Weekly / news update!

β—‹ InSight's fading power 😒
β—‹ formation of DF2/DF4 (no dark matter!)
β—‹ how soon will humans reach an asteroid?
β—‹ Psyche mission delay
β—‹ OFT-2 in the books! βœ…
β—‹ πŸ‘€ tau Herculids on May 30


Weekly / news update!

β—‹ Ingenuity was out...but it's back!
β—‹ 1000+ new asteroids in Hubble data
β—‹ OFT-2 Flight Readiness Review: βœ…
β—‹ 65 elements IDed in a star (a record!)
β—‹ Event Horizon Telescope imaged Sagittarius A*!!!


Could advanced alien species rearrange the planets in their systems to leave a lasting message of their existence?!?

...yeah, actually...


If this thread got you excited, you can also watch me talk about this research: youtu.be/0smzHsburh8?t=1847

Ty!! 😊

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While in general the presence of the giant planets reduces the relative habitability compared to a system with just an exo-Earth, there are some cases where the giant planets make the system "ultra-habitable":

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A couple trends we saw:

β€’ Mass of the giant planets ↑, relative habitability ↓
β€’ Very low relative habitability when the giant planets are in the habitable zone
β€’ Eccentricity of the giant planets ↑, relative habitability ↓
β€’ Secular resonances can have big effects

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We looked at 147,456 different pairs of giant planets! This dataset is huge and 8-dimensional, so there's a LOT remaining to be found in it! You can play around with it yourself at: doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6324216

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For each giant planet pair, we consider 80 different locations of the exo-Earth. At each of these locations, we find the stability and habitability probabilities. Then we can integrate over the exo-Earth locations to find a relative habitability for the giant planet pair.

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In general, as the exo-Earth's eccentricity increases, it gets more sunlight from its star, making it less habitable in the inner regions and more habitable in the outer regions.

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My latest (and likely last!) paper is up on arXiv today! As the title says, it's about the "Relative Habitability of Exoplanet Systems with Two Giant Planets".

Go check it out ➑️ arxiv.org/abs/2205.02777

Or for a TL;DR, continue ⬇️

The basic idea is, given an exoplanet system with 2 giant planets, what can we sayβ€”from a dynamical perspectiveβ€”about its ability to host a habitable Earth-like planet?

We focus here on whether the system would be stable and how the exo-Earth's eccentricity would be changed.

Unstable systems (planets ejecting or colliding): not habitable. Easy enough, except the question of whether an arbitrary 3-planet system is stable is, um, HARD. In this case, I used a bunch of different predictive techniques that have been developed by other scientists.

The question of whether an Earth-like planet is habitable and a given semi-major axis and eccentricity is likewise HARD. I (intentionally) use a very simple model here based on existing work in the field. This framework is very adaptable with other habitability models!

Weekly / news update!

β—‹ JWST is all aligned!
β—‹ bye bye SOFIA 😿
β—‹ Rocket Lab caught (and dropped) Electron
β—‹ pulsar caught hiding in plain sight
β—‹ Black Hole Week...apropos, Event Horizon Telescope announcement next week!!


I have not been able to bring myself to quit the bird app, and it feels like cheating to just post everything here and there, so I'm at a bit of a loss how to proceed here. In any case, I finally finished my summary video of the recent 2023-2032 Planetary Science & Astrobiology Decadal Survey! There's a lot to get into, so take a look! youtu.be/XxKQBbR6LrQ

Apparently I am only motivated by stress and panic, because I procrastinated my thesis corrections until I realized in a cold sweat last night that they're due in less than a week. Spent all day on it and now I'm on track to finish (I hope!).

Dr. Nora boosted

Dr Erin M. May is an astrophysicist who posts about stars, alien planets, physics, crafts and cats. You can follow at:

➑️ @_astronoMay

You can see May's website at erinmmay.github.io

#ErinMMay #Astrophysics #Physics #Astronomy #Science #Scientist #Scientists #Academic #Stars #Planets #Atmosphere

Of course, just hours after I made the video for this week, the sneaky Webb team announced that in fact the alignment phase is DONE! And they released these cool snapshots from all 4 instruments. Yay!!

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On Thursdays I do the space/astronomy news -- this week featuring:

β—‹ Hubble's 32nd anniversary!
β—‹ JWST is allllmost entirely cooled (4 primary mirror segments to go!)
β—‹ all DNA/RNA building blocks have now been found in meteorites
β—‹ good-bye Axiom-1, hello Crew-4!
β—‹ Ξ² Pic exocomets are similar to ours
β—‹ Ingenuity investigates landing debris


I'm new here! Not totally sure what's going on yet, but I'll get the hang of it. I'm a science communicator who loves space and astronomy and just completed my PhD in astrophysics. Howdy!!

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