New Planet-weighing Technique Found: "Although there have been about 800 extra-solar planets discovered so far in our galaxy, the precise masses of the majority of them are still unknown, as the most-common planet-finding technique provides only a general idea of an object’s mass. Previously, the only way to determine a planet’s exact mass was if it transits—has an orbit that periodically eclipses that of its host star."
University of Auckland researchers have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets in our galaxy and they anticipate that the number will be on the order of 100 billion. The research supports an earlier estimate based on extrapolations of Kepler data. The new research uses a technique called gravitational microlensing, currently used by a