January 9, 2020
NASA’s TESS spacecraft discovers its first habitable planet, first world with two stars
December 5, 2019
NASA mission named for pioneering UChicago scientist produces landmark research
December 2, 2019
When NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launches in 2021, one of its most anticipated contributions to astronomy will be the study of exoplanets—planets orbiting distant stars. Among the most pressing questions in exoplanet science is: Can a small, rocky exoplanet orbiting close to a red dwarf star hold onto an atmosphere?
In a series of four papers in the Astrophysical Journal, a team of astronomers proposes a new method of using Webb to determine whether a rocky exoplanet has an atmosphere. The technique, which involves measuring the planet’s temperature as it passes behind its star and then comes back into view, is significantly faster than more traditional methods of atmospheric detection like transmission spectroscopy.
“We find that Webb could easily infer the presence or absence of an atmosphere around a dozen known rocky exoplanets with less than 10 hours of observing time per planet,” said Jacob Bean of the University of Chicago, a co-author on three of the papers.
November 14, 2019
Congratulations to UChicago Astronomy & Astrophysics Professor Jacob Bean, who is the new NASA science team lead for CASE!
NASA will contribute an instrument to a European space mission to explore the atmospheres of hundreds of exoplanets.
The instrument, called the Contribution to ARIEL Spectroscopy of Exoplanets, or CASE, adds scientific capabilities to ESA's Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey, or ARIEL, mission.
November 6, 2019
A test image from the pilot study on mining astronomical data from historical glass slides.
October 2, 2019
MAROON-X team members and Gemini Observatory staff standing in front of the Gemini North telescope with the MAROON-X unit.
September 26, 2019
UChicago-led proposal receives NSF funding for pioneering sky measurements
August 20, 2019
University of Chicago professor Wendy Freedman and colleagues have a new measurement for the rate of expansion in the modern universe, suggesting the space between galaxies is stretching faster than scientists would expect. The paper, “An Independent Determination of the Hubble Constant Based on the Tip of the Red Giant Branch,” Freedman et al, was published on July 12, 2019, in The Astrophysical Journal.