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1 in 5 stars orbited by habitable world


Posted on Thursday, 7 November, 2013 | Comment icon 25 comments

How long will it be before we discover Earth 2.0 ? Image Credit: NASA
Scientists believe that our universe is filled with far more habitable planets than previously thought.
According to a new analysis of data collected by the Kepler Space Telescope, the cosmos could be teeming with habitable planets with the potential for there to be at least one life-supporting world for every five stars in the universe.

The revelation could mean that Earth, far from being unique, is just one of billions of habitable planets scattered throughout our Milky Way galaxy alone.

"When you look up at the stars in the night sky, how many of them have a planet like the Earth?" asked lead author Erik Petigura. "We’re able to start answering this question."

The Kepler Space Telescope, from which the data is derived, was launched in 2009 and has since studied more than 150,000 stars in the constellation Cygnus.

Source: Washington Post | Comments (25)

Tags: Extrasolar Planet

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 8 November, 2013, 0:23
Wouldn't it be dandy if we figured out how to coexist on this world before we screw up another? Taking into account that we aren't actually capable of reaching any of these planets yet your comment is relevant how exactly?
Comment icon #17 Posted by coolguy on 8 November, 2013, 6:01
I bet there is plenty of life on these planets humans on one. Dino's on others aliens on some to
Comment icon #18 Posted by highdesert50 on 8 November, 2013, 6:43
As our abilities to more accurately probe these planets becomes more sophisticated, the opportunity to compare the probabilistic events that led to the emergence of man on Earth as compared to environmentally identical worlds should yield rather interesting insights relative to randomness of brief cataclysmic events and those of subtle but sustained evolution.
Comment icon #19 Posted by brkuzma on 8 November, 2013, 8:16
Just because WE HUMANS can't survive naked on a planet it doesn't make it inhabitable for life. I bet there are only a handful that are like Earth.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Frank Merton on 8 November, 2013, 8:32
I'm doubtful we will find much in the way of "advanced" life, since if it were common it seems we should already have seen various sorts of signs of it. However, earth-like or nearly earth-like planets that we can adapt to hold no end of wonderful possibility, so long as they are not already occupied. If they are already occupied, they may be off bounds for us as the chemistries almost certainly will not be able to tolerate each other, and interfering with local evolution would hold huge moral consequences.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Mind Explorer on 8 November, 2013, 11:03
Man...this is exciting! I can invision in a 1000 years a Star Trek type of scenario lol. Just because WE HUMANS can't survive naked on a planet it doesn't make it inhabitable for life. I bet there are only a handful that are like Earth. Agreed. This also solves the whole 'habitable zone' argument. Just because it's uninhabitable to us doesn't mean some other species could not have evolved on it. I'm doubtful we will find much in the way of "advanced" life, since if it were common it seems we should already have seen various sorts of signs of it. However, earth-like or nearly earth-like planets... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by lightly on 8 November, 2013, 13:24
We have a tendency to think that planets must be earth-like to sustain life? .. and that Life forms would be ' familiar ' . Maybe ... maybe not.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Frank Merton on 8 November, 2013, 13:37
We have a tendency to think that planets must be earth-like to sustain life? .. and that Life forms would be ' familiar ' . Maybe ... maybe not. Not for lack of trying but no one has proposed a chemistry other than the one based on carbon chains that seems like it would work at all well in living things. For that reason you need water in a liquid state and hence certain temperatures and pressures. Whether the similarities need go further (such as using amino acids) is less assured, but it seems likely.
Comment icon #24 Posted by lightly on 8 November, 2013, 20:13
Not for lack of trying but no one has proposed a chemistry other than the one based on carbon chains that seems like it would work at all well in living things. For that reason you need water in a liquid state and hence certain temperatures and pressures. Whether the similarities need go further (such as using amino acids) is less assured, but it seems likely. Thank you Frank, hm.. i see!
Comment icon #25 Posted by Harte on 9 November, 2013, 16:43
I can't get past the "humans can't survive naked" comment. Who walks around naked anyway? If there are some planets we could survive on naked, how much is the cover charge? Last one: on one of the naked planets, - is the majority of the population young? If not, I'm pretty sure I don't want to go there! Harte


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