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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.
  • 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 Jun 19, 2016, 7:40 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 Mar 27, 2015, 9:41 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
  • Habitability Metrics and Classifications for Exoplanets Various habitability metrics can be used to assess and compare the potential for life, as we know it, of exoplanets. The main idea behind these metrics is to simplify the ...
    Posted Sep 6, 2011, 6:50 AM by Abel Mendez
  • The Surface Pressure of Earth-like Exoplanets Earth's atmospheric mass is about 5.3 x 1018 kg, that is close to one part per million (ppm) of its total mass. The atmosphere mass fraction of ...
    Posted Jan 24, 2016, 2:13 PM by Abel Mendez
  • A Mass Classification for both Solar and Extrasolar Planets We will need a simple way to communicate results as part of the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog. Our Habitable Exoplanet Classification focus only on habitable planets and a broader classification will ...
    Posted Oct 2, 2011, 11:18 AM by Abel Mendez
  • The Mass and Radius of Potential Exomoons We barely have the capability to detect Earth-size exoplanets, less moons around them. Small exomoons will be atmosphere-less bodies, like our own Moon that shares with Earth the ...
    Posted Sep 30, 2011, 10:35 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Habitable Zone Distance (HZD): A habitability metric for exoplanets The search for life in the universe requires methods to identify and characterize habitable planets in other stars. The concept of habitable zones (HZ) around stars provides the easiest procedure ...
    Posted Jul 30, 2012, 2:17 PM by Abel Mendez
  • A Thermal Planetary Habitability Classification for Exoplanets Current and future observations by ground and orbital missions will be able to identify habitable exoplanets. As a first assessment, the surface temperature of Earth-like exoplanets is used as ...
    Posted Aug 9, 2011, 10:06 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Vegetation, Ice and Deserts of the Paleo-Earth In our previous post we discussed the distribution of landmasses of the Paleo-Earth. Here we used the Visible Paleo-Earth (VPE) datasets to estimate the global surface coverage of ...
    Posted Jul 29, 2011, 3:46 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Habitability of the Paleo-Earth as a Model for Earth-like Exoplanets The Phanerozoic is the last Eon of Earth history, from 542 million years ago to today. This was the period when large and complex life started to populate the ocean ...
    Posted Aug 6, 2011, 3:05 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Distribution of landmasses of the Paleo-Earth Our planet shows different features as it rotates along its axis, sometimes dominated by land and others by ocean. Land areas are distributed predominantly in the Northern Hemisphere (68%) relative ...
    Posted Jul 8, 2011, 6:53 AM by Abel Mendez
  • The Distribution of Complex Life in the Last 540 Million Years Following our previous post for the paleo-distribution of life, here we show two animations of the distribution of complex life in the last 540 million years based on the ...
    Posted Jul 1, 2012, 7:19 PM by Abel Mendez
  • The Global Paleo-Distribution of Life 120 Ma We will be doing a simple habitability analysis of Earth in the last 750 million years as part of the Visible Paleo-Earth (VPE) project. We are using the fossil ...
    Posted May 30, 2011, 3:26 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Seasonal Surface Temperatures of Dark Earth The Visible Paleo-Earth (VPE) project provides a unique set of data about the evolution of Earth in the last 750 million years that can be used not only to ...
    Posted May 12, 2011, 9:43 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Analysis of the Distribution of Land and Oceans Here we present a quick analysis of the distribution of landmasses from the data generated as part of our Visible Paleo-Earth project. Previous post (here and here) showed the ...
    Posted May 12, 2011, 9:43 PM by Abel Mendez
  • More Preliminary Analysis of Paleomaps Here are six more analysis of paleomaps for the periods 90, 150, 170, 560, 690, and 750 million years ago. For an explanation of the figures see previous post. These ...
    Posted Apr 11, 2011, 4:17 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Preliminary Analysis of Paleocontinents Distribution We are studying Earth's paleoclimate and paleogeography as a base model to characterize future observations of Earth-like exoplanets. We are particularly interested in interpreting the diurnal and seasonal ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2011, 6:24 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Using REDUCE as a computer algebra system (CAS) There are many computer algebra systems (CAS) available for doing math intensive operations. I needed one in MacOS and Linux/Unix platforms for complex operations, and potentially in an iPad ...
    Posted Mar 24, 2011, 3:25 AM by Abel Mendez
  • Conversion from RBG to greyscale images. The following images show the result of converting an RGB image to greyscales using the rgb2grey IDL function (code below). This function is being used to calculate light curves and ...
    Posted Mar 10, 2011, 3:46 PM by Abel Mendez
  • Nearby Stellar Density These plots show some simple statistics for our stellar neighborhood using the HYG Stellar Database v2.0, which combines stellar data from the Hipparcos Catalog, the Yale Bright Star Catalog ...
    Posted Mar 15, 2011, 1:02 PM by Abel Mendez
Showing posts 1 - 100 of 101. View more »

Exoplanet Density vs Stellar Flux

posted Jun 22, 2016, 9:41 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jun 22, 2016, 9:42 PM ]


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 composition. The color of their outside borders correspond to the parent star spectral type. Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are included for comparison. Data is from the NASA Exoplanet Archive. This is large plot intended for viewing at high resolutions, click to enlarge. Credit: PHL @ UPR Arecibo. 

Book: Searching for Habitable Worlds

posted Jun 19, 2016, 7:36 AM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jun 19, 2016, 7:40 AM ]


An illustrated introduction to the search for habitable worlds


What does it take to consider a planet potentially habitable? If a planet is suitable for life, could life be present? Is life on other planets inevitable? Searching for Habitable Worlds answers these questions and provides both the general public and astronomy enthusiasts with a richly illustrated discussion of the most current knowledge regarding the search for extrasolar planets. Nearly everyone wants to know if we are alone in the universe. This book might not have the answers, but shows where we should look.

This book is a fun and accessible book for everyone from middle schoolers to amateur astronomers of all ages. The use of non-technical language and abundant illustrations make this a quick read to inform everyone about the latest movement in the search for other planets that we might be able to inhabit. After a brief discussion on why humans are hard-wired to be curious, and to explore the unknown, the book describes what extrasolar planets are, how to detect them, and how to pin down potential targets. In addition, a data-driven list of the best candidates for habitability is profiled and the next generation of exoplanet-hunting scientific instruments and probes are identified.

ISBN: 9781681744001 | PDF ISBN: 9781681744018
Copyright © 2016 | 78 Pages | Publication Date: June, 2016
DOI:10.1088/978-1-6817-4401-8


Get the book from:

Amazon Kindle


About the Authors


Abel Mendez is an Associate Professor of Physics and Director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory, Department of Physics and Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. He does research about planetary habitability, exoplanets, and astrobiology in general. He is also the creator of the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog.

Wilson Gonzalez-Espada is an Associate Professor of Physics and Science Education, Department of Mathematics and Physics, Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky. His scholarly interests include science communication, the public understanding of science, and physics education research. He is also one of the editors of the book Ciencia Boricua.



An Alien Message was Decrypted

posted Jun 3, 2016, 7:58 AM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jun 3, 2016, 8:09 AM ]



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 test questions Dr. Rene Heller asked are:
  1. What is the typical body height of our interstellar counterparts? 2.45 m
  2. What is their typical lifetime? 180 yr
  3. What is the scale of the devices they used to submit their message? 100 km
  4. Since when have they been communicating interstellar? 10,000 yr
  5. What kind of object do they live on? This one is tricky because I don't know the answer myself, making this part of the experiment a blind-blind test. The spatial information translates into 0.26 AU (100 times the Earth-Moon distance, if anyone recognized). The corresponding picture shows four planets or moons, one of which seems to be inhabited by our alien friends. So they might live on the 4th planet (or on one of three moons orbiting a giant planet) in the habitable zone around a low-mass star.
  6. How old is their stellar system? 6 Gyr
Dr. Heller have been asked whether they could not have used the period of the radio signal as a yardstick for the temporal dimension to make the message more universally readable - and not only by us. Obviously, the fact that they used the 50 yr as a yardstick means that they deliberately sent the message to us. Yes, the wave period could also be used. But the fact that they used their distance to us as a yardstick tells us that they know that we exist. They found us first. It's like they winked at us with this yardstick.

In total, Dr. Heller received about 500 e-mails relating to the SETI Decrypt Challenge and sent out about 200. More background information including a full description on how to interpret the message will be given in a journal article.

Thanks for your participation also to those about 30 individuals who sent Dr. Heller their not fully correct solutions. The successful crackers are sorted by date of their submission below. Their twitter user names are in braces if provided and cleared for publication.



01. Andy Stewart (@k4patzer)                                                     27 April 2016
02. Daniel Angerhausen (@dan_anger)                                              28 April 2016
03. Puiyan & Jason (@xeph_yr & @perfinion)                                       04 May   2016
04. reddit /r/askscience moderators (@RedditAskSci)                              04 May   2016
05. Mark Collins                                                                 05 May   2016
06. John Graham-Cumming (@jgrahamc)                                              06 May   2016
07. Robert Danorth                                                               06 May   2016
08. Frederick John Milens III (@FrederickMilens)                                 06 May   2016
09. Ching                                                                        06 May   2016
10. Shawn Beard (@DrShawnBeard)                                                 07 May   2016
11. Carlos Garcia Rodriguez                                                     07 May   2016
12. Hector Sanchez Iranzo (hesai88)                                             07 May   2016
13. Erick Vermot (@erickvermot1)                                                07 May   2016
14. Team Bip/Blop (@securityliaison & @alistairheath & @LondonCoal)             07 May   2016
15. Leon Hostetler                                                              07 May   2016
16. Gonzalo Bernabe Pacheco Covili (@gonn)                                      07 May   2016
17. Ian Baudains                                                                07 May   2016
18. Paulo Barreto (@pbarreto)                                                   07 May   2016
19. Xavi R. Pinteno (@frikjan)                                                  07 May   2016
20. Robert Boone (@BigRobVT)                                                    08 May   2016
21. Antoni Burguera (@tburguera)                                                08 May   2016
22. Daniel Nava (@dap_19)                                                       08 May   2016
23. Vladimir Kovoltelov (@Vokdal)                                               08 May   2016
24. Marco Lopez                                                                 08 May   2016
25. Patrik Hedstroem (@pathe915)                                                08 May   2016
26. Kurt Forsberg                                                               08 May   2016
27. Carlos Domingo (@Choli)                                                     08 May   2016
28. Ben Pearce (@AstroBio_Ben)                                                  08 May   2016
30. Griffin Smith (@PossiblyAWizard)                                            08 May   2016
31. Mike Matessa (@mmatessa)                                                    09 May   2016
32. Panupong V (@praew_proud)                                                   09 May   2016
33. Sergio Machado (@SergioM_71)                                                09 May   2016
34. Jeff Fountain (@jeff_fountain)                                              10 May   2016
35. Kevin Ducrocq                                                               10 May   2016
36. Matti Timonen (@timonenma)                                                  10 May   2016
37. Marcin Romaszewicz (@marcin_roma)                                           10 May   2016
38. Rafael Rubio (@rafa78bcn)                                                   10 May   2016
39. Orencio Robaina & Orencio Robaina & Vincent Cohen                           10 May   2016
40. David Bardini (@DBarTweet)                                                  11 May   2016
41. Pedro Igrejas                                                               11 May   2016
42. Anton Sudnikov                                                              12 May   2016
43. Sieg du Preez (@SiegDuPreez)                                                12 May   2016
44. Marius Utheim (@MariusUt)                                                   12 May   2016
45. Rodrigo Bascunan Barnert (@barnert)                                         12 May   2016
46. Juanma de los Santos                                                        12 May   2016
47. Davide Silvestri (@silvestridavide) & Gilles Mariotti (@GillesMariotti)     12 May   2016
48. Oliver Read (@ollie_read)                                                   12 May   2016
49. ISIR team - R. O. Chavez-Garcia & T. Goncalvez                              13 May   2016
50. Michael Luciani (@mikeluciani)                                              13 May   2016
51. Cedric Rousseau (@cedrouTwitting)                                           13 May   2016
52. Robert Pfender (@pfenderrg)                                                 13 May   2016
53. Borja Paz Rodriguez (@borjapazr)                                            14 May   2016
54. Jeff Landgraf (@jml985)                                                     14 May   2016
55. Rob van den Tillaart (@robtillaart)                                         16 May   2016
56. Carlos Laborde                                                              18 May   2016
57. Brian Irick                                                                 18 May   2016
58. Felipe Alejandro Salazar Vazquez (@Eofreond)                                19 May   2016
59. Fernando Daniel Leon                                                        19 May   2016
60. Luke Arpino & Rosie Leaman                                                  19 May   2016
61. Adrian D (@racanu)                                                          20 May   2016
62. Carlos Pena (@Wopper) & Alberto Cid (@Acido)                                21 May   2016
63. Nick Cranch (@2minds1)                                                      25 May   2016
64. Cedric Bassem & Yannick Jadoul                                              03 June  2016
65. Brian Hayzlett & Benj Zagorski & Ksenia Kriksunov & Matt Dubin              03 June  2016
66. Daniel Reardon (@Daniel_Reardon) & Ross Turner (@rossjturner)               03 June  2016

The Compositional Diversity of Exoplanets

posted Jun 2, 2016, 1:33 AM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jun 2, 2016, 10:51 AM ]


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 K2-3 d seems to be a rocky world in the habitable zone. The planets in this plot are color coded by their parent star spectral type. Lines for some densities and theoretical pure compositions of iron, rock, and water are shown for reference (Seager et al., 2017). Mars, Venus, Earth, Uranus, and Neptune are included for comparison. Data is from the NASA Exoplanet Archive. This is large plot intended for viewing at high resolutions, click to enlarge. Credit: PHL @ UPR Arecibo.

Proyectos de Computación e Investigación en el PHL

posted May 16, 2016, 6:22 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jun 22, 2016, 5:57 AM ]


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 de ciencias, matemáticas o computadoras con un promedio general de 3.10 o más y con experiencia en programación (preferiblemente Python).

Los participantes de estos proyectos pueden matricularse en el curso de Investigación Subgraduada en Física (FISI 4985) si también desean obtener créditos universitarios. Aquellos estudiantes que cualifiquen pudieran recibir alguna compensación económica por su trabajo. Todos estos proyectos requieren de mucha iniciativa y capacidad para trabajar con poca supervisión.

Listado Parcial de Proyectos
  1. Diseño de Base de Datos: Crear una nueva base de datos integrada a la web para el Catálogo de Exoplanetas Habitables. Se requiere experiencia en programación de bases de datos para este proyecto (ej. SQL y Python).
  2. Integración de Bases de Datos: Crear códigos que conecten diferentes bases de datos astronómicas con el Catálogo de Exoplanetas HabitablesSe requiere experiencia en programación de bases de datos para este proyecto (ej. SQL Python).
  3. Visualización Web: Crear visualizaciones interactivas en la web para el Catálogo de Exoplanetas HabitablesSe requiere experiencia en visualización web para este proyecto (ej. D3).
  4. Creación de App: Crear un App en iOS y Androide para el Catálogo de Exoplanetas Habitables. Se requiere experiencia en la programación de Apps para este proyecto.
  5. Generador de Nubes Planetarias: Crear un código que genere una representación fotorealista del patrón de nubes globales de un planeta, desde terrestres como la Tierra hasta gaseosos como Júpiter. Este proyecto es parte de SER. Se requiere experiencia en programación para este proyecto (ej. Python).
  6. Validación de Métricas de Habitabilidad: Este proyecto consiste en validar varios modelos de habitabilidad con datos experimentales. Este proyecto no requiere de experiencia en programación pero los que participen del mismo aprenderán a programar en R (un lenguaje de programación estadístico que se usa mucho en ecología, entre otras disciplinas).
Ayudas Económicas

Notas Adicionales



Comuníquese con el Prof. Abel Méndez para mayor información.

Projects for University Students at the Arecibo Observatory

posted May 8, 2016, 12:05 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated May 9, 2016, 9:27 AM ]


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 part of a class or professional practice of the students (e.g. COOP, Capstone). You can contact the individual researchers (listed below) of Francheska Escobar <frescobar@suagm.edu> for more information about these projects.

Astronomy Projects

Habitability of Mars

We will use measurements obtained from lander and orbiter missions to Mars as well as simulations to study the biologic potential of the martian subsurface by searching for the availability of liquid water.

Required Student Skills: Should have experience with programming languages such as Matlab or IDL. Background in physics, astronomy, biology, or geology preferred. 

Time Frame: Semester long project

Contact: Dr. Edgard G. Rivera-Valentin <ed@naic.edu>

Near-Earth Asteroid Observations

We will use the Arecibo Observatory Planetary Radar System to observe and characterize near-Earth asteroids.

Required Student Skills: Should have experience with programming languages such as IDL and experience with Linux operating systems. Background in physics, astronomy, or geology preferred. 

Time Frame: Semester long project

Contact: Dr. Edgard G. Rivera-Valentin <ed@naic.edu>

Computing projects

Optics-related Apps

We have computing projects to develop optics-related apps for our website (http://prpi.suagm.edu).

Required Student Skills: Students should have substantial progress towards a bachelor’s degree and considerable experience with computing. They should have some advanced mathematics, including understanding wave equations and linear algebra.

Time Frame: No timeframe

Contact: Dr. Andrés Díaz <adiaz@suagm.edu>

User Interface with LabVIEW

Student project in the areas of programming laboratory equipment (BNC 555) with LabVIEW. Designing a user interface to operate the hardware from a PC.

Required Student Skills: Students should have progress towards a bachelor’s degree in physics, computer or electrical engineering with knowledge in LabVIEW programming. Demonstrated ability to work independently would be a plus.

Time Frame: Summer-Fall 2016

Contact: Dr. Jens Lautenbach <jlautenbach@naic.edu>

Engineering projects

Design of 430 Mhz transmitter water cooling system

The actual 430 Mhz transmitter cooling system heat exchangers are 50 years old and leaking causing this system to work inefficiently.  There is the need to design the installation of a new higher capacity heat exchanger wich was already procured.  A complete hydraulic and thermal analysis and design needs to be performed and a bill of material be submitted as part of the project.

Required Student Skills: Mechanical Engineering students with broad knowledge on thermal and hydraulic design.  Should be capable to perform visits to Arecibo Observatory, get involved with Transmitter engineers and technicians and gather required data for the design.

Time Frame: 6 months

Contact: Eng. Felipe Soberal <fsoberal@naic.edu>, Eng. Jaime Gago <jgago@naic.edu>

Design of a Cable Car Track Rope Tension Monitoring Device

Design of a mechanical device to support a hydraulic ram jack and a load cell in position in order to monitor the tension load on the Telescope Access Cable Car Track Rope wire rope cable.

Required Student Skills: Mechanical and structural design, domain of any computer aided design program. Incumbent should submit design analysis and shop drawings.

Time Frame: 3 to 6 months.

Contact: Eng. Felipe Soberal <fsoberal@naic.edu>, Eng. Jaime Gago <jgago@naic.edu>

Design of a Fire Protection System for Administration Building No. 2 

Required mechanical/hydraulic design of fire sprinkler system and hydraulic design of fire hose provisions as per federal regulations. Design should consider two different approaches:  Installation of fire sprinkler systems as per NFPA regulations and the option of installation of fire extinguishing hoses on all floors of the building.

Required Student Skills: Mechanical Engineering students with broad knowledge on the design of hydraulic and fire extinguishing systems.  Should provide design drawings, calculations and bill of materials.

Time Frame: One semester

Contact: Eng. Felipe Soberal <fsoberal@naic.edu>, Eng. Jaime Gago <jgago@naic.edu>

Inertial Sensor Technologies

We have a project to develop inertial sensor technologies for space physics research. We are exploring micro-kelvin cooled atom clouds as potential sensors. This project uses magneto-optical (laser) cooling of a cloud of Rb atoms to sense accelerations.

Required Student Skills: Students should have substantial progress towards a bachelor’s degree in STEM with hands-on laboratory experience. They should have had courses in electricity and magnetism and wave physics. Knowledge of control systems is a bonus.

Time Frame: Not timeframe

Contact: Dr. Jonathan Friedman <jsfriedman@suagm.edu>

Optical Chopper Controller for a LIDAR

Student project to improve an optical chopper controller for a LIDAR system. Gain access to the chopper driver's internal routines to program settings.

Required Student Skills: Students should have progress towards a bachelor’s degree electrical or mechanical engineering with knowledge in LabVIEW programming and feedback systems. Demonstrated ability to work independently would be a plus.

Time Frame: Summer-Fall 2016

Contact: Dr. Jens Lautenbach <jlautenbach@naic.edu>

Beam Steering System for a LIDAR

Student project to design a beam steering system for a LIDAR. Set up a motorized beam steering mount and a camera system. Design a user interface to operate the motorized mount according to the position of the beam on the camera picture.

Required Student Skills: Students should have substantial progress towards a bachelor’s degree in physics, electrical and/or mechanical engineering with hands-on laboratory experience. Knowledge in laboratory best practices and programming skills. Demonstrated ability to work independently would be a plus.

Time Frame: Summer-Fall 2016

Contact: Dr. Jens Lautenbach <jlautenbach@naic.edu>

Aerosol Lidar

Student project that involves the finalization of the AO Aerosol Lidar. The task will include adding 2 additional reception channels and testing the system to make sure everything is running properly.

Required Student Skills: Undergrad student attending his junior or senior year with knowledge in electrical engineering and/or optics. It can also be a Masters student.

Time Frame: Summer-Fall 2016

Contact: Dr. Shikha Raizada <shikha@naic.edu>, Eframir Franco <efranco@naic.edu>

Engineering Projects to be Started Early 2017

Receiver Bias + Monitoring Box

430MHz High Dynamic Range LNA

Single Reference Platform Leveling and Height Survey

UAV Based Structure Physical Survey

UAV Based HF Antenna Array Pattern Characterization

Autonomous Main Dish Cleaning Mechanism

UHF High Temp. Superconductor Filters

IF/LO Service GUI

Contact: Eng. Luis Quintero <lquintero@naic.edu>, Felix Fernández  <felix.fernandez@naic.edu>

Can you decrypt this alien message?

posted Apr 26, 2016, 4:34 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated May 4, 2016, 3:10 PM ]


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 solar system. The source is a star about 50 light years from Earth. The pulses are in the form of short/long signals and they are received in a very narrow band around an electromagnetic frequency of 452.12919 MHz. A computer algorithm identifies the artificial nature of the pulses. It turns out the pulses carry a message. The pulses signify binary digits. Suppose further that you were, by whatsoever reason, put in charge of decoding this message.

If you successfully decrypted the message, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. What is the typical body height of our interstellar counterparts?
  2. What is their typical lifetime?
  3. What is the scale of the devices they used to submit their message?
  4. Since when have they been communicating interstellar?
  5. What kind of object do they live on?
  6. How old is their stellar system?
These are the rules:
  1. No restrictions on collaborations.
  2. Open discussion (social networks etc.) of possible solutions strongly encouraged.
  3. Three hints to the solutions can be offered as per request.
  4. Send your solutions to Dr. René Heller via e-mail (heller@mps.mpg.de), twitter (@DrReneHeller) or Facebook (DrReneHeller). Human-readable format and the format of the message are allowed.
  5. On 3 June 2016, a list of the successful SETI crackers (in chronological order) will be released.
The message:

    Here is the text file with the binary encoded message of the #SETIDecryptChallenge.

Resources:



A Planet Around Proxima Centauri

posted Jan 17, 2016, 2:12 AM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jan 17, 2016, 7:25 PM ]


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 planet. The radial velocity method is used to detect planets by observing this small stellar motion. The Pale Red Dot is a new project currently searching for planets around Proxima Centauri. Check the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog for known potentially habitable worlds.

The simulation was done with PHL's SER software where stellar and planetary parameters were entered assuming an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone. The color of the star was slightly adjusted (it does not look too red in reality). The planet was enlarged fifty times and the star two times to be visible at this scale (from 0.27 AU from the star). Orbital speed and star motion was exaggerated for clarity.

Music "Pale Blue Dot" by Lyford Rome.

New Science at the Arecibo Observatory

posted Jan 15, 2016, 1:33 AM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Jan 15, 2016, 6:16 AM ]


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 Observatory), Edgard Rivera-Valentin (Arecibo Observatory), and Joaquín P. Noyola (UT Arlington). Amy Barr Minar (Planetary Science Institute) joined via Skype. Picture taken at the library of the Arecibo Observatory.


Here is a 2015 presentation by Alex Wolszczan at the Carl Sagan Institute on his discovery of the first exoplanet in 1992.

The Minority Science Writers Internship Program

posted Dec 14, 2015, 10:21 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Dec 14, 2015, 10:24 PM ]

Spend a summer at Science
 
The Minority Science Writers Internship Program 
2016 application is now available online

Please share this opportunity with your students

The AAAS Pitts Family Foundation Minority Science Writers Internship is for undergraduates who are interested in journalism as a career and who want to learn about science writing. In addition to improving their skills, the program seeks to make a dent in the demographics of the profession: Although science is a global activity, the journalists who cover it don’t reflect that diversity.

Funded by the Pitts Family Foundation, the summer internship takes place at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of AAAS’s Science magazine, the largest interdisciplinary scientific journal in the world. Interns will spend 10 weeks at Science under the guidance of award-winning reporters and editors. They get to meet leading scientists, attend conferences and hearings, and cover both breaking news and ongoing stories. Interns are expected to contribute to all facets of the news operation, including writing bylined articles in the print magazine and online news service and working with Science's digital media team.

Interns receive a weekly stipend as well as the cost of a round trip ticket to Washington, D.C. The internship runs from early June to mid-August. This year’s deadline for applications is March 1, 2016. Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate academic program when they submit their application. For additional information about the program visit http://www.aaas.org/mswi.

http://click.aaas.sciencepubs.org/?qs=ae0874944e46cedfed9da4babb73a3a6202cb030ae889671b6f9a2f699ccc5a418b49a0de0f93789

Application Deadline: March 1, 2016

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