Monday, November 4, 2013

STUDY: 1 in 5 stars like our sun have planets in a habitable zone!

NASA recently completed analysis of Kepler telescope data and findings form the Keck telescope in Hawaii, examining  stars similar to our sun (G and K type). They were looking for candidates that might have planets in habitable "Goldilocks" zones.

Scientists focused on 42,000 stars and found more than 600 planets--10 of those are Earth-sized in habitable zones! From Universe Today:
Since there are about 200 billion stars in our galaxy, with 40 billion of them like our Sun, noted planet-hunter Geoff Marcy said that gives us about 8.8 billion Earth-size planets in the Milky Way.

“For NASA, this number – that every fifth star has a planet somewhat like Earth – is really important, because successor missions to Kepler will try to take an actual picture of a planet, and the size of the telescope they have to build depends on how close the nearest Earth-size planets are,” said Andrew Howard, astronomer with the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. “An abundance of planets orbiting nearby stars simplifies such follow-up missions.”

While it's true not all are likely to be hospitable to life, this gives researchers a specific pool of candidates to examine for further study. Looks like more great news for exoplanet research!!

Read more at Universe Today


  1. Holy Drake's Equation!

    Awesomesauce my friend. Thanks for posting this!