How Many Potentially Habitable Planets Are Out There? A Lot | IdeaFeed | Big Think
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How Many Potentially Habitable Planets Are Out There? A Lot

November 6, 2013, 4:30 PM
Shutterstock_116171824

What's the Latest Development?

University of California-Berkeley astronomers took a fresh look at data supplied by NASA's Kepler space telescope to find out how many Earth-sized planets existed in the galaxy that orbited a sun like ours at a distance that would enable the formation of liquid water on its surface. By correcting for planets that may have been missed by other sifting software, they were able to estimate that 22 percent of all Sun-like stars had a planet that could potentially harbor life. Details of their research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What's the Big Idea?

By including the missed planets -- many of which aren't oriented to cross in front of their host star from Earth's viewing perspective -- the research helps improve the chances of future missions finding nearby candidates for life, says Berkeley astronomer Andrew Howard: "[Kepler's successors] will try to take an actual picture of a planet, and the size of the telescope they have to build depends on how close the nearest Earth-size planets are. An abundance of planets orbiting nearby stars simplifies such follow-up missions.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at BBC News

 

How Many Potentially Habita...

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What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

How Many Potentially Habitable Planets Are Out There? A Lot

November 6, 2013, 4:30 PM
Shutterstock_116171824

What's the Latest Development?

University of California-Berkeley astronomers took a fresh look at data supplied by NASA's Kepler space telescope to find out how many Earth-sized planets existed in the galaxy that orbited a sun like ours at a distance that would enable the formation of liquid water on its surface. By correcting for planets that may have been missed by other sifting software, they were able to estimate that 22 percent of all Sun-like stars had a planet that could potentially harbor life. Details of their research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What's the Big Idea?

By including the missed planets -- many of which aren't oriented to cross in front of their host star from Earth's viewing perspective -- the research helps improve the chances of future missions finding nearby candidates for life, says Berkeley astronomer Andrew Howard: "[Kepler's successors] will try to take an actual picture of a planet, and the size of the telescope they have to build depends on how close the nearest Earth-size planets are. An abundance of planets orbiting nearby stars simplifies such follow-up missions.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at BBC News

 

How Many Potentially Habita...

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