In researching exoplanets and various ways to observe them, I sought to answer the question of whether any another planet could sustain life. Exoplanets are planets that lie outside of our solar system. In 2006, The Radial Velocity Method, one of the most effective ways of observing exoplanets, indicated that there were 200 exoplanets observed. This helped scientists further understandings about whether or not life could exist on other planets. They were able to further their research by studying habitable zones, which are zones in planetary orbits which can support liquid water. In order to increase an awareness of how these zones work and where one can spot them around a specific type of star, I decided to take the responsibility of creating a simulation that depicts where the habitable zones are located around 3 types of stars: a star like the Sun, a blue star and a red star. In using coding to make an interactive simulation, I was able to allow people to see the various types of stars and the location of their specific habitable zones. I represented the stars with relative colors based on star luminosity as this directly affects where a habitable zone would be located. I learned that in addition to the habitable zones, other key factors, such as tidal locking, can also influence a planet’s potential to support life. In studying these habitable zones as well as exoplanets, scientists can continue to further their knowledge about life on other planets.
(You will need to download Processing to run the following item below.)
In addition, I even have the capstone in a flash drive if the link proves to be insufficient.
(Below this line is my bibliography.)
Angerhausen, D., A. Krabbe, and C. Iserlohe. "Observing Exoplanets with SOFIA." Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 122, no. 895 (2010): 1020-029. doi:10.1086/656386. This source is a Journal from someone who studied exoplanets. It was archived in Jstor.
Beichman, Charles, Bjoern Benneke, Heather Knutson, Roger Smith, Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Courtney Dressing, David Latham, Jonathan Lunine, Stephan Birkmann, Pierre Ferruit, Giovanna Giardino, Eliza Kempton, Sean Carey, Jessica Krick, Pieter D. Deroo, Avi Mandell, Michael E. Ressler, Avi Shporer, Mark Swain, Gautam Vasisht, George Ricker, Jeroen Bouwman, Ian Crossfield, Tom Greene, Steve Howell, Jessie Christiansen, David Ciardi, Mark Clampin, Matt Greenhouse, Alessandro Sozzetti, Paul Goudfrooij, Dean Hines, Tony Keyes, Janice Lee, Peter McCullough, Massimo Robberto, John Stansberry, Jeff Valenti, Marcia Rieke, George Rieke, Jonathan Fortney, Jacob Bean, Laura Kreidberg, David Ehrenreich, Drake Deming, Loïc Albert, René Doyon, and David Sing. "Observations of Transiting Exoplanets with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)." Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 126, no. 946 (2014): 1134-173. doi:10.1086/679566. This is another archived Journal involving exoplanet study from Jstor. This source will be of great use to my studies.
"Extrasolar Planets Lab." Extrasolar Planets - NAAP. Accessed February 03, 2017. http://astro.unl.edu/naap/esp/esp.html. A website in which one reads up on the basics of exoplanets and a few methods to detect them. This is good for getting a general understanding through research.
"Habitable Zones Lab." Habitable Zones - NAAP. Accessed February 03, 2017. http://astro.unl.edu/naap/habitablezones/habitablezones.html. This source is for Habitable zones and like the source before it, is designed to display a basic rundown of the subject. Through this, I can begin research on Habitable zones easily with a good deal of information down.
"Habitable Zone." Habitable Zone. Accessed February 03, 2017. http://www.astro.sunysb.edu/fwalter/AST101/habzone.html. This source goes even further into habitable zones and how they work. It goes into a more complex viewpoint then a standard source may.
NASA. Accessed February 03, 2017. https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/interactable/11/. This source is from NASA’s site about how to detect exoplanets. One can interact with the links on the page to learn more about each method of detection. The methods even display the number of planets found through it.
NASA. Accessed February 03, 2017. https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2003/02oct_goldilocks. This is yet another source from NASA. This source goes into a rundown of how habitable zones work.
Physics, Institute Of. "Exoplanets and how to find them." Exoplanets and how to find them. Accessed February 03, 2017. http://www.iop.org/activity/branches/south_east/lse/news/12/mar/page_54709.html. This source goes into more ways we can detect exoplanets. This will help me through my research as I try to find as many ways as possible.
Stromberg, Joseph. "How Do Astronomers Actually Find Exoplanets?" Smithsonian.com. Accessed February 03, 2017. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-do-astronomers-actually-find-exoplanets-180950105/. This source, similar to the last, goes into methods of finding exoplanets. This one explains how these observations work while retaining an easy to understand article.
"The Habitable Zone." The Habitable Zone | Astronomy 801: Planets, Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. Accessed February 03, 2017. https://www.e-education.psu.edu/astro801/content/l12_p4.html. This source goes deeper into the science of habitable zones. This will help give me a better understanding of habitable zones.