Last week, my first research paper was published in the journal Astrobiology. The paper outlines our method for estimating how long ‘habitable’ conditions may exist for on planets that have been discovered in the ‘habitable zone’ – a concept I regularly discuss on this blog and elsewhere. The run-up to its publication has been surprisingly hectic, and it has received a lot of media attention. Whilst this is great for getting the science out there, I want to make sure that there is something available on the internet where I discuss the paper in my own words in case there
The Blue Marble Space Institute for Science is a not-for-profit research organisation that is using PetriDish.org to fund a modelling project that seeks to identify the signs of industrial activity in the atmospheres of extra-solar planets. Find out more about the project, including more about the authors, their methods, the possible outcomes of the project and a breakdown of the costs, here:
When viewed from space, the Earth glows like a blue marble under the light of the distant Sun, bobbing gently in
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for exoplanetary discoveries, but also for me, which explains why I’ve taken so long getting round to writing about them.
On the 28th of August, the Kepler mission announced the discovery of a unique binary star two planet system. The Kepler 47 family consists of a binary pair, a G-type star – about 84% as massive as the Sun, and a smaller M-type red dwarf roughly 36% of the Sun’s mass, but only 1.4% as luminous. Two planets have been observed to be orbiting the pair. The closest is of these is Kepler 47 (AB)
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.
– Carl Sagan (Cosmos, 1980)
Since the dawn of civilisation, humans have gazed up at the stars and planets overhead. Even now, separated from our forebears by an expansive gulf of time, technology and knowledge, the stars remain distant, esoteric but evocative targets. Our curiosity and thirst for understanding drives us on, pushing the limits of human endurance, engineering and science to the point where 528 humans from 38 nations have flown beyond the tenuous envelope of gases clinging to the surface of the Earth into wilderness of