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There are billions of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, study finds


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#1 Heretic

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:56 PM

WASHINGTON — Space is vast, but it may not be so lonely after all: A study finds the Milky Way is teeming with billions of planets that are about the size of Earth, orbit stars just like our sun, and exist in the Goldilocks zone — not too hot and not too cold for life.

Astronomers using NASA data have calculated for the first time that in our galaxy alone, there are at least 8.8 billion stars with Earth-size planets in the habitable temperature zone.

The study was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

For perspective, that’s more Earth-like planets than there are people on Earth.

As for what it says about the odds that there is life somewhere out there, it means “just in our Milky Way galaxy alone, that’s 8.8 billion throws of the biological dice,” said study co-author Geoff Marcy, a longtime planet hunter from the University of California at Berkeley.

The next step, scientists say, is to look for atmospheres on these planets with powerful space telescopes that have yet to be launched. That would yield further clues to whether any of these planets do, in fact, harbour life.

The findings also raise a blaring question, Marcy said: If we aren’t alone, why is “there a deafening silence in our Milky Way galaxy from advanced civilizations?”

In the Milky Way, about 1 in 5 stars that are like our sun in size, colour and age have planets that are roughly Earth’s size and are in the habitable zone where life-crucial water can be liquid, according to intricate calculations based on four years of observations from NASA’s now-crippled Kepler telescope.

If people on Earth could only travel in deep space, “you’d probably see a lot of traffic jams,” Bill Borucki, NASA’s chief Kepler scientist, joked Monday.

The Kepler telescope peered at 42,000 stars, examining just a tiny slice of our galaxy to see how many planets like Earth are out there. Scientists then extrapolated that figure to the rest of the galaxy, which has hundreds of billions of stars.

For the first time, scientists calculated — not estimated — what per cent of stars that are just like our sun have planets similar to Earth: 22 per cent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 8 percentage points.

Kepler scientist Natalie Batalha said there is still more data to pore over before this can be considered a final figure.

There are about 200 billion stars in our galaxy, with 40 billion of them like our sun, Marcy said. One of his co-authors put the number of sun-like stars closer to 50 billion, meaning there would be at least 11 billion planets like ours.

Based on the 1-in-5 estimate, the closest Earth-size planet that is in the habitable temperature zone and circles a sun-like star is probably within 113 trillion kilometres of Earth, Marcy said.

And the 8.8 billion Earth-size planets figure is only a start. That’s because scientists were looking only at sun-like stars, which are not the most common stars.

An earlier study found that 15 per cent of the more common red dwarf stars have Earth-size planets that are close-in enough to be in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold Goldilocks Zone.

Put those together and that’s probably 40 billion right-size, right-place planets, Marcy said.

And that’s just our galaxy. There are billions of other galaxies.

Scientists at a Kepler science conference Monday said they have found 833 new candidate planets with the space telescope, bringing the total of planets they’ve spotted to 3,538, but most aren’t candidates for life.

Kepler has identified only 10 planets that are about Earth’s size circling sun-like stars and are in the habitable zone, including one called Kepler 69-c.

Because there are probably hundreds of planets missed for every one found, the study did intricate extrapolations to come up with the 22 per cent figure — a calculation that outside scientists say is fair.

“Everything they’ve done looks legitimate,” said Sara Seager, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Source:

http://www.theprovin...3795/story.html
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#2 Blame Obama

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:01 PM

*
POPULAR

"that’s more Earth-like planets than there are people on Earth"

I want my own planet :D
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#3 Luciferase

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:03 PM

Not sure why when people see that Earth like planets can exist, automatically they are looking forward to advanced civilizations existing there. It's very likely that the big news will come in the form of microbes surviving, etc. not fancy space ships. This romantic idea needs to be ditched.

Drake's equation, although flawed, is a good theoretical exercise in exactly how many factors have to come into play for "advanced civilizations", it goes far past just the "Goldilock's zone".

Posted Image

N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);
and
R* = the average rate of star formation in our galaxy
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fl = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations)
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space

Edited by Hodor, 04 November 2013 - 06:06 PM.

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#4 Warhippy

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:04 PM

I find this finding to be awesome.

To think some people STILL have issues trying to comprehend that there is indeed life out there not of this earth is a joke. The human mind is incapable of trying to comprehend the size of an ever expanding universe.

I am hopeful we will be exploring space the same way we did our planet in the 1400's and 1500's by the end of my lifetime. And having our first genuine find in regards to habitable planets as well.

Nothing short of ET sending us a text or a photo message from somewhere else in the universe is going to galvanize and motivate the planet though. it took mountains of gold to move Europe into the Americas. And I believe it will take the equivalent to send this race into space en masse the same way
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CIaude Giroux Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:15 PM


He's out for 6 months (which will hinder his development) and he really needs that development. There's already worries that he won't translate to the NHL and he'll end up a huge ass bust.

 

 


#5 Heretic

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:13 PM

I find this finding to be awesome.

To think some people STILL have issues trying to comprehend that there is indeed life out there not of this earth is a joke. The human mind is incapable of trying to comprehend the size of an ever expanding universe.

I am hopeful we will be exploring space the same way we did our planet in the 1400's and 1500's by the end of my lifetime. And having our first genuine find in regards to habitable planets as well.

Nothing short of ET sending us a text or a photo message from somewhere else in the universe is going to galvanize and motivate the planet though. it took mountains of gold to move Europe into the Americas. And I believe it will take the equivalent to send this race into space en masse the same way


Yah but....there's always a but....we need to learn to get along first before that will happen....
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#6 Pears

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:14 PM

This is exactly why people that think life only exists on Earth have issues. 8.8 billion Earth-like planets in the galaxy and our Earth is the only one with life? That just reeks of BS.
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#7 Jester13

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:16 PM

So. Awesome.

There are two discoveries that I wish I get to experience before I die:

1) Scientists figure out how to live forever.

2) Scientists find life on another planet.

Praise Science!!!
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#8 TheEhrhoffEffect

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:19 PM

In my opinion, the biggest discovery in our lifetime will be the discovery of alien life on another planet. Not in the "independence day" sort of way, but in terms of intelligent life on another planet. Even though current physics/science say it is virtually a miracle for advanced civilizations to live across the universe, it is still more possible than not IMO. Science has been proven wrong before, and it will evolve and change dramatically when this discovery happens. I just hope it happens before I kick the bucket.
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#9 CanucksSayEh

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:27 PM

Yah but....there's always a but....we need to learn to get along first before that will happen....

"that’s more Earth-like planets than there are people on Earth"

I want my own planet :D


Don't need to get along if we can all get this guys wish.
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#10 Warhippy

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:32 PM

Yah but....there's always a but....we need to learn to get along first before that will happen....

Not entirely true. but some accounts Spain and Portugal were both at risk of major war and Spain itself was apparently at risk of civil war, promise of land slaves and gold galvanized both nations and moved them from aggression and the like into expansion.

Gods know, if we found life anywhere else whole nations would be lining up to simultaneously obliterate it and examine the remains.
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CIaude Giroux Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:15 PM


He's out for 6 months (which will hinder his development) and he really needs that development. There's already worries that he won't translate to the NHL and he'll end up a huge ass bust.

 

 


#11 Warhippy

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:33 PM

Not sure why when people see that Earth like planets can exist, automatically they are looking forward to advanced civilizations existing there. It's very likely that the big news will come in the form of microbes surviving, etc. not fancy space ships. This romantic idea needs to be ditched.

Drake's equation, although flawed, is a good theoretical exercise in exactly how many factors have to come into play for "advanced civilizations", it goes far past just the "Goldilock's zone".

Posted Image

N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);
and
R* = the average rate of star formation in our galaxy
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fl = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations)
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space

There are far to many big letters in there for me to comprehend.
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CIaude Giroux Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:15 PM


He's out for 6 months (which will hinder his development) and he really needs that development. There's already worries that he won't translate to the NHL and he'll end up a huge ass bust.

 

 


#12 theminister

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:34 PM

Not entirely true. but some accounts Spain and Portugal were both at risk of major war and Spain itself was apparently at risk of civil war, promise of land slaves and gold galvanized both nations and moved them from aggression and the like into expansion.

Gods know, if we found life anywhere else whole nations would be lining up to simultaneously obliterate it and examine the remains.


What if aliens taste like bacon and are slow moving?
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#13 Heretic

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:36 PM

There are far to many big letters in there for me to comprehend.


Just read through one of my favourite theories:

http://en.wikipedia....i/Fermi_paradox
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#14 In the Slot

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:41 PM

"that’s more Earth-like planets than there are people on Earth"

I want my own planet :D


Can we give some of the trolls on here one as well?

:bigblush:
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#15 In the Slot

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:41 PM

What if aliens taste like bacon and are slow moving?


what if WE taste like bacon to them and they are faster?

:shock:
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#16 TheLiveWire

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:42 PM

I feel like this is an example of when Science just proves what should be common sense. I've always said, with how gigantic the universe is, and how many planets there are that we know of, (Which is less than 1 percent) theres no way there arent a other planets like Earth. But now we have evidence and data to support it, so to that I say, fantastic.
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#17 Warhippy

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:42 PM

What if aliens taste like bacon and are slow moving?

extermination by feeding frenzy?

Or alternatively earthlings die a slow death via obesity and clogged arteries with a smile
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CIaude Giroux Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:15 PM


He's out for 6 months (which will hinder his development) and he really needs that development. There's already worries that he won't translate to the NHL and he'll end up a huge ass bust.

 

 


#18 Luciferase

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:44 PM

In my opinion, the biggest discovery in our lifetime will be the discovery of alien life on another planet. Not in the "independence day" sort of way, but in terms of intelligent life on another planet. Even though current physics/science say it is virtually a miracle for advanced civilizations to live across the universe, it is still more possible than not IMO. Science has been proven wrong before, and it will evolve and change dramatically when this discovery happens. I just hope it happens before I kick the bucket.


Why is that? Just an inkling? Think about it.

Advanced civilizations may exist but the probability of that multiplied by them being at a reachable distance in the universe and again multiplied by the attempt of contact by us (or them) getting through at a relevant time which again multiplied by the probability of either sides being able to decipher what on earth we're trying to send as a message is. too. damn. low. And it's naive to think that will be possible in the next 50 years.

Optimism is good though I guess. But prepare yourself for disappointment. I am excited to see Archea survive Martian atmosphere.

There are far to many big letters in there for me to comprehend.


Letters or words?
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#19 Mustapha

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:48 PM

Not entirely true. but some accounts Spain and Portugal were both at risk of major war and Spain itself was apparently at risk of civil war, promise of land slaves and gold galvanized both nations and moved them from aggression and the like into expansion.

Gods know, if we found life anywhere else whole nations would be lining up to simultaneously obliterate it and examine the remains.


I don't know if you can make a direct comparison between the discovery and colonization of the Americas and space exploration.

The technology to sail across the Atlantic already existed, whereas the technology needed to even attempt any exploration outside our solar system within a reasonable timeframe may not exist for some time.

Humanity has come a long way, but the frontiers of space are so massive that we may not survive long enough as a civilization to progress far enough to really 'blast off' of Earth.
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#20 Warhippy

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:48 PM

Why is that? Just an inkling? Think about it.

Advanced civilizations may exist but the probability of that multiplied by them being at a reachable distance in the universe and again multiplied by the attempt of contact by us (or them) getting through at a relevant time which again multiplied by the probability of either sides being able to decipher what on earth we're trying to send as a message is. too. damn. low. And it's naive to think that will be possible in the next 50 years.

Optimism is good though I guess. But prepare yourself for disappointment. I am excited to see Archea survive Martian atmosphere.



Letters or words?

Letters, in near italic font. it is intimidating. and you had a word that looked like "THE" in there and I nearly fell over from apoplexy
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CIaude Giroux Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:15 PM


He's out for 6 months (which will hinder his development) and he really needs that development. There's already worries that he won't translate to the NHL and he'll end up a huge ass bust.

 

 


#21 Warhippy

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:51 PM

I don't know if you can make a direct comparison between the discovery and colonization of the Americas and space exploration.

The technology to sail across the Atlantic already existed, whereas the technology needed to even attempt any exploration outside our solar system within a reasonable timeframe may not exist for some time.

Humanity has come a long way, but the frontiers of space are so massive that we may not survive long enough as a civilization to progress far enough to really 'blast off' of Earth.

I am making the simple correlation of no exploration due to "who cares" vs a race to get there first via greed.

If we find either life or wealth via minerals/gasses watch how fast mankind moves. Corporations are already apparently building capture devices in an attempt to figure out how to get helium from our local gas giants back to earth. We have an asteroid in our area said to contain almost 200,000 X the amount of gold on earth now. We also have verification or rare earth mineral content in easily found asteroids in our area.

Once greed kicks into high gear it will override most other basic functions and we will kick start that race to the stars.

Provided we don't wipe ourselves out first
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CIaude Giroux Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:15 PM


He's out for 6 months (which will hinder his development) and he really needs that development. There's already worries that he won't translate to the NHL and he'll end up a huge ass bust.

 

 


#22 Mustapha

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:54 PM

I am making the simple correlation of no exploration due to "who cares" vs a race to get there first via greed.

If we find either life or wealth via minerals/gasses watch how fast mankind moves. Corporations are already apparently building capture devices in an attempt to figure out how to get helium from our local gas giants back to earth. We have an asteroid in our area said to contain almost 200,000 X the amount of gold on earth now. We also have verification or rare earth mineral content in easily found asteroids in our area.

Once greed kicks into high gear it will override most other basic functions and we will kick start that race to the stars.

Provided we don't wipe ourselves out first


I totally understand what you mean.

The only reason I am skeptical is because other solar systems are really really far away....hell, even at lightspeed it may take a century to go somewhere, check it out, and come back.
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#23 NightHawkSniper

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:05 PM

"that’s more Earth-like planets than there are people on Earth"

I want my own planet :D


2's better than 1
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#24 Warhippy

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:06 PM

I totally understand what you mean.

The only reason I am skeptical is because other solar systems are really really far away....hell, even at lightspeed it may take a century to go somewhere, check it out, and come back.

No question, watch "Evacuate the Earth" on discovery sometime, amazing theoretical conversation about how we'd abandon earth in the event of a planetary catastrophe

Needless to say, once we start getting out there, we will start getting out there in ever faster ways. Scram jet tech is awesome, plasma engines are really looking promising. and the cluster bomb or bomblette theory (nuclear detonations every few moments behind a shield to promote propulsion) also looks good.

But as we get ever farther out into space for at least extraction in our area, we will be developing tech to get us ever farther out for ever more. We are a voracious species and the one thing that has caused us to move further faster is greed. Besides war, resource exploration and extraction has lead us to our greatest leaps forward
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CIaude Giroux Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:15 PM


He's out for 6 months (which will hinder his development) and he really needs that development. There's already worries that he won't translate to the NHL and he'll end up a huge ass bust.

 

 


#25 theminister

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:07 PM

what if WE taste like bacon to them and they are faster?

:shock:


We DO taste like bacon.
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#26 NightHawkSniper

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:08 PM

Imagine all those other earth-like planets are just alternate time-lines to our earth...
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#27 PlayStation

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:43 PM

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"Real Men" :bigblush:

#28 RockNroLLa.

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 08:30 PM

its nice to see someone post stuff like this, thanks
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#29 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:46 PM

Not sure why when people see that Earth like planets can exist, automatically they are looking forward to advanced civilizations existing there. It's very likely that the big news will come in the form of microbes surviving, etc. not fancy space ships. This romantic idea needs to be ditched.

Drake's equation, although flawed, is a good theoretical exercise in exactly how many factors have to come into play for "advanced civilizations", it goes far past just the "Goldilock's zone".

Posted Image

N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);
and
R* = the average rate of star formation in our galaxy
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fl = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations)
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space


You should just post the Sagan video. Much better listening to him than reading about this.
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#30 Gustavo Fring

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:16 PM

Yah but....there's always a but....we need to learn to get along first before that will happen....


Nothing but truth. I can only see bad things happening once we start settling into planets.

Mankind can never learn from history.
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