Posts tagged with: exoplanet

Exocast-71b: Do All Planets Orbit Stars?

In this episode, Hannah, Hugh, and Andrew ask the question: Do all planets orbit stars?  Even though the vast majority of planets found so far are bound to a star, there have been detections of planetary-mass objects floating alone through space. Are these planets? How do these objects form, and how can we detect them? Is it possible that these free-floating objects could be considered ‘habitable’? The exocast gang tackle these tricky topics and other

Exocast-70b: Dr. Max Günther talks transits, CHEOPS & chemistry in zero-g

This month the exocast team chat to exoplanetary astronomer Dr Maximillian Guenther. We talk about finding transiting exoplanets with TESS & NGTS, open-source transit modelling, flares from M-dwarf stars, the role of UV in prebiotic chemistry, chemical mixing experiments in zero-g aboard the vomit comet, connections between science and art, and his role as project scientist of the ESA CHEOPS mission. And, of course, hear which important and personally connected planetary system Max has adopted

Exocast-68c: Latest Exoplanet News

Hugh, Hannah, & Andrew discuss a handful of interesting recent exoplanet papers from the past few months. We chat all things Exoclimes VI held in Exeter in June 2023, new discoveries, exciting atmospheres, and haze formation. Hugh highlights a new discovery of “A temperate Earth-sized planet [LP 791-18 d] with tidal heating transiting an M6 star” by Peterson et al. Hannah dives into an escaping atmosphere covering “Giant Tidal Tails of Helium Escaping the Hot

Exocast-66c: Exoplanet News

In this episode the team cover some of the latest exoplanet news stories. This month Hugh covers the first JWST’s transmission spectrum of a small planet, validating and characterising the exoplanet LHS 475b. Hannah discusses some preliminary work from JWST, including phase curves from WASP-121b and WASP-43b, that reveal the capabilities and quirks of the instruments onboard. Andrew breaks the rules by discussing three papers, 2 of which are closely connected, on the general topic

Exocast-66b: Interview with Georgina Dransfield

Back on the airwaves after a short hiatus, the Exocast team are delighted to be joined by Georgina (George) Dransfield, a PhD student at the University of Birmingham in the UK, who works on finding new exoplanets using the transit method. George uses data from ground-based surveys like SPECULOOS and space-based surveys like TESS and is also is somewhat unique in observing from Antarctica, specifically using and helping to run the ASTEP pipeline. Of course, George

Exocast-64c: Exoplanet News

In this episode the team cover some of the latest exoplanet news stories. This month Hannah summarises the most recent exoplanetary science coming out of JWST’s early release science programs; Andrew tells us a bit about the habitability of Enceladus’s subsurface ocean, and Hugh talks about a new observation of compositional differences for planets around M-dwarfs.

Exocast-64b: Interview with Dr Naomi Rowe-Gurney

This month Hannah, Andrew, and Hugh are joined in the virtual Exocast studio by planetary scientist Dr Naomi Rowe-Gurney. Naomi is a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Howard University in the USA where she works on all things Ice Giants (Uranus and Neptune) in particular looking at them with JWST. The perfectly timed episode follows on from newly released images of Neptune taken with JWST that Naomi had been working on and we discuss the future of Ice Giant science with JWST and a mission to Uranus. After a health giggle session over an excessive use of the word “Uranus” we dive into the science of what a mission to the planet could help us reveal and what makes the Ice Giants so unique.

Exocast-63b: How do planets form?

Hugh, Hannah & Andrew turn their attention to a simple question with a very complicated answer: our favourite! This month we are pondering how planets form. What do we know about planet formation from the Earth, observations from our Solar System, and of distant exoplanetary systems? Where are the gaps in our understanding of the processes involved? Do the theories and models of planet formation hold up to observational scrutiny? We might not be able

Exocast-62c: Exoplanet News

The latest news hot off the Exocast news desk for July/August 2022, another exciting month for exoplanet science: Andrew takes some time to discuss the life and influence of Dr James Lovelock, the co-originator the Gaia Hypothesis, who died recently. His news this month takes the form of two independent but neatly connected papers on the topic of ‘chirality’: ‘The Chiral Puzzle of Life’ by Globus and Blandford, and ‘Directional Aspects of Vegetation Linear and

Exocast-62 b: Interview with Dr. Knicole Colón

This month Hannah, Andrew & Hugh are joined by NASA Goddard’s space telescope expert, Dr. Knicole Colón. Fresh from her NASA TV appearance unveiling JWST’s first exoplanet spectrum to the world, the JWST Deputy Project Scientist for Exoplanet Science gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the big day, as well as how the team got JWST ready for science. She also discusses the ongoing TESS mission searching for new planets, as well as the Pandora

Exocast-61c: Exoplanet News

The latest news hot off the Exocast news desk for June/July 2022, a very exciting month for exoplanet science: Hannah gives us a run-down of some of the long-awaited first images from JWST, including a spectrum from the atmosphere of WASP-96b from the NIRISS instrument showing clear water features. The team try (and fail) to contain their giddiness at the prospect of entering a new era of exoplanet astrophysics. Andrew takes to the theory literature

Exocast-61 b: Observation vs Theory, which is more important?

Hugh, Hannah & Andrew pick sides to debate astronomy’s deepest divide. Are you with Hugh on the side of the observers, who insist that it is only with new telescopes, instruments and data that we can reveal physical properties of exoplanets and develop our understanding of the universe. Or are you, like Andrew, on the side of the theorists, who ensure that we can deeply understand the physical properties of exoplanets by doing experiments and

Exocast-60c: Exoplanet News

The latest exoplanet news hot off the Exocast news desk: Hannah gives us a run-down of the Exoplanets IV conference held recently in Las Vegas, at which both her and Hugh were in attendence, including summaries of interesting sessions and presentations. Hugh presents a great new paper from Panahi et al. 2022 entitled “The Detection of Transiting Exoplanets by Gaia” that demonstates the Gaia spacecraft’s ability to contribute to exoplanet detection. Andrew keeps things in

Exocast-60b: Interview with Dr Jennifer Burt

In this episode of Exocast the team are fortunate to be joined in the virtual studio by Dr Jennifer Burt, NASA/JPL’s Extreme Precision Radial Velocity Investigation Scientist, for an extreme discussion of the radial velocity technique for finding and characterising exoplanets. Jenn gives us a comprehensive and enthusiastic rundown of the method, US and European RV surveys, supporting current and future photometric missions with RV follow-up, and an update on new technology and instruments that

Exocast-59c: Exoplanet News

Join us for this months news episode where the Exocast team delve into new discoveries, characterisation, and astrobiology investigations to learn all about the latest research being published in exoplanets. Andrew takes us through some new astrobiology work “Metabolically diverse primordial microbial communities in Earth’s oldest seafloor-hydrothermal jasper“ from Papineau et al. 2022 Hannah covers the latest in characterisation with “A New Analysis of 8 Spitzer Phase Curves and Hot Jupiter Population Trends: Qatar-1b, Qatar-2b,

Exocast-59b: What are planetary atmospheres made of?

This month Hugh, Hannah, and Andrew go back to basics to discuss the diversity and complexity inherent in the study of planetary atmospheres. Exocast-59b touches on how we define an atmosphere and takes a sojourn through the varied and beautiful atmospheres of the Solar System, as well as a journey back through time to consider the long evolution of the atmosphere of our planet. How does an atmosphere form and change over time, cling to

Exocast-57b: How big can an exoplanet be?

This month Hugh, Hannah and Andrew discuss a deceptively simple question about the limits of planetary size… Exocast-57b takes you from measurements of exoplanet radius and mass, the difficulty with the IAU definition of planets, to the formation of brown dwarfs and stars. They even dive into the importance of size on habitability, the size limits of a rocky world compared to a gaseous world, some of the stand out candidates for the “biggest” exoplanet,

Exocast-56b: Interview with Mark McCaughrean about JWST

In this episode the Exocast gang chat with Dr Mark McCaughrean, who is a Senior Advisor for Science & Exploration at the European Space Agency (ESA), as well as a James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Science Working Group Interdisciplinary Scientist, about the recent launch, deployment and commissioning of JWST. Mark shares scientific and personal highlights of his long involvement with the telescope, his experience of JWST’s launch from French Guiana on Christmas Day 2021, and

Exocast-55b: ExoCup2021

That’s right it is that time of year again where the Exocast team pit planet against planet in the Twitter poll show-down: ExoCup! In this episode Andrew, Hugh, and Hannah look at the rundown of exoplanets that were mentioned the most in the past year of research publications and the top 23 join last years ExoCup2020 winner WD-1856b to fill out the first 24 exoplanets in Pots 1, 2, and 3. They then take a

Top