Planets

LTT 1445 aka LTT 1445ABC (Image NASA / ESA / Hubble)

An article to be published in “The Astronomical Journal” reports the discovery of a super-Earth that was cataloged as LTT 1445Ab thanks to NASA’s TESS space telescope in a research coordinated by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. This exoplanet orbits a red dwarf and from the estimates seem too close to it to have the potential to host life forms similar to the Earth’s but it’s interesting because that star has two companions, red dwarfs as well, and orbits them.

Possible moons in formation around the exoplanet PDS 70 c

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” reports the observation of what is interpreted as a circumplanetary disk in the system of the young star PDS 70. A team of researchers led by Andrea Isella of Rice University in Houston, Texas, used the ALMA radio telescope to detect the emissions of that disk that surrounds the exoplanet PDS 70 c and according to the astronomers is of the type that controls the formation of planets and of a system of moons such as those around the planet Jupiter.

Dust storms observed near Mars' northern polar cap

ESA has published images of dust storms sighted at the edge of the northern polar cap of the planet Mars between May 22 and June 10, 2019. The Mars Express space probe’s High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) and Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) instruments allowed to observe at least eight different storms that formed and dissipated very quickly for a duration between one and three days each during which they moved to the equator and the ancient volcanoes Olympus Mons and Elysium Mons. Those are short-lived local phenomena, small compared to the global storm that covered the entire planet last year, but help to understand the processes taking place in the Martian atmosphere.

A study of the atmosphere of the exoplanet Gliese 3470 b

NASA used the Hubble e Spitzer space telescopes to study the composition of the atmosphere of Gliese 3470 b, a mini-Neptune that orbits very close to its star, which is a red dwarf but still heats it up to temperatures that are estimated on the surface between 700 and 900 Kelvin. Gaseous planets have an atmosphere composed mainly of hydrogen and helium but normally there are also other heavier elements, with the consequence that various molecules can form, but in Gliese 3470 b those elements are really scarce.

Three planets, one smaller than the Earth, discovered in the system of the red dwarf L 98-59

An article published in “The Astronomical Journal” reports the discovery of three planets that orbit the star L 98-59, a red dwarf about 35 light-years from Earth. A team of researchers led by Veselin Kostov of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center used observations from the TESS space telescope to discover the traces of the three exoplanets. The analysis showed that these are two possible super-Earths and the smallest planet discovered so far thanks to TESS, about 80% of the Earth. The three exoplanets are too close to their star to be in ‚Äč‚Äčtheir system’s habitable zone, instead they are in the area called “Venus zone”, where a planet’s atmosphere can heat up in a runaway greenhouse effect.