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Exoplanets: the quest for Earth twins

Michel Mayor, Stephane Udry, Francesco Pepe and Christophe Lovis
Philosophical Transactions: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Vol. 369, No. 1936, The detection of extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society (13 February 2011), pp. 572-581
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41061677
Page Count: 10
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Exoplanets: the quest for Earth twins
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Abstract

Today, more than 400 extra-solar planets have been discovered. They provide strong constraints on the structure and formation mechanisms of planetary systems. Despite this huge amount of data, we still have little information concerning the constraints for extra-terrestrial life, i.e. the frequency of Earth twins in the habitable zone and the distribution of their orbital eccentricities. On the other hand, these latter questions strongly excite general interest and trigger future searches for life in the Universe. The status of the extra-solar planets field—in particular with respect to very-low-mass planets—will be discussed and an outlook on the search for Earth twins will be given in this paper.

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