Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

rare earth

Our solar system is a lot rarer than it was a quarter century ago

Two independent teams of astronomers recently looked into the matter: Astronomers have detected and measured the mass and/or orbital features of 3,869 planets in 2,887 planetary systems beyond the solar system. This ranks as a staggering rate of discovery, given that the first confirmed detection of a planet orbiting another hydrogen-fusion-burning star was as recent as 1995. What do the characteristics of these systems reveal about potential habitability for advanced life? … The presumption back in 1995 was that astronomers would find many exoplanetary systems where the probability of advanced life possibly existing in that system would be greater than zero. More than twenty-three years later, with a database of 2,888 planetary systems and 3,877 planets, only one planetary system Read More ›