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January 31, 2011

Humanity's Quest for other Earth-like Discoveries and Society's Imposed Limits on Astrobiology

As telescopes make strides in distinguishing objects, like multi-star systems from star-planet systems, and society's quest for discovering earth-like objects grows more intense, we find ourselves stuck in a battle that demands results, but the results are never promising. Especially as economies begin to struggle and funding has been a huge trouble, even for large agencies like NASA, astronomers are pressed to becoming marketers by essentially selling their observations/projections as promises. This has made the challenge of finding such objects even more difficult, but the Kepler has seemingly made some leeway amidst all the political drama. Kepler is scheduled to release a list of 400 of the "best bets so far for harbing planets" on Wednesday, all of which are in the "Goldilocks" Zone. Astrobiologists will surely be excited, but this list will be under alot of scrutiny. Since funding is limited, we only have a couple shots to choosing the best-candidates. Don't worry though, all the proposed planets are only 500-3000 light-years away, meaning we may have the chance to study them in our generation, but humankind won't see them up-close and personal for quite some time.

The full article can be found at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/science/space/31planet.html

Posted by ddeemidd at January 31, 2011 10:50 PM

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