Reasons to Believe

Extrasolar Planets

  • Compositions of Extrasolar Planets

    When extrasolar gas giant planets were first discovered in 1995,1 many astronomers presumed these planets would prove close analogues to the gas giants in our solar system. The list of known … more

  • Dynamics of Hierarchical Two-Planet Systems

    Currently, astronomers have identified over 40 multi-planet extrasolar planetary systems. Accurate data on the orbits of the planets in these systems permits researchers to address the following … more

  • A TNRTB Best of: Earth’s Unique Element Abundances

    Working at Reasons to Believe provides many opportunities for us to travel around the country and the world, not only to engage skeptics in discussion about science-faith issues, but also to encourage … more

  • A TNRTB Best of: Rare Solar System, Rare Sun

    Working at Reasons to Believe provides many opportunities for us to travel around the country and the world, not only to engage skeptics in discussion about science/faith issues, but also to encourage … more

  • Star Eats Planet!

    In March I wrote about research published in Nature1 that argued a star was observed shredding one of its planets right before our eyes. Now a more recent study published in the Astrophysical Journal … more

  • Elemental Evidence of Earth’s Divine Design

    Too much water, for example, or too much carbon would destroy Earth’s ability to support advanced life. On the other hand, too little of certain “bad” things, elements generally … more

  • Design of Outward Migration of Gas Giant Planets

    On June 5–6, 2012, a rare solar system event will occur. Venus will transit across the face of the Sun. Such a transit occurs when Venus aligns perfectly between the Sun and Earth allowing … more

  • Small Extrasolar Water World Discovered

    Extrasolar planets frequently make news; in particular, a recent discovery by a team of 19 American and European astronomers is attracting attention. The newly detected planet is now the second … more

  • Kepler scientists find five very hot planets

    USA Today, “Kepler scientists find five very hot planets,” by Dan Vergano, January 5, 2010 ; http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2010-01-05-newplanets05_st_N.htm more

  • Outward Migration of Gas Giant Planets

    Since the first discovery of an extrasolar planet in 1995,1 astronomers have detected more than 400 extrasolar planets, most of which are gas giants like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The … more

  • Exoplanets Set to Reveal Earth's Rarity

    Fifteen years ago, astronomers knew of only eight planets in the universe (nine if you still count Pluto). Now nearly 400 planets outside our solar system populate an ever-increasing planetary … more

  • Moons Like Avatar's Pandora Could Be Found

    Yahoo! News, “Moons Like Avatar's Pandora Could Be Found,” by Charles Q. Choi, December 28, 2009 ; http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20091228/sc_space/moonslikeavatarspandoracouldbefound more

  • Earth’s Unique Element Abundances

    For the planet’s size and distance from its star, it possesses an anomalous (abnormal) amount of every measurable element and compound. Today, the list of such uniquely abundant or scarce … more

  • Rare Solar System, Rare Sun

    This finding persuaded many astronomers and millions of lay people to conclude that Carl Sagan was right—our Milky Way Galaxy (MWG) was filled with billions of planets, most of which would prove … more