Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Twinkle mission to take a closer look at exoplanet atmospheres

Posted in Science on 13th Feb, 2015 06:21 PM by AlexMuller

Exoplanets are so fascinating becuase they may harbor life, but the used definition of habitable is so broad that it could include planets that obviously aren't. To help zero in on the more likely candidates, a British-built satellite called Twinkle will look at the atmospheres of exoplanets to seek more definite signs of life.

According to NASA, there are 1,813 confirmed exoplanets with thousands more candidates under consideration discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope and others using the transit method. That is, the light coming from particular stars was measured over time and any dips in their light curves that may indicate a planet passing in front of them were recorded and measured.
The technique has been remarkably effective, but the information that it returns about the planets is pretty basic. Scientists can deduce the mass and density of a planet, determine if its rocky or gaseous, its distance from its star, its orbital period, and estimate its surface temperature. Unfortunately, those estimates are very rough. According to the definition of habitable as used currently, Earth certainly fits it, but so do Venus and Mars because they also fall inside the Goldilocks zone where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface.
But to make a real determination, scientists need more data, especially about the atmosphere. Venus, for example, is in the habitable zone, but its superdense carbon dioxide atmosphere rains sulfuric acid and is hot enough to melt lead. Mars, on the other hand, has a vestigial atmosphere of carbon dioxide that lets in deadly radiation and is so dry that it makes the Atacama desert look like a rain forest.
This is where the £50 million (US$76.2 million) Twinkle mission comes in. Scheduled to launch in four years, it's being built by a team led by University College London and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. The latter is using cost-effective design and off-the-shelf-parts to build the orbiter at a tenth the cost of a comparable satellite. In an overview presented at the Royal Astronomical Society on February 6, the team laid out a design for an extremely stable unmanned orbiter that can study the atmosphere of exoplanets.

Tags: spaceplanetexoplanetstarbiologylife

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-02-14
There are now so many initiatives that aim to provide sufficient information about prospect for humans to inhabit other planets - the search needs to be extensive with firm data - this mission is great Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-05-07
Your post captures the issue peertcfly! Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2018-05-21 16:28:10
    Anti-nuclear policies increased global carbon by more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-21 16:22:31
    Magic mushroom treatment improves emotional more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-21 16:18:57
    Antioxidant found to wind back the clock on blood more
    Posted in Software on 2018-05-21 16:14:32
    3 key artificial intelligence benefits for the future more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-20 11:05:43
    Cannabidiol significantly reduces seizures in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me