It ain’t gonna be long now before we find another Earth orbiting a nearby star and the question is: what are we gonna do when we find one?
(By some accounts we already found at least one but in reality these bodies are too big to be like Earth.)
Eric “Nose” Gaidos at the University of Hawaii and his buddies know. They gonna use it to study various theories about how small rocky planets form. Do they form close in to a star which seems difficult given the inhospitable conditions that exist near stars when they form, or do they form further away and spiral inwards?
Nobody knows which recipe is correct or whether other ideas may eventually trump these ones but they is hoping to find out soon.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0710.2366: New Worlds on the Horizon: Earth-Sized Planets Close to Other Stars