"A mission scientist with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, Natalie Batalha hunts for exoplanets — Earth-sized planets beyond our solar system that might harbor life. She speaks about unexpected connections between things like love and dark energy, science and gratitude, and how "exploring the heavens" brings the beauty of the cosmos and the exuberance of scientific discovery closer to us all
". (Audio link of interview at top left corner of page, other relevant links at bottom of page)
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Feb 17, 2013 -
The light from a primary rainbow is partially polarised
. Now, in a paper accepted
by the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the authors show how to use the weak signal from rainbows in starlight reflected by exoplanets to detect the presence of liquid water clouds. [arXiv preprint link
In particular, liquid water clouds covering as little as 10%-20% of the planetary surface, with more than half of these covered by ice clouds, still create a polarized rainbow feature in the planetary signal. Indeed, calculations of flux and polarization signals of an exoplanet with a realistic Earth-like cloud coverage, show a strong polarized rainbow feature.
posted by Talkie Toaster
on Nov 7, 2012 -
Scientists have discovered a planet composed of scorching hot ice
. Originally thought to be a gas giant due to its mass, its actually only four times the size of Earth and most likely composed of exotic forms of ice, such as Ice VII and Ice X
with s surface temperature of 300° C.
posted by Artw
on May 16, 2007 -