If these planets could be linked to a blockchain we could trade "ownership" in these planets. New "coins" would be minted as new planets were discovered. This would provide incentive to fund astrophysics and would have a tangible basis.
The Kepler Space Telescope has found oodles of exoplants, but now astroboffins have spotted the first exoplanets outside our galaxy. A group of astroboffins from the University of Oklahoma has become the first to demonstrate exoplanet observations in another galaxy – one that's 3.8 billion light years away, or one-third of the …
No, we have not seen them. As the article says, “there is not the slightest chance of observing these planets directly”. We have inferred their existence, but as usual the headline misleads.
The circumstances make it a one-way thing. So they have not seen us nor even the many interstellar planets in our own galaxy. Unless they are very advanced...
No one would have believed, in the early years of the twenty-first century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinised as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets. And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us...
3.8 billion light years away, or one-third of the distance across the observable universe
Due to the expansion of space, the observable universe is 93 billion light years across, so that's ~4% rather than a third.
This is certainly not to detract from the impressiveness of the observation, however.
I can out-pedant you: 93 billion is the diameter of the observable universe, not the radius. It wouldn't make sense to use the diameter when saying something like "X% across the observable universe", since you're by definition R distance from the edge - nothing observable can be further away than the radius. So 8% would be more accurate.
Not that you're wrong, per se.
And, as you say, still very impressive.
I'm sorry, my mind has a problem processing that information. How can a star have that many orbiting bodies, and how is it possible to determine that there are that many free-wheelers in any galaxy, let alone one billions of light-years away ? My gast is well and truly flabbered.
Oh, and there's a problem in that paragraph. If there are indeed 2000 moons & planets per main sequence star, it means that there are trillions of moons and planets, not trillions of stars. That would be recursive and likely reverse the expansion of our Universe due to the creation of infinite stars with 2000 times more stars for every Universal Processor tick. Check your Unicraft Handbook, I'm sure it's explained in there somewhere.
The spatial resolution of a telescope with a diameter D and using light of wavelength l (should be lambda) for an object at distance d is given approximately by ld/D. Equivalently, if you want to resolve something of size R then you need a telescope of diameter ld/R. So, for instance if you wanted to resolve a metre on the moon (distance ~ 4E8m) in green light (wavelength ~ 5E-7m) then you need a telescope with diameter of about 200m (this is why we can't see the Apollo landing sites from Earth).
If you wanted to resolve a thousand km (10^6m) object at Proxima Centuri (about 4.28ly or 4E16m), again in green light, you'd need a telescope with a diameter of about 20,000m (this seems too small to me: I'm worried that I've made a mistake).
I think the article has a mistake: there are ~2000 planets for each star (not orbiting, obviously, unbound planets), and this implies trillions (~10^12) of planets, not stars, assuming the galaxy contains billions (~10^9) of stars. The Milky Way is usually assumed to contain between 100 & 400 billion stars.
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