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LabNotes

This is the laboratory notebook of the PHL, a preprint and technical blog space of ideas and progress reports that could be later incorporated into peer-review research. Its content is mostly oriented to scientists, specially to those involved in our projects. However, many of the entries contain links to images and software that could be of interest to the general scientific community, educators, and public. You can subscribe to it via RSS.
  • Why Searching for Technosignatures is Important? The search for technosignatures is the most cost-effective way to search for life in the universe. It is not surprising that the first formal attempt to detect extraterrestrial life ...
    Posted Jul 21, 2020, 3:04 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Habitability Models for Planetary Sciences Habitability Models for Planetary SciencesAbel Méndez, (abel.mendez@upr.edu)Planetary Habitability Laboratory, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, USAEdgard G. Rivera-Valentín1, Dirk Schulze-Makuch2 ...
    Posted Jul 23, 2020, 10:38 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Puerto Rico Seismic Activity (December 2019 to May 2020) Last Update: Sat May  2 20:00:47 2020These plots show a general summary of the seismic activity in the southwest of Puerto Rico from December 15, 2019 until ...
    Posted May 2, 2020, 5:04 PM by Abel Mendez
  • USRA Fellowship Awardee Kevin Ortiz Video #1. Meteorologist Ada Monzón interviews Kevin Ortiz (November 21, 2019).Video #2. Meteorologist Ada Monzón interviews Kevin Ortiz, Marcos Jusino, and Nicole Torres (November 21, 2019).Photo #1: Kevin ...
    Posted Dec 17, 2019, 3:39 AM by Abel Mendez
  • AstroChat 58836.7917 El Laboratorio de Habitabilidad Planetaria de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo invita a estudiantes universitarios interesados en la astronomía, las ciencias planetarias y la astrobiología a una charla ...
    Posted Dec 21, 2019, 2:02 PM by Abel Mendez
  • AstroChat 58471.75 El Laboratorio de Habitabilidad Planetaria de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo invita a estudiantes universitarios interesados en la astronomía y las ciencias planetarias a una charla con el ...
    Posted Dec 13, 2018, 12:44 PM by Abel Mendez
  • A Planet Around Barnard's Star Ribas et al. (2018) recently announced the discovery of a small planet around Barnard's Star, the second closest stellar system to our Sun. Here is an artistic representation of ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2018, 10:13 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Workshop: Introduction to Using the Arecibo Observatory Tuesday, September 11, 2018, from 3 to 9 PMLibrary of the Arecibo ObservatoryThis is an intensive 6-hour introductory workshop for undergraduate and graduate students of physics on ...
    Posted Sep 16, 2018, 12:44 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Nuevas Observaciones en el Observatorio de Arecibo Este mes de abril de 2018 estaremos haciendo nuevas observaciones de las estrellas de BarnardLuytens desde el Observatorio de Arecibo. La estrella de Barnard está a 6 años ...
    Posted Apr 17, 2018, 3:38 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Observations of Barnard's Star and Ross 128 for Sunday, July 16 Figure Above: Sample data for Gliese 436IntroductionEight telescope in the world will join efforts on Sunday, July 16, to observe two red dwarf stars, Barnard's Star and ...
    Posted Jul 17, 2017, 12:53 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Strange Signals from the Nearby Red Dwarf Star Ross 128 We are conducting a scientific campaign from the Arecibo Observatory to observe red dwarf star with planets. These observations might provide information about the radiation and magnetic environment around these ...
    Posted Jul 21, 2017, 8:22 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Radio Emissions from Red Dwarf Stars with Planets: The GJ 436 Campaign Abel Méndez, PHL @ UPR Arecibo (abel.mendez@upr.edu)Jorge Zuluaga, Institute of Physics / FCEN - Universidad de Antioquia (jorge.zuluaga@udea.edu.co)The activity of red dwarf stars, such ...
    Posted Jun 23, 2017, 6:25 PM by Abel Mendez
  • 25 Years of Exoplanet Discoveries Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech January 9, 2017 is the 25th anniversary of the announcement of the first confirmed exoplanets. The planets were discovered around the pulsar PSR 1257 ...
    Posted Dec 30, 2016, 12:35 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Research Opportunities for Undergraduates 2017 Photo: Students from a REU @ Arecibo ObservatoryThese are research opportunity related to astrobiology and astronomy for undergraduate students in 2017, including some targeted at underrepresented students.National OpportunitiesBanneker ...
    Posted Jan 15, 2017, 1:21 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Exoplanet Habitability and Biosignatures @ AbSciCon 2017 The PHL @ UPR Arecibo has an exoplanets session on Connecting Habitability and Biosignature Observations as part of the AbSciCon 2017, April 24-28, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. The session is ...
    Posted Oct 28, 2016, 10:19 AM by Abel Mendez
  • The 2nd Earth-like Worlds Workshop Details will be available here soon.
    Posted Oct 23, 2016, 5:02 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Charla sobre Planetas Habitables Lugar: Anfiteatro de Éxito Estudiantil, UIPR de AreciboFecha: 25 de octubre de 2016 @ 2:30pm
    Posted Oct 10, 2016, 10:15 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Noche de Observación en el Observatorio de Arecibo
    Posted Aug 11, 2016, 1:48 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Exoplanet Density vs Stellar Flux This plot shows the density-flux distribution for exoplanets less than 20 Earth masses. Size of the planets are to scale. The inside of the planets are color coded by ...
    Posted Jun 22, 2016, 9:42 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Book: Searching for Habitable Worlds An illustrated introduction to the search for habitable worldsWhat does it take to consider a planet potentially habitable? If a planet is suitable for life, could life be present ...
    Posted Aug 26, 2016, 11:50 AM by Abel Mendez
  • An Alien Message was Decrypted This is the list of 66 successful crackers (teams or individuals) of the SETI Decrypt Challenge, which ran from 26 April to 3 June 2016. The solutions to the six ...
    Posted Jun 3, 2016, 8:09 AM by Abel Mendez
  • The Compositional Diversity of Exoplanets This plot shows exoplanets less than 20 Earth masses with known mass and radius, including error bars (light grey lines). Most of these are too hot for life. Only K2 ...
    Posted Jun 2, 2016, 10:51 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Proyectos de Computación e Investigación en el PHL El PHL está buscando estudiantes subgraduados para varios proyectos de computación e investigación durante el año académico 2016-2017. Los requisitos para participar de estos proyectos es ser un estudiante ...
    Posted Jun 22, 2016, 5:57 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Projects for University Students at the Arecibo Observatory The Arecibo Observatory is inviting university students from Puerto Rico to contribute to different research and engineering projects for fall 2016 and early 2017. These projects can be completed as ...
    Posted May 9, 2016, 9:27 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Can you decrypt this alien message? This is a call for a fun scientific challenge by Dr. René Heller.Suppose a telescope on Earth receives a series of pulses from a fixed, unresolved source beyond the ...
    Posted May 4, 2016, 3:10 PM by Abel Mendez
  • A Planet Around Proxima Centauri This is a computer simulation of a hypothetical planet around the nearest star Proxima Centauri. The animation also shows how the star moves due to the gravitational interaction with the ...
    Posted Jan 17, 2016, 7:25 PM by Abel Mendez
  • New Science at the Arecibo Observatory These scientists met yesterday to plan new research endeavors at the Arecibo Observatory. From left to right: Abel Méndez (PHL @ UPR Arecibo), Alex Wolszczan (CEHW @ Penn State), Andrew Seymour (Arecibo ...
    Posted Jan 15, 2016, 6:16 AM by Abel Mendez
  • The Minority Science Writers Internship Program Spend a summer at Science The Minority Science Writers Internship Program 2016 application is now available onlinePlease share this opportunity with your studentsThe AAAS Pitts Family Foundation Minority ...
    Posted Dec 14, 2015, 10:24 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Minority Institution Research Support Program Astrobiology Research Experiences for Faculty from Minority Serving InstitutionsThe Minority Institution Research Support (MIRS) Program was initiated in 2002 to provide opportunities for faculty from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs ...
    Posted Feb 22, 2016, 12:45 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Charla Magistral: El Comienzo Cuántico del Universo
    Posted Dec 1, 2015, 8:15 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Curso de Astrobiología General El próximo primer semestre (1er Semestre 2016-17) se estará ofreciendo el curso Astrobiología General (ASTR 3010) en la UPR de Arecibo. Esta es la primera vez que se ofrece ...
    Posted Dec 1, 2015, 3:26 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Measurement Errors of Exoplanets These plots show the measurement errors associated with some planetary and stellar properties of confirmed exoplanets. The mean error values are only valid for the given range and not the ...
    Posted May 30, 2015, 7:27 PM by Abel Mendez
  • The First 32 Exoplanets to be Named Here is a table of the first 32 exoplanets that will be named by the general public as part of the ExoWorlds Naming Contest of the International Astronomical Union (IAU ...
    Posted Mar 30, 2015, 1:04 PM by Abel Mendez
  • The Diversity of Worlds: Comparative Planetology and Habitability A session on the Habitability of Exoplanets at the Astrobiology Science Conference 2015 Organizers: Tyler Robinson, NASA Ames Research Center (tyler.d.robinson@nasa.gov)   Abel Méndez, University of Puerto ...
    Posted Feb 25, 2015, 12:10 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Another Visualization of the Protoplanetary Disk Around HL Tau Here we show a test of a simple IDL code to analyze and visualize the dust structure of protoplanetary disks. We used the impressive image of HL Tau (Figure 1 ...
    Posted Nov 6, 2014, 8:20 AM by Abel Mendez
  • False Starts: Potentially Habitable Exoplanets Here is a list of the first claims of potentially habitable exoplanets that later were found to be incorrect. Now we know that Gliese 581 c is too hot, Gliese ...
    Posted Oct 28, 2014, 10:59 PM by Abel Mendez
  • The Map to the Stars "There will certainly be no lack of human pioneers when we have mastered the art of flight ...In the meantime, we shall prepare, for the brave sky-travellers, maps of ...
    Posted Oct 6, 2014, 3:23 PM by Abel Mendez
  • We should prepare the map for the future space explorers Map of the constellations around Cygnus published on 1825, the first NASA Kepler Field of View. Credit: LoC.Here are two translations from a passage of an open letter from ...
    Posted Oct 6, 2014, 3:21 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Astrobiology @ AGU Fall Meeting The deadline for abstract submissions is fast approaching for sessions at the American Geophysical Union's (AGU) 47th annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Below are some sessions that might ...
    Posted Jul 30, 2014, 2:10 PM by Abel Mendez
  • What is habitability and how is it measured? Three very distinct habitable environments. Puerto Rico's El Yunque Rain Forest and Guánica Dry Forest, and Chile's Atacama Desert. Credit: PHL @ UPR AreciboNot everywhere on Earth is ...
    Posted Jan 9, 2015, 7:30 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Beer with BMSIS: Habitability Metrics for Astrobiology Copyright (2007) Scott Adams, Inc. Used with educational license. Original Source. Quantifying the Unquantifiable!Join the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science (BMSIS) for the next "Beer with BMSIS" seminar ...
    Posted Apr 22, 2016, 10:35 AM by Abel Mendez
  • 4D-Exoplanets: A summary of known exoplanets in four dimensions. This plot summarizes all confirmed exoplanets known today (~1,800) as a function of distance from the Sun (light years), their stellar flux (i.e. the energy that they receive ...
    Posted Jun 29, 2014, 11:28 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Exoplanets: From Exhilarating to Exasperating Here are the abstracts of the exoplanets press-conference of the AAS 224 on Monday, 2 June, 2:15 pm EDT. All findings are embargoed until the time of presentation ...
    Posted Jun 2, 2014, 9:06 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Not all habitable planets are equally ‘habitable’ So far we know many potentially habitable planets around other stars out of nearly 2,000 planets that have been detected and confirmed. We expect to find many more in ...
    Posted Dec 13, 2019, 6:33 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Surface Temperature of Planets The mean global surface temperature of a planet in a circular orbit is given by (adapted from Qiu et al., 2003): (1) where Ts = mean global surface temperature (K ...
    Posted Jan 7, 2014, 6:22 AM by Abel Mendez
  • A New Large Batch of Earth-like Worlds Candidates The NASA Kepler added 1,089 new objects of interest from the Q1-16 release to its KOI database. All are objects of interest pending further verification (not dispositioned) to ...
    Posted Jan 4, 2014, 7:10 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Spatial and Temporal Averages for Elliptical Orbits Mean orbital values for distance, stellar flux, and equilibrium temperature can be computed with respect to spatial or temporal coordinates. Spatial averages are usually calculated with respect to the mean ...
    Posted Jan 4, 2014, 8:50 AM by Abel Mendez
  • SER: First Look at Pluto The Scientific Exoplanets Renderer (SER) is our core software to generate photorealistic-looking images of planets such as the ones for the Visible Paleo-Earth and the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog ...
    Posted Nov 13, 2013, 10:02 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Occurrence of Earth-like planets around GKM Stars Here we combine and interpret results from Kopparapu (2013) and Petigura et al. (2013) on the occurrence of Earth-like planets around red-dwarf (type M) and Sun-like (type ...
    Posted Nov 5, 2013, 8:47 AM by Abel Mendez
  • New Kepler Potential Planet Transit Signals The NASA Kepler team released a revised global list of 16,285 potential planet transit signals (formally known as Threshold-Crossing Events or TCE) from quarters one to sixteen, the ...
    Posted Nov 4, 2013, 8:03 AM by Abel Mendez
  • 50th Anniversary of the Arecibo Observatory The Arecibo Observatory (AO) was inaugurated November 1, 1963. To recognize its 50th year of service to the scientific community, the AO is having a science symposium, “50 Years of ...
    Posted Oct 27, 2013, 7:20 PM by Abel Mendez
  • A Binomial Nomenclature for Common Names of Exoplanets When naming exoplanets create common names for both the stellar system and the exoplanetsThere are nearly one thousand exoplanets already confirmed and many more waiting for confirmation. The general ...
    Posted Sep 27, 2013, 12:20 AM by Abel Mendez
  • About 40 potentially habitable worlds by the end of 2015? We started with just two planets in our Habitable Exoplanets Catalog almost two years ago on December 2011. At that time having a catalog for just two planets was overkill ...
    Posted Sep 20, 2013, 3:12 AM by Abel Mendez
  • One-AU Exoplanets Most known exoplanets are within one astronomical unit (AU) from their stars, a bias of our detection methods. Here are graphical representations of 417 stellar systems with planets within one ...
    Posted Aug 12, 2013, 1:01 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Earth from Near and Deep Space The Cassini spacecraft on Saturn and the Messenger spacecraft on Mercury are taking images of Earth in July 19, 2013. From their vantage point Earth will be just a few ...
    Posted Jul 23, 2013, 3:07 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Statistics of Nearby Earth-like Planets Around M-dwarfs Stars Here is an analysis on the frequency, number, distance, and probability of Earth-like planets (Earth-size within the habitable zone) around M-dwarf stars within 10 parsecs (~33 light ...
    Posted Apr 8, 2013, 1:20 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Transits of Earth-like Exoplanets and Exomoons Here are a few transit simulations of Earth-like planets with and without moons (Figures 1-3) including Avatar's Pandora (Figure 4). All simulations assume long cadence observations (every ...
    Posted Apr 29, 2013, 12:31 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Summary of the Limits of the New Habitable Zone The new habitable zone (Kopparapu et al., 2013) has a narrow and wide definition (Figure 1). The narrower 'conservative habitable zone' is bounded by the 'moist greenhouse' and 'maximum greenhouse ...
    Posted Apr 8, 2013, 12:39 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Conferencia en el IITF El Prof. Abel Méndez ofrecerá una conferencia sobre planetas habitables en el Instituto Internacional de Dasonomía Tropical el jueves, 21 de marzo de 2013 a las 2:30 PM. Para ...
    Posted Mar 19, 2013, 1:20 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Limits of the New Habitable Zone Here are some limits of the new habitable zone (HZ) for main sequence stars (Table 1) from Kopparapu et al. (2013) for six parameters: distance from star (Table 2), stellar ...
    Posted Mar 17, 2013, 9:59 PM by Abel Mendez
  • TCE01: Terrestrial Climatology and Ecology Initial test of reading, plotting, and estimate of NPP. These files are part of a study of terrestrial climatology and ecology and are only intended for the scientisits working on ...
    Posted Mar 17, 2013, 3:01 PM by Abel Mendez
  • KOI-172.02: An excellent candidate for a “Venus-twin” (Reposted from PaleBlue.blog.) It seems that we have our latest "Earth twin candidate." This time, the planet is in orbit around a star very similar to our Sun. It ...
    Posted Jan 14, 2013, 7:56 PM by Abel Mendez
  • The New Potential Habitable Exoplanets Candidates of NASA Kepler We evaluated the new release of 2740 NASA Kepler Candidates and identified 10 new candidates for potential habitable exoplanets from the previous batch. We also noticed that nine of the ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2013, 4:19 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Current NASA Kepler Confirmed Planets This is a list of 132 confirmed planets by the NASA Kepler mission. The list combines both the Kepler Team and the general scientific community detections. All Kepler stars systems ...
    Posted Jan 10, 2013, 3:30 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Exoplanets @ AAS 221 Here are the presentations program and press information for the 221st American Astronomical Society Meeting (AAS 221) from January 6 to 10, 2013. Below are three press conferences related to ...
    Posted Jan 4, 2013, 2:48 PM by Abel Mendez
  • HEC Dump Files for Confirmed Planets, Kepler Candidates, and TCE Here are the HEC Dump Files with the basic statistics as of Jan 3rd, 2013 for Confirmed Exoplanets, NASA Kepler Candidates, and NASA Kepler TCE. They are used as a ...
    Posted Jan 4, 2013, 7:52 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Science Definition Team for the 2020 Mars Science Rover Call for Letters of Application for Membership on the Science Definition Team for the 2020 Mars Science Rover  Solicitation Number: Posted Date:FedBizOpps Posted Date:Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action ...
    Posted Dec 23, 2012, 9:54 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Planetary Habitability @ AGU 2012 Here is a list of the sessions related to planetary habitability that will be presented in the AGU Fall meeting 2012, from December 3 to 7, 2012 in San Francisco ...
    Posted Nov 30, 2012, 10:06 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Annual Arecibo Observatory Scientific Conference Image Credit: Arecibo ObservatoryIMPORTANT: THIS ACTIVITY HAS BEEN POSTPONEDDecember 27 & 28, 2012 Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo, Puerto Rico Overview We cordially invite Puerto Rican astronomers with interests in astronomy ...
    Posted Dec 20, 2012, 7:59 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Exoplanets at the DPS Annual Meeting Here are the exoplanet oral and poster presentations at the 44th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Reno, Nevada, 14 ...
    Posted Oct 14, 2012, 7:32 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Exoplanets and Astrobiology at EPSC These are the presentations related to exoplanets and astrobiology at the European Planetary Science Congress 2012, IFEMA-Feria de Madrid, 23–28 September 2012, Madrid, Spain.Oral Program EX1Observations ...
    Posted Sep 25, 2012, 8:22 AM by Abel Mendez
  • AGU Fall Meeting 2012 Here are most of the proposed sessions related to astrobiology, in no particular order, as part of the next AGU Fall Meeting from December 3-7, 2012 on San Francisco ...
    Posted Jul 8, 2012, 12:15 PM by Abel Mendez
  • 84 New Kepler Exoplanet Candidates Ofir and Dreizler (2012) did an independent analysis to 64 stellar systems from the NASA Kepler dataset. They found 84 new exoplanets candidates in these systems increasing the number of ...
    Posted Aug 7, 2012, 7:10 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Exoplanet Presentations at AAS 220th Here is a list of various sessions with exoplanet presentations on the 220th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society from June 10-14, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska. Check the ...
    Posted Oct 21, 2012, 2:44 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Reference and Color Calibration for the Visible Daily-Earth This is test image that we are using as landmasses reference and color calibration for the Visible Daily-Earth. It shows computer generated global views of Earth as seen from ...
    Posted Jun 4, 2012, 8:37 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Eclipse of May 20-21, 2012 Here is the shadow over Earth near the maximum during the Annular Solar Eclipse of May 20-21, 2012. This image was generated during a color test of our Visible ...
    Posted Jun 4, 2012, 8:38 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Visible Daily-Earth: May 16, 2012 This is a test of the code for our new Visible Daily-Earth project where we will have a true-color global picture of Earth generated daily from geostationary satellites ...
    Posted Jun 4, 2012, 8:39 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Earth Live We are working in a project to put online current daily global satellite images of Earth in true-color (colors as seen by the human eye). Unfortunately, satellites that have ...
    Posted Jun 4, 2012, 8:40 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Three Hot Subterran Exoplanets around KOI-961 Here are some quick stellar and planetary properties (Tables 1 and 2) for the three exoplanets system KOI-961 plus the basic habitability assessment with the Habitable Zone Distance (HZD ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 11:10 AM by Abel Mendez
  • AAS 219 Press Conference: Extraordinary Exoplanets Here are the abstracts of the presentations related to the AAS 219 press conference Extraordinary Exoplanets schedule on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM CST (3:00 PM ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 10:15 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Exoplanets with the Most Earth-like Interiors This is a list of exoplanets with the most Earth-like interiors ranked by the Interior Earth Similarity Index (iESI), a measure of how an exoplanet size and bulk density ...
    Posted Aug 11, 2012, 1:56 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Habitability Assessments using Habitable-Space Metrics One of the main problems of measuring habitability, the suitability of an environment to support life, is how to connect the dependency of many environmental variables with life. The best ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 11:16 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Habitable Zone Atmosphere (HZA): A habitability metric for exoplanets The Habitable Zone Atmosphere (HZA) is a measure of the potential of an exoplanet to hold a habitable atmosphere. Most life forms requires some basic atmospheric ingredients like carbon dioxide ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 11:49 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Habitable Zone Composition (HZC): A habitability metric for exoplanets The Habitable Zone Composition (HZC) measures how compatible for life is the bulk composition of an exoplanet within the habitable zone. Life requires a variety of elements from volatiles to ...
    Posted Jul 1, 2012, 11:24 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Standard Mass-Radius Relation for Exoplanets We are trying to develop a standard mass-radius relationship for exoplanets to predict the most likely value from the other. There are very high uncertainties in predicting radius from ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 11:54 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Updates on Kepler-22 b during the First Kepler Science Conference Dec05: The recent confirmation of Kepler-22 b (KOI-087) does not qualify as a potential habitable exoplanet in the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog. It is in the habitable zone of ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 11:56 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Data Comparison of Confirmed Exoplanets with Kepler Candidates Here we show a simple statistical comparison of data for confirmed exoplanets (exoplanet.eu) and Kepler candidates (Borucki et al., 2011). This analysis was done as a quality test of ...
    Posted Oct 29, 2011, 6:22 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Exoplanets Continuously Within the Habitable Zone There are 83 exoplanets in the habitable zone (HZ) in the currently known 694 exoplanets, but many exhibit wide elliptical orbits that take them just inside or outside the edges ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 12:02 PM by Abel Mendez
  • The Night Sky of Exoplanets We are developing software code to generate photorealistic visualizations of star fields. The code uses information from the stars to generate their visual appearance from any vantage point including relative ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 12:06 PM by Abel Mendez
  • The Periodic Table of Exoplanets This table summarizes in eighteen thermal-mass categories most of the current known exoplanets (as of October 2011). Planets are divided in six mass classes as mercurians, subterrans, terrans, superterrans ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 12:08 PM by Abel Mendez
  • The Apparent Brightness and Size of Exoplanets and their Stars One thing that we are trying to reproduce for the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog is the visual appearance of exoplanets and stars. This includes the color, brightness, and size of the ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 12:10 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Location and Relative Size of Exoplanets on the Night Sky This is a visualization of the location and relative size of current 690 confirmed exoplanet on the night sky, using equatorial coordinates with a rectangular projection. The constellation outlines are ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 12:12 PM by Abel Mendez
  • A Stellar System Map for Exoplanets Here we created a stellar map of 564 exoplanets systems from the latest database of confirmed exoplanets from the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. The map helps to visualize the relative distance ...
    Posted Jun 30, 2012, 12:19 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Latest List of Potential Habitable Exoplanets and Exomoons We finally identified potential habitable exoplanets and exomoons from three catalogs. This was the first step in the construction of our Habitable Exoplanets Catalog (HEC). No exomoons have been detected ...
    Posted Oct 1, 2011, 8:32 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Earth Around a Red Star The current potential habitable exoplanets, HD 85512 b and Gliese 581 d, orbit red stars. HD 85512 is a K5V and Gliese 581 is a M3V type star, both dimmer ...
    Posted Sep 26, 2011, 1:18 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Earth "Real" Blues Our vision is not only limited by the energy range on the visible spectrum but also by its sensitivity to particular colors. The eyes are more adapted to see green ...
    Posted Sep 26, 2011, 7:29 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Current Number of Habitable Exoplanets: 16 There are now two potential habitable exoplanets out of the confirmed 687, and 14 out of the published 1235 Kepler candidates. The original Kepler paper by Borucki et al. (2011 ...
    Posted Sep 24, 2011, 7:46 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Only 39 Kepler Planet Candidates in the Habitable Zone Last April 2011 the Kepler Mission Team published a paper describing 1235 new planet candidates (Borucki et al., 2011). They argue that 56 of those where in the habitable zone ...
    Posted Sep 22, 2011, 6:36 AM by Abel Mendez
  • The Exoplanet's Stars We are developing a code to automatically generate updated diagrams and visualizations from various exoplanets catalogs for the Habitable Exoplanet Catalog. Here is a test showing the mass, temperature, and ...
    Posted Sep 18, 2011, 10:11 PM by Abel Mendez
  • The Habitability of "Tatooine" Kepler-16 (AB) b Kepler-16 (AB) b, an exoplanet with a Saturn-like mass, Venus-like orbit, and Mars-like temperatures.Kepler-16 (AB) b, aka "Tatooine," is the first exoplanet detected around ...
    Posted Sep 17, 2011, 12:39 PM by Abel Mendez
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Why Searching for Technosignatures is Important?

posted Jul 21, 2020, 3:03 AM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jul 21, 2020, 3:04 AM ]

https://theoatmeal.com/comics/oracle

The search for technosignatures is the most cost-effective way to search for life in the universe. It is not surprising that the first formal attempt to detect extraterrestrial life was Frank Drake’s SETI Project Ozma (1960), followed later by the Viking Landers on Mars (1976), and soon by James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) (>2021) look at the atmosphere of exoplanets. The traditional detection of biosignatures is very expensive and limited to a few locations while technosignatures projects are very inexpensive and able to sample a larger volume of the universe.

That said, astrobiologists expect that intelligent life should be much rarer than any other life forms, which probably makes the detection of technosignatures much less likely than biosignatures. Nevertheless, it is surprising that we are not making all possible attempts to detect life in the universe. NASA made the decision to cancel SETI projects in the early 1990s. However, funding for SETI projects and more generally, any technosignature project, was restored by NASA starting with the Exobiology Program1 and the Exoplanet Research Program2. In fact, the first technosignature project was funded3 last year by the Exobiology Program.

It is commonly believed that the success of a biosignature experiment depends on the detection of life, i.e. the biosignature experiment fails if life is not detected. Imagine looking for life on a subsurface habitable environment of Mars, by terrestrial standards, and not finding any life. That would mean that the paradigm that all habitable environments converge to life is not universal. A profound discovery. Similarly, not detecting any transmitting civilization would be a profound discovery and equally valuable knowledge.

The search for technosignatures is not only of scientific interest but also supported and encouraged by the general public. Scientists are not searching for an impossible thing. Earth shows that planets with intelligent life are possible, however small that probability might be. Only a small sample of the universe has been explored by technosignature techniques, in part due to lack of funding. New exoplanets discovered by Kepler, K2, and now TESS provide new targets of opportunity to potentially determine if we are alone in the universe, at least among the nearby stars, or not.

(1) Exobiology Program Solicitation, ROSES-2019 (Page C.5-2): “Additionally, research focused on defining, understanding or characterizing technosignatures as specific types of biosignatures indicative of intelligent life are included in this area.”

(2) Exoplanet Research Program (XRP) Solicitation, ROSES-2020 (Page E.3-3): “Observational, archival, theoretical, and modeling proposals focused upon the detection of technosignatures are in scope of the XRP.”


Habitability Models for Planetary Sciences

posted Jul 13, 2020, 8:48 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jul 23, 2020, 10:38 AM ]

Habitability Models for Planetary Sciences

Abel Méndez, (abel.mendez@upr.edu)

Planetary Habitability Laboratory, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, USA


Edgard G. Rivera-Valentín1, Dirk Schulze-Makuch2, Justin Filiberto1, Ramses Ramírez3, Tana E. Wood4, Alfonso Dávila5, Chris McKay5, Kevin Ortiz Ceballos6, Marcos Jusino-Maldonado6, Guillermo Nery6, René Heller7, Paul Byrne8, Michael J. Malaska9, Erica Nathan10, Marta Filipa Simões11, André Antunes11, Jesús Martínez-Frías12, Ludmila Carone13, Noam R. Izenberg14, Dimitra Atri15, Humberto Itic Carvajal Chitty16, Priscilla Nowajewski-Barra17, Frances Rivera-Hernández18, Corine Brown19, Kennda Lynch1, David Catling20, Jorge I. Zuluaga21, Juan F. Salazar22, Howard Chen23, Grizelle González4, Madhu Kashyap Jagadeesh24, Rory Barnes25, Charles S. Cockell26, Jacob Haqq-Misra27

1Lunar and Planetary Institute, USRA, USA; 2Technical University Berlin, Germany; 3Earth-Life Science Institute, Japan; 4International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service, Puerto Rico, USA; 5NASA Ames Research Center, USA; 6Planetary Habitability Laboratory, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, USA; 7Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany, 8North Carolina State University, USA; 9Jet Propulsion Laboratory / California Institute of Technology, USA; 10Brown University, USA; 11State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences, China; 12Instituto de Geociencias (CSIC-UCM), Spain; 13Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany; 14Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, USA; 15Center for Space Science, New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; 16Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela; 17Fundación Ciencias Planetarias, Chile; 18Dartmouth College, USA; 19Macquarie University, Australia; 20University of Washington, USA; 21Institute of Physics / FCEN - Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia; 22GIGA, Escuela Ambiental, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia; 23Northwestern University, USA; 24Jyoti Nivas College, Bengaluru, India; 25University of Washington, USA; 26UK Centre for Astrobiology, UK; 27Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, USA


Abstract

Habitability has been generally defined as the capability of an environment to support life. Ecologists have been using Habitat Suitability Models (HSMs) for more than four decades to study the habitability of Earth from local to global scales. Astrobiologists have been proposing different habitability models for some time, with little integration and consistency between them and different in function to those used by ecologists. In this white paper, we suggest a mass-energy habitability model as an example of how to adapt and expand the models used by ecologists to the astrobiology field. We propose to implement these models into a NASA Habitability Standard (NHS) to standardize the habitability objectives of planetary missions. These standards will help to compare and characterize potentially habitable environments, prioritize target selections, and study correlations between habitability and biosignatures. Habitability models are the foundation of planetary habitability science. The synergy between the methods used by ecologists and astrobiologists will help to integrate and expand our understanding of the habitability of Earth, the Solar System, and exoplanets.

Méndez, A., Rivera-Valentín, E. G., Schulze-Makuch, D., Filiberto, J., Ramírez, R., Wood, T. E., Dávila, A., McKay, C., Ortiz Ceballos, K., Jusino-Maldonado, M., Nery, G., Heller, R., Byrne, P., Malaska, M. J., Nathan, E., Filipa Simões, M., Antunes, A., Martínez-Frías, J., Carone, L., … Barnes, R. (2020). Habitability Models for Planetary Sciences. ArXiv E-Prints, 2007, arXiv:2007.05491. https://arxiv.org/abs/2007.05491



List of Endorsers

Tri LeUniversity of Manitoba, Canada
Gabriela Rosado AyalaFacultad de Derecho Interamericana
Le danff JeanClaudeUniversity of Nantes, France
Dany WallerJohns Hopkins University
Priscilla Nowajewski-BarraFundación Ciencias Planetarias
Humberto Carvajal-ChittyUniversidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas Venezuela
Guillermo NeryUniversity of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Corine BrownMacquarie University, Australia
Nicole J. Torres-SantiagoPHL @ University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Emanuel RodriguezInteramerican University
Jose Maria Ortega HernandeWrexham Glyndwr University
César F. Quiñones MartínezSEDS - University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Miguel BeauchampUniversity of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Jorge A. Ramirez MartinezUniversity of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Joshua RiveraPonce Health Sciences University
Jorge A. Ramirez MartinezUniversity of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus
Sai ArunIIT Kanpur
Vinciane DebailleUniversité Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Marcos Jusino-MaldonadoPHL @ University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Pedro Rivera-CardonaUniversity of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Madhu Kashyap JagadeeshJyoti Nivas College
Charles CockellUniversity of Edinburgh
Juan F. SalazarGIGA, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
Jorge I. ZuluagaInstitute of Physics / FCEN, University of Antioquia
Grizelle GonzálezUS Forest Service
Howard ChenNorthwestern University
Marta Filipa SimõesMacau University of Science and Technology
André AntunesMacau University of Science and Technology
Graham LauBlue Marble Space Institute of Science
Snehanshu SahaBITS Pilani K K Birla Goa Campus
Howard M. RellesCfA, Harvard University
Margarita SafonovaIndian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, India
Emili Fabrega SolaAssociation of Industrial Engineers in Barcelona, CATALONIA
Prabhakar MisraHoward University, USA
Gal SaridSETI Institute
Pedro M Vazquez GonzalezPHL @ University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Wilbert Ruperto-HernándezUniversity of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Jadenys S. Díaz-SánchezPHL @ University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Jamier I MuñizUniversity of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Andy Lopez-OquendoNorthern Arizona University
Lee Roger Chevres FernandezUniversity of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Bryan J Rodriguez-ColonUniversity of Kansas
Victoria Rivera BanuchiStony Brook University
Kyle MorgensteinUT Austin/MIT
Maria Angélica Leal LealUniversidad Nacional de Colombia
Rebecca TeedWright State University
Sophie KrauseLocal Urban Planning Office Hamburg, Germany

Endorse this white paper here: https://forms.gle/iNqrMrXFpUUXKbXi8

Puerto Rico Seismic Activity (December 2019 to May 2020)

posted Jan 15, 2020, 12:16 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated May 2, 2020, 5:04 PM ]

Last Update: Sat May  2 20:00:47 2020

These plots show a general summary of the seismic activity in the southwest of Puerto Rico from December 15, 2019 until today. Data includes all magnitudes earthquakes (mag > 1.0)*, including automatic detections, from the USGS Earth Quake Catalog

Figure #1. Number of daily earthquakes as a function of time.


Figure #2. Magnitude of earthquakes (red line) and daily mean magnitude (black line) as a function of time.


Figure #3. Magnitude of earthquakes as a function of time of day.


Figure #4. Daily mean (black) and total energy (red) of earthquakes converted to the magnitude scale as a function of time.


Figure #5. Lomb-Scargle Periodogram of the magnitude of earthquakes. This plot shows the periodic signals observed, not predicted, in all the data shown in previous figures. Those signals about the blue dotted line are more significant.

Figure #6. The expected decay rate of the number of earthquakes since the M6.4 Jan 07 event.



Figure #7. Integrated seismic energy deposited by all the earthquakes mag ≥ 4 near Puerto Rico in the last 120 years. Actual earthquakes used to generate this plot are shown in grey.


Table #1. The "equivalent magnitude" of major earthquakes (mag ≥ 5.0) for Guayanilla, Ponce, Utuado, Mayagüez, Arecibo, Vega Baja, San Juan, and Fajardo. This "equivalent magnitude" gives a general sense of the perceived magnitude of a particular earthquake assuming it happened near your location instead. For example, the 6.4 earthquake of January 7 released about the same surface energy on San Juan as a 4.8 earthquake 10 km below San Juan.


A decrease in the numbers (red boxes in figure 1) and an increase in the mean magnitude for mag > 1.0 (black line of figure 2) of earthquakes in the last 3 to 5 days is artificial. The data lacks low magnitude quakes in the last days since they take longer to be processed. Data and live interactive maps are available from the USGS.

Other Related Links

USRA Fellowship Awardee Kevin Ortiz

posted Dec 16, 2019, 12:20 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Dec 17, 2019, 3:39 AM ]


Video #1. Meteorologist Ada Monzón interviews Kevin Ortiz (November 21, 2019).


Video #2. Meteorologist Ada Monzón interviews Kevin Ortiz, Marcos Jusino, and Nicole Torres (November 21, 2019).


Photo #1: Kevin receives the official USRA Fellowship certificate from Prof. Abel Méndez (December 4, 2019).


Photo #2: Kevin with the official USRA Fellowship certificate (December 4, 2019).

References

AstroChat 58836.7917

posted Dec 13, 2019, 1:42 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Dec 21, 2019, 2:02 PM ]


El Laboratorio de Habitabilidad Planetaria de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo invita a estudiantes universitarios interesados en la astronomía, las ciencias planetarias y la astrobiología a una charla con estudiantes graduados puertorriqueños que estudian estas carreras en los Estados Unidos
. La charla será sobre sus investigaciones, experiencias y oportunidades en sus respectivos campos e instituciones.

Fotos del Evento

https://photos.app.goo.gl/SNV1Tsjw6t3nGAqk8

(las presentaciones de los invitados se enviará por correo electrónico sólo a los asistentes de la actividad)

Para preguntas puede contactar a abel.mendez@upr.edu.

AstroChat 58471.75

posted Dec 13, 2018, 12:44 PM by Abel Mendez

El Laboratorio de Habitabilidad Planetaria de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo invita a estudiantes universitarios interesados en la astronomía y las ciencias planetarias a una charla con el Dr. Michael Busch del SETI Institute y el Dr. Edgard Rivera-Valentín del Lunar and Planetary Institute. La charla será sobre sus investigaciones y oportunidades en sus respectivas instituciones para estudiantes universitarios subgraduados y graduados, incluyendo este próximo verano.


A Planet Around Barnard's Star

posted Nov 14, 2018, 10:13 AM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 10:13 AM ]

Ribas et al. (2018) recently announced the discovery of a small planet around Barnard's Star, the second closest stellar system to our Sun. Here is an artistic representation of the planet (Fig. 1) and its orbit (Fig. 2). We are currently studying the properties of Barnard's Star from the Arecibo Observatory.


Fig 1. Artistic representation of the planet around Barnard's Star as a frozen ocean world with a thick Titan-like hazy atmosphere.

Fig. 2. The orbit of Barnard's Star b. The eccentricity of the orbit is not well constrained and it could be more circular. The plot shows the tidal lock and snow lines (canonical values), the habitable zone, and a thermal analysis of the orbit. Temperature estimates are based on an albedo of 0.3, similar to Earth (0.29) and Titan (0.22).

Workshop: Introduction to Using the Arecibo Observatory

posted Sep 3, 2018, 1:34 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Sep 16, 2018, 12:44 PM ]


Tuesday, September 11, 2018, from 3 to 9 PM
Library of the Arecibo Observatory

This is an intensive 6-hour introductory workshop for undergraduate and graduate students of physics on using the Arecibo Observatory for scientific observations. At the end of the workshop, students will participate in the observation of Barnard's Star. This star is the second stellar system to our Sun and there is indirect evidence that it has planets. There is no cost associated with the workshop. All printed materials and coffee will be provided. The workshop will be given by Prof. Abel Méndez in Spanish. Spaces are limited to only 10 students. The application form is below.

Workshop Topics
  1. Introduction to Radio Astronomy
  2. The Arecibo Observatory
  3. Preparation for Astronomical Observations
  4. Observing Using CIMA
  5. Data Acquisition
Workshop Resources

Nuevas Observaciones en el Observatorio de Arecibo

posted Apr 2, 2018, 9:39 AM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Apr 17, 2018, 3:38 PM ]


Este mes de abril de 2018 estaremos haciendo nuevas observaciones de las estrellas de BarnardLuytens desde el Observatorio de Arecibo. La estrella de Barnard está a 6 años luz de distancia y es por lo tanto el segundo sistema estelar más cercano al nuestro, después de Alfa Centauri. El proyecto Red Dots está buscando planetas alrededor de esta estrella. La estrella de Luyten está a 12 años luz y es el tercer sistema más cercano con planetas posiblemente habitables, después de Alpha Centauri (Proxima) y Ross 128. El propósito de las observaciones de este proyecto (A3123), es estudiar el ambiente de radiación que experimentan los planetas alrededor de estas estrellas, especialmente si pudieran ser habitables.

Este proyecto tiene un componente educativo donde invitamos a estudiantes, facultad y aquellas personas interesadas en el tema de la astronomía a que nos acompañen durante el proceso de las observaciones. Comenzaremos la actividad con una explicación del proyecto, luego las observaciones y finalmente un tour del cuarto de controles del observatorio mientras las observaciones prosiguen. El tiempo total de esta actividad no excede las dos horas. La estrella Barnard se observará de madrugada así que sólo Luyten es más factible para nuestros acompañantes.

Si desea hacer una reservación para las observaciones por favor envié un correo a abel.mendez@upr.edu con su nombre y el de sus acompañantes (hasta 2 por persona), afiliación, y el día de su interés (según listado abajo). Los espacios son bien limitados, hasta 10 personas por día. Se le dará prioridad a estudiantes y maestros. No se permite la entrada a persona que no esté en la lista aprobada para ese día de observaciones. Recibirá un mensaje de confirmación un día antes de las observaciones con cualquier instrucción adicional. Pendiente a esta página para saber cuándo las sesiones de observación se llenen e información adicional.


Sesiones de Observación para la Estrella de Luyten
  •     viernes 6 de abril de 2018, 5:00 a 7:00 PM - LLENO
  •     viernes 13 de abril de 2018, 4:30 a 6:30 PM - LLENO
  •     viernes 20 de abril de 2018, 4:00 a 6:00 PM - ESPACIOS DISPONIBLES
  •     jueves 26 de abril de 2018, 3:45 a 5:45 PM - LLENO


Observations of Barnard's Star and Ross 128 for Sunday, July 16

posted Jul 15, 2017, 3:58 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jul 17, 2017, 12:53 PM ]

Figure Above: Sample data for Gliese 436

Introduction


Eight telescope in the world will join efforts on Sunday, July 16, to observe two red dwarf stars, Barnard's Star and Ross 128. Here are the details of the Arecibo Observatory's plans.

General Observation Protocol for Arecibo's Observations


We are measuring radio flux density at frequencies within the C-band 4 to 5 GHz (1 GHz bandwidth) with roughly a frequency resolution of 21 kHz and time resolution of 0.1 seconds. Beam size (field of view) at these frequencies is about 1.0 x 0.9 arcmin.

Observations are done in Full Stokes mode with the Mock Spectrometer (only Mock 1) at seven center frequencies (4148, 4290, 4432, 4574, 4716, 4858, and 5000 MHz) with bandwidths of 172 MHz each divided into 8192 channels.

The typical observation session consists of blocks of 10 minutes ON target followed by 10 seconds ON/OFF diode calibration. Data is recorded using CIMA and analyzed with a custom IDL code (see figure above for sample data product).

Our sessions start by observing a quasar (e.g. 3C263.1 aka B1140+223) for calibration purposes for 3 minutes ON/OFF target with 10 seconds ON/OFF hcorcal (CIMA Standard ON/OFF).

Observations for objects of interest typically consist of n loops (e.g. n = 6 for one hour) of 10 minutes ON target and 10 seconds ON/OFF hcorcal (CIMA Standard ON).


Target #1: Ross 128


Observation Time: Jul 16, 15:45 AST | 10:57 LST | 1.50 hours (Sunday, July 16, 2017, 19:45 UTC)
ICRS coord. (ep=J2000) : 11 47 44.3974 +00 48 16.395
Telescopes: Arecibo, GBT, ATA

Target #2: Barnard's Star


Observation Time: Jul 16, 21:45 AST | 16:58 LST | 1.25 hours (Sunday, July 17, 2017, 01:45 UTC)
ICRS coord. (ep=J2000) : 17 57 48.49803 +04 41 36.2072
Telescopes: Arecibo, SNO, LCO, TJO, CARMENES, ASH2, GBT

Live TeleCon Plans

Skype @ProfAbelMendez with Arecibo, GBT, U. Antioquia

Comments


We considered using S-band too, but it was not used. A previous version of this post had the observation time of Ross 128 and Barnard's Star mixed. Any updates will be posted to this page.

Resources


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