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Space & Astronomy

Extrasolar planet tally reaches 1,000

By T.K. Randall
October 23, 2013 · Comment icon 10 comments



More than 1,000 extrasolar planets have been identified to date. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesser
Since 1992 the number of planets discovered orbiting distant stars has been growing exponentially.
The grand total stands at 1,010 confirmed extrasolar planets, each a world in its own right. Only 12 have been considered potentially habitable, most are either too large, too close to their parent star or too far away to be considered a place where life can be found.

"We have more techniques and proven technology to detect more exoplanets, but the limit has been telescopes, especially space telescopes," said Abel Mendez of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico. "If we had more funding there would be more telescopes and that count would be much larger by now."
Based on their findings so far, astronomers have estimated that there could be as many as 17 billion Earth-sized planets in our own galaxy alone, meaning that 1 in every 6 stars could be hosting a habitable planet.

"I don't just want to know where the exoplanets are, I want to understand the stars, because they are the hosts for the planets," said Prof Mendez. "I want to understand the whole galaxy and the distribution of the stars because everything is connected. We want to know how unique our planet is, that's a big question and we are now closer than ever."

Source: BBC News | Comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
Now if we just could develop that pesky warp-drive.......
Comment icon #2 Posted by Apollon 9 years ago
I, for one, would like to claim a habitable planet and get out of here.....
Comment icon #3 Posted by willowdreams 9 years ago
Bah, I am lost.. I have no idea exactly what an exoplanet is.. (time to go to google).. though if anyone here knows how to 'dummy it down' and explain it to me, it would be apreciated!
Comment icon #4 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 9 years ago
Bah, I am lost.. I have no idea exactly what an exoplanet is.. (time to go to google).. though if anyone here knows how to 'dummy it down' and explain it to me, it would be apreciated! An extra solar planet. One that is not in our star system.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 9 years ago
This is pretty amazing. I remember when there were NO exoplanets. Now there are over 1000. One thousand!!! That's ten one hundreds!!!
Comment icon #6 Posted by Apollon 9 years ago
This is one of the reasons why I get furious that NASA is losing funding, or getting assigned BS assignments like "Moslem relations." We SHOULD be on the moon. We SHOULD be working on Mars..... rabble rabble rabble rabble.....
Comment icon #7 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 9 years ago
One thousand ones!!! Two hundred fives!!!! Two hundred and fifty fours!!!!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Frank Merton 9 years ago
Each of those is its own world.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Vigilanis 9 years ago
The universe awaits exploration, and yet who are the only people focusing on the great frontier? private companies trying to convince rich idiots to sit in a maxi sized firework and be fired into the out atmosphere for four minutes for hundreds of thousands of pounds / dollars / euros.....typical of human nature im afraid....if they found oil out there however....jesus we would be there in a few years......
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 9 years ago
Vigilanis, I get that you are anti the idea of private, commercial spaceflight and of course you are entitled to your opinion and to express it, but please could you keep it on topic. Your other post attacking the idea was perfectly acceptable as it was in a relevant topic, this thread, however, is about the discovery of exoplanets and has nothing to do with commercial sub-orbital spaceflights. Thank you.


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