From astrobites: “Modeling Limitless Skies”

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astrobites

Title: Redox Evolution via Gravitational Differentiation on Low Mass Planets: Implications for Biosignatures, Water Loss and Habitability
Authors: R. Wordsworth, L. Schaefer, R. Fischer
First Author’s Institution: School of Engineering and Applied Sciences & Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Status: Submitted to ApJ [open access]

Looking for life

If you’ve been tuning into astronomy news lately, you’ve probably heard about a number of the cool new exoplanet discoveries, like those in the TRAPPIST-1 system, continuously rolling in from our telescopes hard at work.

A size comparison of the planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system, lined up in order of increasing distance from their host star. The planetary surfaces are portrayed with an artist’s impression of their potential surface features, including water, ice, and atmospheres. NASA

The TRAPPIST-1 star, an ultracool dwarf, is orbited by seven Earth-size planets (NASA).

But no matter how, when, and where a new exoplanet is discovered, there’s always that question burning at the back of our minds: could this exoplanet have Earth-like life?

See the full article here .

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What do we do?

Astrobites is a daily astrophysical literature journal written by graduate students in astronomy. Our goal is to present one interesting paper per day in a brief format that is accessible to undergraduate students in the physical sciences who are interested in active research.
Why read Astrobites?

Reading a technical paper from an unfamiliar subfield is intimidating. It may not be obvious how the techniques used by the researchers really work or what role the new research plays in answering the bigger questions motivating that field, not to mention the obscure jargon! For most people, it takes years for scientific papers to become meaningful.
Our goal is to solve this problem, one paper at a time. In 5 minutes a day reading Astrobites, you should not only learn about one interesting piece of current work, but also get a peek at the broader picture of research in a new area of astronomy.

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