50 Billion Alien Planets May Inhabit Our Milky Way Galaxy


🖥️ Staff
Nice article about the Keppler telescope and extrasolar planets.
Kepler observes a large swath of nearby stars to search for signs that they might harbor planets. Though it can identify candidate planets, these must be confirmed by follow-up observations before they are pronounced fact. [The Strangest Alien Planets]

Of the 1,235 possible planets Kepler has observed so far, 54 appear to be at a Goldilocks-like "just right" distance from their stars where temperatures would be right for liquid water. This region is called the habitable zone, because for a planet to be habitable to alien life, it would probably require water.

Extrapolating to the Milky Way as a whole, the researchers predict that at least 500 million of the galaxy's probable 50 billion planets reside in the habitable zone. That certainly offers a hopeful sign for the existence of life beyond Earth.

Kepler has also identified 68 Earth-size planet candidates in its data set. Scientists think rocky planets like Earth are also the best bets for hosting alien life.

Click here to read more: http://www.space.com/10982-kepler-alien-planets-billion-galaxy.html