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Some exoplanets may just be mirages

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Size-exaggerated artist's conception showing the ratio of planets to stars in our galaxy

From Leah Crane at New Scientist:

Some exoplanets around red giant stars may be no more than an optical illusion. Variations in starlight that appear to be caused by orbiting worlds could come from ripples in the stars’ surfaces instead. … (paywall)More.

Actually, they are never a mirage. No, really. Never. Some things are just true but many things are true but mustn’t be and then there are things that are true no matter what. The millions of habitable planets are definitely in that last category.

See also: Researchers: Chances of life on exoplanets less than supposed, due to stellar winds

Rob Sheldon: NASA’s big announcement about exoplanets “underwhelming.” A inside-Mercury-orbiting rock that is over 800 degrees hot? And the Google AI angle was just an algorithm that learned to do pattern recognition on Kepler-data? This isn’t exactly new, just cheaper than the previous alternative. I’m underwhelmed. So many other things NASA could talk about in a press release, and this is the best they can offer?


Don’t let Mars fool you. Those exoplanets teem with life!

first they build up all that excitement and then tell you they're not so sure it is what they thought and most probably it was all fake news? Well, at least they tried hard, didn't they? :) Dionisio

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