Astronomers anticipate 100 billion Earth-like planets | KurzweilAI

University of Auckland researchers have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets in our galaxy and they anticipate that the number will be on the order of 100 billion.

Milky Way Galaxy (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The research supports an earlier estimate based on extrapolations of Kepler data.

The new research uses a technique called gravitational microlensing, currently used by a Japan-New Zealand collaboration called MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) at New Zealand’s Mt. John Observatory.

“Kepler finds Earth-sized planets that are quite close to parent stars, and it estimates that there are 17 billion such planets in the Milky Way,” says Dr. Phil Yock from the University of Auckland’s Department of Physics. These planets are generally hotter than Earth, although some could be of a similar temperature (and therefore habitable) if they’re orbiting a cool star called a red dwarf.”

Kepler measures the loss of light from a star when a planet orbits between us and the star; microlensing measures the deflection of light from a distant star that passes through a planetary system en route to Earth — an effect predicted by Einstein in 1936.

11th Hour

The 11th Hour is a 2007 feature film documentary, created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, on the state of the natural environment. It was directed by Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners and financed by Adam Lewis and Pierre André Senizergues, and distributed by Warner Independent Pictures. Its world premiere was at the 2007 60th Annual Cannes Film Festival (May 16–27, 2007) and it was released on August 17, 2007, in the year in which the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations global warming panel IPCC was published and about a year after Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, another film documentary about global warming.

emergentfutures:

NEON Distributed Sensor Networks
An artist’s conception of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) depicting its distributed sensor networks, experiments and aerial and satellite remote sensing capabilities, all linked via cyberinfrastructure into a single “scalable” integrated research platform for conducting continental-scale ecological research. NEON is one of several National Science Foundation (NSF) Earth-observing systems.

emergentfutures:

NEON Distributed Sensor Networks

An artist’s conception of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) depicting its distributed sensor networks, experiments and aerial and satellite remote sensing capabilities, all linked via cyberinfrastructure into a single “scalable” integrated research platform for conducting continental-scale ecological research. NEON is one of several National Science Foundation (NSF) Earth-observing systems.