Our home galaxy contains a hundred billion stars. On average each star hosts at least one planet. Over 3000 of these exoplanets have now been discovered.
This website is the story of a little telescope in a suburban backyard that's played a small part in this grand quest.
Why look for planets around distant stars? After all, we have little chance of ever seeing these planets directly, much less visiting.
Because as far as we know, life arises only on planets, warmed by the light of their suns. So the search for planets is also the search for life 'out there'. Confirming there is life spread across the vastness of space will change how we view ourselves and our place in the cosmos.
20th April 2017: Discovery of LHS 1140b
A paper announcing the discovery of LHS 1140b, a super-Earth in the habitable zone around a small nearby star, was published in the journal Nature. This planet is now one of the top candidates in the search for signs of an atmosphere, and for life outside our Solar System. I talk about PEST's role in this discovery here.
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By Thiam-Guan 'TG' Tan
An engineer by background, I get a kick out of bringing the vastness of space into reach through stuff that you can put together at home.