How Many Planets Do Exist?
- Stefan Kautsch, Ph.D. – Halmos College of Oceanography and Natural Sciences
- Alisha Rickman – Halmos College of Oceanography and Natural Sciences
- Richard Dodge, Ph.D. – Halmos College of Oceanography and Natural Sciences
Since ancient times, people look up at the skies and wonder if other worlds exist. Only in the recent past, such worlds have been discovered. New planets are found almost every month. The current number of confirmed planets is in the order of a few thousand. However, this number represents only a small fraction of all planets in our galaxy. We will use current observations combined with astrophysical evolution models to calculate an exact number of planets. Our proposed collaborative research study, a census of galactic planets, will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and at conferences. The PI, who recently received the NSU President's Award for Excellence in Community Service, will organize a wide range of dissemination efforts for the community with the aim of attracting the public to learn more about astronomy and therefore increasing science literacy.