The exoplanet podcast
Exocast-66c: Exoplanet News
In this episode the team cover some of the latest exoplanet news stories. This month Hugh covers the first JWST’s transmission spectrum of a small planet, validating and characterising the exoplanet LHS 475b. Hannah discusses some preliminary work from JWST, including phase curves from WASP-121b and WASP-43b, that reveal the capabilities and quirks of the instruments onboard. Andrew breaks the rules by discussing three papers, 2 of which are closely connected, on the general topicRead more
Exocast-66b: Interview with Georgina Dransfield
Back on the airwaves after a short hiatus, the Exocast team are delighted to be joined by Georgina (George) Dransfield, a PhD student at the University of Birmingham in the UK, who works on finding new exoplanets using the transit method. George uses data from ground-based surveys like SPECULOOS and space-based surveys like TESS and is also is somewhat unique in observing from Antarctica, specifically using and helping to run the ASTEP pipeline. Of course, GeorgeRead more
Exocast-65 b: Launching #ExoCup2022
It’s everyone’s favourite time of year. No, not because of halloween, leaf-peeping or mulled wine – because it’s #ExoCup season! Yes, for the sixth time, Hannah, Hugh & Andrew will use the power to twitter polls to let the public decide which single exoplanet deserves to wear the crown as the people’s champion for 2022. In this special episode, we reveal the planets chosen for the 2022 edition – including 24 from the exoplanet literature,Read more
Exocast-64c: Exoplanet News
In this episode the team cover some of the latest exoplanet news stories. This month Hannah summarises the most recent exoplanetary science coming out of JWST’s early release science programs; Andrew tells us a bit about the habitability of Enceladus’s subsurface ocean, and Hugh talks about a new observation of compositional differences for planets around M-dwarfs.
Exocast-64b: Interview with Dr Naomi Rowe-Gurney
This month Hannah, Andrew, and Hugh are joined in the virtual Exocast studio by planetary scientist Dr Naomi Rowe-Gurney. Naomi is a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Howard University in the USA where she works on all things Ice Giants (Uranus and Neptune) in particular looking at them with JWST. The perfectly timed episode follows on from newly released images of Neptune taken with JWST that Naomi had been working on and we discuss the future of Ice Giant...
Exocast-63 c: Exoplanet news
We cover this month’s most exciting exoplanetary (and solar system) news: Andrew tells us about details of the proposed “Venus Life Finder” mission which would go beyond ESA & NASA’s selected Venus missions to directly sample for organic molecules in the temperate regions of Venus’ atmosphere using an interplanetary balloon! Hugh talks about how analysis of the multi-planet systems found by Kepler is still revealing new insights, in this case how chains of planets appearRead more
Exocast-63b: How do planets form?
Hugh, Hannah & Andrew turn their attention to a simple question with a very complicated answer: our favourite! This month we are pondering how planets form. What do we know about planet formation from the Earth, observations from our Solar System, and of distant exoplanetary systems? Where are the gaps in our understanding of the processes involved? Do the theories and models of planet formation hold up to observational scrutiny? We might not be ableRead more
Exocast-62c: Exoplanet News
The latest news hot off the Exocast news desk for July/August 2022, another exciting month for exoplanet science: Andrew takes some time to discuss the life and influence of Dr James Lovelock, the co-originator the Gaia Hypothesis, who died recently. His news this month takes the form of two independent but neatly connected papers on the topic of ‘chirality’: ‘The Chiral Puzzle of Life’ by Globus and Blandford, and ‘Directional Aspects of Vegetation Linear andRead more
Exocast-62 b: Interview with Dr. Knicole Colón
This month Hannah, Andrew & Hugh are joined by NASA Goddard’s space telescope expert, Dr. Knicole Colón. Fresh from her NASA TV appearance unveiling JWST’s first exoplanet spectrum to the world, the JWST Deputy Project Scientist for Exoplanet Science gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the big day, as well as how the team got JWST ready for science. She also discusses the ongoing TESS mission searching for new planets, as well as the PandoraRead more
Exocast-61c: Exoplanet News
The latest news hot off the Exocast news desk for June/July 2022, a very exciting month for exoplanet science: Hannah gives us a run-down of some of the long-awaited first images from JWST, including a spectrum from the atmosphere of WASP-96b from the NIRISS instrument showing clear water features. The team try (and fail) to contain their giddiness at the prospect of entering a new era of exoplanet astrophysics. Andrew takes to the theory literatureRead more
Exocast-61 b: Observation vs Theory, which is more important?
Hugh, Hannah & Andrew pick sides to debate astronomy’s deepest divide. Are you with Hugh on the side of the observers, who insist that it is only with new telescopes, instruments and data that we can reveal physical properties of exoplanets and develop our understanding of the universe. Or are you, like Andrew, on the side of the theorists, who ensure that we can deeply understand the physical properties of exoplanets by doing experiments andRead more
Exocast-60c: Exoplanet News
The latest exoplanet news hot off the Exocast news desk: Hannah gives us a run-down of the Exoplanets IV conference held recently in Las Vegas, at which both her and Hugh were in attendence, including summaries of interesting sessions and presentations. Hugh presents a great new paper from Panahi et al. 2022 entitled “The Detection of Transiting Exoplanets by Gaia” that demonstates the Gaia spacecraft’s ability to contribute to exoplanet detection. Andrew keeps things inRead more
Exocast-60b: Interview with Dr Jennifer Burt
In this episode of Exocast the team are fortunate to be joined in the virtual studio by Dr Jennifer Burt, NASA/JPL’s Extreme Precision Radial Velocity Investigation Scientist, for an extreme discussion of the radial velocity technique for finding and characterising exoplanets. Jenn gives us a comprehensive and enthusiastic rundown of the method, US and European RV surveys, supporting current and future photometric missions with RV follow-up, and an update on new technology and instruments...
Exocast-59c: Exoplanet News
Join us for this months news episode where the Exocast team delve into new discoveries, characterisation, and astrobiology investigations to learn all about the latest research being published in exoplanets. Andrew takes us through some new astrobiology work “Metabolically diverse primordial microbial communities in Earth’s oldest seafloor-hydrothermal jasper“ from Papineau et al. 2022 Hannah covers the latest in characterisation with “A New Analysis of 8 Spitzer Phase Curves and Hot Jupiter...
Exocast-59b: What are planetary atmospheres made of?
This month Hugh, Hannah, and Andrew go back to basics to discuss the diversity and complexity inherent in the study of planetary atmospheres. Exocast-59b touches on how we define an atmosphere and takes a sojourn through the varied and beautiful atmospheres of the Solar System, as well as a journey back through time to consider the long evolution of the atmosphere of our planet. How does an atmosphere form and change over time, cling toRead more
Exocast-58c: Exoplanet News
In this months News episode Hugh, Hannah, and Andrew each discuss a paper from the past month of the latest exoplanet research including, JWST test data analysis, Oxidative Earth, and multi-star systems.
Exocast-58b: Interview with Dr Megan Schwamb
In this episode the Exocast team talk with Dr Megan (Meg) Schwamb about her work from the solar system to distant exoplanets and citizen science. The show is jam packed with exciting science and enough ice cream analogies to build an Exocast Parlour. We discuss in detail the process of going from a strange looking light curve posted in PlanetHunters Kepler to publication and bonafide planet, how you can track ice formation at Mars' poles, and take a look to the farthest reaches of our solar...
Exocast-57c: Exoplanet News
In this episode the Exocast team take us through three of the latests studies in exoplanet research touching on biosignatures, planet formation and disruption, and the effects of space weather on close-in exoplanets. Join them to learn the latest in exoplanet science!
Exocast-57b: How big can an exoplanet be?
This month Hugh, Hannah and Andrew discuss a deceptively simple question about the limits of planetary size… Exocast-57b takes you from measurements of exoplanet radius and mass, the difficulty with the IAU definition of planets, to the formation of brown dwarfs and stars. They even dive into the importance of size on habitability, the size limits of a rocky world compared to a gaseous world, some of the stand out candidates for the “biggest” exoplanet,Read more
Exocast-56b: Interview with Mark McCaughrean about JWST
In this episode the Exocast gang chat with Dr Mark McCaughrean, who is a Senior Advisor for Science & Exploration at the European Space Agency (ESA), as well as a James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Science Working Group Interdisciplinary Scientist, about the recent launch, deployment and commissioning of JWST. Mark shares scientific and personal highlights of his long involvement with the telescope, his experience of JWST’s launch from French Guiana on Christmas Day 2021, andRead more