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Sample records for earth planets space

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Earth observations during Space Shuttle flight STS-41 - Discovery's mission to planet earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Helfert, Michael R.; Amsbury, David L.; Whitehead, Victor S.; Richards, Richard N.; Cabana, Robert D.; Shepherd, William M.; Akers, Thomas D.; Melnick, Bruce E.

    1991-01-01

    An overview of space flight STS-41 is presented, including personal observations and comments by the mission astronauts. The crew deployed the Ulysses spacecraft to study the polar regions of the sun and the interplanetary space above the poles. Environmental observations, including those of Lake Turkana, Lake Chad, biomass burning in Madagascar and Argentina, and circular features in Yucatan are described. Observations that include landforms and geology, continental sedimentation, desert landscapes, and river morphology are discussed.

  7. Earth observations during Space Shuttle Mission STS-42 - Discovery's mission to planet earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Helfert, Michael; Amsbury, David; Pitts, David; Jaklitch, Pat; Wilkinson, Justin; Evans, Cynthia; Ackleson, Steve; Helms, David; Chambers, Mark

    1993-01-01

    The noteworthy imagery acquired during Space Shuttle Mission STS-42 is documented. Attention is given to frozen Tibetan lakes, Merapi Volcano in Java, Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, the coastline east of Tokyo Japan, land use in southern India, and the Indus River Delta. Observations of Kamchatka Peninsula, Lake Baikal, Moscow, Katmai National Park and Mt. Augustine, Alaska, the Alaskan coast by the Bering Sea, snow-covered New York, the Rhone River valley, the Strait of Gibraltar, and Mt. Ararat, Turkey, are also reported.

  8. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    retreated worldwide in a response to global change. We will illustrate these and other topics with a dynamic theater-style presentation, along with animations of satellite launch deployments and orbital mapping to highlight aspects of Earth observations from space.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Earth-class Planets Line Up

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. K2 Finds Earth-Sized Planets Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Space to Ground: Who Doesn't Enjoy a Good View of Planet Earth?: 02/10/2017

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-02-10

    NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station. Got a question or comment? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. ________________________________________ FOLLOW THE SPACE STATION! Twitter: https://twitter.com/Space_Station Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISS Instagram: https://instagram.com/iss/

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Earth study from space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sidorenko, A. V.

    1981-01-01

    The significance that space studies are making to all Earth sciences in the areas of geography, geodesy, cartography, geology, meteorology, oceanology, agronomy, and ecology is discussed. It is predicted that cosmonautics will result in a revolution in science and technology.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Pantheon of Planets Similar to Earth Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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. 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

  2. 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/.

  3. Young Children's Ideas about the Earth in Space.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharp, John G.

    1999-01-01

    Surveyed 7-year-olds' ideas about the Earth in space, focusing on their ideas about shape and their ability to represent and describe land masses or other surface features, Earth's size relative to the sun and moon, and its nature as a planet. Found that focusing on the Earth's shape and gravity alone has underestimated youngsters' learning…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Early Earth(s) Across Time and Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mojzsis, S.

    2014-04-01

    The geochemical and cosmochemical record of our solar system is the baseline for exploring the question: "when could life appear on a world similar to our own?" Data arising from direct analysis of the oldest terrestrial rocks and minerals from the first 500 Myr of Earth history - termed the Hadean Eon - inform us about the timing for the establishment of a habitable silicate world. Liquid water is the key medium for life. The origin of water, and its interaction with the crust as revealed in the geologic record, guides our exploration for a cosmochemically Earth-like planets. From the time of primary planetary accretion to the start of the continuous rock record on Earth at ca. 3850 million years ago, our planet experienced a waning bolide flux that partially or entirely wiped out surface rocks, vaporized oceans, and created transient serpentinizing atmospheres. Arguably, "Early Earths" across the galaxy may start off as ice planets due to feeble insolation from their young stars, occasionally punctuated by steam atmospheres generated by cataclysmic impacts. Alternatively, early global environments conducive to life spanned from a benign surface zone to deep into crustal rocks and sediments. In some scenarios, nascent biospheres benefit from the exogenous delivery of essential bio-elements via leftovers of accretion, and the subsequent establishment of planetary-scale hydrothermal systems. If what is now known about the early dynamical regime of the Earth serves as any measure of the potential habitability of worlds across space and time, several key boundary conditions emerge. These are: (i) availability and long-term stability of liquid water; (ii) presence of energy resources; (iii) accessibility of organic raw materials; (iv) adequate inventory of radioisotopes to drive internal heating; (v) gross compositional parameters such as mantle/core mass ratio, and (vi) P-T conditions at or near the surface suitable for sustaining biological activity. Life could

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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

  12. Space sickness on earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nooij, S. A. E.; Bos, J. E.; Groen, E. L.; Bles, W.; Ockels, W. J.

    2007-09-01

    During the first days in space, i.e., after a transition from 1G to 0G, more than 50% of the astro- (and cosmonauts) suffer from the Space Adaptation Syndrome (SAS).The symptoms of SAS, like nausea and dizziness, are especially provoked by head movements. Astronauts have mentioned close similarities between the symptoms of SAS and the symptoms they experienced after a 1 hour centrifuge run on Earth, i.e., after a transition from 3G to 1G (denoted by Sickness Induced by Centrifugation, SIC). During several space missions, we related susceptibility to SAS and to SIC in 11 astronauts and found 4 of them being susceptible to both SIC and SAS, and 7 being not susceptible to SIC nor to SAS. This correspondence in susceptibility suggests that SIC and SAS share the same underlying mechanism. To further study this mechanism, several vestibular parameters have been investigated (e.g. postural stability, vestibularly driven eye movements, subjective vertical). We found some striking changes in individual cases that are possibly due to the centrifuge run. However, the variability between subjects generally is very large, making physiological links to SIC and SAS still hard to find.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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.

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

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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!

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

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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.

  7. Edible Earth and Space Science Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubowich, D.; Shupla, C.

    2014-07-01

    In this workshop we describe using Earth and Space Science demonstrations with edible ingredients to increase student interest. We show how to use chocolate, candy, cookies, popcorn, bagels, pastries, Pringles, marshmallows, whipped cream, and Starburst candy for activities such as: plate tectonics, the interior structure of the Earth and Mars, radioactivity/radioactive dating of rocks and stars, formation of the planets, lunar phases, convection, comets, black holes, curvature of space, dark energy, and the expansion of the Universe. In addition to creating an experience that will help students remember specific concepts, edible activities can be used as a formative assessment, providing students with the opportunity to create something that demonstrates their understanding of the model. The students often eat the demonstrations. These demonstrations are an effective teaching tool for all ages, and can be adapted for cultural, culinary, and ethnic differences among the students.

  8. 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

  9. Earth and Space Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meeson, Blanche W.

    1999-01-01

    Workshop for middle and high school teachers to enhance their knowledge of the Earth as a system. NASA data and materials developed by teachers (all available via the Internet) will be used to engage participants in hands-on, investigative approaches to the Earth system. All materials are ready to be applied in pre-college classrooms. Remotely-sensed data will be used in combination with familiar resources, such as maps, to examine global climate change.

  10. Optimal Planet Properties For Plate Tectonics Through Time And Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamenkovic, Vlada; Seager, Sara

    2014-11-01

    Both the time and the location of planet formation shape a rocky planet’s mass, interior composition and structure, and hence also its tectonic mode. The tectonic mode of a planet can vary between two end-member solutions, plate tectonics and stagnant lid convection, and does significantly impact outgassing and biogeochemical cycles on any rocky planet. Therefore, estimating how the tectonic mode of a planet is affected by a planet’s age, mass, structure, and composition is a major step towards understanding habitability of exoplanets and geophysical false positives to biosignature gases. We connect geophysics to astronomy in order to understand how we could identify and where we could find planet candidates with optimal conditions for plate tectonics. To achieve this goal, we use thermal evolution models, account for the current wide range of uncertainties, and simulate various alien planets. Based on our best model estimates, we predict that the ideal targets for plate tectonics are oxygen-dominated (C/O<1) (solar system like) rocky planets of ~1 Earth mass with surface oceans, large metallic cores super-Mercury, rocky body densities of ~7000kgm-3), and with small mantle concentrations of iron 0%), water 0%), and radiogenic isotopes 10 times less than Earth). Super-Earths, undifferentiated planets, and especially hypothetical carbon planets, speculated to consist of SiC and C, are not optimal for the occurrence of plate tectonics. These results put Earth close to an ideal compositional and structural configuration for plate tectonics. Moreover, the results indicate that plate tectonics might have never existed on planets formed soon after the Big Bang—but instead is favored on planets formed from an evolved interstellar medium enriched in iron but depleted in silicon, oxygen, and especially in Th, K, and U relative to iron. This possibly sets a belated Galactic start for complex Earth-like surface life if plate tectonics significantly impacts the build up

  11. 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

  12. Spacing of Kepler Planets: Sculpting by Dynamical Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pu, Bonan; Wu, Yanqin

    2015-07-01

    We study the orbital architecture of multi-planet systems detected by the Kepler transit mission using N-body simulations, focusing on the orbital spacing between adjacent planets in systems showing four or more transiting planets. We find that the observed spacings are tightly clustered around 12 mutual Hill radii, when transit geometry and sensitivity limits are accounted for. In comparison, dynamical integrations reveal that the minimum spacing required for systems of similar masses to survive dynamical instability for as long as 1 billion yr is ∼10 if all orbits are circular and coplanar and ∼12 if planetary orbits have eccentricities of ∼0.02 (a value suggested by studies of planet transit-time variations). This apparent coincidence, between the observed spacing and the theoretical stability threshold, leads us to propose that typical planetary systems were formed with even tighter spacing, but most, except for the widest ones, have undergone dynamical instability, and are pared down to a more anemic version of their former selves, with fewer planets and larger spacings. So while the high-multiple systems (five or more transiting planets) are primordial systems that remain stable, the single or double planetary systems, abundantly discovered by the Kepler mission, may be the descendants of more closely packed high-multiple systems. If this hypothesis is correct, we infer that the formation environment of Kepler systems should be more dissipative than that of the terrestrial planets.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Earth from Space: The Power of Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.

    2016-12-01

    Throughout history, humans have always valued the view from above, seeking high ground to survey the land, find food, assess threats, and understand their immediate environment. The advent of aircraft early in the 20th century took this capability literally to new levels, as aerial photos of farm lands, hazards, military threats, etc. provided new opportunities for security and prosperity. And in 1960, with the launch of the first weather satellite, TIROS, we came to know our world in ways that were not possible before, as we saw the Earth as a system of interacting components. In the decades since, our ability to understand the Earth System and its dynamic components has been transformed profoundly and repeatedly by satellite observations. From examining changes in sea level, to deformation of the Earth surface, to ozone depletion, to the Earth's energy balance, satellites have helped us understand our changing planet in ways that would not have otherwise been possible. The challenge moving forward is to continue to evolve beyond watching Earth processes unfold and understanding the underlying mechanisms of change, to anticipating future conditions, more comprehensively than we do today, for the benefit of society. The capabilities to do so are well within our reach, and with appropriate investments in observing systems, research, and activities that support translating observations into societal value, we can realize the full potential of this tremendous space-based perspective. Doing so will not just change our views of the Earth, but will improve our relationship with it.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Macular Bioaccelerometers on Earth and in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.; Cutler, L.; Meyer, G.; Vazin, P.; Lam, T.

    1991-01-01

    Space flight offers the opportunity to study linear bioaccelerometers (vestibular maculas) in the virtual absence of a primary stimulus, gravitational acceleration. Macular research in space is particularly important to NASA because the bioaccelerometers are proving to be weighted neural networks in which information is distributed for parallel processing. Neural networks are plastic and highly adaptive to new environments. Combined morphological-physiological studies of maculas fixed in space and following flight should reveal macular adaptive responses to microgravity, and their time-course. Ground-based research, already begun, using computer-assisted, 3-dimensional reconstruction of macular terminal fields will lead to development of computer models of functioning maculas. This research should continue in conjunction with physiological studies, including work with multichannel electrodes. The results of such a combined effort could usher in a new era in understanding vestibular function on Earth and in space. They can also provide a rational basis for counter-measures to space motion sickness, which may prove troublesome as space voyager encounter new gravitational fields on planets, or must re-adapt to 1 g upon return to earth.

  5. 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.

  6. Terrestrial Planets across Space and Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zackrisson, Erik; Calissendorff, Per; González, Juan; Benson, Andrew; Johansen, Anders; Janson, Markus

    2016-12-01

    The study of cosmology, galaxy formation, and exoplanets has now advanced to a stage where a cosmic inventory of terrestrial planets (TPs) may be attempted. By coupling semianalytic models of galaxy formation to a recipe that relates the occurrence of planets to the mass and metallicity of their host stars, we trace the population of TPs around both solar-mass (FGK type) and lower-mass (M dwarf) stars throughout all of cosmic history. We find that the mean age of TPs in the local universe is 7+/- 1 {Gyr} for FGK hosts and 8+/- 1 {Gyr} for M dwarfs. We estimate that hot Jupiters have depleted the population of TPs around FGK stars by no more than ≈ 10 % , and that only ≈ 10 % of the TPs at the current epoch are orbiting stars in a metallicity range for which such planets have yet to be confirmed. The typical TP in the local universe is located in a spheroid-dominated galaxy with a total stellar mass comparable to that of the Milky Way. When looking at the inventory of planets throughout the whole observable universe, we argue for a total of ≈ 1× {10}19 and ≈ 5× {10}20 TPs around FGK and M stars, respectively. Due to light travel time effects, the TPs on our past light cone exhibit a mean age of just 1.7 ± 0.2 Gyr. These results are discussed in the context of cosmic habitability, the Copernican principle, and searches for extraterrestrial intelligence at cosmological distances.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Advanced space storable propellants for outer planet exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thunnissen, Daniel P.; Guernsey, Carl S.; Baker, Raymond S.; Miyake, Robert N.

    2004-01-01

    An evaluation of the feasibility and mission performance benefits of using advanced space storable propellants for outer planet exploration was performed. For the purpose of this study, space storable propellants are defined to be propellants which can be passively stored without the need for active cooling.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G. G.

    2013-09-01

    fundamental wave). Before the asteroid belt individual waves are shorter than the fundamental wave, after the belt - an opposite relation occurs. Thus the asteroid belt crosses the ordinate 1 what means that there is the very strong 1 : 1 resonance between the fundamental and the individual waves prohibiting a planet (Phaethon) formation. Available material is scattered leading to a known matter deficit. The constructed cosmogonic curve is a curve with a bending point. Earth occurs at this peculiar place what determines Earth uniqueness. The heliocentric distance is then mathematically the abscissa of the bending point (Fig. 1). In the outer planets zone regularly increasing warping wavelengths begin to exceed the fundamental wavelength. The giant planets resist to destructive high amplitude oscillations thanks to their large gravitational compression and elasticity. Nevertheless they also lose a part of their matter ejecting it into near planet space where it gathers up as systems of satellites and rings. Such ejections could explain appearance of non-regular satellites, arcs in rings and other "anomalous" phenomena. Pluto bears vivid marks of destructive oscillations. It has large bulge or is torn in two parts (second core or large satellite) and "chaotically" moves in orbit. The chaos is most probably caused by a distortion of its orbit by its own high amplitude oscillations. Approaching the 100 : 1 resonance (Fig. 1) tells on significant matter deficit in the Pluto's orbit and its increased density. Decimal resonances (1:1,10:1, 100:1) are marked by a matter deficit. Planetary masses relative to the Earth's mass are as follows: Mercury 0.06; Venus 0.82; Earth 1.00; Mars 0.11; Asteroids 0.001(mass deficit); Jupiter 318; Saturn 95.1; (mass deficit) Uranus 14.5; Neptune 17.3; Pluto 0.002 (mass deficit). References: [1]Kochemasov G.G. (1992)16th Russian-American microsymposium on planetology, Abstracts, Moscow, Vernadsky Inst. (GEOKHI), 36-37.

  18. 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.

  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. Space Studies of the Earth-Moon System, Planets, and Small Bodies of the Solar System (B) Past, Present and Future of Small Body Science and Exploration (B0.4)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, Dan; Chodas, Paul; Gates, Michele; Johnson, Lindley; Ticker, Ronald

    2016-01-01

    To achieve its long-term goal of sending humans to Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to proceed in a series of incrementally more complex human space flight missions. Today, human flight experience extends only to Low- Earth Orbit (LEO), and should problems arise during a mission, the crew can return to Earth in a matter of minutes to hours. The next logical step for human space flight is to gain flight experience in the vicinity of the Moon. These cis-lunar missions provide a "proving ground" for the testing of systems and operations while still accommodating an emergency return path to the Earth that would last only several days. Cis-lunar mission experience will be essential for more ambitious human missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, which will require weeks, months, or even years of transit time. In addition, NASA has been given a Grand Challenge to find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them. Obtaining knowledge of asteroid physical properties combined with performing technology demonstrations for planetary defense provide much needed information to address the issue of future asteroid impacts on Earth. Hence the combined objectives of human exploration and planetary defense give a rationale for the Asteroid Re-direct Mission (ARM).

  1. Space exercise and Earth benefits.

    PubMed

    Macias, Brandon R; Groppo, Eli R; Eastlack, Robert K; Watenpaugh, Donald E; Lee, Stuart M C; Schneider, Suzanne M; Boda, Wanda L; Smith, Scott M; Cutuk, Adnan; Pedowitz, Robert A; Meyer, R Scott; Hargens, Alan R

    2005-08-01

    The detrimental impact of long duration space flight on physiological systems necessitates the development of exercise countermeasures to protect work capabilities in gravity fields of Earth, Moon and Mars. The respective rates of physiological deconditioning for different organ systems during space flight has been described as a result of data collected during and after missions on the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Mir, and bed rest studies on Earth. An integrated countermeasure that simulates the body's hydrostatic pressure gradient, provides mechanical stress to the bones and muscles, and stimulates the neurovestibular system may be critical for maintaining health and well being of crew during long-duration space travel, such as a mission to Mars. Here we review the results of our studies to date of an integrated exercise countermeasure for space flight, lower body negative pressure (LBNP) treadmill exercise, and potential benefits of its application to athletic training on Earth. Additionally, we review the benefits of Lower Body Positive Pressure (LBPP) exercise for rehabilitation of postoperative patients. Presented first are preliminary data from a 30-day bed rest study evaluating the efficacy of LBNP exercise as an integrated exercise countermeasure for the deconditioning effects of microgravity. Next, we review upright LBNP exercise as a training modality for athletes by evaluating effects on the cardiovascular system and gait mechanics. Finally, LBPP exercise as a rehabilitation device is examined with reference to gait mechanics and safety in two groups of postoperative patients.

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

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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.

  3. 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

    Red Sea indicates that a shallow magma-chamber causes a sufficiently high heat-flow to drive a convection cell of seawater. The model shows that salt precipitates along the flow lines within the SCRIW-region (Hovland et al., 2006). During the various stages of planet Mars' development, it must be inferred that zones with very high heat-flow also existed there. This meant that water (brine) confined in the crust of Mars was mobilized in a convective manner and would pass into the SCRIW-zone during the down-going leg (the recharge leg) of the convective cell. The zones with SCRIW out-salting would require accommodation space for large masses of solid salt, as modeled in the Red Sea analogy. However, as the accommodation space for the solid salt fills up, it will pile up and force its way upwards to form large, perhaps layered anticlines, as seen in the Hebes Mensa area of Mars and at numerous locations on Earth, including the Red Sea. Thus, we offer a universal 'hydrothermal salt model', which would be viable on all planets with free water in their interiors or on their surfaces, including Mars and 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. 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

  6. Sacred Space: A Beginning Framework for Off-Planet Church

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, T. K.

    As governments and corporations continue to engage space security, commerce, exploration and colonization, the Christian Church will not be far behind. Historically the Church has always been part of the first waves of explorers and colonizers, with its ideological interests being easily supported by generous resources and strong infrastructures. The exploring Church has not always been a friendly guest, however, and at times has initiated or condoned great harm. This paper offers a beginning framework as one way of insuring an appropriate presence in space for the Church. This framework is built with three common religious planks, namely, theology, ecclesiology and church worker vocation. Each of these is recast in terms of the off-planet scenario. This paper concludes that an appropriate off-planet Church will be founded on an "exomissiological" theology, will embrace an ecclesiology that emphasizes religious health, and will adequately select, train and monitor its off-planet church workers.

  7. Space Science in Action: Earth [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    This videotape recording explains the factors that allow life to flourish on Earth, including our position within the solar system, the water cycle, and the composition of the planet. A hands-on activity demonstrates the earth's water cycle. Contents include a teacher's guide designed to help science teachers in grades 5-8 by providing a brief…

  8. 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.

  9. Deep Space Detectives: Searching for Planets Suitable for Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pallant, Amy; Damelin, Daniel; Pryputniewicz, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    This article describes the High-Adventure Science curriculum unit "Is There Life in Space?" This free online investigation, developed by The Concord Consortium, helps students see how scientists use modern tools to locate planets around distant stars and explore the probability of finding extraterrestrial life. This innovative curriculum…

  10. 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.

  11. Planets as background noise sources in free space optical communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Katz, J.

    1986-01-01

    Background noise generated by planets is the dominant noise source in most deep space direct detection optical communications systems. Earlier approximate analyses of this problem are based on simplified blackbody calculations and can yield results that may be inaccurate by up to an order of magnitude. Various other factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as the phase angle and the actual spectral dependence of the planet albedo, in order to obtain a more accurate estimate of the noise magnitude are examined.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  20. SPACE: Enhancing Life on Earth. Proceedings Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hobden, Alan (Editor); Hobden, Beverly (Editor); Bagley, Larry E. (Editor); Bolton, Ed (Editor); Campaigne, Len O. (Editor); Cole, Ron (Editor); France, Marty (Editor); Hand, Rich (Editor); McKinley, Cynthia (Editor); Zimkas, Chuck (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    The proceedings of the 12th National Space Symposium on Enhancing Life on Earth is presented. Technological areas discussed include: Space applications and cooperation; Earth sensing, communication, and navigation applications; Global security interests in space; and International space station and space launch capabilities. An appendices that include featured speakers, program participants, and abbreviation & acronyms glossary is also attached.

  1. Center for Space and Earth Science

    Science.gov Websites

    Search Site submit Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Space and Earth Science Part of the Partnerships NSEC » CSES Center for Space and Earth Science High quality, cutting-edge science in the areas of astrophysics, space physics, solid planetary geoscience, and Earth systems Contact Director Reiner Friedel (505

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    https://github.com/planetserver References: Baumann, P., et al. (2015) Big Data Analytics for Earth Sciences: the EarthServer approach, International Journal of Digital Earth, doi: 10.1080/17538947.2014.1003106. Cantini, F. et al. (2014) Geophys. Res. Abs., Vol. 16, #EGU2014-3784. Gaddis, L., and T. Hare (2015), Status of tools and data for planetary research, Eos, 96, dos: 10.1029/2015EO041125. Hogan, P., 2011. NASA World Wind: Infrastructure for Spatial Data. Technical report. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Computing for Geospatial Research & Applications ACM. Oosthoek, J.H.P, et al. (2013) Advances in Space Research. doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2013.07.002. Rossi, A. P., et al. (2014) PlanetServer/EarthServer: Big Data analytics in Planetary Science. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, #EGU2014-5149.

  7. 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.

  8. Ultrasound: From Earth to Space

    PubMed Central

    Law, Jennifer; Macbeth, Paul. B.

    2011-01-01

    Ultrasonography is a versatile imaging modality that offers many advantages over radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. On Earth, the use of ultrasound has become standard in many areas of medicine including diagnosis of medical and surgical diseases, management of obstetric and gynecologic conditions, assessment of critically ill patients, and procedural guidance. Advances in telecommunications have enabled remotely-guided ultrasonography for both geographically isolated populations and astronauts aboard the International Space Station. While ultrasound has traditionally been used in spaceflight to study anatomical and physiological adaptations to microgravity and evaluate countermeasures, recent years have seen a growth of applications adapted from terrestrial techniques. Terrestrial, remote, and space applications for ultrasound are reviewed in this paper. PMID:22399873

  9. Ultrasound: from Earth to space.

    PubMed

    Law, Jennifer; Macbeth, Paul B

    2011-06-01

    Ultrasonography is a versatile imaging modality that offers many advantages over radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. On Earth, the use of ultrasound has become standard in many areas of medicine including diagnosis of medical and surgical diseases, management of obstetric and gynecologic conditions, assessment of critically ill patients, and procedural guidance. Advances in telecommunications have enabled remotely-guided ultrasonography for both geographically isolated populations and astronauts aboard the International Space Station. While ultrasound has traditionally been used in spaceflight to study anatomical and physiological adaptations to microgravity and evaluate countermeasures, recent years have seen a growth of applications adapted from terrestrial techniques. Terrestrial, remote, and space applications for ultrasound are reviewed in this paper.

  10. 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.

  11. Ecology of Near-Earth Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikoghosyan, E. H.

    2017-12-01

    The technical achievements of our civilization are accompanied by certain negative consequences affect the near-Earth space. The problem of clogging of near-Earth space by "space debris" as purely theoretical arose essentially as soon as the first artificial satellite in 1957 was launched. Since then, the rate of exploitation of outer space has increased very rapidly. As a result, the problem of clogging of near-Earth space ceased to be only theoretical and transformed into practical. Presently, anthropogenic factors of the development of near-Earth space are divided into several categories: mechanical, chemical, radioactive and electromagnetic pollution.

  12. Imaging of near-Earth space plasma.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Cathryn N

    2002-12-15

    This paper describes the technique of imaging the ionosphere using tomographic principles. It reports on current developments and speculates on the future of this research area. Recent developments in computing and ionospheric measurement, together with the sharing of data via the internet, now allow us to envisage a time when high-resolution, real-time images and 'movies' of the ionosphere will be possible for radio communications planning. There is great potential to use such images for improving our understanding of the physical processes controlling the behaviour of the ionosphere. While real-time images and movies of the electron concentration are now almost possible, forecasting of ionospheric morphology is still in its early stages. It has become clear that the ionosphere cannot be considered as a system in isolation, and consequently new research projects to link together models of the solar-terrestrial system, including the Sun, solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere, are now being proposed. The prospect is now on the horizon of assimilating data from the entire solar-terrestrial system to produce a real-time computer model and 'space weather' forecast. The role of tomography in imaging beyond the ionosphere to include the whole near-Earth space-plasma realm is yet to be realized, and provides a challenging prospect for the future. Finally, exciting possibilities exist in applying such methods to image the atmospheres and ionospheres of other planets.

  13. ExSPO: A Discovery Class Apodized Square Aperture (ASA) Expo-Planet Imaging Space Telescope Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gezari, D.; Harwit, M.; Lyon, R.; Melnick, G.; Papaliolos, G.; Ridgeway, S.; Woodruff, R.; Nisenson, P.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    ExSPO is a Discovery Class (approx. 4 meter) apodized square aperture (ASA) space telescope mission designed for direct imaging of extrasolar Earth-like planets, as a precursor to TPF. The ASA telescope concept, instrument design, capabilities, mission plan and science goals are described.

  14. Deep Space Earth Observations from DSCOVR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshak, A.; Herman, J.

    2018-02-01

    The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) at Sun-Earth L1 orbit observes the full sunlit disk of Earth. There are two Earth science instruments on board DSCOVR — EPIC and NISTAR. We discuss if EPIC and NISAR-like instruments can be used in Deep Space Gateway.

  15. 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

  16. A Dynamic Earth: 50 Years of Observations from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Cynthia A.

    2013-01-01

    Observations of the surface of the Earth began more than a half century ago with the earliest space missions. The global geopolitical environment at the beginning of the space age fueled advances in rocketry and human exploration, but also advances in remote sensing. At the same time that space-based Earth Observations were developing, global investments in infrastructure that were initiated after World War II accelerated large projects such as the construction of highways, the expansion of cities and suburbs, the damming of rivers, and the growth of big agriculture. These developments have transformed the Earth s surface at unprecedented rates. Today, we have a remarkable library of 50 years of observations of the Earth taken by satellite-based sensors and astronauts, and these images and observations provide insight into the workings of the Earth as a system. In addition, these observations record the footprints of human activities around the world, and illustrate how our activities contribute to the changing face of the Earth. Starting with the iconic "Blue Marble" image of the whole Earth taken by Apollo astronauts, we will review a timeline of observations of our planet as viewed from space.

  17. Origins Space Telescope: Planet-forming disks and exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontoppidan, Klaus; Origins Space Telescope Study Team

    2017-01-01

    The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is the mission concept for the Far-Infrared Surveyor, a study in development by NASA in preparation for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Origins is planned to be a large aperture, actively-cooled telescope covering a wide span of the mid- to far-infrared spectrum. Its imagers and spectrographs will enable a variety of surveys of the sky that will discover and characterize the most distant galaxies, Milky-Way, exoplanets, and the outer reaches of our Solar system. Origins will enable flagship-quality general observing programs led by the astronomical community in the 2030s. The Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) would like to hear your science needs and ideas for this mission. The team can be contacted at firsurveyor_info@lists.ipac.caltech.edu. This presentation will provide a summary of the science case related to planet formation and exoplanets. Leveraging orders of magnitude of improvements in sensitivity, the Origins Telescope will reveal the path of water from the interstellar medium to the inner regions of planet-forming disks, and determine the total masses of disks around stars across the stellar mass range out to distances of 500 pc. It will measure the temperatures and search for basic chemical ingredients for life on rocky planets. Beyond this, the Origins Telescope will open a vast discovery space in the general areas of star formation, protoplanetary and debris disks, and cool exoplanets in habitable zones.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    ., et al., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 294, 506-519, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.11.007. Oosthoek, J.H.P, et al. (2013) Advances in Space Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2013.07.002 Rossi, A. P., et al. (2013) XLDB Workshop Europe, CERN, Switzerland

  7. 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

  8. Characterising the Atmospheres of Transiting Planets with a Dedicated Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tessenyi, M.; Ollivier, M.; Tinetti, G.; Beaulieu, J. P.; Coudé du Foresto, V.; Encrenaz, T.; Micela, G.; Swinyard, B.; Ribas, I.; Aylward, A.; Tennyson, J.; Swain, M. R.; Sozzetti, A.; Vasisht, G.; Deroo, P.

    2011-10-01

    Transiting super-Earths orbiting M dwarfs are excellent targets for the prospect of studying potentially habitable extrasolar planets. While most of the currently known Exoplanets are of the Hot Jupiter and Neptune type, attention is now turning to these super- Earths. Two recent examples are GJ 1214b, found by Charbonneau et al. in 2009, and Cancri 55 e, found by Winn et al. in 2011. These candidates offer the opportunity of obtaining spectral signatures of their atmospheres in transiting scenarios, via data obtained by ground based and space observatories, compared to simulated climate scenarios. With the recent selection of the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) mission by ESA for further studies, I present observational strategies and time requirements for a range of targets characterisable by EChO, with a view to super-Earths orbiting M dwarfs.

  9. Planetarium Inversum -- a space vision for Earth education.

    PubMed

    Lotsch, B

    2003-01-01

    In a planetarium, the visitor is sitting on Earth and looking into an imaginary space. The Planetarium Inversum is the opposite: visitors are sitting in a space station, looking down on Mother Earth. It is a scientifically-based information show with visitors involvement, its elements being partially virtual (Earth in space has to be projected with highest possible resolution) but also containing real structures, such as the visitors' Earth observatory with adjacent biological systems (plant cultures and other ecological life support components). Its main message concerns the limits and the vulnerability of our home planet, its uniqueness, beauty and above all, its irreplaceableness: Earth does not have an emergency exit. The Earth observatory is part of a ring shaped, rotating space station of the type designed by Wernher von Braun decades ago. Visitors are told that gravity is being substituted by centrifugal force. Both types of life support systems are being demonstrated--self regenerative life based ones and technical ones as a backup (solar electric splitting of water and chemical absorption of respiratory CO2). c2003 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Earth Observations from Space: The First 50 Years of Scientific Achievements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Observing Earth from space over the past 50 years has fundamentally transformed the way people view our home planet. The image of the "blue marble" is taken for granted now, but it was revolutionary when taken in 1972 by the crew on Apollo 17. Since then the capability to look at Earth from space has grown increasingly sophisticated and has evolved from simple photographs to quantitative measurements of Earth properties such as temperature, concentrations of atmospheric trace gases, and the exact elevation of land and ocean. Imaging Earth from space has resulted in major scientific accomplishments; these observations have led to new discoveries, transformed the Earth sciences, opened new avenues of research, and provided important societal benefits by improving the predictability of Earth system processes. This report highlights the scientific achievements made possible by the first five decades of Earth satellite observations by space-faring nations. It follows on a recent report from the National Research Council (NRC) entitled Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, also referred to as the "decadal survey." Recognizing the increasing need for space observations, the decadal survey identifies future directions and priorities for Earth observations from space. This companion report was requested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to highlight, through selected examples, important past contributions of Earth observations from space to our current understanding of the planet.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The NASA Space Shuttle Earth Observations Office

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helfert, Michael R.; Wood, Charles A.

    1989-01-01

    The NASA Space Shuttle Earth Observations Office conducts astronaut training in earth observations, provides orbital documentation for acquisition of data and catalogs, and analyzes the astronaut handheld photography upon the return of Space Shuttle missions. This paper provides backgrounds on these functions and outlines the data constraints, organization, formats, and modes of access within the public domain.

  1. 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

  2. NASA's Space Lidar Measurements of Earth and Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.

    2010-01-01

    A lidar instrument on a spacecraft was first used to measure planetary surface height and topography on the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon in 1971, The lidar was based around a flashlamp-pumped ruby laser, and the Apollo 15-17 missions used them to make a few thousand measurements of lunar surface height from orbit. With the advent of diode pumped lasers in the late 1980s, the lifetime, efficiency, resolution and mass of lasers and space lidar all improved dramatically. These advances were utilized in NASA space missions to map the shape and surface topography of Mars with > 600 million measurements, demonstrate initial space measurements of the Earth's topography, and measured the detailed shape of asteroid. NASA's ICESat mission in Earth orbit just completed its polar ice measurement mission with almost 2 billion measurements of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, and demonstrated measurements to Antarctica and Greenland with a height resolution of a few em. Space missions presently in cruise phase and in operation include those to Mercury and a topographic mapping mission of the Moon. Orbital lidar also have been used in experiments to demonstrate laser ranging over planetary distances, including laser pulse transmission from Earth to Mars orbit. Based on the demonstrated value of the measurements, lidar is now the preferred measurement approach for many new scientific space missions. Some missions planned by NASA include a planetary mission to measure the shape and dynamics of Europa, and several Earth orbiting missions to continue monitoring ice sheet heights, measure vegetation heights, assess atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and to map the Earth surface topographic heights with 5 m spatial resolution. This presentation will give an overview of history, ongoing work, and plans for using space lidar for measurements of the surfaces of the Earth and planets.

  3. SIM PlanetQuest: Science with the Space Interferometry Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unwin, Stephen (Editor); Turyshev, Slava (Editor)

    2004-01-01

    SIM - the Space Interferometry Mission - will perform precision optical astrometry on objects as faint as R magnitude 20. It will be the first space-based astrometric interferometer, operating in the optical band with a 10-m baseline. The Project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, in close collaboration with two industry partners, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, and TRW Inc., Space and Electronics Group. Launch of SIM is currently planned for 2009. In its wide-angle astrometric mode, SIM will yield 4 microarcsecond absolute position and parallax measurements. Astrometric planet searches will be done in a narrow-angle mode, with an accuracy of 4 microarcseconds or better in a single measurement. As a pointed rather than a survey instrument, SIM will maintain.its astrometric accuracy down to the faintest, magnitudes, opening up the opportunity for astrometry of active galactic nuclei to better than 10 pas. SIM will define a new astrometric reference frame, using a grid of approximately 1500 stars with positions accurate to 4 microarcseconds. The SIM Science Team comprises the Principal Investigators of ten Key Projects, and five Mission Scientists contributing their expertise to specific areas of the mission. Their science programs cover a wide range of topics in Galactic and extragalactic astronomy. They include: searches for low-mass planets - including analogs to our own solar system - tlie formation and dynamics of our Galaxy, calibration of the cosmic distance scale, and fundamental stellar astrophysics. All of the science observing on SIM is competitively awarded; the Science Team programs total about 40% of the total available, and the remainder will be assigned via future NASA competitions. This report is a compilation of science summaries by members of the Science Team, and it illustrates the wealth of scientific problems that microarcsecond-precision astrometry can contribute to. More information on SIM

  4. When Earth Songs Filled the Void of Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallagher, Dennis L.

    2003-01-01

    Before the late 50's we had the planets, our Sun, the stars, galaxies, spectacular clouds of dust and very little else in our universe. There was evidence for a highly tenuous "sea" of dust in interstellar space, but little else. Space was empty above the ionized gases of our upper atmosphere, a little like there was no color in the world before the 40's. The clues were there to think otherwise, however, and in the late 50's and early 60's a few researchers dared to challenge the conventional ideas about space. It was a time of discovery and, with our new ability to fly in space, a time that launched a new science. Today that science makes it possible to literally see some of the plasmas that populate near-Earth space, which are now known to exist everywhere.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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?

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. CHARACTERIZING THE ATMOSPHERES OF TRANSITING PLANETS WITH A DEDICATED SPACE TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

    Tessenyi, M.; Tinetti, G.; Swinyard, B.

    436b, GJ 1214b, and Cancri 55 e) and simulations of plausible terrestrial and gaseous planets, with a variety of thermodynamical conditions. We conclude that even most challenging targets, such as super-Earths in the habitable zone of late-type stars, are within reach of an M-class, space-based spectroscopy mission.« less

  8. 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/.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Space and Earth Science Data Compression Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tilton, James C. (Editor)

    1991-01-01

    The workshop explored opportunities for data compression to enhance the collection and analysis of space and Earth science data. The focus was on scientists' data requirements, as well as constraints imposed by the data collection, transmission, distribution, and archival systems. The workshop consisted of several invited papers; two described information systems for space and Earth science data, four depicted analysis scenarios for extracting information of scientific interest from data collected by Earth orbiting and deep space platforms, and a final one was a general tutorial on image data compression.

  12. Space Science in Action: Planets and the Solar System [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    This videotape recording teaches students about the key characteristics of each planet, the differences between inner and outer planets, and which planets have their own moons. Students look at how remote-control rovers are designed to explore other surfaces in the solar system. A hands-on activity demonstrates how gravity keeps all the members of…

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Earth Orbital Science, Space in the Seventies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corliss, William R.

    This publication is part of the "Space in the Seventies" series and reviews the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) earth orbital scientific research programs in progress and those to be pursued in the coming decade. Research in space physics is described in Part One in these areas: interplanetary monitoring platforms, small…

  16. A Unique Perspective from Space on our Planet: Science, Technologies and Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Habib, Shaid

    2006-01-01

    The study of Planet earth is a very complex problem. It has many non-linear and chaotic systems operating in parallel and have interdependencies. In reality, these systems/phenomena s are not well understood or mathematically modeled because of our lack of knowledge of such intricate processes. However, in order to further the subject of Earth as an integrated system, space provides excellent vantage points to look at these processes in multidimensional framework. For example, we can make strives to understand the global water cycle, carbon cycle, atmospheric chemistry, biomass changes, oceans and solid Earth variations by making multitude of global measurements such as soil moisture, precipitation, tropospheric and stratospheric gases, aerosols, tropospheric winds, ocean salinity, ocean color, vegetation cover, crustal dynamics and many more. Such suites of measurements derive the coupled models so we may predict the changes due to natural and anthropogenic forcing. NASA along with other international space agencies have made tremendous investments in recent years in developing and flying remote sensing space borne sensors to enable these measurements. These science measurements and products are further used to address pressing issues such as coastal zone erosion, air quality, severe weather, water availability and quality, public health, fires, earthquakes, land slides and others for societal benefits. This presentation provides a comprehensive overview of NASA s science investigations, related technologies and satellites/sensors and applications.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  18. 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.

  19. The California-Kepler Survey. V. Peas in a Pod: Planets in a Kepler Multi-planet System Are Similar in Size and Regularly Spaced

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, Lauren M.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Petigura, Erik A.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Howard, Andrew W.; Winn, Joshua N.; Isaacson, Howard T.; Morton, Timothy D.; Hirsch, Lea A.; Sinukoff, Evan J.; Cumming, Andrew; Hebb, Leslie; Cargile, Phillip A.

    2018-01-01

    We have established precise planet radii, semimajor axes, incident stellar fluxes, and stellar masses for 909 planets in 355 multi-planet systems discovered by Kepler. In this sample, we find that planets within a single multi-planet system have correlated sizes: each planet is more likely to be the size of its neighbor than a size drawn at random from the distribution of observed planet sizes. In systems with three or more planets, the planets tend to have a regular spacing: the orbital period ratios of adjacent pairs of planets are correlated. Furthermore, the orbital period ratios are smaller in systems with smaller planets, suggesting that the patterns in planet sizes and spacing are linked through formation and/or subsequent orbital dynamics. Yet, we find that essentially no planets have orbital period ratios smaller than 1.2, regardless of planet size. Using empirical mass–radius relationships, we estimate the mutual Hill separations of planet pairs. We find that 93% of the planet pairs are at least 10 mutual Hill radii apart, and that a spacing of ∼20 mutual Hill radii is most common. We also find that when comparing planet sizes, the outer planet is larger in 65% ± 0.4% of cases, and the typical ratio of the outer to inner planet size is positively correlated with the temperature difference between the planets. This could be the result of photo-evaporation. Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. Keck time has been granted by the University of California, and California Institute of Technology, and the University of Hawaii.

  20. 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

  1. Studying the Earth from space

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1977-01-01

    Pictures of the Earth's surface obtained from satellites are providing scientists with new tools to investigate the Earth and its environment. At the same time, a growing population and an ever-expanding technology place unprecedented demands on natural resources. Man can no longer treat his resources strictly according to immediate economic dictates; a balance must be struck between the short-term demands of technological and industrial development and the long-term effects on the environment. Intelligent development, management, and conservation of resources are goals that represent a challenge in the acquisition and use of information.

  2. Studying the Earth from space

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1974-01-01

    Pictures of the Earth's surface obtained from satellites are providing scientists with new tools to investigate tne Earth and its environment. A growing population and an everexpanding technology place demands on our natural resources. However, man can no longer treat his resources strictly according to immediate economic dictates; a balance must be struck between the short-term demands of technological and industrial development and the long-term effects on the environment. Intelligent development, management, and conservation of resources are goals that represent an unprecedented challenge in the acquisition and use of information.

  3. The Near-Earth Space Radiation Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xapsos, Michael

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the effects of the Near-Earth space radiation environment on NASA missions. Included in this presentation is a review of The Earth s Trapped Radiation Environment, Solar Particle Events, Galactic Cosmic Rays and Comparison to Accelerator Facilities.

  4. Near-Earth Space Radiation Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xapsos, Michael A.; O'Neill, Patrick M.; O'Brien, T. Paul

    2012-01-01

    Review of models of the near-Earth space radiation environment is presented, including recent developments in trapped proton and electron, galactic cosmic ray and solar particle event models geared toward spacecraft electronics applications.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodorani, M.

    2002-10-01

    The main strategies of the present SETV (Search for Extraterrestrial Visitation) Project, one specific branch of the more general SETI project, are widely described and discussed, after showing the restrictions of the standard SETI procedures, such as the well-known Microwave Observing Project. An historical description of the first steps and scientific foundations of the SETV research is presented in detail, in particular: a) the first SETA (Search for Extraterrestrial Artifacts) theoretical studies and observational attempts that started at the end of the years -70; b) the theoretical concept of "interstellar migration" and the "diffusion equations" that, during the same years, were derived from a bio-astronomical application of stellar statistics and stellar evolution. Subsequently the main tasks and goals of the SETV project are introduced as they are conceived at the present time: the scientific search for robotic and/or inhabited probes that might be present both in the Solar System and on Earth. The possible reasons of interstellar migrations are discussed, together with propulsion systems that, according to most recent physics theories, might be employed to permit interstellar travel. A technical description of the necessary observational sensing devices of astrophysical kind, which are strategically and tactically intended to be employed to verify some theoretical predictions both in some critical areas of the Solar System and on Earth, is described. Concerning the possibility that space devices originated from exogenous intelligence too can visit Earth, the attention is drawn to some unknown aspects of still unexplained atmospheric anomalies. It is shown how a rigorous study of such anomalies can permit an important advancement in fundamental physics, which could come both from the understanding of the physical mechanism with which some (poorly understood so far) natural phenomena occur, and from the understanding of some exotic propulsion systems if they

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Sporulation: how to survive on planet Earth (and beyond).

    PubMed

    Huang, Mingwei; Hull, Christina M

    2017-10-01

    Sporulation is a strategy widely utilized by a wide variety of organisms to adapt to changes in their individual environmental niches and survive in time and/or space until they encounter conditions acceptable for vegetative growth. The spores produced by bacteria have been the subjects of extensive studies, and several systems such as Bacillus subtilis have provided ample opportunities to understand the molecular basis of spore biogenesis and germination. In contrast, the spores of other microbes, such as fungi, are relatively poorly understood. Studies of sporulation in model systems such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Aspergillus nidulans have established a basis for investigating eukaryotic spores, but very little is known at the molecular level about how spores function. This is especially true among the spores of human fungal pathogens such as the most common cause of fatal fungal disease, Cryptococcus neoformans. Recent proteomic studies are helping to determine the molecular mechanisms by which pathogenic fungal spores are formed, persist and germinate into actively growing agents of human disease.

  12. Four dimensional studies in earth space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mather, R. S.

    1972-01-01

    A system of reference which is directly related to observations, is proposed for four-dimensional studies in earth space. Global control network and polar wandering are defined. The determination of variations in the earth's gravitational field with time also forms part of such a system. Techniques are outlined for the unique definition of the motion of the geocenter, and the changes in the location of the axis of rotation of an instantaneous earth model, in relation to values at some epoch of reference. The instantaneous system referred to is directly related to a fundamental equation in geodynamics. The reference system defined would provide an unambiguous frame for long period studies in earth space, provided the scale of the space were specified.

  13. 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.

  14. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Finds Dead Stars 'Polluted with Planet Debris'

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    This is an artist’s impression of a white dwarf (burned-out) star accreting rocky debris left behind by the star’s surviving planetary system. It was observed by Hubble in the Hyades star cluster. At lower right, an asteroid can be seen falling toward a Saturn-like disk of dust that is encircling the dead star. Infalling asteroids pollute the white dwarf’s atmosphere with silicon. Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI) --- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found the building blocks for Earth-sized planets in an unlikely place-- the atmospheres of a pair of burned-out stars called white dwarfs. These dead stars are located 150 light-years from Earth in a relatively young star cluster, Hyades, in the constellation Taurus. The star cluster is only 625 million years old. The white dwarfs are being polluted by asteroid-like debris falling onto them. NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  15. MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    MESSENGER is a scientific mission to Mercury. Understanding this extraordinary planet and the forces that have shaped it is fundamental to understanding the processes that have governed the formation, evolution, and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury for one Earth year after completing two flybys of that planet following two flybys of Venus. The necessary flybys return significant new data early in the mission, while the orbital phase, guided by the flyby data, enables a focused scientific investigation of this least-studied terrestrial planet. Answers to key questions about Mercury's high density, crustal composition and structure, volcanic history, core structure, magnetic field generation, polar deposits, exosphere, overall volatile inventory, and magnetosphere are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments. Our goal is to gain new insight into the formation and evolution of the solar system, including Earth. By traveling to the inner edge of the solar system and exploring a poorly known world, MESSENGER fulfills this quest.

  16. 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.

  17. Terrestrial Planet Space Weather Information: An Update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Li, Y.; Lee, C.; Mays, M. L.; Odstrcil, D.; Jian, L.; Galvin, A. B.; Mewaldt, R. A.; von Rosenvinge, T. T.; Russell, C. T.; Halekas, J. S.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Jakosky, B. M.; Thompson, W. T.; Baker, D. N.; Dewey, R. M.; Zheng, Y.; Holmstrom, M.; Futaana, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Space weather research is now a solar system-wide enterprise. While with the end of the Venus Express Express mission and MESSENGER, we lost our 'inside' sentinels, new missions such as Solar Orbiter and SPP, and Bepi-Colombo will soon be launched and operating. In the meantime the combination of L1 resources (ACE,WIND,SOHO) and STEREO-A at 1 AU, and Mars Express and MAVEN missions at ~1.5 AU, provide opportunities. Comparative conditions at the Earth orbit and Mars orbit locations are of special interest because they are separated by the region where most solar wind stream interaction regions develop. These alter the propagation of disturbances including the interplanetary CME-driven shocks that make the space radiation affecting future Human mission planning. We share some observational and modeling results thatillustrate present capabilities, as well as developing ones such as ENLIL-based SEP event models that use a range of available observations.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Looking at Earth from space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This vendor equipment list was developed with NASA funding by the Dallas Remote Imaging Group (DRIG) and the Maryland Pilot Earth Science and Technology Education Network (MAPS-NET) project as a reference guide to low-cost ground station equipment for direct readout, the capability to acquire information directly from environmental satellites. Products were tested with the following standards in mind: ease of use; user friendliness and completeness of manual and instructions; total system cost for computer, geostationary operational environmental satellites (GOES), and automatic picture transmission (APT) capability under $4000; and vendor stability in the industry.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. Native iron in the Earth and space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pechersky, D. M.; Kuzina, D. M.; Markov, G. P.; Tsel'movich, V. A.

    2017-09-01

    Thermomagnetic and microprobe studies of native iron in the terrestrial upper-mantle hyperbasites (xenoliths in basalts), Siberian traps, and oceanic basalts are carried out. The results are compared to the previous data on native iron in sediments and meteorites. It is established that in terms of the composition and grain size and shape, the particles of native iron in the terrestrial rocks are close to each other and to the extraterrestrial iron particles from sediments and meteorites. This suggests that the sources of the origin of these particles were similar; i.e., the formation conditions in the Earth were close to the conditions in the meteorites' parent bodies. This similarity is likely to be due to the homogeneity of the gas and dust cloud at the early stage of the solar system. The predominance of pure native iron in the sediments can probably be accounted for by the fact that interstellar dust is mostly contributed by the upper-mantle material of the planets, whereas the lower-mantle and core material falls on the Earth mainly in the form of meteorites. A model describing the structure of the planets in the solar system from the standpoint of the distribution of native iron and FeNi alloys is proposed.

  6. Earth Observation from Space: Competition or Cooperation?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-04-01

    or remote sensing from space (2). Earth observations or remote sensing includes all forms of observation by sensors borne by a space object including...3). The capabilities of remote sensing are as varied as the sensors that are built and put in orbit, but =- • I •1 capabilities fall into two...adversary or ally. For example, the ability of one nation to observe and study another through space-borne sensors permits strategic assessment of a

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  14. Resource Handbook--Space Beyond the Earth. A Supplement to Basic Curriculum Guide--Science, Grades K-6.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Starr, John W., 3rd., Ed.

    GRADES OR AGES: Grades K-6. SUBJECT MATTER: Science; space. ORGANIZATION AND PHYSICAL APPEARANCE: The guide is divided into four units: 1) the sun, earth, and moon; 2) stars and planets; 3) exploring space; 4) man's existence in space. Each unit includes initiatory and developmental activities. There are also sections on evaluation, vocabulary,…

  15. Catalogs of Space Shuttle earth observations photography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lulla, Kamlesh; Helfert, Michael

    1990-01-01

    A review is presented of postflight cataloging and indexing activities of mission data obtained from Space Shuttle earth observations photography. Each Space Shuttle mission acquires 1300-4400 photographs of the earth that are reviewed and interpreted by a team of photointerpreters and cataloging specialists. Every photograph's manual and electronic set of plots is compared for accuracy of its locational coordinates. This cataloging activity is a critical and principal part of postflight activity and ensures that the database is accurate, updated and consequently made meaningful for further utilization in the applications and research communities. A final product in the form of a Catalog of Space Shuttle Earth Observations Handheld Photography is published for users of this database.

  16. Solar Power Beaming: From Space to Earth

    SciTech Connect

    Rubenchik, A M; Parker, J M; Beach, R J

    Harvesting solar energy in space and power beaming the collected energy to a receiver station on Earth is a very attractive way to help solve mankind's current energy and environmental problems. However, the colossal and expensive 'first step' required in achieving this goal has to-date stifled its initiation. In this paper, we will demonstrate that recent advance advances in laser and optical technology now make it possible to deploy a space-based system capable of delivering 1 MW of energy to a terrestrial receiver station, via a single unmanned commercial launch into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Figure 1 depicts the overallmore » concept of our solar power beaming system, showing a large solar collector in space, beaming a coherent laser beam to a receiving station on Earth. We will describe all major subsystems and provide technical and economic discussion to support our conclusions.« less

  17. Looking at Earth from space. Glossary of terms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This glossary is one of a series of NASA publications designed to familiarize educators with global change issues and Mission to Planet Earth. The series enables teachers to enhance classroom studies with hands-on activities, including satellite images. Concepts and terms related to the global environment and the impact of human activities on the planet are presented.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Space Science for Children: All about the Earth [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    This 23-minute videotape gives children (grades K-4) a close-up look at what makes the third planet from the sun so special. The answers to the following questions are discussed: (1) Why is there life on Earth? (2) What is our planet made of? and (3) How does the Earth fit into the rest of the universe? A hands-on activity that describes how to…

  1. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  3. A probabilistic approach towards understanding how planet composition affects plate tectonics - through time and space.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamenkovic, V.

    2017-12-01

    We focus on the connections between plate tectonics and planet composition — by studying how plate yielding is affected by surface and mantle water, and by variable amounts of Fe, SiC, or radiogenic heat sources within the planet interior. We especially explore whether we can make any robust conclusions if we account for variable initial conditions, current uncertainties in model parameters and the pressure dependence of the viscosity, as well as uncertainties on how a variable composition affects mantle rheology, melting temperatures, and thermal conductivities. We use a 1D thermal evolution model to explore with more than 200,000 simulations the robustness of our results and use our previous results from 3D calculations to help determine the most likely scenario within the uncertainties we still face today. The results that are robust in spite of all uncertainties are that iron-rich mantle rock seems to reduce the efficiency of plate yielding occurring on silicate planets like the Earth if those planets formed along or above mantle solidus and that carbon planets do not seem to be ideal candidates for plate tectonics because of slower creep rates and generally higher thermal conductivities for SiC. All other conclusions depend on not yet sufficiently constrained parameters. For the most likely case based on our current understanding, we find that, within our range of varied planet conditions (1-10 Earth masses), planets with the greatest efficiency of plate yielding are silicate rocky planets of 1 Earth mass with large metallic cores (average density 5500-7000 kg m-3) with minimal mantle concentrations of iron (as little as 0% is preferred) and radiogenic isotopes at formation (up to 10 times less than Earth's initial abundance; less heat sources do not mean no heat sources). Based on current planet formation scenarios and observations of stellar abundances across the Galaxy as well as models of the evolution of the interstellar medium, such planets are

  4. A space necklace about the earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polyakov, G.

    1977-01-01

    A space elevator is forecasted for the first quarter of the 21st century, that will consist of a cable attached at the earth's equator, suspended in space by an artificial satellite in geosynchronous orbit. It is stated that such a transport system will supplement rockets as the railway supplements aircraft. Specific aspects of the system are examined, including provisions for artificial gravity, the development special composite construction materials exhibiting high strength and low mass, and spacecraft launching from the elevator.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  6. 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.

  7. EROS: A space program for Earth resources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Metz, G.G.; Wiepking, P.J.

    1980-01-01

    Within the technology of the space age lies a key to increased knowledge about the resources and environment of the Earth. This key is remote sensing detecting the nature of an object without actually touching it. Although the photographic camera is the most familiar remote-sensing device, other instrument systems, such as scanning radiometers and radar, also can produce photographs and images. On the basis of the potential of this technology, and in response to the critical need for greater knowledge of the Earth and its resources, the Department of the Interior established the Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Program to gather and use remotely sensed data collected by satellite and aircraft of natural and manmade features on the Earth's surface.

  8. How to Study the Earth From Space.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyer, Robert E.

    This booklet is one in a series of instructional aids designed for use by elementary and secondary school science teachers. It reviews how the various forms of remote sensing can provide invaluable knowledge about the earth as the need for environmental information continues to increase. Remote sensing involves space photography, infrared imagery,…

  9. Immersive Earth: Teaching Earth and Space with inexpensive immersive technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiff, P. H.; Sumners, C.; Law, C. C.; Handron, K.

    2003-12-01

    In 1995 we pioneered "Space Update", the Digital Library for the rest of us", software that was so simple that a child could use it without a keyboard and yet would allow one-click updating of the daily earth and space science images without the dangers of having an open web browser on display. Thanks to NASA support, it allowed museums and schools to have a powerful exhibit for a tiny price. Over 40,000 disks in our series have been distributed so far to educators and the public. In 2003, with our partners we are again revolutionizing educational technology with a low-cost hardware and software solution to creating and displaying immersive content. Recently selected for funding as part of the REASoN competition, Immersive Earth is a partnership of scientists, museums, educators, and content providers. The hardware consists of a modest projector with a special fisheye lens to be used in an inflatable dome which many schools already have. This, coupled with a modest personal computer, can now easily project images and movies of earth and space, allows training students in 3-D content at a tiny fraction of the cost of a cave or fullscale dome theater. Another low-cost solution is the "Imove" system, where spherical movies can play on a personal computer, with the user changing the viewing direction with a joystick. We were the first to create immersive earth science shows, remain the leader in creating educational content that people want to see. We encourage people with "allsky" images or movies to bring it and see what it looks like inside a dome! Your content could be in our next show!

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Watching the Blue Planet from Space over Recent Decades: What's up for Science and Society?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindstrom, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    Since the first photographs of “Earth Rise” taken by the Apollo astronauts in the 1960s galvanized the environmental movement, imaging of our planet from low Earth orbit has grown more sophisticated and diverse. Satellite and astronaut observations and imagery of the changing ocean still have the power to galvanize oceanographers and society. So what are some of the key ideas for oceanography and society that come out of out recent decades of ocean observation from space? Satellite oceanography has made fundamental contributions to our understanding and estimation of changing sea level, winds and storminess over the oceans, primary productivity of the seas, the role of the ocean in the water cycle, and the changes in the ocean known as ocean acidification. Some of these phenomena interact in complex ways and Mother Nature hides the future well. However, some things are clear. Sea level rise has been monitored from space for more than 20 years and now we have a more nuanced understanding of regional variation in sea level rise and the contributions of ocean thermal expansion and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. Wind vectors at the ocean surface have been measured for more than 2 decades and provide evidence for shifts in wind patterns that help, for example, explain some of the regional variations in sea level rise. Chlorophyll-a has been estimated in a multi-decadal record of observations and is being used to describe the shifts and trends in ocean primary productivity. Sea surface temperature estimation from space has records going back to the 1970s and provides critical information for the interaction of the ocean with the atmosphere. Sea surface salinity has been measured from space only within the last decade and provides a novel new view of regional, seasonal, and inter-annual changes in the ocean related to precipitation, river run-off, and eddy transport. Potential changes in the Earth’s water cycle have a huge societal impact.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Outer planet probe navigation. [considering Pioneer space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedman, L.

    1974-01-01

    A series of navigation studies in conjunction with outer planet Pioneer missions are reformed to determine navigation requirements and measurement systems in order to target probes. Some particular cases are established where optical navigation is important and some cases where radio alone navigation is suffucient. Considered are a direct Saturn mission, a Saturn Uranus mission, a Jupiter Uranus mission, and a Titan probe mission.

  1. Space Science for Children: All about the Planets [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    This 23-minute videotape takes children, grades K-4, on a tour of the nine planets of our solar system and explains vital statistics and interesting facts about each. Key terms such as rotation, revolution, and orbit, are explained. A hands-on activity that can be used to demonstrate how Saturn's moons actually create its beautiful rings is also…

  2. Looking at Earth from Space: Teacher's Guide with Activities for Earth and Space Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.

    The Maryland Pilot Earth Science and Technology Education Network (MAPS-NET) project was sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to enrich teacher preparation and classroom learning in the area of Earth system science. This publication includes a teacher's guide that replicates material taught during a graduate-level…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  10. A novel space ocular syndrome is driving technology advances on and off the planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donoviel, Dorit B.; Zimmer, Cheryl N.; Clayton, Richard

    2017-05-01

    Astronauts are experiencing ophthalmological changes including optic disc edema, globe flattening, choroidal folds, and significant hyperopic shifts. In a handful of cases in which it was measured, intracranial pressure as measured by lumbar punctures was elevated post-flight. The severity of symptoms is highly variable and the underlying etiology is unknown, but a spaceflight associated cephalad-fluid shift is thought to play a role. NASA requires portable, non-invasive, clinically-validated approaches to assessing the ocular and the cerebral physiological, anatomical, and functional changes. Multispectral Imaging (MSI) that enables instruments installed on satellites in space to observe Earth was applied in an ophthalmic medical device that is clinically being used on Earth and now being evaluated for use on humans in space. The Annidis RHA™ (Ottawa, Canada) uses narrow band light emitting diodes (LEDs) to create discrete slices of anatomical structures of the posterior pole of the eye. The LEDs cover a frequency range from 520 to 940 nm, which allow for specific visualization of the different features of the posterior segment of the eye including retina, choroid and optic nerve head. Interestingly, infrared illumination at 940 nm reflects from the posterior sclera, retro-illuminating the choroidal vasculature without the need for invasive contrast agents. Abnormalities in retinal, choroidal or cerebral venous drainage and/or arterial flow may contribute to the microgravity ocular syndrome (MOS) in astronauts; hence this space technology may prove to be invaluable for diagnosing not only the health of our planet but also of the humans living on it and above it.

  11. Space technology for directly imaging and characterizing exo-Earths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crill, Brendan P.; Siegler, Nicholas

    2017-09-01

    The detection of Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zone of their stars, and their spectroscopic characterization in a search for biosignatures, requires starlight suppression that exceeds the current best ground-based performance by orders of magnitude. The required planet/star brightness ratio of order 10-10 at visible wavelengths can be obtained by blocking stellar photons with an occulter, either externally (a starshade) or internally (a coronagraph) to the telescope system, and managing diffracted starlight, so as to directly image the exoplanet in reflected starlight. Coronagraph instruments require advancement in telescope aperture (either monolithic or segmented), aperture obscurations (obscured by secondary mirror and its support struts), and wavefront error sensitivity (e.g. line-of-sight jitter, telescope vibration, polarization). The starshade, which has never been used in a science application, benefits a mission by being decoupled from the telescope, allowing a loosening of telescope stability requirements. In doing so, it transfers the difficult technology from the telescope system to a large deployable structure (tens of meters to greater than 100 m in diameter) that must be positioned precisely at a distance of tens of thousands of kilometers from the telescope. We describe in this paper a roadmap to achieving the technological capability to search for biosignatures on an Earth-like exoplanet from a future space telescope. Two of these studies, HabEx and LUVOIR, include the direct imaging of Earth-sized habitable exoplanets as a central science theme.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Space-to-earth power transmission system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevens, G. H.; Schuh, R.

    1976-01-01

    A preliminary analysis was conducted to establish the requirements of a space-to-earth microwave power transmission system. The need for accurate phase control on the transmitter was established and methods for assessing the impact of power density and thermal constraints on system performance were demonstrated. Potential radio frequency interference was considered. The sensitivity of transmission system scale to variations in power source, transportation and orbital fabrication and assembly costs was also determined.

  17. Depolarization on Earth-space paths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Sources of depolarization effects on the propagation paths of orthogonally-polarized information channels are considered. The main sources of depolarization at millimeter wave frequencies are hydrometeor absorption and scattering in the troposphere. Terms are defined. Mathematical formulations for the effects of the propagation medium characteristics and antenna performance on signals in dual polarization Earth-space links are presented. Techniques for modeling rain and ice depolarization are discussed.

  18. Earth benefits from space life sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garshnek, V.; Nicogossian, A. E.; Griffiths, L.

    1990-01-01

    Contributions of space exploration which are widely recognized are those dealing with the impact of space technology on public health and medical services in both urban and remote rural areas. Telecommunications, image enhancement, 3-dimensional image reconstructions, miniaturization, automation, and data analysis, have transformed the delivery of medical care and have brought about a new impetus to the field of biomedicine. Many areas of medical care and biological research have been affected. These include technological breakthroughs in such areas as: (1) diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, (2) new approaches to the understanding of osteoporosis, (3) early detection of genetic birth defects, (4) emergency medical care, and (5) treatment of chronic metabolic disorders. These are but a few examples where technology originally developed to support space medicine or space research has been applied to solving medical and health care delivery problems on Earth.

  19. Bringing Space Weather Down to Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiff, P. H.; Sumners, C.

    2005-05-01

    Most of the public has no idea what Space Weather is, but a number of innovative programs, web sites, magazine articles, TV shows and planetarium shows have taken space weather from an unknown quantity to a much more visible field. This paper reviews new developments, including the new Space Weather journal, the very popular spaceweather.com website, new immersive planetarium shows that can go "on the road", and well-publicized Sun-Earth Day activities. Real-time data and reasonably accurate spaceweather forecasts are available from several websites, with many subscribers. Even the renaissance of amateur radio because of Homeland Security brings a new generation of learners to wonder what is going on in the Sun today. The NSF Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling has a dedicated team to reach both the public and a greater diversity of new scientists.

  20. Wisconsin Earth and Space Science Education

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bilbrough, Larry (Technical Monitor); French, George

    2003-01-01

    The Wisconsin Earth and Space Science Education project successfilly met its objectives of creating a comprehensive online portfolio of science education curricular resources and providing a professional development program to increase educator competency with Earth and Space science content and teaching pedagogy. Overall, 97% of participants stated that their experience was either good or excellent. The favorable response of participant reactions to the professional development opportunities highlights the high quality of the professional development opportunity. The enthusiasm generated for using the curricular material in classroom settings was overwhelmingly positive at 92%. This enthusiasm carried over into actual classroom implementation of resources from the curricular portfolio, with 90% using the resources between 1-6 times during the school year. The project has had a positive impact on student learning in Wisconsin. Although direct measurement of student performance is not possible in a project of this kind, nearly 75% of participating teachers stated that they saw an increase in student performance in math and science as a result of using project resources. Additionally, nearly 75% of participants saw an increase in the enthusiasm of students towards math and science. Finally, some evidence exists that the professional development academies and curricular portfolio have been effective in changing educator behavior. More than half of all participants indicated that they have used more hands-on activities as a result of the Wisconsin Earth and Space Science Education project.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. New Center Links Earth, Space, and Information Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aswathanarayana, U.

    2004-05-01

    Broad-based geoscience instruction melding the Earth, space, and information technology sciences has been identified as an effective way to take advantage of the new jobs created by technological innovations in natural resources management. Based on this paradigm, the University of Hyderabad in India is developing a Centre of Earth and Space Sciences that will be linked to the university's super-computing facility. The proposed center will provide the basic science underpinnings for the Earth, space, and information technology sciences; develop new methodologies for the utilization of natural resources such as water, soils, sediments, minerals, and biota; mitigate the adverse consequences of natural hazards; and design innovative ways of incorporating scientific information into the legislative and administrative processes. For these reasons, the ethos and the innovatively designed management structure of the center would be of particular relevance to the developing countries. India holds 17% of the world's human population, and 30% of its farm animals, but only about 2% of the planet's water resources. Water will hence constitute the core concern of the center, because ecologically sustainable, socially equitable, and economically viable management of water resources of the country holds the key to the quality of life (drinking water, sanitation, and health), food security, and industrial development of the country. The center will be focused on interdisciplinary basic and pure applied research that is relevant to the practical needs of India as a developing country. These include, for example, climate prediction, since India is heavily dependent on the monsoon system, and satellite remote sensing of soil moisture, since agriculture is still a principal source of livelihood in India. The center will perform research and development in areas such as data assimilation and validation, and identification of new sensors to be mounted on the Indian meteorological

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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).

  8. Library of Giant Planet Reflection Spectra for WFirst and Future Space Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Adam J. R. W.; Fortney, Jonathan; Morley, Caroline; Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.

    2018-01-01

    Future large space space telescopes will be able to directly image exoplanets in optical light. The optical light of a resolved planet is due to stellar flux reflected by Rayleigh scattering or cloud scattering, with absorption features imprinted due to molecular bands in the planetary atmosphere. To aid in the design of such missions, and to better understand a wide range of giant planet atmospheres, we have built a library of model giant planet reflection spectra, for the purpose of determining effective methods of spectral analysis as well as for comparison with actual imaged objects. This library covers a wide range of parameters: objects are modeled at ten orbital distances between 0.5 AU and 5.0 AU, which ranges from planets too warm for water clouds, out to those that are true Jupiter analogs. These calculations include six metalicities between solar and 100x solar, with a variety of different cloud thickness parameters, and across all possible phase angles.

  9. International Space Station Earth Observations Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stefanov, William L.; Oikawa, Koki

    2015-01-01

    The multilateral Earth Observations Working Group (EOWG) was chartered in May 2012 in order to improve coordination and collaboration of Earth observing payloads, research, and applications on the International Space Station (ISS). The EOWG derives its authority from the ISS Program Science Forum, and a NASA representative serves as a permanent co-chair. A rotating co-chair position can be occupied by any of the international partners, following concurrence by the other partners; a JAXA representative is the current co-chair. Primary functions of the EOWG include, 1) the exchange of information on plans for payloads, from science and application objectives to instrument development, data collection, distribution and research; 2) recognition and facilitation of opportunities for international collaboration in order to optimize benefits from different instruments; and 3) provide a formal ISS Program interface for collection and application of remotely sensed data collected in response to natural disasters through the International Charter, Space and Major Disasters. Recent examples of EOWG activities include coordination of bilateral data sharing protocols between NASA and TsNIIMash for use of crew time and instruments in support of ATV5 reentry imaging activities; discussion of continued use and support of the Nightpod camera mount system by NASA and ESA; and review and revision of international partner contributions on Earth observations to the ISS Program Benefits to Humanity publication.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  11. 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

  12. Iceball Planet Artist's Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Millimetron and Earth-Space VLBI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Likhachev, S.

    2014-01-01

    The main scientific goal of the Millimetron mission operating in Space VLBI (SVLBI) mode will be the exploration of compact radio sources with extremely high angular resolution (better than one microsecond of arc). The space-ground interferometer Millimetron has an orbit around L2 point of the Earth - Sun system and allows operating with baselines up to a hundred Earth diameters. SVLBI observations will be accomplished by space and ground-based radio telescopes simultaneously. At the space telescope the received baseband signal is digitized and then transferred to the onboard memory storage (up to 100TB). The scientific and service data transfer to the ground tracking station is performed by means of both synchronization and communication radio links (1 GBps). Then the array of the scientific data is processed at the correlation center. Due to the (u,v) - plane coverage requirements for SVLBI imaging, it is necessary to propose observations at two different frequencies and two circular polarizations simultaneously with frequency switching. The total recording bandwidth (2x2x4 GHz) defines of the on-board memory size. The ground based support of the Millimetron mission in the VLBI-mode could be Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), Pico Valletta (Spain), Plateau de Bure interferometer (France), SMT telescope in the US (Arizona), LMT antenna (Mexico), SMA array, (Mauna Kea, USA), as well as the Green Bank and Effelsberg 100 m telescopes (for 22 GHz observations). We will present simulation results for Millimetron-ALMA interferometer. The sensitivity estimate of the space-ground interferometer will be compared to the requirements of the scientific goals of the mission. The possibility of multi-frequency synthesis (MFS) to obtain high quality images will also be considered.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Dishwasher For Earth Or Outer Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tromble, Jon D.

    1991-01-01

    Dishwashing machine cleans eating utensils in either Earth gravity or zero gravity of outer space. Cycle consists of three phases: filling, washing, and draining. Rotation of tub creates artificial gravity aiding recirculation of water during washing phase in absence of true gravity. Centrifugal air/water separator helps system function in zero gravity. Self-cleaning filter contains interdigitating blades catching solid debris when water flows between them. Later, blades moved back and forth in scissor-like manner to dislodge debris, removed by backflow of water.

  1. Earth-Space Propagation Data Bases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Ernest K.

    1996-01-01

    This paper, designed for the newcomer rather than the expert, will take a rather broad view of what is meant by 'propagation data bases' in that it will take the term to mean both the actual measurements and models of Earth-space paths. The text will largely be drawn from International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) reports, now annexed to the Recommendations of the International Telecommunications Union-R Study Group 3, plus some experience with a course taught at the University of Colorado.

  2. Environmental Constraints in Earth-Space Propagaton.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-11-20

    medium. The earth-space refractivity may be written N(s) - (n-l) x 106 - Nt + NJ 77.6 [p(s) + 81O e (s) 1 - 4o.28 x o-6 Ne(s) () T(s) [" T(s) f- 2 where...T(s) is the aIr temperature (OK), p(s) is the atmospheric pressure (mb), e (s) is the partial vapor pressure (mb , f is the radiofrequency (MHz), Ne is...to Predict the Total Atmospheric Bending of Radiowaves at Small Angles", Proc. IRE 45, 145-6. BEAN B. R. and R. E . MCGAVIN, 1965, "A Review of

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. From Core to Solar Wind: Studying the Space Environment of Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, F.

    2004-05-01

    Space physics permeates studies of the planets - from the magnetic field generated in a planetary core, through the charged particle bombardment of surfaces, the heating, excitation and ionization of an atmosphere or corona, to the acceleration of ions and electrons trapped in a planet's magnetosphere. This presentation provides an introductory overview of the space environment of planetary objects - from giant planets to tiny comets. The talk highlights three cases that illustrate the range of issues and applications of planetary space physics. (1) How has the solar wind interaction with Mars' strong, patchy remnant magnetization affected the loss of water? (2) How does the activity of volcanoes on Io trigger dynamics of the vast magnetosphere of Jupiter? (3) How could measurements of particles and fields by the Galileo spacecraft as it flew past Ganymede and Europa tell us that former has a liquid iron core and the latter a layer of liquid water?

  8. Space Weather Storm Responses at Mars: Lessons from A Weakly Magnetized Terrestrial Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Dong, C. F.; Ma, Y. J.; Curry, S. M.; Li, Yan; Lee, C. O.; Hara, T.; Lillis, R.; Halekas, J.; Connerney, J. E.; Espley, J.; Brain, D. A.; Dong, Y.; Jakosky, B. M.; Thiemann, E.; Eparvier, F.; Leblanc, F.; Withers, P.; Russell, C. T.

    2017-10-01

    Much can be learned from terrestrial planets that appear to have had the potential to be habitable, but failed to realize that potential. Mars shows evidence of a once hospitable surface environment. The reasons for its current state, and in particular its thin atmosphere and dry surface, are of great interest for what they can tell us about habitable zone planet outcomes. A main goal of the MAVEN mission is to observe Mars' atmosphere responses to solar and space weather influences, and in particular atmosphere escape related to space weather `storms' caused by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). Numerical experiments with a data-validated MHD model suggest how the effects of an observed moderately strong ICME compare to what happens during a more extreme event. The results suggest the kinds of solar and space weather conditions that can have evolutionary importance at a planet like Mars.

  9. DSCOVR: A New Perspective for Earth Observations from Space. Synergism and Complementarity with Existing Platforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valero, F. P.

    2011-12-01

    The Sun-Earth Lagrange points L-1 and L-2 mark positions where the gravitational pull of the Earth and Sun precisely equals the centripetal force required to rotate with the Earth about the Sun with the same orbital period as the Earth. Therefore, a satellite maintained at one of these Lagrange points would keep the same relative position to the Sun and the Earth and be able to observe most points on the planet as the Earth rotates during the day. L-1 and L-2 are of particular interest because a satellite at either location can easily be maintained near the Sun-Earth line and views the entire daytime hemisphere from L-1 and the entire nighttime hemisphere from L-2. Since L-1 and L-2 are in the ecliptic plane, synoptic, high temporal-resolution observations would be obtained as every point on the planet, including both polar regions, transits from sunrise to sunset (L-1) or from sunset to sunrise (L-2). In summary, a pair of deep-space observatories, one at L-1 (daytime) and one at L-2 (nighttime), could acquire minute by minute climate quality data for essentially every point on Earth, all observations simultaneously for the whole planet. Such unique attributes are incorporated in the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) that will systematically observe climate drivers (radiation, aerosols, ozone, clouds, oxygen A-band) from L-1 in ways not possible but synergistically complementary with platforms in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) or Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). The combination of Solar Lagrange Points (located in the ecliptic plane) GEO (located in the equatorial plane) and LEO platforms would certainly provide a powerful observational tool as well as enriched data sets for Earth sciences. Such synergism is greatly enhanced when one considers the potential of utilizing LEO, GEO, and Lagrange point satellites as components of an integrated observational system. For example, satellites at L-1 and L-2 will view the Earth plus the Moon while simultaneously having in

  10. Nutrition in Space: Benefits on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Scott M.

    2006-01-01

    History has often proven the criticality for adequate nutrition to ensure expedition success. Space exploration will be no different, with the exception of the certainty that food will not be found along the journey. Ensuring the health and safety of astronauts is critical and nutrition will serve several functions to that end. Nutritional assessment of International Space Station (ISS) crewmembers not only serves to evaluate the nutritional health of individuals, but also allows a better understanding of how space flight affects nutritional requirements, and how nutrition can serve in mitigating the negative effects of weightlessness on the human. Available data suggest that the nutritional status of astronauts is compromised during and after flight. Inadequate dietary intake and subsequent weight loss are often considered hallmarks of space flight, although exceptions to this do exist, and provide hope. However, beyond energy intake, specific nutrient issues also exist. Several vitamins, including D and folate, are affected in space travelers. Hematological and antioxidant defense systems are impacted, with increased iron storage, and increased markers of oxidative damage. Bone loss during space flight remains a critical challenge. Ground-based studies have proven that nutrition is a potent modulator of the bone response to simulated weightlessness. Protein and sodium are two nutrients which tend to exacerbate bone resorption and loss, likely mediated through acid base balance. Defining nutrient requirements, and being able to provide and maintain those nutrients on exploration missions, will be critical for maintaining crew member health. Both flight and ground-based research provide a unique situation, one where healthy individuals are put in a unique and challenging environment. A full understanding of the role of nutrition during space flight will not only enhance crew health and safety during flight, but will also expand our understanding of the role of

  11. Space and Earth Observations from Stratospheric Balloons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterzen, Steven; Ubertini, Pietro; Masi, Silvia; Ibba, Roberto; Ivano, Musso; Cardillo, Andrea; Romeo, Giovanni; Dragøy, Petter; Spoto, Domenico

    Stratospheric balloons are rapidly becoming the vehicle of choice for near space investigations and earth observations by a variety of science disciplines. With the ever increasing research into climatic change, instruments suspended from stratospheric balloons offer the science team a unique, stable and reusable platform that can circle the Earth in the polar region or equatorial zone for thirty days or more. The Italian Space Agency (ASI) in collaboration with Andoya Rocket Range (Andenes, Norway) has opened access in the far northern latitudes above 78o N from Longyearbyen, Svalbard. In 2006 the first Italian UltraLite Long Duration Balloon was launched from Baia Terra Nova, Mario Zuchelli station in Antarctica and now ASI is setting up for the their first equatorial stratospheric launch from their satellite receiving station and rocket launch site in Malindi, Kenya. For the equatorial missions we have analysed the statistical properties of trajectories considering the biennal oscillation and the seasonal effects of the stratospheric winds. Maintaining these launch sites offer the science community 3 point world coverage for heavy lift balloons as well as the rapidly deployed Ultralight payloads and TM system ASI developed to use for test platforms, micro experiments, as well as a comprehensive student pilot program

  12. Pathways Towards Habitable Planets: Capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture (6.5 meter), cryogenic space telescope with a suite of near and mid-infrared instruments covering the wavelength range of 0.6 m to 28 m. JWST s primary science goal is to detect and characterize the first galaxies. It will also study the assembly of galaxies, star formation, and the formation of evolution of planetary systems. We also review the expected scientific performance of the observatory for observations of exosolar planets by means of transit photometry and spectroscopy, and direct coronagraphic imaging and address its role in the search for habitable planets.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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).

  17. A crisis in the NASA space and earth sciences programme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lanzerotti, Louis, J.; Rosendhal, Jeffrey D.; Black, David C.; Baker, D. James; Banks, Peter M.; Bretherton, Francis; Brown, Robert A.; Burke, Kevin C.; Burns, Joseph A.; Canizares, Claude R.

    1987-01-01

    Problems in the space and earth science programs are examined. Changes in the research environment and requirements for the space and earth sciences, for example from small Explorer missions to multispacecraft missions, have been observed. The need to expand the computational capabilities for space and earth sciences is discussed. The effects of fluctuations in funding, program delays, the limited number of space flights, and the development of the Space Station on research in the areas of astronomy and astrophysics, planetary exploration, solar and space physics, and earth science are analyzed. The recommendations of the Space and Earth Science Advisory Committee on the development and maintenance of effective space and earth sciences programs are described.

  18. 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)

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Educational program using four-dimensional presentation of space data and space-borne data with Dagik Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Akinori; Yoshida, Daiki; Odagi, Yoko; Takahashi, Midori; Tsugawa, Takuya; Kumano, Yoshisuke

    We developed an educational program of space science data and science data observed from the space using a digital globe system, Dagik Earth. Dagik Earth is a simple and affordable four dimensional (three dimension in space and one dimension in time) presentation system. The educational program using Dagik Earth has been carried out in classrooms of schools, science museums, and research institutes to show the scientific data of the earth and planets in an intuitive way. We are developing the hardware system, data contents, and education manuals in cooperation with teachers, museum staffs and scientists. The size of the globe used in this system is from 15cm to 2m in diameter. It is selected according to the environment of the presentation. The contents cover the space science, such as aurora and geomagnetic field, the earth science, such as global clouds and earthquakes, and planetary science. Several model class plans are ready to be used in high school and junior high school. In public outreach programs of universities, research institutes, and scientific meetings, special programs have been carried out. We are establishing a community to use and develop this program for the space science education.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Mars Exploration: Is There Water on Mars? An Educator's Guide with Activities for Physical and Earth and Space Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    TERC, Cambridge, MA.

    This educator's guide discusses whether there is water on the planet Mars. The activities, written for grades 9-12, concern physical, earth, and space sciences. By experimenting with water as it changes state and investigating some effects of air pressure, students not only learn core ideas in physical science but can also deduce the water…

  11. Space life sciences: closed ecological systems: earth and space applications.

    PubMed

    2005-01-01

    This issue contains peer-reviewed papers from a workshop on Closed Ecological Systems: Earth and Space Applications at the 35th COSPAR General Assembly in Paris, France, convened in July 2004. The contributions reflected the wide range of international work in the field, especially Europe, Russia, Japan, and the United States. The papers are arranged according to four main themes: 1) Methods of evaluation and theory of closed ecological systems; 2) Reports from recent experiments in closed ecological system facilities; 3) Bioregenerative technologies to advance degree of closure and cycling; and 4) Laboratory studies of small closed ecological systems.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  17. STS-4 earth observations from space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    STS-4 earth observations from space. Views include both Florida coasts, with Cape Canaveral visible at the center of the frame. The photo was exposed through the aft window on the flight deck of the Columbia. The vertical tail and both orbital maneuvering systems (OMS) pods are visible in the foreground. Other features on the Earth which are visible include Tampa Bay and several lakes, including Apopka, Tohopekaliga, East Tahopekaliga, Harris, Cypress and a number of small reservoirs (33223); This is a north-easterly looking view toward California's Pacific Coast. The coastal area covered includes San Diego northward to Pismo Beach. Los Angeles is near center. The arc of the Temblor-Tehachapi-Sierra Nevada surrounds the San Joaquin Valley at left. The Mojave desert lies between the San Andres and Garlock Faults (33224); Mexico's Baja California and Sonora state are visible in the STS-4 frame. The islands of Angel de la Guardia and Tiburon stand out above and right of center. Low clouds

  18. Concept of a space optoelectronic system for environmental monitoring of the near-earth space, atmosphere, and earth surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eltsov, Anatoli V.; Karasev, Vladimir I.; Kolotkov, Vjacheslav V.; Kondranin, Timothy V.

    1997-06-01

    The sharp increase of the man-induced pressure on the environment and hence the need to predict and monitor natural anomalies makes global monitoring of the ecosphere of planet Earth an issue of vital importance. The notion of the ecosphere covers three basic shells closely interacting with each other: the near-Earth space, the atmosphere and the Earth surface. In the near-Earth space (covering 100 to 2000 km altitudes) the primary objects of monitoring are: functioning artificial space objects, the fragments of their constructions or space rubbish (which by estimation amounts to 3.5 million pieces including 30,000 to 70,000 objects having dimensions sufficient for heavy damaging or even destroying functioning space objects) and objects of space origin (asteroids, meteorites and comets) whose trajectories come closely enough to the Earth. Maximum concentrations of space rubbish observed on orbits with altitudes of 800, 1000 and 1500 km and inclinations of 60 to 100 deg. are related in the first place to spacecraft launch requirements. Taking into account the number of launches implemented by different countries in the framework of their own space programs the probability of collision of functioning spacecraft with space rubbish may be estimation increase from (1.5 - 3.5)% at present to (15 - 40)% by 2020. Besides, registration of space radiation flow intensity and the solar activity is no less important in this space area. Subject to control in the atmosphere are time and space variations in temperature fields, humidity, tracing gas concentrations, first of all ozone and greenhouse gases, the state of the cloud cover, wind velocity, etc. The range of objects to be under environmental management of Earth surface is just as diverse and essentially should include the state of the surface and the near-surface layer of seas and oceans, internal reservoirs, the cryosphere and the land surface along with vegetation cover, natural resources and human activities. No matter

  19. 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

  20. ISS EarthKam: Taking Photos of the Earth from Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haste, Turtle

    2008-01-01

    NASA is involved in a project involving the International Space Station (ISS) and an Earth-focused camera called EarthKam, where schools, and ultimately students, are allowed to remotely program the EarthKAM to take images. Here the author describes how EarthKam was used to help middle school students learn about biomes and develop their…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. Human response to high-background radiation environments on Earth and in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durante, M.; Manti, L.

    The main long-term goal of the space exploration program is the colonization of the planets of the Solar System The high cosmic radiation equivalent dose rate represents a major problem for a stable and safe colonization of the planets The dose rate on Mars ranges between 60 and 150 mSv year depending on the Solar cycle and altitude and can reach values as high as 360 mSv year on the Moon The average dose rate on the Earth is about 3 mSv year reduced to about 1 mSv year excluding the internal exposure to Rn daughters However some areas of the Earth have anomalously high levels of background radiation Values 200-400 times higher than the world average are found in regions where monazite sand deposits are abundant Population in Tibet experience a high cosmic radiation background Epidemiological studies did not detect any adverse health effects in the populations living in those high-background radiation areas on Earth Chromosomal aberrations in the peripheral blood lymphocytes from the population living in the high-background radiation areas have been measured in several studies because the chromosomal damage represents an early biomarker of cancer risk Similar cytogenetic studies have been recently performed in cohort of astronauts involved in single or repeated space flights over many years A comparison of the cytogenetic findings in populations exposed at high dose rate on Earth or in space will be described

  6. Mass, Energy, Space And Time System Theory---MEST A way to help our earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Dayong

    2009-03-01

    There are two danger to our earth. The first, the sun will expand to devour our earth, for example, the ozonosphere of our earth is be broken; The second, the asteroid will impact near our earth. According to MEST, there is a interaction between Black hole (and Dark matter-energy) and Solar system. The orbit of Jupiter is a boundary of the interaction between Black hole (and Dark matter-energy) and Solar system. Because there are four terrestrial planets which is mass-energy center as solar system, and there are four or five Jovian planets which is gas (space-time) center as black hole system. According to MEST, dark matter-energy take the velocity of Jupiter gose up. So there are a lot of asteroids and dark matter-energy near the orbit of Jupiter-the boundary. Dark matter-energy can change the orbit of asteroid, and take it impacted near our earth. Because the Dark matter-energy will pressure the Solar system. It is a inverse process with sun's expandedness. So the ``two danger'' is from a new process of the balance system between Black hole (and Dark matter-energy) and Solar system. According to MEST, We need to find the right point for our earth in the ``new process of the balance system.''

  7. Magnetic monitoring of earth and space

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Love, Jeffrey J.

    2008-01-01

    For centuries, navigators of the world’s oceans have been familiar with an effect of Earth’s magnetic field: It imparts a directional preference to the needle of a compass. Although in some settings magnetic orientation remains important, the modern science of geomagnetism has emerged from its romantic nautical origins and developed into a subject of great depth and diversity. The geomagnetic field is used to explore the dynamics of Earth’s interior and its surrounding space environment, and geomagnetic data are used for geophysical mapping, mineral exploration, risk mitigation, and other practical applications. A global distribution of ground-based magnetic observatories supports those pursuits by providing accurate records of the magnetic-field direction and intensity at fixed locations and over long periods of time.Magnetic observatories were first established in the early 19th century in response to the influence of Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss. Since then, magnetic measurement has advanced significantly, progressing from simple visual readings of magnetic survey instruments to include automatic photographic measurement and modern electronic acquisition. To satisfy the needs of the scientific community, observatories are being upgraded to collect data that meet ever more stringent standards, to achieve higher acquisition frequencies, and to disseminate data in real time.To appreciate why data from magnetic observatories can be used for so many purposes, one needs only to recall that the geomagnetic field is a continuum, connecting the different parts of Earth to each other and to nearby space. Beneath our feet and above our heads, electric currents generate magnetic fields that contribute to the totality of the geomagnetic field measured at an observatory on Earth’s surface. The many physical processes that operate in each geophysical domain give rise to a complicated field that exhibits a wide variety of time-dependent behavior.1 In

  8. 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.

  9. Earth and Space Sciences: The Need for Diversity in Global Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, F. R.; Johnson, R.; Alexander, C.

    2004-12-01

    The Earth and Space sciences are truly global in nature and encompass the most diverse subject areas in science. Yet, the practitioners of these fields do not reflect the diversity of the populations that are impacted by the outcomes of the research in these fields of study. The global marketplace, migration, the search for economic and renewable resources, Earth Systems research, and understanding our place in the universe compels us to be more inclusive of the populations and cultures that inhabit our planet. In this talk, we discuss the relevancy of these issues on scientific endeavors in the 21st century and the need for the Earth and Space sciences to be the leaders within the broad scientific community of ensuring that science remains an inclusive enterprise.

  10. 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.

  11. DETECTABILITY OF FREE FLOATING PLANETS IN OPEN CLUSTERS WITH THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea; D'Onghia, Elena

    Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, such as in Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population. The large stellar density, and corresponding high close-encounter event rate, may induce strong perturbations of planetary orbits with large semimajor axes. Here we present a set of N-body simulations implementing a novel scheme to treat the tidal effects of external stellar perturbers on planetary orbit eccentricity and inclination. By simulating five nearby open clusters, we determine the rate ofmore » occurrence of bodies extracted from their parent stellar system by quasi-impulsive tidal interactions. We find that the specific free-floating planet production rate N-dot {sub o} (total number of free-floating planets per unit of time, normalized by the total number of stars), is proportional to the stellar density ρ{sub *} of the cluster: N-dot {sub o}=αρ{sub ⋆}, with α = (23 ± 5) × 10{sup –6} pc{sup 3} Myr{sup –1}. For the Pleiades (M45), we predict that ∼26% of stars should have lost their planets. This raises the exciting possibility of directly observing these wandering planets with the James Webb Space Telescope in the near-infrared band. Assuming a surface temperature for the planet of ∼500 K, a free-floating planet of Jupiter size inside the Pleiades would have a specific flux of F {sub ν} (4.4 μm) ≈4 × 10{sup 2} nJy, which would lead to a very clear detection (S/N ∼ 100) in only one hour of integration.« less

  12. Exposure of phototrophs to 548 days in low Earth orbit: microbial selection pressures in outer space and on early earth.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S; Rettberg, Petra; Rabbow, Elke; Olsson-Francis, Karen

    2011-10-01

    An epilithic microbial community was launched into low Earth orbit, and exposed to conditions in outer space for 548 days on the European Space Agency EXPOSE-E facility outside the International Space Station. The natural phototroph biofilm was augmented with akinetes of Anabaena cylindrica and vegetative cells of Nostoc commune and Chroococcidiopsis. In space-exposed dark controls, two algae (Chlorella and Rosenvingiella spp.), a cyanobacterium (Gloeocapsa sp.) and two bacteria associated with the natural community survived. Of the augmented organisms, cells of A. cylindrica and Chroococcidiopsis survived, but no cells of N. commune. Only cells of Chroococcidiopsis were cultured from samples exposed to the unattenuated extraterrestrial ultraviolet (UV) spectrum (>110 nm or 200 nm). Raman spectroscopy and bright-field microscopy showed that under these conditions the surface cells were bleached and their carotenoids were destroyed, although cell morphology was preserved. These experiments demonstrate that outer space can act as a selection pressure on the composition of microbial communities. The results obtained from samples exposed to >200 nm UV (simulating the putative worst-case UV exposure on the early Earth) demonstrate the potential for epilithic colonization of land masses during that time, but that UV radiation on anoxic planets can act as a strong selection pressure on surface-dwelling organisms. Finally, these experiments have yielded new phototrophic organisms of potential use in biomass and oxygen production in space exploration.

  13. Exposure of phototrophs to 548 days in low Earth orbit: microbial selection pressures in outer space and on early earth

    PubMed Central

    Cockell, Charles S; Rettberg, Petra; Rabbow, Elke; Olsson-Francis, Karen

    2011-01-01

    An epilithic microbial community was launched into low Earth orbit, and exposed to conditions in outer space for 548 days on the European Space Agency EXPOSE-E facility outside the International Space Station. The natural phototroph biofilm was augmented with akinetes of Anabaena cylindrica and vegetative cells of Nostoc commune and Chroococcidiopsis. In space-exposed dark controls, two algae (Chlorella and Rosenvingiella spp.), a cyanobacterium (Gloeocapsa sp.) and two bacteria associated with the natural community survived. Of the augmented organisms, cells of A. cylindrica and Chroococcidiopsis survived, but no cells of N. commune. Only cells of Chroococcidiopsis were cultured from samples exposed to the unattenuated extraterrestrial ultraviolet (UV) spectrum (>110 nm or 200 nm). Raman spectroscopy and bright-field microscopy showed that under these conditions the surface cells were bleached and their carotenoids were destroyed, although cell morphology was preserved. These experiments demonstrate that outer space can act as a selection pressure on the composition of microbial communities. The results obtained from samples exposed to >200 nm UV (simulating the putative worst-case UV exposure on the early Earth) demonstrate the potential for epilithic colonization of land masses during that time, but that UV radiation on anoxic planets can act as a strong selection pressure on surface-dwelling organisms. Finally, these experiments have yielded new phototrophic organisms of potential use in biomass and oxygen production in space exploration. PMID:21593797

  14. Life on Earth: From Chemicals in Space?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1973

    1973-01-01

    Discusses experimental evidence for the existence of organic material in the solar system prior to the earth's formation. Indicates that the earth could have received much of its organic compounds from meteors falling on its primitive surface. (CC)

  15. Microlens Masses from Astrometry and Parallax in Space-based Surveys: From Planets to Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Andrew; Yee, Jennifer C.

    2014-03-01

    We show that space-based microlensing experiments can recover lens masses and distances for a large fraction of all events (those with individual photometric errors <~ 0.01 mag) using a combination of one-dimensional microlens parallaxes and astrometric microlensing. This will provide a powerful probe of the mass distributions of planets, black holes, and neutron stars, the distribution of planets as a function of Galactic environment, and the velocity distributions of black holes and neutron stars. While systematics are in principle a significant concern, we show that it is possible to vet against all systematics (known and unknown) using single-epoch precursor observations with the Hubble Space Telescope roughly 10 years before the space mission.

  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. Energy Efficient Cryogenics on Earth and in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fesmire, James E.

    2012-01-01

    The Cryogenics Test Laboratory, NASA Kennedy Space Center, works to provide practical solutions to low-temperature problems while focusing on long-term technology targets for energy-efficient cryogenics on Earth and in space.

  19. Earth From Space: "Beautiful Earth's" Integration of Media Arts, Earth Science, and Native Wisdom in Informal Learning Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casasanto, V.; Hallowell, R.; Williams, K.; Rock, J.; Markus, T.

    2015-12-01

    "Beautiful Earth: Experiencing and Learning Science in an Engaging Way" was a 3-year project funded by NASA's Competitive Opportunities in Education and Public Outreach for Earth and Space Science. An outgrowth of Kenji Williams' BELLA GAIA performance, Beautiful Earth fostered a new approach to teaching by combining live music, data visualizations and Earth science with indigenous perspectives, and hands-on workshops for K-12 students at 5 science centers. Inspired by the "Overview Effect," described by many astronauts who were awestruck by seeing the Earth from space and their realization of the profound interconnectedness of Earth's life systems, Beautiful Earth leveraged the power of multimedia performance to serve as a springboard to engage K-12 students in hands-on Earth science and Native wisdom workshops. Results will be presented regarding student perceptions of Earth science, environmental issues, and indigenous ways of knowing from 3 years of evaluation data.

  20. Space Weathering of Super-Earths: Model Simulations of Exospheric Sodium Escape from 61 Virgo b

    SciTech Connect

    Yoneda, M.; Berdyugina, S.; Kuhn, J.

    Rocky exoplanets are expected to be eroded by space weather in a similar way as in the solar system. In particular, Mercury is one of the dramatically eroded planets whose material continuously escapes into its exosphere and further into space. This escape is well traced by sodium atoms scattering sunlight. Due to solar wind impact, micrometeorite impacts, photo-stimulated desorption and thermal desorption, sodium atoms are released from surface regolith. Some of these released sodium atoms are escaping from Mercury’s gravitational-sphere. They are dragged anti-Sun-ward and form a tail structure. We expect similar phenomena on exoplanets. The hot super-Earth 61 Virmore » b orbiting a G3V star at only 0.05 au may show a similar structure. Because of its small separation from the star, the sodium release mechanisms may be working more efficiently on hot super-Earths than on Mercury, although the strong gravitational force of Earth-sized or even more massive planets may be keeping sodium atoms from escaping from the planet. Here, we performed model simulations for Mercury (to verify our model) and 61 Vir b as a representative super-Earth. We have found that sodium atoms can escape from this exoplanet due to stellar wind sputtering and micrometeorite impacts, to form a sodium tail. However, in contrast to Mercury, the tail on this hot super-Earth is strongly aligned with the anti-starward direction because of higher light pressure. Our model suggests that 61 Vir b seems to have an exo-base atmosphere like that of Mercury.« less

  1. "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.

  2. Space Science in Action: Earth's Atmosphere [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    In this videotape recording, students learn about the layers of the atmosphere and why each is important to the survival of life on the planet. Students discover why the atmosphere is responsible for weather and see how special aircraft actually fly into hurricanes. Students build their own working barometer in a hands-on activity. Contents…

  3. The Revolution in Earth and Space Science Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barstow, Daniel; Geary, Ed; Yazijian, Harvey

    2002-01-01

    Explains the changing nature of earth and space science education such as using inquiry-based teaching, how technology allows students to use satellite images in inquiry-based investigations, the consideration of earth and space as a whole system rather than a sequence of topics, and increased student participation in learning opportunities. (YDS)

  4. Earth & Space Science PhDs, Class of 2001.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Claudy, Nicholas; Henly, Megan; Migdalski, Chet

    This study documents the employment patterns and demographic characteristics of recent PhDs in earth and space science. It summarizes the latest annual survey of recent earth and space science PhDs conducted by the American Geological Institute, the American Geophysical Union, and the Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of…

  5. New Millenium Program Serving Earth and Space Sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Fuk

    1999-01-01

    A cross-Enterprise program is to identify and validate flight breakthrough technologies that will significantly benefit future space science and earth science missions. The breakthrough technologies are: enable new capabilities to meet earth and space science needs and reducing costs of future missions. The flight validation are: mitigates risks to first users and enables rapid technology infusion into future missions.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. Precipitation from Space: Advancing Earth System Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kucera, Paul A.; Ebert, Elizabeth E.; Turk, F. Joseph; Levizzani, Vicenzo; Kirschbaum, Dalia; Tapiador, Francisco J.; Loew, Alexander; Borsche, M.

    2012-01-01

    Of the three primary sources of spatially contiguous precipitation observations (surface networks, ground-based radar, and satellite-based radar/radiometers), only the last is a viable source over ocean and much of the Earth's land. As recently as 15 years ago, users needing quantitative detail of precipitation on anything under a monthly time scale relied upon products derived from geostationary satellite thermal infrared (IR) indices. The Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI) passive microwave (PMW) imagers originated in 1987 and continue today with the SSMI sounder (SSMIS) sensor. The fortunate longevity of the joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is providing the environmental science community a nearly unbroken data record (as of April 2012, over 14 years) of tropical and sub-tropical precipitation processes. TRMM was originally conceived in the mid-1980s as a climate mission with relatively modest goals, including monthly averaged precipitation. TRMM data were quickly exploited for model data assimilation and, beginning in 1999 with the availability of near real time data, for tropical cyclone warnings. To overcome the intermittently spaced revisit from these and other low Earth-orbiting satellites, many methods to merge PMW-based precipitation data and geostationary satellite observations have been developed, such as the TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Product and the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) morphing method (CMORPH. The purpose of this article is not to provide a survey or assessment of these and other satellite-based precipitation datasets, which are well summarized in several recent articles. Rather, the intent is to demonstrate how the availability and continuity of satellite-based precipitation data records is transforming the ways that scientific and societal issues related to precipitation are addressed, in ways that would not be

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Ionizing radiation in earth's atmosphere and in space near earth.

    DOT National Transportation Integrated Search

    2011-05-01

    The Civil Aerospace Medical Institute of the FAA is charged with identifying health hazards in air travel and in : commercial human space travel. This report addresses one of these hazards ionizing radiation. : Ionizing radiation is a subatomic p...

  13. 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

  14. Direct imaging of extra-solar planets with stationary occultations viewed by a space telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliot, J. L.

    1978-01-01

    The use of a telescope in space to detect planets outside the solar system by means of imaging at optical wavelengths is discussed. If the 'black' limb of the moon is utilized as an occulting edge, a hypothetical Jupiter-Sun system could be detected at a distance as great as 10 pc, and a signal-to-noise ratio of 9 could be achieved in less than 20 min with a 2.4 m telescope in space. An orbit for the telescope is proposed; this orbit could achieve a stationary lunar occultation of any star for a period of nearly two hours.

  15. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  17. Near equality of ion phase space densities at earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, A. F.; Krimigis, S. M.; Armstrong, T. P.

    1985-01-01

    Energetic-ion phase-space density profiles are strikingly similar in the inner magnetospheres of earth, Jupiter, and Saturn for ions of first adiabatic invariant near 100 MeV/G and small mirror latitudes. Losses occur inside L approximately equal to 7 for Jupiter and Saturn and inside L approximately equal to 5 at earth. At these L values there exist steep plasma-density gradients at all three planets, associated with the Io plasma torus at Jupiter, the Rhea-Dione-Tethys torus at Saturn, and the plasmasphere at earth. Measurements of ion flux-tube contents at Jupiter and Saturn by the low-energy charged-particle experiment show that these are similar (for O ions at L = 5-9) to those at earth (for protons at L = 2-6). Furthermore, the thermal-ion flux-tube contents from Voyager plasma-science data at Jupiter and Saturn are also very nearly equal, and again similar to those at earth, differing by less than a factor of 3 at the respective L values. The near equality of energetic and thermal ion flux-tube contents at earth, Jupiter, and Saturn suggests the possibility of strong physical analogies in the interaction between plasma and energetic particles at the plasma tori/plasma sheets of Jupiter and Saturn and the plasmasphere of earth.

  18. 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.

  19. Migration of Trans-Neptunian Objects to a Near-Earth Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Our estimates of the migration of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) to a near-Earth space are based on the results of investigations of orbital evolution of TNOs and Jupiter-crossing objects (JCOs). The orbital evolution of TNOs was considered in many papers. Recently we investigated the evolution for intervals of at least 5-10 Myr of 2500 JCOs under the gravitational influence of all planets, except for Mercury and Pluto (without dissipative factors). In the first series we considered N=2000 orbits near the orbits of 30 real Jupiter-family comets with period P(sub alpha)less than 10 yr, and in the second series we took N=500 orbits close to the orbit of Comet 10P Tempel 2 (alpha=3.1 AU, e=0.53, i=12 deg). We calculated the probabilities of collisions of objects with the terrestrial planets, using orbital elements obtained with a step equal to 500 yr, and then summarized the results for all time intervals and all bodies, obtaining the total probability P(sub sigma) of collisions with a planet and the total time interval T(sub sigma) during which perihelion distance q of bodies was less than a semimajor axis of the planet.

  20. RFI and Remote Sensing of the Earth from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Le Vine, D. M.; Johnson, J. T.; Piepmeier, J.

    2016-01-01

    Passive microwave remote sensing of the Earth from space provides information essential for understanding the Earth's environment and its evolution. Parameters such as soil moisture, sea surface temperature and salinity, and profiles of atmospheric temperature and humidity are measured at frequencies determined by the physics (e.g. sensitivity to changes in desired parameters) and by the availability of suitable spectrum free from interference. Interference from manmade sources (radio frequency interference) is an impediment that in many cases limits the potential for accurate measurements from space. A review is presented here of the frequencies employed in passive microwave remote sensing of the Earth from space and the associated experience with RFI.

  1. Individualized Instruction in Science, Earth Space Project, Learning Activities Package.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuczma, R. M.

    Learning Activity Packages (LAP) relating to the earth and space are presented for use in sampling a new type of learning for a whole year. Eighteen topics are incorporated into five units: (1) introduction to individualized learning, (2) observation versus interpretation, (3) chemistry in the space age, (4) the space age interdisciplines, and (5)…

  2. Creating State-based Alliances to Support Earth and Space Science Education Reform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geary, E. E.; Manduca, C. A.; Barstow, D.

    2002-05-01

    Seven years after the publication of the National Science Education Standards and adoption of new state science education standards, Earth and space science remains outside the mainstream K-12 curriculum. Currently, less than ten percent of high school students in the United States of America take an Earth or space science course before graduation. This state of affairs is simply unacceptable. "All of us who live on this planet have the right and the obligation to understand Earth's unique history, its dynamic processes, its abundant resources, and its intriguing mysteries. As citizens of Earth, with the power to modify our climate and ecosystems, we also have a personal and collective responsibility to understand Earth so that we can make wise decisions about its and our future". As one step toward addressing this situation, we support the establishment of state-based alliances to promote Earth and space science education reform. "In many ways, states are the most vital locus of change in our nation's schools. State departments of education define curriculum frameworks, establish testing policies, support professional development and, in some cases, approve textbooks and materials for adoption". State alliance partners should include a broad spectrum of K-16 educators, scientists, policy makers, parents, and community leaders from academic institutions, businesses, museums, technology centers, and not-for profit organizations. The focus of these alliances should be on systemic and sustainable reform of K-16 Earth and space science education. Each state-based alliance should focus on specific educational needs within their state, but work together to share ideas, resources, and models for success. As we build these alliances we need to take a truly collaborative approach working with the other sciences, geography, and mathematics so that collectively we can improve the caliber and scope of science and mathematics education for all students.

  3. 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.

  4. Astronauts Share the Art and Science of Earth, in their Photographs from Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, D. W.

    2013-12-01

    Astronauts have taken over 1 million photographs of Earth. Many of them directly support science research by documenting ephemeral events or showing Earth changes over the 50 year history of astronaut photography. And yet, even more of them are simply beautiful images of our wonderful planet. Astronauts love to look at the Earth from this 370km high vantage point. And they're constantly taking pictures - typically over 500 pictures each day. 'Oh, look at that' - click! 'And that' - click! Then they share them with scientists, other astronauts, and the public - as a way to help other people experience this transformative view of home planet Earth. Astronaut Chris Hadfield had 1.2 million followers on his tweeter feed from orbit, through which he sent hundreds of photographs. The yellows and oranges of the Sahara; serene islands in the middle of the Pacific; looking out over the snow-covered Alps; the night lights of Paris; looking straight down into an erupting volcano. What drama, what story, what a remarkable way to learn about Earth from the perspective of science and art. Each of these 1.2 million pictures was taken by a human, an astronaut who felt this awe and respect for Earth, who melded this art and science and pressed the button at the decisive moment. This session features dozens of these photographs, each selected as an all-time favorite by the astronauts after they returned to Earth. We will present the photos, as well as the astronauts' commentary, and an over-arching analysis of insights gained from the orbital perspective. We also will demonstrate the Windows on Earth software that the astronauts use on-orbit to plan their photographic opportunities and identify specific targets and features of interest, while orbiting at 17,000 mph. Finally, we will provide links to web-based resources for the public to get access to this entire archive of Earth photographs, so that they can pick their own favorites, download them, and explore creative ways to

  5. 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.

  6. Hypothetical Rejuvenated Planets Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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

  7. Earth and Space Science. A Guide for Secondary Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bolles, William H.; And Others

    Designed for use in Pennsylvania secondary school science classes, this guide is intended to provide fundamental information in each of the various disciplines of the earth sciences. Some of the material contained in the guide is intended as background material for teachers. Five units are presented: The Earth, The Oceans, The Space Environment,…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. GEMINI-6 - EARTH-SKY - CANARY ISLANDS - OUTER SPACE

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1965-12-16

    S65-63150 (16 Dec. 1965) --- Eddies in stratocumulus clouds over the Canary Islands as seen from the Gemini-6 spacecraft during its 14th revolution of Earth. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  11. New Millennium Program: Servicing Earth and Space Sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, F.

    1999-01-01

    NASA has exciting plans for space science and Earth observations during the next decade. A broad range of advanced spacecraft and measurement technologies will be needed to support these plans within the existing budget and schedule constraints.

  12. The Near-Earth Space Radiation for Electronics Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stassinopoulos, E. G.; LaBel, K. A.

    2004-01-01

    The earth's space radiation environment is described in terms of: a) charged particles as relevant to effects on spacecraft electronics, b) the nature and distribution of trapped and transiting radiation, and c) their effect on electronic components.

  13. Near Earth space sporadic radio emission busts occurring during sunrise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dudnik, A. V.; Zaljubovsky, I. I.; Kartashev, V. M.; Lasarev, A. V.; Shmatko, E. S.

    1985-01-01

    During the period of low solar activity at sunrise the effect of sporadic high frequency near Earth space radio emission was experimentally discovered at middle latitudes. The possible mechanism of its origin is discussed.

  14. Combined Industry, Space and Earth Science Data Compression Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiely, Aaron B. (Editor); Renner, Robert L. (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    The sixth annual Space and Earth Science Data Compression Workshop and the third annual Data Compression Industry Workshop were held as a single combined workshop. The workshop was held April 4, 1996 in Snowbird, Utah in conjunction with the 1996 IEEE Data Compression Conference, which was held at the same location March 31 - April 3, 1996. The Space and Earth Science Data Compression sessions seek to explore opportunities for data compression to enhance the collection, analysis, and retrieval of space and earth science data. Of particular interest is data compression research that is integrated into, or has the potential to be integrated into, a particular space or earth science data information system. Preference is given to data compression research that takes into account the scien- tist's data requirements, and the constraints imposed by the data collection, transmission, distribution and archival systems.

  15. 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.

  16. Looking at Earth from Space: Teacher's Guide with Activities for Earth and Space Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steele, Colleen (Editor); Steele, Colleen; Ryan, William F.

    1995-01-01

    The Maryland Pilot Earth Science and Technology Education Network (MAPS-NET) project was sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to enrich teacher preparation and classroom learning in the area of Earth system science. This publication includes a teacher's guide that replicates material taught during a graduate-level course of the project and activities developed by the teachers. The publication was developed to provide teachers with a comprehensive approach to using satellite imagery to enhance science education. The teacher's guide is divided into topical chapters and enables teachers to expand their knowledge of the atmosphere, common weather patterns, and remote sensing. Topics include: weather systems and satellite imagery including mid-latitude weather systems; wave motion and the general circulation; cyclonic disturbances and baroclinic instability; clouds; additional common weather patterns; satellite images and the internet; environmental satellites; orbits; and ground station set-up. Activities are listed by suggested grade level and include the following topics: using weather symbols; forecasting the weather; cloud families and identification; classification of cloud types through infrared Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) imagery; comparison of visible and infrared imagery; cold fronts; to ski or not to ski (imagery as a decision making tool), infrared and visible satellite images; thunderstorms; looping satellite images; hurricanes; intertropical convergence zone; and using weather satellite images to enhance a study of the Chesapeake Bay. A list of resources is also included.

  17. Examples of learning activities for Earth and Space Sciences in the new Italian National curriculum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macario, Maddalena

    2016-04-01

    In the last few years, starting from 2010, science curricula were changed dramatically in the secondary Italian school as consequence of a radical law reform. In particular, Earth Science and Astronomy subjects have been shifted from the last to the previous school years; in addition, these subjects have been integrated with other natural sciences learning, such as biology and chemistry. As a consequence, Italian teachers felt forced to totally revise their teaching methods for all of these disciplines. The most demanding need was adapting content to younger learners, as those of the first years are, who usually do have neither pre-knowledge in physics nor high level maths skills. Secondly, content learning was progressively driven toward a greater attention to environmental issues in order to raise more awareness in learners about global changes as examples of fragile equilibrium of our planet. In this work some examples of activities are shown, to introduce students to some astronomical phenomena in a simpler way, which play a key role in influencing other Earth's events, in order to make pupils more conscious about how and to what extent our planet depends on space, at different time scales. The activities range from moon motions affecting tides, to secondary Earth motions, which are responsible for climate changes, to the possibility to find life forms in other parts of the Universe, to the possibility for humans to live in the space for future space missions. Students are involved in hands-on inquiry-based laboratories that scaffold both theoretic knowledge and practical skills for a deeper understanding of cause-effect relationships existing in the Earth.

  18. Migration of comets to near-Earth space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ipatov, S. I.

    The orbital evolution of more than 21000 Jupiter-crossing objects under the gravitational influence of planets was investigated. For orbits close to that of Comet 2P, the mean collision probabilities of Jupiter-crossing objects with the terrestrial planets were greater by two orders of magnitude than for some other comets. For initial orbital elements close to those of Comets 2P, 10P, 44P, and 113P, a few objects (<0.1%) got Earth-crossing orbits with semi-major axes a<2 AU and aphelion distances Q<4.2 AU and moved in such orbits for more than 1 Myr (up to tens or even hundreds of Myrs). Some of them even got inner-Earth orbits (Q<0.983 AU) and Aten orbits for millions of years. Most former trans-Neptunian objects that have typical near-Earth object orbits moved in such orbits for millions of years, so during most of this time they were extinct comets or disintegrated into mini-comets.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Performance comparison of earth and space storable bipropellant systems in interplanetary missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meissinger, H. F.

    1978-01-01

    The paper evaluates and compares the performance of earth-storable and space-storable liquid bipropellant propulsion systems in high-energy planetary mission applications, including specifically Saturn and Mercury orbiters, as well as asteroid and comet rendezvous missions. The discussion covers a brief review of the status of space-storable propulsion technology, along with an illustrative propulsion module design for a three-axis stabilized outer planet and cometary mission spacecraft of the Mariner class. The results take revised Shuttle/Upper Stage performance projections into account. It is shown that in some of the missions the performance improvement achievable in the ballistic transfer mode with space-storable spacecraft propulsion can provide a possible alternative to the use of solar-electric propulsion.

  2. Surveying the earth's resources from space

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pecora, William T.

    1967-01-01

    Two developments, aerial photography and airborne geophysical surveying techniques, have already increased the rate at which new knowledge of the world's resources can be acquired. But even with far wider use of the tools and techniques already available, the problems that face us are greater than our current ability to solve them. Fortunately, some of the further acceleration required can be obtained through use of remote-sensing devices mounted in high-flying aircraft and earth-orbiting satellites.

  3. Phase partitioning in space and on earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Alstine, James M.; Karr, Laurel J.; Snyder, Robert S.; Matsos, Helen C.; Curreri, Peter A.; Harris, J. Milton; Bamberger, Stephan B.; Boyce, John; Brooks, Donald E.

    1987-01-01

    The influence of gravity on the efficiency and quality of the impressive separations achievable by bioparticle partitioning is investigated by demixing polymer phase systems in microgravity. The study involves the neutral polymers dextran and polyethylene glycol, which form a two-phase system in aqueous solution at low concentrations. It is found that demixing in low-gravity occurs primarily by coalescence, whereas on earth the demixing occurs because of density differences between the phases.

  4. Three-dimensional presentation of the earth and space science data in collaboration among schools, science museums and scientists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Akinori; Tsugawa, Takuya

    Three-dimensional presentation of the earth and space science data is a best tool to show the scientific data of the earth and space. It can display the correct shape on the Earth while any two-dimensional maps distort shapes. Furthermore it helps audience to understand the scale size and phenomena of the earth and planets in an intuitive way. There are several projects of the 3-D presentation of the Earth, such as Science on a Sphere (SOS) by NOAA, and Geo-cosmos by Miraikan, Japan. We are developing a simple, portable and affordable 3-D presentation system, called Dagik Earth. It uses a spherical or hemispherical screen to project data and images using normal PC and PC projector. The minimum size is 8cm and the largest size is 8m in diameter. The Dagik Earth project has developed the software of the 3-D projection in collaboration with scientists, and provides the software to the science museums and school teachers. Because the same system can be used in museums and schools, several science museums play a roll of hub for the school teachers' training on the earth and planetary science class with Dagik Earth. International collaboration with Taiwan, Thailand, and other countries is in progress. In the presentation, we introduce the system of Dagik Earth and the activities using it in the collaboration among schools, science centers, universities and research institutes.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  6. Earth Reflectivity from Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) Earth Polychromatic Camera (EPIC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, W.; Knyazikhin, Y.; Wen, G.; Marshak, A.; Yan, G.; Mu, X.; Park, T.; Chen, C.; Xu, B.; Myneni, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    Earth reflectivity, which is also specified as Earth albedo or Earth reflectance, is defined as the fraction of incident solar radiation reflected back to space at the top of the atmosphere. It is a key climate parameter that describes climate forcing and associated response of the climate system. Satellite is one of the most efficient ways to measure earth reflectivity. Conventional polar orbit and geostationary satellites observe the Earth at a specific local solar time or monitor only a specific area of the Earth. For the first time, the NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) onboard NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) collects simultaneously radiance data of the entire sunlit earth at 8 km resolution at nadir every 65 to 110 min. It provides reflectivity images in backscattering direction with the scattering angle between 168º and 176º at 10 narrow spectral bands in ultraviolet, visible, and near-Infrared (NIR) wavelengths. We estimate the Earth reflectivity using DSCOVR EPIC observations and analyze errors in Earth reflectivity due to sampling strategy of polar orbit Terra/Aqua MODIS and geostationary Goddard Earth Observing System-R series missions. We also provide estimates of contributions from ocean, clouds, land and vegetation to the Earth reflectivity. Graphic abstract shows enhanced RGB EPIC images of the Earth taken on July-24-2016 at 7:04GMT and 15:48 GMT. Parallel lines depict a 2330 km wide Aqua MODIS swath. The plot shows diurnal courses of mean Earth reflectance over the Aqua swath (triangles) and the entire image (circles). In this example the relative difference between the mean reflectances is +34% at 7:04GMT and -16% at 15:48 GMT. Corresponding daily averages are 0.256 (0.044) and 0.231 (0.025). The relative precision estimated as root mean square relative error is 17.9% in this example.

  7. 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…

  8. Robotics in near-earth space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Card, Michael E.

    1991-01-01

    The areas of space exploration in which robotic devices will play a part are identified, and progress to date in the space agency plans to acquire this capability is briefly reviewed. Roles and functions on orbit for robotic devices include well known activities, such as inspection and maintenance, assembly, docking, berthing, deployment, retrieval, materials handling, orbital replacement unit exchange, and repairs. Missions that could benefit from a robotic capability are discussed.

  9. 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⊙.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Characterizing the Evolution of Circumstellar Systems with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, Schuyler; Schuyler G. Wolff

    2018-01-01

    The study of circumstellar disks at a variety of evolutionary stages is essential to understand the physical processes leading to planet formation. The recent development of high contrast instruments designed to directly image the structures surrounding nearby stars, such as the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) and coronagraphic data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have made detailed studies of circumstellar systems possible. In my thesis work I detail the observation and characterization of three systems. GPI polarization data for the transition disk, PDS 66 shows a double ring and gap structure with a temporally variable azimuthal asymmetry. This evolved morphology could indicate shadowing from some feature in the innermost regions of the disk, a gap-clearing planet, or a localized change in the dust properties of the disk. Millimeter continuum data of the DH Tau system places limits on the dust mass that is contributing to the strong accretion signature on the wide-separation planetary mass companion, DH Tau b. The lower than expected dust mass constrains the possible formation mechanism, with core accretion followed by dynamical scattering being the most likely. Finally, I present HST scattered light observations of the flared, edge-on protoplanetary disk ESO H$\\alpha$ 569. I combine these data with a spectral energy distribution to model the key structural parameters such as the geometry (disk outer radius, vertical scale height, radial flaring profile), total mass, and dust grain properties in the disk using the radiative transfer code MCFOST. In order to conduct this work, I developed a new tool set to optimize the fitting of disk parameters using the MCMC code \\texttt{emcee} to efficiently explore the high dimensional parameter space. This approach allows us to self-consistently and simultaneously fit a wide variety of observables in order to place constraints on the physical properties of a given disk, while also rigorously assessing the uncertainties in

  14. Biodigester Feasibility and Design for Space & Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shutts, Stacy; Ewert, Mike; Bacon, Jack

    2016-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion converts organic waste into methane gas and fertilizer effluent. The ICA-developed prototype system is designed for planetary surface operation. It uses passive hydrostatic control for reliability, and is modular and redundant. The serpentine configuration accommodates tight geometric constraints similar to the ISS ECLSS rack architectures. Its shallow, low-tilt design enables (variable) lower-g convection than standard Earth (1 g) digesters. This technology will reuse and recycle materials including human waste, excess food, as well as packaging (if biodegradable bags are used).

  15. 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.

  16. Space colonies and energy supply to the earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oneill, G. K.

    1975-01-01

    It is pointed out that a space manufacturing facility may be economically more effective than alternative industries on the earth for the construction of products which are to be used in geosynchronous or higher orbits. The suggestion is made to construct solar power stations at a space colony and relocate them in geosynchronous orbit to supply energy to the earth. Attention is given to energy problems and approaches for solving them, taking into account environmental effects and economic factors. Economic aspects of space manufacturing are discussed in some detail.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Near Earth Architectural Options for a Future Deep Space Optical Communications Network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, B. L.; Liebrecht, P. E.; Fitzgerald, R. J.

    2004-01-01

    In the near future the National Aeronautics and Space Administration anticipates a significant increase in demand for long-haul communications services from deep space to Earth. Distances will range from 0.1 to 40 AU, with data rate requirements in the 1's to 1000's of Mbits/second. The near term demand is driven by NASA's Space Science Enterprise which wishes to deploy more capable instruments onboard spacecraft and increase the number of deep space missions. The long term demand is driven by missions with extreme communications challenges such as very high data rates from the outer planets, supporting sub-surface exploration, or supporting NASA's Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise beyond Earth orbit. Laser communications is a revolutionary communications technology that will dramatically increase NASA's ability to transmit information across the solar system. Lasercom sends information using beams of light and optical elements, such as telescopes and optical amplifiers, rather than RF signals, amplifiers, and antennas. This paper provides an overview of different network options at Earth to meet NASA's deep space lasercom requirements. It is based mainly on work done for the Mars Laser Communications Demonstration Project, a joint project between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (JPL), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL). It reports preliminary conclusions from the Mars Lasercom Study conducted at MIT/LL and on additional work done for the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System Continuation Study at GSFC. A lasercom flight terminal will be flown on the Mars Telesat Orbiter (MTO) to be launched by NASA in 2009, and will be the first high rate deep space demonstration of this revolutionary technology.

  20. Feasibility of infrared Earth tracking for deep-space optical communications.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yijiang; Hemmati, Hamid; Ortiz, Gerry G

    2012-01-01

    Infrared (IR) Earth thermal tracking is a viable option for optical communications to distant planet and outer-planetary missions. However, blurring due to finite receiver aperture size distorts IR Earth images in the presence of Earth's nonuniform thermal emission and limits its applicability. We demonstrate a deconvolution algorithm that can overcome this limitation and reduce the error from blurring to a negligible level. The algorithm is applied successfully to Earth thermal images taken by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. With the solution to this critical issue, IR Earth tracking is established as a viable means for distant planet and outer-planetary optical communications. © 2012 Optical Society of America

  1. Bringing Space Crisis Stability Down to Earth

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-01-01

    President Hu Jintao agreed during one of their first meetings that “the two countries have common interests in promoting the peaceful use of outer...linked, and they are linked not only for the United States, but also in- creasingly for China and other countries that rely on space systems to

  2. Earth Science and Applications attached payloads on Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wicks, Thomas G.; Arnold, Ralph R.

    1990-01-01

    This paper describes the Office of Space Science and Applications' process for Attached Payloads on Space Station Freedom from development through on-orbit operations. Its primary objectives are to detail the sequential steps of the attached payload methodology by tracing in particular the selected Earth Science and Applications' payloads through this flow and relate the integral role of Marshall Space Flight Center's Science Utilization Management function of integration and operations.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Musculoskeletal adaptation to mechanical forces on Earth and in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalen, Robert

    1993-01-01

    A major concern of the US and Russian space programs is the health and safety of astronauts and cosmonauts. One of the areas receiving the most attention has been the effects of long duration space flight on the musculoskeletel system. After three decades of space flight and research, questions continue. Can exercise in space maintain musculoskeletal tissue mass and function in an adult? The objective of this paper is to address this question in a way that hopefully provides a rational basis for quantifying and evaluating the influnence of daily activities on muscle and bone on Earth and in space.

  6. Preservation of Near-Earth Space for Future Generations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, John A.

    2007-05-01

    List of contributors; Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. Introduction J. A. Simpson; Part II. Defining the Problem: 2. The Earth satellite population: official growth and constituents Nicholas L. Johnson; 3. The current and future environment: an overall assessment Donald J. Kessler; 4. The current and future space debris environment as assessed in Europe Dietrich Rex; 5. Human survivability issues in the low Earth orbit space debris environment Bernard Bloom; 6. Protecting the space environment for astronomy Joel R. Primack; 7. Effects of space debris on commercial spacecraft - the RADARSAT example H. Robert Warren and M. J. Yelle; 8. Potential effects of the space debris environment on military space systems Albert E. Reinhardt; Part III. Mitigation of and Adaptation to the Space Environment: Techniques and Practices: 9. Precluding post-launch fragmentation of delta stages Irvin J. Webster and T. Y. Kawamura; 10. US international and interagency cooperation in orbital debris Daniel V. Jacobs; 11. ESA concepts for space debris mitigation and risk reduction Heiner Klinkrad; 12. Space debris: how France handles mitigation and adaptation Jean-Louis Marcé; 13. Facing seriously the issue of protection of the outer space environment Qi Yong Liang; 14. Space debris - mitigation and adaptation U. R. Rao; 15. Near Earth space contamination and counteractions Vladimir F. Utkin and S. V. Chekalin; 16. The current and future space debris environment as assessed in Japan Susumu Toda; 17. Orbital debris minimization and mitigation techniques Joseph P. Loftus Jr, Philip D. Anz-Meador and Robert Reynolds; Part IV. Economic Issues: 18. In pursuit of a sustainable space environment: economic issues in regulating space debris Molly K. Macauley; 19. The economics of space operations: insurance aspects Christopher T. W. Kunstadter; Part V. Legal Issues: 20. Environmental treatymaking: lessons learned for controlling pollution of outer space Winfried Lang; 21. Regulation of orbital

  7. Earth Observation from Space - The Issue of Environmental Sustainability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durrieu, Sylvie; Nelson, Ross F.

    2013-01-01

    Remote sensing scientists work under assumptions that should not be taken for granted and should, therefore, be challenged. These assumptions include the following: 1. Space, especially Low Earth Orbit (LEO), will always be available to governmental and commercial space entities that launch Earth remote sensing missions. 2. Space launches are benign with respect to environmental impacts. 3. Minimization of Type 1 error, which provides increased confidence in the experimental outcome, is the best way to assess the significance of environmental change. 4. Large-area remote sensing investigations, i.e. national, continental, global studies, are best done from space. 5. National space missions should trump international, cooperative space missions to ensure national control and distribution of the data products. At best, all of these points are arguable, and in some cases, they're wrong. Development of observational space systems that are compatible with sustainability principles should be a primary concern when Earth remote sensing space systems are envisioned, designed, and launched. The discussion is based on the hypothesis that reducing the environmental impacts of thedata acquisition step,which is at the very beginning of the information streamleading to decision and action, will enhance coherence in the information streamand strengthen the capacity of measurement processes to meet their stated functional goal, i.e. sustainable management of Earth resources. We suggest that unconventional points of view should be adopted and when appropriate, remedial measures considered that could help to reduce the environmental footprint of space remote sensing and of Earth observation and monitoring systems in general. This article discusses these five assumptions inthe contextof sustainablemanagementof Earth's resources. Takingeachassumptioninturn,we find the following: (1) Space debris may limit access to Low Earth Orbit over the next decades. (2) Relatively speaking, given

  8. 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

  9. Earth benefits from space life sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garshnek, V.; Nicogossian, A. E.; Griffiths, L.

    1988-01-01

    The applications to medicine of various results from space exploration are examined. Improvements have been made in the management of cardiovascular disease, in particular the use of the ultrasonic scanner to image arteries in three dimensions, the use of excimer lasers to disrupt arterial plaques in coronary blood vessels, and the use of advanced electrodes for cardiac monitoring. A bone stiffness analyzer has helped to diagnose osteoporosis and aid in its treatment. An automated light microscope system is used for chromosome analysis, and an X-ray image intensifier called Lixiscope is used in emergency medical care. An advanced portable defibrillator has been developed for the heart, and an insulin delivery system has been derived from space microminiaturization techniques.

  10. A Perspective of Our Planet's Atmosphere, Land, and Oceans: A View from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Michael D.; Graham, Steven M.

    2002-01-01

    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 true high definition (HD) format. See the latest spectacular images from NASA & NOAA remote sensing missions like GOES, TRMM, Landsat 7, QuikScat, and Terra, which will be visualized and explained in the context of global change. Marvel at visualizations of global data sets currently available from Earth orbiting satellites, including the Earth at night with its city lights, aerosols from biomass burning, and global cloud properties. See the dynamics of vegetation growth and decay over South America over 17 years, and its contrast to the North American and Africa continents. Spectacular new visualizations of the global atmosphere & oceans will be shown. See massive dust storms sweeping across Africa and across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and Amazon basin. See ocean vortexes and currents that bring up the nutrients to feed tiny phytoplankton and draw the fish, giant whales and fisher- man. See how the ocean blooms in response to these currents and El Nino/La Nina climate changes. We will illustrate these and other topics with a dynamic theater-style presentation, along with animations of satellite launch deployments and orbital mapping to highlight aspects of Earth observations from space.

  11. Darwin 101 (Enhanced): From Earth to Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2015-01-01

    Charles Darwin was a modest man, yet one of the great revolutionaries of intellectual history. Born into a culture wedded to Genesis, he brought biology into the realm of natural world. The implications range from of the "why" questions of biology, to our view societies to our ability to combat AIDS. In our era of genomics and space exploration, these insights are being applied to the age-old question: are we alone?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. Electric fields in Earth orbital space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olson, W. P.; Pfitzer, K. A.; Scotti, S. J.

    1982-05-01

    This is a report of progress during the past year. The work was performed in three areas with a long term goal understanding the formation and maintenance of electrostatic fields in the earth's magnetosphere. The entry of low energy charged particles into a magnetically closed magnetosphere has been examined in some detail. Entry is permitted because of the non-uniform nature of the magnetic field over the magnetopause surface. Electrostatic fields may be formed across the tail of the magnetosphere because fo the different 'entry efficiencies ' of protons and electrons. The consequences of this particle entry mechanism for the plasma sheet, plasma mantle, and boundary plasmas in the magnetosphere are examined. The mathematics of particle entry was investigated in a one-dimensional boundary using both kinetic theory and bulk MHD parameters. From our participation in the 6th Coordinated Data Analysis Workshop, we have determined that at least during disturbed magnetic conditions, currents persist near geosynchronous orbit in the nightime region which are presently not included in our dynamic magnetic field models. These currents are probably associated with the field aligned currents which close in the ionosphere near auroral latitudes.

  17. On the Stability of Deinoxanthin Exposed to Mars Conditions during a Long-Term Space Mission and Implications for Biomarker Detection on Other Planets

    PubMed Central

    Leuko, Stefan; Bohmeier, Maria; Hanke, Franziska; Böettger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; Parpart, Andre; Rettberg, Petra; de Vera, Jean-Pierre P.

    2017-01-01

    Outer space, the final frontier, is a hostile and unforgiving place for any form of life as we know it. The unique environment of space allows for a close simulation of Mars surface conditions that cannot be simulated as a