View Full Version : Spitzer on terrestrial planet formation

2007-Dec-12, 06:02 AM
Here is a recent paper http://arxiv.org/abs/0712.1057 which discusses the implications of Spitzer space telescope obervations of dust disks around young stars. The implications of the observations are summed up in the following sentence, taken from the paper's abstract: "We suggest that SST observations at 24 μm can be interpreted as evidence for terrestrial planet formation occuring around many (19–32 %), if not most (62 %), sun–like stars."

Frankly, I am not surprised that more evidence is accumulating that planets are quite common in the Universe. First of all, more and more planets are being found around other stars, they are being found by a variety of observational techniques each relying on different physical concepts, and planets being common is in line with the Copernican principle that we are not special and the Universe is more or less uniform in its properties. World's without end! Although it's a shame that probably none of us will get to see what these planets look like from up close.