Welcome to Real-life Sci-fi worlds. We use science to explore life-bearing worlds that are good settings for science fiction. Up today: the hot Eyeball planet. Planets very close to their stars are too hot for life, right? Well, not always! Take the Earth and move it closer and closer to the Sun. It gets hotter … More Real-life Sci-Fi World #2: the Hot Eyeball planet
I discovered something spectacular completely by accident. I was getting ready for the announcement of the discovery of the extra-solar planet Kepler-186 f. You remember, the Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone? It was all over the news (even in French) just a couple months ago. I made an animation of the Kepler-186 system. The … More Something amazing will happen on June 15th but no one on Earth will see it
We are building the ultimate Solar System. In Part 1 we chose the right star. In Part 2 we chose the right planets. In Part 3 we chose the right orbits for the planets. In Part 4 we learned two ninja moves about how more than one planet/moon can share the same orbit. Today’s … More Building the ultimate Solar System part 5: putting the pieces together
We are building the ultimate Solar System. In Part 1 we chose the right star. In Part 2 we chose the right planets. In Part 3 we chose the right orbits for the planets. Today’s job: Discovering two ninja moves that will allow us to pack way more worlds in the habitable zone. The … More Building the ultimate Solar System part 4: two ninja moves — moons and co-orbital planets
We are building the ultimate Solar System. In Part 1 we chose the right star. In Part 2 we chose the right planets. Today’s job: choosing the right orbits for the planets. Let’s get started. Our goal is simple. We want to pack as many planets into our star’s habitable zone as possible. We … More Building the ultimate Solar System part 3: choosing the planets’ orbits
A while back I performed an experiment called build a better Solar System. The game was to make better use of the Solar System’s habitable real estate. In the game I was required to keep all of the Solar System’s planets (and large moons) and their orbital configurations. Just by switching the orbits of different … More Building the ultimate Solar System
That spanking new planet’s already a star. K-186 f, you know who you are. You’re making us wonder if we’re all alone. The planet out there in the habitable zone. I’ve been on the radio. Been on TV. Talking ‘bout the planet. Just what can we see? Just what do we know about this special … More Another planet in Kepler-186?
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
A primary theme of this blog is to explore the different processes that affect the existence and evolution of planets that could harbor life. Today’s question: Are binary stars good or bad? Short answer: BAD, but not in all cases or for the reasons you might expect. (Jump to the end for a quick summary … More Binary stars: friends or foes?