Posts tagged with: exoplanets

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-70c: Exoplanet news

Hugh, Hannah, & Andrew discuss a handful of interesting recent exoplanet papers from the past few months. We chat about the news coverage of K2-18b and the claims of biomarkers in that atmosphere, new discoveries, exciting atmospheres, and haze formation. Hannah dives into the controversy of K2-18b and the announcement of DMS (a biomarker on Earth) detection amongst a methane dominated spectrum “Carbon-bearing Molecules in a Possible Hycean Atmosphere” by Madhusudhan et al.. The team

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-69b: Surviving Scientific Conferences

In this episode Andrew, Hannah, and Hugh discuss the art and science of organising, and attending, scientific conferences, with a particular focus on the recent Exoclimes VI meeting held in Exeter, UK, organised by Hannah and others in the exoplanet community. These meetings are crucial for the dissemination and communication of new results among the community and further afield, but they can be daunting to attend, and very stressful to organise. The team share their

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-68b: Interview with Nikole Lewis

The Exocast team are back and this time joined by the esteemed Nikole Lewis, Professor and Deputy director of the Carl Sagan institute at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, USA. We chat all things career, JWST, the future of exoplanet characterisation with the Roman Space Telescope and Nikole add her favourite Neptune mass exoplanet GJ 436b to the Exocast Adopted Planets archive.

Exocast-67 c: Latest exoplanetary news

Hugh, Hannah, & Andrew discuss a handful of interesting recent exoplanet papers from the past few months. Andrew delves into technosignatures and a study which looked at whether nearby extraterrestrial civilisations could detect our current levels of radio leakage, and exactly what they might be able to learn. Hannah condenses the most recent JWST exoplanet paper, on the nearby transiting super-Earth GJ486b. The beautiful spectra from JWST appear to show hints of water vapour, but

Exocast-67b: Catching up with the Exocast team

In this episode Andrew, Hannah, and Hugh reflect on where their careers and research in exoplanet science have led over the past few years as a chance to (re)introduce ourselves to new and regular listeners alike! We hope you’ll appreciate a slightly different format for this show. Do you have a question we didn’t ask? Join in the discussion in the comments below, and find us on Twitter. You can also get your hands on Exocast merchandise

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-65 b: Launching #ExoCup2022

It’s everyone’s favourite time of year. No, not because of halloween, leaf-peeping or mulled wine – because it’s #ExoCup season! Yes, for the sixth time, Hannah, Hugh & Andrew will use the power to twitter polls to let the public decide which single exoplanet deserves to wear the crown as the people’s champion for 2022. In this special episode, we reveal the planets chosen for the 2022 edition – including 24 from the exoplanet literature,

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-63 c: Exoplanet news

We cover this month’s most exciting exoplanetary (and solar system) news: Andrew tells us about details of the proposed “Venus Life Finder” mission which would go beyond ESA & NASA’s selected Venus missions to directly sample for organic molecules in the temperate regions of Venus’ atmosphere using an interplanetary balloon! Hugh talks about how analysis of the multi-planet systems found by Kepler is still revealing new insights, in this case how chains of planets appear

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