Kepler Down But Not Out, ESO Nabs a 7 Planet System, and the Search for Earth Like Worlds

Exoplanetary research is booming these days.  It is a truly exciting field that is generating even more exciting results.  Several ground based and space based observatories around the world are actively engaged in the pursuit of earth like planets orbiting their respective stars at just the right distance to allow for the possibility of liquid water, know as the habitable zone. Continue reading “Kepler Down But Not Out, ESO Nabs a 7 Planet System, and the Search for Earth Like Worlds”

Fingerprinting Exoplanets by Direct Observation

Our ability to probe the cosmos, particularly for planets around other stars, is accelerating at an incredible rate.  As I have mentioned before, the Kepler space telescope has given us a view into the cosmos that will change our view of the universe forever.  Recently, further advancements by Project 1640, an effort to directly observe the spectra of distant worlds, bring the real possibility of detecting an Earth like planet to within our grasp. Continue reading “Fingerprinting Exoplanets by Direct Observation”

Kepler and the Billions and Billions of Pale Blue Dots

Carl Sagan famously spoke of the Pale Blue Dot photo taken from the Voyager I spacecraft, referring to it as a symbol hope and humility that would change our perspective as a species. That all of humanity and all of our world’s history is contained on a tiny speck in the Cosmos. Continue reading “Kepler and the Billions and Billions of Pale Blue Dots”