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Exoplanets & the Search for Habitable Worlds (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

Monday, June 22, 2015 11:49
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(Before It's News)

“Hundreds or thousands of years from now, when people look back at our generation, they will remember us for being the first people who found the Earth-like worlds.” –Sara Seager

Just a scant 25 years ago, we had never yet found and confirmed another planet orbiting a star other than our own. Fast forward to the present, and we’ve not only got thousands, we’ve found a significant number of rocky planets at the right distance from stars even longer-lived than our Sun for liquid water to suggest that there are literally billions of potentially habitable worlds in our own galaxy.

Image credit: NASA / NSF / Lynette Cook. Via http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/gliese_581_feature.html.

Image credit: NASA / NSF / Lynette Cook. Via http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/gliese_581_feature.html.

But how do we take that next great leap? How do we go from “potentially habitable” to worlds that are actually inhabited? How do we find them?

The secret lies in directly observing these worlds — and their atmospheres — something that NASA’s proposed Starshade mission is capable of doing with present technology. And the PI of Starshade, Sara Seager, is speaking this Tuesday at 4:10 PM ET / 1:10 PM PT at Perimeter Institute’s conference, Convergence, with an exclusive live-stream and live-blog over at the main Starts With A Bang on Medium!

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.

Come check it out, and don’t miss the live-blog of this amazing talk as it happens.



Source: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2015/06/22/exoplanets-the-search-for-habitable-worlds-synopsis/

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