Audible podcast Exoplanets explores the hunt to find planets like our own outside our solar system. There are potentially millions of them out there, and more are found every day
8 July 2020
By Chris Stokel-Walker
Exoplanets: The search for another Earth
THE hunt to find exoplanets like our own has only just begun. In 1992, the first planets outside our solar system were discovered via a pulsar 2300 light years away that signalled at slightly odd intervals, indicating there were two worlds orbiting it. Now, we know there are potentially millions of them out there and more are found every day, says Danielle George, the host of Exoplanets, a six-part series on Audible.
George is an experienced guide to the galaxy: she has worked with Stephen Hawking on the search for far-off worlds, as well as NASA and the European Space Agency. With other researchers as guests, she tackles questions about the size of the universe and what kind of life may live within it.
Though it lacks drama at times, the series is an interesting look at the current state of exoplanet science. George, an optimist, believes there is another Earth-like planet out there somewhere. Any plans for humans to visit such a place should be shelved, however, as exoplanets are all very far away.
The thornier question, then, is: are we alone or could there be intelligent life on an exoplanet somewhere? The series comes to an answer – sort of. If there were other advanced societies out there, surely they would have attempted to detect us in search of another home? Perhaps they don’t need to, having taken better care of their home planet: a message that George says we need to take to heart.
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