Posts with the tag "Dimitar Sasselov"

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Scientists: There are one hundred million small, Earth-like planets in the Milky Way alone

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A co-investigarore on the Kepler satellite insitute surprised NASA this month with a major, unplanned announcement on data from the Kepler satellite. Eight minutes in to a speech at the TED global conference in Oxford, Sassanov announced that researchers believe the galaxy likely holds about 100 million “small, Earth-like planets,” and have actually identified over 100 of those planets.

Of course, “small, Earth-like” planet doesn’t mean the same thing as “small, life-supporting” planet. Sasselov’s speech created a fair bit of confusion, and numerous articles implied that the Kepler scientists had already found found 100s of “earths.” The confusion likely arose because the reporters did not listen to the entire speech, or even very much past the initial announcement. Sasselov made quite clear that the 100 or so planets the team had already identified, and the 100 million or so it estimated existed in the galaxy, need further study. Thankfully, was there to correct the sloppy journalism:

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