44: Waterworld?

Astronomers have found an exoplanet that is in its star's habitable zone, is (sorta) Earth-sized, and has water on it! ZOMG it's Earth 2.0! Alien life!! Woah there — not so fast with the hyperbole, Scooter. It's an exciting discovery, for sure, but not for the reasons the media thinks. Detecting water on other planets is indeed important, but don't jump to conclusions about finding signs of life just yet ...

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Syzygy is produced by Dr Chris Stewart and co-hosted by Dr Emily Brunsden from the Department of Physics at the University of York.

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Things we talked about in this episode:

The research papers: Tsiaras et al and Benneke et al

National Geographic article about the discovery

Some of the hyped media response

The Goldilocks Zone

Hubble Space Telescope

James Webb Space Telescope

What’s a Grism?