TRAPPIST-1

Frequent Flaring in the TRAPPIST-1 system - Unsuited For Life?

Frequent Flaring in the TRAPPIST-1 system - Unsuited For Life?

We analyze short cadence K2 light curve of the TRAPPIST-1 system. Fourier analysis of the data suggests Prot=3.295±0.003 days.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Inventing Tools for Detecting Life Elsewhere with Future Telescopes

Inventing Tools for Detecting Life Elsewhere with Future Telescopes

Recently, astronomers announced the discovery that a star called TRAPPIST-1 is orbited by seven Earth-size planets. Three of the planets reside in the "habitable zone," the region around a star where liquid water is most likely to exist on the surface of a rocky planet.

Astrochemistry

Water Transport to Circumprimary Habitable Zones From Icy Planetesimal Disks in Binary Star Systems

Water Transport to Circumprimary Habitable Zones From Icy Planetesimal Disks in Binary Star Systems

So far, more than 130 extrasolar planets have been found in multiple stellar systems. Dynamical simulations show that the outcome of the planetary formation process can lead to different planetary architectures (i.e. location, size, mass, and water content) when the star system is single or double.

Extrasolar Planets

An Earth-mass Planet in a 1-AU Orbit Around a Brown Dwarf

An Earth-mass Planet in a 1-AU Orbit Around a Brown Dwarf

We combine Spitzer and ground-based KMTNet microlensing observations to identify and precisely measure an Earth-mass (1.32+0.41−0.28M⊕) planet OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb at 1.11+0.13−0.10 AU orbiting a 0.072+0.014−0.010M⊙ ultracool dwarf, likely a brown dwarf.

Exploration Science & Technology

The stability of tightly-packed, evenly-spaced systems of Earth-mass planets orbiting a Sun-like star

The stability of tightly-packed, evenly-spaced systems of Earth-mass planets orbiting a Sun-like star

Many of the multi-planet systems discovered to date have been notable for their compactness, with neighbouring planets closer together than any in the Solar System.

Extrasolar Planets

The Longevity of Water Ice on Ganymedes and Europas Around Migrated Giant Planets

The Longevity of Water Ice on Ganymedes and Europas Around Migrated Giant Planets

The gas giant planets in the Solar System have a retinue of icy moons, and we expect giant exoplanets to have similar satellite systems.

Mars

Mars' Arsia Mons and Earth's Dinosaurs Went Extinct About the Same Time

Mars' Arsia Mons and Earth's Dinosaurs Went Extinct About the Same Time

New NASA research reveals that the giant Martian volcano Arsia Mons produced one new lava flow at its summit every 1 to 3 million years during the final peak of activity.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

CO2 Condensation is a Serious Limit to the Deglaciation of Earth-like Planets

CO2 Condensation is a Serious Limit to the Deglaciation of Earth-like Planets

It is widely believed that the carbonate-silicate cycle is the main agent to trigger deglaciations by CO2 greenhouse warming on Earth and on Earth-like planets when they get in frozen state.

Astrogeology

Archaeology in Space: Searching for Life in Rocks

Archaeology in Space: Searching for Life in Rocks

ESA astronauts Pedro Duque and Matthias Maurer have completed geology training to prepare them to be effective partners of planetary scientists and engineers in designing future exploration missions.

Plant Biology

Fossils of 1.6 billion-year-old Crown-group Red Algae

Fossils of 1.6 billion-year-old Crown-group Red Algae

The ~1.6 Ga Tirohan Dolomite of the Lower Vindhyan in central India contains phosphatized stromatolitic microbialites. We report from there uniquely well-preserved fossils interpreted as probable crown-group rhodophytes (red algae).

Titan

Titan's Lakes May Erupt Bubbles of Nitrogen

Titan's Lakes May Erupt Bubbles of Nitrogen

A recent NASA-funded study has shown how the hydrocarbon lakes and seas of Saturn's moon Titan might occasionally erupt with dramatic patches of bubbles.

More top stories from March.