Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Many more planets, just like ours

By Michael J.W. Stickings


The Times reports on a remarkable discovery:

The known odds of something — or someone — living far, far away from Earth improved beyond astronomers' boldest dreams on Monday. 

Astronomers reported that there could be as many as 40 billion habitable Earth-size planets in the galaxy, based on a new analysis of data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft.

One out of every five sunlike stars in the galaxy has a planet the size of Earth circling it in the Goldilocks zone — not too hot, not too cold — where surface temperatures should be compatible with liquid water, according to a herculean three-year calculation based on data from the Kepler spacecraft by Erik Petigura, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. 

I wonder if the inhabitants of those planets are fucking up their worlds the way we are.

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