Hot on the heels of my earlier conversation with Greg Laughlin about his valuation formula for Kepler's exoplanets, Laughlin crunched the numbers for Kepler's new list of 50 candidates orbiting in the habitable zones of their host stars:
The total value of the planets in Kepler paper's Table 6 is USD $295,897.65. As with most distributions of wealth, this one is highly inequitable—the most valuable planet candidate in the newly released crop is KOI 326.01, to which the formula assigns a value of USD $223,099.93. Assuming 5g/cc density, this planet has a mass of ~0.6 Earth masses, which is actually a little on the low side as far as the valuation formula is ensured. Nevertheless, USD $223,099.93 is a huge increase in value over Gl 581c, which charts at USD $158.32.
Back in 2009, I wrote that (in my opinion) the appropriate threshold for huge media excitement is USD 1M. With the planets in Table 6 of the paper, we are starting to get very close to that.
Here are the planets in the table with a formula valuation greater than one penny.
So there it is, folks. Get used to hearing a lot more about the quarter-million-dollar candidate world, KOI 326.01, at least until something better comes around. And don't forget about the runner-up, KOI 314.02, which is still worth a cool $71732.15.
An enterprising mind might think to go ahead and snatch up relevant domain names and search strings. But, incidentally, don't get too attached to those names. They're provisional labels in lieu of actual designations, which will be applied if and when these candidates are confirmed. KOI stands for "Kepler Object of Interest," and the three-digit number is the designation of the star in the Kepler Input Catalog. The two-digit number following the decimal point encodes the order in which transit candidates were identified around the star; so KOI 326.01 was the first identified transit candidate around star KOI 326, while KOI 314.02 was the second identified transit candidate around KOI 314.
OKLO.org: A Quarter Million Dollar World
Published 6:58 am Thu, Feb 3, 2011
guestblog, Science, Space