Sooners Find Evidence of A Trillion Exoplanets

download-4History has shown that if you want to find new land, ask a Sooner to find it.

Scientists at the University of Oklahoma found evidence that there are approximately 2,000 extragalactic planets for every one star beyond the Milky Way.  Some appear as small as the moon and other as large as Jupiter.  The study, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, used information from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and a planet detection technique called microlensing.

Microlensing used the frequencies emitted by moving celestial objects in the distortion and magnification of light. Many of these planets are not around a star but occupying space on their own.

These Sooner scientists however will have quite a ride to stake out these areas. They are some 3.8 billion light years away, but that is what people said about the Land Rush of 1889.

In the meantime, we have to contemplate a much more occupied reality in space.

Well done University of Oklahoma.

38 thoughts on “Sooners Find Evidence of A Trillion Exoplanets”

  1. Biology and astronomy professors are known for lecturing about the Drake equation, a mathematical hypothetical exercise to provoke thought about other civilizations within the Milky Way Galaxy:

    R∗ * fp * ne * fl * fi * fc * L


    N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);

    R∗ = the average rate of star formation in our galaxy,
    fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets,
    ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets,
    fl = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point,
    fi = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations),
    fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space, and
    L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

    Assumptions range for each parameter, but “reasonable” ones yield values between 1,000 and 100,000,000.

    Of course, we’ll never reach or encounter any of them before time’s up on Earth.

  2. Seeing planets in other galaxies? Really!? Magnifying gravity fields?

    Lloyd Miller, Research Director

    On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 12:11 AM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

    > jonathanturley posted: “History has shown that if you want to find new > land, ask a Sooner to find it. Scientists at the University of Oklahoma > found evidence that there are approximately 2,000 extragalactic planets for > every one star beyond the Milky Way. Some appear as small ” >

  3. I wonder how many planets exist in a Goldilocks Zone.

    It’s a bit bittersweet to discover worlds that very well could hold life, but they are beyond our physical reach to explore.

    Of course, in reality, if we ever did find life on another planet, we would probably kill each other through accidental germ warfare. We would sneeze and decimate species, or the pollen of some pristine alpineesque meadow would harbor some prion.

  4. Now, if we could only manage to identify which planets Benson, Marky Mark, Issacfullofshitovich, K en and Diane inhabit. . .if only. . .

  5. If they could only have found some defense against the Mountaineers last night….

  6. How does this jive with god creating Earth in 7 days. How exactly is he managing the other trillions of planets?

    1. They’re around us all the time, keeping their eyes (or other organs) on us, lest we become too dangerous. See “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” BTW, the best scene in that movie is when the chain-smoking human doctors wonder how it is that Klaatu (the alien) is well over 100 years old …..

  7. Meanwhile, in other scary science news. . .

    An aquarium accident may have given this crayfish the DNA to take over the world

    By Elizabeth Pennisi Feb. 5, 2018 , 11:00 AM

    It sounds like a bad monster movie plot: A 10-legged mutant creature that reproduces asexually, escapes from confinement in Germany, and quietly begins a global invasion. Within 2 decades, clones of the voracious animal spread through Europe and Africa, bringing devastation to ecosystems and threatening native species.

    That appears to be the strange-but-true story of the marbled crayfish, an invasive freshwater species suspected to have been created through a reproductive accident in an aquarium around 1995. A new analysis of the crustacean’s genome supports this unlikely origin and may help explain how the animal has subsequently spread and adapted to so many new environments.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. I wonder how creatures who reproduce asexually escape the problems of genetic mistakes in copying. Why their genome does not eventually degrade.

  8. (music)
    OAK! La Homa! Where the sun comes shooting down the plane.
    The girls are sweet. The farts will beep.
    And all the Oakies are insane!


    1. Ding a ling! That song is from South Pacific!

      Souuuuuth Pacific
      Where the winds go rushing thru the isles!
      There are betel nuts!
      And the dames shake butts!
      And at sea, a man can see for miiiiiles!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  9. This reminds me of a story I read in one of those sci-fi books my father had. I forgot who wrote it, but it was Kurt Vonnegut, Because the title is very memorable. Here is the link, but you will have to replace the F word, because the wordpress filter will not let it thru:**k-kurt-vonnegut/

    This story stuck out in my young teenage mind. Another one was A Boy and His Dog, which got made into a movie. Maybe reading stuff like this screws you up??? Who knows?

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – it is ready this stuff when you are not ready that screws you up. )

        1. I am sure it is “reading”. Give PaulCS a break. Sheeesh, he probably isn’t good awake yet. The rules here are, what goes on at 3 or 4 in the morning, stays at 3 or 4 in the morning. Capiche???

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

      1. How true! Like when I found the Fairy Tale book on my dad’s book case when I was about 9 or so. It was The Punishment of Sleeping Beauty by somebody. OH MY! Of course my parents went freak city when they saw me reading it.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. Squeeky – you should read all the different colored Fairy Books: Pink, Blue, Red, etc. I think there are about 8 of them, in paperback. B&N should have them. Very eye-opening. 😉

  10. “2,000 extragalactic planets for every one star beyond the Milky Way.”

    Two thousand planets per star? Seems more than a little improbable, unless the definition of “planet” has been severely altered. Some of those stars would no doubt have far fewer than 2000 planets, which means to average out at 2000 per star, some stars would have 3000 planets, 5000 planets — 20,000 planets?

    “Some appear as small as the moon …” Even if they were all moon-sized, two thousand planets per star still seems improbable. Maybe two thousand basketball-sized planets per star?

    For the time being, I’m gonna place the veracity of these statistics the same category as I place the veracity of economic statistics regularly represented by Still-Coasting-On-His-Nobel-Prize NYT columnist/statistic juggler Paul Krugman.

    1. The claim is that there are many non-luminous bodies. There is no claim that these bodies are in orbit around stars, the usual definition of planet.

      But yes, this remains an unduplicated interpretation of the data. Other interpretations may be more plausible.

      1. If the bodies aren’t in orbit around the stars, that really does alter the standard definition of a planet. They’re just there on their own? That doesn’t make much physical sense, because without orbit and minimal velocity, the “planets” would’a fallen into the stars long ago. Over a few billion years, gravity does a pretty good job of collecting all loose debris in any universe I’ve ever inhabited. Is there any mention of the stars not having gravitational fields or the “planets” not being composed of atoms? — ’cause that would be a much more important discovery than a bunch of vagrant rocks.

        1. Wrong. Read an elementary astronomy text regarding just how empty space is. For example, there is lots of room between the Solar System and Proxima Centauri for many freely unbound “planets”.

      1. Darren Smith – it means when David Benson decides to leave the country, he will also have a choice of exoplanets to flee to. 😉

    1. The laws of physics are slightly more impressive than much of the legislation we slap together.

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