Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bode's Law

Bode's Law supposedly predicts the ratio of planetary orbits and predicted the orbit of Uranus.

Scientists have now applied Bode's Law to exoplanets - trying to establish how many of the systems with larger gas giants might have small planets in the habitable zone. They took 151 systems scanned by the Kepler satellite and predicted 238 planets, with 1 to 3 in the habitable zone.

Problem: Bode's Law failed to correctly predict Neptune (which should, per Bode's Law, be about where pluto is).

They are claiming to be using a "new version" of Bode's Law, but...I'm a little skeptical of their calculations. (And of one of the articles, written by somebody who claims we need "time travel" to reach these systems...)

Thoughts? Am I being too skeptical here? (I firmly believe, by the way, that there are indeed a lot of habitable planets in our galaxy - it's their methods I'm questioning. If they've fixed Bode's Law, that's useful, but...)