Posts Tagged solar system

Recent Postings from solar system

A 1.9 Earth radius rocky planet and the discovery of a non-transiting planet in the Kepler-20 system

Kepler-20 is a solar-type star (V = 12.5) hosting a compact system of five transiting planets, all packed within the orbital distance of Mercury in our own Solar System. A transition from rocky to gaseous planets with a planetary transition radius of ~1.6 REarth has recently been proposed by several publications in the literature (Rogers 2015;Weiss & Marcy 2014). Kepler-20b (Rp ~ 1.9 REarth) has a size beyond this transition radius, however previous mass measurements were not sufficiently precise to allow definite conclusions to be drawn regarding its composition. We present new mass measurements of three of the planets in the Kepler-20 system facilitated by 104 radial velocity measurements from the HARPS-N spectrograph and 30 archival Keck/HIRES observations, as well as an updated photometric analysis of the Kepler data and an asteroseismic analysis of the host star (MStar = 0.948+-0.051 Msun and Rstar = 0.964+-0.018 Rsun). Kepler-20b is a 1.868+0.066-0.034 REarth planet in a 3.7 day period with a mass of 9.70+1.41-1.44 MEarth resulting in a mean density of 8.2+1.5-1.3 g/cc indicating a rocky composition with an iron to silicate ratio consistent with that of the Earth. This makes Kepler-20b the most massive planet with a rocky composition found to date. Furthermore, we report the discovery of an additional non-transiting planet with a minimum mass of 19.96+3.08-3.61 MEarth and an orbital period of ~34 days in the gap between Kepler-20f (P ~ 11 days) and Kepler-20d (P ~ 78 days).

The Moon as a Recorder of Nearby Supernovae

The lunar geological record is expected to contain a rich record of the galactic environment of the Solar System, including records of nearby (i.e. less than a few tens of parsecs) supernova explosions. This record will be composed of two principal components: (i) cosmogenic nuclei produced within, as well as radiation damage to, surface materials caused by increases in the galactic cosmic ray flux resulting from nearby supernovae; and (ii) the direct collection of supernova ejecta, likely enriched in a range of unusual and diagnostic isotopes, on the lunar surface. Both aspects of this potentially very valuable astrophysical archive will be best preserved in currently buried, but nevertheless near-surface, layers that were directly exposed to the space environment at known times in the past and for known durations. Suitable geological formations certainly exist on the Moon, but accessing them will require a greatly expanded programme of lunar exploration.

Effective perihelion advance and potentials in a conformastatic background with magnetic field

An Exact solution of the Einstein-Maxwell field equations for a conformastatic metric with magnetized sources is study. In this context, effective potential are studied in order to understand the dynamics of the magnetic field in galaxies. We derive the equations of motion for neutral and charged particles in a spacetime background characterized by this class of solutions. In this particular case, we investigate the main physical properties of equatorial circular orbits and related effective potentials. In addition, we obtain an effective analytic expression for the perihelion advance of test particles. Our theoretical predictions are compared with the observational data calibrated with the ephemerides of the planets of the Solar system and the Moon (EPM2011). We show that, in general, the magnetic punctual mass predicts values that are in better agreement with observations than the values predicted in Einstein gravity alone.

Isotopic enrichment of forming planetary systems from supernova pollution

Heating by short-lived radioisotopes (SLRs) such as aluminum-26 and iron-60 fundamentally shaped the thermal history and interior structure of Solar System planetesimals during the early stages of planetary formation. The subsequent thermo-mechanical evolution, such as internal differentiation or rapid volatile degassing, yields important implications for the final structure, composition and evolution of terrestrial planets. SLR-driven heating in the Solar System is sensitive to the absolute abundance and homogeneity of SLRs within the protoplanetary disk present during the condensation of the first solids. In order to explain the diverse compositions found for extrasolar planets, it is important to understand the distribution of SLRs in active planet formation regions (star clusters) during their first few Myr of evolution. By constraining the range of possible effects, we show how the imprint of SLRs can be extrapolated to exoplanetary systems and derive statistical predictions for the distribution of aluminum-26 and iron-60 based on N-body simulations of typical to large clusters (1000-10000 stars) with a range of initial conditions. We quantify the pollution of protoplanetary disks by supernova ejecta and show that the likelihood of enrichment levels similar to or higher than the Solar System can vary considerably, depending on the cluster morphology. Furthermore, many enriched systems show an excess in radiogenic heating compared to Solar System levels, which implies that the formation and evolution of planetesimals could vary significantly depending on the birth environment of their host stars.

A parametrisation of modified gravity on nonlinear cosmological scales

Viable modifications of gravity on cosmological scales predominantly rely on screening mechanisms to recover Einstein's Theory of General Relativity in the Solar System, where it has been well tested. A parametrisation of the effects of such modifications in the spherical collapse model is presented here for the use of modelling the modified nonlinear cosmological structure. The formalism allows an embedding of the different screening mechanisms operating in scalar-tensor theories through large values of the gravitational potential or its first or second derivatives as well as of linear suppression effects or more general transitions between modified and Einstein gravity limits. Each screening or suppression mechanism is parametrised by a time, mass, and environment dependent screening scale, an effective modified gravitational coupling in the fully unscreened limit that can be matched to linear theory, the exponent of a power-law radial profile of the screened coupling, determined by derivatives, symmetries, and potentials in the scalar field equation, and an interpolation rate between the screened and unscreened limits. Along with generalised perturbative methods, the parametrisation may be used to formulate a nonlinear extension to the linear parametrised post-Friedmannian framework to enable generalised tests of gravity with the wealth of observations from the nonlinear cosmological regime.

A parametrisation of modified gravity on nonlinear cosmological scales [Cross-Listing]

Viable modifications of gravity on cosmological scales predominantly rely on screening mechanisms to recover Einstein's Theory of General Relativity in the Solar System, where it has been well tested. A parametrisation of the effects of such modifications in the spherical collapse model is presented here for the use of modelling the modified nonlinear cosmological structure. The formalism allows an embedding of the different screening mechanisms operating in scalar-tensor theories through large values of the gravitational potential or its first or second derivatives as well as of linear suppression effects or more general transitions between modified and Einstein gravity limits. Each screening or suppression mechanism is parametrised by a time, mass, and environment dependent screening scale, an effective modified gravitational coupling in the fully unscreened limit that can be matched to linear theory, the exponent of a power-law radial profile of the screened coupling, determined by derivatives, symmetries, and potentials in the scalar field equation, and an interpolation rate between the screened and unscreened limits. Along with generalised perturbative methods, the parametrisation may be used to formulate a nonlinear extension to the linear parametrised post-Friedmannian framework to enable generalised tests of gravity with the wealth of observations from the nonlinear cosmological regime.

The population of long-period transiting exoplanets

The Kepler Mission has discovered thousands of exoplanets and revolutionized our understanding of their population. This large, homogeneous catalog of discoveries has enabled rigorous studies of the occurrence rate of exoplanets and planetary systems as a function of their physical properties. However, transit surveys like Kepler are most sensitive to planets with orbital periods much shorter than the orbital periods of Jupiter and Saturn, the most massive planets in our Solar System. To address this deficiency, we perform a fully automated search for long-period exoplanets with only one or two transits in the archival Kepler light curves. When applied to the $\sim 40,000$ brightest Sun-like target stars, this search produces 16 long-period exoplanet candidates. Of these candidates, 6 are novel discoveries and 5 are in systems with inner short-period transiting planets. Since our method involves no human intervention, we empirically characterize the detection efficiency of our search. Based on these results, we measure the average occurrence rate of exoplanets smaller than Jupiter with orbital periods in the range 2-25 years to be $2.0\pm0.7$ planets per Sun-like star.

Cometary ices in forming protoplanetary disc midplanes

Low-mass protostars are the extrasolar analogues of the natal Solar System. Sophisticated physicochemical models are used to simulate the formation of two protoplanetary discs from the initial prestellar phase, one dominated by viscous spreading and the other by pure infall. The results show that the volatile prestellar fingerprint is modified by the chemistry en route into the disc. This holds relatively independent of initial abundances and chemical parameters: physical conditions are more important. The amount of CO2 increases via the grain-surface reaction of OH with CO, which is enhanced by photodissociation of H2O ice. Complex organic molecules are produced during transport through the envelope at the expense of CH3OH ice. Their abundances can be comparable to that of methanol ice (few % of water ice) at large disc radii (R > 30 AU). Current Class II disc models may be underestimating the complex organic content. Planet population synthesis models may underestimate the amount of CO2 and overestimate CH3OH ices in planetesimals by disregarding chemical processing between the cloud and disc phases. The overall C/O and C/N ratios differ between the gas and solid phases. The two ice ratios show little variation beyond the inner 10 AU and both are nearly solar in the case of pure infall, but both are sub-solar when viscous spreading dominates. Chemistry in the protostellar envelope en route to the protoplanetary disc sets the initial volatile and prebiotically-significant content of icy planetesimals and cometary bodies. Comets are thus potentially reflecting the provenances of the midplane ices in the Solar Nebula.

Olivine on Vesta as exogenous contaminants brought by impacts: Constraints from modeling Vesta's collisional history and from impact simulations

The survival of asteroid Vesta during the violent early history of the Solar System is a pivotal constraint on theories of planetary formation. Particularly important from this perspective is the amount of olivine excavated from the vestan mantle by impacts, as this constrains both the interior structure of Vesta and the number of major impacts the asteroid suffered during its life. The NASA Dawn mission revealed that olivine is present on Vesta's surface in limited quantities, concentrated in small patches at a handful of sites and interpreted as the result of the excavation of endogenous olivine. Later works raised the possibility that the olivine had an exogenous origin, based on the geologic and spectral features of the deposits. In this work we quantitatively explore the proposed scenario of a exogenous origin for the detected olivine to investigate whether its presence on Vesta can be explained as a natural outcome of the collisional history of the asteroid. We took advantage of the impact contamination model previously developed to study the origin and amount of dark and hydrated materials observed by Dawn on Vesta, which we updated by performing dedicated hydrocode impact simulations. We show that the exogenous delivery of olivine by impacts can offer a viable explanation for the currently identified olivine-rich sites without violating the constraint posed by the lack of global olivine signatures on Vesta. Our results indicate that no mantle excavation is in principle required to explain the observations of the Dawn mission and support the idea that the vestan crust could be thicker than indicated by simple geochemical models based on the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite family of meteorites.

Olivine on Vesta as exogenous contaminants brought by impacts: Constraints from modeling Vesta's collisional history and from impact simulations [Replacement]

The survival of asteroid Vesta during the violent early history of the Solar System is a pivotal constraint on theories of planetary formation. Particularly important from this perspective is the amount of olivine excavated from the vestan mantle by impacts, as this constrains both the interior structure of Vesta and the number of major impacts the asteroid suffered during its life. The NASA Dawn mission revealed that olivine is present on Vesta's surface in limited quantities, concentrated in small patches at a handful of sites and interpreted as the result of the excavation of endogenous olivine. Later works raised the possibility that the olivine had an exogenous origin, based on the geologic and spectral features of the deposits. In this work we quantitatively explore the proposed scenario of a exogenous origin for the detected olivine to investigate whether its presence on Vesta can be explained as a natural outcome of the collisional history of the asteroid. We took advantage of the impact contamination model previously developed to study the origin and amount of dark and hydrated materials observed by Dawn on Vesta, which we updated by performing dedicated hydrocode impact simulations. We show that the exogenous delivery of olivine by impacts can offer a viable explanation for the currently identified olivine-rich sites without violating the constraint posed by the lack of global olivine signatures on Vesta. Our results indicate that no mantle excavation is in principle required to explain the observations of the Dawn mission and support the idea that the vestan crust could be thicker than indicated by simple geochemical models based on the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite family of meteorites.

Dynamics of Saturn's great storm of 2010-2011 from Cassini ISS and RPWS

Saturn's quasi-periodic planet-encircling storms are the largest convecting outbursts in the Solar System. The last eruption was in 1990. A new eruption started in December 2010 and presented the first-ever opportunity to observe such episodic storms from a spacecraft in orbit around Saturn. Here, we analyze images acquired with the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS), which captured the storm's birth, evolution and demise. In studying the end of the convective activity, we also analyze the Saturn Electrostatic Discharge (SED) signals detected by the Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument. [...]

The Earth-Moon system as a typical binary in the Solar System

Solid embryos of the Earth and the Moon, as well as trans-Neptunian binaries, could form as a result of contraction of the rarefied condensation which was parental for a binary. The angular momentum of the condensation needed for formation of a satellite system could be mainly acquired at the collision of two rarefied condensations at which the parental condensation formed. The minimum value of the mass of the parental condensation for the Earth-Moon system could be about 0.02 of the Earth mass. Besides the main collision, which was followed by formation of the condensation that was a parent for the embryos of the Earth and the Moon, there could be another main collision of the parental condensation with another condensation. The second main collision (or a series of similar collisions) could change the tilt of the Earth. Depending on eccentricities of the planetesimals that collided with the embryos, the Moon could acquire 0.04-0.3 of its mass at the stage of accumulation of solid bodies while the mass of the growing Earth increased by a factor of ten.

The analemma criterion: accidental quasi-satellites are indeed true quasi-satellites [Replacement]

In the Solar system, a quasi-satellite is an object that follows a heliocentric path with an orbital period that matches almost exactly with that of a host body (planetary or not). The trajectory is of such nature that, without being gravitationally attached, the value of the angular separation between host and quasi-satellite as seen from the Sun remains confined within relatively narrow limits for time-spans that exceed the length of the host's sidereal orbital period. Here, we show that under these conditions, a quasi-satellite traces an analemma in the sky as observed from the host in a manner similar to that found for geosynchronous orbits. The analemmatic curve (figure-eight-, teardrop-, ellipse-shaped) results from the interplay between the tilt of the rotational axis of the host and the properties of the orbit of the quasi-satellite. The analemma criterion can be applied to identify true quasi-satellite dynamical behaviour using observational or synthetic astrometry and it is tested for several well-documented quasi-satellites. For the particular case of 15810 (1994 JR1), a putative accidental quasi-satellite of dwarf planet Pluto, we show explicitly that this object describes a complex analemmatic curve for several Plutonian sidereal periods, confirming its transient quasi-satellite status.

The analemma criterion: accidental quasi-satellites are indeed true quasi-satellites

In the Solar system, a quasi-satellite is an object that follows a heliocentric path with an orbital period that matches almost exactly that of a host body (planetary or not). The trajectory is of such nature that, without being gravitationally attached, the value of the angular separation between host and quasi-satellite as seen from the Sun remains confined within relatively narrow limits for time spans that exceed the length of the host's sidereal orbital period. Here, we show that under these conditions, a quasi-satellite traces an analemma in the sky as observed from the host in a manner similar to that found for geosynchronous orbits. The analemmatic curve (figure-eight-, teardrop-, ellipse-shaped) results from the interplay between the tilt of the rotational axis of the host and the properties of the orbit of the quasi-satellite. The analemma criterion can be applied to identify true quasi-satellite dynamical behaviour using observational or synthetic astrometry and it is tested for several well documented quasi-satellites. For the particular case of 15810 (1994 JR1), a putative accidental quasi-satellite of dwarf planet Pluto, we show explicitly that this object describes a complex analemmatic curve for several Plutonian sidereal periods, confirming its transient quasi-satellite status.

Surveying the Inner Solar System with an Infrared Space Telescope

We present an analysis of surveying the inner Solar System for objects that may pose some threat to the Earth. Most of the analysis is based on understanding the capability provided by Sentinel, a concept for an infrared space-based telescope placed in a heliocentric orbit near the distance of Venus. From this analysis, we show 1) the size range being targeted can affect the survey design, 2) the orbit distribution of the target sample can affect the survey design, 3) minimum observational arc length during the survey is an important metric of survey performance, and 4) surveys must consider objects as small as D=15-30 m to meet the goal of identifying objects that have the potential to cause damage on Earth in the next 100 years. Sentinel will be able to find 50% of all impactors larger than 40 meters in a 6.5 year survey. The Sentinel mission concept is shown to be as effective as any survey in finding objects bigger than D=140 m but is more effective when applied to finding smaller objects on Earth-impacting orbits. Sentinel is also more effective at finding objects of interest for human exploration that benefit from lower propulsion requirements. To explore the interaction between space and ground search programs, we also study a case where Sentinel is combined with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and show the benefit of placing a space-based observatory in an orbit that reduces the overlap in search regions with a ground-based telescope. In this case, Sentinel+LSST can find more than 70% of the impactors larger than 40 meters assuming a 6.5 year lifetime for Sentinel and 10 years for LSST.

The inclination of the planetary system relative to the solar equator may be explained by the presence of Planet 9

We evaluate the effects of a distant planet, commonly known as planet 9, on the dynamics of the giant planets of the Solar System. We find that, given the large distance of planet 9, the dynamics of the inner giant planets can be decomposed into a classic Lagrange-Laplace dynamics relative to their own invariant plane (the plane orthogonal to their total angular momentum vector) and a slow precession of said plane relative to the total angular momentum vector of the Solar System, including planet 9. Under some specific configurations for planet 9, this precession can explain the current tilt of approximately 6 degrees between the invariant plane of the giant planets and the solar equator. An analytical model is developed to map the evolution of the inclination of the inner giant planets' invariant plane as a function of the planet 9's mass, inclination, eccentricity and semimajor axis, and some numerical simulations of the equations of motion of the giant planets and planet 9 are performed to validate our analytical approach. The longitude of the ascending node of planet 9 is found to be linked to the longitude of the ascending node of the giant planets' invariant plane, which also constrain the longitude of the node of planet 9 on the ecliptic. Some of the planet 9 configurations that allow explaining the current solar tilt are compatible with those proposed to explain the orbital confinement of the most distant Kuiper belt objects. Thus, this work on the one hand gives an elegant explanation for the current tilt between the invariant plane of the inner giant planets and the solar equator and, on the other hand, adds new constraints to the orbital elements of planet 9.

The long-term scientific benefits of a space economy

Utilisation of the material and energy resources of the Solar System will be essential for the development of a sustainable space economy and associated infrastructure. Science will be a major beneficiary of a space economy, even if its major elements (e.g. space tourism, resource extraction activities on the Moon or asteroids, and large-scale in-space construction capabilities) are not developed with science primarily in mind. Examples of scientific activities that would be facilitated by the development of space infrastructure include the construction of large space telescopes, ambitious space missions (including human missions) to the outer Solar System, and the establishment of scientific research stations on the Moon and Mars (and perhaps elsewhere). In the more distant future, an important scientific application of a well-developed space infrastructure may be the construction of interstellar space probes for the exploration of planets around nearby stars.

New orbits of irregular satellites designed for the predictions of stellar occultations up to 2020, based on thousands of new observations

Gomes-J\'unior et al. (2015) published 3613 positions for the 8 largest irregular satellites of Jupiter and 1787 positions for the largest irregular satellite of Saturn, Phoebe. These observations were made between 1995 and 2014 and have an estimated error of about 60 to 80 mas. Based on this set of positions, we derived new orbits for the eight largest irregular satellites of Jupiter: Himalia, Elara, Pasiphae, Carme, Lysithea, Sinope, Ananke and Leda. For Phoebe we updated the ephemeris from Desmars et al. (2013) using 75% more positions than the previous one. Due to their orbital characteristics, it is common belief that the irregular satellites were captured by the giant planets in the early Solar System, but there is no consensus for a single model explaining where they were formed. Size, shape, albedo and composition would help to trace back their true origin, but these physical parameters are yet poorly known for irregular satellites. The observation of stellar occultations would allow for the determination of such parameters. Indeed Jupiter will cross the galactic plane in 2019-2020 and Saturn in 2018, improving a lot the chances of observing such events in the near future. Using the derived ephemerides and the UCAC4 catalogue we managed to identify 5442 candidate stellar occultations between January 2016 and December 2020 for the 9 satellites studied here. We discussed how the successful observation of a stellar occultation by these objects is possible and present some potential occultations.

Lightning climatology of exoplanets and brown dwarfs guided by Solar System data

Clouds form on extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs where lightning could occur. Lightning is a tracer of atmospheric convection, cloud formation and ionization processes as known from the Solar System, and may be significant for the formation of prebiotic molecules. We study lightning climatology for the different atmospheric environments of Earth, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. We present lightning distribution maps for Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, and flash densities for these planets and Venus, based on optical and/or radio measurements from the WWLLN and STARNET radio networks, the LIS/OTD satellite instruments, the Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons and Venus Express spacecraft. We also present flash densities calculated for several phases of two volcano eruptions, Eyjafjallaj\"okull's (2010) and Mt Redoubt's (2009). We estimate lightning rates for sample, transiting and directly imaged extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. Based on the large variety of exoplanets, six categories are suggested for which we use the lightning occurrence information from the Solar System. We examine lightning energy distributions for Earth, Jupiter and Saturn. We discuss how strong stellar activity may support lightning activity. We provide a lower limit of the total number of flashes that might occur on transiting planets during their full transit as input for future studies. We find that volcanically very active planets might show the largest lightning flash densities. When applying flash densities of the large Saturnian storm from 2010/11, we find that the exoplanet HD 189733b would produce high lightning occurrence even during its short transit.

Lightning climatology of exoplanets and brown dwarfs guided by Solar System data [Replacement]

Clouds form on extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs where lightning could occur. Lightning is a tracer of atmospheric convection, cloud formation and ionization processes as known from the Solar System, and may be significant for the formation of prebiotic molecules. We study lightning climatology for the different atmospheric environments of Earth, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. We present lightning distribution maps for Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, and flash densities for these planets and Venus, based on optical and/or radio measurements from the WWLLN and STARNET radio networks, the LIS/OTD satellite instruments, the Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons and Venus Express spacecraft. We also present flash densities calculated for several phases of two volcano eruptions, Eyjafjallaj\"okull's (2010) and Mt Redoubt's (2009). We estimate lightning rates for sample, transiting and directly imaged extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. Based on the large variety of exoplanets, six categories are suggested for which we use the lightning occurrence information from the Solar System. We examine lightning energy distributions for Earth, Jupiter and Saturn. We discuss how strong stellar activity may support lightning activity. We provide a lower limit of the total number of flashes that might occur on transiting planets during their full transit as input for future studies. We find that volcanically very active planets might show the largest lightning flash densities. When applying flash densities of the large Saturnian storm from 2010/11, we find that the exoplanet HD 189733b would produce high lightning occurrence even during its short transit.

Lightning climatology of exoplanets and brown dwarfs guided by Solar System data [Replacement]

Clouds form on extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs where lightning could occur. Lightning is a tracer of atmospheric convection, cloud formation and ionization processes as known from the Solar System, and may be significant for the formation of prebiotic molecules. We study lightning climatology for the different atmospheric environments of Earth, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. We present lightning distribution maps for Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, and flash densities for these planets and Venus, based on optical and/or radio measurements from the WWLLN and STARNET radio networks, the LIS/OTD satellite instruments, the Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons and Venus Express spacecraft. We also present flash densities calculated for several phases of two volcano eruptions, Eyjafjallaj\"okull's (2010) and Mt Redoubt's (2009). We estimate lightning rates for sample, transiting and directly imaged extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. Based on the large variety of exoplanets, six categories are suggested for which we use the lightning occurrence information from the Solar System. We examine lightning energy distributions for Earth, Jupiter and Saturn. We discuss how strong stellar activity may support lightning activity. We provide a lower limit of the total number of flashes that might occur on transiting planets during their full transit as input for future studies. We find that volcanically very active planets might show the largest lightning flash densities. When applying flash densities of the large Saturnian storm from 2010/11, we find that the exoplanet HD 189733b would produce high lightning occurrence even during its short transit.

A Unified Framework for Producing CAI Melting, Wark-Lovering Rims and Bowl-Shaped CAIs

Calcium Aluminium Inclusions (CAIs) formed in the Solar System, some 4,567 million years ago. CAIs are almost always surrounded by Wark-Lovering Rims (WLRs), which are a sequence of thin, mono/bi-mineralic layers of refractory minerals, with a total thickness in the range of 1 to 100 microns. Recently, some CAIs have been found that have tektite-like bowl-shapes. To form such shapes, the CAI must have travelled through a rarefied gas at hypersonic speeds. We show how CAIs may have been ejected from the inner solar accretion disc via the centrifugal interaction between the solar magnetosphere and the inner disc rim. They subsequently punched through the hot, inner disc rim wall at hypersonic speeds. This re-entry heating partially or completely evaporated the CAIs. Such evaporation could have significantly increased the metal abundances of the inner disc rim. High speed movement through the inner disc produced WLRs. To match the observed thickness of WLRs required metal abundances at the inner disc wall that are of order ten times that of standard solar abundances. The CAIs cooled as they moved away from the protosun, the deduced CAI cooling rates are consistent with the CAI cooling rates obtained from experiment and observation. The speeds and gas densities required to form bowl-shaped CAIs are also consistent with the expected speeds and gas densities for larger, ~ 1 cm, CAIs punching through an inner accretion disc wall.

The Origin of Chaos in the Orbit of Comet 1P/Halley

According to Munoz-Gutierrez et al. (2015) the orbit of comet 1P/Halley is chaotic with a surprisingly small Lyapunov time scale of order its orbital period. In this work we analyse the origin of chaos in Halley's orbit and the growth of perturbations, in order to get a better understanding of this unusually short time scale. We perform N-body simulations to model Halley's orbit in the Solar System and measure the separation between neighbouring trajectories. To be able to interpret the numerical results, we use a semi-analytical map to demonstrate different growth modes, i.e. linear, oscillatory or exponential, and transitions between these modes. We find the Lyapunov time scale of Halley's orbit to be of order 300 years, which is significantly longer than previous estimates in the literature. This discrepancy could be due to the different methods used to measure the Lyapunov time scale. A surprising result is that next to Jupiter, also encounters with Venus contribute to the exponential growth in the next 3000 years. Finally, we note an interesting application of the sub-linear, oscillatory growth mode to an ensemble of bodies moving through the Solar System. Whereas in the absence of encounters with a third body the ensemble spreads out linearly in time, the accumulation of weak encounters can increase the lifetime of such systems due to the oscillatory behaviour.

Comets at radio wavelengths

Comets are considered as the most primitive objects in the Solar System. Their composition provides information on the composition of the primitive solar nebula, 4.6 Gyr ago. The radio domain is a privileged tool to study the composition of cometary ices. Observations of the OH radical at 18 cm wavelength allow us to measure the water production rate. A wealth of molecules (and some of their isotopologues) coming from the sublimation of ices in the nucleus have been identified by observations in the millimetre and submillimetre domains. We present an historical review on radio observations of comets, focusing on the results from our group, and including recent observations with the Nan\c{c}ay radio telescope, the IRAM antennas, the Odin satellite, the Herschel space observatory, ALMA, and the MIRO instrument aboard the Rosetta space probe.

New Hamiltonian expansions adapted to the Trojan problem

A number of studies, referring to the observed Trojan asteroids of various planets in our Solar System, or to hypothetical Trojan bodies in extrasolar planetary systems, have emphasized the importance of so-called secondary resonances in the problem of the long term stability of Trojan motions. Such resonances describe commensurabilities between the fast, synodic, and secular frequency of the Trojan body, and, possibly, additional slow frequencies produced by more than one perturbing bodies. The presence of secondary resonances sculpts the dynamical structure of the phase space. Hence, identifying their location is a relevant task for theoretical studies. In the present paper we combine the methods introduced in two recent papers (Paez & Efthymiopoulos, 2015, Paez & Locatelli, 2015) in order to analytically predict the location of secondary resonances in the Trojan problem (SEE FILE FOR COMPLETE ABSTRACT)

Kepler-108: A Mutually Inclined Giant Planet System

The vast majority of well studied giant-planet systems, including the Solar System, are nearly coplanar which implies dissipation within a primordial gas disk. however, intrinsic instability may lead to planet-planet scattering, which often produces non-coplanar, eccentric orbits. Planet scattering theories have been developed to explain observed high eccentricity systems and also hot Jupiters; thus far their predictions for mutual inclination (I) have barely been tested. Here we characterize a highly mutually-inclined (I ~ 15-60 degrees), moderately eccentric (e >~ 0.1) giant planet system: Kepler-108. This system consists of two approximately Saturn-mass planets with periods of ~49 and ~190 days around a star with a wide (~300AU) binary companion in an orbital configuration inconsistent with a purely disk migration origin.

Magnitude and timing of the giant planet instability: A reassessment from the perspective of the asteroid belt

It is generally accepted today that our solar system has undergone a phase during which the orbits of the giant planets became very unstable. In recent years, many studies have identified traces of this event and have provided reasonable justification for this occurrence. The magnitude (in terms of orbital variation) and the timing of the instability though (early or late with respect to the dispersal of the gas disk) still remains an open debate. The terrestrial planets seem to set a strict constraint: either the giant planet instability happened early, while the terrestrial planets were still forming, or the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn had to separate from each other impulsively, with a large enough `jump' in semimajor axis (Brasser et al. 2009; Kaib and Chambers 2016) for the terrestrial planets to remain stable. Because a large orbital jump is a low probability event, the early instability hypothesis seems to be favored. However, the asteroid belt would also evolve in a different way, assuming different instability amplitudes. These two constraints need to match each other in order to favor one scenario over the other. Considering an initially dynamically cold disk of asteroids, Morbidelli et al. (2010) concluded that a comparably large jump is needed to reconstruct the current asteroid belt. Here we confirm the same conclusion, but considering an asteroid population already strongly excited in eccentricity, such as that produced in the Grand Tack scenario (Walsh et al. 2011). Because the asteroids existed since the time of removal of the gas disk, unlike the terrestrial planets, this constraint on the width of the giant planet jump is valid regardless of whether the instability happened early or late. Hence, at this stage, assuming an early instability does not appear to provide any advantage in terms of the probabilistic reconstruction of the solar system structure.

Variational Principle for Planetary Interiors

In the past few years, the number of confirmed planets has grown above 2000. It is clear that they represent a diversity of structures not seen in our own solar system. In addition to very detailed interior modeling, it is valuable to have a simple analytical framework for describing planetary structures. Variational principle is a fundamental principle in physics, entailing that a physical system follows the trajectory which minimizes its action. It is alternative to the differential equation formulation of a physical system. Applying this principle to planetary interior can beautifully summarize the set of differential equations into one, which provides us some insight into the problem. From it, a universal mass-radius relation, an estimate of error propagation from equation of state to mass-radius relation, and a form of virial theorem applicable to planetary interiors are derived.

The Paleoclimatic evidence for Strongly Interacting Dark Matter Present in the Galactic Disk

Using a recent geochemical reconstruction of the Phanerozoic climate which exhibits a 32 Ma oscillation with a phase and the secondary modulation expected from the vertical the motion of the solar system perpendicular to the galactic plane (shaviv et al. 2014), we show that a kinematically cold strongly interacting disk dark matter (dDM) component is necessarily present in the disk. It has a local density $\rho_\mathrm{dDM} = 0.11 \pm 0.03$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^3$. It is also consistent with the observed constraints on the total gravitating mass and the baryonic components, and it is the natural value borne from the Toomre stability criterion. It also has surface density $\Sigma_\mathrm{dDM} = 15 \pm 5$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^2$ and a vertical velocity dispersion of $\sigma_{W} = 8.0 \pm 4.5$ km/s. A dense ("dinosaur killing") thin disk is ruled out. The "normal" halo dark matter (hDM) component should then have a local density $\rho_\mathrm{hDM} \lesssim 0.01$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^3$. If the dDM component follows the baryons, its average density parameter is $\Omega_\mathrm{dDM} = 1.5 \pm 0.5\%$ and it comprises about 1/8 to 1/4 of Milky Way (MW) mass within the solar circle.

The Paleoclimatic evidence for Strongly Interacting Dark Matter Present in the Galactic Disk [Cross-Listing]

Using a recent geochemical reconstruction of the Phanerozoic climate which exhibits a 32 Ma oscillation with a phase and the secondary modulation expected from the vertical the motion of the solar system perpendicular to the galactic plane (shaviv et al. 2014), we show that a kinematically cold strongly interacting disk dark matter (dDM) component is necessarily present in the disk. It has a local density $\rho_\mathrm{dDM} = 0.11 \pm 0.03$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^3$. It is also consistent with the observed constraints on the total gravitating mass and the baryonic components, and it is the natural value borne from the Toomre stability criterion. It also has surface density $\Sigma_\mathrm{dDM} = 15 \pm 5$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^2$ and a vertical velocity dispersion of $\sigma_{W} = 8.0 \pm 4.5$ km/s. A dense ("dinosaur killing") thin disk is ruled out. The "normal" halo dark matter (hDM) component should then have a local density $\rho_\mathrm{hDM} \lesssim 0.01$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^3$. If the dDM component follows the baryons, its average density parameter is $\Omega_\mathrm{dDM} = 1.5 \pm 0.5\%$ and it comprises about 1/8 to 1/4 of Milky Way (MW) mass within the solar circle.

Near Periodic solution of the Elliptic RTBP for the Jupiter Sun system [Cross-Listing]

Let us consider the elliptic restricted three body problem (Elliptic RTBP) for the Jupiter Sun system with eccentricity $e=0.048$ and $\mu=0.000953339$. Let us denote by $T$ the period of their orbits. In this paper we provide initial conditions for the position and velocity for a spacecraft such that after one period $T$ the spacecraft comes back to the same place, with the same velocity, within an error of 4 meters for the position and 0.2 meters per second for the velocity. Taking this solution as periodic, we present numerical evidence showing that this solution is stable. In order to compare this periodic solution with the motion of celestial bodies in our solar system, we end this paper by providing an ephemeris of the spacecraft motion from February 17, 2017 to December 28, 2028.

Light propagation in the gravitational field of N arbitrarily moving bodies in the 1.5PN approximation for high-precision astrometry [Replacement]

High-precision astrometry on sub-micro-arcsecond level in angular resolution requires accurate determination of the trajectory of a light-signal from the celestial light source through the gravitational field of the Solar system toward the observer. In this investigation the light trajectory in the gravitational field of N moving bodies is determined in the 1.5 post-Newtonian approximation. In the approach presented two specific issues of particular importance are accounted for: (1) According to the recommendations of International Astronomical Union, the metric of the Solar system is expressed in terms of intrinsic mass-multipoles and intrinsic spin-multipoles of the massive bodies, allowing for arbitrary shape, inner structure and rotational motion of the massive bodies of the Solar system. (2) The Solar system bodies move along arbitrary worldlines which can later be specified by Solar system ephemeris. The presented analytical solution for light trajectory is a primary requirement for extremely high-precision astrometry on sub-micro-arcsecond level of accuracy and associated massive computations in astrometric data reduction. An estimation of the numerical magnitude for time delay and light deflection of the leading multipoles is given.

Light propagation in the gravitational field of N arbitrarily moving bodies in the 1.5PN approximation for high-precision astrometry

High-precision astrometry on sub-micro-arcsecond level in angular resolution requires accurate determination of the trajectory of a light-signal from the celestial light source through the gravitational field of the Solar system toward the observer. In this investigation the light trajectory in the gravitational field of N moving bodies is determined in the 1.5 post-Newtonian approximation. In the approach presented two specific issues of particular importance are accounted for: (1) According to the recommendations of International Astronomical Union, the metric of the Solar system is expressed in terms of intrinsic mass-multipoles and intrinsic spin-multipoles of the massive bodies, allowing for arbitrary shape, inner structure and rotational motion of the massive bodies of the Solar system. (2) The Solar system bodies move along arbitrary worldlines which can later be specified by Solar system ephemeris. The presented analytical solution for light trajectory is a primary requirement for extremely high-precision astrometry on sub-micro-arcsecond level of accuracy and associated massive computations in astrometric data reduction. An estimation of the numerical magnitude for time delay and light deflection of the leading multipoles is given.

Near-infrared photometry of WISE J085510.74$-$071442.5

(Abridged) We aim at measuring the near-infrared photometry, and deriving the mass, age, temperature, and surface gravity of WISE J085510.74-071442.5 (J0855-0714), which is the coolest known object beyond the Solar System as of today. We use publicly available data from the archives of the HST and the VLT to determine the emission of this source at 1.153 micron (F110W) and 1.575 micron (CH_4). J0855-0714 is detected at both wavelengths with signal-to-noise ratio of ~10 (F110W) and ~4 (CH_4-off) at the peak of the corresponding PSFs. This is the first detection of J0855-0714 in the H-band. We measure 26.31 +/- 0.10 and 23.22 +/- 0.35 mag in F110W and CH_4 (Vega system). J0855-0714 remains unresolved in the HST images that have a spatial resolution of 0.22". Companions at separations of 0.5 AU (similar brightness) and at ~1 AU (~1 mag fainter in the F110W filter) are discarded. By combining the new data with published photometry, we build the spectral energy distribution of J0855-0714 from 0.89 to 22.09 micron, and contrast it against state-of-the-art solar-metallicity models of planetary atmospheres. We determine a temperature of 225-250 K, a bolometric luminosity of log L/Lsol = -8.57, and a high surface gravity of log g = 5.0 (cm/s2), which suggests an old age although such a high gravity is not fully compatible with evolutionary models. After comparison with the cooling theory for brown dwarfs and planets, we infer a mass in the interval 2-10 Mjup for ages of 1-12 Gyr and log g > 3.5 (cm/s2). At the age of the Sun, J0855-0714 would be a ~5-Mjup free-floating planetary-mass object. J0855-0714 may represent the old image of the free-floating planetary-mass objects of similar mass discovered in star-forming regions and young stellar clusters. As many J0855-0714-like objects as M5-L2 stars may be expected to populate the solar neighborhood.

Photometry of Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects: 2060 Chiron (1977 UB), 10199 Chariklo (1997 CU26), 38628 Huya (2000 EB173), 28978 Ixion (2001 KX76), and 90482 Orcus (2004 DW)

Both Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are minor bodies found in the outer Solar System. Centaurs are a transient population that moves between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune, and they probably diffused out of the TNOs. TNOs move mainly beyond Neptune. Some of these objects display episodic cometary behaviour; a few percent of them are known to host binary companions. Here, we study the light-curves of two Centaurs -2060 Chiron (1977 UB) and 10199 Chariklo (1997 CU26)- and three TNOs -38628 Huya (2000 EB173), 28978 Ixion (2001 KX76), and 90482 Orcus (2004 DW)- and the colours of the Centaurs and Huya. Precise, ~1%, R-band absolute CCD photometry of these minor bodies acquired between 2006 and 2011 is presented; the new data are used to investigate the rotation rate of these objects. The colours of the Centaurs and Huya are determined using BVRI photometry. The point spread function of the five minor bodies is analysed, searching for signs of a coma or close companions. Astrometry is also discussed. A periodogram analysis of the light-curves of these objects gives the following rotational periods: 5.5+-0.4 h for Chiron, 7.0+-0.6 h for Chariklo, 4.45+-0.07 h for Huya, 12.4+-0.3 h for Ixion, and 11.9+-0.5 h for Orcus. The colour indices of Chiron are found to be B-V=0.53+-0.05, V-R=0.37+-0.08, and R-I=0.36+-0.15. The values computed for Chariklo are V-R=0.62+-0.07 and R-I=0.61+-0.07. For Huya, we find V-R=0.58+-0.09 and R-I=0.64+-0.20. We find very low levels of cometary activity (if any) and no sign of close or wide binary companions for these minor bodies.

Photometry of Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects: 2060 Chiron (1977 UB), 10199 Chariklo (1997 CU26), 38628 Huya (2000 EB173), 28978 Ixion (2001 KX76), and 90482 Orcus (2004 DW) [Replacement]

Both Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are minor bodies found in the outer Solar System. Centaurs are a transient population that moves between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune, and they probably diffused out of the TNOs. TNOs move mainly beyond Neptune. Some of these objects display episodic cometary behaviour; a few percent of them are known to host binary companions. Here, we study the light-curves of two Centaurs -2060 Chiron (1977 UB) and 10199 Chariklo (1997 CU26)- and three TNOs -38628 Huya (2000 EB173), 28978 Ixion (2001 KX76), and 90482 Orcus (2004 DW)- and the colours of the Centaurs and Huya. Precise, ~1%, R-band absolute CCD photometry of these minor bodies acquired between 2006 and 2011 is presented; the new data are used to investigate the rotation rate of these objects. The colours of the Centaurs and Huya are determined using BVRI photometry. The point spread function of the five minor bodies is analysed, searching for signs of a coma or close companions. Astrometry is also discussed. A periodogram analysis of the light-curves of these objects gives the following rotational periods: 5.5+-0.4 h for Chiron, 7.0+-0.6 h for Chariklo, 4.45+-0.07 h for Huya, 12.4+-0.3 h for Ixion, and 11.9+-0.5 h for Orcus. The colour indices of Chiron are found to be B-V=0.53+-0.05, V-R=0.37+-0.08, and R-I=0.36+-0.15. The values computed for Chariklo are V-R=0.62+-0.07 and R-I=0.61+-0.07. For Huya, we find V-R=0.58+-0.09 and R-I=0.64+-0.20. We find very low levels of cometary activity (if any) and no sign of close or wide binary companions for these minor bodies.

Constraining the Nordtvedt parameter with the BepiColombo Radioscience experiment

BepiColombo is a joint ESA/JAXA mission to Mercury with challenging objectives regarding geophysics, geodesy and fundamental physics. The Mercury Orbiter Radioscience Experiment (MORE) is one of the on-board experiments, including three different but linked experiments: gravimetry, rotation and relativity. The aim of the relativity experiment is the measurement of the post-Newtonian parameters. Thanks to accurate tracking between Earth and spacecraft, the results are expected to be very precise. However, the outcomes of the experiment strictly depends on our "knowledge" about solar system: ephemerides, number of bodies (planets, satellites and asteroids) and their masses. In this paper we describe a semi-analytic model used to perform a covariance analysis to quantify the effects, on the relativity experiment, due to the uncertainties of solar system bodies parameters. In particular, our attention is focused on the Nordtvedt parameter $\eta$ used to parametrize the strong equivalence principle violation. After our analysis we estimated $\sigma[\eta]\lessapprox 4.5\times 10^{-5}$ which is about 1~order of magnitude larger than the "ideal" case where masses of planets and asteroids have no errors. The current value, obtained from ground based experiments and lunar laser ranging measurements, is $\sigma[\eta]\approx 4.4\times 10^{-4}$. Therefore, we conclude that, even in presence of uncertainties on solar system parameters, the measurement of $\eta$ by MORE can improve the current precision of about 1~order of magnitude.

Bayes' theorem and early solar short-lived radionuclides: the case for an unexceptional origin for the solar system

The presence of excesses of short-lived radionuclides in the early solar system evidenced in meteorites has been taken as testament to close encounters with exotic nucleosynthetic sources, including supernovae or AGB stars. An analysis of the likelihoods associated with different sources of these extinct nuclides in the early solar system indicates that rather than being exotic, their abundances were typical of star-forming regions like those observed today in the Galaxy. The radiochemistry of the early solar system is therefore unexceptional, being the consequence of extensive averaging of molecular cloud solids.

A Ninth Planet Would Produce a Distinctly Different Distant Kuiper Belt

The orbital element distribution of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) with large pericenters has been suggested to be influenced by the presence of an undetected, large planet at 200 or more AU from the Sun. We perform 4 Gyr N-body simulations with the currently known Solar System planetary architecture, plus a 10 Earth mass planet with similar orbital parameters to those suggested by Batygin and Brown (2016) or Trujillo and Sheppard (2014), and a hundred thousand test particles in an initial planetesimal disk. We find that including a distant superearth-mass ninth planet produces a substantially different orbital distribution for the scattering and detached TNOs, raising the pericenters and inclinations of moderate semimajor axis (50 < a < 500 AU) objects. We test whether this signature is detectable via a simulator with the observational characteristics of four precisely characterized TNO surveys. We find that the qualitatively very distinct Solar System models that include a ninth planet are essentially observationally indistinguishable from an outer Solar System produced solely by the four giant planets. We also find that the mass of the Kuiper Belt's current scattering and detached populations is required be 3-10 times larger in the presence of an additional planet. Wide-field, deep surveys targeting inclined high-pericenter objects will be required to distinguish between these different scenarios.

Interpreting the librations of a synchronous satellite

Most of the main planetary satellites of our Solar System are expected to be in synchronous rotation, the departures from the strict synchronicity being a signature of the interior. Librations have been measured for the Moon, Phobos, and some satellites of Saturn. I here revisit the theory of the longitudinal librations in considering that part of the interior is not hydrostatic, i.e. has not been shaped by the rotational and tidal deformations, but is fossil. This consideration affects the rotational behavior. For that, I derive the tensor of inertia of the satellite in splitting these two parts, before proposing an analytical solution that I validate with numerical simulations. I apply this new theory on Mimas and Epimetheus, for which librations have been measured from Cassini data. I show that the large measured amplitudes of these bodies can be explained by an excess of triaxiality that would not result from the hydrostatic theory. However, explaining the phase shift observed for Mimas with this theory requires a Maxwell time of a few seconds, which is very much smaller than expected. Finally, this theory does not predict any supersynchronous rotation.

Chemical Complementarity between the Gas Phase of the Interstellar Medium and the Rocky Material of Our Planetary System

We compare the elemental depletions in the gas phase of the interstellar medium (ISM) with the elemental depletions in the rocky material of our Solar System. Our analysis finds a high degree of chemical complementarity: elements depleted in the gas phase of the ISM are enriched in the rocky material of our Solar System, and vice versa. This chemical complementarity reveals the generic connections between interstellar dust and rocky planetary material. We use an inheritance model to explain the formation of primordial grains in the solar nebula. The primary dust grains inherited from the ISM, in combination with the secondary ones condensed from the solar nebula, constitute the primordial rocky material of our planetary system, from which terrestrial planets are formed through the effects of the progressive accretion and sublimation. The semi-major-axis-dependence of the chemical composition of rocky planetary material is also observed by comparing elemental depletions in the Earth, CI chondrites and other types of carbonaceous chondrites.

The First Spectrum of the Coldest Brown Dwarf

The recently discovered brown dwarf WISE 0855 presents our first opportunity to directly study an object outside the Solar System that is nearly as cold as our own gas giant planets. However the traditional methodology for characterizing brown dwarfs---near infrared spectroscopy---is not currently feasible as WISE 0855 is too cold and faint. To characterize this frozen extrasolar world we obtained a 4.5-5.2 $\mu$m spectrum, the same bandpass long used to study Jupiter's deep thermal emission. Our spectrum reveals the presence of atmospheric water vapor and clouds, with an absorption profile that is strikingly similar to Jupiter. The spectrum is high enough quality to allow the investigation of dynamical and chemical processes that have long been studied in Jupiter's atmosphere, but now on an extrasolar world.

The production of proton-rich isotopes beyond iron: The $\gamma$ process in stars

Beyond iron, a small fraction of the total abundances in the Solar System is made of proton-rich isotopes, the p nuclei. The clear understanding of their production is a fundamental challenge for nuclear astrophysics. The p nuclei constrain the nucleosynthesis in core-collapse and thermonuclear supernovae. The $\gamma$ process is the most established scenario for the production of the p nuclei, which are produced via different photodisintegration paths starting on heavier nuclei. A large effort from nuclear physics is needed to access the relevant nuclear reaction rates far from the valley of stability. This review describes the production of the heavy proton-rich isotopes by the $\gamma$ process in stars, and explores the state of the art of experimental nuclear physics to provide nuclear data for stellar nucleosynthesis.

Orbital clustering of distant Kuiper Belt Objects by hypothetical Planet 9. Secular or resonant ?

Statistical analysis of the orbits of distant Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) have led to suggest that an additional planet should reside in the Solar System. According to recent models, the secular action of this body should cause orbital alignment of the KBOs. It was recently claimed that the KBOs concerned by this dynamics are presumably trapped in mean motion resonances with the suspected planet. I reinvestigate here the secular model underlying this idea. The original analysis was done expanding and truncating the secular Hamiltonian. I show that this is inappropriate here, as the series expansion is not convergent. I present a study based on numerical computation of the Hamiltonian with no expansion. I show in phase-space diagrams the existence of apsidally anti-aligned, high eccentricity libration islands that were not present in the original modelling, but that match numerical simulations. These island were claimed to correspond to bodies trapped in mean-motion resonances with the hypothetical planet, and match the characteristics of the distant KBOs observed. My main result is that regular secular dynamics can account for the anti-aligned particles itself as well as mean-motion resonances. I also perform a semi-analytical study of resonant motion and show that some resonance are actually capable of producing the same libration islands. I discuss then the relative importance of both mechanisms.

Low-Frequency Radio Bursts and Space Weather

Low-frequency radio phenomena are due to the presence of nonthermal electrons in the interplanetary (IP) medium. Understanding these phenomena is important in characterizing the space environment near Earth and other destinations in the solar system. Substantial progress has been made in the past two decades, because of the continuous and uniform data sets available from space-based radio and white-light instrumentation. This paper highlights some recent results obtained on IP radio phenomena. In particular, the source of type IV radio bursts, the behavior of type III storms, shock propagation in the IP medium, and the solar-cycle variation of type II radio bursts are considered. All these phenomena are closely related to solar eruptions and active region evolution. The results presented were obtained by combining data from the Wind and SOHO missions.

Why is there no von Neumann probe on Ceres? Error catastrophe can explain the Fermi-Hart Paradox [Cross-Listing]

It has been argued that self-replicating robotic probes could spread to all stars of our galaxy within a timespan that is tiny on cosmological scales, even if they travel well below the speed of light. The apparent absence of such von Neumann probes in our own solar system then needs an explanation that holds for all possible extraterrestrial civilisations. Here I propose such a solution, which is based on a runaway error propagation that can occur in any self-replicating system with finite accuracy of its components. Under universally applicable assumptions (finite resources and finite lifespans) it follows that an optimal probe design always leads to an error catastrophe and breakdown of the probes. Thus, there might be many advanced civilizations in our galaxy, each surrounded by their own small sphere of self-replicating probes. But unless our own solar system has the extraordinary luck to be close enough to one of these civilizations, none of these probes will ever reach us.

Maps of Evolving Cloud Structures in Luhman 16AB from HST Time-Resolved Spectroscopy

WISE J104915.57-531906.1 is the nearest brown dwarf binary to our Solar system, consisting of two brown dwarfs in the L/T transition: Luhman 16A & B. In this paper we present the first map of Luhman 16A, and maps of Luhman 16B for two epochs. Our maps were created by applying Aeolus, a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo code that maps the top-of-the-atmosphere structure of brown dwarf and other ultracool atmospheres, to light curves of Luhman 16A & B using the Hubble Space Telescope's G141 and G102 grisms. Aeolus retrieved three or four spots in the top-of-the-atmosphere of Luhman 16A & B, with a surface coverage of 19%-32% (depending on an assumed rotational period of 5 hr or 8 hr) or 21%-38.5% (depending on the observational epoch) respectively. The brightness temperature of the spots of the best-fit models was ~200 K hotter than the background top-of-the-atmosphere. We compared our Luhman 16B map with the only previously published map. Interestingly, our map contained a large, cooler (DT~51 K) than the background top-of-the-atmosphere spot that lay at low latitudes, in agreement with the previous Luhman 16B map. Finally, we report the detection of a feature reappearing in Luhman 16B light curves that are separated by tens of hundreds of rotations from each other. We speculate this feature is related to top-of-the-atmosphere structures of Luhman 16B.

Is lightning a possible source of the radio emission on HAT-P-11b? [Replacement]

Lightning induced radio emission has been observed on Solar system planets. There have been many attempts to observe exoplanets in the radio wavelength, however, no unequivocal detection has been reported. Lecavelier des Etangs et al. carried out radio transit observations of the exoplanet HAT-P-11b, and suggested that a small part of the radio flux can be attributed to the planet. Here, we assume that this signal is real, and study if this radio emission could be caused by lightning with similar energetic properties like in the Solar system. We find that a lightning storm with 3.8 x $10^6$ times larger flash densities than the Earth-storms with the largest lightning activity is needed to produce the observed signal from HAT-P-11b. The optical emission of such thunderstorm would be comparable to that of the host star. We show that HCN produced by lightning chemistry is observable 2-3 yr after the storm, which produces signatures in the L (3.0-4.0 \mu m) and N (7.5-14.5 \mu m) infrared bands. We conclude that it is unlikely that the observed radio signal was produced by lightning, however, future, combined radio and infrared observations may lead to lightning detection on planets outside the Solar system.

Is lightning a possible source of the radio emission on HAT-P-11b? [Replacement]

Lightning induced radio emission has been observed on Solar system planets. There have been many attempts to observe exoplanets in the radio wavelength, however, no unequivocal detection has been reported. Lecavelier des Etangs et al. carried out radio transit observations of the exoplanet HAT-P-11b, and suggested that a small part of the radio flux can be attributed to the planet. Here, we assume that this signal is real, and study if this radio emission could be caused by lightning with similar energetic properties like in the Solar system. We find that a lightning storm with 3.8 x $10^6$ times larger flash densities than the Earth-storms with the largest lightning activity is needed to produce the observed signal from HAT-P-11b. The optical emission of such thunderstorm would be comparable to that of the host star. We show that HCN produced by lightning chemistry is observable 2-3 yr after the storm, which produces signatures in the L (3.0-4.0 \mu m) and N (7.5-14.5 \mu m) infrared bands. We conclude that it is unlikely that the observed radio signal was produced by lightning, however, future, combined radio and infrared observations may lead to lightning detection on planets outside the Solar system.

A new distance law of planets and satellites in the solar system

In the 1960s, it has been substantiated that an equation of Schrodinger type could describe the diffusion phenomena, and the main consequence from this finding has been that there would be wave property in the diffusion processes as well. This theory has been immediately proved through laboratorial experiments. Afterwards the theory was applied to the primordial nebula which was thought to surround the protosun, and has found the consistency of the prediction of the theory with current distance distribution of the planets to be excellent. At the end of 20th century new satellites of planets were discovered. On the basis of the new data, the theory is tested thoroughly and the result allows us to come to the conclusion that the basic process for the distances of the planets from the protosun to be determined has been the diffusion of the primordial nebula consisting of mainly molecular gas.

 

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