Posts tagged with: exoplanet

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

Exocast-54c – Exoplanet News

The exocast team covers the latest news in Exoplanets including a critical look at the so called “Hycean” worlds recently proposed to be the best places to look for life, a detailed run-down of the Elements magazine issue on “Geoscience beyond the solar system”, and some new and refined exoplanet measurements and discoveries.

Exocast-54b: Observing Exoplanets from the Ground

In this episode the exocast team discuss how we observe exoplanets from the ground, how different it is from space, where we put the telescopes and why. The team start by sharing their journeys to telescopes around the world to make observations, and discuss the different bands in the atmosphere that we observe in. The main difference between ground- and space-based observatories is their size, the instruments on some of the ground-based observatories are room

Exocast-53b: Interview with Elizabeth Tasker

In this episode the Exocast crew are excited to talk with expert science communicator, JAXA space scientist, and master of computer simulations, Professor Elizabeth Tasker. During the hour long discussion we talk about how Elizabeth transitioned into planetary research from a degree and PhD in galactic simulations, the journey from the UK to the US, Canada and now in Japan. Where the idea for her popular science book The Planet Factory came from and why

Exocast-51b: Interview with Mark Marley

In this episode the Exocast gang are joined by veteran exoplaneteer Dr Mark Marley from NASA Ames. During a nearly hour-long discussion, we probe Mark’s experience of early exoplanet discovery and characterisation efforts in the 1990s, his work on clouds and atmospheric circulation models, ‘ice’ giants, brown dwarfs, his leadership role with the LUVOIR space telescope concept, as well as his cheerleading efforts during the Exocup.

Exocast-45c: how many exoplanets are there?

In this episode, the team sits down to ponder the question how many exoplanets are there? At first, this might seem like a relatively straightforward question that can be answered by NASA’s Exoplanet Archive, but it becomes more daunting when considering, for example, the biases and limitations of our instruments that affect our ability to even detect and characterise many planets, how we define a ‘planet’, and whether or not we have surveyed enough stars

Exocast-45d – Exoplanet News: new discoveries, characterisations, and formation research

On Exocast-45d we bring you the news from across exoplanet research this month with new discoveries, characterisations, habitability and formation papers. In America, WFIRST has been renamed the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope in honour to the pioneering “Mother Hubble”, while in Europe the LIFE mission kicked off. We have lots of new exoplanets being discovered (from TESS, NGTS, WASP and RVs), and un-discovered, as was the case for Fomalhaut b. Characterisation studies have also

Exocast-44c: Can we ever image the surface of an exoplanet?

On this episode we ask the question: Can we ever image the surface of an exoplanet? Once we get all the definitions out of the way, like ‘what do we mean by map?’ and ‘what do we mean by surface?’, we take a deep dive into the realm of instrumentation to discuss the possibilities and limitations of our upcoming and near-future exoplanet imaging technologies. We touch on some of the avenues that astronomers & engineers

Exocast-43 d: Exoplanet news

In the final of three mini-exocasts we will release this month, we cover some of the notable happenings in exoplanet science over the past month. On this episode we cover new planets from the TESS mission, a novel technique for detecting exoplanets using radio emission, and the end of the very productive KELT survey after 17 years. We also revisit K2-18b, which hit the exoplanet headlines last year after water vapour was definitively detected in

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