy storage; (2) the SPE water electrolyzer for metabolic oxygen production; and (3) the high pressure SPE water electrolyzer for reboost propellant production. In the 1990's, emphasis will be the development of SPE water electrolyzers for Mission from Planet Earth. Currently defined potential applications for the SPE water electrolyzer include: (1) SPE water electrolyzers operating at high pressure as part of a regenerative fuel cell extraterrestrial surface energy storage system; (2) SPE water electrolyzers for propellant production from extraterrestrial indigenous materials; and (3) SPE water electrolyzers for metabolic oxygen and potable water production from reclaimed water.

  15. Intense Gamma-Ray Flashes Above Thunderstorms on the Earth and Other Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fishman, Gerald J.

    2010-01-01

    Intense millisecond flashes of MeV photons have been observed with space-borne detectors in Earth orbit. They are expected to be present on other planets that exhibit lightning. The terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) were discovered with the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) aboard the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) in the early 1990s. They are now being observed with several other instruments, including the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) detectors on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Although Fermi- GBM was designed and optimized for the observation of cosmic gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), it has unprecedented capabilities for TGF observations. The TGFs usually have extremely hard continuous spectra, typical of highly- Comptonized bremsstrahlung radiation. These spectral are harder than those of GRBs, with photons extending to over 40 MeV. The most likely origin of these high-energy photons is bremsstrahlung radiation produced by a relativistic "runaway avalanche" electron beam. Such a beam is expected to be produced in an extended, intense electric field in or above thunderstorm regions. The altitude of origin and beaming characteristics of the radiation are quite uncertain. They have generated considerable observational and theoretical interest in recent years. This talk will give an overview of the all of the space-borne observations of TGFs that have been made thus far. Instruments are being designed specifically for TGF observations from new spacecraft as well as from airborne platforms

  16. On the Effects of the Evolution of Microbial Mats and Land Plants on the Earth as a Planet. Photometric and Spectroscopic Light Curves of Paleo-Earths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; García Munõz, A.

    2013-04-01

    Understanding the spectral and photometric variability of the Earth and the rest of the solar system planets has become of utmost importance for the future characterization of rocky exoplanets. As this is not only interesting at present times but also along the planetary evolution, we studied the effect that the evolution of microbial mats and plants over land has had on the way our planet looks from afar. As life evolved, continental surfaces changed gradually and non-uniformly from deserts through microbial mats to land plants, modifying the reflective properties of the ground and most likely the distribution of moisture and cloudiness. Here, we used a radiative transfer model of the Earth, together with geological paleo-records of the continental distribution and a reconstructed cloud distribution, to simulate the visible and near-IR radiation reflected by our planet as a function of Earth's rotation. We found that the evolution from deserts to microbial mats and to land plants produces detectable changes in the globally averaged Earth's reflectance. The variability of each surface type is located in different bands and can induce reflectance changes of up to 40% in period of hours. We conclude that by using photometric observations of an Earth-like planet at different photometric bands it would be possible to discriminate between different surface types. While recent literature proposes the red-edge feature of vegetation near 0.7 μm as a signature for land plants, observations in near-IR bands can be equally or even better suited for this purpose.

  17. Equilibrium Temperatures and Albedos of Habitable Earth-Like Planets in a Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean GCM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Del Genio, Anthony; Way, Michael; Amundsen, David; Sohl, Linda; Fujii, Yuka; Ebihara, Yuka; Kiang, Nancy; Chandler, Mark; Aleinov, Igor; Kelley, Maxwell

    2017-01-01

    The potential habitability of detected exoplanets is typically assessed using the concept of equilibrium temperature (T[subscript] e) based on cloud-free 1-D models with assumed albedo equal to Earth's (0.3) to determine whether a planet lies in the habitable zone. Incident stellar flux appears to be a better metric for stars unlike the Sun. These estimates, however, ignore the effect of clouds on planetary albedo and the fact that the climates of synchronously rotating planets are not well predicted by 1-D models. Given that most planet candidates that will be detected in the next few years will be tidally locked and orbiting M stars, how might the habitable zone e tailored to better in-form characterization with scarce observing resources?

  18. Interactive Mapping of the Planets: An Online Activity Using the Google Earth Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osinski, G. R.; Gilbert, A.; Harrison, T. N.; Mader, M. M.; Shankar, B.; Tornabene, L. L.

    2013-12-01

    With funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's PromoScience program and support from the Department of Earth Sciences at The University of Western Ontario, the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) has developed a new web-based initiative called Interactive Mapping of the Planets (IMAPS). Additional components include in person school visits to deliver inquiry-based workshops, week-long summer camps, and pre-prepared impact rock lending kits, all framed around the IMAPS activity. IMAPS will is now in beta testing mode and will be demonstrated in this session. The general objective of the online activity is for participants to plan and design a rover mission to Mars based on a given mission goal - e.g., to find evidence for past water flow. The activity begins with participants receiving image-analysis training to learn about the different landforms on Mars and which ones are potentially caused by water flow. They then need to pass a short test to show they can consistently identify Martian landforms. From there, the participants choose a landing site and plan a traverse - utilizing the free Google Earth plug-in - and taking into account factors such as hazards and their sites of interest. A mission control blog will provide updates on the status of their mission and a 'choose your rover' option provides the opportunity to unlock more advanced rovers by collaborating with other scientists and rating their missions. Indeed, evaluation of missions will be done using a crowd-sourcing method. In addition to being fully accessible online, CPSX will also target primary- and secondary-school grades in which astronomy and space science is taught. Teachers in K-12 classrooms will be able to sign-up for the activity ahead of time in order to receive a workshop package, which will guide them on how to use the IMAPS online activity with their class. Teachers will be able to set up groups for their classroom so that they can

  19. IMPACT OF η{sub Earth} ON THE CAPABILITIES OF AFFORDABLE SPACE MISSIONS TO DETECT BIOSIGNATURES ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciT

    Léger, Alain; Defrère, Denis; Malbet, Fabien

    2015-08-01

    We present an analytic model to estimate the capabilities of space missions dedicated to the search for biosignatures in the atmosphere of rocky planets located in the habitable zone of nearby stars. Relations between performance and mission parameters, such as mirror diameter, distance to targets, and radius of planets, are obtained. Two types of instruments are considered: coronagraphs observing in the visible, and nulling interferometers in the thermal infrared. Missions considered are: single-pupil coronagraphs with a 2.4 m primary mirror, and formation-flying interferometers with 4 × 0.75 m collecting mirrors. The numbers of accessible planets are calculated as a functionmore » of η{sub Earth}. When Kepler gives its final estimation for η{sub Earth}, the model will permit a precise assessment of the potential of each instrument. Based on current estimations, η{sub Earth} = 10% around FGK stars and 50% around M stars, the coronagraph could study in spectroscopy only ∼1.5 relevant planets, and the interferometer ∼14.0. These numbers are obtained under the major hypothesis that the exozodiacal light around the target stars is low enough for each instrument. In both cases, a prior detection of planets is assumed and a target list established. For the long-term future, building both types of spectroscopic instruments, and using them on the same targets, will be the optimal solution because they provide complementary information. But as a first affordable space mission, the interferometer looks the more promising in terms of biosignature harvest.« less

  20. "Urban Fossils": a project enabling reflections concerning human impact on planet Earth.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lozar, Francesca; Delfino, Massimo; Magagna, Alessandra; Ferrero, Elena; Cirilli, Francesca; Bernardi, Massimo; Giardino, Marco

    2016-04-01

    -Piemonte and the Regional Museum of Natural History of Torino; starting from autumn 2015, it is hosted by several Italian museums of Natural History. Since many of the "urban fossils" are ephemeral and doomed to destruction at "catastrophic" events (eg. maintenance of roads and sidewalks), a virtual collection (www.progeopiemonte.it) will preserve in time their photographs, allowing and promoting continue discussion on aspects of paleontology generally neglected outside the academia, such as ichnology and taphonomy, and on the traces that we, humans, will leave on planet Earth and will ultimately be buried in the Anthropocene rocks. "Urban Fossils" is therefore an ongoing project, with a great interdisciplinary value, that represents an opportunity for both geoscientists and society to become more conscious of their role and responsibility in everyday life activities.

  1. The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth, 1984-85. Evaluation Section Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York City Board of Education, Brooklyn, NY. Office of Educational Evaluation.

    In 1984-85, the Mobil Corporation provided the New York City Board of Education with a grant for developing an instructional project related to the Public Broadcasting System series, "The Living Planet." This series explored the concepts of the balance of nature and the adaptations of various life forms to our changing planet. The Living…

  2. Planetary Formation: From the Earth and Moon to Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. Specific issues to be discussed include: (1) how large a solid core is needed to initiate rapid accumulation of gas? (2) can giant planets form very close to stars? (3) could a giant impact leading to lunar formation have occurred approximately 100 million years after the condensation of the oldest meteorites?

  3. Planetary Formation: From the Earth and Moon to Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases-such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. Specific issues to be discussed include: (1) how large a solid core is needed to initiate rapid accumulation of gas? (2) can giant planets form very close to stars? (3) could a giant impact leading to lunar formation have occurred approx. 100 million years after the condensation of the oldest meteorites?

  4. Dynamics of a Probable Earth-mass Planet in the GJ 832 System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satyal, S.; Griffith, J.; Musielak, Z. E.

    2017-08-01

    The stability of planetary orbits around the GJ 832 star system, which contains inner (GJ 832c) and outer (GJ 832b) planets, is investigated numerically and a detailed phase-space analysis is performed. Special attention is given to the existence of stable orbits for a planet less than 15 M ⊕ that is injected between the inner and outer planets. Thus, numerical simulations are performed for three and four bodies in elliptical orbits (or circular for special cases) by using a large number of initial conditions that cover the selected phase-spaces of the planet’s orbital parameters. The results presented in the phase-space maps for GJ 832c indicate the least deviation of eccentricity from its nominal value, which is then used to determine its inclination regime relative to the star-outer planet plane. Also, the injected planet is found to display stable orbital configurations for at least one billion years. Then, the radial velocity curves based on the signature from the Keplerian motion are generated for the injected planets with masses 1 M ⊕ to 15 M ⊕ in order to estimate their semimajor axes and mass limits. The synthetic RV signal suggests that an additional planet of mass ≤15 M ⊕ with a dynamically stable configuration may be residing between 0.25 and 2.0 au from the star. We have provided an estimated number of RV observations for the additional planet that is required for further observational verification.

  5. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Fonda, Mark (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Modern theories of star and planet formation and of the orbital stability of planetary systems are described and used to discuss possible characteristics of undiscovered planetary systems. The most detailed models of planetary growth are based upon observations of planets and smaller bodies within our own Solar System and of young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth as do terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. These models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. A potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path. The implications of the giant planets found in recent radial velocity searches for the abundances of habitable planets are discussed, and the methods that are being used and planned for detecting and characterizing extrasolar planets are reviewed.

  6. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebauer, S.; Grenfell, J. L.; Stock, J. W.; Lehmann, R.; Godolt, M.; von Paris, P.; Rauer, H.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2, whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis. The O2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. (2006) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH4 with increasing O2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O2 is unique. Mixing, CH4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases remove O2 that

  7. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model.

    PubMed

    Gebauer, S; Grenfell, J L; Stock, J W; Lehmann, R; Godolt, M; von Paris, P; Rauer, H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O 2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O 2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O 2 , whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O 2 is formed abiotically via CO 2 photolysis. The O 2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. ( 2006 ) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH 4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH 4 with increasing O 2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O 2 is unique. Mixing, CH 4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O 2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O 2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases

  8. Development of a Model of Geophysical and Geochemical Controls on Abiotic Carbon Cycling on Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neveu, M.; Felton, R.; Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Desch, S. J.; Arney, G. N.

    2017-12-01

    About 20 Earth-sized planets (0.6-1.6 Earth masses and radii) have now been discovered beyond our solar system [1]. Although such planets are prime targets in the upcoming search for atmospheric biosignatures, their composition, geology, and climate are essentially unconstrained. Yet, developing an understanding of how these factors influence planetary evolution through time and space is essential to establishing abiotic backgrounds against which any deviations can provide evidence for biological activity. To this end, we are building coupled geophysical-geochemical models of abiotic carbon cycling on such planets. Our models are controlled by atmospheric factors such as temperature and composition, and compute interior inputs to atmospheric species. They account for crustal weathering, ocean-atmosphere equilibria, and exchange with the deep interior as a function of planet composition and size (and, eventually, age).Planets in other solar systems differ from the Earth not only in their bulk physical properties, but also likely in their bulk chemical composition [2], which influences key parameters such as the vigor of mantle convection and the near-surface redox state. Therefore, simulating how variations in such parameters affect carbon cycling requires us to simulate the above processes from first principles, rather than by using arbitrary parameterizations derived from observations as is often done with models of carbon cycling on Earth [3] or extrapolations thereof [4]. As a first step, we have developed a kinetic model of crustal weathering using the PHREEQC code [5] and kinetic data from [6]. We will present the ability of such a model to replicate Earth's carbon cycle using, for the time being, parameterizations for surface-interior-atmosphere exchange processes such as volcanism (e.g., [7]).[1] exoplanet.eu, 7/28/2017.[2] Young et al. (2014) Astrobiology 14, 603-626.[3] Lerman & Wu (2008) Kinetics of Global Geochemical Cycles. In Kinetics of Water

  9. A Novel Theory For The Origin And Evolution Of Stars And Planets, Including Earth, Which Asks, 'Was The Earth Once A Small Bright Star?'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cimorelli, S. A.; Samuels, C.

    2001-12-01

    Improved prediction methods for earthquakes and volcanic activity will naturally follow from our theory, based on new concepts of the earth's interior composition, state and activity. In this paper we present a novel hypothesis for the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars (including black holes (BHs), neutron stars, giant, mid-size, dwarf, dying and dead stars), planets (including earth), and moons. Present day phenomenon will be used to substantiate the validity of this hypothesis. Every `body' is a multiple type of star, generated from modified pieces called particle proliferators, of a dislodged/expanded BH (of category 2 (c-2)) which explodes due to a collision with another expanded BH (or explodes on its own). This includes the sun, and the planet earth, which is a type of dead star. Such that, if we remove layers of the earth, starting with the crust, we will find evidence of each preceding star formation, from brown to blue, and the remains of the particle proliferator as the innermost core is reached. We show that the hypothesis is consistent with both the available astronomical data regarding stellar evolution and planetary formation; as well as the evolution of the earth itself, by considerations of the available geophysical data. Where data is not available, reasonably simple experiments are suggested to demonstrate further the consistency and viability of the hypothesis. Theories are presented to help define and explain phenomenon such as how two (or more) c-2 BHs expand and collide to form a small `big bang' (It is postulated that there was a small big bang to form each galaxy, similar to the big bang from a category 1 BH(s) that may have formed our universe. The Great Attractors would be massive c-2 BHs and act on galaxy clusters similar to the massive c-3 BHs at the center of Galaxies acting on stars.). This in turn afforded the material/matter to form all the galactic bodies, including the dark matter inside the galaxies that we catalogue as

  10. THE GJ1214 SUPER-EARTH SYSTEM: STELLAR VARIABILITY, NEW TRANSITS, AND A SEARCH FOR ADDITIONAL PLANETS

    SciT

    Berta, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Bean, Jacob

    2011-07-20

    The super-Earth GJ1214b transits a nearby M dwarf that exhibits a 1% intrinsic variability in the near-infrared. Here, we analyze new observations to refine the physical properties of both the star and planet. We present three years of out-of-transit photometric monitoring of the stellar host GJ1214 from the MEarth Observatory and find the rotation period to be long, most likely an integer multiple of 53 days, suggesting low levels of magnetic activity and an old age for the system. We show that such variability will not pose significant problems to ongoing studies of the planet's atmosphere with transmission spectroscopy. Wemore » analyze two high-precision transit light curves from ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) along with seven others from the MEarth and Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory 1.2 m telescopes, finding physical parameters for the planet that are consistent with previous work. The VLT light curves show tentative evidence for spot occultations during transit. Using two years of MEarth light curves, we place limits on additional transiting planets around GJ1214 with periods out to the habitable zone of the system. We also improve upon the previous photographic V-band estimate for the star, finding V = 14.71 {+-} 0.03.« less

  11. Space Science in the Twenty-First Century: Imperatives for the Decades 1995 to 2015. Mission to Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    A unified program is outlined for studying the Earth, from its deep interior to its fluid envelopes. A system is proposed for measuring devices involving both space-based and in-situ observations that can accommodate simultaneously a large range of scientific needs. The scientific objectices served by this integrated infrastructure are cased into a framework of four grand themes. In summary these are: to determine the composition, structure, dynamics, and evolution of the Earth's crust and deeper interior; to establish and understand the structure, dynamics, and chemistry of the oceans, atmosphere, and cryosphere, and their interaction with the solid Earth; to characterize the history and dynamics of living organisms and their interaction with the environment; and to monitor and understand the interaction of human activities with the natural environment. A focus on these grand themes will help to understand the origin and fate of the planet, and to place it in the context of the solar system.

  12. Check-Up of Planet Earth at the Turn of the Millennium: Contribution of EOS-Terra to a New Phase in Earth Sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaufman, Yoram

    1999-01-01

    Langley's remarkable solar and lunar spectra collected from Mt. Whitney inspired Arrhenius to develop the first quantitative climate model in 1896. In 1999, NASA's Earth Observing AM Satellite (EOS-Terra) will repeat Langley's experiment, but for the entire planet, thus pioneering a wide array of calibrated spectral observations from space of the Earth System. Conceived in response to real environmental problems, EOS-Terra, in conjunction with other international satellite efforts, will fill a major gap in current efforts by providing quantitative global data sets with a resolution of few kilometers on the physical, chemical and biological elements of the earth system. Thus, like Langley's data, EOS-Terra can revolutionize climate research by inspiring a new generation of climate system models and enable us to assess the human impact on the environment. In the talk I shall review the historical developments that brought to the Terra mission, its objectives and example of application to biomass burning.

  13. MOA-2012-BLG-505Lb: A Super-Earth-mass Planet That Probably Resides in the Galactic Bulge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagakane, M.; Sumi, T.; Koshimoto, N.; Bennett, D. P.; Bond, I. A.; Rattenbury, N.; Suzuki, D.; Abe, F.; Asakura, Y.; Barry, R.; Bhattacharya, A.; Donachie, M.; Fukui, A.; Hirao, Y.; Itow, Y.; Li, M. C. A.; Ling, C. H.; Masuda, K.; Matsubara, Y.; Matsuo, T.; Muraki, Y.; Ohnishi, K.; Ranc, C.; Saito, To.; Sharan, A.; Shibai, H.; Sullivan, D. J.; Tristram, P. J.; Yamada, T.; Yonehara, A.; MOA Collaboration

    2017-07-01

    We report the discovery of a super-Earth-mass planet in the microlensing event MOA-2012-BLG-505. This event has the second shortest event timescale of t E = 10 ± 1 days where the observed data show evidence of a planetary companion. Our 15 minute high cadence survey observation schedule revealed the short subtle planetary signature. The system shows the well known close/wide degeneracy. The planet/host-star mass ratio is q = 2.1 × 10-4 and the projected separation normalized by the Einstein radius is s = 1.1 or 0.9 for the wide and close solutions, respectively. We estimate the physical parameters of the system by using a Bayesian analysis and find that the lens consists of a super-Earth with a mass of {6.7}-3.6+10.7 {M}\\oplus orbiting around a brown dwarf or late-M-dwarf host with a mass of {0.10}-0.05+0.16 {M}⊙ with a projected star-planet separation of {0.9}-0.2+0.3 {au}. The system is at a distance of 7.2 ± 1.1 kpc, I.e., it is likely to be in the Galactic bulge. The small angular Einstein radius (θ E = 0.12 ± 0.02 mas) and short event timescale are typical for a low-mass lens in the Galactic bulge. Such low-mass planetary systems in the Bulge are rare because the detection efficiency of planets in short microlensing events is relatively low. This discovery may suggest that such low-mass planetary systems are abundant in the Bulge and currently on-going high cadence survey programs will detect more such events and may reveal an abundance of such planetary systems.

  14. On the existence of another source of heat production for the earth and planets, and its connection with gravitomagnetism.

    PubMed

    Elbeze, Alexandre Chaloum

    2013-01-01

    Recent revised estimates of the Earth's surface heat flux are in the order of 47 TW. Given that its internal radiogenic (mantle and crust) heat production is estimated to be around 20 TW, the Earth has a thermal deficit of around 27 TW. This article will try to show that the action of the gravitational field of the Sun on the rotating masses of the Earth is probably the source of another heat production in order of 54TW, which would satisfy the thermal balance of our celestial body and probably explain the reduced heat flow Qo. We reach this conclusion within the framework of gravitation implied by Einstein's special and general relativity theory (SR, GR). Our results show that it might possible, in principle, to calculate the heat generated by the action of the gravitational field of celestial bodies on the Earth and planets of the Solar System (a phenomenon that is different to that of the gravitational tidal effect from the Sun and the Moon). This result should help physicists to improve and develop new models of the Earth's heat balance, and suggests that contrary to cooling, the Earth is in a phase of thermal balance, or even reheating.

  15. Corrigendum for "New and revised palaeomagnetic secular variation records from post-glacial volcanic materials in New Zealand" [Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 269 (2017) 1-17

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greve, Annika; Turner, Gillian M.

    2018-06-01

    Since publication we have noticed mistakes in the calculation of the flow mean palaeointensities. These are generally within the standard error of the mean of each result, and so do not affect the interpretations or overall conclusions of the paper. Tables 2 and 3 of the paper are reproduced below. The reader is referred to the original publication, Greve and Turner (2017) for a full discussion of the study and references. We thank the editors for the opportunity to make these corrections.

  16. How, when and where Life will begin on another planet after Earth by Duky’s Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deol, Satveer; Singh Nafria, Amritpal

    2017-01-01

    Our Sun is a Red Giant Star and in distant future it will engulf Mercury, Venus and probably Earth and Mars. This paper shows that in distant future due to increasing size & luminosity of the Sun life will begin on one of the planet after 1 duky’s Unit. 1 duky's Unit is the time from now to the time when Mercury would get merged in Sun. At that time Venus would be first planet & due to closeness to Sun, its upper atmosphere would get heated up by solar wind. In a continuous process the clouds of sulfuric acid would escape its gravity. Eventually it would get drifted off into space and it become Mercury twin. On Earth after few million years moisture in air would become very good to trap infra red radiation. As it will warms up, oceans would evaporate even more & in few million years it would get covered with blanket of water vapours. Due to increasing temperature & pressure, volcanoes on Earth would become active then volcanic eruption would blast billions of tons of sulfur high into atmosphere there sulfur would mix with water vapors & form conc. Sulfuric acids. In a continuous process of few more million years whole Earth would get covered with sulphuric acids cloud. As Earth’s moon is receding away from Earth, so before 1 DU, Moon will have been gone away from Earth. As a result it would get started slow down one spin about 1 million year. These would lead to massive outpouring of CO2 & other greenhouse gasses. At that Earth would become Venus Twin. Now it's Mars turn, according to scientists after 50 millions years from now phobo will crash onto the surface of Mars. When that would happen, Mars would have one moon like Earth. This collision would be so hard & strong that phobo would get totally immersed in the surface of Mars as a results it's possible that Mars would get tilted at about 23.5 degree. Due to collision molten lava would come out. When temperature & pressure would rise then water ice would become water. When water would get enriched with

  17. A Large Sparse Aperture Densified Pupil Hypertelescope Concept for Ground Based Detection of Extra-Solar Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gezari, D.; Lyon, R.; Woodruff, R.; Labeyrie, A.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    A concept is presented for a large (10 - 30 meter) sparse aperture hyper telescope to image extrasolar earth-like planets from the ground in the presence of atmospheric seeing. The telescope achieves high dynamic range very close to bright stellar sources with good image quality using pupil densification techniques. Active correction of the perturbed wavefront is simplified by using 36 small flat mirrors arranged in a parabolic steerable array structure, eliminating the need for large delat lines and operating at near-infrared (1 - 3 Micron) wavelengths with flats comparable in size to the seeing cells.

  18. Conditions for oceans on Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zone: importance of volcanic CO{sub 2} degassing

    SciT

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E., E-mail: kadoya@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp, E-mail: tajika@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    2014-08-01

    Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) have been considered to have warm climates and liquid water on their surfaces if the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working as on Earth. However, it is known that even the present Earth may be globally ice-covered when the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism becomes low. Here we discuss the climates of Earth-like planets in which the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working, with focusing particularly on insolation and the CO{sub 2} degassing rate. The climate of Earth-like planets within the HZ can be classified into three climate modes (hot, warm, and snowballmore » climate modes). We found that the conditions for the existence of liquid water should be largely restricted even when the planet is orbiting within the HZ and the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working. We show that these conditions should depend strongly on the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism. It is, therefore, suggested that thermal evolution of the planetary interiors will be a controlling factor for Earth-like planets to have liquid water on their surface.« less

  19. MARSIS data and simulation exploited using array databases: PlanetServer/EarthServer for sounding radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantini, Federico; Pio Rossi, Angelo; Orosei, Roberto; Baumann, Peter; Misev, Dimitar; Oosthoek, Jelmer; Beccati, Alan; Campalani, Piero; Unnithan, Vikram

    2014-05-01

    MARSIS is an orbital synthetic aperture radar for both ionosphere and subsurface sounding on board ESA's Mars Express (Picardi et al. 2005). It transmits electromagnetic pulses centered at 1.8, 3, 4 or 5 MHz that penetrate below the surface and are reflected by compositional and/or structural discontinuities in the subsurface of Mars. MARSIS data are available as a collection of single orbit data files. The availability of tools for a more effective access to such data would greatly ease data analysis and exploitation by the community of users. For this purpose, we are developing a database built on the raster database management system RasDaMan (e.g. Baumann et al., 1994), to be populated with MARSIS data and integrated in the PlanetServer/EarthServer (e.g. Oosthoek et al., 2013; Rossi et al., this meeting) project. The data (and related metadata) are stored in the db for each frequency used by MARSIS radar. The capability of retrieving data belonging to a certain orbit or to multiple orbit on the base of latitute/longitude boundaries is a key requirement of the db design, allowing, besides the "classical" radargram representation of the data, and in area with sufficiently hight orbit density, a 3D data extraction, subset and analysis of subsurface structures. Moreover the use of the OGC WCPS (Web Coverage Processing Service) standard can allow calculations on database query results for multiple echoes and/or subsets of a certain data product. Because of the low directivity of its dipole antenna, MARSIS receives echoes from portions of the surface of Mars that are distant from nadir and can be mistakenly interpreted as subsurface echoes. For this reason, methods have been developed to simulate surface echoes (e.g. Nouvel et al., 2004), to reveal the true origin of an echo through comparison with instrument data. These simulations are usually time-consuming, and so far have been performed either on a case-by-case basis or in some simplified form. A code for

  20. The Now Frontier. Linking Earth and Planets. Issue No. 1-4.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA.

    This publication includes four pamphlets providing background material for understanding the NASA program of planetary flights. Each issue presents student involvement activities as well as suggested reading lists. Issue 1 describes the innermost planets of the solar system. Issue 2 gives information about the evolution of the planetary system as…

  1. Discovery of a bright microlensing event with planetary features towards the Taurus region: a super-Earth planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nucita, A. A.; Licchelli, D.; De Paolis, F.; Ingrosso, G.; Strafella, F.; Katysheva, N.; Shugarov, S.

    2018-05-01

    The transient event labelled as TCP J05074264+2447555 recently discovered towards the Taurus region was quickly recognized to be an ongoing microlensing event on a source located at distance of only 700-800 pc from Earth. Here, we show that observations with high sampling rate close to the time of maximum magnification revealed features that imply the presence of a binary lens system with very low-mass ratio components. We present a complete description of the binary lens system, which host an Earth-like planet with most likely mass of 9.2 ± 6.6 M⊕. Furthermore, the source estimated location and detailed Monte Carlo simulations allowed us to classify the event as due to the closest lens system, being at a distance of ≃380 pc and mass ≃0.25 M⊙.

  2. The NASA-UC-UH Eta-Earth program. IV. A low-mass planet orbiting an M dwarf 3.6 PC from Earth

    SciT

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard

    We report the discovery of a low-mass planet orbiting Gl 15 A based on radial velocities from the Eta-Earth Survey using HIRES at Keck Observatory. Gl 15 Ab is a planet with minimum mass Msin i = 5.35 ± 0.75 M {sub ⊕}, orbital period P = 11.4433 ± 0.0016 days, and an orbit that is consistent with circular. We characterize the host star using a variety of techniques. Photometric observations at Fairborn Observatory show no evidence for rotational modulation of spots at the orbital period to a limit of ∼0.1 mmag, thus supporting the existence of the planet. Wemore » detect a second RV signal with a period of 44 days that we attribute to rotational modulation of stellar surface features, as confirmed by optical photometry and the Ca II H and K activity indicator. Using infrared spectroscopy from Palomar-TripleSpec, we measure an M2 V spectral type and a sub-solar metallicity ([M/H] = –0.22, [Fe/H] = –0.32). We measure a stellar radius of 0.3863 ± 0.0021 R {sub ☉} based on interferometry from CHARA.« less

  3. Success of the International Year of the Planet Earth through Targeted High-impact Programs at the American Geological Institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leahy, P.

    2007-12-01

    The American Geological Institute (AGI) is one of the 12 founding partners of the International Year of the Planet Earth (IYPE) and as such AGI serves on its governing board. AGI is a nonprofit federation of 44 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resilience to natural hazards, and the health of the environment. The outreach and educational opportunities afforded by IYPE provide AGI with an international venue to promote the role of the geosciences in the daily life of society. AGI's successful release of the 4-part television series entitled Faces of Earth done in partnership with the Discovery Communications is a hallmark example of an outreach product that is technically accurate but designed to engage the non-scientific audience in the wonderment of our science. The series focuses on building the planet, shaping the planet, assembling America, and the human world. Custom short cuts have been produced for special purposes and one of these may be used as part of an IYPE-launch event in Europe. AGI's news magazine, Geotimes will highlight appropriate IYPE events to increase the awareness of the American geoscience community. In addition, Geotimes will promote IYPE by using its logo routinely and through publishing advertisements reminding its professional and public readership of the importance of the IYPE triennium. Similarly, as part of AGI's K-12 educational efforts and teacher training and through its development of Earth Science Week materials, the goals, accomplishments, and importance of IYPE will be incorporated into the targeted educational audiences. IYPE activities will be highlighted

  4. Kepler Mission: a Discovery-Class Mission Designed to Determine the Frequency of Earth-Size and Larger Planets Around Solar-Like Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Lissauer, Jack; Basri, Gibor; Caldwell, John; Cochran, William; Dunham, Edward W.; Gilliland, Ronald; Caldwell, Douglas; Kondo, Yoji; hide

    2002-01-01

    The first step in discovering the extent of life in our galaxy is to determine the number of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler Mission is designed around a 0.95 in aperture Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. Measurements of the depth and repetition time of transits provide the size of the planet relative to the star and its orbital period. When combined with ground-based spectroscopy of these stars to fix the stellar parameters, the true planet radius and orbit scale, hence the position relative to the HZ are determined. These spectra are also used to discover the relationships between the characteristics of planets and the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of terrestrial planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. Extending the mission to six years doubles the expected number of Earth-size planets in the HZ. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ occur in less than 1% of the stars and that life might be quite rare. Based on the results of the current Doppler-velocity discoveries, detection of a thousand giant planets is expected. Information on their albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained.

  5. Forced-folding by laccolith and saucer-shaped sill intrusions on the Earth, planets and icy satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaut, Chloé

    2017-04-01

    Horizontal intrusions probably initially start as cracks, with negligible surface deformation. Once their horizontal extents become large enough compared to their depths, they make room for themselves by lifting up their overlying roofs, creating characteristic surface deformations that can be observed at the surface of planets. We present a model where magma flows below a thin elastic overlying layer characterized by a flexural wavelength Λ and study the dynamics and morphology of such a magmatic intrusion. Our results show that, depending on its size, the intrusion present different shapes and thickness-to-radius relationships. During a first phase, elastic bending of the overlying layer is the main source of driving pressure in the flow; the pressure decreases as the flow radius increases, the intrusion is bell-shaped and its thickness is close to being proportional to its radius. When the intrusion radius becomes larger than 4 times Λ, the flow enters a gravity current regime and progressively develops a pancake shape with a flat top. We study the effect of topography on flow spreading in particular in the case where the flow is constrained by a lithostatic barrier within a depression, such as an impact crater on planets or a caldera on Earth. We show that the resulting shape for the flow depends on the ratio between the flexural wavelength of the layer overlying the intrusion and the depression radius. The model is tested against terrestrial data and is shown to well explain the size and morphology of laccoliths and saucer-shaped sills on Earth. We use our results to detect and characterize shallow solidified magma reservoirs in the crust of terrestrial planets and potential shallow water reservoirs in the ice shell of icy satellites.

  6. A space telescope for infrared spectroscopy of earth-like planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Angel, J. R. P.; Cheng, A. Y. S.; Woolf, N. J.

    1986-01-01

    It is shown here that a space telescope of 16 m diameter, apodized in a new way, could image and measure oxygen n in the thermal infrared spectral of earthlike planets up to 4 pc away. The problems of visible light imaging for this case are discussed, and it is argued that imaging the thermal emission, with greatly reduced requirements for gain and hence surface accuracy, is preferable. The requirements for such imaging are discussed, including the apodization solution.

  7. From Suns to Life: A Chronological Approach to the History of Life on Earth 4. Building of a Habitable Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Hervé; Albarède, Francis; Claeys, Philippe; Gargaud, Muriel; Marty, Bernard; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Pinti, Daniele L.

    2006-06-01

    Except the old Jack Hills zircon crystals, it does not exit direct record of the first 500 Ma of the Earth history. Consequently, the succession of events that took place during this period is only indirectly known through geochemistry, comparison with other telluric planets, and numerical modelling. Just after planetary accretion several episodes were necessary in order to make life apparition and development possible and to make the Earth surface habitable. Among these stages are: the core differentiation, the formation of a magma ocean, the apparition of the first atmosphere, oceans and continents as well as the development of magnetic field and of plate tectonics. In the same time, Earth has been subject to extraterrestrial events such as the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) between 3.95 and 3.8 Ga. Since 4.4 4.3 Ga, the conditions for pre-biotic chemistry and appearance of life were already met (liquid water, continental crust, no strong meteoritic bombardment, etc...). This does not mean that life existed as early, but this demonstrates that all necessary conditions assumed for life development were already present on Earth.

  8. Assessing the Chemistry of Tidally Locked Earth-like Planets around M-type Stars Using a 3D Coupled Chemistry-Climate Model (CESM/WACCM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzano, Alexander

    2016-10-01

    Given recent discoveries there is a very real potential for tidally-locked Earth-like planets to exist orbiting M stars. To determine whether these planets may be habitable it is necessary to understand the nature of their atmospheres. In our investigation we simulate the evolution of present-day Earth while placed in tidally-locked orbit (meaning the same side of the planet always faces the star) around an M dwarf star. We are particularly interested in the evolution of the planet's ozone layer and whether it will shield the planet, and therefore life, from harmful radiation.To accomplish the above objectives we use a state-of-the-art 3-D terrestrial model, the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM), which fully couples chemistry and climate, and therefore allows self-consistent simulations of atmospheric constituents and their effects on a planet's climate, surface radiation and thus habitability. Preliminary results show that this model is stable and that a tidally-locked Earth is protected from harmful UV radiation produced by G stars. The next step shall be to adapt this model for an M star by including its UV and visible spectrum.This investigation will both provide an insight into the potential for habitable exoplanets and further define the nature of the habitable zones for M class stars. We will also be able to narrow the definition of the habitable zones around distant stars, which will help us identify these planets in the future. Furthermore, this project will allow for a more thorough analysis of data from past and future exoplanet observing missions by defining the atmospheric composition of Earth-like planets around a variety of types of stars.

  9. Piloting a Global Collaborative Experiment to Determine your Place on the Planet and the Circumference of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solie, D. J.; Paniwozik, R. L.; Wallace, P.

    2012-12-01

    As part of the laboratory component in Bush Physics for the 21st Century, a distance delivered physics course geared toward rural and Indigenous students in Alaska, students determine their village location on earth from simple sun angle measurements at local-noon during the spring equinox. Students measure the length of the sun shadow cast by a rod mounted on a horizontal surface, over short time intervals on or near the spring equinox during mid-day. Local-noon occurs when the sun is the highest and its corresponding shadow the shortest. Local noon, when expressed in Universal Time, can be directly converted to the local longitude in degrees. Local latitude in degrees, is obtained from the local-noon shadow length on the spring equinox and simple trigonometry. As an added bonus, using data from different sites, students can collaborate to approximate the circumference of the earth from their measurements. In the spirit of Eratosthenes, students envision an earth-sized pie wedge cut from a polar great-circle where the curve of the wedge on the earth's surface is the North-South distance between two often road-less sites (determined using Google Earth, a map or a globe), and the angle of the wedge is the difference between the site latitudes. The earth's circumference is calculated from this wedge. In 2012 with the aim of including Indigenous groups from other regions of the planet, we expanded this experiment to include teams from Japan, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and New Zealand. We present our results from this pilot year.

  10. Is the Earth Flat or Round? Primary School Children's Understandings of the Planet Earth: The Case of Turkish Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozsoy, Sibel

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to explore primary school children's understandings about the shape of the Earth. The sample is consisted of 124 first-graders from five primary schools located in an urban city of Turkey. The data of the study were collected through children's drawings and semi-structured interviews. Results obtained from the drawings…

  11. Simulated JWST/NIRISS Spectroscopy of Anticipated TESS Planets and Selected Super-Earths Discovered from K2 and Ground-Based Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louie, Dana; Albert, Loic; Deming, Drake

    2017-01-01

    The 2018 launch of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), coupled with the 2017 launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), heralds a new era in Exoplanet Science, with TESS projected to detect over one thousand transiting sub-Neptune-sized planets (Ricker et al, 2014), and JWST offering unprecedented spectroscopic capabilities. Sullivan et al (2015) used Monte Carlo simulations to predict the properties of the planets that TESS is likely to detect, and published a catalog of 962 simulated TESS planets. Prior to TESS launch, the re-scoped Kepler K2 mission and ground-based surveys such as MEarth continue to seek nearby Earth-like exoplanets orbiting M-dwarf host stars. The exoplanet community will undoubtedly employ JWST for atmospheric characterization follow-up studies of promising exoplanets, but the targeted planets for these studies must be chosen wisely to maximize JWST science return. The goal of this project is to estimate the capabilities of JWST’s Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS)—operating with the GR700XD grism in Single Object Slitless Spectrography (SOSS) mode—during observations of exoplanets transiting their host stars. We compare results obtained for the simulated TESS planets, confirmed K2-discovered super-Earths, and exoplanets discovered using ground-based surveys. By determining the target planet characteristics that result in the most favorable JWST observing conditions, we can optimize the choice of target planets in future JWST follow-on atmospheric characterization studies.

  12. Satellite Collectors of Solar Energy for Earth and Colonized Planet Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusiolek, Richard

    solar energy for thermal heating, desalination, lighting, and electricity. Further, • Clean energy means jobs. For example, the American Solar Energy Society released a report that the 8.5 million Americans working in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries today can grow to 40 million jobs by 2020 (estimated at 200 million globally). • The EU, Asia Pacific, and North America need carbon-free, local, renewable energy now to fuel their economies. • The solution to global warming can be found in the transition to a sustainable energy economy. Methods and Materials This satellite collector study was undertaken using research methodology using primary and secondary research which began with the Science and Environmental Policy Project, Institute for Energy Research, Hoover Institution, Stanford University and the University of Michigan. The study on using betavoltiacs was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team included researchers from the University of Rochester, the University of Toronto, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and BetaBatt Inc of Houston, Texas and was supported by grants from the NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Results Less than 2 Discussion Our planet is heading towards a catastrophe unless emissions of greenhouse gas in space and in the earth's atmosphere are substantially reduced. The results of this study are significant for it demonstrates that existing technologies found in the space technologies are being side-stepped in order to support the antiquated land-based energy systems that have focused on oil and gas, wind power, atomic, and water power. All along, the solar system has all the answers to lessen global warming and to create cheap energy that is free of the bureaucracies of global governments.

  13. Coagulation calculations of icy planet formation around 0.1-0.5 M {sub ☉} stars: Super-Earths from large planetesimals

    SciT

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Bromley, Benjamin C., E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu

    2014-01-01

    We investigate formation mechanisms for icy super-Earth-mass planets orbiting at 2-20 AU around 0.1-0.5 M {sub ☉} stars. A large ensemble of coagulation calculations demonstrates a new formation channel: disks composed of large planetesimals with radii of 30-300 km form super-Earths on timescales of ∼1 Gyr. In other gas-poor disks, a collisional cascade grinds planetesimals to dust before the largest planets reach super-Earth masses. Once icy Earth-mass planets form, they migrate through the leftover swarm of planetesimals at rates of 0.01-1 AU Myr{sup –1}. On timescales of 10 Myr to 1 Gyr, many of these planets migrate through the diskmore » of leftover planetesimals from semimajor axes of 5-10 AU to 1-2 AU. A few percent of super-Earths might migrate to semimajor axes of 0.1-0.2 AU. When the disk has an initial mass comparable with the minimum-mass solar nebula, scaled to the mass of the central star, the predicted frequency of super-Earths matches the observed frequency.« less

  14. Earth observations during Space Shuttle flight STS-35 - Columbia's Mission to Planet Earth, December 2-10, 1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Evans, Cynthia A.; Helfert, Michael R.; Brand, Vance D.; Gardner, Guy S.; Lounge, John M.; Hoffman, Jeffery A.; Parker, Robert A.; Durrance, Samuel T.; Parise, Ronald A.

    1991-01-01

    Some of the most significant earth-viewing imagery obtained during Space Shuttle Columbia's flight STS-35, December 2-10, 1990, is reviewed with emphasis on observations of the Southern Hemisphere. In particular, attention is given to environmental observations in areas of Madagascar, Brazil, and Persian Gulf; observation of land resources (Namibia, offshore Australia); and observations of ocean islands (Phillipines, Indonesia, and Reunion). Some of the photographs are included.

  15. Modeling Earth's Disk-Integrated, Time-Dependent Spectrum: Applications to Directly Imaged Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob; Schwieterman, Edward; Meadows, Victoria; Fujii, Yuka; NAI Virtual Planetary Laboratory, ISSI 'The Exo-Cartography Inverse Problem'

    2016-10-01

    Earth is our only example of a habitable world and is a critical reference point for potentially habitable exoplanets. While disk-averaged views of Earth that mimic exoplanet data can be obtained by interplanetary spacecraft, these datasets are often restricted in wavelength range, and are limited to the Earth phases and viewing geometries that the spacecraft can feasibly access. We can overcome these observational limitations using a sophisticated UV-MIR spectral model of Earth that has been validated against spacecraft observations in wavelength-dependent brightness and phase (Robinson et al., 2011; 2014). This model can be used to understand the information content - and the optimal means for extraction of that information - for multi-wavelength, time-dependent, disk-averaged observations of the Earth. In this work, we explore key telescope parameters and observing strategies that offer the greatest insight into the wavelength-, phase-, and rotationally-dependent variability of Earth as if it were an exoplanet. Using a generalized coronagraph instrument simulator (Robinson et al., 2016), we synthesize multi-band, time-series observations of the Earth that are consistent with large space-based telescope mission concepts, such as the Large UV/Optical/IR (LUVOIR) Surveyor. We present fits to this dataset that leverage the rotationally-induced variability to infer the number of large-scale planetary surface types, as well as their respective longitudinal distributions and broadband albedo spectra. Finally, we discuss the feasibility of using such methods to identify and map terrestrial exoplanets surfaces with the next generation of space-based telescopes.

  16. Modeling of atmospheric-coupled Rayleigh waves on planets with atmosphere: From Earth observation to Mars and Venus perspectives.

    PubMed

    Lognonné, Philippe; Karakostas, Foivos; Rolland, Lucie; Nishikawa, Yasuhiro

    2016-08-01

    Acoustic coupling between solid Earth and atmosphere has been observed since the 1960s, first from ground-based seismic, pressure, and ionospheric sensors and since 20 years with various satellite measurements, including with global positioning system (GPS) satellites. This coupling leads to the excitation of the Rayleigh surface waves by local atmospheric sources such as large natural explosions from volcanoes, meteor atmospheric air-bursts, or artificial explosions. It contributes also in the continuous excitation of Rayleigh waves and associated normal modes by atmospheric winds and pressure fluctuations. The same coupling allows the observation of Rayleigh waves in the thermosphere most of the time through ionospheric monitoring with Doppler sounders or GPS. The authors review briefly in this paper observations made on Earth and describe the general frame of the theory enabling the computation of Rayleigh waves for models of telluric planets with atmosphere. The authors then focus on Mars and Venus and give in both cases the atmospheric properties of the Rayleigh normal modes and associated surface waves compared to Earth. The authors then conclude on the observation perspectives especially for Rayleigh waves excited by atmospheric sources on Mars and for remote ionospheric observations of Rayleigh waves excited by quakes on Venus.

  17. A proposal concerning the origin of life on the planet earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C. R.

    1979-01-01

    It is proposed that, contrary to the widely accepted Oparin thesis, life on earth arose not in the oceans but in the earth's atmosphere. Difficulties of the Oparin thesis relating to the nonbiological nature of prebiotic evolution are discussed, and autotrophic, photosynthetic cells are proposed as the first living organisms to emerge, thus avoiding these difficulties. Recent developments in the geology of the earth at the time of the emergence of life are interpreted as requiring the absence of liquid surface water, with water partitioned between a molten crust and a dense, CO2-rich atmosphere, similar to the present state of Venus. Biochemistry in such an atmosphere would be primarily membrane chemistry on the interfaces of atmospheric salt water droplets, proceeding at normal temperatures without the absorption of electrical discharges or UV light. Areas not sufficiently accounted for by this scenario include the development of genetic organization and the breaking of the runaway greenhouse condition assumed.

  18. Venus: The Atmosphere, Climate, Surface, Interior and Near-Space Environment of an Earth-Like Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Fredric W.; Svedhem, Håkan; Head, James W.

    2018-02-01

    This is a review of current knowledge about Earth's nearest planetary neighbour and near twin, Venus. Such knowledge has recently been extended by the European Venus Express and the Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft in orbit around the planet; these missions and their achievements are concisely described in the first part of the review, along with a summary of previous Venus observations. The scientific discussions which follow are divided into three main sections: on the surface and interior; the atmosphere and climate; and the thermosphere, exosphere and magnetosphere. These reports are intended to provide an overview for the general reader, and also an introduction to the more detailed topical surveys in the following articles in this issue, where full references to original material may be found.

  19. High-dispersion spectroscopy of extrasolar planets: from CO in hot Jupiters to O2 in exo-Earths.

    PubMed

    Snellen, Ignas

    2014-04-28

    Ground-based high-dispersion spectroscopy could reveal molecular oxygen as a biomarker gas in the atmospheres of twin-Earths transiting red dwarf stars within the next 25 years. The required contrasts are only a factor of 3 lower than that already achieved for carbon monoxide in hot Jupiter atmospheres today but will need much larger telescopes because the target stars will be orders of magnitude fainter. If extraterrestrial life is very common and can therefore be found on planets around the most nearby red dwarf stars, it may be detectable via transmission spectroscopy with the next-generation extremely large telescopes. However, it is likely that significantly more collecting area is required for this. This can be achieved through the development of low-cost flux collector technology, which combines a large collecting area with a low but sufficient image quality for high-dispersion spectroscopy of bright stars.

  20. NASA's Earth Observations of the Global Environment: Our Changing Planet and the View from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, michael D.

    2005-01-01

    A birds eye view of the Earth from afar and up close reveals the power and magnificence of the Earth and juxtaposes the simultaneous impacts and powerlessness of humankind. The NASA Electronic Theater presents Earth science observations and visualizations in an historical perspective. See the latest spectacular images from NASA remote sensing missions like TRMM, SeaWiFS, Landsat 7, Terra, and Aqua, which will be visualized and explained in the context of global change and man s impact on our world s environment. See visualizations of global data sets currently available from Earth orbiting satellites, including the Earth at night with its city lights. Shown in high resolution are visualizations of tropical cyclone Eline and the resulting flooding of Mozambique. See flybys of Cape Town, South Africa with its dramatic mountains and landscape, as well as satellite imagery of fires that occurred globally, with a special emphasis on fires in the western US during summer 2001, and how new satellite tools can be used to help fight these disasters from spreading further. See where and when lightning occurs globally, and how dramatic urbanization has been in the desert southwest since 1910. Spectacular visualizations of the global atmosphere and oceans are shown. Learn when and where carbon is absorbed by vegetation on the land and ocean as the product of photosynthesis. See demonstrations of the 3-dimensional structure of hurricanes and cloud structures derived from recently launched Earth-orbiting satellites, and how hurricanes can modify the sea surface temperature in their wake. See massive dust storms in the Middle East as well as dust transport sweeping from north Africa across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and Amazon basin. Learn where and how much the temperature of the Earth s surface has changed during the 20th century, as well as how sea ice has decreased over the Arctic region, how sea level has and is likely to continue to change, and how glaciers have

  1. The "Week Of Planet Earth" Italy Discovering Geosciences: a More Informed Society is a More Engaged Society.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seno, S.; Coccioni, R.

    2016-12-01

    The "Week of Planet Earth" (www.settimanaterra.org) is a science festival that involves the whole of the Italian Regions: founded in 2012, it has become the largest event of Italian Geosciences and one of the biggest European science festivals. During a week in October several locations distributed throughout the Country are animated by events, called "Geoeventi", to disseminate geosciences to the masses and deliver science education by means of a wide range of activities: hiking, walking in city and town centers, open-door at museums and research centers, guided tours, exhibitions, educational and experimental workshops for children and young people, music and art performances, food and wine events, lectures, conferences, round tables. Universities and colleges, research centers, local Authorities, cultural and scientific associations, parks and museums, professionals organize the Geoeventi. The festival aims at bringing adults and young people to Geosciences, conveying enthusiasm for scientific research and discoveries, promoting sustainable cultural tourism, aware of environmental values and distributed all over Italy. The Geoeventi shed light both on the most spectacular and on the less known geological sites, which are often a stone's throw from home. The Week of Planet Earth is growing year after year: the 2016 edition proposes 310 Geoeventi, 70 more than in 2015. The number of places involved in the project also increased and rose from 180 in 2015 to 230 in 2016. This initiative, that is also becoming a significant economic driver for many small companies active in the field of science divulgation, is analyzed, evaluated and put in a transnational network perspective.

  2. Geology for youth in Lithuania: International Year of Planet Earth-related and other activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skridlaite, Grazina; Guobyte, Rimante; Skrinskas, Skirmantas; Nemaniene, Jurgita

    2010-05-01

    A great number of Lithuanian secondary and high schools devoted a range of activities to Earth sciences on September 22 (autumn equinox), 2008 proclaimed by the Lithuanian National Committee for IYPE and Ministry of Education and Science of Lithuania as "Earth's day". Beforehand, the 11 IYPE brochures were translated, supplemented with relevant Lithuanian data and placed on the website www.zemesmetai.lt. The activities comprised lessons, competitions, performances, field trips, seminars, excursions to museums and nature sites, meetings with geologists and naturalists etc. In many schools the 10 scientific themes were expanded, transformed and included into different school programmes such as geography, chemistry, physics, biology, Lithuanian language etc. The other schools preferred to organise discussions, performances and concerts where children expressed their concern about future of the Earth and suggested ways to save it. Several schools invited geologists, ecologists or other representatives of Earth sciences or local authorities to provide with information on environmental and geological issues in Lithuania and their own surroundings. Several museums and nature sites were visited. The "Earth's day" was advertised and broadcasted on TV and radio, reflected in the press. The reports from schools were placed on the Lithuanian IYPE website. The Board acknowledged the best participants with special letter of thanks. It turned out that despite the provided information on different subjects of geology only few of them were chosen. School teachers encountered some problems relating the Earth's interior with its surface, recognising modern geological processes etc. They found some brochures to be too complicated for non-specialists. Biodiversity was much easier to explain and present as geodiversity. Nevertheless, everybody admitted the great importance of geosciences in society and insufficient knowledge, and greatly acknowledged the initiative of the IYPE. The

  3. NASA's Earth Observations of the Global Environment: Our Changing Planet and the View from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Michael D.

    2006-01-01

    This presentation focuses on the latest spectacular images from NASA's remote sensing missions like TRMM, SeaWiFS, Landsat 7, Terra, and Aqua which will be visualized and explained in the context of global change and man's impact on our world's environment. Visualizations of global data currently available from Earth orbiting satellites include the Earth at night with its city lights, high resolutions of tropical cyclone Eline and the resulting flooding of Mozambique as well as flybys of Cape Town, South Africa with its dramatic mountains and landscape, imagery of fires that occurred globally, with a special emphasis on fires in the western US during summer 2001. Visualizations of the global atmosphere and oceans are shown and demonstrations of the 3-dimensional structure of hurricane and cloud structures derived from recently launched Earth-orbiting satellites are are presented with other topics with a dynamic theater-style , along with animations of satellite launch deployments and orbital mapping to highlight aspects of Earth observations from space.

  4. Kepler Mission: A Wide-FOV Photometer Designed to Determine the Frequency of Earth-Size and Larger Planets Around Solar-like stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Lissauer, Jack; Basri, Gibor; Caldwell, John; Cochran, William; Dunham, Edward W.; Gilliland, Ronald; Jenkins, Jon M.; Caldwell, Douglas; hide

    2002-01-01

    The first step in discovering the extent of life in our galaxy is to determine the number of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler Mission is designed around a 0.95 m aperture Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. Measurements of the depth and repetition time of transits provide the size of the planet relative to the star and its orbital period. When combined with ground-based spectroscopy of these stars to fix the stellar parameters, the true planet radius and orbit scale, hence the position relative to the HZ are determined. These spectra are also used to discover the relationships between the characteristics of planets and the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of terrestrial planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ occur in less than 1% of the stars and that life might be quite rare. Based on the results of the current doppler-velocity discoveries, detection of a thousand giant planets is expected. Information on their albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained.

  5. Earth observations during Space Shuttle flight STS 50 - Columbia's mission to planet earth (June 25-July 9, 1992)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Helfert, Michael; Amsbury, David; Pitts, David; Evans, Cynthia; Wilkinson, Justin; Helms, David; Chambers, Mark; Brumbaugh, Fred; Richards, Richard N.

    1993-01-01

    A review of the imagery acquired during the STS 50 mission of the Space Shuttle is presented. The earth viewing photography from this flight includes photos of dust plumes over several portions of the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. Over land, prominent dust plumes were seen over Iraq, North Africa, Sudan, and West Africa. The color infrared photography includes images of the tropical rain forests of South America and South and Southeast Asia. Other examples include photographs of floods in Argentina, photos of Lake Chad in Africa, Coastal Madagascar, the Aswan dam and the Nile, geologic features of North Africa, the center pivot irrigation land areas of Saudi Arabia, flooding in Asian rivers, and sediment plumes of South American and South and Southeast Asian coasts.

  6. A possible mechanism for the capture of microparticles by the earth and other planets of the solar system. [planetary gravitation effects on cosmic dust particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dibenedetto, F.

    1973-01-01

    By application of Lyttleton's theory for the formation of comets, it is shown that a possible mechanism for the origin and formation of a concentration of cosmic particles around the earth and the other planets of the solar system exists. In the vicinity of the neutral point, where the velocity of colliding particles is not greater than 6 km/s, it is found that if the solid particles after collision must remain in a solid state, there can be no possibility of accretion for Mercury, Mars, and the Moon, where the maximum value of the distance of the center of the planet to the asymptotic trajectory is less than the radius of the planet. On the other hand, the capture radii of microparticles in solid form varies from a minimum of 2.95 planetary radii for Venus and 3.47 for the Earth, to about 986 for Jupiter.

  7. The Breath of Planet Earth: Atmospheric Circulation. Assimilation of Surface Wind Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atlas, Robert; Bloom, Stephen; Otterman, Joseph

    2000-01-01

    Differences in air pressure are a major cause of atmospheric circulation. Because heat excites the movement of atoms, warm temperatures cause, air molecules to expand. Because those molecules now occupy a larger space, the pressure that their weight exerts is decreased. Air from surrounding high-pressure areas is pushed toward the low-pressure areas, creating circulation. This process causes a major pattern of global atmosphere movement known as meridional circulation. In this form of convection, or vertical air movement, heated equatorial air rises and travels through the upper atmosphere toward higher latitudes. Air just above the equator heads toward the North Pole, and air just below the equator moves southward. This air movement fills the gap created where increased air pressure pushes down cold air. The ,cold air moves along the surface back toward the equator, replacing the air masses that rise there. Another influence on atmospheric. circulation is the Coriolis force. Because of the Earth's rotation, large-scale wind currents move in the direction of this axial spin around low-pressure areas. Wind rotates counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. just as the Earth's rotation affects airflow, so too does its surface. In the phenomenon of orographic lifting, elevated topographic features such as mountain ranges lift air as it moves up their surface.

  8. Characterising the three-dimensional ozone distribution of a tidally locked Earth-like planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proedrou, Elisavet; Hocke, Klemens

    2016-06-01

    We simulate the 3D ozone distribution of a tidally locked Earth-like exoplanet using the high-resolution, 3D chemistry-climate model CESM1(WACCM) and study how the ozone layer of a tidally locked Earth (TLE) (Ω _{TLE}= 1/365 days) differs from that of our present-day Earth (PDE) (Ω _{PDE}= 1/1 day). The middle atmosphere reaches a steady state asymptotically within the first 80 days of the simulation. An upwelling, centred on the subsolar point, is present on the day side while a downwelling, centred on the antisolar point, is present on the night side. In the mesosphere, we find similar global ozone distributions for the TLE and the PDE, with decreased ozone on the day side and enhanced ozone on the night side. In the lower mesosphere, a jet stream transitions into a large-scale vortex around a low-pressure system, located at low latitudes of the TLE night side. In the middle stratosphere, the concentration of odd oxygen is approximately equal to that of the ozone [({O}x) ≈ ({O}3)]. At these altitudes, the lifetime of odd oxygen is ˜16 h and the transport processes significantly contribute to the global distribution of stratospheric ozone. Compared to the PDE, where the strong Coriolis force acts as a mixing barrier between low and high latitudes, the transport processes of the TLE are governed by jet streams variable in the zonal and meridional directions. In the middle stratosphere of the TLE, we find high ozone values on the day side, due to the increased production of atomic oxygen on the day side, where it immediately recombines with molecular oxygen to form ozone. In contrast, the ozone is depleted on the night side, due to changes in the solar radiation distribution and the presence of a downwelling. As a result of the reduced Coriolis force, the tropical and extratropical air masses are well mixed and the global temperature distribution of the TLE stratosphere has smaller horizontal gradients than the PDE. Compared to the PDE, the total ozone column

  9. STRATOSPHERIC TEMPERATURES AND WATER LOSS FROM MOIST GREENHOUSE ATMOSPHERES OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS

    SciT

    Kasting, James F.; Kopparapu, Ravi K.; Chen, Howard, E-mail: jfk4@psu.edu, E-mail: hwchen@bu.edu

    A radiative-convective climate model is used to calculate stratospheric temperatures and water vapor concentrations for ozone-free atmospheres warmer than that of modern Earth. Cold, dry stratospheres are predicted at low surface temperatures, in agreement with recent 3D calculations. However, at surface temperatures above 350 K, the stratosphere warms and water vapor becomes a major upper atmospheric constituent, allowing water to be lost by photodissociation and hydrogen escape. Hence, a moist greenhouse explanation for loss of water from Venus, or some exoplanet receiving a comparable amount of stellar radiation, remains a viable hypothesis. Temperatures in the upper parts of such atmospheresmore » are well below those estimated for a gray atmosphere, and this factor should be taken into account when performing inverse climate calculations to determine habitable zone boundaries using 1D models.« less

  10. Ultralow frequency waves in the magnetotails of the earth and the outer planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khurana, Krishan K.; Chen, Sheng H.; Hammond, C. M.; Kivelson, Margaret G.

    1992-01-01

    Ultralow frequency waves with periods greater than two minutes are characteristic features of planetary magnetotails. At Jupiter, changes in the wave characteristics across the boundary between the plasma sheet and the lobe have been used to identify this important plasma boundary. In the terrestrial lobes the wave amplitude can be relatively large, especially during intervals of intense geomagnetic activity. The wave power seen in the lobes of the magnetotails of the earth, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus is evaluated to evaluate a proposal by Smith et al. that the propagating waves generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability on the magnetopause can heat the plasma through a resonant absorption of these waves. The results indicate that the wave power in the lobes is generally small and can be easily understood in the framework of coupled MHD waves generated in the plasma sheet.

  11. Tales of the Earth - Paroxysms and Perturbations of the Blue Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Officer, Charles; Page, Jake

    1994-05-01

    In Maryland, late in the Spring of 1816, the snow fell brown, and blue, and even red. Brown snow fell in Hungary that year, and in the village of Taranto in southern Italy, where any snow is rare, the red and yellow snow caused great alarm. In New England, 1816 was called the Year Without a Summer. Crops failed throughout America, the price of corn and wheat soared, and farmers (lacking feed) sold off livestock, bringing about a collapse in beef and pork prices. In western Europe it was even worse, with food riots and armed mobs raiding bakeries and grain markets. This turmoil followed a catastrophic volcanic eruption a year earlier on the other side of the world--the April 1815 explosion of the volcano Tambora, on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa--a blast heard almost a thousand miles away in Sumatra. In Tales of the Earth , Charles Officer and Jake Page describe--often through eye-witness accounts and through the commentary of prominent figures--some of the great events of environmental history. From natural catastrophes such as the Tambora eruption, the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755, and the ice ages, to manmade disasters such as the nuclear fallout from Chernobyl, the killer smog of 1952 in London which killed some four thousand people, acid rain, and the progressive depletion of the ozone layer, Officer and Page provide phenomenal accounts of the earthshattering events that have changed the course of history. A fascinating discussion of natures power over humanity, as well as the trouble humanity makes for nature, Tales of the Earth will interest anyone concerned with the environmental and the natural world.

  12. Mars ecopoiesis test bed: on earth and on the red planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, Paul; Kurk, Michael Andy; Boland, Eugene; Thomas, David; Scherzer, Christopher

    2016-07-01

    surface (multiple units per mission would be expected), protective internal package for the release of organisms, a means of atmosphere exchange, access to sunlight, a means of penetrating the planetary surface, and most importantly a means of acquiring regolith while meeting requirements of planetary protection. An enlarged-scale mock-up of this design was fabricated by additive manufacturing with moving parts that simulate the components of the design. This mock-up assembly marks a starting point for a planetary surface probe for safe implantation on the surface of the Red Planet some decades in the future. This research was supported by NASA NIAC Phase I Grant "Mars Ecopoiesis Testbed" NNX14AM97G.

  13. First Results of Exoplanet Observations with the Gran Telescopio Canarias: Narrow-Band Transit Photometry Capable of Detecting Super-Earth-size Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Eric B.; Colon, K. D.; Blake, C.; Lee, B.; Mahadevan, S.

    2010-01-01

    We present the first exoplanet observations from the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) using the OSIRIS tunable filter imager. Our narrow-band transit follow-up observations set a new record for ground-based, narrow-band photometric precision of an exoplanet transit. The demonstrated precision would allow the detection of a transiting super-Earth-sized planet at near-infrared wavelengths. Such high-precision follow-up observations could significantly improve measurements of the size and orbit of transiting super-Earth and Earth-like planets to be discovered by the CoRoT and Kepler space missions (Colon & Ford 2009). OSIRIS is one of two first light instruments for the GTC and features a tunable filter imaging mode. We observed the planet's host star along with several nearby reference stars during each transit, rapidly alternating observations between multiple narrow band-passes. The GTC's large aperture results in small photon noise and minimal scintillation noise, so care must be taken to minimize other potential systematic noise sources. The use of a narrow bandpass (2nm) reduces the effects of differential extinction, and we chose bandpasses that minimize atmospheric absorption and variability. We measure the flux of the target star relative to an ensemble of reference stars, using an aperture photometry algorithm adapted to allow for: 1) the center of the band-pass varying across the field and resulting in sky rings, and 2) a significant defocus to reduce flat fielding uncertainties and increase observing efficiency. We present results from the first tunable filter observations of an exoplanet transit and outline the exciting prospects for future GTC/OSIRIS observations to study super-Earth planets and the atmospheres of giant planets via occultation photometry. Based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, in the island of La Palma.

  14. Remote life-detection criteria, habitable zone boundaries, and the frequency of Earth-like planets around M and late K stars.

    PubMed

    Kasting, James F; Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Ramirez, Ramses M; Harman, Chester E

    2014-09-02

    The habitable zone (HZ) around a star is typically defined as the region where a rocky planet can maintain liquid water on its surface. That definition is appropriate, because this allows for the possibility that carbon-based, photosynthetic life exists on the planet in sufficient abundance to modify the planet's atmosphere in a way that might be remotely detected. Exactly what conditions are needed, however, to maintain liquid water remains a topic for debate. In the past, modelers have restricted themselves to water-rich planets with CO2 and H2O as the only important greenhouse gases. More recently, some researchers have suggested broadening the definition to include arid, "Dune" planets on the inner edge and planets with captured H2 atmospheres on the outer edge, thereby greatly increasing the HZ width. Such planets could exist, but we demonstrate that an inner edge limit of 0.59 AU or less is physically unrealistic. We further argue that conservative HZ definitions should be used for designing future space-based telescopes, but that optimistic definitions may be useful in interpreting the data from such missions. In terms of effective solar flux, S(eff), the recently recalculated HZ boundaries are: recent Venus--1.78; runaway greenhouse--1.04; moist greenhouse--1.01; maximum greenhouse--0.35; and early Mars--0.32. Based on a combination of different HZ definitions, the frequency of potentially Earth-like planets around late K and M stars observed by Kepler is in the range of 0.4-0.5.

  15. Silicon Carbide Found in K/T Boundary Layer: Implication for Asteroid Collision with Planet Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, I. S.; Tsao, C.

    2016-12-01

    An event at the end of the Cretaceous Period 65.5 m.y. ago produced an impact structure 300 km in diameter designated the Chicxulub Crater, located partly on the Yucatan Peninsula and the Caribbian Sea floor. Mass extinction following that event killed 75% of Earth's living species, including dinosaurs. To this date, the killer space object has not been identified, but it was frequently conjectured to be a comet or an asteroid. The goal of our study was to search for evidence which might implicate the culprit. The Chicxulub impact caused extensive wildfires producing Ir-rich dust fallouts in worldwide localities, among which the least contaminated by land-derived sediments may be situated on deep ocean floors. Our study is based on a sample of pelagic clay from the giant piston core LL44-GPC3 taken from the Pacific Plate, north of the Hawaiian Islands (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution). The 1-cm thick Ir-rich layer was located at a downcore depth of 1055-1056 cm below sea floor. From a 5 cubic cm sample provided by Jim Broda, we found 29 impact glass spherules and 4 silicon carbide (SiC) crystals. SiC has been reported in carbonaceous meteorites. Our findings of SiC in the K/T boundary layer seem to implicate that an asteroid having composition akin to that of carbonaceous chondrites might have been the killer projectile during the Chicxulub event. However, impact by a comet cannot be ruled out, since the mineralogy of cometary dust is as yet unknown.

  16. Sister Earth, Our Common Home: Toward a Sustainable, Planet Friendly Approach to Dialysis, a Paradigm of High Technology Medicine.

    PubMed

    Piccoli, Giorgina Barbara; Mery, David

    2017-11-01

    In our high-technology, highly polluted world, medicine plays an important role balancing saving lives with the expenses of growing amounts of waste products, not only biologically dangerous (the potentially "contaminated" or "hazardous" waste) but also potentially harmful for the planet (nonrecyclable, plastic waste). Dialysis, the prototype of high-technology medicine, is central to these problems, as the present treatment of about 2 million patients produces an enormous quantity of waste (considering hazardous waste only about 2 kg per session, with 160 sessions per year, that is 320 kg per patient, or about 640,000 tons of hazardous waste per year for 2 million patients, roughly corresponding to 6 nuclear aircraft carriers). Furthermore, obsolete dialysis machines, and water treatments are discharged, adding to the "technological waste." Water produced by the reverse osmosis is also discharged; this is the only nonhazardous, nonpolluting waste, but in particular in dry areas, wasting water is a great ecologic concern. The present review is aimed at discussing strategies already in place and to be further implemented for reducing this particular "uremic toxin" for the earth: dialysis waste, including dialysis disposables, water, and dialysis machines. Copyright © 2017 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Creating Habitable Zones, at all Scales, from Planets to Mud Micro-Habitats, on Earth and on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisbet, Euan; Zahnle, Kevin; Gerasimov, M. V.; Helbert, Jörn; Jaumann, Ralf; Hofmann, Beda A.; Benzerara, Karim; Westall, Frances

    The factors that create a habitable planet are considered at all scales, from planetary inventories to micro-habitats in soft sediments and intangibles such as habitat linkage. The possibility of habitability first comes about during accretion, as a product of the processes of impact and volatile inventory history. To create habitability water is essential, not only for life but to aid the continual tectonic reworking and erosion that supply key redox contrasts and biochemical substrates to sustain habitability. Mud or soft sediment may be a biochemical prerequisite, to provide accessible substrate and protection. Once life begins, the habitat is widened by the activity of life, both by its management of the greenhouse and by partitioning reductants (e.g. dead organic matter) and oxidants (including waste products). Potential Martian habitats are discussed: by comparison with Earth there are many potential environmental settings on Mars in which life may once have occurred, or may even continue to exist. The long-term evolution of habitability in the Solar System is considered.

  18. Creating Habitable Zones, at all Scales, from Planets to Mud Micro-Habitats, on Earth and on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisbet, Euan; Zahnle, Kevin; Gerasimov, M. V.; Helbert, Jörn; Jaumann, Ralf; Hofmann, Beda A.; Benzerara, Karim; Westall, Frances

    2007-03-01

    The factors that create a habitable planet are considered at all scales, from planetary inventories to micro-habitats in soft sediments and intangibles such as habitat linkage. The possibility of habitability first comes about during accretion, as a product of the processes of impact and volatile inventory history. To create habitability water is essential, not only for life but to aid the continual tectonic reworking and erosion that supply key redox contrasts and biochemical substrates to sustain habitability. Mud or soft sediment may be a biochemical prerequisite, to provide accessible substrate and protection. Once life begins, the habitat is widened by the activity of life, both by its management of the greenhouse and by partitioning reductants (e.g. dead organic matter) and oxidants (including waste products). Potential Martian habitats are discussed: by comparison with Earth there are many potential environmental settings on Mars in which life may once have occurred, or may even continue to exist. The long-term evolution of habitability in the Solar System is considered.

  19. The Relationship Between the Origins of Life on Earth and the Possibility of Life on Other Planets: A Nineteenth-Century Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tirard, Stéphane

    In this chapter we examine how, during the second part of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, assumptions about the origins of life were specifically linked to the development of theories of evolution and how these conceptions influenced assumptions about the possibility of life on other planets. First we present the theories of the origins of life of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) and underline how they were linked to the knowledge of physical and chemical conditions of environments. These two examples lead us to think about the relationship between the origin of life, evolutionary biology, and geology, particularly the uniformitarian principle. An important point is the extension of the comprehension of terrestrial conditions of emergence and evolution of life to other planets. We claim that there was a sort of extended uniformitarian principle, based not only on time, but also on space. Second, after a brief look at panspermia theory, we compare two examples of assumptions about life on other planets. The French astronomer Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) and the French biologist Edmond Perrier (1844-1921) presented views that consisted in complex analogies between life on Earth and life on other planets. We analyze how they used neo-Lamarckian biological concepts to imagine living beings in other worlds. Each planet is characterized by a particular stage of biological evolution that they deduce from the state of living beings on Earth. The two scientists explained these different states with neo-Lamarckian principles, which were based on environmental constraints on organisms. Therefore these descriptions presented a sort of history of life, including the past and the future. We claim that their assumptions could be some intellectual exercises testing neo-Lamarckian theories. Moreover the description of human beings on other planets, and particularly the Martian epianthropus presented by Perrier, were

  20. The effect of a strong stellar flare on the atmospheric chemistry of an earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf.

    PubMed

    Segura, Antígona; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Meadows, Victoria; Kasting, James; Hawley, Suzanne

    2010-09-01

    Main sequence M stars pose an interesting problem for astrobiology: their abundance in our galaxy makes them likely targets in the hunt for habitable planets, but their strong chromospheric activity produces high-energy radiation and charged particles that may be detrimental to life. We studied the impact of the 1985 April 12 flare from the M dwarf AD Leonis (AD Leo), simulating the effects from both UV radiation and protons on the atmospheric chemistry of a hypothetical, Earth-like planet located within its habitable zone. Based on observations of solar proton events and the Neupert effect, we estimated a proton flux associated with the flare of 5.9 × 10⁸ protons cm⁻² sr⁻¹ s⁻¹ for particles with energies >10 MeV. Then we calculated the abundance of nitrogen oxides produced by the flare by scaling the production of these compounds during a large solar proton event called the Carrington event. The simulations were performed with a 1-D photochemical model coupled to a 1-D radiative/convective model. Our results indicate that the UV radiation emitted during the flare does not produce a significant change in the ozone column depth of the planet. When the action of protons is included, the ozone depletion reaches a maximum of 94% two years after the flare for a planet with no magnetic field. At the peak of the flare, the calculated UV fluxes that reach the surface, in the wavelength ranges that are damaging for life, exceed those received on Earth during less than 100 s. Therefore, flares may not present a direct hazard for life on the surface of an orbiting habitable planet. Given that AD Leo is one of the most magnetically active M dwarfs known, this conclusion should apply to planets around other M dwarfs with lower levels of chromospheric activity.

  1. The Effect of a Strong Stellar Flare on the Atmospheric Chemistry of an Earth-like Planet Orbiting an M Dwarf

    PubMed Central

    Walkowicz, Lucianne M.; Meadows, Victoria; Kasting, James; Hawley, Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Main sequence M stars pose an interesting problem for astrobiology: their abundance in our galaxy makes them likely targets in the hunt for habitable planets, but their strong chromospheric activity produces high-energy radiation and charged particles that may be detrimental to life. We studied the impact of the 1985 April 12 flare from the M dwarf AD Leonis (AD Leo), simulating the effects from both UV radiation and protons on the atmospheric chemistry of a hypothetical, Earth-like planet located within its habitable zone. Based on observations of solar proton events and the Neupert effect, we estimated a proton flux associated with the flare of 5.9 × 108 protons cm−2 sr−1 s−1 for particles with energies >10 MeV. Then we calculated the abundance of nitrogen oxides produced by the flare by scaling the production of these compounds during a large solar proton event called the Carrington event. The simulations were performed with a 1-D photochemical model coupled to a 1-D radiative/convective model. Our results indicate that the UV radiation emitted during the flare does not produce a significant change in the ozone column depth of the planet. When the action of protons is included, the ozone depletion reaches a maximum of 94% two years after the flare for a planet with no magnetic field. At the peak of the flare, the calculated UV fluxes that reach the surface, in the wavelength ranges that are damaging for life, exceed those received on Earth during less than 100 s. Therefore, flares may not present a direct hazard for life on the surface of an orbiting habitable planet. Given that AD Leo is one of the most magnetically active M dwarfs known, this conclusion should apply to planets around other M dwarfs with lower levels of chromospheric activity. Key Words: M dwarf—Flare—Habitable zone—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 10, 751–771. PMID:20879863

  2. Fluid-driven fracture and melt transport through lithosphere on earth and terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fialko, Yuri Alex

    emplacement, and discusses some important implications of our results for the generation of the Earth's crust at mid-ocean ridges. In particular, we find that the thermal arrest lengths of typical mid-ocean ridge dikes are of the order of the wavelength of crustal thickness variations and transform fault spacing along slow spreading ridges. This suggests that thermal controls on the crustal melt delivery system could be an important factor in modulating these variations. The third chapter deals with fluid-mechanical aspects of lateral dike propagation in volcanic rift zones. We demonstrate the existence of a feedback between viscous pressure losses during magma transport at depth and the along-strike surface topography of a rift zone. Our estimated values of the along-strike slopes resulting from such a feedback are in general agreement with observations in Hawaiian rift zones. The fourth chapter explores mechanisms of emplacement of giant dike swarms that might have played a role in splitting continents and producing mass extinctions. We reconcile field observations of chilled margins, low crustal contamination, and large dike thicknesses with the theoretically inferred turbulent mode of magma flow in such dikes.

  3. Molecular basis for the interaction between Integrator subunits IntS9 and IntS11 and its functional importance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yixuan; Albrecht, Todd R; Baillat, David; Wagner, Eric J; Tong, Liang

    2017-04-25

    The metazoan Integrator complex (INT) has important functions in the 3'-end processing of noncoding RNAs, including the uridine-rich small nuclear RNA (UsnRNA) and enhancer RNA (eRNA), and in the transcription of coding genes by RNA polymerase II. The INT contains at least 14 subunits, but its molecular mechanism of action is poorly understood, because currently there is little structural information about its subunits. The endonuclease activity of INT is mediated by its subunit 11 (IntS11), which belongs to the metallo-β-lactamase superfamily and is a paralog of CPSF-73, the endonuclease for pre-mRNA 3'-end processing. IntS11 forms a stable complex with Integrator complex subunit 9 (IntS9) through their C-terminal domains (CTDs). Here, we report the crystal structure of the IntS9-IntS11 CTD complex at 2.1-Å resolution and detailed, structure-based biochemical and functional studies. The complex is composed of a continuous nine-stranded β-sheet with four strands from IntS9 and five from IntS11. Highly conserved residues are located in the extensive interface between the two CTDs. Yeast two-hybrid assays and coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirm the structural observations on the complex. Functional studies demonstrate that the IntS9-IntS11 interaction is crucial for the role of INT in snRNA 3'-end processing.

  4. Remote life-detection criteria, habitable zone boundaries, and the frequency of Earth-like planets around M and late K stars

    PubMed Central

    Kasting, James F.; Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Ramirez, Ramses M.; Harman, Chester E.

    2014-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) around a star is typically defined as the region where a rocky planet can maintain liquid water on its surface. That definition is appropriate, because this allows for the possibility that carbon-based, photosynthetic life exists on the planet in sufficient abundance to modify the planet’s atmosphere in a way that might be remotely detected. Exactly what conditions are needed, however, to maintain liquid water remains a topic for debate. In the past, modelers have restricted themselves to water-rich planets with CO2 and H2O as the only important greenhouse gases. More recently, some researchers have suggested broadening the definition to include arid, “Dune” planets on the inner edge and planets with captured H2 atmospheres on the outer edge, thereby greatly increasing the HZ width. Such planets could exist, but we demonstrate that an inner edge limit of 0.59 AU or less is physically unrealistic. We further argue that conservative HZ definitions should be used for designing future space-based telescopes, but that optimistic definitions may be useful in interpreting the data from such missions. In terms of effective solar flux, Seff, the recently recalculated HZ boundaries are: recent Venus—1.78; runaway greenhouse—1.04; moist greenhouse—1.01; maximum greenhouse—0.35; and early Mars—0.32. Based on a combination of different HZ definitions, the frequency of potentially Earth-like planets around late K and M stars observed by Kepler is in the range of 0.4–0.5. PMID:24277805

  5. Earth

    2012-01-30

    Behold one of the more detailed images of the Earth yet created. This Blue Marble Earth montage shown above -- created from photographs taken by the Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on board the new Suomi NPP satellite -- shows many stunning details of our home planet. The Suomi NPP satellite was launched last October and renamed last week after Verner Suomi, commonly deemed the father of satellite meteorology. The composite was created from the data collected during four orbits of the robotic satellite taken earlier this month and digitally projected onto the globe. Many features of North America and the Western Hemisphere are particularly visible on a high resolution version of the image. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18033

  6. On evolutionary climate tracks in deep mantle volatile cycle computed from numerical mantle convection simulations and its impact on the habitability of the Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakagawa, T.; Tajika, E.; Kadoya, S.

    2017-12-01

    Discussing an impact of evolution and dynamics in the Earth's deep interior on the surface climate change for the last few decades (see review by Ehlmann et al., 2016), the mantle volatile (particularly carbon) degassing in the mid-oceanic ridges seems to play a key role in understanding the evolutionary climate track for Earth-like planets (e.g. Kadoya and Tajika, 2015). However, since the mantle degassing occurs not only in the mid-oceanic ridges but also in the wedge mantle (island arc volcanism) and hotspots, to incorporate more accurate estimate of mantle degassing flux into the climate evolution framework, we developed a coupled model of surface climate-deep Earth evolution in numerical mantle convection simulations, including more accurate deep water and carbon cycle (e.g. Nakagawa and Spiegelman, 2017) with an energy balance theory of climate change. Modeling results suggest that the evolution of planetary climate computed from a developed model is basically consistent with an evolutionary climate track in simplified mantle degassing model (Kadoya and Tajika, 2015), but an occurrence timing of global (snowball) glaciation is strongly dependent on mantle degassing rate occurred with activities of surface plate motions. With this implication, the surface plate motion driven by deep mantle dynamics would play an important role in the planetary habitability of such as the Earth and Earth-like planets over geologic time-scale.

  7. Exploring an Earth-sized neighbor: ground-based transmission spectroscopy of GJ1132b, a rocky planet transiting a small nearby M-dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diamond-Lowe, Hannah; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Dittmann, Jason

    2017-01-01

    The terrestrial planets of the Solar System are rocky worlds that did not accrete envelopes of hydrogen and helium, but instead possess thin secondary atmospheres, or no atmosphere at all. Until recently, most exoplanet atmospheric studies have centered around hot Jupiters, for which high planet-to-star radius ratios and short orbital periods allowed for observable transmission spectra. Now we have the opportunity to probe the atmosphere of a small, rocky exoplanet. GJ1132b has a radius of 1.2 Earth radii and a mass of 1.6 Earth masses, and orbits an M-dwarf 12 parsecs away. Determining the composition of GJ1132b's atmosphere is essential to understanding the nature of atmospheric evolution on terrestrial planets. We observed five transits of GJ1132b using the Magellan Clay telescope with the LDSS3C multi-object spectrograph. We compare the transit depth of GJ1132b in wavelength bins ranging from 0.65 -- 1.04 microns to infer whether or not GJ1132b has maintained its primordial hydrogen-dominated atmosphere. Should we find evidence of a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere, this would imply that a terrestrial planet is able to accrete and retain a low mean-molecular weight atmosphere from the planetary nebula. Coupled with recent UV spectra of the host star, our results can clarify the process of atmospheric escape on terrestrial worlds, with implications for formation histories of M-dwarf planets and the potential for habitability in these systems. If instead GJ1132b possesses a low mean-molecular weight atmosphere, we look to future observations with JWST and the ground-based extremely large telescopes to characterize its atmosphere.This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. This work was made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

  8. Creating Planet Earth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeler, Rusty

    2013-01-01

    Every generation of new ecologists addresses the need for playscapes to match the landscapes while engendering wonder and beauty into a child's everyday world. Keeler's playground style imitates nature with designs of innovative path finding, inventive structures, and "swarm builds" that make each play space entirely original.

  9. How does the Earth system generate and maintain thermodynamic disequilibrium and what does it imply for the future of the planet?

    PubMed

    Kleidon, Axel

    2012-03-13

    The Earth's chemical composition far from chemical equilibrium is unique in our Solar System, and this uniqueness has been attributed to the presence of widespread life on the planet. Here, I show how this notion can be quantified using non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Generating and maintaining disequilibrium in a thermodynamic variable requires the extraction of power from another thermodynamic gradient, and the second law of thermodynamics imposes fundamental limits on how much power can be extracted. With this approach and associated limits, I show that the ability of abiotic processes to generate geochemical free energy that can be used to transform the surface-atmosphere environment is strongly limited to less than 1 TW. Photosynthetic life generates more than 200 TW by performing photochemistry, thereby substantiating the notion that a geochemical composition far from equilibrium can be a sign for strong biotic activity. Present-day free energy consumption by human activity in the form of industrial activity and human appropriated net primary productivity is of the order of 50 TW and therefore constitutes a considerable term in the free energy budget of the planet. When aiming to predict the future of the planet, we first note that since global changes are closely related to this consumption of free energy, and the demands for free energy by human activity are anticipated to increase substantially in the future, the central question in the context of predicting future global change is then how human free energy demands can increase sustainably without negatively impacting the ability of the Earth system to generate free energy. This question could be evaluated with climate models, and the potential deficiencies in these models to adequately represent the thermodynamics of the Earth system are discussed. Then, I illustrate the implications of this thermodynamic perspective by discussing the forms of renewable energy and planetary engineering that would

  10. How does the Earth system generate and maintain thermodynamic disequilibrium and what does it imply for the future of the planet?

    PubMed Central

    Kleidon, Axel

    2012-01-01

    The Earth's chemical composition far from chemical equilibrium is unique in our Solar System, and this uniqueness has been attributed to the presence of widespread life on the planet. Here, I show how this notion can be quantified using non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Generating and maintaining disequilibrium in a thermodynamic variable requires the extraction of power from another thermodynamic gradient, and the second law of thermodynamics imposes fundamental limits on how much power can be extracted. With this approach and associated limits, I show that the ability of abiotic processes to generate geochemical free energy that can be used to transform the surface–atmosphere environment is strongly limited to less than 1 TW. Photosynthetic life generates more than 200 TW by performing photochemistry, thereby substantiating the notion that a geochemical composition far from equilibrium can be a sign for strong biotic activity. Present-day free energy consumption by human activity in the form of industrial activity and human appropriated net primary productivity is of the order of 50 TW and therefore constitutes a considerable term in the free energy budget of the planet. When aiming to predict the future of the planet, we first note that since global changes are closely related to this consumption of free energy, and the demands for free energy by human activity are anticipated to increase substantially in the future, the central question in the context of predicting future global change is then how human free energy demands can increase sustainably without negatively impacting the ability of the Earth system to generate free energy. This question could be evaluated with climate models, and the potential deficiencies in these models to adequately represent the thermodynamics of the Earth system are discussed. Then, I illustrate the implications of this thermodynamic perspective by discussing the forms of renewable energy and planetary engineering that would

  11. RADIAL VELOCITY PLANETS DE-ALIASED: A NEW, SHORT PERIOD FOR SUPER-EARTH 55 Cnc e

    SciT

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Fabrycky, Daniel C., E-mail: rdawson@cfa.harvard.ed, E-mail: daniel.fabrycky@gmail.co

    2010-10-10

    Radial velocity measurements of stellar reflex motion have revealed many extrasolar planets, but gaps in the observations produce aliases, spurious frequencies that are frequently confused with the planets' orbital frequencies. In the case of Gl 581 d, the distinction between an alias and the true frequency was the distinction between a frozen, dead planet and a planet possibly hospitable to life. To improve the characterization of planetary systems, we describe how aliases originate and present a new approach for distinguishing between orbital frequencies and their aliases. Our approach harnesses features in the spectral window function to compare the amplitude andmore » phase of predicted aliases with peaks present in the data. We apply it to confirm prior alias distinctions for the planets GJ 876 d and HD 75898 b. We find that the true periods of Gl 581 d and HD 73526 b/c remain ambiguous. We revise the periods of HD 156668 b and 55 Cnc e, which were afflicted by daily aliases. For HD 156668 b, the correct period is 1.2699 days and the minimum mass is (3.1 {+-} 0.4) M{sub +}. For 55 Cnc e, the correct period is 0.7365 days-the shortest of any known planet-and the minimum mass is (8.3 {+-} 0.3) M{sub +}. This revision produces a significantly improved five-planet Keplerian fit for 55 Cnc, and a self-consistent dynamical fit describes the data just as well. As radial velocity techniques push to ever-smaller planets, often found in systems of multiple planets, distinguishing true periods from aliases will become increasingly important.« less

  12. Kepler’s Earth-like Planets Should Not Be Confirmed without Independent Detection: The Case of Kepler-452b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullally, Fergal; Thompson, Susan E.; Coughlin, Jeffrey L.; Burke, Christopher J.; Rowe, Jason F.

    2018-05-01

    We show that the claimed confirmed planet Kepler-452b (a.k.a., K07016.01, KIC 8311864) cannot be confirmed using a purely statistical validation approach. Kepler detects many more periodic signals from instrumental effects than it does from transits, and it is likely impossible to confidently distinguish the two types of events at low signal-to-noise. As a result, the scenario that the observed signal is due to an instrumental artifact cannot be ruled out with 99% confidence, and the system must still be considered a candidate planet. We discuss the implications for other confirmed planets in or near the habitable zone.

  13. Modeling Kepler Transit Light Curves as False Positives: Rejection of Blend Scenarios for Kepler-9, and Validation of Kepler-9 d, a Super-Earth-Size Planet in a Multiple System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-20

    of 2009, was de- signed to address the important question of the frequency of Earth -size planets around Sun -like stars, and to characterize ex...physically associated with the candidate (hierarchical triple systems) and in a long-period orbit around their common center of mass would often be spatially...positive scenar- ios that is complementary to other diagnostics, and should play an important role in the discovery of Earth -size planets around other

  14. Models of the Origin of the Moon; Early History of Earth and Venus (The Role of Tidal Friction in the Formation of Structure of the Planets)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pechernikova, G. V.; Ruskol, E. L.

    2017-05-01

    An analytical review of the two contemporary models of the origin of the Earth-Moon system in the process of solid-body accretion is presented: socalled co-accretion model and as a result of a gigantic collision with a planetarysized body (i.e. a megaimpact model). The co-accretion model may be considered as a universal mechanism of the origin of planetary satellites, that accompanies the growth of planets. We consider the conditions of this process that secure the sufficient mass and angular momentum of the protolunar disk such as macroimpacts (collisions with the bodies of asteroidal size) into the mantle of the growing Earth, the role of an lunar embryo growing on the geocentric lunar orbit, its tidal interaction with the Earth. The most difficult remains the explanation of chemical composition of the Moon. Different scenarios of megaimpact are reviewed, in which the Earth's mantle is destroyed and the protosatellite disk is filled mainly by its fragments. There is evaluated amount of energy transferred to the Earth from the evolution of lunar orbit. It is an order of magnitude lower than three main sources of the Earth's interior heat, i.e. the heat of accretion, the energy of differentiation and the heat of radioactive sources. The tidal heating of the Venus's interiors could reach 1000K by slowing its axial initial rotation, in addition to three sources mentioned above in concern of the Earth.

  15. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets . XXXII. New multi-planet systems in the HARPS volume limited sample: a super-Earth and a Neptune in the habitable zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Curto, G.; Mayor, M.; Benz, W.; Bouchy, F.; Hébrard, G.; Lovis, C.; Moutou, C.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.

    2013-03-01

    The vast diversity of planetary systems detected to date is defying our capability of understanding their formation and evolution. Well-defined volume-limited surveys are the best tool at our disposal to tackle the problem, via the acquisition of robust statistics of the orbital elements. We are using the HARPS spectrograph to conduct our survey of ≈850 nearby solar-type stars, and in the course of the past nine years we have monitored the radial velocity of HD 103774, HD 109271, and BD-061339. In this work we present the detection of five planets orbiting these stars, with msin (i) between 0.6 and 7 Neptune masses, four of which are in two multiple systems, comprising one super-Earth and one planet within the habitable zone of a late-type dwarf. Although for strategic reasons we chose efficiency over precision in this survey, we have the capability to detect planets down to the Neptune and super-Earth mass range as well as multiple systems, provided that enough data points are made available. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla (Chile), under the GTO program ID 072.C-0488 and the regular programs: 085.C-0019, 087.C-0831 and 089.C-0732. RV data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/551/A59

  16. A detailed view of Earth across space and time: our changing planet through a 32-year global Landsat and Sentinel-2 timelapse video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herwig, C.

    2017-12-01

    The Landsat program offers an unparalleled record of our changing planet, with satellites that have been observing the Earth since 1972 to the present day. However, clouds, seasonal variation, and technical challenges around access to large volumes of data make it difficult for researchers and the public to understand global and regional scale changes across time through the planetary dataset. Earth Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that has helped revolutionize how users - millions of which have never been capable of utilizing Landsat data before - monitor and understand a changing planet. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab's Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time. Using Earth Engine, we combined over 5 million satellite images acquired over the past three decades by 5 different satellites. The majority of the images come from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that has observed the Earth since the 1970s. For 2015 and 2016, we combined Landsat 8 imagery with imagery from Sentinel-2A, part of the European Commission and European Space Agency's Copernicus Earth observation program. Along with the interactive desktop Timelapse application, we created a 200-video YouTube playlist highlighting areas across the world exhibiting change in the dataset.Earth Timelapse is an example that illustrates the power of Google Earth Engine's cloud-computing platform, which enables users such as scientists, researchers, and journalists to detect changes, map trends, and quantify differences on the Earth's surface using Google's computational infrastructure and the multi-petabyte Earth Engine data catalog. Earth Timelapse also highlights the value of data visualization to communicate with non-scientific audiences with varied technical and internet connectivity

  17. From Hot Jupiters to Super-Earths: Characterizing the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets with the Spitzer Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knutson, Heather

    2009-05-01

    The Spitzer Space Telescope has been a remarkably successful platform for studies of exoplanet atmospheres, with notable results including the first detection of the light emitted by an extrasolar planet (Deming et al. 2005, Charbonneau et al. 2005), the first spectrum of an extrasolar planet (Richardson et al. 2007, Grillmair et al. 2007), and the first map of the flux distribution across the surface of an extrasolar planet (Knutson et al. 2007). These observations have allowed us to characterize the pressure-temperature profiles, chemistry, clouds, and circulation patterns of a select subset of the massive, close-in planets known as hot Jupiters, along with the hot Saturn HD 149026b and the cooler Neptune-mass planet GJ 436b. In my talk I will review the current status of Spitzer observations of transiting planets at the end of the cryogenic mission and look ahead to the observations planned for the two-year warm mission, which will begin this summer after the last of Spitzer's cryogen is exhausted.

  18. Possible Outcomes of Coplanar High-eccentricity Migration: Hot Jupiters, Close-in Super-Earths, and Counter-orbiting Planets

    SciT

    Xue, Yuxin; Masuda, Kento; Suto, Yasushi, E-mail: yuxin@utap.phys.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    We investigate the formation of close-in planets in near-coplanar eccentric hierarchical triple systems via the secular interaction between an inner planet and an outer perturber (Coplanar High-eccentricity Migration; CHEM). We generalize the previous work on the analytical condition for successful CHEM for point masses interacting only through gravity by taking into account the finite mass effect of the inner planet. We find that efficient CHEM requires that the systems should have m {sub 1}≪m {sub 0} and m {sub 1} ≪ m {sub 2}. In addition to the gravity for point masses, we examine the importance of the short-range forces,more » and provide an analytical estimate of the migration timescale. We perform a series of numerical simulations in CHEM for systems consisting of a Sun-like central star, giant gas inner planet, and planetary outer perturber, including the short-range forces and stellar and planetary dissipative tides. We find that most of such systems end up with a tidal disruption; a small fraction of the systems produce prograde hot Jupiters (HJs), but no retrograde HJ. In addition, we extend CHEM to super-Earth mass range, and show that the formation of close-in super-Earths in prograde orbits is also possible. Finally, we carry out CHEM simulation for the observed hierarchical triple and counter-orbiting HJ systems. We find that CHEM can explain a part of the former systems, but it is generally very difficult to reproduce counter-orbiting HJ systems.« less

  19. The sustainability of habitability on terrestrial planets: Insights, questions, and needed measurements from Mars for understanding the evolution of Earth-like worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; Fassett, C. I.; Fischer, W. W.; Fraeman, A. A.; Golombek, M. P.; Hamilton, V. E.; Hayes, A. G.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Hu, R.; Jakosky, B. M.; Johnson, J. R.; Kasting, J. F.; Kerber, L.; Kinch, K. M.; Kite, E. S.; Knutson, H. A.; Lunine, J. I.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Mangold, N.; McCubbin, F. M.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Quantin-Nataf, C.; Rice, M. S.; Stack, K. M.; Stevenson, D. J.; Stewart, S. T.; Toplis, M. J.; Usui, T.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Wordsworth, R. D.; Wray, J. J.; Yingst, R. A.; Yung, Y. L.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2016-10-01

    understanding the factors driving the divergent evolutionary paths of the Earth, Venus, and thousands of small rocky extrasolar planets yet to be discovered.

  20. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-Like Worlds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; hide

    2016-01-01

    understanding the factors driving the divergent evolutionary paths of the Earth, Venus, and thousands of small rocky extra solar planets yet to be discovered.

  1. The Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, L. J.; Seager, S.

    2007-01-01

    In this chapter we examine what can be learned about extrasolar planet atmospheres by concentrating on a class of planets that transit their parent stars. As discussed in the previous chapter, one way of detecting an extrasolar planet is by observing the drop in stellar intensity as the planet passes in front of the star. A transit represents a special case in which the geometry of the planetary system is such that the planet s orbit is nearly edge-on as seen from Earth. As we will explore, the transiting planets provide opportunities for detailed follow-up observations that allow physical characterization of extrasolar planets, probing their bulk compositions and atmospheres.

  2. Project Planet Earth: A Joint Project Between the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mattoo, Shana; Remer, Lorraine; Anderson, Terry; Johnson, Courtrina; Lau, William K. M. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Scientists of the NASA/GSFC and the staff of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM) have teamed up to introduce more girls and young women to earth system science. The girls now have the opportunity to earn the specially designed Planet Earth Council Patch. The Patch program includes a set of requirements tailored to the specific age level of the girl and the resource material to help the girl complete the requirements. At completion of the requirements the girl is awarded a patch to sew onto the back of her sash or vest. Girls do hands-on physical experiments, practice taking data, visit science centers and perform skits in order to complete the requirements. In addition to the Patch program, Project Planet Earth continues to encourage strong collaboration between the Girl Scouts of Maryland and NASA/GSFC. Girls volunteer at the GSFC visitor center during community events and in turn scientists are called on as keynote speakers and consultants for the Council. A special science interest group is forming for the teenage Girl Scouts of the Council that will network with scientists and help these young women pursue their interests, find internships and make career decisions.

  3. News and Views: Keep it down! AU becomes au, and is defined in metres; Kepler survey announces two planets in a binary star system; Is there plate tectonics on Mars? Vaporizing Earth - for research!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2012-10-01

    Division 1 of the IAU recommended that the astronomical unit - originally the length of the semi-major axis of the Earth's orbit - be redefined as a fixed number of kilometres. A team of observers using data from NASA's Kepler space observatory announced at the IAU General Assembly that they had discovered two planets orbiting a pair of binary stars, and that such planets could exist in the habitable zone of their system. The Red Planet has long been considered something of a dead planet as far as tectonic movements of its crust, but careful analysis of thermal and topographic images of the surface suggest the existence of major faults with horizontal slip along the Valles Marineris. The question of what would happen if Earth were to approach the Sun and start vaporizing has been modelled in order to help to model the composition of super-Earths.

  4. Kepler’s DR25 Most Earth-like Planet Candidates: What To Know Before You Go

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Susan E.; Kepler Team

    2018-01-01

    The Kepler mission’s latest catalog of planet candidates (data release 25 KOI catalog at the NASA exoplanet archive) was released in June of 2017. The catalog contains 4034 candidates including a significant population of terrestrial-size planets in the habitable zone of FGK dwarf stars. I will highlight what we know about these planet candidates in the DR25 catalog and discuss some of the caveats when working with these detections. Specifically, I will discuss how the noise in the Kepler light curves (from both the instrument and the stars) is known to occasionally produce weak, transit-like signals. We use simulations of this noise to measure how often these signals sneak into the catalog. I will also demonstrate ways to select a high-reliability sample using information available in the catalog. Such considerations may prove useful for anyone planning to use these planet candidates for occurrence rate calculations, choosing targets for follow-up, or deciding which planet to visit on his/her next holiday.

  5. Gas Planet Orbits

    2008-08-19

    Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are known as the jovian Jupiter-like planets because they are all gigantic compared with Earth, and they have a gaseous nature. This diagram shows the approximate distance of the jovian planets from the Sun.

  6. Planets in Motion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    All the planets in the solar system revolve around the Sun in the same direction, clockwise when viewed from above the North Pole. This is referred to as direct motion. From the perspective on the Earth's surface, the planets travel east across the sky in relation to the background of stars. The Sun also moves eastward daily, but this is an…

  7. SeaWiFS Technical Report Series. Volume 42; Satellite Primary Productivity Data and Algorithm Development: A Science Plan for Mission to Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Falkowski, Paul G.; Behrenfeld, Michael J.; Esaias, Wayne E.; Balch, William; Campbell, Janet W.; Iverson, Richard L.; Kiefer, Dale A.; Morel, Andre; Yoder, James A.; Hooker, Stanford B. (Editor); hide

    1998-01-01

    Two issues regarding primary productivity, as it pertains to the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) Program and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) are presented in this volume. Chapter 1 describes the development of a science plan for deriving primary production for the world ocean using satellite measurements, by the Ocean Primary Productivity Working Group (OPPWG). Chapter 2 presents discussions by the same group, of algorithm classification, algorithm parameterization and data availability, algorithm testing and validation, and the benefits of a consensus primary productivity algorithm.

  8. On the hypothesis of hyperimpact-induced ejection of asteroid-size bodies from Earth-type planets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drobyshevski, E. M.

    During the last two decades a number of facts have brought to life a seemingly fantastic idea of ejection of large rocky fragments from planets into space, like for example SNC meteorites or many-km-size fragments of Vesta. The theoretical description of impact processes of this ejection lags behind. Considerable efforts have been spent to show the possibility of ejection of bodies several meters in size from large impact craters on Mars. In general, the possibility of impact self-destruction of inner planets may drastically alter traditional models of the origin of the Solar System. However, non-destructive gasdynamic ejection of large fragments from planets requires a mechanism for fast conversion of shock-wave energy into heat. The extrapolation of data from laboratory impact experiments (≡10 kJ) and nuclear explosions (<1 Mt TNT) in order to describe hyperimpact processes with 105 - 106 Mt TNT energies can hardly be justified, that is why these calculations give relatively small gas production and, consequently, small velocities of fragment ejection from impact craters. It is predicted that at such energies some instabilities may lead to formation of new dissipation channels, that would increase the part of the overheated gas fraction in the hyperimpact ejection products. This would eliminate numerous contradictions in the impact history of planets, asteroids, meteorites etc.

  9. Lessons from our Own Solar System: Generation Mechanisms of Radio Emissions from Earth, Saturn and Jupiter and Atmospheric Loss from Magnetized versus non-magnetized planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Pontus

    2017-05-01

    The understanding of the engines and mechanisms behind kilometric and decametric radio emissions from the planets in our own solar system have taken great leaps with missions such as the NASA/Cassini, IMAGE and Galileo missions. The periodic Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR), the Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR) at Earth and the periodic decametric radio emissions from Jupiter all point to the same generation mechanisms: very large-scale explosive plasma heating events in the magnetotail of each of the planets. The character and periodicity of the associated radio emissions not only tells us about the presence of a magnetic field but also about the plasma content and size of the planetary magnetosphere, and the nature of the interaction with the solar wind.The presence of a planetary magnetic field, as could be established for exoplanets by the positive detection of low-frequency exoplanetary radio emissions, has been thought to shield a planet from atmospheric loss to space. However, recent data from Mars Express, MAVEN, and Venus Express, together with the wealth of terrestrial measurements of atmospheric escape to space has brought a surprising question in to light: Does a planetary magnetic field suppress or enhance atmospheric loss? While at the non-magnetized planets such as Mars and Venus, the solar wind has a more direct access to the ionized upper atmosphere, these planets do set up self shielding currents that do limit escape. Furthermore, it is not clear if Mars have lost the majority of its atmosphere by condensation in to surface and sub-surface frost, or through atmospheric escape. At Earth, the geomagnetic field sets up a relatively large cross section to the solar wind, that allows the induced solar-wind electric field to transfer substantial energy to the upper ionosphere and atmosphere resulting in substantial loss. It is therefore not clear how a planetary magnetic field correlates to the atmospheric loss, or if it does at all.In this

  10. The Transiting Multi-planet System HD 3167: A 5.7 M ⊕ Super-Earth and an 8.3 M ⊕ Mini-Neptune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gandolfi, Davide; Barragán, Oscar; Hatzes, Artie P.; Fridlund, Malcolm; Fossati, Luca; Donati, Paolo; Johnson, Marshall C.; Nowak, Grzegorz; Prieto-Arranz, Jorge; Albrecht, Simon; Dai, Fei; Deeg, Hans; Endl, Michael; Grziwa, Sascha; Hjorth, Maria; Korth, Judith; Nespral, David; Saario, Joonas; Smith, Alexis M. S.; Antoniciello, Giuliano; Alarcon, Javier; Bedell, Megan; Blay, Pere; Brems, Stefan S.; Cabrera, Juan; Csizmadia, Szilard; Cusano, Felice; Cochran, William D.; Eigmüller, Philipp; Erikson, Anders; González Hernández, Jonay I.; Guenther, Eike W.; Hirano, Teruyuki; Suárez Mascareño, Alejandro; Narita, Norio; Palle, Enric; Parviainen, Hannu; Pätzold, Martin; Persson, Carina M.; Rauer, Heike; Saviane, Ivo; Schmidtobreick, Linda; Van Eylen, Vincent; Winn, Joshua N.; Zakhozhay, Olga V.

    2017-09-01

    HD 3167 is a bright (V = 8.9 mag) K0 V star observed by NASA’s K2 space mission during its Campaign 8. It has recently been found to host two small transiting planets, namely, HD 3167b, an ultra-short-period (0.96 days) super-Earth, and HD 3167c, a mini-Neptune on a relatively long-period orbit (29.85 days). Here we present an intensive radial velocity (RV) follow-up of HD 3167 performed with the FIES@NOT, HARPS@ESO-3.6 m, and HARPS-N@TNG spectrographs. We revise the system parameters and determine radii, masses, and densities of the two transiting planets by combining the K2 photometry with our spectroscopic data. With a mass of 5.69 ± 0.44 M ⊕, a radius of 1.574 ± 0.054 R ⊕, and a mean density of {8.00}-0.98+1.10 {{g}} {{cm}}-3, HD 3167b joins the small group of ultra-short-period planets known to have rocky terrestrial compositions. HD 3167c has a mass of {8.33}-1.85+1.79 M ⊕ and a radius of {2.740}-0.100+0.106 R ⊕, yielding a mean density of {2.21}-0.53+0.56 {{g}} {{cm}}-3, indicative of a planet with a composition comprising a solid core surrounded by a thick atmospheric envelope. The rather large pressure scale height (˜350 km) and the brightness of the host star make HD 3167c an ideal target for atmospheric characterization via transmission spectroscopy across a broad range of wavelengths. We found evidence of additional signals in the RV measurements but the currently available data set does not allow us to draw any firm conclusions on the origin of the observed variation.

  11. Size of Kepler Planet Candidates

    2013-01-07

    Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars; dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered.

  12. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-03

    Observational surveys for extrasolar planets probe the diverse outcomes of planet formation and evolution. These surveys measure the frequency of planets with different masses, sizes, orbital characteristics, and host star properties. Small planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune substantially outnumber Jupiter-sized planets. The survey measurements support the core accretion model, in which planets form by the accumulation of solids and then gas in protoplanetary disks. The diversity of exoplanetary characteristics demonstrates that most of the gross features of the solar system are one outcome in a continuum of possibilities. The most common class of planetary system detectable today consists of one or more planets approximately one to three times Earth's size orbiting within a fraction of the Earth-Sun distance.

  13. Response of Atmospheric Biomarkers to NOx-Induced Photochemistry Generated by Stellar Cosmic Rays for Earth-like Planets in the Habitable Zone of M Dwarf Stars

    PubMed Central

    Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A. Beate C.; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N2), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O3). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NOx production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O3 formation proceeds via the reaction O+O2+M→O3+M. At high NOx abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO2 photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O2). For the flaring case, O3 is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O3→NO2+O2, and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O3, Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O2, N2, and CO2) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O3 survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong case, whereas the biomarker

  14. Planet Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

  15. Isca, v1.0: a framework for the global modelling of the atmospheres of Earth and other planets at varying levels of complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallis, Geoffrey K.; Colyer, Greg; Geen, Ruth; Gerber, Edwin; Jucker, Martin; Maher, Penelope; Paterson, Alexander; Pietschnig, Marianne; Penn, James; Thomson, Stephen I.

    2018-03-01

    Isca is a framework for the idealized modelling of the global circulation of planetary atmospheres at varying levels of complexity and realism. The framework is an outgrowth of models from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, USA, designed for Earth's atmosphere, but it may readily be extended into other planetary regimes. Various forcing and radiation options are available, from dry, time invariant, Newtonian thermal relaxation to moist dynamics with radiative transfer. Options are available in the dry thermal relaxation scheme to account for the effects of obliquity and eccentricity (and so seasonality), different atmospheric optical depths and a surface mixed layer. An idealized grey radiation scheme, a two-band scheme, and a multiband scheme are also available, all with simple moist effects and astronomically based solar forcing. At the complex end of the spectrum the framework provides a direct connection to comprehensive atmospheric general circulation models. For Earth modelling, options include an aquaplanet and configurable continental outlines and topography. Continents may be defined by changing albedo, heat capacity, and evaporative parameters and/or by using a simple bucket hydrology model. Oceanic Q fluxes may be added to reproduce specified sea surface temperatures, with arbitrary continental distributions. Planetary atmospheres may be configured by changing planetary size and mass, solar forcing, atmospheric mass, radiation, and other parameters. Examples are given of various Earth configurations as well as a giant planet simulation, a slowly rotating terrestrial planet simulation, and tidally locked and other orbitally resonant exoplanet simulations. The underlying model is written in Fortran and may largely be configured with Python scripts. Python scripts are also used to run the model on different architectures, to archive the output, and for diagnostics, graphics, and post-processing. All of these features are publicly

  16. Nonproteinogenic D-amino acids at millimolar concentrations are a toxin for anaerobic microorganisms relevant to early Earth and other anoxic planets.

    PubMed

    Nixon, Sophie L; Cockell, Charles S

    2015-03-01

    The delivery of extraterrestrial organics to early Earth provided a potentially important source of carbon and energy for microbial life. Optically active organic compounds of extraterrestrial origin exist in racemic form, yet life on Earth has almost exclusively selected for L- over D-enantiomers of amino acids. Although D-enantiomers of proteinogenic amino acids are known to inhibit aerobic microorganisms, the role of concentrated nonproteinogenic meteoritic D-amino acids on anaerobic metabolisms relevant to early Earth and other anoxic planets such as Mars is unknown. Here, we test the inhibitory effect of D-enantiomers of two nonproteinogenic amino acids common to carbonaceous chondrites, norvaline and α-aminobutyric acid, on microbial iron reduction. Three pure strains (Geobacter bemidjiensis, Geobacter metallireducens, Geopsychrobacter electrodiphilus) and an iron-reducing enrichment culture were grown in the presence of 10 mM D-enantiomers of both amino acids. Further tests were conducted to assess the inhibitory effect of these D-amino acids at 1 and 0.1 mM. The presence of 10 mM D-norvaline and D-α-aminobutyric acid inhibited microbial iron reduction by all pure strains and the enrichment. G. bemidjiensis was not inhibited by either amino acid at 0.1 mM, but D-α-aminobutyric acid still inhibited at 1 mM. Calculations using published meteorite accumulation rates to the martian surface indicate D-α-aminobutyric acid may have reached inhibitory concentrations in little over 1000 years during peak infall. These data show that, on a young anoxic planet, the use of one enantiomer over another may render the nonbiological enantiomer an environmental toxin. Processes that generate racemic amino acids in the environment, such as meteoritic infall or impact synthesis, would have been toxic processes and could have been a selection pressure for the evolution of early racemases.

  17. Habitable-zone super-Earth candidate in a six-planet system around the K2.5V star HD 40307

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuomi, M.; Anglada-Escudé, G.; Gerlach, E.; Jones, H. R. A.; Reiners, A.; Rivera, E. J.; Vogt, S. S.; Butler, R. P.

    2013-01-01

    Context. The K2.5 dwarf HD 40307 has been reported to host three super-Earths. The system lacks massive planets and is therefore a potential candidate for having additional low-mass planetary companions. Aims: We re-derive Doppler measurements from public HARPS spectra of HD 40307 to confirm the significance of the reported signals using independent data analysis methods. We also investigate these measurements for additional low-amplitude signals. Methods: We used Bayesian analysis of our radial velocities to estimate the probability densities of different model parameters. We also estimated the relative probabilities of models with differing numbers of Keplerian signals and verified their significance using periodogram analyses. We investigated the relation of the detected signals with the chromospheric emission of the star. As previously reported for other objects, we found that radial velocity signals correlated with the S-index are strongly wavelength dependent. Results: We identify two additional clear signals with periods of 34 and 51 days, both corresponding to planet candidates with minimum masses a few times that of the Earth. An additional sixth candidate is initially found at a period of 320 days. However, this signal correlates strongly with the chromospheric emission from the star and is also strongly wavelength dependent. When analysing the red half of the spectra only, the five putative planetary signals are recovered together with a very significant periodicity at about 200 days. This signal has a similar amplitude as the other new signals reported in the current work and corresponds to a planet candidate with Msini ~ 7 M⊕ (HD 40307 g). Conclusions: We show that Doppler measurements can be filtered for activity-induced signals if enough photons and a sufficient wavelength interval are available. If the signal corresponding to HD 40307 g is a genuine Doppler signal of planetary origin, this candidate planet might be capable of supporting liquid

  18. Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podolak, Morris

    2018-04-01

    Modern observational techniques are still not powerful enough to directly view planet formation, and so it is necessary to rely on theory. However, observations do give two important clues to the formation process. The first is that the most primitive form of material in interstellar space exists as a dilute gas. Some of this gas is unstable against gravitational collapse, and begins to contract. Because the angular momentum of the gas is not zero, it contracts along the spin axis, but remains extended in the plane perpendicular to that axis, so that a disk is formed. Viscous processes in the disk carry most of the mass into the center where a star eventually forms. In the process, almost as a by-product, a planetary system is formed as well. The second clue is the time required. Young stars are indeed observed to have gas disks, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, surrounding them, and observations tell us that these disks dissipate after about 5 to 10 million years. If planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are very rich in hydrogen and helium, are to form in such a disk, they must accrete their gas within 5 million years of the time of the formation of the disk. Any formation scenario one proposes must produce Jupiter in that time, although the terrestrial planets, which don't contain significant amounts of hydrogen and helium, could have taken longer to build. Modern estimates for the formation time of the Earth are of the order of 100 million years. To date there are two main candidate theories for producing Jupiter-like planets. The core accretion (CA) scenario supposes that any solid materials in the disk slowly coagulate into protoplanetary cores with progressively larger masses. If the core remains small enough it won't have a strong enough gravitational force to attract gas from the surrounding disk, and the result will be a terrestrial planet. If the core grows large enough (of the order of ten Earth masses), and the disk has not yet dissipated, then

  19. Response of atmospheric biomarkers to NO(x)-induced photochemistry generated by stellar cosmic rays for earth-like planets in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Grenfell, John Lee; Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A Beate C; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-12-01

    Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N(2)), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O(3)). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NO(x) production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O(3) formation proceeds via the reaction O+O(2)+M→O(3)+M. At high NO(x) abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO(2) photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O(2)). For the flaring case, O(3) is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O(3)→NO(2)+O(2), and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O(3), Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O(2), N(2), and CO(2)) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O(3) survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong

  20. MODELING THE INFRARED SPECTRUM OF THE EARTH-MOON SYSTEM: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF EARTHLIKE EXTRASOLAR PLANETS AND THEIR MOONLIKE COMPANIONS

    SciT

    Robinson, Tyler D., E-mail: robinson@astro.washington.edu

    2011-11-01

    The Moon maintains large surface temperatures on its illuminated hemisphere and can contribute significant amounts of flux to spatially unresolved thermal infrared (IR) observations of the Earth-Moon system, especially at wavelengths where Earth's atmosphere is absorbing. In this paper we investigate the effects of an unresolved companion on IR observations of Earthlike exoplanets. For an extrasolar twin Earth-Moon system observed at full phase at IR wavelengths, the Moon consistently comprises about 20% of the total signal, approaches 30% of the signal in the 9.6 {mu}m ozone band and the 15 {mu}m carbon dioxide band, makes up as much as 80%more » of the signal in the 6.3 {mu}m water band, and more than 90% of the signal in the 4.3 {mu}m carbon dioxide band. These excesses translate to inferred brightness temperatures for Earth that are too large by 20-40 K and demonstrate that the presence of undetected satellites can have significant impacts on the spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets. The thermal flux contribution from an airless companion depends strongly on phase, implying that observations of exoplanets should be taken when the star-planet-observer angle (i.e., phase angle) is as large as feasibly possible if contributions from companions are to be minimized. We show that, by differencing IR observations of an Earth twin with a companion taken at both gibbous and crescent phases, Moonlike satellites may be detectable by future exoplanet characterization missions for a wide range of system inclinations.« less

  1. IN SITU ACCRETION OF HYDROGEN-RICH ATMOSPHERES ON SHORT-PERIOD SUPER-EARTHS: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE KEPLER-11 PLANETS

    SciT

    Ikoma, M.; Hori, Y., E-mail: ikoma@eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp, E-mail: yasunori.hori@nao.ac.jp

    2012-07-01

    Motivated by recent discoveries of low-density super-Earths with short orbital periods, we have investigated in situ accretion of H-He atmospheres on rocky bodies embedded in dissipating warm disks, by simulating quasi-static evolution of atmospheres that connect to the ambient disk. We have found that the atmospheric evolution has two distinctly different outcomes, depending on the rocky body's mass: while the atmospheres on massive rocky bodies undergo runaway disk-gas accretion, those on light rocky bodies undergo significant erosion during disk dispersal. In the atmospheric erosion, the heat content of the rocky body that was previously neglected plays an important role. Wemore » have also realized that the atmospheric mass is rather sensitive to disk temperature in the mass range of interest in this study. Our theory is applied to recently detected super-Earths orbiting Kepler-11 to examine the possibility that the planets are rock-dominated ones with relatively thick H-He atmospheres. The application suggests that the in situ formation of the relatively thick H-He atmospheres inferred by structure modeling is possible only under restricted conditions, namely, relatively slow disk dissipation and/or cool environments. This study demonstrates that low-density super-Earths provide important clues to understanding of planetary accretion and disk evolution.« less

  2. Homes for extraterrestrial life: extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Latham, D W

    2001-12-01

    Astronomers are now discovering giant planets orbiting other stars like the sun by the dozens. But none of these appears to be a small rocky planet like the earth, and thus these planets are unlikely to be capable of supporting life as we know it. The recent discovery of a system of three planets is especially significant because it supports the speculation that planetary systems, as opposed to single orbiting planets, may be common. Our ability to detect extrasolar planets will continue to improve, and space missions now in development should be able to detect earth-like planets.

  3. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deeg, Hans; Belmonte, Juan Antonio; Aparicio, Antonio

    2012-03-01

    Participants; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Extrasolar planet detection methods Laurance R. Doyle; 2. Statistical properties of exoplanets Stéphane Udry; 3. Characterizing extrasolar planets Timothy M. Brown; 4. From clouds to planet systems: formation and evolution of stars and planets Günther Wuchterl; 5. Abundances in stars with extrasolar planetary systems Garik Israelian; 6. Brown dwarfs: the bridge between stars and planets Rafael Rebolo; 7. The perspective: a panorama of the Solar System Agustín Sánchez-Lavega; 8. Habitable planets around the Sun and other stars James F. Kasting; 9. Biomarkers of extrasolar planets and their observability Franck Selsis, Jimmy Paillet and France Allard; Index.

  4. Planet Formation - Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2005-01-01

    Modern theories of star and planet formation are based upon observations of planets and smaller bodies within our own Solar System, exoplanets &round normal stars and of young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth as do terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. These models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. A potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path.

  5. NASA Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program: fusing public participation and remote sensing to improve our understanding of the planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitehurst, A.; Murphy, K. J.

    2017-12-01

    The objectives of the NASA Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program (CSESP) include both the evaluation of using citizen science data in NASA Earth science related research and engaging the public in Earth systems science. Announced in 2016, 16 projects were funded for a one year prototype phase, with the possibility of renewal for 3 years pending a competitive evaluation. The current projects fall into the categories of atmospheric composition (5), biodiversity and conservation (5), and surface hydrology/water and energy cycle (6). Out of the 16, 8 of the projects include the development and/or implementation of low cost sensors to facilitate data collection. This presentation provides an overview of the NASA CSESP program to both highlight the diversity of innovative projects being funded and to share information with future program applicants.

  6. Abiotic production of nitrous oxide by lightning. Implications for a false positive identification of life on Earth-Like Planets around quiescent M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro, Karina F.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.

    Nitrous oxide (N _{2}O) is uniformly mixed in the troposphere with a concentration of about 310 ppb but disappears in the stratosphere (Prinn et al., 1990); N _{2}O is mostly emitted at a rate of 1x10 (13) g yr (-1) as a byproduct of microbial activity in soils and in the ocean by two processes: a) denitrification (reduction of nitrate and nitrite), and b) nitrification (oxidation of ammonia) (Maag and Vinther, 1996). The abiotic emission of N _{2}O in the contemporaneous Earth is small, mostly arising from lightning activity (2x10 (9) g yr (-1) , Hill et al., 1984) and by reduction of nitrite by Fe(II)-minerals in soils in Antarctica (Samarkin et al., 2010). Since N _{2}O has absorption bands in the mid-IR (7.8, 8.5, and 17 mumm) that makes it detectable by remote sensing (Topfer et al., 1997; Des Marais et al., 2002), it has been suggested as a potential biosignature in the search for life in extrasolar planets (Churchill and Kasting, 2000). However, the minimum required concentration for positive identification is 10,000 ppb with missions like Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin (Churchill and Kasting, 2000). Therefore, it is not a suitable biomarker for extrasolar Earth-like planets orbiting stars similar to the Sun. Because N _{2}O is protected in the troposphere from UV photolysis by the stratospheric ozone layer, its concentration would decrease with decreasing oxygen (O _{2}) concentrations, if the biological source strength remains constant (Kasting and Donahue, 1980). For a primitive Earth-like (Hadean) atmosphere dominated by CO _{2}, and no free O _{2}, the expected N _{2}O concentration would be about 3 ppb with the current microbial N _{2}O flux (Churchill and Kasting, 2000). The resulting N _{2}O spectral signature of this atmosphere would be undetectable unless the N _{2}O microbial flux would be 10 (4) greater than its present value (Churchill and Kasting, 2000). Since this flux is unlikely, it is impossible to use it as a biomarker in anoxic CO

  7. How the World Gains Understanding of a Planet: Analysis of Scientific Understanding in Earth Sciences and of the Communication of Earth-Scientific Explanation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voute, S.; Kleinhans, M. G.; de Regt, H.

    2010-12-01

    A scientific explanation for a phenomenon is based on relevant theory and initial and background conditions. Scientific understanding, on the other hand, requires intelligibility, which means that a scientist can recognise qualitative characteristic consequences of the theory without doing the actual calculations, and apply it to develop further explanations and predictions. If explanation and understanding are indeed fundamentally different, then it may be possible to convey understanding of earth-scientific phenomena to laymen without the full theoretical background. The aim of this thesis is to analyze how scientists and laymen gain scientific understanding in Earth Sciences, based on the newest insights in the philosophy of science, pedagogy, and science communication. All three disciplines have something to say about how humans learn and understand, even if at very different levels of scientists, students, children or the general public. If different disciplines with different approaches identify and quantify the same theory in the same manner, then there is likely to be something “real” behind the theory. Comparing methodology and learning styles of the different disciplines within the Earth Sciences and by critically analyze earth-scientific exhibitions in different museums may provide insight in the different approaches for earth-scientific explanation and communication. In order to gain earth-scientific understanding, a broad suite of tools is used, such as maps and images, symbols and diagrams, cross-sections and sketches, categorization and classification, modelling, laboratory experiments, (computer) simulations and analogies, remote sensing, and fieldwork. All these tools have a dual nature, containing both theoretical and embodied components. Embodied knowledge is created by doing the actual modelling, intervening in experiments and doing fieldwork. Scientific practice includes discovery and exploration, data collection and analyses, verification

  8. Iceball Planet Artist's Concept

    2017-04-26

    This artist's concept shows OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, a planet discovered through a technique called microlensing. The planet was reported in a 2017 study in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Study authors used the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet), operated by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, to track the microlensing event and find the planet. Although OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb is about the same mass as Earth, and the same distance from its host star as our planet is from our sun, the similarities may end there. This planet is nearly 13,000 light-years away and orbits a star so small, scientists aren't sure if it's a star at all. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21430

  9. Results from the HARPS-N 2014 Campaign to Estimate Accurately the Densities of Planets Smaller than 2.5 Earth Radii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonneau, David; Harps-N Collaboration

    2015-01-01

    Although the NASA Kepler Mission has determined the physical sizes of hundreds of small planets, and we have in many cases characterized the star in detail, we know virtually nothing about the planetary masses: There are only 7 planets smaller than 2.5 Earth radii for which there exist published mass estimates with a precision better than 20 percent, the bare minimum value required to begin to distinguish between different models of composition.HARPS-N is an ultra-stable fiber-fed high-resolution spectrograph optimized for the measurement of very precise radial velocities. We have 80 nights of guaranteed time per year, of which half are dedicated to the study of small Kepler planets.In preparation for the 2014 season, we compared all available Kepler Objects of Interest to identify the ones for which our 40 nights could be used most profitably. We analyzed the Kepler light curves to constrain the stellar rotation periods, the lifetimes of active regions on the stellar surface, and the noise that would result in our radial velocities. We assumed various mass-radius relations to estimate the observing time required to achieve a mass measurement with a precision of 15%, giving preference to stars that had been well characterized through asteroseismology. We began by monitoring our long list of targets. Based on preliminary results we then selected our final short list, gathering typically 70 observations per target during summer 2014.These resulting mass measurements will have a signifcant impact on our understanding of these so-called super-Earths and small Neptunes. They would form a core dataset with which the international astronomical community can meaningfully seek to understand these objects and their formation in a quantitative fashion.HARPS-N was funded by the Swiss Space Office, the Harvard Origin of Life Initiative, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the University of Geneva, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Italian National

  10. Biomarker response to galactic cosmic ray-induced NOx and the methane greenhouse effect in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf star.

    PubMed

    Grenfell, John Lee; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Patzer, Beate; Rauer, Heike; Segura, Antigona; Stadelmann, Anja; Stracke, Barbara; Titz, Ruth; Von Paris, Philip

    2007-02-01

    Planets orbiting in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars are subject to high levels of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), which produce nitrogen oxides (NOx) in Earth-like atmospheres. We investigate to what extent these NO(Mx) species may modify biomarker compounds such as ozone (O3) and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as related compounds such as water (H2O) (essential for life) and methane (CH4) (which has both abiotic and biotic sources). Our model results suggest that such signals are robust, changing in the M star world atmospheric column due to GCR NOx effects by up to 20% compared to an M star run without GCR effects, and can therefore survive at least the effects of GCRs. We have not, however, investigated stellar cosmic rays here. CH4 levels are about 10 times higher on M star worlds than on Earth because of a lowering in hydroxyl (OH) in response to changes in the ultraviolet. The higher levels of CH4 are less than reported in previous studies. This difference arose partly because we used different biogenic input. For example, we employed 23% lower CH4 fluxes compared to those studies. Unlike on Earth, relatively modest changes in these fluxes can lead to larger changes in the concentrations of biomarker and related species on the M star world. We calculate a CH4 greenhouse heating effect of up to 4K. O3 photochemistry in terms of the smog mechanism and the catalytic loss cycles on the M star world differs considerably compared with that of Earth.

  11. Plutonic-squishy lid and beyond: implications of intrusive magmatism and characterization of a new global-tectonic regime on Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louro Lourenço, Diogo; Rozel, Antoine; Ballmer, Maxim; Tackley, Paul

    2017-04-01

    It is now well established that compositional variations in the lithosphere can alter the stress state and greatly influence the likelihood of plate tectonics. Mechanisms that have been found to facilitate plate tectonics include: water circulation [Regenauer-Lieb et al., Science 2001; Dymkova and Gerya, GRL 2013], presence of continents [Rolf and Tackley, GRL 2011], and melting [Korenaga, GJI 2009; Armann and Tackley, JGR 2012]. In a recent work by Lourenço et al. [EPSL 2016], it has been shown that Earth-like plate tectonics is more likely to occur in planets that can produce a crust of variable thickness and density through melt extraction from the mantle. The authors employed a first-order approximation by assuming that all magmatism was extrusive. However, volumes of intruded magmas are observed to be around 4- 9 times more present on Earth than erupted magmas [Crisp, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 1984]. Therefore, intrusive magmatism is thought to play a role in the dynamics of the lithosphere on Earth [Cawood et al., Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 2013] and other Earth-like planets. We extend the work of Lourenço et al. [2016] by taking into account intrusive magmatism, and systematically investigate the effect of plutonism, in conjugation with eruptive volcanism. We present a set of 2D spherical annulus simulations of thermo-compositional global mantle convection using StagYY [Tackley, PEPI 2008], which uses a finite-volume discretization of the governing compressible anelastic Stokes equations. Tracers are used to track composition and to allow for the treatment of partial melting and crustal formation. A direct solver is employed to obtain a solution of the Stokes and continuity equations, using the PETSc toolkit. The heat equation is solved in two steps: advection is performed using the MPDATA scheme and diffusion is then solved implicitly using a PETSc solver. Results show that three common convection regimes are usually reached in simulations when using a visco

  12. The planets and life.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, R. S.

    1971-01-01

    It is pointed out that planetary exploration is not simply a program designed to detect life on another planet. A planet similar to earth, such as Mars, when studied for evidence as to why life did not arise, may turn out to be scientifically more important than a planet which has already produced a living system. Of particular interest after Mars are Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter has a primitive atmosphere which may well be synthesizing organic molecules today. Speculations have been made concerning the possibility of a bio-zone in the upper atmosphere of Venus.

  13. Time scale for the formation of the earth and planets and its role in their geochemical evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Safronov, V. S.

    1977-01-01

    The initial mass of the solar nebula is discussed. Models of a massive nebula (two solar masses and more) encounter serious difficulties: an effective mechanism of transfer of the momentum from the central part of the nebula outward, capable of leading to formation of the sun and removal of half the mass of the nebula from the solar system has not been found. As a consequence of the instability of these models, their evolution can end with the formation, not a planetary system, but of a binary star. The possibility is demonstrated of obtaining acceptable growth rates for Uranus and Neptune by prolonging the thickening of preplanetary dust in the region of large masses. The important role of large bodies in the process of formation of the planets is noted. The impacts of such bodies, moving in heliocentric orbits, could have imparted considerable additional energy to the forming Moon, which, together with the energy given off by the joining of a small number of large protomoons, could have led to a high initial temperature of the moon.

  14. Astrometric Planet Searches with SIM PlanetQuest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, Charles A.; Unwin, Stephen C.; Shao, Michael; Tanner, Angelle M.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; March, Geoffrey W.

    2007-01-01

    SIM will search for planets with masses as small as the Earth's orbiting in the habitable zones' around more than 100 of the stars and could discover many dozen if Earth-like planets are common. With a planned 'Deep Survey' of 100-450 stars (depending on desired mass sensitivity) SIM will search for terrestrial planets around all of the candidate target stars for future direct detection missions such as Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin, SIM's 'Broad Survey' of 2010 stars will characterize single and multiple-planet systems around a wide variety of stellar types, including many now inaccessible with the radial velocity technique. In particular, SIM will search for planets around young stars providing insights into how planetary systems are born and evolve with time.

  15. Simulation of Prebiotic Processing by Comet and Meteoroid Impact: Implications for Life on Early Earth and Other Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dateo, Christopher E.

    2003-01-01

    We develop a reacting flow model to simulate the shock induced chemistry of comets and meteoroids entering planetary atmospheres. Various atmospheric compositions comprising of simpler molecules (i.e., CH4, CO2, H2O, etc.) are investigated to determine the production efficiency of more complex prebiotic molecules as a function of composition, pressure, and entry velocity. The possible role of comets and meteoroids in creating the inventory of prebiotic material necessary for life on Early Earth is considered. Comets and meteoroids can also introduce new materials from the Interstellar Medium (ISM) to planetary atmospheres. The ablation of water from comets, introducing the element oxygen into Titan's atmosphere will also be considered and its implications for the formation of organic and prebiotic material.

  16. Planet Formation and the Characteristics of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    An overview of current theories of planetary growth, emphasizing the formation of extrasolar planets, is presented. Models of planet formation are based upon observations of the Solar System, extrasolar planets, and young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but if they become massive enough before the protoplanetary disk dissipates, then they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas. These models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. A potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path. The implications of the giant planets found in recent radial velocity searches for the abundances of habitable planets are discussed.

  17. TRAPPIST-1 Planet Animations

    2018-02-05

    This still from a video shows illustrations of the seven Earth-size planets of TRAPPIST-1, an exoplanet system about 40 light-years away, based on data current as of February 2018. Each planet is shown in sequence, starting with the innermost TRAPPIST-1b and ending with the outermost TRAPPIST-1h. The video presents the planets' relative sizes as well as the relative scale of the central star as seen from each planet. The art highlights possibilities for how the surfaces of these intriguing worlds might look based on their newly calculated properties. The seven planets of TRAPPIST-1 are all Earth-sized and terrestrial. TRAPPIST-1 is an ultra-cool dwarf star in the constellation Aquarius, and its planets orbit very close to it. In the background, slightly distorted versions our familiar constellations, including Orion and Taurus, are shown as they would appear from the location of TRAPPIST-1 (backdrop image courtesy California Academy of Sciences/Dan Tell). An animation is available at https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22098

  18. NASA's terrestial planet finder: the search for (habitable) planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, C. A.

    2000-01-01

    One of the primary goals of NASA's Origins program is the search for hospitable planets. I will describe how the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) will revolutionize our understanding of the origin and evolution of planetary systems, and possibly even find signs of life beyond Earth.

  19. NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder: The Search for (Habitable) Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, C.

    1999-01-01

    One of the primary goals of NASA's Origins program is the search for habitable planets. I will describe how the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) will revolutionize our understanding of the origin and evolution of planetary systems, and possibly even find signs of life beyond the Earth.

  20. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates.

  1. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Modern theories of star and planet formation, which are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that most single stars should have rocky planets in orbit about them; the frequency of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. Models for the formation of the giant planets found in recent radial velocity searches are discussed.

  2. Habitable zone limits for dry planets.

    PubMed

    Abe, Yutaka; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Sleep, Norman H; Zahnle, Kevin J

    2011-06-01

    Most discussion of habitable planets has focused on Earth-like planets with globally abundant liquid water. For an "aqua planet" like Earth, the surface freezes if far from its sun, and the water vapor greenhouse effect runs away if too close. Here we show that "land planets" (desert worlds with limited surface water) have wider habitable zones than aqua planets. For planets at the inner edge of the habitable zone, a land planet has two advantages over an aqua planet: (i) the tropics can emit longwave radiation at rates above the traditional runaway limit because the air is unsaturated and (ii) the dry air creates a dry stratosphere that limits hydrogen escape. At the outer limits of the habitable zone, the land planet better resists global freezing because there is less water for clouds, snow, and ice. Here we describe a series of numerical experiments using a simple three-dimensional global climate model for Earth-sized planets. Other things (CO(2), rotation rate, surface pressure) unchanged, we found that liquid water remains stable at the poles of a low-obliquity land planet until net insolation exceeds 415 W/m(2) (170% that of modern Earth), compared to 330 W/m(2) (135%) for the aqua planet. At the outer limits, we found that a low-obliquity land planet freezes at 77%, while the aqua planet freezes at 90%. High-obliquity land and aqua planets freeze at 58% and 72%, respectively, with the poles offering the last refuge. We show that it is possible that, as the Sun brightens, an aqua planet like Earth can lose most of its hydrogen and become a land planet without first passing through a sterilizing runaway greenhouse. It is possible that Venus was a habitable land planet as recently as 1 billion years ago.

  3. First EURONEAR NEA discoveries from La Palma using the INT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaduvescu, O.; Hudin, L.; Tudor, V.; Char, F.; Mocnik, T.; Kwiatkowski, T.; de Leon, J.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; Alvarez, C.; Popescu, M.; Cornea, R.; Díaz Alfaro, M.; Ordonez-Etxeberria, I.; Kamiński, K.; Stecklum, B.; Verdes-Montenegro, L.; Sota, A.; Casanova, V.; Martin Ruiz, S.; Duffard, R.; Zamora, O.; Gomez-Jimenez, M.; Micheli, M.; Koschny, D.; Busch, M.; Knofel, A.; Schwab, E.; Negueruela, I.; Dhillon, V.; Sahman, D.; Marchant, J.; Génova-Santos, R.; Rubiño-Martín, J. A.; Riddick, F. C.; Mendez, J.; Lopez-Martinez, F.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Hollands, M.; Kong, A. K. H.; Jin, R.; Hidalgo, S.; Murabito, S.; Font, J.; Bereciartua, A.; Abe, L.; Bendjoya, P.; Rivet, J. P.; Vernet, D.; Mihalea, S.; Inceu, V.; Gajdos, S.; Veres, P.; Serra-Ricart, M.; Abreu Rodriguez, D.

    2015-05-01

    Since 2006, the European Near Earth Asteroids Research (EURONEAR) project has been contributing to the research of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) within a European network. One of the main aims is the amelioration of the orbits of NEAs, and starting in 2014 February we focus on the recovery of one-opposition NEAs using the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) in La Palma in override mode. Part of this NEA recovery project, since 2014 June EURONEAR serendipitously started to discover and secure the first NEAs from La Palma and using the INT, thanks to the teamwork including amateurs and students who promptly reduce the data, report discoveries and secure new objects recovered with the INT and few other telescopes from the EURONEAR network. Five NEAs were discovered with the INT, including 2014 LU14, 2014 NL52 (one very fast rotator), 2014 OL339 (the fourth known Earth quasi-satellite), 2014 SG143 (a quite large NEA), and 2014 VP. Another very fast moving NEA was discovered but was unfortunately lost due to lack of follow-up time. Additionally, another 14 NEA candidates were identified based on two models, all being rapidly followed-up using the INT and another 11 telescopes within the EURONEAR network. They include one object discovered by Pan-STARRS, two Mars crossers, two Hungarias, one Jupiter trojan, and other few inner main belt asteroids (MBAs). Using the INT and Sierra Nevada 1.5 m for photometry, then the Gran Telescopio de Canarias for spectroscopy, we derived the very rapid rotation of 2014 NL52, then its albedo, magnitude, size, and its spectral class. Based on the total sky coverage in dark conditions, we evaluate the actual survey discovery rate using 2-m class telescopes. One NEA is possible to be discovered randomly within minimum 2.8 deg2 and maximum 5.5 deg2. These findings update our past statistics, being based on double sky coverage and taking into account the recent increase in discovery.

  4. The hottest planet.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Joseph; Luszcz, Statia; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake; Richardson, L Jeremy

    2007-06-07

    Of the over 200 known extrasolar planets, just 14 pass in front of and behind their parent stars as seen from Earth. This fortuitous geometry allows direct determination of many planetary properties. Previous reports of planetary thermal emission give fluxes that are roughly consistent with predictions based on thermal equilibrium with the planets' received radiation, assuming a Bond albedo of approximately 0.3. Here we report direct detection of thermal emission from the smallest known transiting planet, HD 149026b, that indicates a brightness temperature (an expression of flux) of 2,300 +/- 200 K at 8 microm. The planet's predicted temperature for uniform, spherical, blackbody emission and zero albedo (unprecedented for planets) is 1,741 K. As models with non-zero albedo are cooler, this essentially eliminates uniform blackbody models, and may also require an albedo lower than any measured for a planet, very strong 8 microm emission, strong temporal variability, or a heat source other than stellar radiation. On the other hand, an instantaneous re-emission blackbody model, in which each patch of surface area instantly re-emits all received light, matches the data. This planet is known to be enriched in heavy elements, which may give rise to novel atmospheric properties yet to be investigated.

  5. Extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Lissauer, J J; Marcy, G W; Ida, S

    2000-11-07

    The first known extrasolar planet in orbit around a Sun-like star was discovered in 1995. This object, as well as over two dozen subsequently detected extrasolar planets, were all identified by observing periodic variations of the Doppler shift of light emitted by the stars to which they are bound. All of these extrasolar planets are more massive than Saturn is, and most are more massive than Jupiter. All orbit closer to their stars than do the giant planets in our Solar System, and most of those that do not orbit closer to their star than Mercury is to the Sun travel on highly elliptical paths. Prevailing theories of star and planet formation, which are based on observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that planets should form in orbit about most single stars. However, these models require some modifications to explain the properties of the observed extrasolar planetary systems.

  6. Extrasolar planets

    PubMed Central

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Ida, Shigeru

    2000-01-01

    The first known extrasolar planet in orbit around a Sun-like star was discovered in 1995. This object, as well as over two dozen subsequently detected extrasolar planets, were all identified by observing periodic variations of the Doppler shift of light emitted by the stars to which they are bound. All of these extrasolar planets are more massive than Saturn is, and most are more massive than Jupiter. All orbit closer to their stars than do the giant planets in our Solar System, and most of those that do not orbit closer to their star than Mercury is to the Sun travel on highly elliptical paths. Prevailing theories of star and planet formation, which are based on observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that planets should form in orbit about most single stars. However, these models require some modifications to explain the properties of the observed extrasolar planetary systems. PMID:11035782

  7. Role of tectonomagmatic processes for surface environmental changes and evolution of biosphere on terrestrial planets: Evidence for evolution of the life on the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharkov, Evgenii; Bogina, Maria

    atmospheric circulation. All these processes finally led to the global glaciations. The latters commenced earlier, in the Paleoproterozoic, simultaneously with first manifestations of Fe-Ti basaltic magmatism, which came into force only in the middle Paleoproterozoic. Thus, a fundamental change in tectonomagmatic activity acted as the trigger for environmental changes and biospheric evolution, supplying a qualitatively new material on the Earth's surface. Data available on Venus and Mars suggest that their tectonomagmatic evolution also occurred at the close scenario. Two major types of morphostructures, which are vast plains, composed by young basaltic flows, and older lightweight uplifted segments with a complicated topography (tesseras on the Venus and earths (terras) on the Mars), can evidence about two-stage evolution of these planets. Presence of drainage systems on Mars and valles on Venus assumes existence of liquid water on early stages of their development. Like on the Earth, red beds and global glacials appeared on the Mars at the middle stage of it's evolu-tion, and may be at this period ancient microorganisms existed on Mars (McKay et al., 1996). Powerful eruptions of gigantic volcanoes of Tharsis and Elysium, probably, led to fall of tem-perature and disappearance of liquid water on Mars. In contrast to Mars, on Venus appeared speeded up greenhouse effect, which also led to dry and very hot surface. So, development of tectonomagmatic processes was favourable for the biosphere evolution only on the Earth.

  8. Modeling Kepler Transit Light Curves as False Positives: Rejection of Blend Scenarios for Kepler-9, and Validation of Kepler-9 d, a Super-Earth-Size Planet in a Multiple System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Torres, Guillermo; Fressin, Francois; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Brown, Timothy M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Charbonneau, David; Ciardi, David R.; Dunham, Edward W.; hide

    2011-01-01

    Light curves from the Kepler Mission contain valuable information on the nature of the phenomena producing the transit-like signals. To assist in exploring the possibility that they are due to an astrophysical false positive we describe a procedure (BLENDER) to model the photometry in terms of a blend rather than a planet orbiting a star. A blend may consist of a background or foreground eclipsing binary (or star-planet pair) whose eclipses are attenuated by the light of the candidate and possibly other stars within the photometric aperture. We apply BLENDER to the case of Kepler-9 (KIC 3323887), a target harboring two previously confirmed Saturn-size planets (Kepler-9 b and Kepler-9 c) showing transit timing variations, and an additional shallower signal with a 1.59 day period suggesting the presence of a super-Earth-size planet. Using BLENDER together with constraints from other follow-up observations we are able to rule out all blends for the two deeper signals and provide independent validation of their planetary nature. For the shallower signal, we rule out a large fraction of the false positives that might mimic the transits. The false alarm rate for remaining blends depends in part (and inversely) on the unknown frequency of small-size planets. Based on several realistic estimates of this frequency, we conclude with very high confidence that this small signal is due to a super-Earth-size planet (Kepler-9 d) in a multiple system, rather than a false positive. The radius is determined to be 1.64(exp)(sub-14),R, and current spectroscopic observations are as yet insufficient to establish its mass.

  9. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

    Plávalová, Eva

    2012-04-01

    When a star is described as a spectral class G2V, we know that the star is similar to our Sun. We know its approximate mass, temperature, age, and size. When working with an extrasolar planet database, it is very useful to have a taxonomy scale (classification) such as, for example, the Harvard classification for stars. The taxonomy has to be easily interpreted and present the most relevant information about extrasolar planets. I propose an extrasolar planet taxonomy scale with four parameters. The first parameter concerns the mass of an extrasolar planet in the form of units of the mass of other known planets, where M represents the mass of Mercury, E that of Earth, N Neptune, and J Jupiter. The second parameter is the planet's distance from its parent star (semimajor axis) described in a logarithm with base 10. The third parameter is the mean Dyson temperature of the extrasolar planet, for which I established four main temperature classes: F represents the Freezing class, W the Water class, G the Gaseous class, and R the Roasters class. I devised one additional class, however: P, the Pulsar class, which concerns extrasolar planets orbiting pulsar stars. The fourth parameter is eccentricity. If the attributes of the surface of the extrasolar planet are known, we are able to establish this additional parameter where t represents a terrestrial planet, g a gaseous planet, and i an ice planet. According to this taxonomy scale, for example, Earth is 1E0W0t, Neptune is 1N1.5F0i, and extrasolar planet 55 Cnc e is 9E-1.8R1.

  10. Heat Pipe Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, William B.; Simon, Justin I.; Webb, A. Alexander G.

    2014-01-01

    When volcanism dominates heat transport, a terrestrial body enters a heat-pipe mode, in which hot magma moves through the lithosphere in narrow channels. Even at high heat flow, a heat-pipe planet develops a thick, cold, downwards-advecting lithosphere dominated by (ultra-)mafic flows and contractional deformation at the surface. Heat-pipes are an important feature of terrestrial planets at high heat flow, as illustrated by Io. Evidence for their operation early in Earth's history suggests that all terrestrial bodies should experience an episode of heat-pipe cooling early in their histories.

  11. Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) 1.0: A General Circulation Model for Simulating the Climates of Rocky Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Way, M. J.; Aleinov, I.; Amundsen, David S.; Chandler, M. A.; Clune, T. L.; Del Genio, A.; Fujii, Y.; Kelley, M.; Kiang, N. Y.; Sohl, L.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) is a three-dimensional General Circulation Model (GCM) developed at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies for the modeling of atmospheres of solar system and exoplanetary terrestrial planets. Its parent model, known as ModelE2, is used to simulate modern Earth and near-term paleo-Earth climates. ROCKE-3D is an ongoing effort to expand the capabilities of ModelE2 to handle a broader range of atmospheric conditions, including higher and lower atmospheric pressures, more diverse chemistries and compositions, larger and smaller planet radii and gravity, different rotation rates (from slower to more rapid than modern Earth's, including synchronous rotation), diverse ocean and land distributions and topographies, and potential basic biosphere functions. The first aim of ROCKE-3D is to model planetary atmospheres on terrestrial worlds within the solar system such as paleo-Earth, modern and paleo-Mars, paleo-Venus, and Saturn's moon Titan. By validating the model for a broad range of temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric constituents, we can then further expand its capabilities to those exoplanetary rocky worlds that have been discovered in the past, as well as those to be discovered in the future. We also discuss the current and near-future capabilities of ROCKE-3D as a community model for studying planetary and exoplanetary atmospheres.

  12. Hydrothermal simulation experiments as a tool for studies of the origin of life on Earth and other terrestrial planets: a review.

    PubMed

    Holm, Nils G; Andersson, Eva

    2005-08-01

    life on Earth and probably also to the other terrestrial planets.

  13. Hypothetical Rejuvenated Planets Artist Concept

    2015-06-25

    This artist's concept shows a hypothetical "rejuvenated" planet -- a gas giant that has reclaimed its youthful infrared glow. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found tentative evidence for one such planet around a dead star, or white dwarf, called PG 0010+280 (depicted as white dot in illustration). When planets are young, they are warm and toasty due to internal heat left over from their formation. Planets cool over time -- until they are possibly rejuvenated. The theory goes that this Jupiter-like planet, which orbits far from its star, would accumulate some of the material sloughed off by its star as the star was dying. The material would cause the planet to swell in mass. As the material fell onto the planet, it would heat up due to friction and glow with infrared light. The final result would be an old planet, billions of years in age, radiating infrared light as it did in its youth. Spitzer detected an excess infrared light around the white dwarf PG 0010+280. Astronomers aren't sure where the light is coming from, but one possibility is a rejuvenated planet. Future observations may help solve the mystery. A Jupiter-like planet is about ten times the size of a white dwarf. White dwarfs are about the size of Earth, so one white dwarf would easily fit into the Great Red Spot on Jupiter! http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19346

  14. The Search for Planet Nine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Michael E.; Batygin, Konstantin

    2016-10-01

    We use an extensive suite of numerical simulations to constrain the mass and orbit of Planet Nine, and we use these constraints to begin the search for this newly proposed planet in new and in archival data. Here, we compare our simulations to the observed population of aligned eccentric high semimajor axis Kuiper belt objects and determine which simulation parameters are statistically compatible with the observations. We find that only a narrow range of orbital elements can reproduce the observations. In particular, the combination of semimajor axis, eccentricity, and mass of Planet Nine strongly dictates the semimajor axis range of the orbital confinement of the distant eccentric Kuiper belt objects. Allowed orbits, which confine Kuiper belt objects with semimajor axis beyond 380 AU, have perihelia roughly between 150 and 350 AU, semimajor axes between 380 and 980 AU, and masses between 5 and 20 Earth masses. Orbitally confined objects also generally have orbital planes similar to that of the planet, suggesting that the planet is inclined approximately 30 degrees to the ecliptic. We compare the allowed orbital positions and estimated brightness of Planet Nine to previous and ongoing surveys which would be sensitive to the planet's detection and use these surveys to rule out approximately two-thirds of the planet's orbit. Planet Nine is likely near aphelion with an approximate brightness of 22planet.

  15. Trophic downgrading of planet Earth.

    PubMed

    Estes, James A; Terborgh, John; Brashares, Justin S; Power, Mary E; Berger, Joel; Bond, William J; Carpenter, Stephen R; Essington, Timothy E; Holt, Robert D; Jackson, Jeremy B C; Marquis, Robert J; Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Paine, Robert T; Pikitch, Ellen K; Ripple, William J; Sandin, Stuart A; Scheffer, Marten; Schoener, Thomas W; Shurin, Jonathan B; Sinclair, Anthony R E; Soulé, Michael E; Virtanen, Risto; Wardle, David A

    2011-07-15

    Until recently, large apex consumers were ubiquitous across the globe and had been for millions of years. The loss of these animals may be humankind's most pervasive influence on nature. Although such losses are widely viewed as an ethical and aesthetic problem, recent research reveals extensive cascading effects of their disappearance in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems worldwide. This empirical work supports long-standing theory about the role of top-down forcing in ecosystems but also highlights the unanticipated impacts of trophic cascades on processes as diverse as the dynamics of disease, wildfire, carbon sequestration, invasive species, and biogeochemical cycles. These findings emphasize the urgent need for interdisciplinary research to forecast the effects of trophic downgrading on process, function, and resilience in global ecosystems.

  16. Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klahr, Hubert; Brandner, Wolfgang

    2006-05-01

    This volume addresses fundamental questions concerning the formation of planetary systems in general, and of our solar system in particular. Drawing from recent advances in observational, experimental, and theoretical research, it summarises our current understanding of the planet formation processes, and addresses major open questions and research issues. Chapters are written by leading experts in the field of planet formation and extrasolar planet studies. The book is based on a meeting held at Ringberg Castle in Bavaria, where experts gathered together to present and exchange their ideas and findings. It is a comprehensive resource for graduate students and researchers, and is written to be accessible to newcomers to the field.

  17. Observations of Planet Crossing Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.

    1999-01-01

    This grant funds the investigation of the Solar System's planet crossing asteroid population, principally the near Earth and trans-Neptunian objects, but also the Centaurs. Investigations include colorimetry at both visible and near infrared wavelengths, light curve photometry, astrometry, and a pilot project to find near Earth objects with small aphelion distances, which requires observations at small solar elongations.

  18. Do Other Planets Have Summer?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, George

    2005-01-01

    It's important to keep two things in mind when thinking about the cause of the seasons: (1) Earth and all the other planets except Pluto and Mercury move around the Sun in almost perfect circles, getting neither closer nor farther away from the Sun during the year; and (2) Earth's rotation axis is tilted with respect to the plane of its orbit…

  19. TRAPPIST-1 Planet Lineup

    2017-02-22

    This artist's concept shows what the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system may look like, based on available data about the planets' diameters, masses and distances from the host star. The system has been revealed through observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope, as well as other ground-based observatories. The system was named for the TRAPPIST telescope. The seven planets of TRAPPIST-1 are all Earth-sized and terrestrial, according to research published in 2017 in the journal Nature. TRAPPIST-1 is an ultra-cool dwarf star in the constellation Aquarius, and its planets orbit very close to it. They are likely all tidally locked, meaning the same face of the planet is always pointed at the star, as the same side of our moon is always pointed at Earth. This creates a perpetual night side and perpetual day side on each planet. TRAPPIST-1b and c receive the most light from the star and would be the warmest. TRAPPIST-1e, f and g all orbit in the habitable zone, the area where liquid water is most likely to be detected. But any of the planets could potentially harbor liquid water, depending on their compositions. In the imagined planets shown here, TRAPPIST-1b is shown as a larger analogue to Jupiter's moon Io. TRAPPIST-1d is depicted with a narrow band of water near the terminator, the divide between a hot, dry day and an ice-covered night side. TRAPPIST-1e and TRAPPIST-1f are both shown covered in water, but with progressively larger ice caps on the night side. TRAPPIST-1g is portrayed with an atmosphere like Neptune's, although it is still a rocky world. TRAPPIST-1h, the farthest from the star, would be the coldest. It is portrayed here as an icy world, similar to Jupiter's moon Europa, but the least is known about it. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21422

  20. Earthshine and Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Traub, W. A.; Kaltenegger, L.; Turnbull, M. C.; Jucks, K. W.

    2006-05-01

    The search for life on extrasolar planets requires first that we find terrestrial-mass planets around nearby stars, and second that we determine habitability and search for signs of life. The Terrestrial Planet Finder missions, a Coronagraph (TPF-C) and an Interferometer (TPF-I in the US, also Darwin in Europe) are designed to carry out these tasks. This talk will focus on how we could determine habitability and search for signs of life with these missions. In the visible and near-infrared, TPF-C could measure O2, H2O, O3, Rayleigh scattering, and the red-edge reflection of land planet leaves; on an early-Earth twin it also could measure CO2 and CH4. In the mid-infrared, TPF-I/Darwin could measure CO2, O3, H2O, and temperature. To validate some of these expectations, we observed Earthshine spectra in the visible and near-infrared, and modeled these spectra with our line-by-line radiative transfer code. We find that the major gas and reflection components are present in the data, and that a simple model of the Earth is adequate to represent the data, within the observational uncertainties. We determined that the Earth appears to be habitable, and also shows signs of life. However to validate the time variable features, including the continent-ocean differences, the presence of weather patterns, the large-scale variability of cloud types and altitude, and the rotation period of the planet, we need to obtain a continuous time-series of observations covering multiple rotations; these observations could be carried out in the coming years, using, for example, a site at the South Pole.

  1. Planet formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    1993-01-01

    Models of planetary formation are developed using the present single example of a planetary system, supplemented by limited astrophysical observations of star-forming regions and circumstellar disks. The solar nebula theory and the planetesimal hypothesis are discussed. The latter is found to provide a viable theory of the growth of the terrestrial planets, the cores of the giant planets, and the smaller bodies present in the solar system. The formation of solid bodies of planetary size should be a common event, at least around young stars which do not have binary companions orbiting at planetary distances. Stochastic impacts of large bodies provide sufficient angular momentum to produce the obliquities of the planets. The masses and bulk compositions of the planets can be understood in a gross sense as resulting from planetary growth within a disk whose temperature and surface density decreased with distance from the growing sun.

  2. Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) 1.0: A General Circulation Model for Simulating the Climates of Rocky Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Way, M. J.; Aleinov, I.; Amundsen, David S.; Chandler, M. A.; Clune, T. L.; Del Genio, A. D.; Fujii, Y.; Kelley, M.; Kiang, N. Y.; Sohl, L.; Tsigaridis, K.

    2017-07-01

    Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) is a three-dimensional General Circulation Model (GCM) developed at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies for the modeling of atmospheres of solar system and exoplanetary terrestrial planets. Its parent model, known as ModelE2, is used to simulate modern Earth and near-term paleo-Earth climates. ROCKE-3D is an ongoing effort to expand the capabilities of ModelE2 to handle a broader range of atmospheric conditions, including higher and lower atmospheric pressures, more diverse chemistries and compositions, larger and smaller planet radii and gravity, different rotation rates (from slower to more rapid than modern Earth’s, including synchronous rotation), diverse ocean and land distributions and topographies, and potential basic biosphere functions. The first aim of ROCKE-3D is to model planetary atmospheres on terrestrial worlds within the solar system such as paleo-Earth, modern and paleo-Mars, paleo-Venus, and Saturn’s moon Titan. By validating the model for a broad range of temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric constituents, we can then further expand its capabilities to those exoplanetary rocky worlds that have been discovered in the past, as well as those to be discovered in the future. We also discuss the current and near-future capabilities of ROCKE-3D as a community model for studying planetary and exoplanetary atmospheres.

  3. Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) 1.0: A General Circulation Model for Simulating the Climates of Rocky Planets

    SciT

    Way, M. J.; Aleinov, I.; Amundsen, David S.

    Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) is a three-dimensional General Circulation Model (GCM) developed at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies for the modeling of atmospheres of solar system and exoplanetary terrestrial planets. Its parent model, known as ModelE2, is used to simulate modern Earth and near-term paleo-Earth climates. ROCKE-3D is an ongoing effort to expand the capabilities of ModelE2 to handle a broader range of atmospheric conditions, including higher and lower atmospheric pressures, more diverse chemistries and compositions, larger and smaller planet radii and gravity, different rotation rates (from slower tomore » more rapid than modern Earth’s, including synchronous rotation), diverse ocean and land distributions and topographies, and potential basic biosphere functions. The first aim of ROCKE-3D is to model planetary atmospheres on terrestrial worlds within the solar system such as paleo-Earth, modern and paleo-Mars, paleo-Venus, and Saturn’s moon Titan. By validating the model for a broad range of temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric constituents, we can then further expand its capabilities to those exoplanetary rocky worlds that have been discovered in the past, as well as those to be discovered in the future. We also discuss the current and near-future capabilities of ROCKE-3D as a community model for studying planetary and exoplanetary atmospheres.« less

  4. The fate of scattered planets

    SciT

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J., E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu

    2014-12-01

    As gas giant planets evolve, they may scatter other planets far from their original orbits to produce hot Jupiters or rogue planets that are not gravitationally bound to any star. Here, we consider planets cast out to large orbital distances on eccentric, bound orbits through a gaseous disk. With simple numerical models, we show that super-Earths can interact with the gas through dynamical friction to settle in the remote outer regions of a planetary system. Outcomes depend on planet mass, the initial scattered orbit, and the evolution of the time-dependent disk. Efficient orbital damping by dynamical friction requires planets atmore » least as massive as the Earth. More massive, longer-lived disks damp eccentricities more efficiently than less massive, short-lived ones. Transition disks with an expanding inner cavity can circularize orbits at larger distances than disks that experience a global (homologous) decay in surface density. Thus, orbits of remote planets may reveal the evolutionary history of their primordial gas disks. A remote planet with an orbital distance ∼100 AU from the Sun is plausible and might explain correlations in the orbital parameters of several distant trans-Neptunian objects.« less

  5. Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klahr, Hubert; Brandner, Wolfgang

    2011-02-01

    1. Historical notes on planet formation Bodenheimer; 2. The formation and evolution of planetary systems Bouwman et al.; 3. Destruction of protoplanetary disks by photoevaporation Richling, Hollenbach and Yorke; 4. Turbulence in protoplanetary accretion disks Klahr, Rozyczka, Dziourkevitch, Wunsch and Johansen; 5. The origin of solids in the early solar system Trieloff and Palme; 6. Experiments on planetesimal formation Wurm and Blum; 7. Dust coagulation in protoplanetary disks Henning, Dullemond, Wolf and Dominik; 8. The accretion of giant planet cores Thommes and Duncan; 9. Planetary transits: direct vision of extrasolar planets Lecavelier des Etangs and Vidal-Madjar; 10. The core accretion - gas capture model Hubickyj; 11. Properties of exoplanets Marcy, Fischer, Butler and Vogt; 12. Giant planet formation: theories meet observations Boss; 13. From hot Jupiters to hot Neptures … and below Lovis, Mayor and Udry; 14. Disk-planet interaction and migration Masset and Kley; 15. The Brown Dwarf - planet relation Bate; 16. From astronomy to astrobiology Brandner; 17. Overview and prospective Lin.

  6. Topics in Extrasolar Planet Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howe, Alex Ryan

    I present four papers exploring different topics in the area of characterizing the atmospheric and bulk properties of extrasolar planets. In these papers, I present two new codes, in various forms, for modeling these objects. A code to generate theoretical models of transit spectra of exoplanets is featured in the first paper and is refined and expanded into the APOLLO code for spectral modeling and parameter retrieval in the fourth paper. Another code to model the internal structure and evolution of planets is featured in the second and third papers. The first paper presents transit spectra models of GJ 1214b and other super-Earth and mini-Neptune type planets--planets with a "solid", terrestrial composition and relatively small planets with a thick hydrogen-helium atmosphere, respectively--and fit them to observational data to estimate the atmospheric compositions and cloud properties of these planets. The second paper presents structural models of super-Earth and mini-Neptune type planets and estimates their bulk compositions from mass and radius estimates. The third paper refines these models with evolutionary calculations of thermal contraction and ultraviolet-driven mass loss. Here, we estimate the boundaries of the parameter space in which planets lose their initial hydrogen-helium atmospheres completely, and we also present formation and evolution scenarios for the planets in the Kepler-11 system. The fourth paper uses more refined transit spectra models, this time for hot jupiter type planets, to explore the methods to design optimal observing programs for the James Webb Space Telescope to quantitatively measure the atmospheric compositions and other properties of these planets.

  7. Kepler-22b: A 2.4 EARTH-RADIUS PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE OF A SUN-LIKE STAR

    SciT

    Borucki, William J.; Koch, David G.; Bryson, Stephen T.

    A search of the time-series photometry from NASA's Kepler spacecraft reveals a transiting planet candidate orbiting the 11th magnitude G5 dwarf KIC 10593626 with a period of 290 days. The characteristics of the host star are well constrained by high-resolution spectroscopy combined with an asteroseismic analysis of the Kepler photometry, leading to an estimated mass and radius of 0.970 {+-} 0.060 M{sub Sun} and 0.979 {+-} 0.020 R{sub Sun }. The depth of 492 {+-} 10 ppm for the three observed transits yields a radius of 2.38 {+-} 0.13 Re for the planet. The system passes a battery of testsmore » for false positives, including reconnaissance spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and centroid motion. A full BLENDER analysis provides further validation of the planet interpretation by showing that contamination of the target by an eclipsing system would rarely mimic the observed shape of the transits. The final validation of the planet is provided by 16 radial velocities (RVs) obtained with the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer on Keck I over a one-year span. Although the velocities do not lead to a reliable orbit and mass determination, they are able to constrain the mass to a 3{sigma} upper limit of 124 M{sub Circled-Plus }, safely in the regime of planetary masses, thus earning the designation Kepler-22b. The radiative equilibrium temperature is 262 K for a planet in Kepler-22b's orbit. Although there is no evidence that Kepler-22b is a rocky planet, it is the first confirmed planet with a measured radius to orbit in the habitable zone of any star other than the Sun.« less

  8. K2-137 b: an Earth-sized planet in a 4.3-h orbit around an M-dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, A. M. S.; Cabrera, J.; Csizmadia, Sz; Dai, F.; Gandolfi, D.; Hirano, T.; Winn, J. N.; Albrecht, S.; Alonso, R.; Antoniciello, G.; Barragán, O.; Deeg, H.; Eigmüller, Ph; Endl, M.; Erikson, A.; Fridlund, M.; Fukui, A.; Grziwa, S.; Guenther, E. W.; Hatzes, A. P.; Hidalgo, D.; Howard, A. W.; Isaacson, H.; Korth, J.; Kuzuhara, M.; Livingston, J.; Narita, N.; Nespral, D.; Nowak, G.; Palle, E.; Pätzold, M.; Persson, C. M.; Petigura, E.; Prieto-Arranz, J.; Rauer, H.; Ribas, I.; Van Eylen, V.

    2018-03-01

    We report the discovery in K2's Campaign 10 of a transiting terrestrial planet in an ultra-short-period orbit around an M3-dwarf. K2-137 b completes an orbit in only 4.3 h, the second shortest orbital period of any known planet, just 4 min longer than that of KOI 1843.03, which also orbits an M-dwarf. Using a combination of archival images, adaptive optics imaging, radial velocity measurements, and light-curve modelling, we show that no plausible eclipsing binary scenario can explain the K2 light curve, and thus confirm the planetary nature of the system. The planet, whose radius we determine to be 0.89 ± 0.09 R⊕, and which must have an iron mass fraction greater than 0.45, orbits a star of mass 0.463 ± 0.052 M⊙ and radius 0.442 ± 0.044 R⊙.

  9. Habitable planets with high obliquities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, D. M.; Kasting, J. F.

    1997-01-01

    Earth's obliquity would vary chaotically from 0 degrees to 85 degrees were it not for the presence of the Moon (J. Laskar, F. Joutel, and P. Robutel, 1993, Nature 361, 615-617). The Moon itself is thought to be an accident of accretion, formed by a glancing blow from a Mars-sized planetesimal. Hence, planets with similar moons and stable obliquities may be extremely rare. This has lead Laskar and colleagues to suggest that the number of Earth-like planets with high obliquities and temperate, life-supporting climates may be small. To test this proposition, we have used an energy-balance climate model to simulate Earth's climate at obliquities up to 90 degrees. We show that Earth's climate would become regionally severe in such circumstances, with large seasonal cycles and accompanying temperature extremes on middle- and high-latitude continents which might be damaging to many forms of life. The response of other, hypothetical, Earth-like planets to large obliquity fluctuations depends on their land-sea distribution and on their position within the habitable zone (HZ) around their star. Planets with several modest-sized continents or equatorial supercontinents are more climatically stable than those with polar supercontinents. Planets farther out in the HZ are less affected by high obliquities because their atmospheres should accumulate CO2 in response to the carbonate-silicate cycle. Dense, CO2-rich atmospheres transport heat very effectively and therefore limit the magnitude of both seasonal cycles and latitudinal temperature gradients. We conclude that a significant fraction of extrasolar Earth-like planets may still be habitable, even if they are subject to large obliquity fluctuations.

  10. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Araújo, M. S. T.

    2010-09-01

    In August 2006 during the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), taken place in Prague, Czech Republic, new parameters to define a planet were established. According to this new definition Pluto will be no more the ninth planet of the Solar System but it will be changed to be a "dwarf planet". This reclassification of Pluto by the academic community clearly illustrates how dynamic science is and how knowledge of different areas can be changed and evolves through the time, allowing to perceive Science as a human construction in a constant transformation, subject to political, social and historical contexts. These epistemological characteristics of Science and, in this case, of Astronomy, constitute important elements to be discussed in the lessons, so that this work contributes to enable Science and Physics teachers who perform a basic education to be always up to date on this important astronomical fact and, thereby, carry useful information to their teaching.

  11. Migration of accreting giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crida, A.; Bitsch, B.; Raibaldi, A.

    2016-12-01

    We present the results of 2D hydro simulations of giant planets in proto-planetary discs, which accrete gas at a more or less high rate. First, starting from a solid core of 20 Earth masses, we show that as soon as the runaway accretion of gas turns on, the planet is saved from type I migration : the gap opening mass is reached before the planet is lost into its host star. Furthermore, gas accretion helps opening the gap in low mass discs. Consequently, if the accretion rate is limited to the disc supply, then the planet is already inside a gap and in type II migration. We further show that the type II migration of a Jupiter mass planet actually depends on its accretion rate. Only when the accretion is high do we retrieve the classical picture where no gas crosses the gap and the planet follows the disc spreading. These results impact our understanding of planet migration and planet population synthesis models. The e-poster presenting these results in French can be found here: L'e-poster présentant ces résultats en français est disponible à cette adresse: http://sf2a.eu/semaine-sf2a/2016/posterpdfs/156_179_49.pdf.

  12. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Panelists pose for a group photo at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and highlighted how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  13. Provenance of the terrestrial planets.

    PubMed

    Wetherill, G W

    1994-01-01

    Earlier work on the simultaneous accumulation of the asteroid belt and the terrestrial planets is extended to investigate the relative contribution to the final planets made by material from different heliocentric distances. As before, stochastic variations intrinsic to the accumulation processes lead to a variety of final planetary configurations, but include systems having a number of features similar to our solar system. Fifty-nine new simulations are presented, from which thirteen are selected as more similar to our solar system than the others. It is found that the concept of "local feeding zones" for each final terrestrial planet has no validity for this model. Instead, the final terrestrial planets receive major contributions from bodies ranging from 0.5 to at least 2.5 AU, and often to greater distances. Nevertheless, there is a correlation between the final heliocentric distance of a planet and its average provenance. Together with the effect of stochastic fluctuations, this permits variation in the composition of the terrestrial planets, such as the difference in the decompressed density of Earth and Mars. Biologically important light elements, derived from the asteroidal region, are likely to have been significant constituents of the Earth during its formation.

  14. The Chemistry of Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberg, Karin I.

    2017-01-01

    Exo-planets are common, and they span a large range of compositions. The origins of the observed diversity of planetary compositions is largely unconstrained, but must be linked to the planet formation physics and chemistry. Among planets that are Earth-like, a second question is how often such planets form hospitable to life. A fraction of exo-planets are observed to be ‘physically habitable’, i.e. of the right temperature and bulk composition to sustain a water-based prebiotic chemistry, but this does not automatically imply that they are rich in the building blocks of life, in organic molecules of different sizes and kinds, i.e. that they are chemically habitable. In this talk I will argue that characterizing the chemistry of protoplanetary disks, the formation sites of planets, is key to address both the origins of planetary bulk compositions and the likelihood of finding organic matter on planets. The most direct path to constrain the chemistry in disks is to directly observe it. In the age of ALMA it is for the first time possible to image the chemistry of planet formation, to determine locations of disk snowlines, and to map the distributions of different organic molecules. Recent ALMA highlights include constraints on CO snowline locations, the discovery of spectacular chemical ring systems, and first detections of more complex organic molecules. Observations can only provide chemical snapshots, however, and even ALMA is blind to the majority of the chemistry that shapes planet formation. To interpret observations and address the full chemical complexity in disks requires models, both toy models and astrochemical simulations. These models in turn must be informed by laboratory experiments, some of which will be shown in this talk. It is thus only when we combine observational, theoretical and experimental constraints that we can hope to characterize the chemistry of disks, and further, the chemical compositions of nascent planets.

  15. Activation of int-1 and int-2 loci in GRf mammary tumors.

    PubMed

    Gray, D A; Jackson, D P; Percy, D H; Morris, V L

    1986-10-30

    The Mtv-2 locus is known to be associated with a high mammary tumor incidence (97%) and early development of mammary tumors (3-13 months) in GR mice. However, it was not previously known whether the provirus which resides at the Mtv-2 locus is tumorigenic in and of itself or whether reintegration of proviruses generated from Mtv-2 is required for tumorigenesis. Foster-nursing GR mice on C57/BL mice eliminates the milk-borne source of GR virus, and allows the study of Mtv-2 derived proviruses alone. Using this approach, we have tested predictions which follow from the "positional" versus "reintegrational" models of tumorigenesis. Specifically, we have examined tumors from primary foster-nursed (GRf) mice to determine if MMTV proviruses derived from Mtv-2 were scattered randomly throughout the genome or were clustered in the vicinity of the int-1 and int-2 loci, which are thought to be associated with mammary tumorigenesis. It was found that the majority of spontaneous GRf mammary tumors that were tested have MMTV proviral integrations in either or both of the int-1 and int-2 loci and have transcription of either or both of the int loci. Tumors induced by Mtv-2, therefore, appear to have arisen via a mechanism similar to the activation of the int loci by exogenous (milk-borne) MMTV proviruses.

  16. Detection of Extrasolar Planets by Transit Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Webster, Larry; Dunham, Edward; Witteborn, Fred; Jenkins, Jon; Caldwell, Douglas; Showen, Robert; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    A knowledge of other planetary systems that includes information on the number, size, mass, and spacing of the planets around a variety of star types is needed to deepen our understanding of planetary system formation and processes that give rise to their final configurations. Recent discoveries show that many planetary systems are quite different from the solar system in that they often possess giant planets in short period orbits. The inferred evolution of these planets and their orbital characteristics imply the absence of Earth-like planets near the habitable zone. Information on the properties of the giant-inner planets is now being obtained by both the Doppler velocity and the transit photometry techniques. The combination of the two techniques provides the mass, size, and density of the planets. For the planet orbiting star HD209458, transit photometry provided the first independent confirmation and measurement of the diameter of an extrasolar planet. The observations indicate a planet 1.27 the diameter of Jupiter with 0.63 of its mass (Charbonneau et al. 1999). The results are in excellent agreement with the theory of planetary atmospheres for a planet of the indicated mass and distance from a solar-like star. The observation of the November 23, 1999 transit of that planet made by the Ames Vulcan photometer at Lick Observatory is presented. In the future, the combination of the two techniques will greatly increase the number of discoveries and the richness of the science yield. Small rocky planets at orbital distances from 0.9 to 1.2 AU are more likely to harbor life than the gas giant planets that are now being discovered. However, new technology is needed to find smaller, Earth-like planets, which are about three hundred times less massive than Jupiter-like planets. The Kepler project is a space craft mission designed to discover hundreds of Earth-size planets in and near the habitable zone around a wide variety of stars. To demonstrate that the

  17. Eccentricity Evolution of Migrating Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, N.; Paskowitz, M.; Holman, M.

    2002-01-01

    We examine the eccentricity evolution of a system of two planets locked in a mean motion resonance, in which either the outer or both planets lose energy and angular momentum. The sink of energy and angular momentum could be a gas or planetesimal disk. We analytically calculate the eccentricity damping rate in the case of a single planet migrating through a planetesimal disk. When the planetesimal disk is cold (the average eccentricity is much less than 1), the circularization time is comparable to the inward migration time, as previous calculations have found for the case of a gas disk. If the planetesimal disk is hot, the migration time can be an order of magnitude shorter. We show that the eccentricity of both planetary bodies can grow to large values, particularly if the inner body does not directly exchange energy or angular momentum with the disk. We present the results of numerical integrations of two migrating resonant planets showing rapid growth of eccentricity. We also present integrations in which a Jupiter-mass planet is forced to migrate inward through a system of 5-10 roughly Earth-mass planets. The migrating planets can eject or accrete the smaller bodies; roughly 5% of the mass (averaged over all the integrations) accretes onto the central star. The results are discussed in the context of the currently known extrasolar planetary systems.

  18. Formation of terrestrial planets in eccentric and inclined giant planet systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotiriadis, Sotiris; Libert, Anne-Sophie; Raymond, Sean N.

    2018-06-01

    Aims: Evidence of mutually inclined planetary orbits has been reported for giant planets in recent years. Here we aim to study the impact of eccentric and inclined massive giant planets on the terrestrial planet formation process, and investigate whether it can possibly lead to the formation of inclined terrestrial planets. Methods: We performed 126 simulations of the late-stage planetary accretion in eccentric and inclined giant planet systems. The physical and orbital parameters of the giant planet systems result from n-body simulations of three giant planets in the late stage of the gas disc, under the combined action of Type II migration and planet-planet scattering. Fourteen two- and three-planet configurations were selected, with diversified masses, semi-major axes (resonant configurations or not), eccentricities, and inclinations (including coplanar systems) at the dispersal of the gas disc. We then followed the gravitational interactions of these systems with an inner disc of planetesimals and embryos (nine runs per system), studying in detail the final configurations of the formed terrestrial planets. Results: In addition to the well-known secular and resonant interactions between the giant planets and the outer part of the disc, giant planets on inclined orbits also strongly excite the planetesimals and embryos in the inner part of the disc through the combined action of nodal resonance and the Lidov-Kozai mechanism. This has deep consequences on the formation of terrestrial planets. While coplanar giant systems harbour several terrestrial planets, generally as massive as the Earth and mainly on low-eccentric and low-inclined orbits, terrestrial planets formed in systems with mutually inclined giant planets are usually fewer, less massive (<0.5 M⊕), and with higher eccentricities and inclinations. This work shows that terrestrial planets can form on stable inclined orbits through the classical accretion theory, even in coplanar giant planet systems

  19. Planets and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  20. Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using SOFIA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

    Topics include: the landscape of extrasolar planets, why focus on transiting planets, some history and Spitzer results, problems in atmospheric structure or hot Jupiters and hot super Earths, what observations are needed to make progress, and what SOFIA can currently do and comments on optimized instruments.

  1. Habitability of planets around red dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Heath, M J; Doyle, L R; Joshi, M M; Haberle, R M

    1999-08-01

    Recent models indicate that relatively moderate climates could exist on Earth-sized planets in synchronous rotation around red dwarf stars. Investigation of the global water cycle, availability of photosynthetically active radiation in red dwarf sunlight, and the biological implications of stellar flares, which can be frequent for red dwarfs, suggests that higher plant habitability of red dwarf planets may be possible.

  2. How Common are Habitable Planets?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Earth is teeming with life, which, occupies a diverse array of environments; other bodies in our Solar System offer fewer, if any, niches which are habitable by life as we know it. Nonetheless, astronomical studies suggest that a large number of habitable planets-are likely to be present within our Galaxy.

  3. Primitive Earth: So Near to Hell

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jastrow, Robert

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the atmospheric characteristics of the earth and their implications for the development of life on earth-like planets. Indicates that the chance of life developing on other planets is not as great as men might have thought. (CC)

  4. Comparative Habitable Planet Signatures in Polarized Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bott, K.; Bailey, J.; Meadows, V.; Kedziora-Chudczer, L.; Cotton, D.; Crisp, D.

    2017-11-01

    VSTAR polarized light models of terrestrial worlds are compared for varying cloud, atmospheric, and surface conditions. Archetypal "Earth-like" planets are compared and the observability of their combined polarimetric effects assessed.

  5. Sowing the Seeds of Planets? Artist Concept

    2005-10-20

    This artist concept shows microscopic crystals in the dusty disk surrounding a brown dwarf, or failed star. The crystals, made up of a green mineral found on Earth called olivine, are thought to help seed the formation of planets.

  6. Unified theory of motion of inner planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotelnikov, V.; Kislik, M.

    1983-01-01

    A highly accurate, unified theory of motion for the Solar System's inner planets Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars was developed. It has practical importance and is used to solve various problems of interplanetary cosmonautics.

  7. Innermost Planets of the Solar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The appearance and characteristics of Mercury and Venus as evening and morning stars are discussed. Inferior and superior conjunction are defined. The motions, phases, and planetary dynamics of the two planets are compared with those of the earth and moon.

  8. Development of user interface and of the data base "Earth, Moon and Planets" in the VBA environment for teaching students in the Kazan state universities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrova, N.; Tatarinov, P.; Akutina, M.

    2009-04-01

    In the frame of bachelor and master's degree diploma work the students accumulate and do structure distribution of necessary information about the spin-orbital, dynamical and geophysical characteristics of a planet. The information about the every planet is written into Excel WorkBook, the spreadsheets of which are the data base. The names of sheets reflect their content: "General Data", "Dynamics", "Geophysics", "Engineering", "References", Slides" etc. These data are taken from the last scientific articles dedicated to the modern problems of the planetary investigations. Especial interest is connected to the Lunar sciences - last data about surface mineral distribution, crust thickness and gravity field, slides with photographies received by Video Camera and various instruments situated on the board of Lunar SELENE mission (Japan, 2007-2009 yrs). The work with the data base is executed, using elements of the object-oriented programming. The students study to include into the UserForms standard means of Windows - Dialog Windows, TextBox, CommandButton, ComboBox, ScrollBar etc., and to support these elements by the macros written in programming language VBA. The main attention in the software support of the data base is done onto opportunity to investigate the two-three layer structure of a planet via modeling of its free nutation periods - Chandler-like Wobbles, Free Core Nutation, Inner Core Wobbles and Free Inner Core Nitation and their engineering estimation for space mission observations. The results are presented in the form of tables in Sheets and of diagrams constructed by special buttons of the UserForms on the basis of the calculated tables. The research was supported by the Russian-Japanese grant RFFI-JSPS N 07-02-91212, (2007 - 2009).

  9. On the radius of habitable planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alibert, Y.

    2014-01-01

    Context. The conditions that a planet must fulfill to be habitable are not precisely known. However, it is comparatively easier to define conditions under which a planet is very likely not habitable. Finding such conditions is important as it can help select, in an ensemble of potentially observable planets, which ones should be observed in greater detail for characterization studies. Aims: Assuming, as in the Earth, that the presence of a C-cycle is a necessary condition for long-term habitability, we derive, as a function of the planetary mass, a radius above which a planet is likely not habitable. We compute the maximum radius a planet can have to fulfill two constraints: surface conditions compatible with the existence of liquid water, and no ice layer at the bottom of a putative global ocean. We demonstrate that, above a given radius, these two constraints cannot be met. Methods: We compute internal structure models of planets, using a five-layer model (core, inner mantle, outer mantle, ocean, and atmosphere), for different masses and composition of the planets (in particular, the Fe/Si ratio of the planet). Results: Our results show that for planets in the super-Earth mass range (1-12 M⊕), the maximum that a planet, with a composition similar to that of the Earth, can have varies between 1.7 and 2.2 R⊕. This radius is reduced when considering planets with higher Fe/Si ratios and taking radiation into account when computing the gas envelope structure. Conclusions: These results can be used to infer, from radius and mass determinations using high-precision transit observations like those that will soon be performed by the CHaracterizing ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS), which planets are very likely not habitable, and therefore which ones should be considered as best targets for further habitability studies.

  10. Migration & Extra-solar Terrestrial Planets: Watering the Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O'Brien, David P.; Raymond, Sean N.

    2014-04-01

    A diverse range of terrestrial planet compositions is believed to exist within known extrasolar planetary systems, ranging from those that are relatively Earth-like to those that are highly unusual, dominated by species such as refractory elements (Al and Ca) or C (as pure C, TiC and SiC)(Bond et al. 2010b). However, all prior simulations have ignored the impact that giant planet migration during planetary accretion may have on the final terrestrial planetary composition. Here, we combined chemical equilibrium models of the disk around five known planetary host stars (Solar, HD4203, HD19994, HD213240 and Gl777) with dynamical models of terrestrial planet formation incorporating various degrees of giant planet migration. Giant planet migration is found to drastically impact terrestrial planet composition by 1) increasing the amount of Mg-silicate species present in the final body; and 2) dramatically increasing the efficiency and amount of water delivered to the terrestrial bodies during their formation process.

  11. The ocean planet.

    PubMed

    Hinrichsen, D

    1998-01-01

    The Blue Planet is 70% water, and all but 3% of it is salt water. Life on earth first evolved in the primordial soup of ancient seas, and though today's seas provide 99% of all living space on the planet, little is known about the world's oceans. However, the fact that the greatest threats to the integrity of our oceans come from land-based activities is becoming clear. Humankind is in the process of annihilating the coastal and ocean ecosystems and the wealth of biodiversity they harbor. Mounting population and development pressures have taken a grim toll on coastal and ocean resources. The trend arising from such growth is the chronic overexploitation of marine resources, whereby rapidly expanding coastal populations and the growth of cities have contributed to a rising tide of pollution in nearly all of the world's seas. This crisis is made worse by government inaction and a frustrating inability to enforce existing coastal and ocean management regulations. Such inability is mainly because concerned areas contain so many different types of regulations and involve so many levels of government, that rational planning and coordination of efforts are rendered impossible. Concerted efforts are needed by national governments and the international community to start preserving the ultimate source of all life on earth.

  12. Detection of Terrestrial Planets Using Transit Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, David; Witteborn, Fred; Jenkins, Jon; Dunham, Edward; Boruci, William; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Transit photometry detection of planets offers many advantages: an ability to detect terrestrial size planets, direct determination of the planet's size, applicability to all main-sequence stars, and a differential brightness change of the periodic signature being independent of stellar distance or planetary orbital semi-major axis. Ground and space based photometry have already been successful in detecting transits of the giant planet HD209458b. However, photometry 100 times better is required to detect terrestrial planets. We present results of laboratory measurements of an end-to-end photometric system incorporating all of the important confounding noise features of both the sky and a space based photometer including spacecraft jitter. In addition to demonstrating an instrumental noise of less than 10 ppm (an Earth transit of a solar-like star is 80 ppm), the brightnesses of individual stars were dimmed to simulate Earth-size transit signals. These 'transits' were reliably detected as part of the tests.

  13. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets.

    PubMed

    Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Frank; Chassefière, Eric; Breuer, Doris; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Kulikov, Yuri N; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Biernat, Helfried K; Leblanc, Francois; Kallio, Esa; Lundin, Richard; Westall, Frances; Bauer, Siegfried J; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Gröller, Hannes; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Hausleitner, Walter; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Leitzinger, Martin; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Motschmann, Uwe; Odert, Petra; Paresce, Francesco; Parnell, John; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rauer, Heike; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Spohn, Tilman; Stadelmann, Anja; Stangl, Günter; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of Earth-like habitable planets is a complex process that depends on the geodynamical and geophysical environments. In particular, it is necessary that plate tectonics remain active over billions of years. These geophysically active environments are strongly coupled to a planet's host star parameters, such as mass, luminosity and activity, orbit location of the habitable zone, and the planet's initial water inventory. Depending on the host star's radiation and particle flux evolution, the composition in the thermosphere, and the availability of an active magnetic dynamo, the atmospheres of Earth-like planets within their habitable zones are differently affected due to thermal and nonthermal escape processes. For some planets, strong atmospheric escape could even effect the stability of the atmosphere.

  14. Kuiper Prize: Giant Planet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2007-10-01

    The study of giant planet atmospheres is near and dear to me, for several reasons. First, the giant planets are photogenic; the colored clouds are great tracers, and one can make fantastic movies of the atmosphere in motion. Second, the giant planets challenge us with storms that last for hundreds of years and winds that blow faster the farther you go from the sun. Third, they remind us of Earth with their hurricanes, auroras, and lightning, but they also are the link to the 200 giant planets that have been discovered around other stars. This talk will cover the past, present, and future (one hopes) of giant planet research. I will review the surprises of the Voyager and Galileo eras, and will discuss what we are learning now from the Cassini orbiter. I will review the prospects for answering the outstanding questions like: Where's the water? What is providing the colors of the clouds? How deep do the features extend? Where do the winds get their energy? What is the role of the magnetic field? Finally, I will briefly discuss how extrasolar giant planets compare with objects in our own solar system.

  15. Atmospheres of the Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2002-01-01

    The giant planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, are fluid objects. They have no solid surfaces because the light elements constituting them do not condense at solar-system temperatures. Instead, their deep atmospheres grade downward until the distinction between gas and liquid becomes meaningless. The preceding chapter delved into the hot, dark interiors of the Jovian planets. This one focuses on their atmospheres, especially the observable layers from the base of the clouds to the edge of space. These veneers arc only a few hundred kilometers thick, less than one percent of each planet's radius, but they exhibit an incredible variety of dynamic phenomena. The mixtures of elements in these outer layers resemble a cooled-down piece of the Sun. Clouds precipitate out of this gaseous soup in a variety of colors. The cloud patterns are organized by winds, which are powered by heat derived from sunlight (as on Earth) and by internal heat left over from planetary formation. Thus the atmospheres of the Jovian planets are distinctly different both compositionally and dynamically from those of the terrestrial planets. Such differences make them fascinating objects for study, providing clues about the origin and evolution of the planets and the formation of the solar system.

  16. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph overview of technology development & system design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balasubramanian, Kunjuthapatham; Ford, Virginia; Mouroulis, Pantazis; Hoppe, Daniel; Shaklan, Stuart

    2004-01-01

    Astronomers have discovered over 150 planets orbiting other stars. NASA mission; Find and characterize terrestrial (or rocky) exo-planets that might harbor life (like Earth)liquid water on the planet (habitable zone). An atmosphere that indicates the presence of life water, oxygen, ozone, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, and methane. Two missions under development: A coronagraph and an interferometer.

  17. Polarimetry of gas planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joos, Franco

    The quest for new worlds was not only an adventure at the times of Columbus. Also nowadays mankind searches for new, undiscovered territories. But today they lie no longer only on our Earth, but also well outside the solar system. There, new planets are sought and found. One of the challenges of modern astrophysics is the direct detection of extra- solar planets. To reach this goal, the largest available telescopes and most sophisticated detection techniques are required. A promising method to "see" and analyse extra-solar planets is based on the fact, that light reflected by a planet can be polarised. For its detection, accurate polarisation measurements are needed. This is one of the methods ESO intends to make use of to find new planets outside the solar system. The Institute of Astronomy of ETH Zürich contributes ZIMPOL to this planet-finder project. ZIMPOL is a very sensitive imaging polarimeter. This thesis is situated within the ESO-planet-finder project. It deals with two problems that are crucial for a successful mission: (1) Instrumental polarisation can seriously hamper the performance of the instrument. It is therefore essential, to keep instrumental polarisation very low. (2) A knowledge of the polarisation properties of our targets would be very helpful. For this reason the polarisation properties of our solar system planets are investigated. Promising candidates for a detection with ZIMPOL are large planets with atmospheres similar to those of our giant gas planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. In the first part of the thesis the planet-finder project is presented and the role of ZIMPOL is explained. To obtain the instrumental polarisation, the polarimetric properties of mirrors and other optical components of our planet- finder instrument are analysed. The instrumental polarisation for the wavelength range of 600 to 1000 nm and for all zenith distances is calculated with Mueller matrices. Methods for reducing the instrumental polarisation

  18. On the history and future of cosmic planet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behroozi, Peter; Peeples, Molly S.

    2015-12-01

    We combine constraints on galaxy formation histories with planet formation models, yielding the Earth-like and giant planet formation histories of the Milky Way and the Universe as a whole. In the Hubble volume (1013 Mpc3), we expect there to be ˜1020 Earth-like and ˜1020 giant planets; our own galaxy is expected to host ˜109 and ˜1010 Earth-like and giant planets, respectively. Proposed metallicity thresholds for planet formation do not significantly affect these numbers. However, the metallicity dependence for giant planets results in later typical formation times and larger host galaxies than for Earth-like planets. The Solar system formed at the median age for existing giant planets in the Milky Way, and consistent with past estimates, formed after 80 per cent of Earth-like planets. However, if existing gas within virialized dark matter haloes continues to collapse and form stars and planets, the Universe will form over 10 times more planets than currently exist. We show that this would imply at least a 92 per cent chance that we are not the only civilization the Universe will ever have, independent of arguments involving the Drake equation.

  19. On The History and Future of Cosmic Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behroozi, Peter

    2016-03-01

    We combine constraints on galaxy formation histories with planet formation models, yielding the Earth-like and giant planet formation histories of the Milky Way and the Universe as a whole. In the Hubble Volume (1013 Mpc3), we expect there to be ~1020 Earth-like and ~1020 giant planets; our own galaxy is expected to host ~109 and ~1010 Earth-like and giant planets, respectively. Proposed metallicity thresholds for planet formation do not significantly affect these numbers. However, the metallicity dependence for giant planets results in later typical formation times and larger host galaxies than for Earth-like planets. The Solar System formed at the median age for existing giant planets in the Milky Way, and consistent with past estimates, formed after 80% of Earth-like planets. However, if existing gas within virialised dark matter haloes continues to collapse and form stars and planets, the Universe will form over 10 times more planets than currently exist. We show that this would imply at least a 92% chance that we are not the only civilisation the Universe will ever have, independent of arguments involving the Drake Equation.

  20. Crew Earth Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Runco, Susan

    2009-01-01

    Crew Earth Observations (CEO) takes advantage of the crew in space to observe and photograph natural and human-made changes on Earth. The photographs record the Earth's surface changes over time, along with dynamic events such as storms, floods, fires and volcanic eruptions. These images provide researchers on Earth with key data to better understand the planet.

  1. Why Earth Science?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Michael J.

    2004-01-01

    This article briefly describes Earth science. The study of Earth science provides the foundation for an understanding of the Earth, its processes, its resources, and its environment. Earth science is the study of the planet in its entirety, how its lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere work together as systems and how they affect…

  2. Giant Planets: Good Neighbors for Habitable Worlds?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Eggl, Siegfried; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian

    2018-04-01

    The presence of giant planets influences potentially habitable worlds in numerous ways. Massive celestial neighbors can facilitate the formation of planetary cores and modify the influx of asteroids and comets toward Earth analogs later on. Furthermore, giant planets can indirectly change the climate of terrestrial worlds by gravitationally altering their orbits. Investigating 147 well-characterized exoplanetary systems known to date that host a main-sequence star and a giant planet, we show that the presence of “giant neighbors” can reduce a terrestrial planet’s chances to remain habitable, even if both planets have stable orbits. In a small fraction of systems, however, giant planets slightly increase the extent of habitable zones provided that the terrestrial world has a high climate inertia. In providing constraints on where giant planets cease to affect the habitable zone size in a detrimental fashion, we identify prime targets in the search for habitable worlds.

  3. Basaltic volcanism - The importance of planet size

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, D.; Stolper, E. M.; Hays, J. F.

    1979-01-01

    The volumetrically abundant basalts on the earth, its moon, and the eucrite parent planet all have chemical compositions that are controlled to a large extent by dry, low-pressure, crystal-liquid equilibria. Since this generalization is valid for these three planetary bodies, we infer that it may also apply to the other unsampled terrestrial planets. Other characteristics of basaltic volcanism show variations which appear to be related to planet size: the eruption temperatures, degrees of fractionation, and chemical variety of basalts and the endurance of basaltic volcanism all increase with planet size. Although the processes responsible for chemical differences between basalt suites are known, no simple systematization of the chemical differences between basalts from planet to planet has emerged.

  4. Characterizing K2 Planet Discoveries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Montet, Benjamin; Johnson, John; Buchhave, Lars A.; Zeng, Li; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Charbonneau, David; Harps-N Collaboration, The Robo-Ao Team

    2015-01-01

    We present an effort to confirm the first planet discovered by the two-wheeled Kepler mission. We analyzed K2 photometry, correcting for nonuniform detector response as a function of the spacecraft's pointing, and detected a transiting planet candidate. We describe our multi-telescope followup observing campaign, consisting of photometric, spectroscopic, and high resolution imaging observations, including over 40 HARPS-N radial velocity measurements. The new planet is a super-Earth orbiting a bright star amenable to followup observations. HARPS-N was funded by the Swiss Space Office, the Harvard Origin of Life Initiative, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the University of Geneva, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Italian National Astrophysical Institute, the University of St. Andrews, Queens University Belfast, and the University of Edinburgh.

  5. HUBBLE OBSERVES THE PLANET URANUS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the planet Uranus reveals the planet's rings and bright clouds and a high altitude haze above the planet's south pole. Hubble's new view was obtained on August 14, 1994, when Uranus was 1.7 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers) from Earth. These details, as imaged by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, were only previously seen by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew by Uranus in 1986. Since then, none of these inner satellites has been further observed, and detailed observations of the rings have not been possible. Though Uranus' rings were discovered indirectly in 1977 (through stellar occultation observations), they have never before been seen in visible light through a ground-based telescope. Hubble resolves several of Uranus' rings, including the outermost Epsilon ring. The planet has a total of 11 concentric rings of dark dust. Uranus is tipped such that its rotation axis lies in the plane of its orbit, so the rings appear nearly face-on. Three of Uranus' inner moons each appear as a string of three dots at the bottom of the picture. This is because the picture is a composite of three images, taken about six minutes apart, and then combined to show the moons' orbital motions. The satellites are, from left to right, Cressida, Juliet, and Portia. The moons move much more rapidly than our own Moon does as it moves around the Earth, so they noticeably change position over only a few minutes. One of the four gas giant planets of our solar system, Uranus is largely featureless. HST does resolve a high altitude haze which appears as a bright 'cap' above the planet's south pole, along with clouds at southern latitudes (similar structures were observed by Voyager). Unlike Earth, Uranus' south pole points toward the Sun during part of the planet's 84-year orbit. Thanks to its high resolution and ability to make observations over many years, Hubble can follow seasonal changes in Uranus's atmosphere, which should be unusual given

  6. Hubble Observes the Planet Uranus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the planet Uranus reveals the planet's rings and bright clouds and a high altitude haze above the planet's south pole.

    Hubble's new view was obtained on August 14, 1994, when Uranus was 1.7 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers) from Earth. These details, as imaged by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, were only previously seen by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew by Uranus in 1986. Since then, none of these inner satellites has been further observed, and detailed observations of the rings have not been possible.

    Though Uranus' rings were discovered indirectly in 1977 (through stellar occultation observations), they have never before been seen in visible light through a ground-based telescope.

    Hubble resolves several of Uranus' rings, including the outermost Epsilon ring. The planet has a total of 11 concentric rings of dark dust. Uranus is tipped such that its rotation axis lies in the plane of its orbit, so the rings appear nearly face-on.

    Three of Uranus' inner moons each appear as a string of three dots at the bottom of the picture. This is because the picture is a composite of three images, taken about six minutes apart, and then combined to show the moons' orbital motions. The satellites are, from left to right, Cressida, Juliet, and Portia. The moons move much more rapidly than our own Moon does as it moves around the Earth, so they noticeably change position over only a few minutes.

    One of the four gas giant planets of our solar system, Uranus is largely featureless. HST does resolve a high altitude haze which appears as a bright 'cap' above the planet's south pole, along with clouds at southern latitudes (similar structures were observed by Voyager). Unlike Earth, Uranus' south pole points toward the Sun during part of the planet's 84-year orbit. Thanks to its high resolution and ability to make observations over many years, Hubble can follow seasonal changes in Uranus's atmosphere, which should

  7. Journey to a Star Rich with Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for movie of Journey to a Star Rich with Planets

    This artist's animation takes us on a journey to 55 Cancri, a star with a family of five known planets - the most planets discovered so far around a star besides our own.

    The animation begins on Earth, with a view of the night sky and 55 Cancri (flashing dot), located 41 light-years away in the constellation Cancer. It then zooms through our solar system, passing our asteroids and planets, until finally arriving at the outskirts of 55 Cancri.

    The first planet to appear is the farthest out from the star -- a giant planet, probably made of gas, with a mass four times that of Jupiter. This planet orbits its star every 14 years, similar to Jupiter's 11.9-year orbit.

    As the movie continues, the three inner planets are shown, the closest of which is about 10 to 13 times the mass of Earth with an orbital period of less than three days.

    Zooming out, the animation highlights the newest member of the 55 Cancri family - a massive planet, likely made of gas, water and rock, about 45 times the mass of Earth and orbiting the star every 260 days. This planet is the fourth out from the star, and lies in the system's habitable zone (green). A habitable zone is the place around a star where liquid water would persist. Though the newest planet probably has a thick gaseous envelope, astronomers speculate that it could have one or more moons. In our own solar system, moons are common, so it seems likely that they also orbit planets in other solar systems. If such moons do exist, and if they are as large as Mars or Earth, astronomers speculate that they would retain atmospheres and surface liquid water that might make interesting environments for the development of life.

    The animation ends with a comparison between 55 Cancri and our solar system.

    The colors of the illustrated planets were chosen to resemble those of our own solar

  8. Stable habitable zones of single Jovian planet systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnew, Matthew T.; Maddison, Sarah T.; Thilliez, Elodie; Horner, Jonathan

    2017-11-01

    With continued improvement in telescope sensitivity and observational techniques, the search for rocky planets in stellar habitable zones is entering an exciting era. With so many exoplanetary systems available for follow-up observations to find potentially habitable planets, one needs to prioritize the ever-growing list of candidates. We aim to determine which of the known planetary systems are dynamically capable of hosting rocky planets in their habitable zones, with the goal of helping to focus future planet search programmes. We perform an extensive suite of numerical simulations to identify regions in the habitable zones of single Jovian planet systems where Earth-mass planets could maintain stable orbits, specifically focusing on the systems in the Catalog of Earth-like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA). We find that small, Earth-mass planets can maintain stable orbits in cases where the habitable zone is largely, or partially, unperturbed by a nearby Jovian, and that mutual gravitational interactions and resonant mechanisms are capable of producing stable orbits even in habitable zones that are significantly or completely disrupted by a Jovian. Our results yield a list of 13 single Jovian planet systems in CELESTA that are not only capable of supporting an Earth-mass planet on stable orbits in their habitable zone, but for which we are also able to constrain the orbits of the Earth-mass planet such that the induced radial velocity signals would be detectable with next generation instruments.

  9. Climate evolution on the terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.; Toon, O. B.

    1989-01-01

    The present comparative evaluation of the long-term evolution of the Venus, earth, and Mars climates suggests that the earth's climate has remained temperate over most of its history despite a secular solar luminosity increase in virtue of a negative-feedback cycle based on atmospheric CO2 levels and climate. The examination of planetary climate histories suggests that an earth-sized planet should be able to maintain liquid water on its surface at orbital distances in the 0.9-1.5 AU range, comparable to the orbit of Mars; this, in turn, implies that there may be many other habitable planets within the Galaxy.

  10. Earth Observation

    2013-06-13

    ISS036-E-007619 (13 June 2013) --- To a crew member aboard the International Space Station, the home planet is seen from many different angles and perspectives, as evdenced by this Expedition 36 image of Earth's atmophere partially obscured by one of the orbital outpost's solar panels.

  11. Studying planet populations with Einstein's blip.

    PubMed

    Dominik, Martin

    2010-08-13

    Although Einstein originally judged that 'there is no great chance of observing this phenomenon', the 'most curious effect' of the bending of starlight by the gravity of intervening foreground stars--now commonly referred to as 'gravitational microlensing'--has become one of the successfully applied techniques to detect planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, while being quite unlike any other. With more than 400 extra-solar planets known altogether, the discovery of a true sibling of our home planet seems to have become simply a question of time. However, in order to properly understand the origin of Earth, carrying all its various life forms, models of planet formation and orbital evolution need to be brought into agreement with the statistics of the full variety of planets like Earth and unlike Earth. Given the complementarity of the currently applied planet detection techniques, a comprehensive picture will only arise from a combination of their respective findings. Gravitational microlensing favours a range of orbital separations that covers planets whose orbital periods are too long to allow detection by other indirect techniques, but which are still too close to their host star to be detected by means of their emitted or reflected light. Rather than being limited to the Solar neighbourhood, a unique opportunity is provided for inferring a census of planets orbiting stars belonging to two distinct populations within the Milky Way, with a sensitivity not only reaching down to Earth mass, but even below, with ground-based observations. The capabilities of gravitational microlensing extend even to obtaining evidence of a planet orbiting a star in another galaxy.

  12. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Panelists discuss how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  13. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute, moderates a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and highlighted how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  14. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    2014-08-20

    An audience member asks the panelists a question at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  15. Characterization of extrasolar terrestrial planets from diurnal photometric variability.

    PubMed

    Ford, E B; Seager, S; Turner, E L

    2001-08-30

    The detection of massive planets orbiting nearby stars has become almost routine, but current techniques are as yet unable to detect terrestrial planets with masses comparable to the Earth's. Future space-based observatories to detect Earth-like planets are being planned. Terrestrial planets orbiting in the habitable zones of stars-where planetary surface conditions are compatible with the presence of liquid water-are of enormous interest because they might have global environments similar to Earth's and even harbour life. The light scattered by such a planet will vary in intensity and colour as the planet rotates; the resulting light curve will contain information about the planet's surface and atmospheric properties. Here we report a model that predicts features that should be discernible in the light curve obtained by low-precision photometry. For extrasolar planets similar to Earth, we expect daily flux variations of up to hundreds of per cent, depending sensitively on ice and cloud cover as well as seasonal variations. This suggests that the meteorological variability, composition of the surface (for example, ocean versus land fraction) and rotation period of an Earth-like planet could be derived from photometric observations. Even signatures of Earth-like plant life could be constrained or possibly, with further study, even uniquely determined.

  16. The IntAct molecular interaction database in 2012

    PubMed Central

    Kerrien, Samuel; Aranda, Bruno; Breuza, Lionel; Bridge, Alan; Broackes-Carter, Fiona; Chen, Carol; Duesbury, Margaret; Dumousseau, Marine; Feuermann, Marc; Hinz, Ursula; Jandrasits, Christine; Jimenez, Rafael C.; Khadake, Jyoti; Mahadevan, Usha; Masson, Patrick; Pedruzzi, Ivo; Pfeiffenberger, Eric; Porras, Pablo; Raghunath, Arathi; Roechert, Bernd; Orchard, Sandra; Hermjakob, Henning

    2012-01-01

    IntAct is an open-source, open data molecular interaction database populated by data either curated from the literature or from direct data depositions. Two levels of curation are now available within the database, with both IMEx-level annotation and less detailed MIMIx-compatible entries currently supported. As from September 2011, IntAct contains approximately 275 000 curated binary interaction evidences from over 5000 publications. The IntAct website has been improved to enhance the search process and in particular the graphical display of the results. New data download formats are also available, which will facilitate the inclusion of IntAct's data in the Semantic Web. IntAct is an active contributor to the IMEx consortium (http://www.imexconsortium.org). IntAct source code and data are freely available at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/intact. PMID:22121220

  17. Kepler Small Habitable Zone Planets

    2015-07-23

    Of the 1,030 confirmed planets from Kepler, a dozen are less than twice the size of Earth and reside in the habitable zone of their host stars. In this diagram, the sizes of the exoplanets are represented by the size of each sphere. These are arranged by size from left to right, and by the type of star they orbit, from the M stars that are significantly cooler and smaller than the sun, to the K stars that are somewhat cooler and smaller than the sun, to the G stars that include the sun. The sizes of the planets are enlarged by 25 times compared to the stars. The Earth is shown for reference. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19827

  18. THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF SMALL PLANETS AROUND SMALL STARS

    SciT

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David, E-mail: cdressing@cfa.harvard.edu

    We use the optical and near-infrared photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog to provide improved estimates of the stellar characteristics of the smallest stars in the Kepler target list. We find 3897 dwarfs with temperatures below 4000 K, including 64 planet candidate host stars orbited by 95 transiting planet candidates. We refit the transit events in the Kepler light curves for these planet candidates and combine the revised planet/star radius ratios with our improved stellar radii to revise the radii of the planet candidates orbiting the cool target stars. We then compare the number of observed planet candidates to themore » number of stars around which such planets could have been detected in order to estimate the planet occurrence rate around cool stars. We find that the occurrence rate of 0.5-4 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days is 0.90{sup +0.04}{sub -0.03} planets per star. The occurrence rate of Earth-size (0.5-1.4 R{sub Circled-Plus }) planets is constant across the temperature range of our sample at 0.51{sub -0.05}{sup +0.06} Earth-size planets per star, but the occurrence of 1.4-4 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets decreases significantly at cooler temperatures. Our sample includes two Earth-size planet candidates in the habitable zone, allowing us to estimate that the mean number of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone is 0.15{sup +0.13}{sub -0.06} planets per cool star. Our 95% confidence lower limit on the occurrence rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of cool stars is 0.04 planets per star. With 95% confidence, the nearest transiting Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cool star is within 21 pc. Moreover, the nearest non-transiting planet in the habitable zone is within 5 pc with 95% confidence.« less

  19. INITIAL DATA RELEASE OF THE KEPLER-INT SURVEY

    SciT

    Greiss, S.; Steeghs, D.; Gaensicke, B. T.

    2012-07-15

    This paper describes the first data release of the