Showing posts from January, 2018

Looking to the Future of Exoplanet Science Source:   By Kimberly M. S. Cartier, Eos/AGU Excerpt: Upcoming missions seeking to unravel the secrets of exoplanets abound. An informal survey of astronomers revealed which of those projects they most eagerly await. ...Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)... expected launch is around 7 years not a dedicated exoplanet telescope. ...WFIRST will be an imaging-only telescope hosting two instruments, a wide-field camera and a coronagraph,.... European Space Agency’s (ESA) upcoming planet hunter, called Planetary Transits and Oscillations of Stars (PLATO), ... 6-year mission is not scheduled to launch until 2024, its goal of monitoring more than 1 million stars for signals of planetary transits.... NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) currently scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida this year, sometime from early March to late June. ...TESS will conduct

Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes Source:   By Colin M. Dundas et al, Science Abstract: Thick deposits cover broad regions of the Martian mid-latitudes with a smooth mantle; erosion in these regions creates scarps that expose the internal structure of the mantle. We investigated eight of these locations and found that they expose deposits of water ice that can be >100 meters thick, extending downward from depths as shallow as 1 to 2 meters below the surface. The scarps are actively retreating because of sublimation of the exposed water ice. The ice deposits likely originated as snowfall during Mars’ high-obliquity periods and have now compacted into massive, fractured, and layered ice. We expect the vertical structure of Martian ice-rich deposits to preserve a record of ice deposition and past climate....