Planets

Crater Juling (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/ASI/INAF)

Two articles published in the journal “Science Advances” describe two researches connected in different ways but linked to the presence of water on the dwarf planet Ceres. Two teams of researchers, but with many members in common, led by scientists from the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) in Rome, Italy, used observations made by the VIR spectrometer on board NASA’s Dawn space probe to find evidence of the presence of ice of water in Crater Juling and to map the distribution of carbonates, salts whose origin is linked to the presence of liquid water, on Ceres.

Illustration of exoplanets orbiting red dwarfs

An article published in “The Astronomical Journal” shows the confirmation of 15 exoplanets that orbit red dwarfs. A team of researchers led by Teruyuki Hirano from the Tokyo Institute of Technology used data collected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope and follow-up observations. Another article in the same journal focuses on 3 confirmed super-Earths including K2-155d, which could be in ​​its system’s habitable zone.

Cyclones at Jupiter's north pole (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM)

Four articles published in the journal “Nature” describe as many researches on the planet Jupiter. Different teams of researchers focused on different phenomena using data collected by NASA’s Juno space probe. The researches concerns groups of huge cyclones present in Jupiter’s polar regions, wind flows that extend up to thousands of kilometers of depth, the stripes of the atmosphere that rotate at different speeds and the asymmetries in the planet’s gravitational field.

Artist's concept of WASP-39b and its star (Image NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI))

An article published in the journal “The Astronomical Journal” describes a study of the exoplanet WASP-39b. A team of researchers led by Hannah Wakeford of the University of Exeter and the Space Telescope Science Institute used the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to discover the traces of water in the atmosphere of this gas giant very close to its star. These planets are classified as hot Jupiters even if in this case its characteristics are comparable to Saturn’s. The most complete map of the atmosphere of an exoplanet obtained so far showed a considerable amount of water.

The protoplanetary disk AS 209 (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/ D. Fedele et al.)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describes the study of the protoplanetary disk AS 209. A team of researchers led by Davide Fedele of INAF Arcetri, Italy, used the ALMA radio telescope to observe that disk of gas and dust around a star in its formation phase showing a central core and two large rings with two large gaps. Their conclusion is that there’s at least one planet with a mass that could be close to Saturn’s orbiting at a considerable distance from its star.