Posted by: Mark Newton
Saturday, July 19, 2014
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It’s a really good explainer of how the “transit” method of finding exo-planets. Unfortunately, it does lend itself to finding larger planets around smaller stars – that’s why Kepler found so many “super-Earths”* around red dwarf stars, although it has found a few planets that defy that trend (Kepler-62f is my personal favorite candidate for being “earth-like”).
There’s some good stuff in the pipeline for directly imaging stars, assuming it gets the funding (and I think it will . . eventually). This is a good 6-minute TED talk from an astronomer about direct imaging planets by blocking out their stars’ light, and it’s worth watching for the segment from 0:45 to 2:00 alone.
Thanks for the tip – you really know your stuff!
Thanks. I’ve been curious about this stuff for a while, although I’m not really a big astronomy nerd. That TED talk was a gem of a find – short and informative, and with that eye-opening bit that I pointed out in my initial post.
I’m more impressed with the Hubble Space Telescope than I was before.