<address id="9fb5l"></address>

        . 24/7 Space News .




        Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



        EXO WORLDS
        Water on exoplanet cloud tops could be found with hi-tech instrumentation
        by Staff Writers
        Warwick UK (SPX) Sep 23, 2020

        Lead author Dr Siddharth Gandhi of the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick said: "We have been investigating whether ground-based high resolution spectroscopy can help us to constrain the altitude in the atmosphere where we have clouds, and constrain chemical abundances despite those clouds.

        University of Warwick astronomers have shown that water vapour can potentially be detected in the atmospheres of exoplanets by peering literally over the tops of their impenetrable clouds.

        By applying the technique to models based upon known exoplanets with clouds the team has demonstrated in principle that high resolution spectroscopy can be used to examine the atmospheres of exoplanets that were previously too difficult to characterise due to clouds that are too dense for sufficient light to pass through.

        Their technique is described in a paper for the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and provides another method for detecting the presence of water vapour in an exoplanet's atmosphere - as well as other chemical species that could be used in future to assess potential signs of life. The research received funding from the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

        Astronomers use light from a planet's host star to learn what its atmosphere is composed of. As the planet passes in front of the star they observe the transmission of the stellar light as it skims through the upper atmosphere and alters its spectrum. They can then analyse this spectrum to look at wavelengths that have spectral signatures for specific chemicals. These chemicals, such as water vapour, methane and ammonia, are only present in trace quantities in these hydrogen and helium rich planets.

        However, dense clouds can block that light from passing through the atmosphere, leaving astronomers with a featureless spectrum. High resolution spectroscopy is a relatively recent technique that is being used in ground-based observatories to observe exoplanets in greater detail, and the Warwick researchers wanted to explore whether this technology could be used to detect the trace chemicals present in the thin atmospheric layer right above those clouds.

        While astronomers have been able to characterise the atmospheres of many larger and hotter exoplanets that orbit close to their stars, termed 'hot Jupiters', smaller exoplanets are now being discovered at cooler temperatures (less than 700C). Many of these planets, which are the size of Neptune or smaller, have shown much thicker cloud.

        They modelled two previously known 'warm Neptunes' and simulated how the light from their star would be detected by a high resolution spectrograph. GJ3470b is a cloudy planet that astronomers had previously been able to characterise, while GJ436b has been harder to characterise due to a much thicker cloud layer. Both simulations demonstrated that at high resolution you can detect chemicals such as water vapour, ammonia and methane easily with just a few nights of observations with a ground-based telescope.

        The technique works differently from the method recently used to detect phosphine on Venus, but could potentially be used to search for any type of molecule in the clouds of a planet outside of our solar system, including phosphine.

        Lead author Dr Siddharth Gandhi of the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick said: "We have been investigating whether ground-based high resolution spectroscopy can help us to constrain the altitude in the atmosphere where we have clouds, and constrain chemical abundances despite those clouds.

        "What we are seeing is that a lot of these planets have got water vapour on them, and we're starting to see other chemicals as well, but the clouds are preventing us from seeing these molecules clearly. We need a way to detect these species and high resolution spectroscopy is a potential way of doing that, even if there is a cloudy atmosphere.

        "The chemical abundances can tell you quite a lot about how the planet may have formed because it leaves its chemical fingerprint on the molecules in the atmosphere. Because these are gas giants, detecting the molecules at the top of the atmosphere also offers a window into the internal structure as the gases mix with the deeper layers."

        The majority of observations of exoplanets have been done using space-based telescopes such as Hubble or Spitzer, and their resolution is too low to detect sufficient signal from above the clouds. High resolution spectroscopy's advantage is that it is capable of probing a wider range of altitudes.

        Dr Gandhi adds: "Quite a lot of these cooler planets are far too cloudy to get any meaningful constraints with the current generation of space telescopes. Presumably as we find more and more planets there's going to be more cloudy planets, so it's becoming really important to detect what's on them. Ground based high resolution spectroscopy as well as the next generation of space telescopes will be able to detect these trace species on cloudy planets, offering exciting potential for biosignatures in the future."

        Research Report:


        Related Links
        University Of Warwick
        Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
        Life Beyond Earth


        Thanks for being there;
        We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

        With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

        Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

        If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
        SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
        $5+ Billed Monthly


        paypal only
        SpaceDaily Contributor
        $5 Billed Once


        credit card or paypal


        EXO WORLDS
        Astronomers discover an Earth-sized "pi planet" with a 3.14-day orbit
        Boston MA (SPX) Sep 22, 2020
        In a delightful alignment of astronomy and mathematics, scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a "pi Earth" - an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days, in an orbit reminiscent of the universal mathematics constant. The researchers discovered signals of the planet in data taken in 2017 by the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. By zeroing in on the system earlier this year with SPECULOOS, a network of ground-based telescopes, the team confirmed that the signals ... read more

        Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.



        Share this article via these popular social media networks
        del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

        EXO WORLDS
        Be a Space Traffic Controller

        Aerospace Corporation dives into the future

        Small leak of ammonia detected at US Segment of ISS

        NASA's Partnership Between Art and Science: A Collaboration to Cherish

        EXO WORLDS
        NASA's 2021 Student Launch Competition Opens

        NASA technology enables precision landing without a pilot

        Hardware testing heats up at Marshall test lab

        General Atomics delivers nuclear thermal propulsion concept to NASA

        EXO WORLDS
        AFRL technology traveling to Mars

        China's Mars probe completes second orbital correction

        Using chitin to manufacture tools and shelters on Mars

        Study shows difficulty in finding evidence of life on Mars

        EXO WORLDS
        China's new carrier rocket available for public view

        China sends nine satellites into orbit by sea launch

        Chinese spacecraft launched mystery object into space before returning to Earth

        China's reusable spacecraft returns to Earth after 2 days

        EXO WORLDS
        ESA brings space industry together online

        SpaceX postpones Starlink launch from Florida

        Dragonfly Aerospace emerges from SCS Aerospace Group

        Rocket policy must not be limited by capital, liability: Startups

        EXO WORLDS
        Planets take virtual shape on Earth with NASA knowledge and imagery

        How Algorithmic Darwinism is propelling space evolution

        Arianespace to resume OneWeb constellation deployment

        Mesh reflector for shaped radio beams

        EXO WORLDS
        A white dwarf's surprise planetary companion

        Astronomers discover an Earth-sized "pi planet" with a 3.14-day orbit

        SwRI scientist searches for stellar phosphorus to find potentially habitable exoplanets

        How protoplanetary rings form in primordial gas clouds

        EXO WORLDS
        JPL meets unique challenge, delivers radar hardware for Jupiter Mission

        Astronomers characterize Uranian moons using new imaging analysis

        Jupiter's moons could be warming each other

        Atomistic modelling probes the behavior of matter at the center of Jupiter













        The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2021 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.


        一晚破了3个处