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Ariel

01 April 2021

Ariel Data Challenge 2021 Launch

A new Ariel Machine Learning Data Challenge has been launched called: Machine vs Stellar and Instrument Noise. Check out the website for more information! 


Kelt9b
11 March 2021 

How can some planets be hotter than stars? We’ve started to unravel the mystery

Until the early 2000s, the only known planets were located in our own neighbourhood, the Solar System. They broadly form two categories: the small rocky planets in the inner Solar System and the cold gaseous planets located in the outer part. With the discovery of exoplanets, planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, additional classes of planets were discovered and a new picture started to emerge. Our Solar System is by no means typical.


Ariel
November 2020

The European Space Agency formally adopts Ariel, the exoplanet explorer

The European Space Agency (ESA) have formally adopted Ariel, the first mission dedicated to study the nature, formation and evolution of exoplanets. Ariel has passed major feasibility reviews and has been formally adopted into the program of future missions for implementation. It will survey about 1000 planets outside our solar system during its lifetime. Ariel will unveil the nature, formation and evolution of a large and assorted sample of planets around different types of stars in our galaxy. Ariel press release. ESA press release.  


K2-18b
11 September 2019

First water detected on potentially ‘habitable’ planet

Water vapour has been detected in the atmosphere of a super-Earth with habitable temperatures by UCL researchers in a world first. K2-18b, which is eight times the mass of Earth, is now the only planet orbiting a star outside the Solar System, or ‘exoplanet’, known to have both water and temperatures that could support life. The discovery, published in Nature Astronomy, is the first successful atmospheric detection for an exoplanet orbiting in its star’s ‘habitable zone’, at a distance where water can exist in liquid form.