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Poll of exoplanet-finders about best methods

  1. Nov 21, 2005 #1

    marcus

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    http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0511583

    there was a conference August 2005 of 80-some people involved in exoplanet search
    and they had some votes

    like by what method do you expect the first EARTHY planet will be found?

    this article which was just posted today on arxiv has a summary of the
    august conference and results of these opinion polls.

    no big deal but some here might be interested
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2005 #2
    It would be good if we could get some sort of formal poll from a larger group of professional Astronomers, but I think these are pretty good statistics. As we already have 150 known extrasolar planets, it’s quite reasonable to predict that by 2015 we will have surpassed 1000. And I agree that by the year 2050 we should have detected extraterrestrial life.
     
  4. Nov 23, 2005 #3
    That question is far outside the domain of expertise of exoplanet researchers. Assessing how common life is in our galaxy requires knowledge of not just astronomy, but also biology, statistics, futurism (Fermi paradox), and many other sciences.

    It would have been nice to have better resolution in the 2050-never option. I would like to know how many of them think there is no other life in the galaxy, for example. (I'm in the "Fermi paradox proves intelligent life is rare" camp.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2005
  5. Nov 23, 2005 #4

    SpaceTiger

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    Microlensing has the potential to detect earth-mass planets in the very near future, but it would be difficult to say much about them. It would also be difficult to be sure that they were earth-mass planets because there are a lot of degeneracies in fitting microlensing light curves. That may be why that choice wasn't more popular.

    As for transit searches, they've been performing below expectations almost across the board, but in theory, it should be very promising for finding planets. I'm not sure I share the optimism of the conference attendees, but I'm not in the field, so I'm sure they have more information than I do.
     
  6. Nov 23, 2005 #5
    Admittedly, I was sharing in their optimism, if for the only reason that I have confidence in the telescopes being planned for operation in the 2025-2050 timeframe will revolutionize astronomy. I don’t think that question is at all outside the domain of expertise of astronomers, in fact I would say that our only hope of knowing how populated the universe is, rests solely on the shoulders of astronomers.
     
  7. Nov 24, 2005 #6

    Chronos

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    I vote LISA as the most promising method currently available.
     
  8. Nov 24, 2005 #7

    SpaceTiger

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    You think a gravitational wave detector will be the first thing to find earth-mass planets? :confused:
     
  9. Nov 26, 2005 #8

    Chronos

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    Not at all. But I do think LISA will eventually confirm them.
     
  10. Nov 26, 2005 #9

    SpaceTiger

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    How? The gravitational waves that come from a planet orbiting a star are far too weak to be detected by LISA.
     
  11. Nov 26, 2005 #10

    turbo

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    If LISA had the sensitivity to discover an Earth-mass extrasolar planet, you would probably swamp the signal while walking off your big Thanksgiving dinner. Darned inverse-square law! :rofl: Did you have a happy T-day?
     
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