“Every star twinkling in the night sky plays host to an average of 1.6 planets, a new study suggests.”
“‘I am 100 percent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology,’ he said.”
“Well, there are several unusual aspects of our planet,” she said. “First is our strong magnetic field. No one is exactly sure how it works, but …
“The Kepler team is preparing a proposal to extend the instrument’s operations for another year or more.”
“Some scientists deplore the emphasis on animals like us, saying it is hopelessly parochial and unimaginative”
What if we find 18,000 planets that don’t support life and none that do? Would it be time for a revisit of the basic “They’re Out There” hypothesis?
From “Planets’ life-hosting potential ranked” (CBC News, Nov 24, 2011), we learn, Plugging in parameters such as a planet’s mass, radius, and average temperature generates a series of measures in the Earth Similarity Index, which “provides a quick screening tool with which to detect exoplanets most similar to Earth,” said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, an astrobiologist at […]
They smash into black holes and disappear.
Biology isn’t physics. What we think should exist may not happen to. Suppose we set out to find a native North American monkey.
Study finds, smaller, rocky planets that might harbour life then get chucked out into deep space, leaving gas giants close to the parent stars. Ours didn’t.
From “Darkest Known Exoplanet: Alien World Is Blacker Than Coal” (ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2011) we learn: Astronomers have discovered the darkest known exoplanet — a distant, Jupiter-sized gas giant known as TrES-2b. Their measurements show that TrES-2b reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it, making it blacker than coal or any […]
At New Scientist (29 June 2011) we learn from Ken Croswell that “Dying stars hold the promise of alien life”: WELCOME to Procyon B, a nearby star that’s light years away from the sun, and not only in distance terms. Unlike the healthy star we circle, Procyon B is dim and dying. Having thrown off […]
Here’s Lee Billings at New Scientist coming to the point with admirable swiftness: Two decades of searching have failed to turn up another planetary system like ours. Should we be worried?- “No place like home: Our lonesome solar system” (11 May 2011) He answers his own question, in part: It was clear we had ignored […]
“’Exotic’ planet is densest of its kind: 55 Cancri e as dense as lead and has year less than 18 hours long,” we learn from Emily Chung, CBC News (Apr 29, 2011): 55 Cancri e is a super-Earth located in a very tight, short orbit around a yellow dwarf star similar to Corot-7b, above. Corot 7b […]