Thursday, June 23, 2005

Elusive Earths

There's a nice interview at with planet hunter Geoff Marcy of U Cal Berkeley. Marcy thinks that rocky smallish planets should be formed with good frequency by any star that originated in a dusty disk-- that is, most stars.
In the hunt for planets, they are monitoring 1300 stars for velocity perturbations (i.e. gravitational tugs, from planets or other things) and they think that 5% are showing wobbles, with 85% of those not having a Jupiter-sized object-- thus possibly smaller objects closer in.

With all of this looking, maybe someone is looking back...
Dust cloud around Formelhaut. Dust has been swept clear near the star, possibly by a planet. (NASA/ESA)

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