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New Estimate for Alien Earths: 2 Billion in Our Galaxy Alone
Space.com ^ | 3/21/11 | Charles Q. Choi

Posted on 03/22/2011 4:21:35 PM PDT by LibWhacker

Roughly one out of every 37 to one out of every 70 sunlike stars in the sky might harbor an alien Earth, a new study reveals.

These findings hint that billions of Earthlike planets might exist in our galaxy, researchers added.

These new calculations are based in data from the Kepler space telescope, which in February wowed the globe by revealing more than 1,200 possible alien worlds, including 68 potentially Earth-size planets. The spacecraft does so by looking for the dimming that occurs when a world transits or moves in front of a star.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., focused on roughly Earth-size planets within the habitable zones of their stars — that is, orbits where liquid water can exist on the surfaces of those worlds. [The Strangest Alien Planets]

After the researchers analyzed the four months of data in this initial batch of readings from Kepler, they determined that 1.4 to 2.7 percent of all sunlike stars are expected to have Earthlike planets — ones that are between 0.8 and two times Earth's diameter and within the habitable zones of their stars.

"This means there are a lot of Earth analogs out there — two billion in the Milky Way galaxy," researcher Joseph Catanzarite, an astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told SPACE.com. "With that large a number, there's a good chance life and maybe even intelligent life might exist on some of those planets. And that's just our galaxy alone — there are 50 billion other galaxies."

After three to four years of Kepler data are investigated, the scientists predict a total of 12 Earthlike worlds will be found. Four of these have already been seen in the four months of data released so far, they added. Kepler mission scientists have estimated that, altogether, there could be 50 billion planets in the Milky Way, though not all would be Earth-size worlds within the habitable zone of their local stars. [NASA's Kepler Telescope By-The-Numbers]

When it comes to the 100 nearest sunlike stars within a few dozen light years, these findings suggest that only about two might have Earthlike worlds. Still, Catanzarite did note that red dwarfs might host Earthlike planets as well, and that such stars are far more common than sunlike stars.

Although researchers will find it much harder to detect an Earth-size planet transiting in front of dim red dwarfs, scientists are currently trying to detect such planets around these stars by the gravitational tugs they would exert on each other.

"I'd expect to hear one day about habitable Earth analogs around these stars," Catanzarite said.

Catanzarite and his colleague Michael Shao detailed their findings online March 8 in a paper submitted to the Astrophysical Journal.


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: alien; earths; estimate; galaxy; xplanets

1 posted on 03/22/2011 4:21:40 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

Illegal aliens, Earth Aliens, WHAT the difference! NONE!


2 posted on 03/22/2011 4:23:55 PM PDT by chicagolady (Mexican Elite say: EXPORT Poverty Let the American Taxpayer foot the bill !)
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To: LibWhacker

I think they have taken over the TV.


3 posted on 03/22/2011 4:24:32 PM PDT by screaminsunshine (34 States)
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To: LibWhacker

People seem to confuse speculation with acknowledgment of reality.


4 posted on 03/22/2011 4:29:15 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (You is what you am.)
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To: screaminsunshine

And Sammy Hager


5 posted on 03/22/2011 4:32:02 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom!!! <sarc>)
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To: SunkenCiv

ping


6 posted on 03/22/2011 4:32:22 PM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: LibWhacker

Extraterrestrial Aliens:

Ever see the movie Casablanca?? Well, that’s how aliens use Earth.
Most are like you and me. They are just trying to make a living.Many are NYC cab drivers and others are in the NBA.

Elvis Presley was an Alien but he did not die,he just went home.


7 posted on 03/22/2011 4:35:37 PM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: LibWhacker

Cool. I think it won’t be a bad thing when every little group can have their own planet. Israel can have one, the gun hating liberal maniacs can have one where they can tax themselves into penury, the decent Americans can have one, and etc.

Naturally, the muslims will still want to kill everyone.


8 posted on 03/22/2011 4:40:13 PM PDT by MeganC (NO WAR FOR OIL! ........except when a Democrat's in charge.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

“People seem to confuse speculation with acknowledgment of reality.”

Been watching too much CNN lately, huh?


9 posted on 03/22/2011 4:41:23 PM PDT by MeganC (NO WAR FOR OIL! ........except when a Democrat's in charge.)
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To: MeganC
I envision an earthlike planet still inhabited by small dinosaurs. The Leftwingtards are all sent there ~ not just the pacifistic ones ~ and are given long sticks with bunny paws mounted on the front (rather than sharp points).

They fight the small dinosaurs and each other endlessly.

10 posted on 03/22/2011 4:43:51 PM PDT by muawiyah (Make America Safe For Amercans)
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To: LibWhacker

Can we send odumbo to be president of one of the other ones?


11 posted on 03/22/2011 4:44:36 PM PDT by taillightchaser
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To: muawiyah

If you send the Libtards to Dinotopia naked and with no industrial implements whatsoever so that they can be one with nature I’d be happy. Likely too, the dinosaurs would thank you for the food.


12 posted on 03/22/2011 4:47:20 PM PDT by MeganC (NO WAR FOR OIL! ........except when a Democrat's in charge.)
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To: MeganC

Sorry, no. There may be billions of other planets, some supporting life. There may not. CNN viewers will equate the speculation with certainty by presumption. Then they’ll demand that government implement policies based upon it.


13 posted on 03/22/2011 4:48:18 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (You is what you am.)
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To: LibWhacker

It isn’t called INFINITY for NOTHING!!


14 posted on 03/22/2011 4:54:36 PM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion is the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: raybbr; KevinDavis; annie laurie; garbageseeker; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; ...

Thanks raybbr.
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

15 posted on 03/22/2011 4:56:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: LibWhacker
This could be good news...

Or bad news...


16 posted on 03/22/2011 5:05:23 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps ("Barack Obama" is Swahili for "Jimmy Carter".)
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To: LibWhacker


17 posted on 03/22/2011 5:11:31 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: LibWhacker

“Roughly one out of every 37 to one out of every 70 sunlike stars in the sky MIGHT harbor an alien Earth, a new study reveals.”

“These findings hint that billions of Earthlike planets MIGHT exist in our galaxy, researchers added.”

Might, maybe, potential, possible, but in the end - no one knows if life exists anywhere else. Sounds like wishful thinking - or, more probable, an appeal for more federal funding.


18 posted on 03/22/2011 5:12:30 PM PDT by Nevadan
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To: GreenLanternCorps
Of course, in the Liberal World View. . . .WE are the Evil Invaders.

For example, the liberal view of most of us here. . .


19 posted on 03/22/2011 5:17:31 PM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border: I dare you to try and cross it. . .)
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To: LibWhacker

Just because a planet is in the right place and has the right elements does not guarantee life. Unless you believe in evolution.


20 posted on 03/22/2011 5:19:48 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to GOD! Thomas Jefferson)
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To: LibWhacker

“Earth” like planets are very rare. Billions of galaxies, but only a small percentage have conditions that allow life. The Habitable Zone in these favorable galaxies further reduces chances for life. Fewer still are stars like Sol. Etc. etc. Hundreds of recently discovered life-limiting constraints are providing reasons why it is reasonable to believe that life is rare.


21 posted on 03/22/2011 5:27:58 PM PDT by Imnidiot (THIS SPACE FOR RENT)
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To: LibWhacker

Inhabiting the worlds Earthlings won’t inhabit.


22 posted on 03/22/2011 5:36:15 PM PDT by AndrewB (FUBO)
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To: LibWhacker

Science fiction...not science.


23 posted on 03/22/2011 5:47:05 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: LibWhacker
Dibs on the one with green Orion slave women.

And oceans of water without monsters in them.

24 posted on 03/23/2011 11:04:38 AM PDT by Dr. Sheldon Cooper (If Mohammed were alive today, he wouldnÂ’t be allowed to live within 1000 yards of a school.)
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