Some exoplanet searches could be missing nearly half of the Earth-sized planets around other stars. New findings from a team that includes Elise Furlan and David Ciardi at Caltech/IPAC - NExScI suggest that Earth-sized worlds could be lurking undiscovered in binary star systems, hidden in the glare of their parent stars. As roughly half of all stars are in binary systems, this means that astronomers could be missing many Earth-sized worlds.
More information about the discovery is available in a news release from NOIRlab (https://noirlab.edu/public/news/noirlab2120) - and in a paper accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal (https://arxiv.org/abs/2106.13354).
These findings arose from the TESS Companion survey, a collaboration between NExScI and NASA Ames utilizing high resolution speckle imaging on the Gemini telescope. The community-oriented program is surveying the TESS planetary candidates for stellar companions and providing the data and results to the community through NExScI’s ExoFOP service.