AstroTalk Episode October 27, 2016

Penguins in the Antartica

2:59pm - 3:30pm

Anther citizen scientist topic is covered today. NASA is studying penguin habitats in the Antartica using the Mapping Application for Penguin Populations and Projected Dynamics (MAPPPD) satellite. Information is available at Citizens can now access information to understand how environmental change, fishing, and tourism are affecting Antarctica’s penguins. Population estimates for the penguins, for example, can be done by tracking the guana stains female penguins leave behind when they incubate their nests. The article does not make it exactly clear what things citizen scientists are doing, or can do, to help NASA. Go to the website to find out more about NASA's work on these interesting birds.
Centauri b is a planet orbiting the White Dwarf star in the triple-star Centauri system, the closest star system to Earth. There is still more to discover about this planet, but because the planet does not transit its host star, the information so far is limited. What is known is that Centauri b orbits its host star at 0.05 AU, and that it is approximately 1.3 times the mass of Earth. More research is needed before scientists at NASA can discover more about this exoplanet.