Posts Tagged ‘planet’

Detecting New Planets

May 2, 2020

News article posted on by Rebekah Hounsell, Knicole Colon

Time flies — it has already been two years since TESS launched into space! Since launching on April 18, 2018, TESS has mapped out a significant fraction of the night sky, confirmed the existence of 45 exoplanets, found more than 1700 planet candidates, and been used to examine the variability of countless sources such as active galactic nuclei and supernovae.

Before science operations even began in July 2018, TESS managed to capture a set of images showing the motion of the comet C/2018N1, illustrating TESS’s unique ability to collect a set of stable periodic images covering a wide region of the sky.

Within the first few months of operation, TESS demonstrated its planet hunting abilities by detecting its first three exoplanets: a planet named Pi Mensae c, which is twice the size of the Earth and orbits its Sun like star every six days; LHS 3844 b, a rocky planet located in the constellation Indus, at a distance of only 49 light years; a dense non-rocky planet named HD 21749 b, which is three times the size of the Earth and 23 times more massive, making the planet more dense than Neptune.

TESS discovered its first Earth-size planet in the habitable zone, which was announced in early 2020. The planet named TOI 700 d orbits a cool M dwarf star approximately 40% the mass and size of the Sun and is just over 100 light years away in the southern constellation of Draco. To date TOI 700 d is one of only a few planets discovered within a system’s habitable zone.

TESS also detected its first circumbinary planetary system in 2019. The planet, TOI 1338 b, is a world that orbits two stars in the constellation of Pictor, at a distance of 1300 light years. The two stars orbit each other every 15 days – one is 10% more massive than the Sun whilst the other is cooler and dimmer at 1/3 the size of the Sun. TOI 1338 b is believed to be the only planet in the system and is almost 7 times larger than the Earth.

Apart from hunting for planets, TESS, with its almost all-sky survey capability and high-cadenced observations, is a great tool to study the variable universe. TESS watched a star being torn apart by a black hole in a phenomenon known as a tidal disruption event (TDE). This event was named ASASSN-19bt as it was first identified by the ground-based All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae. The data provided by TESS allowed the astronomical community to view the light from the event much closer to the black hole than ever before!

TESS has also been used to create detailed high-cadenced light curves of supernovae (SNe). Recent work presented 18 early time light curves of Type Ia SNe occurring in the first six sectors of TESS data. SN Ia are one of our most mature cosmological probes, however we still do not have a firm understanding of the progenitor systems. The detailed early time observations of these transient events by TESS are extremely important and can provide vital information in understanding these systems.

The science highlighted here represents only a small amount of the incredible science to have come out of the TESS prime mission to date, thanks to efforts of both the TESS mission team and the TESS community. So what is next for TESS? The two-year prime mission will end in July 2020, and given the success of TESS, the mission has now been extended for a further two years through October 2022. TESS will remain as NASA’s key planet hunter, but it will also continue to provide the high-quality wide-field survey data required for the exploration of many different kinds of variable and transient events in the night sky — part of which is shown below in the mosaic of the southern sky as seen by TESS.


Earth Day, Every Day

February 23, 2020

from GOTT. p. 255

130) And cultivate your land and the whole Earth without tormenting and destroying it, and be admonished to do this because otherwise it will raise itself up against you and bring you unweather, high waters, enormous storms, fire and drought, as well as dearths of fruits and other provision (food).

131) See that only good comes to you from Earth, as it will be and as it is due to you (as you are entitled to) when you strive for it; do at all times rightfully with your world so that no calamity comes (breaks in) over you from it for which you yourselves are to blame; consider that if calamity comes (breaks in) over you that you alone are to blame for it, even if most of you do not know it, because you do not care about the laws of condition (cause) and of decision (effect = cause and effect).

132) See the signs of your appearance (nature) and allow yourselves to be captivated (influenced) by them so that you recognise that the earth with its laws of its appearance (nature) will not submit to you, but that you must fall in line with it (integrate yourselves) in order to spend your existence (life) in togetherness with it, and to obtain (draw) the best gains (effects) from it.

133) Therefore consider: Whatever you do with your earth, it will never submit to you.

134) And be certain (knowing) that if you do not do rightfully with your world and with all people of your kind (human kind) then grievances (vexations) will come over you, such as great storms and high waters, and you will be oppressed (plagued) by locusts, by lice and frogs, as well as by scourges (plagues) and vermin and many kinds of life (life forms) and people of your kind (human beings) who change into deformed ones (mutated ones) for which you are to blame and spread torment; therefore do not be arrogant (vain) and do not commit outrages (misdemeanours) against the appearance (nature) or against the laws and recommendations of the wellspring of the love (Creation) so that no calamity comes over you.

GOTT 7:130-134

see also:“Destruction of the Environment as the Consequence of Overpopulation” pdf

Opinion: TESS finding few planets

December 30, 2019

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite began taking pictures of stars more than 15 months ago.  It is now 2/3rds finished looking at the local sky.  (17 of 26 sectors observed).  Although it has identified over 1500 objects of interest, so far there have only been 37 confirmed planets discovered.

KEPLER on the other hand, discovered over 2,600 exoplanets.

My conclusion?  KEPLER is KING and we should build and launch a few more of them.

Since the DRAKE equation has been solved years ago,

N = 2,630,000

we still need to identify 55,000 more exoplanets in order to reach the statistical odds of finding a world with advanced intelligent life.

(2.63 million highly developed civilizations (1 in 59,316 star systems like ours host evolved human life)

The CHEOPS satellite, built by Swiss nerds, will try to calculate the densities of known exoplanets.  A secondary mission will be to try and spot potential clouds or atmospheres of local exoplanets, but it does not have a spectrometer on board.  What it will find remains to be seen.


Top News Headline – Control Population to Save the Planet

November 5, 2019

If I drive on the road, can I go 120 MPH wherever I want?

If I owned a gun, can I have any weapon and unlimited ammo?

Everything needs some form of limit or control, otherwise the world

would be a lawless planet.  Everything in moderation, right?

Why should someone be allowed to have 10 children if the world is already overpopulated?  Can someone argue that they NEED to have 10 kids?

disclosure drudge 11.5.19

The earth does need fewer people. But no one has to die or be killed.  We just need reasonable limits on family sizes.  No one “accidentally” had 10 kids.

In the last 40 years, the human population doubled.  You know what didn’t double?  The size of our planet.

Cause, effect.

Look at these blog posts from 5 years ago:

original science paper: *

*claims population is increasing only by 80 million per year, when it is in fact growing by an average of 110 million per year, according to BEAM.

4000 exoplanets identified

July 17, 2019

And more to come!


Don’t be a sheep, be a wolf or lynx!

June 9, 2019

Kepler K2 finds 28 more exoplanets

March 11, 2019
Dear Exoplanet Explorers,
We’re very excited to let you know that we just published a new list of 28 new planet candidates identified thanks to your collective efforts!
These planets are a varied bunch, with sizes ranging from two thirds that of Earth to  those which are more than twice the size of Neptune. All are quite some distance from their stars, so  are most likely not habitable – but don’t despair, as they will help us understand planet formation. You can read more here:
These new exoplanet candidates range in size from ~2/3 the radius of Earth to nearly twice the radius of Neptune. As seen in the figure above, most of these planets are similar in orbital period and planet radius to the bulk population of K2 confirmed and candidate planets. However, this list provides 9 potentially rocky planets with radii less than twice that of Earth which is where we think planets transition from being primarily rocky like Earth and have a thick gaseous atmosphere like Neptune. The radius cut off for rocky planets remains somewhat unclear as the composition of the planet is the important feature to consider here.
Unfortunately, transiting planets only provide us with the planets radius. Nevertheless, optimistic estimates suggest that planets smaller than twice the radius of Earth may be rocky. For further reading on this topic check out the associated paper! As the search continues for habitable planets, these rocky planets are of unique interest as they potentially mimic the environment we experience here on Earth. The planets in our list are outside the habitable zone, but there are some candidates that are close. We need better stellar properties, which might indeed show that some planets could be in the habitable zone.
ee 28 combin
If you’re missing the search for new planets while Exoplanet Explorers is taking a break, please help our friends over at Planet Hunters with their search through data from TESS, NASA’s newest planet-seeking mission. You can get involved at
Thanks for all your help!
Chris & the Exoplanet Explorers team

Nothing to See Here

March 5, 2019

Ocean heatwaves devastate wildlife, worse to come

Invisible to people but deadly to marine life, ocean heatwaves have damaged ecosystems across the globe and are poised to become even more destructive, according to the first study to measure worldwide impacts with a single …

Due to humans, extinction risk for 1,700 animal species to increase by 2070

As humans continue to expand our use of land across the planet, we leave other species little ground to stand on. By 2070, increased human land-use is expected to put 1,700 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals at greater …

Red tide rolling: Harmful algae found to flourish in both high-, low-CO2 environments

The algae responsible for Florida’s toxic red tides may be more resilient to shifting ocean chemistry than scientists previously realized, according to research from Florida State University oceanographers.

Dying trees in cities? Blame it on the concrete

A North Carolina State University study examining urbanization, scale-insect abundance and latitudinal warming on tree health in the Southeast captured a few surprising results.

Sonar disturbs blue whales feeding

No one really knows why pods of whales spontaneously drive themselves aground. Military sonar may be one culprit, and the need to train and test submarine tracking technology in open water could put the US Navy in conflict

Green water supplies and global limits

Access to dwindling freshwater supplies is one of the defining issues of our time as global populations expand amidst a changing climate. Water access and limitations and related issues are rightly considered a possible flashpoint …

Chemical pollutants in the home degrade fertility in both men and dogs, study finds

New research by scientists at the University of Nottingham suggests that environmental contaminants found in the home and diet have the same adverse effects on male fertility in both humans and in domestic dogs.

Catastrophic outlook for African savannahs due to rise in CO2 levels

A ground-breaking research study looking at modern and ancient landscapes has discovered African plants could be facing mass extinction faster than once thought.

Read the definitive document on the ongoing destruction of the climate and nature HERE.


TESS ting TESS ting 1 2 3

November 27, 2018

First data results from Sectors 1 and 2 expected to be released in December. Sectors 3 and 4 data expected to be released in January 2019.

Swiss nerds to launch exoplanet measuring CHEOPS space telescope next year

November 14, 2018

UPDATE 12.18.19: Watch the launch here:

Swiss nerds are awesome.  They were the ones to discover the first exoplanet in 1995.  In 2019, CHEOPS will be launched in order to measure the radii of exoplanets.  When radius and mass are known, the density of the planet can be calculated.  Here’s a boring video about the making of CHEOPS.  2019 will also reveal the early results of TESS to the public.

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