Anyone Still Think We are the Only Ones Out There?

Posted March 30, 2012 by Johnny2x in Science

If so then you are wrong. I would go as far as to say this proves there is life out there.

A new study reports that there are AT LEAST billions of Habitable plantes in our galaxy alone. BILLIONS!

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817,2402279,00.asp” target=”_blank”>pcmag.com

Study Estimates Billions of ‘Habitable’ Milky Way Planets

Scientists have eagerly been searching for just one habitable planet beyond Earth, but could there actually be billions?

According to new research from the European Southern Observatory’s High Accuracy Radical velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), there are a number of rocky planets not much larger than Earth located in the “habitable zone” around faint red stars.

There could be tens of billions of these planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, HARPS said today, and about 100 in the Sun’s immediate vicinity.

Red dwarf stars are the most common star in the Milky Way, and the HARPS team has been looking for exoplanets in their orbit. Specifically, they examined 102 red dwarf stars for a six-year period. They discovered nine super-Earths, or planets that are one to 10 times the size of Earth, including two inside the habitable zone.

“Our new observations with HARPS mean that about 40 percent of all red dwarf stars have a super-Earth orbiting in the habitable zone where liquid water can exist on the surface of the planet,” Xavier Bonfils with France’s Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers de Grenoble and leader of the team,” said in a statement. “Because red dwarfs are so common — there are about 160 billion of them in the Milky Way — this leads us to the astonishing result that there are tens of billions of these planets in our galaxy alone.”

A larger planet the size of Jupiter and Saturn in the area is more rare, or about 12 percent.

But before you think about booking a trip to a nearby super-Earth, HARPS said the 100 planets in the Sun’s habitable zone are still up to 30 light years away and not exactly “habitable” as we might expect here on Earth.

“The habitable zone around a red dwarf, where the temperature is suitable for liquid water to exist on the surface, is much closer to the star than the Earth is to the Sun,” said Stéphane Udry with the Geneva Observatory and a member of the team. “But red dwarfs are known to be subject to stellar eruptions or flares, which may bathe the planet in X-rays or ultraviolet radiation, and which may make life there less likely.”

One of the planets identified is known as Gliese 667 Cc. It’s more than four times heavier than Earth, but has the right conditions for the existence of liquid water. It’s the second super-Earth planet discovered inside the habitable zone by the HARPS team behind Gliese 581d, which was confirmed in 2009.

In August, data gathered from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) suggested the possibility of flowing water on the Red Planet during the warmest months of the year.

For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.

 

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Johnny2x

John created the HowsYourRobot.com just because he cares about each and everyone of you. He likes science, technology, movies, and music. He also likes long walks in the park but only at night and in most dangerous park he can find AND he discovered the internet while playing in his back yard as a child. Some of this is true and some of it is not.

 
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