Robyn Williams | ABC Radio
An exoplanet is a planet outside our solar system which orbits a star. The first exoplanet was discovered in 1995. We now know of thousands. It is thought there are planetary systems orbiting every one of the stars we see in the night sky. This raises high hopes of discovering life somewhere in the galaxy, or beyond. New ground based instruments are being designed to help in the discovery of these exoplanets.
And new space based observatories are planned, such as the James Webb telescope, due for launch in 2019. The data is streaming in. And citizen scientists now help in analyzing it. The hope is to find a planet with conditions which may support life, and then, the big prize—life beyond Earth. This discussion took place at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Austin Texas, February 2018.