Blog about planets.

Planetary formation discovered in the Taurus molecular cloud

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” reports the observation of structures in protoplanetary disks that probably were left by newborn and perhaps still developing planets. A team of researchers led by Feng Long of the University of Beijing used the ALMA radio telescope to examine disks surrounding young stars in the Taurus star formation region discovering that of 32 protoplanetary disks 12 were divided into rings, a situation associated with planetary formation.

The first image sent by InSight from Mars (Image NASA TV)

NASA has confirmed that its InSight lander has landed on Mars after completing a procedure that’s fully automated as radio signals from Mars take just over eight minutes to reach the Earth in this period. InSight was launched on May 5, 2018. Unlike other landers and rovers, it will study the red planet’s interior to better understand its composition and its geological history.

The Nili Fossae (Image ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has published new photos of the region on planet Mars called Nili Fossae taken by its Mars Express space probe’s High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The Nili Fossae are a group of tectonic depressions called graben that show signs not only of geological activity but also of erosion by winds and especially by water that dug the shapes still visible today.

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a new research on the possible climate existing on the seven rocky planets of the star TRAPPIST-1’s system. A team of astronomers coordinated by the University of Washington (UW) used updated climate models to try to understand what kind of atmospheres they can have as a result of environmental evolution based on the observations collected. The result is that the planet TRAPPIST-1 e is the one most likely to have liquid water on its surface.

Artist's concept of Barnard's Star and its planet Barnard’s Star b (Image ESO/M. Kornmesser)

An article (link to PDF file) published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of a possible super-Earth orbiting the Barnard’s Star, a red dwarf that in astronomical terms is in the neighborhood being about 6 light years away from the Earth. The Red Dots and CARMENES projects led to the discovery of what was named Barnard’s Star b and could be the second exoplanet closest to the solar system after Proxima b.