‘Tens of Billions’ Of Potentially Habitable Planets In Our Galaxy
March 29, 2012
“This is amazingly awesome news. Just think about it – TENS OF BILLIONS of planets may have life – and this just in our galaxy alone. The chances of there being intelligent life in the universe (other than humans, if we can even call ourselves intelligent theses days) are astronomical. There probably isn’t just one or two intelligent species out there, there are probably thousands! These are the types of things the human race should be concerned about – not fighting with each other over religion, or who is going to win this season’s Dancing With the Stars.” –KTRN
Scientists have long assumed that the best chance of finding alien life in the universe is on planets similar to ours. The latest scientific discoveries show that there might be tens of billions of such planets in our galaxy alone.
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory in Chile came to these findings after studying more than a hundred red dwarves, the most common stars in the universe.
The French-led team found out that 40 per cent of red dwarves are orbited by super-Earths – planets up to ten times bigger than our own – which are the correct distance away from their star for liquid water to be found on them. Liquid water is considered a major precondition of life.
From then on, figuring out the amount of potentially habitable planets was only a matter of math.
“Because red dwarfs are so common – there are about 160 billion of them in the Milky Way – this leads us to the astonishing result that there are tens of billions of these planets in our galaxy alone,” lead researcher Xavier Bonfils from the Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers in Grenoble, France, said in a statement.
Despite the mind-boggling possibilities of billions of other civilizations, astronomers say it’s not time to record our interplanetary greetings just yet.