Exo-moons: Innocent bystanders during gas giant instabilities

Gas giants are the bullies of planetary systems.  They are hundreds of times more massive than small rocky or icy worlds, so when gas giants throw a tantrum, their whole planetary system feels it. Giant planet moons are among the innocent bystanders swept up in the chaos. Giant planets around other stars have different orbits … More Exo-moons: Innocent bystanders during gas giant instabilities

Real-life sci-fi world #6: Pandora (from the movie Avatar), the habitable moon of a gas giant planet

Welcome to Real-life Sci-fi worlds.  I use science to explore life-bearing worlds that are the settings for science fiction stories.  Up today: can the moon of a gas giant planet — like Pandora from the movie Avatar — really be habitable? Pandora is one of the coolest-ever settings for a science fiction story.  The life-bearing … More Real-life sci-fi world #6: Pandora (from the movie Avatar), the habitable moon of a gas giant planet

An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star

In the spirit of last week’s poetic post, here are two more stanzas for your reading pleasure…. There is a new exoplanet in town. This planet has only just now been found. Why should you care?  It’s only one more. Well this is one planet we’d love to explore. This planet’s orbit is really just … More An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star