Through a Swedish Solar Telescope, they’re learning more about the sun. Hannes Alfven won the Nobel prize in 1942 for theorizing about waves that he couldn’t prove existed. Recently, scientists have figured out how to explain the waves that make the surface of the sun near 5,000 degrees, yet the photosphere is near 1,000,000 degrees.
It’s hoped to learn more about the Sun to figure out how other stars work and how they affect planets like Earth.
Even with this new information, they’re not thinking it’ll be easy to find another Earth-like planet out there with an Earth-like orbit. In 2013, they’re launching a new telescope that might help.
“The study also considered planets orbiting red dwarf stars. Such stars, called type M, are the most abundant in the Milky Way – far more common than yellow, type G stars like the Sun. They are also cooler and dimmer than the Sun, as well as smaller, which makes finding an Earth-like planet transiting an M star easier.”
This part reminds me of Star Trek – M class planets anyone? Sometimes science fiction has a basis in science. I think it’ll be interesting to find planets by the signatures of their atmospheres by colors with the new telescope. Guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to see what they find.