Before you book the tour, read the fine print: The James Webb space telescope, set to launch in 2018, will be nearly a million miles from our planet, and should provide more detailed images.
NASA’s assembled panelists said, if they follow this map of stars, they’re certain to find a multitude of new planets.
“Every star in the sky is a sun, and if our sun has planets, we naturally expect those other stars to have planets also, and they do,” said Seager. She said if someone looked up at a starry sky and wondered how many of the stars have planets, the answer would be “basically every single one.”
You want evidence that they are inhabited? Well,
NASA administrator Charles Bolden said he counts himself among the people who “are probably convinced that it’s highly improbable in the limitless vastness of the universe that we humans stand alone.”
Yes but increasing numbers of Americans, for example, “are probably convinced” that astrology is true. Strength of conviction is not a measurement of evidence.
One would think that the Gliese 581d fiasco would result in more caution. Except for one thing: The life-bearing planets just GOTTA be out there, or multiple bedrock assumptions are wrong.
To see why this is so, see also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology).
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