Hopeful New Signs of Duplicate Earths

Science & Space

Every week, it seems, astronomers announce a revolutionary exoplanet discovery — two plausibly habitable worlds orbiting a single star, for example, or a single planet orbiting two stars, or a planet no bigger than our moon or an exoplanet right next door in the Alpha Centauri system. Each one is important in its own way, but scientists also know focusing exclusively on single discoveries is like looking at the individual pixels on a screen and ignoring the larger picture they’re painting. Now and again, therefore, they take a step back and consider what they can learn from everything they’ve found so far. The result can be a real eye-opener.

That kind of big-picture consideration just happened again, with the publication of two papers in Science that assess the state of current knowledge about exoplanets. The first, by the University of Hawaii’s Andrew Howard, highlights an entirely new…

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By BeEtLjOoZ

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