TRAPPIST-1

Orbital Harmony Limits Late Arrival Of Water On TRAPPIST-1 Planets

Orbital Harmony Limits Late Arrival Of Water On TRAPPIST-1 Planets

Seven Earth-sized planets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1 in near-perfect harmony, and U.S. and European researchers have used that harmony to determine how much physical abuse the planets could have withstood in their infancy.

Dale Andersen's Field Reports

Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 24 November 2021: Setting Up Base Camp At Lake Untersee

Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 24 November 2021: Setting Up Base Camp At Lake Untersee

Hi Keith, All is well here at Lake Untersee in the mountains of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Our traverse from the ice-runway at Novolazarevskaya Station went well with good weather and visibility, and the new BRP Lynx Commander snowmobiles we used performed remarkably well and were very fuel efficient - which is very important to us during our 6 hour, 125 km ride inland.

Extrasolar Planets

A Closer Look At Opening Angles And Absorption Regions In The Atmospheres Of Transiting Exoplanets

A Closer Look At Opening Angles And Absorption Regions In The Atmospheres Of Transiting Exoplanets

Transmission spectra contain a wealth of information about the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets. However, large thermal and chemical gradients along the line of sight can lead to biased inferences in atmospheric retrievals.

Oceanic Research

New Possibilities For life At The Bottom Of Earth's Ocean, And Perhaps In Oceans On Other Planets

New Possibilities For life At The Bottom Of Earth's Ocean, And Perhaps In Oceans On Other Planets

In the strange, dark world of the ocean floor, underwater fissures, called hydrothermal vents, host complex communities of life.

Mars

No Detection Of SO2, H2S, or OCS In The Atmosphere Of Mars From The First Two Martian Years Of Observations From TGO/ACS

No Detection Of SO2, H2S, or OCS In The Atmosphere Of Mars From The First Two Martian Years Of Observations From TGO/ACS

The detection of sulphur species in the Martian atmosphere would be a strong indicator of volcanic outgassing from the surface of Mars.

Astrochemistry

Aqueous Alteration On Asteroids Simplifies Soluble Organic Matter Mixtures

Aqueous Alteration On Asteroids Simplifies Soluble Organic Matter Mixtures

Biologically relevant abiotic extraterrestrial soluble organic matter (SOM) has been widely investigated to study the origin of life and the chemical evolution of protoplanetary disks. Synthesis of biologically relevant organics, in particular, seems to require aqueous environments in the early solar system.

Extrasolar Planets

ExoMiner: A Highly Accurate And Explainable Deep Learning Classifier To Mine Exoplanets

ExoMiner: A Highly Accurate And Explainable Deep Learning Classifier To Mine Exoplanets

The Kepler and TESS missions have generated over 100,000 potential transit signals that must be processed in order to create a catalog of planet candidates.

Astrochemistry

The Trans/cis Ratio Of Formic, HCOOH, And Thioformic, HC(O)SH, Acids In The Interstellar Medium

The Trans/cis Ratio Of Formic, HCOOH, And Thioformic, HC(O)SH, Acids In The Interstellar Medium

We studied theoretically the cis-trans isomerization reactions of two astrophysically relevant acids, formic acid (HCOOH) and thioformic acid (HC(O)SH), where the latter has recently been discovered in space.

TRAPPIST-1

Detecting The Proposed CH4-CO2 Biosignature Pair With The James Webb Space Telescope: TRAPPIST-1e And The Effect Of Cloud/haze

Detecting The Proposed CH4-CO2 Biosignature Pair With The James Webb Space Telescope: TRAPPIST-1e And The Effect Of Cloud/haze

It is widely anticipated that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be transformative for exoplanet studies. It has even been suggested that JWST could provide the first opportunity to search for biosignatures in an alien atmosphere using transmission spectroscopy.

Extrasolar Planets

Exoplanetary Interiors

Exoplanetary Interiors

The first mass-estimate of an exoplanet around a Sun-like star, 51 Peg b and the first radius measurement of an exoplanet, HD209458b pointed to the challenges of understanding the atmosphere, interior, and evolution of exoplanets including the possibility of mass loss of planets on close-orbits that are exposed to strong irradiation.

Planetary Protection

"Alien" Invasions And The Need For Planetary Biosecurity

The era of space exploration brings with it a new risk: invasion. The peril comes not from little green men arriving on flying saucers but, rather, from microbiological contamination of Earth from extraterrestrial environments and vice versa.

More top stories from November.