Earth-Like Planets Are Likely Out There, Astronomers Say

Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 05:42 PM

By David Ogul

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
There could be billions of Earth-like planets orbiting around stars in the Milky Way, according to a new study by astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Hawaii.

The discovery, UC Berkeley astronomer Geoffrey Marcy told the Los Angeles Times, “represents one great leap toward the possibility of life, including intelligent life, in the universe.”

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

In all, astronomers calculate that one in five stars like the sun hosts a planet that could hold water on its surface. The findings were published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That means there could be some 8.8 billion stars in the galaxy with planets roughly the same size as Earth and with a surface temperature that could sustain life.

“Planets like our Earth are relatively common throughout the Milky Way galaxy,” University of Hawaii astronomer Andrew Howard told USA Today, adding that he estimates the number at 40 billion.

The estimate is based on the latest statistical analysis on observations from the Kepler telescope, a space-based observatory launched four years ago with the intent of locating planets around other stars.

“It seems that the universe produces plentiful real estate for life that somehow resembles life on Earth," UC Berkeley astronomer Erik Petigura told The New York Times. The nearest such planet, he added, could be as close as just 12 light years away.

The Times noted, however, that the latest estimates are far from certain. For example, while the planets may be the same size as Earth, their masses have not been measured. We have no way of knowing – yet – whether they are rocky like the Earth or balls of ice or gas. And astronomers don’t know if anything can survive on them.

Also not known is whether the other Earth-like planets have Twitter.

Editor's Note: Do You Support Obamacare? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Darren Wilson to Resign as Nation Waits on Ferguson Decision: Report

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 15:42 PM

Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Ferguson teenager Michael Brown in August, is in talks to resign h . . .

Oil Platform Explosion in Gulf of Mexico Kills 1, Injures 3

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 15:33 PM

An oil platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico left one person dead and three injured on Thursday, The Associated Press . . .

Daniel Handler Apologizes - Again - for Racist Watermelon Joke

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 15:16 PM

Daniel Handler, author of the "Lemony Snicket" children's books, apologized for the second time on Friday for a "racist" . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved