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Questions tagged [exoplanet]

Questions regarding planets outside of Earth's solar system.

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34
votes
3answers
24k views

When will we have the technology to directly observe an exoplanet with significant clarity?

Are there currently any projects underway to develop a telescope which will have the ability to directly observe an exoplanet with any clarity? I don't mean blurry (yet impressive) images like this ...
30
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2answers
701 views

Which of the planets could we detect today from just the movements of the sun?

Assume that despite our current level of space exploration and technology, we have somehow missed the existence of the other planets in our solar system. We have developed various methods of ...
20
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2answers
3k views

Are images of exoplanets' surfaces technically possible?

While already even taking an image of an extra solar planet sounds like science fiction to me, is it technically possible by what we know now to take also more detailed images of extraterrestrial ...
16
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3answers
3k views

If Saturn or Jupiter were in Earth's orbit, would any of their moons be habitable for humans?

The majority of exoplanets found so far are comparable in size to Jupiter or Saturn. Which, as we know, are problematic for human habitation. But their moons have a lot of potential. Some of these ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Why would Kepler rotate towards Earth to transfer data?

A question from here: "Why would Kepler rotate towards Earth instead of having an antenna always directed to Earth"?
14
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5answers
3k views

What level of oxygen in a planetary atmosphere would be indicative of life?

Astronomical spectroscopy can be used to determine the chemical composition of far away bodies. In the related question Can we detect atmosphere on exoplanets? we learned that even now we are studying ...
13
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1answer
1k views

How big is Earth's sphere of broadcast influence?

The question Interstellar eavesdropping points out that we have been broadcasting to space for a long time, currently we are approaching a century. This means every star system in within 100 light ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Agriculture on an exoplanet

If we find a hypothetical Earth-like planet A with a rocky terrain that we could colonize, how would we go about planting the first plants, knowing that there is a deficient of nutrients and the ...
9
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6answers
1k views

Technology for unmanned spacecraft to exoplanets

I am interested in the possibility of sending unmanned reconnaisance spacecraft to study exoplanets, especially Earth-like ones with the ultimate goal of detecting alien life. Certainly earth-based ...
9
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1answer
464 views

A Jupiter-sized star?

TRAPPIST-1 is described as "Jupiter-sized" (comparable radius), although at 8% of the Sun's mass, must be on the order of 100x greater (Jupiter : Sun is about 1 : 1000). This seems paradoxical and ...
9
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1answer
529 views

Can there be an atmosphere in a cave on an atmosphere-less planet?

I am making an exoplanet for a game and was wondering whether a planet without an atmosphere (or at least with a very weak atmosphere) could support caves that do have an atmosphere, or whether the ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Dark side of an exoplanet - if it was earth-like would its surface light be detectable?

The Kepler telescope looks at dark sides of exoplanets. If the exoplanet was earth-like would it not have emitted light? Would those lights be detectable, or what technological advances would be ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Would an interstellar exoplanet telescope make sense?

Since the transit method of detecting exoplanets requires perfect alignment of orbits, would a Kepler-type telescope yield more exoplanet detections if sent out of our solar system even to relatively ...
8
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1answer
929 views

How to calculate density of unknown planet?

Having approached an unknown planet, a spaceship went in a low circular orbit. Would astronauts be able to determine the average density of the planets using only a watch
8
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1answer
458 views

Can we detect atmosphere on exoplanets?

We are finding new planets in other solar systems all the time. Some of them are in a habitable zone of their sun. Are we able to detect the atmosphere of any exoplanet? Is there any atmospheric ...
8
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2answers
482 views

NASA just announced 715 new exoplanets were discovered, what do we know about them?

I have been trying to find information on how far away these new exoplanets are from Sol. Does anybody have a map or a table that shows their distance to us in light years. There only seem to be 100 ...
8
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1answer
390 views

Is there a system for choosing the Prime Meridian on a given body/world?

According to the answer to this question, the 0° longitude of the Moon is that which points toward Earth. On Earth it goes through Greenwich (although I was amused to hear that the French disagreed), ...
8
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1answer
407 views

The physics behind the Starshade

The Starshade is a space telescope with a large occulter that can fly off and block the light of a star so its telescope can picture the surrounding exoplanets: I ...
7
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1answer
498 views

Can we make super-massive Telescopes to image exoplanets?

This question has already been partly addressed here: When will we have the technology to directly observe an exoplanet with significant clarity? However, my question is focused more on the ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Why is TRAPPIST-1f considered habitable?

The TRAPPIST-1f is in the TRAPPIST-1 system discovered recently with seven planets. Three of them are said to be in the habitable zone. But the data says that the average temperature on the TRAPPIST-...
6
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4answers
309 views

Are there any other Earth-like planets in the universe?

There are many galaxies in the universe. Is there any other Earth-like planet out there?
6
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2answers
5k views

How do we determine and estimate the age of exoplanets like Kepler-452b?

Scientists recently discovered an exoplanet named Kepler-452b which they state is "is 6 billion years old". How did they determine this age? How could we possibly predict the age of any exoplanet? ...
6
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2answers
397 views

Could the James Webb Space Telescope detect chlorophyll on a exoplanet?

Say there's an exoplanet identical to Earth 20 light years away, and also assume it orbits at an angle so that it transits its star when seen from our solar system. Would the JWST be able to detect ...
6
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1answer
265 views

Is it possible to observe satellites orbiting exoplanets?

Is it possible to observe a satellite orbiting a distant exoplanet? If its possible, it would seem to indicate that we have found intelligent life on that planet, since you need advanced technology to ...
6
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1answer
227 views

What is the most accepted explanation to the Fermi paradox by the scientific community? [closed]

If there is no "most accepted" explanation, then what would be the most scientifically probabilistic explanation to the Fermi paradox? The Fermi paradox, named after Italian-American physicist ...
5
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3answers
1k views

When will we be able to conclusively confirm or disprove Bode's law?

I am reading Heinlein's Time for the Stars(1956) and some of the characters are very excited about confirming Bode's law. The formula suggests that, extending outward, each planet would be ...
5
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1answer
218 views

Why are all possibly habitable exoplanets higher mass than Earth?

I have been writing a scifi book in which I wanted to include real stars and planets as locations. It was simple enough to find a chart on Wikipedia that lists possibly habitable exoplanets, but I ...
5
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2answers
175 views

Are there orbits for a starshade and a telescope to stay linear to an interstellar object?

Does there exist two orbits synchronized so that a telescope in one would line up with a star shade in the other on a line pointing to a certain star? And this during a period of time relevant for ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Could a 21 meter space telescope detect the nearest exoplanets?

For reference, Hubble's mirror is 2.4 meters wide, the upcoming James Webb's 6.5 meters, and the proposed ATLAST 8 or 16 meters. Let's assume a mirror nearly ten times Hubble's size, 21 meters, is ...
4
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1answer
206 views

What is the potential limit extraterrestrial life can survive and under what factors?

A lot of material about extraterrestrial life seems to suggest that life essentially cannot survive in environments with more radiation beyond what's on Earth. For example, when red dwarfs planets are ...
4
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2answers
537 views

Could a rogue planet's moons harbor life?

Because stars kill stuff with radiation, flares, etc, then die taking planets with them, might it not be easier for living things to live on a rogue planet's moon? Say you had a rogue Jupiter-like ...
4
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0answers
93 views

Resonances and the seven sisters recently discovered

In reference to the discovery of seven planets around Trappist-1, I'm just wondering if any of these planets are in an orbital resonance and if that is the case, what the implications for habitability ...
3
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1answer
58 views

Apsis suffix for object orbiting an exoplanet

Is there already an agreed upon apsis suffix for an object orbiting an exoplanet? I don't think it's super likely that there is, as I don't think any moons have been discovered (or at least not at a ...
3
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1answer
69 views

Alternatives to an ozone layer

Our home planet earth has low concentration of ozone in its atmosphere, protecting it from UV radiation, could Exoplanets share the same method but have a different gas in the atmosphere which has a ...
3
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3answers
648 views

Could a terrestrial planet with a hydrogen atmosphere be habitable?

Many exoplanets, even small ones, have densities so low that it indicates that they have hydrogen atmospheres. Is a hydrogen gas atmosphere of a terrestrial planet somehow detrimental to biology as we ...
2
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2answers
473 views

How could I find a potentially habitable exoplanet in same direction as Kepler-186f?

I am working on a story where a spaceship is on a mission to colonize the exoplanet Kepler-186f. However, after hitting of small meteor, they need to find a closer candidate for the new colony. I want ...
2
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1answer
188 views

Exoplanet(s) that share orbit?

Has Kepler (or any other survey) found an exoplanet with a similar orbit as another exoplanet around the same star? The current IAU definition of a planet requires that "a planet has cleared its ...
2
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1answer
184 views

For one way missions to any planet is it planned to pay astronauts? [closed]

As one way missions astronauts would never come back (because it's a real one way mission with a many years trip), is it planed to pay them or giving them enough hardware, tools, food is their salary ?...
2
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1answer
80 views

What is the state of the art of exosolar planet imaging in 2019?

I have seen this question from 2013 asking if it's possible to take pictures of extrasolar planets. But I am wondering if anything has changed since then. Have we taken higher quality images of other ...
2
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1answer
92 views

How to obtain salt from exoplanets

Is there any way to artificially make salts for humans colonizing planets on a long term basis? It is given that the exoplanet has a water source. So do we hope for the best that it has salt present ...
2
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1answer
84 views

What will (likely) be the first separately-orbiting coronagraph to be deployed in space?

Traditionally a coronagraph is something that blocks the bright disk of our Sun to make it easier to image the much dimmer corona. The first coronagraph is of course the Moon; during a solar eclipse ...
1
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1answer
91 views

What radio signals have NASA transmitted to outside our solar system?

What radio signal have NASA transmitted to outside our solar system and what did they contain?
1
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2answers
123 views

Any star-system list indexed by proximity?

Does anyone know where I can find a list indexed by Earth-proximity with all the star-systems or exo-planets with appropriate conditions for human direct exploration? It is not necessary to have ...
1
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3answers
1k views

Are exoplanets in the habitable zone suitable for human colonization?

If they found the those planets in the habitable zone, are they planning ahead for human settlement of them?
1
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1answer
103 views

Why a polar orbit for TWINKLE?

TWINKLE will use a 0.45 meter telescope to record spectra of stars transited by their exoplanets. By looking at tiny changes in the spectrum as the planet's atmosphere moves in front of the star, they ...
1
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1answer
170 views

What are the chances of life on 7 Earth-like exoplanets discovered by NASA? [closed]

NASA has announced the discovery of 7 Earth-like exoplanets 13 hours ago. What are the chances of life there? Is it possible to see the ground of these planets from here? How far are they?
1
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1answer
63 views

can we estimate the number of habitable planets within a specified distance from Earth?

For the purposes of this question, I will define "habitable" as: rocky composition like Earth about the same surface gravity as Earth (about 1 G) orbiting a relatively quiet star, like our Sun far ...
1
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1answer
244 views

Smallest planet where human type life could evolve and survive?

Most exoplanets making the news are larger than Earth. I wonder about the smaller worlds, how small is too small? Reword to keep the question narrow enough to be answerable. When the Earth was ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Is it possible to force atmosphere onto a non atmospheric planet?

If you had some way of injecting large masses of gas into a small planets gravitational field, would it form an atmosphere? You would have to pump it at an extreme rate but would it still work if the ...
1
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0answers
45 views

Future plans and advances for improved extrasolar planet imaging; has anything changed since 2019?

I have seen What is the state of the art of exosolar planet imaging in 2019? but answers there simply address the types and quality of images. Here I'd like to ask about plans for future technology to ...