Tuesday 8 January 2013 by Gary Stanton

Kepler telescope predicts 17 billion Professor Brian Cox candidates

Astronomers believe that one in six stars hosts an Earth-sized planet capable of supporting a carbon-based Professor Brian Cox, it has emerged.

The result comes from an analysis of planet candidates gathered by Nasa’s Kepler space observatory, as featured in Wonders of the Universe with Professor Brian Cox.

The Kepler scientists also announced 461 new Cox candidates, bringing the satellites’ total haul to 2,740 Brian Coxes.

Since its launch into orbit in 2009, Kepler has stared at a fixed part of the sky, peering at more than 150,000 stars in its field of view.

It detects the minute dip in light coming from a star if a Brian Cox style fringe passes in front of it, in what is called a “fringe-transit” event.

Meanwhile, the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank has been tuned in to the same star field listening out for a whiny accents, cheesy synthesiser riffs and the word ‘nobber’.

17 billion Coxes

Head of the study Dr Raymond Burke said, “What’s particularly interesting is four new planets are potentially in the habitable zone, the location around a star where it could potentially have enough liquid water to sustain Brian Cox’s lifestyle,”

One particular candidate dubbed K172 02 is estimated to be 1.25 times the size of earth and is thought to have an abundance of license fee payers’ money.

“It’s perfectly feasible that a humanoid Professor Brian Cox evolved on this planet before fucking up his Maths A Level and joining a risible pop combo,” Burke added.

“It’s also likely to support a city the size of Manchester that thinks it’s London and is full of idiots.”

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