In “Exoplanets are around most stars, study suggests” (BBC News, January 11, 2012), Jason Palmer reports,
Every star twinkling in the night sky plays host to an average of 1.6 planets, a new study suggests.
That implies there are some 10 billion Earth-sized planets in our galaxy.
Using a technique called gravitational microlensing, an international team found a handful of exoplanets that imply the existence of billions more.
Why does this remind so many of us vaguely of uranium futures, abandoned mines, and ghost towns?
Of course it would be nice. But when we hear
“Just the recent 15 years have seen the count of known planets beyond the Solar System rising from none to about 700, but we can expect hundreds of billions to exist in the Milky Way alone,” said co-author Dr Martin Dominik, from the University of St Andrews, UK.
, we might want to ask, how are we to know that all extra-solar system, environments are similar in this matter?
Here’s AP’s take on it:
“It just feels like it’s inevitable that Kepler is going to come up with a habitable Earth-sized planet in the next couple of years,” Caltech’s Johnson said.
Long ago, in mining, they used to say, “Gold is where you find it.” In other words, never let theory or expectation dominate the regional record of strikes.
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