How the Heavens Moved in Ancient Babylon and Greece

I work with climate models in my research. That means I tell a computer to perform some calculations for me. The computer calculates a set of equations in physics that describe how the gas making up the atmosphere of a planet flows and the values of its physical properties, like pressure, density, and temperature, atContinue reading “How the Heavens Moved in Ancient Babylon and Greece”

How do we know what’s in an exoplanet’s atmosphere?

A planet’s atmosphere contains different chemical elements. The Earth’s atmosphere, for example, consists of about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, and just 0.01% other gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. Earth’s atmosphere also contains varying amounts of water vapour in different regions and at different heights. That catch-all “other” category may be small,Continue reading “How do we know what’s in an exoplanet’s atmosphere?”

Planet Profile: Proxima Centauri b

The closest star to our Sun is called Proxima Centauri. It was discovered over 100 years ago by the Scottish astronomer Robert Innes and is estimated to be only 4.25 lightyears away. Getting a feel for the kinds of distances we’re talking about in astronomy is difficult, so let’s use a mental yardstick to help.Continue reading “Planet Profile: Proxima Centauri b”

Blog announcement: Change of focus

In September 2020, I started a PhD program in exoplanet science. I am studying possible climates of Earth-like planets in other solar systems. Although I’m still offering translation services, the focus of my website and blog will shift to science writing. I will be blogging about my research, but also about recent developments in exoplanetContinue reading “Blog announcement: Change of focus”