Jan
08
2013

There are a whole lot of Earth wannbes out there in space

More Earths on the horizon?: Who knows how many potential new Earths are out there circling other stars in the Milky Way?
More Earths on the horizon?: Who knows how many potential new Earths are out there circling other stars in the Milky Way?Courtesy NASA
We like to think of our home planet – Earth – as a pretty unique place. It's the only planet in our solar system capable of sustaining life. We look through telescopes and to see exotic looking planets of various sizes and shapes. But we're the one and only Earth, right?

A new census of planets in the Milky Way galaxy shakes up that thinking. New data collected by NASA's Kepler spacecraft pegs one in six stars in the Milky Way of having planets that are the same size as Earth. That one-sixth fraction translates into an estimate of about 17 billion planets that are the same approximate size as our home.

So we're not as exclusive as might like to think. But the exclusivity meters edges back toward us when you factor in the Goldilocks zone – a distance from the host star that's not too hot nor too cold to sustain life. So far, extended research on the new-found planets has identified only four Earth-sized planets that could possibly reside in a Goldilocks zone. The Kepler project has identified a total of 2,740 potential new planets with more research ongoing.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Rain Man's picture
Rain Man says:

We need people to relize what plastic is doing to our enviorment and make it compostable and safe and maybe vn cut down on what we make out of plastic - perruques

posted on Tue, 10/29/2013 - 3:24am
Spacemanrick's picture
Spacemanrick says:

I think that there would be many of planets out there using the suns energy to produce life just like us and also very different kinds we can't even imagine

posted on Thu, 07/31/2014 - 10:52am

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