The hunt for exoplanets – Will we find a planet we can live on?

Blue and bizarre - This illustration shows exoplanet HD 189733b, a huge gas giant that orbits very close to its host star, HD 189733. The planet's atmosphere is scorching with a temperature of over 1,000 degrees Celsius, and it rains glass, sideways, in howling 4,300 mph (7,000 kilometer-per-hour) winds. Credit: NASA/, ESA, M. Kornmesser.

In this episode of the Space Economy podcast we discuss the hunt for exoplanets, in particular those where humanity could survive. This is the ninth of ten episodes in our special series Doing Business in the Solar System hosted by Elizabeth Howell.

We’ve found thousands of exoplanets in the last 30 years, particularly with tools like NASA’s Kepler mission and the HARPS instrument at the La Silla telescope in Chile. But for the last few years, we’ve had the capability to seek out worlds that are potentially habitable, like the famous TRAPPIST-1 system with several planets the size of Earth.

So far these worlds are just lights in a telescope, but before long observatories and potential missions will show us more. To tell us more about the future of exoplanet science, we’ll hear from Franck Marchis, a senior planetary astronomer at the SETI Institute.

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About Elizabeth Howell

Is SpaceQ's Associate Editor as well as a business and science reporter, researcher and consultant. She recently received her Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota and is communications Instructor instructor at Algonquin College.

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