24/7 Space News
NASA and ESA explore habitability of exoplanets with Chandra and XMM-Newton
illustration only
NASA and ESA explore habitability of exoplanets with Chandra and XMM-Newton
by Amcen West
Boston MA (SPX) Jun 13, 2024

Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton are investigating nearby stars to determine if they could host habitable exoplanets. This research will aid future telescopes in making the first images of Earth-like planets.

Researchers examined stars close enough to Earth for future telescopes to capture images of planets in their habitable zones, where liquid water could exist.

While future images of planets will be single points of light, their spectra will provide information about surface composition and atmosphere.

Factors such as harmful X-rays and ultraviolet light from host stars, which can damage or strip away a planet's atmosphere, are crucial in determining habitability.

"Without characterizing X-rays from its host star, we would be missing a key element on whether a planet is truly habitable or not," said Breanna Binder of California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, who led the study. "We need to look at what kind of X-ray doses these planets are receiving."

Binder's team started with stars close enough to Earth for future telescopes, such as the Habitable Worlds Observatory and extremely large ground-based telescopes, to image planets in their habitable zones.

Using X-ray data from Chandra and XMM-Newton, the team assessed which stars could host planets with conditions suitable for life.

The study focused on stars' X-ray brightness, energy, and variability due to flares. High-energy X-rays can significantly harm planetary atmospheres.

"We have identified stars where the habitable zone's X-ray radiation environment is similar to or even milder than the one in which Earth evolved," said Sarah Peacock, a co-author from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. "Such conditions may play a key role in sustaining a rich atmosphere like the one found on Earth."

The researchers analyzed X-ray data from nearly 10 days of Chandra observations and about 26 days of XMM observations of 57 nearby stars, some with known planets. Most of these are giant planets like Jupiter, Saturn, or Neptune, with a few potentially less than twice as massive as Earth.

There are likely more planets orbiting the sample stars, especially Earth-sized ones, that remain undetected. Transit studies, which detect tiny dips in light as planets pass in front of their stars, often miss planets due to the required special geometry. Only one exoplanet in the sample was detected by transits.

The wobbling of a star induced by orbiting planets is another detection method, primarily effective for finding giant planets close to their stars.

"We don't know how many planets similar to Earth will be discovered in images with the next generation of telescopes, but we do know that observing time on them will be precious and extremely difficult to obtain," said co-author Edward Schwieterman of the University of California at Riverside. "These X-ray data are helping to refine and prioritize the list of targets and may allow the first image of a planet similar to Earth to be obtained more quickly."

These findings were presented at the 244th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Madison, Wisconsin.

Related Links
Chandra X-ray Observatory
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
ISS 90th spacewalk will retreive microorganisms from exterior of space station
Washington DC (UPI) Jun 11, 2024
NASA astronauts will venture into space Thursday to scrape microorganisms from the outside of the International Space Station and study the origins of life. Their live-streamed spacewalk also will include some repairs. NASA plans to steam "U.S. Spacewalk 90," which is estimated to start at 8 a.m. EDT on Thursday and last about six and a half hours, on NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, as well as on the space agency's website. "We're putting space on demand and at your ... read more

NASA and Boeing Advance Starliner Tests with Crew at Space Station

Human bodies mostly recover from space, tourist mission shows

Ohio State students to test space food solutions for NASA

US and Germany double down on space exploration

Ariane 6 to launch RAMI Deployer for interplanetary missions

FAA seeks public input on SpaceX Starship's environmental impact in Florida

European Consortium Receives euro 15M for Inflatable Heat Shield Development

Boeing Starliner spacecraft springs more leaks on way to ISS

Water frost discovered on Mars' tallest volcanoes

Frost discovered on top of giant Mars volcanoes

NASA Observes Mars Illuminated During Major Solar Storm

New analysis suggests lack of subglacial lake on Mars

Hainan Launch Center Completes Construction for First Mission

Ten make the cut for China's fourth batch of astronauts

China announces first astronaut candidates from Hong Kong, Macau

China sees commercial sector as next frontier in US space race

Apex secures $95M in Series B Funding to Scale Satellite Bus Production

Satellite megaconstellations could impact ozone hole recovery

Yahsat Contracts Airbus for New Al Yah Satellites

Fired SpaceX workers sue Elon Musk over workplace abuses

Blue Canyon to supply spacecraft buses for NASA's PolSIR mission

10 Benefits of Using 360Learning for Your Company's Learning Needs

Where is the Best Place to Buy Used Books?

Security considerations in flight launcher software

Laser tests reveal new insights into key mineral for super-Earths

NASA and ESA explore habitability of exoplanets with Chandra and XMM-Newton

NASA satellite detects smaller object in black hole pair for the first time

ISS 90th spacewalk will retreive microorganisms from exterior of space station

Understanding Cyclones on Jupiter Through Oceanography

Unusual Ion May Influence Uranus and Neptune's Magnetic Fields

NASA's Europa Clipper Arrives in Florida for Launch Preparation

New Earth-Based Telescope Images of Jupiter's Moon Io Match Spacecraft Quality

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.