For thousands of years people have wondered, “Are we alone?” With over 400 planets discovered to orbit nearby stars, the existence of “exoplanets” is firmly established. Astronomers are now able to routinely measure planetary sizes, masses, and atmospheres for a subset of hot, big exoplanets. The race to find “habitable” exoplanets is on with the realization that big Earths orbiting small stars can be both discovered and characterized with existing technology. In February 2011, Professor Seager presented highlights of recent exoplanet discoveries and discussed when we might find another Earth and what kinds of signs of life we are looking for.
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