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Kepler has delivered compelling evidence for at least 300 comparatively small planets that orbit inside the inner edge of the habitable zone around their stars. These are low hanging fruit too because their swift orbits are completed within a matter of days. Therefore, it’s easy to collect enough repeat transits to convince astronomers they are seeing the real thing.
TESS satellite pic
Kepler also identified several systems where more the one planet was seen transiting the central star. This greatly bolsters the common idea that systems should largely be coplanar (with some exceptions) because the planet formed in a flattened gas and dust disk encircling the newborn star.
The bottom line is that smaller planets are more numerous than big planets. This bodes well for finding habitats for extraterrestrial life as we know it. It is also encouraging that candidate Earth and super-Earths should, statistically, be abundant in our solar neighborhood.
Yea. Earths are a dime a dozen. I think there's at least one for every 3 stars.
for 80% of stars out there, I would guess there are anywhere between 5-100 planets (and moons) in each system.
Originally posted by slank
I want my own private 'new' Earth & plan to keep all the vast majority of reckless stupid people off it.
Originally posted by Pharyax
Growing up, I just assumed there were planets around all the stars in space.. When I actually heard in school that they 'don't know' if any other planets exist, I was shocked that they actually thought that.
That's when I KNEW Adults didn't know everything.
Originally posted by guavas
Here's what I think will happen:
In about 20 years time, it will be announced that extra-terrestrial microbial life exists -- with incontrovertible evidence.
Then it'll turn into the same argument for another 50 years.
Instead of aliens not being able to exist, the argument will be that it's INTELLIGENT aliens that can't exist.