December 17th, 2019 • 12 mins 14 secs • Download (11.2 MB) • Link with Timestamp

As I’m recording this video near the end of 2019, the total number of confirmed exoplanets stands at 4,104. We’ve come a long way since the discovery of the first exoplanet orbiting a sunlike star back in 1995 with 51 Pegasi b.

And the reality is that the race to find new exoplanets is only accelerating. New ground and space-based telescopes are turning up planetary candidates at an increasing rate. New techniques will find planets in entirely new ways. The bottom line is that over the next few decades, this mere 4000ish will multiply by orders of magnitude.

So let’s run the clock forward and try to calculate what the future holds for exoplanets. How many worlds will we know about 3 decades from now, in the year 2050?