Just a Few Pixels Would let Astronomers Map Surface Features on an Exoplanet Like Oceans and Deserts

Direct images of exoplanets are rare and lack detail. Future observatories might change that, but for now, exoplanet images don’t tell researchers very much. They merely show the presence of the planets as blobs of light.

But a new study shows that only a few pixels can help us understand an exoplanet’s surface features.

Continue reading “Just a Few Pixels Would let Astronomers Map Surface Features on an Exoplanet Like Oceans and Deserts”

Newborn Exoplanets can be Completely Stripped of Their Atmosphere by Stars

Newborn exoplanets can have a tough life. They may form an atmosphere, but that atmosphere can be doomed. Their stars can emit intense X-ray and UV radiation, stripping away those atmospheres and laying their surfaces bare.

A team of researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics looked at a family of four newborn sibling planets, and tried to understand how their star strips away their gaseous envelopes.

Continue reading “Newborn Exoplanets can be Completely Stripped of Their Atmosphere by Stars”