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Mr. Gianforte came to our school today to talk about exoplanets.  Exoplanets are planets that are out of our solar system.  He told us some of the methods that astronomers use to find planets outside of our solar system.  Some planets are big and are easy to spot.  Some are small and so therefore we can't see them next to their sun's light.  He said that one way astronomers spot planets is that some astonomers have things that detect changes in elements over time.  They look at a star and if it has changes in elements and/or light it means a planet is currently blocking those elements from  being detected.  Therefore, there must be a planet there.  He also said that there is about 500 discovered exoplanets.  Unfortunately, none of them can have our kind of life on them.  There is one planet that they found MIGHT be able to, but its so far away, we can't send a robot to study it. 

Astronomers are still looking for that planet that's just right, that goldilocks planet. (not too hot, not too cold.)  Mr. Gianforte said that looking for planets that can support life was called astrobiology.

Article posted October 21, 2010 at 11:50 AM • comment • Reads 82 • Return to Blog List
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