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Exoplanet Kudos

Erik Petigura and Andrew Howard

Cozzarelli Prize winners Erik Petigura and Andrew Howard. Photo by Karen Teramura.

The editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has selected the paper “The Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars,” by Erik Petigura (Berkeley and IfA), Andrew Howard (IfA), and Geoffrey Marcy (Berkeley), to receive a Cozzarelli Prize as an exceptional paper in the physical and mathematical sciences published in 2013. The paper estimates that one in five stars like the Sun has Earth-size planets with a surface temperature conducive to life, making it statistically likely that the nearest Sun-like star with an Earth-size planet in its habitable zone is only 12 light-years away. (For more details, see Nā Kilo Hōkū no. 49.)

In addition, the American Physical Society, on its “Physics Newsmakers of 2013” webpage, says “2013 was another banner year for the search for another Earth.” It specifically cites the above-mentioned study and one that found three planets orbiting star Gliese 667C in the habitable zone. IfA’s Nader Haghighipour participated in the latter (see Nā Kilo Hōkū no. 42).