Monday, October 19, 2009

An abundance of earth-class planets

We're filling in a key variable in the Drake equation. Smaller rocky planets are now believed to be common ...
BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Scientists announce planet bounty

... The 32 "exoplanets" ranged in size from five times the mass of Earth to 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter, the researchers said.
They were found using a very sensitive instrument on a 3.6m telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla facility in Chile.
The discovery is exciting because it suggests that low-mass planets could be numerous in our galaxy.
"From [our] results, we know now that at least 40% of solar-type stars have low-mass planets. This is really important because it means that low-mass planets are everywhere, basically," explained Stephane Udry from Geneva University, Switzerland.
"What's very interesting is that models are predicting them, and we are finding them; and furthermore the models are predicting even more lower-mass planets like the Earth."...
This is consistent with the fun calculation I ran 8 months ago, the one predicting several hundred technological civilizations operating in the galaxy at this "moment".

The data continues to point to a "go no more a wanderin" solution to the Fermi paradox.

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