When you come to the Louisiana Art & Science Museum and see a Sky Tonight show—when you see the stars on the dome, the planets in orbit, the deep sky objects far beyond our own galaxy—you’re actually looking at a 3D model of our observable universe. Every star, planet, and object is placed where they belong in space. You’re underneath a dome that operates essentially like a digital universe. Navigating through this and making a show with the enormity of space can be a little bit tricky. Well, that’s where I come in.
In March, the stars of spring lie eastward: Look for the constellations Gemini and Cancer to spot interesting celestial features like the Beehive Cluster. Keep watching for space-based views of the galaxies.
Looking at the latest analysis of the data from the Kepler Spacecraft the number of habitable planets are potentially now one in five.
Analysis by UC Berkeley and University of Hawaii astronomers shows that one in five sun-like stars are potentially habitable.
“When you look up at the thousands of stars in the night sky, the nearest sun-like star with an Earth-size planet in its habitable zone is probably only 12 light years away and can be seen with the naked eye. That is amazing,” said UC Berkeley graduate student Erik Petigura, who led the analysis of the Kepler data.
When the James Webb Space Telescope is launched, hopefully in 2018, it should be able to look at these habitable plants and see in even more detail the surface of the planets. One of the four James Webb science themes is Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life.
It’s just a matter if time until we discover that first other ‘Blue Marble.’