Questions regarding planets that lie outside the Solar System.

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Can we spot a gray-goo exoplanet?

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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45 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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124 views

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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1answer
283 views

If oxygen was abundant in Neptune, would there be combustion?

Since Neptune/Uranus have high percentages of methane, wouldn't it be highly likely that there will be combustion (triggered by the lightning storms or any other factor) if oxygen was abundant? And ...
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69 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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206 views

When will we be able to detect Earth-sized exoplanets?

I have heard that the only planets able to be seen outside the Solar system are Jovian-sized planets with the occasional detection of planets three times the Earth's size. But, as far as I know, we ...
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1answer
67 views

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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32 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
43 views

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
55 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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17 views

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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35 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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21 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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26 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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1answer
38 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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2answers
116 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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97 views

What percent of planets are in the position that they could be viewed edge-on from Earth? (and thus able to undergo transits)

Star number 12644769 from the Kepler Input Catalog was identified as an eclipsing binary with a 41-day period, from the detection of its mutual eclipses (9). Eclipses occur because the orbital ...
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4answers
264 views

How would we detect an Earth doppelganger planet?

With our current technology, or technology available in the near future (up to 2025), how would we detect a planet exactly like our own, and how close would it have to be to be detectable? Which ...
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4answers
725 views

Is Earth's 1g solid surface gravity unusually high for exoplanets?

The surface gravities of the Sun’s planets are all close to 1g, 0.38-2.53 (about a factor of e, by chance). The cloud-top gravity of the gas giants is not too interesting here, but I suppose that the ...
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2answers
133 views

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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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
46 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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62 views

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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2answers
186 views

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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2answers
59 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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5k views

How many sun-like stars are there in the universe?

After yesterday's announcement of the Kepler telescope finding a huge amount of newly observed exoplanets, i saw a headline claiming that as much as 22% of sun like stars in the universe have planets ...
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67 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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23 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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104 views

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
137 views

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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83 views

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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137 views

What proportion of planetary systems have been found with 'Hot Jupiters'

According to the NASA website "The strange attraction of Hot Jupiters", one of the main types of exoplanets that have been detected are Hot Jupiters, which are These are behemoth worlds that ...
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207 views

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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94 views

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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67 views

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
108 views

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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89 views

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
116 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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96 views

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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What is the orbital path of the newly discovered star-less planet PSO J318.5-22?

Recent results from Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa claim that there is a Jupiter-sized gas giant planet that is independent of a star about 80 light-years from Earth. ...
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What practical considerations are there for amateur observations of transiting exoplanets?

Obviously, I am not referring to actual viewing of the exoplanets themselves, but detecting their effects on the brightness of the light emitted from the parent star (as in the diagram below from The ...
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73 views

How would an exoplanet be found from earth if our view of its star system is “from the top”?

When we find an exoplanet by observing the dimming of its parent star, this means that the planet passes in front of the star from our view. What if our view of a star system is from its "top" or ...
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2answers
108 views

How many earth-like planets do we know at this moment?

Well, the title says everything... How many earth-like planets have we discovered out there? Discard too big (made of gas), too cold, too hot, etc. Consider earth-like sun distance, size, temperature, ...
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103 views

Climate modeling of exoplanets

These notes from an exoplanet talk discuss modeling the climate of exoplanets. How would we do that with our current technology? Would data be primarily gathered by spectrum analysis?
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76 views

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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4answers
1k views

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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63 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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74 views

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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87 views

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 ...
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95 views

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 ...