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Hi everyone! Padi for the exoplanets answering team here. We are having a great time answering your questions, but boy are there a lot of them! We're sorry that we won't be able to answer them all! Thanks for sending such great, thoughtful questions.
We're gonna wrap up here in 15 minutes, so if you have any burning questions send them in now, and meantime we will try and get to all the questions left, focusing on those that don't have any overlap with what we've already answered.
Hi! First of all, thank you for taking time to answer questions in this AMA.
I understand that scientists search for water, ozone, oxygen and other markers of habitability because these are the markers of "life" as we know and understand it right now. Living things can survive in very harsh conditions. I assume it would be possible to have "life" in completely different conditions than our own. Is this a possibility that scientists take into account? If so, how?
Also, what life or life marker is expected to be found? Are we talking about bacteria/cells/viruses with DNA or RNA?
Hi. Thank you for doing an AMA. I have a few questions if that is ok.
- So i am a physics student currently and im interested how did you get a job looking for exoplanets, anywhere particular to apply and any particular branch of physics to study?
- What methods do you use to find them? I understand that the best method right now is to look for periodic dips in intensity of light coming from a star, but do you use any other method?
- Why is James Webb space telescope being delayed for so long, shouldnt it have launched years ago?
Hi, thanks for doing this AMA.
About 25 years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jill Tartar for AOL. One question asked was, "When will we be able to optically image exoplanets?" Her answer, summed up was, "In about 30 years."
Now, we're only about 5 years from that date. Where do we stand with the technology required to visually gather light and data from exoplanets, or even be able to generate images of them?
When you eventually find an exo planet in the habitable zone and analyze the atmosphere and discover without a doubt that there is life there..... What then? Can you spread the story to every news channel and all over social media? Or do you need to notify the government and they can release the information as they see fit? Is there a protocol for what to do after we discover we are not alone?
If we had to leave the Earth in let’s say 75 years because of an ELE and you had to pick an exo-planet right now as a destination and hope for the best when you got there which known exoplanet would you bet bet on?
Edit : grammar
What are your own, personal favoured hypothesises for solving the Fermi Paradox? Where the hell is everybody?
EDIT: clarified phrasing of question
Hey and thanks for this AMA!
When searching for habitable zones, are you looking for zones where humans/life on earth could maybe prosper, or are you looking for zones where some kind or any kind of life form would prosper?
In other words, are you more emphasized on looking for a place for us to live, or are you mainly looking for other lifeforms?
Bonus: Any luck yet?
Hi, welcome to reddit!
I'm curious about objects outside their star's theoretical Goldilocks zone -- I know the high-gravity environment of gas giants might allow some moons to maintain liquid water despite perhaps being further away from the star, possibly rendering them habitable.
Is this something you're looking for right now, or are those kinds of readings (moons orbiting gas giants) still beyond our current capabilities?
Short and simple question:
How important is AI to your hunt for exoplanets, and how rapidly is it improving?
If you could change one thing about how exoplanet research has been done what would it be?
If enacted, will the cancellation of WFIRST affect the field of exoplanetology in any way? Would the cancellation of WFIRST have implications for future planned space telescopes like LUVOIR?
Thanks everyone! They are kicking us out of the exhibit hall now so we will have to say goodbye, and thanks for all the questions!!
We're here! This is Padi, sitting at the AAAS with Aki, Debra, Jennifer, and soon Jessie, and we can't wait to get going answering all your great questions!
I come from /r/eve (EVE Online video game) where they are currently working with the CoRoT Telescope, under Prof Michel Mayor, to identify problem exoplanets through mass human sourcing.
I merely wish to say good luck and happy hunting.