The great exoplanet debate

May 14, 2012
Participants included (clockwise from top left): Sara Seager, Dirk Schulze-Makuch of, Vikki Meadows, and Eric Ford. Credit: AbSciCon 2012, GATech, NASA

The Great Exoplanet Debate, hosted by Astrobiology Magazine during the recent 2012 Astrobiology Science Conference, is now available for viewing online.

Astrobiology Magazine recently hosted a Great Exoplanet Debate during the 2012 Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon 2012) in Atlanta, Georgia. The panelists were David Grinspoon of the Denver Museum if Nature & Science, Sara Seager of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University, Vikki Meadows of the University of Washington, and Eric Ford of the University of Florida. Click here to watch a video of the entire debate.

The panel of experts discussed questions such as: What should the priorities be in the search for in the galaxy? How accurate can we be in identifying , Earth-like worlds around distant stars using current technology? Rather than focusing solely on Earth-like planets, should the discussion be expanded to ask where we can find habitable planets? The Decadal Survey's recommendations for planetary missions upset many, but can the astrobiology community come to an agreement about what our priorities should be in the next decade to find and characterize habitable planets? What is the future of our search for habitable, alien worlds in light of current budget restraints and mission planning?

The Astrobiology Science 2012 (AbSciCon 2012) was held April 16–20 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The conference was sponsored by National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Program and hosted by the Georgia Institute of Technology's Ribo Evo, Center for Ribosomal Origins and Evolution. The co-Chairs of AbSciCon 2012 were Loren Williams and Eric Gaucher, both of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Explore further: The latest observations of interstellar particles

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Selects Science Teams for Astrobiology Institute

Oct 03, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA has awarded five-year grants, averaging $7 million each, to 10 research teams from across the country, including two from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, to study the origins, ...

Kepler space telescope mission extension proposal

Nov 03, 2011

Some potentially good news for exoplanet fans, and Kepler fans in particular – Kepler scientists are asking for a mission extension and seem reasonably confident they will get it. Otherwise, funding is ...

Habitable planets and white dwarfs

Mar 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The search for habitable planets similar to Earth has routinely focused around active nuclear burning stars. However, in a recently published paper by Eric Agol from the University of Washington, ...

Image: The Milky Way's 100 billion planets

Apr 26, 2012

(Phys.org) -- This artist's illustration gives an impression of how common planets are around the stars in the Milky Way. The planets, their orbits and their host stars are all vastly magnified compared to ...

Recommended for you

The latest observations of interstellar particles

2 hours ago

With all the news about Voyager 1 leaving the heliosphere and entering interstellar space you might think that the probe is the first spacecraft to detect interstellar particles. That isn't entirely true, ...

Hepatitis C virus proteins in space

2 hours ago

Two researchers at Technische Universität München have won the 'International Space Station Research Competition' with their project 'Egypt Against Hepatitis C Virus.' As their prize, the scientists will ...

Very Long Baseline Array takes radio image of Voyager 1

3 hours ago

The image above is a radio image of Voyager 1. It was taken from the Very Long Baseline Array, which is a collection of 10 radio telescopes scattered from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands. It captures the faint ...

Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought

17 hours ago

Anyone who has seen the movies of Neil Armstrong's first bounding steps on the moon couldn't fail to be intrigued by his unusual walking style. But, contrary to popular belief, the astronaut's peculiar walk ...

User comments : 0