Tag Archives: exoplanets

What is the Age of Kapteyn’s Star?

Question: I’m interested in Kapteyn’s Star. July 2014 popular news reports about the discovery of Kapteyn b & c mentioned an age for the system of 11.5 GY. However, the EU exoplanet database lists an age of 8 GY. (For … Continue reading

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Do Large Stars Possess Correspondingly Large Planets?

Question: If VY Canis Majoris has a Solar System, would the planets be star-sized and the moons planet sized?  – Monte Answer: With a mass of about 30 times that of our Sun, VY Canis Majoris is one of the … Continue reading

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How Fast Do Exoplanets Travel Around Their Parent Stars?

Question:  Looking at data on exoplanets, I’ve noticed a few with what seem like incredibly short projected orbital periods; single digit numbers of days per orbit. This would seem to put these planets travelling through space at incredible velocity relative … Continue reading

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Number of Sun-Like Stars with Earth-Like Planets

Question:  On the occasion of discovering the first earth-sized planet that could possibly support liquid water, what value would you assign to the Drake equation variable ne (the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that … Continue reading

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What is an Astrogeologist?

Question:  I am a sophomore and I have been fascinated with anything about space for as long as I can remember. I’m am currently researching about the astronomy careers. I plan to be an astro geologist and I’m still not … Continue reading

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Evidence for Life Beyond Earth?

Question:  Hi! My name is Natasha and I live in New Jersey and am 17 years old. I am currently a Senior in high school and I’m planning on pursuing Astronomy and Physics in my future. Currently, I am in … Continue reading

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How Many Planets Can Orbit a Star?

Question:  How many planets a stellar-planetary system can accommodate safely into a stable orbit around that star? What are the factors it depends on? For Example: Currently our solar system has 8 planets in a stable orbit. I want to … Continue reading

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How to Tell the Difference Between an Extrasolar Planet and a Star Spot

Question:  I am a retired PhD chemist..interested in amateur astronomy.  Recently a lot of exo planets have been discovered using a “transit” method of observing brightening and dimming of stars.  How do we know these are planet transits, and not … Continue reading

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How Does a Star’s Size and Luminosity Affect its Habitable Zone?

Question:  We are fortunate that the Earth orbits our Sun in the “Habitable Zone” where it’s not too hot, it’s not too cold and liquid water can exist giving life a chance to evolve. As stars vary so much in … Continue reading

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Exoplanet Detection Techniques

Question: My question is two-fold and relates to exoplanet detection. Firstly, it seems like the two most successful detection methods, namely the transit and radial velocity methods, rely on exoplanet systems being edge-on relative to our vantage point. Is this … Continue reading

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