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exoplanets

 

This news is AMAZING. A screenshot from the NASA announcement of Kepler-16 b showing Luke Skywalker on Tatooine NASA, headed by the Kepler team recently announced the discovery of Kepler-16b, an exoplanet which orbits two binary stars. Something seem oddly familiar? Let’s just say it makes perfect sense to have John Knoll there (visual effects supervisor of Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm Ltd.) For more news on …

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There has recently been a lot of talk in the media about the discovery of new Super-Earths (ESO, BBC). The Kepler team has also announced that they will be revealing new discoveries tomorrow. In this post I thought I might write about the Super-Earths Kepler has found so far. Super-Earths are a class of exoplanets with masses between 1-10 times the mass of Earth. The study of Super-Earths are of great interest …

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Credit: NASA Exomoons are moons expected to orbit exoplanets. Although no exomoon discovery has been published to date, there is no doubt that we will find them. In a recent paper by Simon et. al titeled: Signals of exomoons in averaged light curves of exoplanets they set out to suggest a new method for discovering these exomoons, the so called “Scatter Peak” method. The idea is to study the local scatter in …

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Here I will go through the steps I use when deciding on which exoplanet to observe using an amateur telescope. Step 1: Find objects which are bright enough. Go to the exoplanets.org/table and from the drop down menu on the upper left choose transit planets. Then press the big pluss button (+) on the right and choose V mag under stellar params. You can move this table header next to …

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The last couple of days I have spent learning Autodesk Maya which is a 3D computer graphics software. The motivation behind it was to be able to illustrate and animate exoplanet science. Below are a few of my initial results. I learned a lot of Maya from the Maya videos by Stu. I would recommend you have a look at them.