Crushed space rocks hint at exoplanets’ early atmospheric makeup

Kepler-186f

Burning bits of ground-up meteorites may tell scientists what exoplanets’ early atmospheres are made of. A set of experiments baking the pulverized space rocks suggests that rocky planets had early atmospheres full of water, astrophysicist Maggie Thompson of the University of California, Santa Cruz reported January 15 at the virtual meeting of the American Astronomical […]

Violent space weather could limit life on nearby exoplanets

Artist’s impression of flare from our neighboring star Proxima Centauri ejecting material onto a nearby planet. (Mark Myers/OzGrav/) Earth regularly endures highly charged belches from our Sun, sometimes even prompting a dancing curtain of ever-changing color known as aurora. But could similar violent eruptions in other solar systems make far-off worlds inhospitable to life? Earlier […]

Airless Exoplanet’s Mantle Could Flow in Halves

Forty-five light-years from Earth sits an exoplanet with no air: LHS 3844b. It orbits so close to its star that gravity keeps one half of the planet in daylight and casts the other side in permanent night. Last year, a team of astronomers found that the planet, slightly larger than Earth and probably […]

Some exoplanets may be able to see us, too — ScienceDaily

Three decades after Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan suggested that Voyager 1 snap Earth’s picture from billions of miles away — resulting in the iconic Pale Blue Dot photograph — two astronomers now offer another unique cosmic perspective: Some exoplanets — planets from beyond our own solar system — have a direct line of sight to […]