From Elizabeth Howell at Space.com:
Our solar system may be an oddball in the universe. A new study using data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope shows that in most cases, exoplanets orbiting the same star have similar sizes and regular spacing between their orbits.
By contrast, our own solar system has a range of planetary sizes and distances between neighbors. The smallest planet, Mercury, is about one-third the size of Earth — and the biggest planet, Jupiter, is roughly 11 times the diameter of Earth. There also are very different spacings between individual planets, particularly the inner planets.
“The planets in a system tend to be the same size and regularly spaced, like peas in a pod. These patterns would not occur if the planet sizes or spacings were drawn at random,” Lauren Weiss, the study’s lead author and an astrophysicist at the University of Montreal, said in a statement.
“Regardless of their outer populations, the similarity of planets in the inner regions of extrasolar systems requires an explanation,” researchers said in the statement.More.
Sure. It requires an explanation. But does this now mean that we can ignore the “mediocre planet” buzz among the Cool? Or are we required to believe both their claims and the facts at the same time, as per usual?
See also: What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?
Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.