- Scientists have now found 2001 planets in 1267 star systems.
- However, the Hubble (that's astronomer Edwin Hubble) Telescope finally was able to detect one almost a quarter century after I left NASA. The first truly reliable observation came two decades after my proposal, although there is some growing support for the very first coming in 1988, an effort that did not use any Hubble data.
- The Kepler (Johannes Kepler to the right) Space Observatory, launched around the time I published that HuffPo mentioned above, has found more than half of these planets. However, the method used depends on planets diminishing the brilliance of the star during transit, so the concept is incredibly crude and works only because there are so many stars out there.
- As starlight can be billions of times more brilliant than planetlight, only supermassive planets (larger than Jupiter) can be detected with current direct measurement techniques.
- There is an assortment of techniques, but the transiting method of Kepler and the indirect analysis coming from star wobbles (that is, if a planet is revolving around a star, the shift in position of the star is mathematically modeled to predict that there must be a planet or two or more involved) are most favored.
|GDP in 2004||Percent spent on space|
|Europe||11.7 trillion||0.03% (not inc. individual agencies)|
It's also interesting to work out how much is spent per person:
|Population||Space spending per person in 2005|
|Europe||0.6 billion||$5.80 (not inc. indiv agencies)|