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Author Topic: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.  (Read 24120 times)

justboatonic

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2010, 07:13:33 pm »

Not at all. If I wanted to do a survey of the UK's population, to determine general statistics of age and gender, and my search parameters only let me look in model boat clubs (for example!), I'd have biased results. As I mentioned earlier, Kepler's results currently have a bias similar to the previous methods of planet detection. Time (i.e. the chance to see longer-period transits) will tell, of course - and the good news is that Kepler's got years of life left in it.

Andy

Then you clearly dont subscribe to okam's razor.

I'd disagree regarding your observation of model boat clubs. Many clubs have members of all ages. And I dont think anyone would claim they are all male preserves so your survey would show male, female young and old. In other words your survey would show a cross section of the population, young, old, male and female.

In my experience, that applies to every club I've been in ie angling, motoring, numerous RC clubs etc, etc but obviously I cannt speak for others and the clubs they have been in.

Kepler's got a little less than 4 years mission time left though. So, it has to start finding many more exo solar systems like ours towards the end of its mission time due to the methodology and its mission requirements ie three transits to confirm the orbital period of planets that would confirm a planet as being in the habital zone of its parent star similar to ours.

Since systems with HJ's will likely affect the number of terrestrial sized planets in the habitable zone and, vastly reduced transit times planets in these systems have, kepler will find many more exo systems unlike our own.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2010, 09:15:38 pm »

... Even now, early in the mission, kepler is returning results of more systems with HJ's although it appears to have spotted smaller terrestrial sized planets even closer to the parent stars.

Therefore, in the time for kepler to positively spot planetary systems like ours, if they do exist, it will have undoubtedly have uncovered many more that aren't leading more weight to the fact that ours is tending towards uniqueness.


This suggests a fundamental misunderstanding about the process which the Keppler probe is using to detect planets.

Keppler is looking for the slight dip in a star's brightness when a planet passes across it. This means that, if a planet has an orbital period of 10 days Keppler can detect it in a minimum of 20 days - the time for it to do two orbits and provide a matched pair of dips. Ideally, you might like 3 dips in 30 days. If a planet has an orbital period of 365 days Keppler might detect it in 720 days, or 1095 if 3 dips is  preferred. But during this time Keppler will not be detecting more and more 10 day planets. They will have been detected already.

So we expect Keppler to detect lots of short-period planets to start off, and for these short-period detections to slow down as time progresses, and more long-period planets start to be found. I suppose that Keppler could only be pointed at a particular system for, say, 40 days - in which case it could only see planets with a period of 20 days or less. But that would be an obviously biased set of data....
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dreadnought72

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2010, 05:56:38 am »

I'd disagree regarding your observation of model boat clubs. Many clubs have members of all ages. And I dont think anyone would claim they are all male preserves so your survey would show male, female young and old. In other words your survey would show a cross section of the population, young, old, male and female.

I'm sure my survey would.

Meanwhile, the Office of National Statistics says "In mid-2009 the average age of the population was 39.5 years". And we know that there are more women in the UK than men, so the commonest gender is female.

While there probably are both sexes and all ages in most model boat clubs, I strongly suspect that the commonest gender if you were to total all of them would be male, and the average age probably greater than 39.5. -> observational bias at work -> the survey is flawed.

Quote
Kepler's got a little less than 4 years mission time left though. So, it has to start finding many more exo solar systems like ours towards the end of its mission time due to the methodology and its mission requirements ie three transits to confirm the orbital period of planets that would confirm a planet as being in the habital zone of its parent star similar to ours.

Because we're talking science and statistics, to be pedantic, Kepler doesn't "have" to do anything.

But I totally agree that its results can't confirm any planets that lie in orbits whose duration is longer than the current observational period. Since these can't pop-out of the data until later, we therefore can't say at the moment that HJs are commonest (because of the observational bias), or (impossible to prove) that the Solar System is not the norm.

Finally - and kudos to the Kepler team, who understand their methodology - they may well already have possible single transits of habitable zone planets, but they're only releasing data when they can confirm orbits. (And full data will be released to us all, once they've been peer-reviewed and have published their results.)

Andy

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dodgy geezer

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2010, 08:43:02 am »


But I totally agree that its results can't confirm any planets that lie in orbits whose duration is longer than the current observational period. Since these can't pop-out of the data until later, we therefore can't say at the moment that HJs are commonest (because of the observational bias), or (impossible to prove) that the Solar System is not the norm.


Dreadnought72 is quite correct. It may be true that HJs are very common and terrestrial-type planets are very rare, but the Keppler data does not support this at the moment. If there are few or no planets detected in habitable zones after, say, three years, then the Keppler data will support this assertion. But not before....
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justboatonic

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2010, 09:08:53 pm »

Well,  potentially new evidence to show our solar system tends towards uniqueness http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19429-laws-of-physics-may-change-across-the-universe.html if our part of the galaxy is 'just right' for our existence.

If that's the case, then you could possibly forget about finding lots of exo solar systems that resemble ours.

Course no one is suggesting Kepler's data suggests all undiscovered exo solar systems will be totally unlike our own. The data currently returned just adds weight to the evidence we have that our solar system is not like anything we have found so far ie ours is tending towards uniqueness.



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justboatonic

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2010, 09:21:28 pm »


This suggests a fundamental misunderstanding about the process which the Keppler probe is using to detect planets.

Keppler is looking for the slight dip in a star's brightness when a planet passes across it. This means that, if a planet has an orbital period of 10 days Keppler can detect it in a minimum of 20 days - the time for it to do two orbits and provide a matched pair of dips. Ideally, you might like 3 dips in 30 days. If a planet has an orbital period of 365 days Keppler might detect it in 720 days, or 1095 if 3 dips is  preferred. But during this time Keppler will not be detecting more and more 10 day planets. They will have been detected already.

So we expect Keppler to detect lots of short-period planets to start off, and for these short-period detections to slow down as time progresses, and more long-period planets start to be found. I suppose that Keppler could only be pointed at a particular system for, say, 40 days - in which case it could only see planets with a period of 20 days or less. But that would be an obviously biased set of data....

Im fully aware of kepler's MO thanks.

Clearly, kepler will find many short period orbital objects, both HJ's and terrestrial sized planets early in the mission since 3 transits can be observed in a shorter period of time. But, the big question is, come 3 and a bit years, how many exo solar systems will it have found like ours to how many more systems with HJ's and therefore unlike ours, will it have found?

Im willing to bet kepler will find an inordinate amount of systems with hj's and very, very few if any, like ours. Now wouldnt that be fun?

Oh and by the way, NASA call it the Kepler mission not keppler

http://kepler.nasa.gov/
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dreadnought72

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2010, 09:57:32 am »

Well,  potentially new evidence to show our solar system tends towards uniqueness http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19429-laws-of-physics-may-change-across-the-universe.html if our part of the galaxy is 'just right' for our existence.

Read deeper!

If alpha differed by 4% then, yes, they'd be big problems.

Thing is, the latest figures for a change in alpha suggest Δα̇/α = (−1.6 2.3) 10−17 per year: around about 20000ths of a percent (and potentially not at all, when you look at the error bars) since the Big Bang = makes no difference whatsoever to planet formation.

Andy
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2010, 11:47:15 am »

But, the big question is, come 3 and a bit years, how many exo solar systems will it have found like ours to how many more systems with HJ's and therefore unlike ours, will it have found?



You seem to make a lot of early assumptions which get invalidated by later events, and then ignore those events which disprove you. Now that it is understood that a system with HJs IS compatible with terrestrial planets, and that HJs seem to be a common precursor to solar systems, researchers are starting to consider looking for the remains of an HJ in our own system, on the assumption that we ARE like the systems we are seeing.


You also do not seem to have considered the ratio of HJs detected to systems with normal gas giants, detected by other projects. If detecting an HJ indicates that a system is 'unlike ours', I presume that you would agree that detecting a gas giant in a 'normal position' would suggest that a system is 'like ours'?

All the current data on detected planets can be found in the ExtraSolar Planets Encyclopedia - http://exoplanet.eu/catalog-all.php

If you put this on a spreadsheet you will see that there's a cluster in the 1-10 day range, representing the 'hot Jupiters', and another, larger, cluster of gas giants with orbital periods of about 1-10 years, representing 'standard gas giants'. We have around 150 HJs found, and 200 'normal Jupiters'.

So, even though we are preferentially detecting low-period planets at the moment, we still know of more long-period planets. Estimates of the numbers of earth-like planets in the galaxy are now commonly in the billions...





Im willing to bet kepler will find an inordinate amount of systems with hj's and very, very few if any, like ours. Now wouldnt that be fun?



As I said earlier, you DO tend to jump the gun a lot, don't you? You're lucky I'm not a betting man, but you should find no shortage of people to take you up on that one. A couple of months ago this happened:

http://news.discovery.com/space/kepler-scientist-galaxy-is-rich-in-earth-like-planets.html

So you can see that current discoveries seem to suggest that earth-type planets ARE common in the galaxy and that our system seems to be perfectly normal. Arguing that this is not true seems to be wilfully ignoring the latest findings.

We will not have long to wait for the first data release in Feb 2011. And when we get SIM Lite up there, I expect this will enable us to disprove the 'rare-earth' hypothesis completely...
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dreadnought72

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2010, 12:02:40 pm »

Just to be clear, the "like Earth" shown here (a PowerPoint slide grabbed from the Kepler scientist's lecture):



Is for size, as it states, not for the planet's distance from the primary star.

Andy
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2010, 01:44:47 pm »

Just to be clear, the "like Earth" shown here (a PowerPoint slide grabbed from the Kepler scientist's lecture):



Is for size, as it states, not for the planet's distance from the primary star.

Andy

A very reasonable point, Dreadnought72. Of course, we are detecting the close-in planets first, and so most of these will be Mercury-type (or nearer!) rather than Earth-type. We must endure the few years wait to get the planets of 365 days period. But I think the key point - that HJs do not preclude smaller planets - is made pretty well. All we need to do now is wait for the 'Goldilocks instance'...
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justboatonic

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2010, 12:52:00 pm »

New simulations show Jupiter sized planets can seriously affect other planets location in a solar system. Simulations show Uranus likely to have been shunted further out into the solar system by Jupiter and Saturn, similar to how like HJ's would with close in terrestrial sized planets.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727785.300-did-jupiter-and-saturn-play-pinball-with-uranus.html
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justboatonic

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2010, 12:58:45 pm »

Just to be clear, the "like Earth" shown here (a PowerPoint slide grabbed from the Kepler scientist's lecture):



Is for size, as it states, not for the planet's distance from the primary star.

Andy

Correct. Too many people think earth like mean like the earth ie similar size and in the same position.

I dont recall anyone saying HJ's prevent smaller terrestrial sized planets forming, totally. The information is suggests this is dependant on when the HJ migrated in relation to a solar system forming.

However, I still think people are going to be majorly disappointed when Kepler's mission is complete and the information resulting shows our system does indeed tend towards uniqueness.

I've no doubt the overwhelming evidence from Kepler will show lots of terrestrial sized planets but they will be close in to the parent star, unlike our planet.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2010, 03:02:06 pm »


However, I still think people are going to be majorly disappointed when Kepler's mission is complete and the information resulting shows our system does indeed tend towards uniqueness.

I've no doubt the overwhelming evidence from Kepler will show lots of terrestrial sized planets but they will be close in to the parent star, unlike our planet.


Think that, by all means. But don't claim that that the mission evidence suggests this at the moment. Here is the NASA press release from March of this year:

"...The first planets to roll out on the Kepler "assembly line" are expected to be the portly "hot Jupiters" -- gas giants that circle close and fast around their stars. NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes will be able to follow up with these planets and learn more about their atmospheres. Neptune-size planets will most likely be found next, followed by rocky ones as small as Earth. The true Earth analogs -- Earth-sized planets orbiting stars like our sun at distances where surface water, and possibly life, could exist -- would take at least three years to discover and confirm..."

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/06mar_keplerlaunch/


So far these predictions have been accurate.
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Wasyl

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2010, 03:16:47 pm »

Just as an aside, I wonder why it is that Humankind are so hellbent on trying to discover life as we know it on other planets.
For eons we human have looked towards the stars and wondered how it might be if there may actually exist planets abundantly sustained with the same air that we breathe, the same foodstuffs that we eat, etc, etc. Already we are sending unmanned probes into the heavens, and likewise, already we are being told that the possibility of another planet capable if sustaining human life is pretty much a foregone conclusion.
So what is the deal with this ongoing obsession of trying to colonise other planets which doesn't even belong to us? The question is, what would we do if we were indeed to stumble upon such a life-sustaining planet? And how would WE, the human race, how would we feel if we knew that any particular lifeform from some distant galaxy were intent upon doing the very same thing as us? Could we be trusted not to make the same mess of things as we have to planet Earth. Or indeed, could any alien lifeform be trusted not to make a mess of things once they have found their way here?

Most humans don't even greet their next-door neighbours' with a cheery "Good morning". Indeed, most humans don't even have the foggiest idea of how their neighbours look like. So how in watney would we react should we ever be greeted with a form from a far-distant planet? Or how are we to be trusted, giving that most humans are bent on screwing-up what should be a perfectly good planet anyway? Would our first contact with alien life be a bit of a shocker should it turn out that aliens have the same average mentality of an X-Factor contestant?
I am of the opinion, that the above is the most sensible answer ,I have read for a long time,well done PMK,..my personal opinion of it all, is that its all pure conjecture,..a load of "what ifs or might be,s...but If an extra-terrestrial does happen to get himself lost,and and on earth,I,have no doubt,he,or them,will be locked away somewhere,before they see the light of day,..because if their not,..then that Ack Ack Gunner thats here on a visit,..well.he,ll have some explaining to do,..

Wullie
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Roger in France

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2010, 05:42:30 pm »

I find all these discussions/arguments fascinating, thank you.

I also agree that we seem determined to find some life form very much like us. Why?

I try to imagine that there may be some form of life but what it will be like eludes my thought processes. Why should it be carbon or hydrogen based? But I guess it then raises the question of what do you mean by "life form"?

You also raise the issue of our and their "intentions". I guess that depends, in the first instance, on our ability to communicate.

Another fascinating thought I often have is, would they have a God or Gods? If you are a Christian surely you must ask do they know Lord and is He their Saviour also?

Encountering the unknown triggers a natural human response of fear/suspicion which is quickly followed by aggression on our part. It is a natural and understandable safety mechanism, probably most difficult to control. For example not only do we not speak to our neighbours, before we get to know them we ostracise them if they are foreign or coloured !

Any Earth world leader who walked up to an alien and said "Welcome" would probably be killed.....not by the alien but by his or her electorate !

Roger in France.
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Prophet

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2010, 05:53:53 pm »

I belive in Aliens
 %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-)
                                                                                                           
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2010, 06:24:12 pm »


Just as an aside, I wonder why it is that Humankind are so hellbent on trying to discover life as we know it on other planets....


They might have a decent pond there....
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2010, 07:43:26 pm »

I belive in Aliens
 %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% %% {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-)
                                                                                                           
I have walked on Blackpool prom.  So do I.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2010, 12:43:28 pm »


...Another fascinating thought I often have is, would they have a God or Gods? If you are a Christian surely you must ask do they know Lord and is He their Saviour also?...


You might be interested in the James Blish book 'A Case of Conscience' - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Case_of_Conscience#Reference-idBlish_1999 refers. If you wish to research the book a bit you will find mention of the actual Catholic Church guidelines for dealing with extraterrestrials. Blish, one of my favourite writers, was a stickler for accuracy....



...Any Earth world leader who walked up to an alien and said "Welcome" would probably be killed.....not by the alien but by his or her electorate !..



I suggest that if we haven't risen in revolt and killed our political classes for what they have already done to us, we are unlikely to do so when they sell the Earth to alien developers for turning into a theme park...
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Wasyl

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #44 on: September 21, 2010, 10:41:24 am »

I read in the paper today that Boffins at St,Andrews Uni,believe that solar dust clouds,could contain rubies and emeralds?????what planet are they on, {-)
furthermore,in the same paper,..their saying that in 3 years time,we could suffer the consequences of a massive Solar Flare that may or may not be ejected from the currant bun,If it is ejected then we could have cataclysmic catastrophies,all over the planet,similar they say, to what happened in the film 2012,...I can see the Sandwich Boarders, of the 1950,s,coming out again,..proclaiming..."The World is Nigh"beware 2013,sfunny how they always make sure these predictions almost always land on a 13  {-)

Wullie
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #45 on: September 21, 2010, 11:59:36 am »


I read in the paper today that Boffins at St,Andrews Uni,believe that solar dust clouds,could contain rubies and emeralds??...



I believe that about 6 ten-billionths (0.0000000006) of the mass of the sun consists of atoms of gold. That would be about 1/500 of the mass of the Earth? It would make a decent sized lump. Now all we have to do is collect it....
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #46 on: September 21, 2010, 03:57:44 pm »


I believe that about 6 ten-billionths (0.0000000006) of the mass of the sun consists of atoms of gold. That would be about 1/500 of the mass of the Earth? It would make a decent sized lump. Now all we have to do is collect it....
We'll have to go at night, when its cooler.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2010, 05:49:37 pm »


We'll have to go at night, when its cooler.


Aha, Malcolm, I think I can see a problem with that plan.

You're never going to make it all the way there and back in one night......  %% %%
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justboatonic

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #48 on: September 22, 2010, 10:27:18 pm »

First habitable exo Earth to be found http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19474-is-there-a-moores-law-for-science.html sometime in May 2011 if this is to be believed.

Can the rate of past discoveries be used to predict future ones? We may soon find out. Two researchers have used the pace of past exoplanet finds to predict that the first habitable Earth-like planet could turn up in May 2011.
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justboatonic

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Re: Kepler mission adds more weight to our solar system not being the norm.
« Reply #49 on: September 22, 2010, 10:38:44 pm »


Think that, by all means. But don't claim that that the mission evidence suggests this at the moment. Here is the NASA press release from March of this year:

"...The first planets to roll out on the Kepler "assembly line" are expected to be the portly "hot Jupiters" -- gas giants that circle close and fast around their stars. NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes will be able to follow up with these planets and learn more about their atmospheres. Neptune-size planets will most likely be found next, followed by rocky ones as small as Earth. The true Earth analogs -- Earth-sized planets orbiting stars like our sun at distances where surface water, and possibly life, could exist -- would take at least three years to discover and confirm..."

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/06mar_keplerlaunch/


So far these predictions have been accurate.

I'll voice my thoughts whenever I want thanks and thank you to stop twisting other people's comments and saying 'dont claim' this or that.

I think everyone was aware, given the MO for the kepler mission, that the first results would be of HJ's or smaller planets closer to the star having short orbital periods! As for saying 'so far these predictions have been accurate' I'd go so far as to say they are virtually stating the bleedin obvious.
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