Planets

Artist's concept of Jupiter and its trojans (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” reports the results of a research on the migration of the solar system’s gas planets and in particular on Jupiter’s movements. A team of researchers led by Simona Pirani, a graduate student in astronomy at the Swedish University of Lund, created a series of computer simulations to try to explain the asymmetry in Jupiter trojans, given that there are about are approximately 50 per cent more Trojans in front of Jupiter than behind it. The result is that such asymmetry may have occurred if Jupiter was formed at a distance from the Sun four times greater than its current one and then approached and attracted the asteroids asymmetrically.

The InSight lander seen by the TGO (Image ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSIS, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has published a series of photos taken by its TGO space probe’s CaSSIS camera, part of the ExoMars mission run together with the Russian space agency Roscosmos. CaSSIS found NASA’s InSight lander on the surface of Mars along with its heat shield, the back shell that protected it during the descent and its parachute. In the course of its mission, CaSSIS also captured extraordinary images of various areas of the red planet showing the great potential to help researchers in their studies.

Artist's concept of Kepler-62f, an exoplanet orbiting a K-class star (Image NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/Tim Pyle)

An article published in the “Astrophysical Journal Letters” offers considerations on the possible advantages in the search for biosignatures such as the presence of oxygen and methane on exoplanets orbiting a K-class star, a bit smaller than the Sun. Giada Arney of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center tried to find out what those biosignatures and therefore the signs of the presence of life forms on an exoplanet in that kind of system could look like creating a series of computer simulations to understand where to look for traces of oxygen and methane.

Artistic concept of the Kepler-1658 system (Image courtesy Gabriel Perez Diaz/Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias)

An article to be published in “The Astronomical Journal” offers evidence that confirms the existence of the exoplanet Kepler-1658b almost ten years after the detection of its first traces by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which made it the first candidate discovered in its mission. A team of researchers led by Ashley Chontos, a student at the University of Hawaii, reviewed the data collected after that first detection also using the technique of astroseismology to confirm that the planet actually exists. The results were also presented in recent days at the Kepler/K2 Science Conference held in Glendale, California.

Artist's concept of star system with planets as spinning tops (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech, Sarah Millholland)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” offers a solution to a mystery concerning a configuration of exoplanets pairs’ orbits discovered over the years by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. According to Sarah Millholland and Gregory Laughlin of the American Yale University, obliquity, which is the inclination between these planets’ axis and their orbit, is a key element to explain why those orbits are just outside the natural points of stability.