Years before NASA’s Kepler space telescope revealed that the galaxy is replete with planets, some astronomers were trying to figure out how to survey the solar neighborhood for potential Earthlike worlds. But that was not what Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) physicist George Ricker was mulling.  Ricker was the lead scientist on the international High-Energy Transient Explorer 2 (HETE-2) telescope, which was launched in October 2000 to look for gamma ray ...


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