2013: "Hundreds of Earths Discovered"
The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Science

New Technology to Speed Search for Earth's Twin

Planet_earth_twin_2_2 The Kepler is a one-ton satellite set to be blasted into orbit around the Sun, far away from all the distracting background noise of Earth - in any aspect of the search for intelligent life, it's important to be as far from American Idol as possible.  The probe will make over six billion stellar measurements in order to detect any Earth-alikes hiding in the stars.

At the moment our main method of planet-detection is the "wobble method", which sounds awfully unscientific for an interplanetary investigation.  It's based on observing how much the planet pulls its host star - the problem being that stars are very big, while planets are pretty small, so we've only found unusually huge and close-in planets this way.  Planets which couldn't possibly support life as we know it.

Kepler will instead observe stars steadily for forty two months, measuring every single one every half hour.  If a planet passes in front of the star the brightness will dip by a tiny fraction, only one part in fifty thousand, but detectable by Kepler's ninety-five megapixel camera.  Any number of things should cause such a dip - but only planets will do so on a regular schedule (once a year to them, of course).

Kepler can only see planets whose orbits line up between the star and the satellite, but with a hundred-thousand candidates some certainly should.  We may make out many, meaning that We Are Not Alone.  We might see nothing, in which case make friends with your neighbor because we're All There Is.  Either way, our place in the universe will be radically redefined.

Posted by Luke McKinney

Kepler Mission

Comments

The universe is unfathomably huge, and, according to much evidence, is constantly growing. I think it's a little bold to say that -- especially with the margin of error this satellite's detection system is equipped with -- if this satellite doesn't detect other planets, let alone other life, we're "all there is".

Good article...simple , short and clear.

Kepler is to-day machine...thre are planned much more powerfull orbiting interferometer clusters equipped with next generation lenses and spectacular CCD and thermal and multispectral imagers.

The future monster will look in depth wath Kepler has got 'signs of....'

Comment for the commenter mr.Klide....'very true that our universe is expanding...very true. BUT nobody expects Kepler to look much further than say 50LY or may be 200LY...that will drive it to LMC a secondary galaxy of Milky way...that however is plenty of stars and also rich of a 'recent' Supernova.'

Therefore we have great hopes for Kepler's findings...and for its successor planned in 15Y from now.

Regards to all the earth like planets to be discovered....in Milky way....and LMC.

The operative word is "similar Earths". Has nothing to do with finding life.... We don't even know if the moons of our own solar system have life. Seems that find it (life) will be a long way coming about.

"if this satellite doesn't detect other planets, let alone other life, we're "all there is"."

That's an unscientific statement. Even if we don't find any Earth-like planets in the Cygnus and Lyra constellations, it only means they don't exist in those areas. Kepler isn't even scanning 1% of all the stars that exist in our universe.

"in any aspect of the search for intelligent life, it's important to be as far from American Idol as possible"


An informative article and rubishing American Idol. Brilliant.

Maybe next time to get as far away as possible we can attach all contestants and fans to the booster rockets of Keplers successor/s.

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