Exoplanets – worlds of other suns

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Kepler telescope glimpses population of free-floating planets
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-kepler-te ... ating.html
by Royal Astronomical Society

Tantalizing evidence has been uncovered for a mysterious population of "free-floating" planets, planets that may be alone in deep space, unbound to any host star. The results include four new discoveries that are consistent with planets of similar masses to Earth, published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The study, led by Iain McDonald of the University of Manchester, UK, (now based at the Open University, UK) used data obtained in 2016 during the K2 mission phase of NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. During this two-month campaign, Kepler monitored a crowded field of millions of stars near the center of our Galaxy every 30 minutes in order to find rare gravitational microlensing events.
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Haziness of exoplanet atmospheres depends on properties of aerosol particles
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-haziness- ... rosol.html
by University of California - Santa Cruz
Many exoplanets have opaque atmospheres, obscured by clouds or hazes that make it hard for astronomers to characterize their chemical compositions. A new study shows that haze particles produced under different conditions have a wide range of properties that can determine how clear or hazy a planet's atmosphere is likely to be.

Photochemical reactions in the atmospheres of temperate exoplanets lead to the formation of small organic haze particles. Large amounts of these photochemical hazes form in Earth's atmosphere every day, yet our planet has relatively clear skies. The reason has to do with how easily haze particles are removed from the atmosphere by deposition processes.

"It's not just haze production but also haze removal that determines how clear the atmosphere is," said Xinting Yu, a postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Cruz and lead author of the study, published July 12 in Nature Astronomy.
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Worlds Beyond Our Solar System: NASA’s Tess Discovers Stellar Siblings Host “Teenage” Exoplanets
July 14, 2021



Thanks to data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), an international collaboration of astronomers has identified four exoplanets, worlds beyond our solar system, orbiting a pair of related young stars called TOI 2076 and TOI 1807.

These worlds may provide scientists with a glimpse of a little-understood stage of planetary evolution.

“The planets in both systems are in a transitional, or teenage, phase of their life cycle,” said Christina Hedges, an astronomer at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute in Moffett Field and NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, both in California. “They’re not newborns, but they’re also not settled down. Learning more about planets in this teen stage will ultimately help us understand older planets in other systems.”

A paper describing the findings, led by Hedges, was published in The Astronomical Journal.

TOI 2076 and TOI 1807 reside over 130 light-years away with some 30 light-years between them, which places the stars in the northern constellations of Boötes and Canes Venatici, respectively. Both are K-type stars, dwarf stars more orange than our Sun, and around 200 million years old, or less than 5% of the Sun’s age. In 2017, using data from ESA’s (the European Space Agency’s) Gaia satellite, scientists showed that the stars are traveling through space in the same direction.
https://scitechdaily.com/worlds-beyond- ... xoplanets/
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.” - Steven Moffat
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Isotopes Detected in The Atmosphere of an Exoplanet For The First Time
14 JULY 2021

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A world just over 300 light-years away has yielded the first ever detection of isotopes in an exoplanet's atmosphere.

In the haze around a gaseous exoplanet named TYC 8998-760-1 b, astronomers detected a form of carbon known as carbon-13. This discovery suggests that the exoplanet formed far from its parent star, in the cold reaches of its system beyond a specific snow line.

According to the researchers, the discovery gives us a new way to look into the poorly understood process of planet formation.

"It is really quite special that we can measure this in an exoplanet atmosphere, at such a large distance," said astronomer Yapeng Zhang of Leiden University in the Netherlands.

TYC 8998-760-1 b, discovered in 2019, was already pretty special. It belongs to an extremely rare group of exoplanets - those we have been able to image directly.
https://www.sciencealert.com/for-the-fi ... 5YuZTSXjYc
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.” - Steven Moffat
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Exoplanet discovery tool begins its mission

by Suvrath Mahadevan and Sam Sholtis, Pennsylvania State University
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-exoplanet ... ssion.html
The NEID spectrometer, a new tool for the discovery of planets outside of our solar system, has now started its scientific mission at the WIYN 3.5m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona.

"We are proud that NEID is available to the worldwide astronomical community for exoplanet discovery and characterization," said Jason Wright, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State and NEID project scientist. "I can't wait to see the results we and our colleagues around the world will produce over the next few years, from discovering new, rocky planets, to measuring the compositions of exoplanetary atmospheres, to measuring the shapes and orientations of planetary orbits, to characterization of the physical processes of these planets' host stars."

The newest and one of the most precise tools ever built to detect exoplanets, NEID will discover exoplanets by measuring the minute gravitational tug of these planets on their host star.
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Astronomers make first clear detection of a moon-forming disc around an exoplanet

by ESO
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-astronome ... lanet.html
Using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is a partner, astronomers have unambiguously detected the presence of a disk around a planet outside our Solar System for the first time. The observations will shed new light on how moons and planets form in young stellar systems.

"Our work presents a clear detection of a disk in which satellites could be forming," says Myriam Benisty, a researcher at the University of Grenoble, France, and at the University of Chile, who led the new research published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. "Our ALMA observations were obtained at such exquisite resolution that we could clearly identify that the disk is associated with the planet and we are able to constrain its size for the first time," she adds.

The disk in question, called a circumplanetary disk, surrounds the exoplanet PDS 70c, one of two giant, Jupiter-like planets orbiting a star nearly 400 light-years away. Astronomers had found hints of a "moon-forming" disk around this exoplanet before but, since they could not clearly tell the disk apart from its surrounding environment, they could not confirm its detection—until now.
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https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/ ... 84/6315707

Kepler K2 Campaign 9 – I. Candidate short-duration events from the first space-based survey for planetary microlensing

ABSTRACT
We present the first short-duration candidate microlensing events from the Kepler K2 mission. From late April to early July 2016, Campaign 9 of K2 obtained high temporal cadence observations over a 3.7 deg2 region of the Galactic bulge. Its primary objectives were to look for evidence of a free-floating planet (FFP) population using microlensing, and demonstrate the feasibility of space-based planetary microlensing surveys. Though Kepler K2 is far from optimal for microlensing, the recently developed MCPM photometric pipeline enables us to identify and model microlensing events. We describe our blind event-selection pipeline in detail and use it to recover 22 short-duration events with effective time-scales teff < 10 d previously announced by the OGLE and KMTNet ground-based surveys. We also announce five new candidate events. One of these is a caustic-crossing binary event, modelled in a companion study. The other four have very short durations (teff < 0.1 d) typical of an Earth-mass FFP population. Whilst Kepler was not designed for crowded-field photometry, the K2C9 data set clearly demonstrates the feasibility of conducting blind space-based microlensing surveys towards the Galactic bulge.
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https://arxiv.org/abs/2107.14737



A Second Planet Transiting LTT~1445A and a Determination of the Masses of Both Worlds
Using TESS data, we present the discovery of a second planet in the LTT 1445 system, with an orbital period of 3.1 days. We combine radial velocity measurements obtained from the five spectrographs ESPRESSO, HARPS, HIRES, MAROON-X, and PFS to establish that the new world also orbits LTT 1445A. We determine the mass and radius of LTT 1445Ab to be 2.87+/-0.25 M_Earth and 1.304^{+0.067}_{-0.060} R_Earth, consistent with an Earth-like composition of 33% iron and 67% magnesium silicate. For the newly discovered LTT 1445Ac, we measure a mass of 1.54^{+0.20}_{-0.19} M_Earth and a minimum radius of 1.15 R_Earth, but we cannot determine the radius directly as the signal-to-noise of our light curve permits both grazing and non-grazing configurations.
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Re: Exoplanets – worlds of other suns

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