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Almost every star hosts an alien planet


Posted on Thursday, 6 March, 2014 | Comment icon 34 comments

Finding a second Earth is just a matter of time. Image Credit: NASA
Recent studies have revealed that extrasolar planets are extremely abundant throughout the universe.
It has only been around 20 years since the first confirmed extrasolar planet was discovered and now the total has reached more than 1800.

So many of these planets have been found in fact that astronomers now believe that the vast majority of stars in our universe are likely to be orbited by at least one alien world.

The conclusion was reached thanks to a new study in to the prevalence of planets orbiting red dwarfs which make up over three quarters of the stars in our galaxy. By identifying an abundance of planets around these bodies it became possible to extrapolate an overall estimate for the percentage of stars with and without planets across the cosmos.

"We are clearly probing a highly abundant population of low-mass planets, and can readily expect to find many more in the near future - even around the very closest stars to the sun," said study lead author Mikko Tuomi.

Source: Space.com | Comments (34)

Tags: Extrasolar Planet


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #25 Posted by Sundew on 11 March, 2014, 2:48
As for tech. Life forms they need to have some sort of grasping hand and time to come up with it. Is an elephant has a grasping hand, its trunk, but doesn't have enough time to come up with tech. Not necessarily, the octopus is very intelligent (the most intelligent invertebrate animal) and is quite capable of manipulation of objects, solving problems and learning. However, in its way of reproduction, its young are typically born after the female, which guards the eggs, is either dead or dying, so there is no way to pass learned information on to the next generation. It is interesting to note ... [More]
Comment icon #26 Posted by Merc14 on 11 March, 2014, 2:54
Not necessarily, the octopus is very intelligent (the most intelligent invertebrate animal) and is quite capable of manipulation of objects, solving problems and learning. However, in its way of reproduction, its young are typically born after the female, which guards the eggs, is either dead or dying, so there is no way to pass learned information on to the next generation. It is interesting to note that there are octopi living on the flanks of a constantly erupting volcano where the landscape is constantly changing (as bits of rock rain into the sea) have had to abandon a solitary existence ... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by Sundew on 11 March, 2014, 3:12
Can you post a link to that octopus colony story, I can't find it and I'd love to read about it. My son loves these creatures although he is partial to the cuttlefish which he thinks are smarter. It was from a video I saw on television, it's from Octopus Volcano, National Geographic. I found it online but it's in Arabic, there is also another one I think is in English but apparently I am missing a plug in to view it. You can Goggle it, maybe you'll find one that works. Good luck!
Comment icon #28 Posted by Merc14 on 11 March, 2014, 3:17
It was from a video I saw on television, it's from Octopus Volcano, National Geographic. I found it online but it's in Arabic, there is also another one I think is in English but apparently I am missing a plug in to view it. You can Goggle it, maybe you'll find one that works. Good luck! Got it and it is on Nat Geo Wild on Tuesday, March 18th at 10:30PM, here in the states. Thanks! I'll make sure to record it for my son (and me!).
Comment icon #29 Posted by Peter B on 11 March, 2014, 10:16
We need to stop thinking we are unique in the universe... Based on the comments on this thread alone, it seems few people think that.
Comment icon #30 Posted by danielost on 12 March, 2014, 2:27
What I don't understand is who are we to decide what elements create life? Alien life can be present anywhere under any conditions. Maybe they absorb sunlight as food (photosynthesis), may not drink water, may not need sunlight, or warm temperatures like us. We just don't know. Water is the only element it's solid floats in its liquid.
Comment icon #31 Posted by psyche101 on 12 March, 2014, 4:48
Evolution offers the potential for an almost infinite variety of life. To assume it would be so dull as to come up with the same answer each time seems a somewhat limited view. I disagree, convergent evolution shows us that a good design will be seen again, and Darwin's Finches took on attributes of other known species to provide the simplest solution to fill a niche. Life itself replicates, that is how it begins - cells divide, and our solar system indicates that life requires strictly parameters to begin and flourish. If life requires an "earth like planet" to begin and survive, it seem like... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by Captain Zim on 13 March, 2014, 19:13
Agreed; there seems to be a certain "ideal size" for a terrestrial planet to hold life: large enough to support tectonic activity and magnetic field; small enough to not have a chokingly thick greenhouse atmosphere. Of course, there will be many unusual exceptions and our knowledge of such will grow... but I think we would see something like deep-sea squid in the oceans of Europa and Ganymede if complex life does in fact exist there. Furthermore we can probably guess at what primate-like species would do in terms of technological development... probably rockets at first to shoot out of the atm... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by Captain Zim on 13 March, 2014, 19:21
Water is the only element it's solid floats in its liquid. Hydrogen and oxygen are rather common too. Plus dihydrogen oxide is an important solvent and reactant in many biological and geological processes. EDIT: Ahhh, I forgot who I was replying to here. Anyhoo... Liquid gallium, bismuth, acetic acid and couple others have solids less dense than their liquids. But I doubt we'll see oceans and icebergs of liquid gallium. Acetic acid of course will eventually break down to CO2 and H20 anyway. The odds of vinegar-based life however...
Comment icon #34 Posted by danielost on 15 March, 2014, 16:04
Hydrogen and oxygen are rather common too. Plus dihydrogen oxide is an important solvent and reactant in many biological and geological processes. EDIT: Ahhh, I forgot who I was replying to here. Anyhoo... Liquid gallium, bismuth, acetic acid and couple others have solids less dense than their liquids. But I doubt we'll see oceans and icebergs of liquid gallium. Acetic acid of course will eventually break down to CO2 and H20 anyway. The odds of vinegar-based life however... Sorry I should have said naturally occurringelement. Bismuth only occurs in a smelter.


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