Civil Geeks: Exoplanetpalooza
Astronomers in Hawaii play a critical role in the search for planets orbiting stars beyond our own solar system. My latest “Civil Geeks” column explores a recent sky survey that identified over 100 new exoplanets.
Although the existence of alien life will be hard to prove, itâ€™s becoming increasingly probable.
â€œWe already know, from work from this team and others, that probably more than half of stars have planets; and a pretty good fraction of these have planets in their habitable zones,â€ Gal said. â€œBut we did not always suspect planetary systems were common â€” guesses ran from 1 percent to 100 percent of stars hosting planets.â€
â€œNow we know the answer, and they are more common than I think most astronomers expected,â€ he said.
Read the full article: Finding New Planets with a ‘Broken’ Telescope
Photo courtesy NASA/JPL.