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Old October 17 2012, 07:07 PM   #10
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

^ I disagree. I think the race should be coming up with better imaging techniques capable of locating objects that DO NOT cause a detectable wobble in their parent star, or whose effect might be totally overwhelmed by other objects in their system.

This, incidentally, is why we only ever seem to find planets in really odd positions -- ridiculously close to their star or planets of unusual size. Meanwhile, we could spot a carbon copy of our own solar system and never be able to detect anything smaller than Jupiter orbiting it; the other seven planets would be undetectable, and worse still if this system has two or more dwarf planets in the goldilocks zone.

Since it can be safely assumed that almost every star in the milky way has at least one planet, we should focus our efforts on increasing our detection threshhold so that we can locate smaller objects in wider orbits, possibly allowing for planet searches around some of brighter/hotter/bigger stars with absurdly huge habitable zones (hell, maybe giant Betelgeuse has a couple of Earthlike planets in hundred-year orbits or spinning around a neptune-sized gas giant; I imagine that Europa and/or Titan would become pretty nice places to live during the Sun's red giant phase).
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