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Exoplanet Planet Discoverer: ‘We’ll Find Life Within 50 Years’

21st Century Wire says…

Is there life on any of Earth’s nearby exoplanet neighbors, and if so – how long until we discover it?

Back in 2009, astronomer Stefan Udry and his team at Geneva University discovered a second planet orbiting the red dwarf Gliese 581, a planet known as Gliese 581 e, which they believe is approximately 1.9 times the mass of Earth.

The big question with this any other exoplanetary discovery is: can it support life?

Urdry shares his thoughts on this and other aspects of our ‘new’ galactic neighbors…

OUTER WORLDLY: A scene from the film Interstellar (Image Source: Film Wikia)


In 50 years, mankind will become capable of discovering potentially inhabited planets as it develops new astronomical instruments that will allow scientists to analyze the planets’ physical characteristics.

This is according to Stefan Udry, Swiss astrophysicist and the discoverer of the Earth’s nearest exoplanet.

“I think we will have ways to get a hint on the inhabitance of planets. We will be able to find potentially habitable planets as well as planets already hosting life – those we want to reach. However, this is a long way we are talking about – around 50 years from now.

Nevertheless, each discovery we are making now is putting a stone on the road we are building to get there,” the exoplanet discoverer, Geneva University astronomy professor Stefan Udry told RIA Novosti news agency.

In order to recognize a planet as a potentially habitable one, scientists need to know its mass, density and size as well as its distance from the star it orbits around. These characteristics would allow astrophysicists to hypothesize about the specifics of the planet’s atmosphere and physical conditions on its surface.

However, existing technologies allow the measuring of only part of the characteristics needed, thus leaving an information gap preventing researchers from making accurate conclusions about the discovered planets.

There are two major techniques for studying the exoplanets’ characteristics in search for potential live hosts. One of them, called radial velocity allows the finding of a planet’s mass as well as the distance between a planet and a star. The second method, named transit photometry, gives data about a planet’s size and density.

Read Full Article at RT.com

READ MORE NASA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire NASA Files



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