Planet hunters spy distant haul


The BBC Science page has an article today on the recent spate of extra-solar planet discoveries.

I was most taken by this quote:

“Among the finds were at least four multiple-planetary systems. All of the planets were so-called gas giants, similar to Jupiter, with no solid surface.

‘Something like 10 to 15% of stars host gas giants,’ said Professor Tinney. ‘A larger fraction of stars may host planets too small for us to detect.’

These could include Earth-sized objects, which could harbour life.”

This is going to help zero in an another variable (perhaps even two) in the Drake Equation. Getting a better sense of those numbers helps us know what sort of likelihood there is to have someone out there in the galaxy to invite over for a cuppa.

Read the rest here: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Planet hunters spy distant haul

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...

1 Comment

  1. How exciting! I’ve always been fascinated by the prospect of extra-terrestrial life, but ever since taking an Astrobiology class last semester (taught by a SETI scientis, nonetheless) I’ve been particularly interested. Cool stuff.

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