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  • July 19, 2012
  • 01:59 PM

The Soot Line: Between fire and ice

by Invader Xan in Supernova Condensate

The question of precisely what happens as stars and planets condense from vast clouds of gas is still very much an unanswered one. We have some good ideas of how things work, but really it’s difficult to be certain. Newly … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 15, 2010
  • 05:12 PM

Gliese 581 g: The Goldilocks that isn’t?

by sarah in One Small Step

The discovery of planet Gliese 581 g, an exoplanet just 3 times the mass of our Earth  and located in its host star’s Habitable Zone, was one of the biggest science headlines of the year. The news broke, typically, somewhere between my observing proposal deadline and box number 15: “all the crap that didn’t fit [...]... Read more »

Steven S. Vogt, R. Paul Butler, Eugenio J. Rivera, Nader Haghighipour, Gregory W. Henry, & Michael H. Williamson. (2010) The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: A 3.1 M_Earth Planet in the Habitable Zone of the Nearby M3V Star Gliese 581. ApJ accepted. arXiv: 1009.5733v1

  • September 7, 2010
  • 09:26 AM

Exoplanets at a discount

by sarah in One Small Step

Astronomers have many ways of spotting exoplanets round far away stars – but getting a direct look at them, especially with ground-based telescopes, remains a difficult job. With a planet emitting very little light of its own, and appearing to us essentially on top of the host star, its radiation is completely drowned in the [...]... Read more »

Sascha P. Quanz, Michael R. Meyer, Matthew Kenworthy, Julien H. V. Girard, Markus Kasper, Anne-Marie Lagrange, Daniel Apai, Anthony Boccaletti, Mickael Bonnefoy, Gael Chauvin.... (2010) First Results From VLT NACO Apodizing Phase Plate: 4-micron Images of the Exoplanet beta Pictoris b. ApJ Letters. arXiv: 1009.0538v1

A.-M. Lagrange, M. Bonnefoy, G. Chauvin, D. Apai, D. Ehrenreich, A. Boccaletti, D. Gratadour, D. Rouan, D. Mouillet, S. Lacour.... (2010) A giant planet imaged in the disk of the young star Beta Pictoris. Science, 329(5987), 57-59. arXiv: 1006.3314v1

Matthew A. Kenworthy, Sascha P. Quanz, Michael R. Meyer, Markus E. Kasper, Rainer Lenzen, Johanan L. Codona, Julien H. V. Girard, & Philip M. Hinz. (2010) An apodizing phase plate coronagraph for VLT/NACO. Proc. SPIE. arXiv: 1007.3448v1

  • January 16, 2010
  • 12:45 PM

First steps in direct exoplanet spectroscopy

by sarah in One Small Step

Astronomers collaborating from both sides of the Atlantic have obtained the first direct spectrum of an exoplanet. The news here is mainly that they managed to record the spectrum and separate it reliably from that of the host star. Their short letter in ApJ, posted to astro-ph yesterday, doesn’t delve deeply into the implications of [...]... Read more »

M. Janson, C. Bergfors, M. Goto, W. Brandner, & D. Lafreniere. (2010) Spatially resolved spectroscopy of the exoplanet HR 8799 c. accepted by A. arXiv: 1001.2017v1

  • November 23, 2009
  • 06:13 PM

Looking for planets? It’s all about the lithium!

by Invader Xan in Supernova Condensate

I have a lot of respect for planet hunters. It’s not an easy job. Discovering and confirming the existence of a planet requires a lot of patience, and I’d imagine it must be frustrating at times. So I’m sure a few planet hunters are rejoicing at the news that knowing which stars to look at just became a lot easier. All you have to do is look for lithium.... Read more »

Israelian, G., Mena, E., Santos, N., Sousa, S., Mayor, M., Udry, S., Cerdeña, C., Rebolo, R., & Randich, S. (2009) Enhanced lithium depletion in Sun-like stars with orbiting planets. Nature, 462(7270), 189-191. DOI: 10.1038/nature08483  

  • December 11, 2008
  • 02:37 AM

Seeing Extrasolar Planets, Part I: Fomalhaut b

by in n/apleasedelete

A little while ago the first images of exoplanets were released and caused quite a stir in the astronomical community, as well as on the blogosphere! Here at UVa, like good little grad students, we read and discussed the discovery papers shortly after they were released. I read the papers and took notes of our discussion and just wanted to share some highlights of those to go beyond the press releases.First, Kalas et al. (astro-ph and Science) present optical images from the Hubble of the star........ Read more »

P. Kalas, J. R. Graham, E. Chiang, M. P. Fitzgerald, M. Clampin, E. S. Kite, K. Stapelfeldt, C. Marois, & J. Krist. (2008) Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light-Years from Earth. Science, 322(5906), 1345-1348. DOI: 10.1126/science.1166609  

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