The number of candidate exoplanets found by Kepler has now risen to 3,500.


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Worlds without end: The number of candidate exoplanets found by Kepler has now risen to 3,500.

According to this new analysis, researchers estimate about 70% of stars are host to at least one planet, making planets a common cosmic occurrence. There are now 1,750 candidates that are super-Earth-size or smaller, and 1,788 are Neptune-size or larger. Only 167 of the 3,538 candidates are confirmed to be planets, but Kepler has a good track record: the vast majority of these are probably real.

Two dozen of these candidates are in the habitable zone, ten of which are thought to be close to Earth-sized.

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12 comments

  • Cotour

    What are the chances that 1 in the 3500 exo planets (Im sure it is probably in the millions) has advanced life? And what are the odds that that advanced life is 10,000 to 1,000,000 years ahead of us?

    Think of the implications.

  • Pzatchok

    None because they would have already developed the same and WAY better telescopes and spotted us a long time ago.
    As we are a habitable planet they would have sent a thousand year probe in our direction and or a colony ship.
    And that would have only taken a hundred or so years of advancement ahead of us.

    Either that or they would have decided inter planetary travel and thus colonization as useless and just don’t care enough to send their very best.

    A thousand years ahead of us in development is a LONG time and a huge leap in technology.

    If even one civilization out there is that far ahead of us then obviously there must be many more, and nothing in logic says they are all like Star Trek Vulkins leaving us alone until we reach inter planetary travel. Far more would either be aggressive and enslave us or stupid and let it on that they exist.
    We are either alone or the most advanced.
    Its now left to us to spread life throughout the universe. Even if it takes a million years and all we do is send out microbes to likely planets in hopes they eventually evolve into higher life forms.

  • Cotour

    I think what your scenario indicates is that it may be likely that we may be them.

  • It’s not a given that technology will develop here or anywhere else in a more-or-less linear fashion. There are peoples on Earth who have maintained the same level of technological development for thousands of years. A species may decide that a given level of development is ‘good enough’, and not advance further.

  • Cotour

    Do you think it likely that higher orders of life develop an American type Constitution?

    Is it a conclusion that must be arrived at in order to excel technologically?

    If the Constitution is a recognition of and a counter balance to the nature of man, which is an expression of evolution and evolution is a naturally occurring condition in the universe as it relates to life, is something akin to the Constitution vital to move out into the universe?

  • Pzatchok

    Possible but not likely.

    If they did seed this planet then they would also have a plan to advance us as fast as possible around now since we are now asking if there are others out there.

    Proof that others exist would be a HUGE stabilizing force for the intelligent species of the planet.

    Proof that others exist would be a huge incentive to advance our tech out into space in any way possible. Either in planetary defense or in exploration. Either way its advancement.

    They would know this and have a plan in place to make it happen.
    They wanted us to reach out into space otherwise they never would care to seed other planets.

  • Pzatchok

    There is no need for any particular style of government.

    All that is needed to reach the stars is a stable society.
    Either stable as in a unified political union or stable as in a cold war stable.

    No culture that has accepted a static technological state has ever survived.
    Eventually its neighbor will make an advancement and either absorb them or destroy them. Either way static societies always disappear.

    Name the Earth society that has accepted a static tech level and has never been influenced so much by contact with the outside world that its society has almost if not totally disappeared.

    A society might have been static technologically for thousands of years but that does not mean they wanted it that way. Their local environment could be such that it didn’t give them a chance to develop higher tech.

    Technological advancement is akin to genetic advancement, evolution. Either evolve or die.

  • Pzatchok

    The Inuit never developed metal working but that didn’t mean they didn’t accept metal objects as soon as they could trade for them.

    They were static technologically for thousands of years but that didn’t mean they wanted to be that way.

  • The analogy to describe intelligent life in the Galaxy that sticks in my mind is one postulated years ago on a TV show. Suppose we liken advanced civilizations to blinking lights on a Christmas tree. It may be that one society ‘shines’ brightly for some number of years, and then for whatever reason is extinguished. The next light over shines, but not at the same time as it’s neighbors. Thus, there may be many advanced societies developing, but none at the same time in reasonably close proximity to each other. Given the differences in ages among even the closest stars, this doesn’t seem unlikely.

  • Cotour

    A “good enough” civilization does not necessarily indicate the ability to travel into space. My question is : Is there a requirement to make the next step in technology / space travel that relates to a realization or a revolution in governance and I will extend that into capitalism that drives higher levels of technology?

    “Survival” can be a happy, stable, static and “successful” state, is it the nature of higher and more complex life forms to just naturally tend to develop high technology or is it necessary for certain realizations related to governance and economics be arrived at in order for this to occur?

    Think of the powerful effects on the world that the Constitution along with capitalism has had on technology and the level of the availability of capital to accomplish such agendas. Although you might be able to argue that the Nazi’s were also on that high technology road, but would they have gone as far if they were able to continue their agenda to completion, and their agenda was certainly not based in and American style Constitution. Is it purely a function of necessity being the mother of invention? Does that only take you so far and then to go to the next step you need these other elements?

    I think the way we may only be able to accurately answer that is to be able to study other, separately developed life forms in the universe.

  • Pzatchok

    Why do you think the US constitution and modern capitalism has anything to do with technological advancement over time spans as long as we are talking about?

    Considering the US constitution has been changed in radical ways over a span of less than 300 years so why do you think any other forms of governance wouldn’t change just as much, either good our bad, and still be called the same thing?

    Chinese communism is changing into capitalism fueled socialism and is in many ways on its way to a republic or democracy in the next 100 years. But it could also change back to pure communism or break up into several dictatorships.
    Either way its technological advancement has no reason to change its pace.

    Intelligent species always create societies and societies always advance technologically no matter what. It just might take longer for some than others. But it will happen.

    Think of it this way.
    Even if a society is happy with its current level of technology another society will just come along and infect it with higher technology. Its “static” technology just advanced. Some of its members will adopt the new tech and thus change the society in some way. Eventually with enough outside influences the original society no longer exists.

  • Cotour

    I see the Constitution as the recognition of certain truths of the universe as it relates to human beings and advancement. Is it something that must at some point in any civilizations evolution in the universe be realized to advance to the next levels? It seems to be true here on earth, if all things are equal in the universe and it happens here, why not somewhere else? Or are there a thousand ways to skin that cat in the universe? Or are there very few ways to arrive at that point?

    IMO, America, the Constitution and capitalism have created the modern world as a whole (after 1945) and have driven technology to the levels that it is at. Name a more powerful force on the planet in economic and incentive terms as capitalism and the Constitution. Putting a gun to some ones head and telling them to come up with the next best technological advancement can only get you so far.

    Communist China talks about going to Mars but only because they embrace the concepts of capitalism and their society is being driven towards American style Constitutional concepts which empower the individual. A very counter communistic concept. I don’t know if they can be really successful if they refuse to or resist freeing their people. I don’t think the next level advancement can happen without it.

    If its true here, why not at the other end of our galaxy or the universe?

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