Why Finding Earth-Sized Planets is Hard

The transit method of finding exoplanets is easier for big planets than small planets. But new work from the Cool Worlds Lab shows that transits disfavor the detection of small, Earth-sized planets even more than previously realized. Emily Sandford, a third-year graduate student with the Cool Worlds Lab at Columbia, explains our new paper which derives these biases, allowing astronomers to correct for these effects when figuring out how many Earths there really are.

::More about this Video::

► Kipping & Sandford (2016), “Observational biases for transiting planets”: arxiv.org/abs/1603.05662
► Outro music by Taylor Davis: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl9kI1yQKZk

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Astronomy, exoplanets, astroengineering, the search for extraterrestrial life & intelligence, futurism and interstellar travel.

The Cool Worlds Lab (http://coolworlds.astro.columbia.edu), based at the Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, is a team of astronomers seeking to discover and understand alien worlds, particularly those where temperatures are cool enough for life, led by Professor David Kipping. Content is primarily written, produced and presented by David Kipping, but regularly features his students and visitors as guest presenters.

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