Questions regarding planets that lie outside the Solar System.

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How common are exoplanets in distant orbits?

Are there many single transits in the Kepler data, which might be exoplanets with a longer orbital period than the time they have been observed for transits? Can any conclusions be drawn about how ...
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1answer
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How can a planet have a 90° inclination?

Planetary systems as we understand it exist from a disk of mass when the parent star is young. That's why all our planets are in the same plane, or close to it. See also Why is the solar system ...
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How can exoplanet moons be detected? [duplicate]

How can exoplanet moons be detected? Are there current methods to differentiate exoplanets with moons and exoplanets without moons? Or, are only the combined masses of the exoplanet and its moons ...
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1answer
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What would Earthlike planets bigger than Earth with <10 m/s^2 gravity and complex life be like?

Large is bigger than Earth. Assuming that such planets exist (though I guess if such planets don't exist that would explain much of the Fermi paradox). Maybe some amount of iron is needed though, to ...
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1answer
117 views

Are there any Stars we know don't have planets?

We have been looking for planets around other stars for a while (see related Are there any other Earth-like planets in the universe? ) and we are finding lots of planets, some of them are Earth like ...
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Could the James Webb Space Telescope detect biosignals on exoplanets?

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which is slated to launch in 2018 will bring us a better view of exoplanets, but will it be sufficient to detect signs of life on at least some of those worlds? ...
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Can we spot a gray-goo exoplanet? [on hold]

How would look an earth-like planet eaten by nano-machines? I guess there must be some properties we can assume from different nano-machine scenarios - strange size, too uniform landscape (a perfect ...
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1answer
66 views

How to find Exomoons?

How would we be able to detect Exomoons? We detect exoplanets by seeing if the light gets faint from a star, but could we really use the same method for determining if there is an exomoon around that ...
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1answer
39 views

How do astronomers determine the texture of an exoplanet?

So I was wondering how astronomers are able to get the texture/detail of an exoplanet or how they know a planet has water or not. I know how they discover planets by using the light of a star and ...
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1answer
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How did WASP-18b exoplanet form?

I am new to this community and not quite sure if this is an appropriate question to be asked here. Anyways its just my curiosity. As far as I could know about WASP-18b is that, it orbits very close to ...
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1answer
61 views

How can we tell how many exoplanets a star has?

Part of this answer (discussing the moving center of mass of our solar system) explains that this movement is one way we know a star has planets: Bonus: We use this phenomenon to find planets ...
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0answers
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What are the analysis steps in taking raw data from Kepler to a planetary system determination

I wish to get a concise list of the analysis steps required to take raw light data from a Kepler data set of a star through the steps needed to get to an analytical determination of the existence of a ...
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37 views

Types of Exoplanets

We discover vastly more exoplanets, that are gas giants that orbit their parent star very closely, than small terrestrial planets that are more distant to their sun. Could this be due to the methods ...
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1answer
23 views

Probability of finding life-supporting exoplanets

We've found over a thousand exoplanets by now, but how many of them could support life? What percentage of newly found planets are potentially life-harbouring? Or haven't we found any exoplanets that ...
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1answer
28 views

Exoplanets and relativity [duplicate]

Ok, so I have read about how exoplanets are found using all sorts of genius methods. I also understand the further an obect in a telescope is the further into the past I am looking. So given that ...
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2answers
130 views

On a log-log plot of surface gravity to planet mass, what is the meaning of the y-intercept?

I am playing around with data from exoplanets.org, and am interested in the plot of surface gravity to planet mass. I reproduced this plot after downloading their data and performed a non-linear ...
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1answer
77 views

Planets orbiting Alpha Centauri

I read that a few years ago some planets were discovered orbiting Alpha Centauri. Has there been any more information since then concerning the possibility of life there? This is the closest star ...
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1answer
43 views

Can you assume atmosphere height for the purpose of surface pressure calculation?

Given that by definition of scale height an atmosphere thins by a factor of 1/e^x where x is elevation in terms of scale height multiples (See the table here: Definition of Scale Height), can we ...
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1answer
63 views

average number of exoplanets in a system

I was just wondering what the normal amount of planets is in a star system, because in my mind 8 planets seems like a relatively large amount. so are we above average? can we even see all the ...
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1answer
47 views

Do astronomers and astrophysicists more often use diameters or radii when discussing about planets, dwarf planets, exoplanets and stars?

Mathematicians much more often use radii over diameters when discussing about circles and spheres, because in mathematics the radius is more fundamental than the diameter (the sphere is defined using ...
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2answers
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Is it possible that the Sun has a binary partner (the Nemesis Theory) that has eluded detection?

I just recently learned about the theory that our Sun has a small companion star with a 26 million year orbit. This theory came about when it was realized that mass extinction events happened ...
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26 views

Orbital resonances and position of planets

I am interested in quick generation of planetary systems for programs similar to Space Engine or Pioneer Space Simulator. As far as I understand, formation of planets is a complex process and the ...
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2answers
66 views

Could we detect an earth-like planet around another star?

Could we detect an earth-like planet (e.g. similar distance from star, and similar size) with current planet finding techniques? If an earth-like planet were orbiting our nearest star, excluding the ...
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1answer
68 views

Is there any way a planet could form independent of a star?

I just recently heard that there are currently no theoretical models that support planet formation without a star, but I can't remember where. So, I thought I would request all of your expertises. ...
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Statistics of elements abundance in exoplanets

Recently, I encountered the concept of carbon planets - planets, which would be, unlike the Earth, formed mostly by carbon, instead of oxygen, silicon and magnesium. (I am not counting iron, which is ...
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Exoplanet Temperature Calculations

I was given an exoplanet similar in size and distance to host star to our own earth. It's orbiting a star with luminosity six times our sun, the greenhouse coefficient 0.3, bond albedo 0.3. I need to ...
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2answers
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What astronomical observations would give conclusive proof of alien life?

There are several ways we are coming closer to answering the question "is there life elsewhere in the universe?". One is by first understanding very well the origin life on our own planet. Another is ...
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1answer
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What kinds of technologies are required to directly image exoplanets

I have read that immensley powerful telescopes such as the European Extremley Large Telescope will be able to directly image the atmospheres of exoplanets, and even determine their rotation rates. I ...
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1answer
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If Kepler-444 planets existed for 11.2 billion years, why fear for life on Earth after six billion years?

According to recent news, Kepler-444, a 11.2 billion year old star, has a system of five planets. It has a mass of 3/4 of solar mass. So I believe both Kepler 444 and the Sun will share the fate of ...
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1answer
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If Alpha Centauri A's solar system exactly mirrored our own, what would we be able to detect?

Suppose there was an exact replica of our solar system 4.4 ly away (people included). What would we be able to detect and with what telescope(s)? Which planets? Could we detect radio transmissions ...
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1answer
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What is the process for vetting the 4,175 candidate planets Kepler has discovered?

In the National Geographic article about NASA's announcement of new planets discovered by the Kepler spacecraft, it states that there are 4,175 candidate planets. What is the process for vetting these ...
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1answer
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Why stars are named Gliese?

There are exoplanets called Gliese 581c, Gliese 581d etc. I assume their star is Gliese 581. So where does this Gliese come from?
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2answers
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How do or could radio telescopes contribute to exoplanet studies?

Current and upcoming telescopes which find exoplanets and take spectra of their atmospheres seem to be optical or infrared. What about radio telescopes applied to exoplanets? They are larger and more ...
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1answer
118 views

Ramifications of black hole stellar system

Recently, I got around to seeing the movie Interstellar. In it, the characters of the movie visit a stellar system that appears to be built around a black hole instead of a star. On top of this, their ...
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1answer
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How should exoplanet discoveries affect SETI?

Given that SETI was created before the discovery of exoplanets, has this changed how they search? Would it make more sense to focus efforts on discovered earth like exoplanets?
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1answer
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Method to determine the amount of reflected starlight necessary for an exoplanet to be visible from a given distance/angle?

What is the method to determine the amount of reflected starlight necessary for an exoplanet to be visible from a given distance/angle? (Not from occlusion but actually visible on its own.) Further, ...
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3answers
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how far away could we detect that earth has life?

My guess is that life bearing planets are too far apart to be detected. I think we can only find the ones within a sphere around our planet that is 100s of light years in diameter but I suspect life ...
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2answers
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Likelihood of a stable system with a dwarf planet's orbit inside that of a gas giant

I keep thinking of various planetary system configurations, and would like to know: What are the fundamental references based on Monte Carlo long-term simulation of planetary systems' evolution that ...
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4answers
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Would an exoplanet without axial tilt have no seasons?

Would an Earth analog exoplanet which rotates around a solar analog, but without axial tilt, have no seasons? Would it be similar to how Los Angeles does not have very noticeable seasons compared to ...
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1answer
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What day/night cycles, climate and seasons would experience Alpha Centauri Bb inhabitants?

Alpha Centauri Bb is an exoplanet orbiting Alpha Centauri B. It is asserted that given the close distance to the star the planet should be tidally locked. The orbiting period of the planet is about ...
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1answer
66 views

Is it possible that only one hemisphere of a planet has an atmosphere?

Suppose there is a tidally locked planet orbiting a star. The planet's surface consists of a global ocean, that is, liquid water. At the inner hemisphere the temperature is so high that the water is ...
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1answer
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Why can't we detect water on Mars in the same way as in exoplanets?

Often I see news articles claiming astronomers found exoplanets with water. If we are capable of detecting water on such distant objects, why don't we employ similar methods to find water on Mars or ...
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1answer
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Is it conceivable that the presence of chlorophyll (or similar) could be distinguishable from other chemicals on an exoplanet?

If an Earth-like exoplanet had a sufficiently extensive plant biosphere (i.e large forests, aquatic algal mats etc), is it at all conceivable that scientists could spectroscopically detect the ...
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1answer
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Conditions on Hot Jupiters

Hot Jupiters are close to their parent star - after all, that's why they're so hot. Their atmospheres are thought to be slowly blown away by the parent star, and they will eventually become chthonian ...
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Sedna, VP113 and the likelihood of the PX/Tyche/Thelistos hypotheses

Crosslisted question from http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/131876/sedna-vp113-and-the-likelihood-of-the-px-tyche-thelistos-hypotheses The recent discoveries in exoplanetary science ...
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1answer
109 views

Which spiral arm of the Milky Way is Kepler-62 in?

I am trying to find out which spiral arm of the Milky Way the star Kepler-62 and its planetary system are in. All I can find by Google searching is that it is part of the Lyra constellation, but I ...
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the length of second, minute or hour, what defines the time of exo planetary bodies

we measure time based on earth and earth mass\gravity plays a role in the measurement ? so how and what would be time if not earth time on other exo planets since they will be having different ...
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Are astronomers continuously monitoring exoplanetary systems?

I'm reading many of the Wikipedia pages about exoplanets and the different methods they are using to detect them. But I wonder, it seems that the emphasis is on detecting and finding new exoplanets, ...
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How would Alpha Centauri A appear from the surface of Alpha Centauri Bb?

I'm trying to imagine what a hypothetical observer on the surface of Alpha Centauri Bb would see in the daytime sky. I know it would vary depending on the orbit of b around B, as well as the position ...
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Exoplanet naming conventions

I'm looking for any exoplanet nomenclature, official, semi-official, proposed, or just a good idea, beyond what can already be found on Wikipedia at ...