“Warping Spacetime to Explore Uncharted Realms” –NASA Seeks Out Hidden Planets at Milky Way’s Center

Milky Way Center

 

Named after Nancy Roman, known as the “Mother of Hubble,” NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Telescope will explore uncharted regions of the galaxy for exoplanets, focusing on star-systems toward the crowded, chaotic center of our Milky Way galaxy. Studying the population properties of exoplanets will help us understand what planetary systems throughout the galaxy are like and how planets form and evolve.

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Milky Way’s Ancient K Stars – “The Best Bet for Planets With Life?”

Oldest Stars of the Milky Way

 

“The Sun is 10 billion times brighter than an Earth-like planet around it, so that’s a lot of light you have to suppress if you want to see an orbiting planet. A K star might be ‘only’ a billion times brighter than an Earth orbiting around it,” said Giada Arney of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. And, they live a very long time—17 billion to 70 billion years, compared to 10 billion years for the Sun—giving plenty of time for life to evolve. Also, K stars have less extreme activity in their youth than the universe’s dimmest stars, called M stars or “red dwarfs.”

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Alien Rain –“A Key to Revealing the Ancient Climate on Planets like Mars and Potentially Habitable Exoplanets”

 

Raindrops

 

“The insights we gain from thinking about raindrops and clouds in diverse environments are key to understanding exoplanet habitability,” said Robin Wordsworth, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) about a new study of the behavior of raindrops on other planets that is key to not only revealing the ancient climate on planets like Mars but identifying potentially habitable planets outside our solar system. “In the long term, they can also help us gain a deeper understanding of the climate of Earth itself.”

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“The Ocean Galaxy” –Many of Milky Way’s 4,000 Known Exoplanets May Be Water Worlds

"The Ocean Galaxy" --Many of the Milky Way's 4,000 Known Exoplanets May be Water Worlds?

 

“Plumes of water erupt from Europa and Enceladus, so we can tell that these bodies have subsurface oceans beneath their ice shells, and they have energy that drives the plumes, which are two requirements for life as we know it,” says Lynnae Quick, a NASA planetary scientist who specializes in volcanism and ocean worlds. Many of the more than 4,000 known exoplanets might resemble some of the watery moons around Jupiter and Saturn. “So if we’re thinking about these places as being possibly habitable, maybe bigger versions of them in other planetary systems are habitable too.”

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“Against All Odds” –NASA’s Planet-Hunting Tess Discovers a Unique Star System with Six ‘Suns’

TESS Mission

 

“The system exists against the odds,” said Brian Powell, a data scientist at NASA’s High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center about the source of starlight that was mysteriously brightening and dimming some 1,900 light-years away. The source, named TIC 168789840, is a system of three pairs of binary stars: three different stellar couplets revolving around three different centers of mass, but with the trio remaining gravitationally bound to one another and circling the galactic center as a single star system.

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“Existing for Billions of Years” –Exoplanets Engulfed by Magma Oceans May Evolve Water-Rich Atmospheres

Exoplanet Wasp 121b

 

 

“Liquid magma is actually quite runny,” said University of Chicago planetary scientist, Edwin Kite, about a new study by University of Chicago and Stanford University researchers suggesting a mechanism where planets could develop atmospheres full of water vapor similar to what makes life on Earth’s surface possible, regulating our climate and sheltering us from damaging cosmic rays.

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