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National Geographic: Fake News?
04-05-2019, 06:54 AM
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National Geographic: Fake News?
Today I read an article in National Geographic claiming that a quarter of the 4000 exoplanets discovered by the Kepler space telescope are Earth-sized planets situated in the habitable zone of their stars. Assuming that each of the 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy has at least one planet, that gives at least 25 billion Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone in our galaxy!

However I then read an article in New Scientist saying that only 49 of the discovered exoplanets are in the habitable zone (where water can exist as a liquid) and of these only 8 are in the abiogenesis zone (where the amount of UV light is just right). Of these 8, 7 are believed to be gaseous (as their radii are greater than the 1.7 Earth radius limit), leaving only one planet out of 4000, Kepler 452B, as potentially harbouring life!

Also, over half of the exoplanets are candidates yet to be confirmed, including Kepler 452B. So we really know of only two Earth-sized planets in both the habitable and abiogenesis zones, Earth and Mars.

How can National Geographic print something so misleading?
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National Geographic: Fake News? - Dan - 04-05-2019 06:54 AM

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