EOS Blog

Blog entries from the EOS Team


How do planets form? This is a question that scientists have asked themselves for centuries. Kant (in 1755) and Laplace (in 1796) postulated the nebular hypothesis, which states that the solar system planets formed from a rotating disk of material. Over the years planet formation theory has been greatly expanded and improved with the detailed knowledge gained from observing and exploring the solar system and studying the meteoritic...

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A strange and new extrasolar system was discovered by graduate research fellow and Project EOS collaborator Kevin Wagner, principal investigator for Project EOS Daniel Apai, and assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona Kaitlin Kratter, announced July 7, 2016 in a paper published in the journal Science. The system contains a total of three stars. Two stars, one sun-like in character and the other less massive,...

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  Discovering Earth 2.0, another planet like our Earth that could host life on its surface, requires us to characterize the atmosphere of the planet. An important feature we need to study is the clouds in that atmosphere. What are they made of? How are they positioned across the globe and what is their vertical extent? The answers to these questions will help us determine if the climate of the planet is hospitable to life. But...

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Planet-Forming Disks


Posted By on Jul 7, 2016

The solar system formed when an enormous cloud of gas and dust began to collapse and rotate. As it spun faster and faster, it formed a disk which helped feed into forming the young sun in the center of it all.  From this disk, small particles of dust started sticking together, and continued to grow into objects that were centimeters, then meters, and kilometers in size. Eventually some of these planetary embryos collided, resulting in...

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From the DistantEarths blog of Daniel Apai After two hours of hike up on a rocky trail in the Italian Alps, finally I stand at an elevation just above 2,500 meters, staring at a breathtaking and unique mountain range, the Dolomites, that holds an exciting clue to the habitability of our planet. With gigantic sharp white-gray peaks emerging from the lush green of Alpine meadows, these mountains rise where the African continental plate...

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We know of a lot of exoplanets. Most, though, we know of only by indirect means – typically via the planet occulting some of the starlight during an eclipse or changing the star’s velocity due to the planet’s own gravity. As of today (June 29, 2016) the exoplanet database lists 2,933 confirmed planets, with another 2,504 probable candidates, totaling to about 5,000 bona fide planet detections. Of these, only seven have been...

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