The NASA Kepler mission has discovered thousands of new planetary candidates, many of which have been confirmed through follow-up observations. A primary goal of the mission is to determine the occurrance rate of terrestrial-size planets within the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their host stars. Here we provide a list of HZ exoplanet candidates from the Kepler Data Release 24 Q1-Q17 data vetting process.
The abundance of key molecules determines the level of cooling that is necessary for the formation of stars and planetary systems. In this context, one needs to understand the details of the time dependent oxygen chemistry, leading to the formation of molecular oxygen and water.
To study the terrestrial-type planet formation during the post oligarchic growth, the initial distributions of planetary embryos and planetesimals used in N-body simulations play an important role. Most of these studies typically use ad hoc initial distributions based on theoretical and numerical studies.
Proxima Centauri b
Proxima Centauri b, an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of our nearest stellar neighbour, has just been discovered. A theoretical framework of synchronously rotating planets, in which the risk of a runaway greenhouse on the sunlight side and atmospheric collapse on the reverse side are mutually ameliorated via heat transport is discussed.
Ultra high energy neutrinos may be observed in ice by the emission of acoustic signals. The SPATS detector has investigated the possibility of observing GZK-neutrinos in the clear ice near the South Pole at the IceCube detector site. To explore other potential detection sites glacial ice in the Alps and in Antarctica has been surveyed for its acoustical properties
Study of exoplanets is the holy grail of present research in planetary sciences and astrobiology. Analysis of huge planetary data from space missions such as CoRoT and Kepler is directed ultimately at finding a planet similar to Earth\-the Earth's twin, and answering the question of potential exo-habitability.
Biosignatures & Paleobiology
Habitability for planets orbiting active stars has been questioned. Especially, planets in the Habitable Zone (HZ) of M-stars, like our closest star Proxima Centauri, experience temporal high-ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
We analyze the evolution of the potentially habitable planet Proxima Centauri b to identify environmental factors that affect its long-term habitability. We consider physical processes acting on size scales ranging between the galactic scale, the scale of the stellar system, and the scale of the planet's core.
A new method for analyzing the chemical composition of stars may help scientists winnow the search for Earth 2.0.
An international team of astronomers including Carnegie's Paul Butler has found clear evidence of a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our solar system.
Genomics and Cell Biology
Often described as the blueprint of life, DNA contains the instructions for making every living thing from a human to a house fly. But in recent decades, some researchers have been putting the letters of the genetic code to a different use: making tiny nanoscale computers.
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