50 billion planets in our galaxy

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Chris, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have estimated the first cosmic census of planets in our galaxy and the numbers are astronomical: at least 50 billion planets in the Milky Way.

    At least 500 million of those planets are in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold zone where life could exist. The numbers were extrapolated from the early results of NASA's planet-hunting Kepler telescope.

    Kepler science chief William Borucki says scientists took the number of planets they found in the first year of searching a small part of the night sky and then made an estimate on how likely stars are to have planets. Kepler spots planets as they pass between Earth and the star it orbits.

    So far Kepler has found 1,235 candidate planets, with 54 in the Goldilocks zone, where life could possibly exist. Kepler's main mission is not to examine individual worlds, but give astronomers a sense of how many planets, especially potentially habitable ones, there are likely to be in our galaxy. They would use the one-four-hundredth of the night sky that Kepler is looking at and extrapolate from there.

    The Associated Press: Cosmic census finds crowd of planets in our galaxy
     
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  2. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Granny says, "Dat's right - the gubmint gettin' ready to tell the truth dat dey really is lil' green men...
    :cool:
    Study: Earth-Like Planets Closer Than Expected
    February 06, 2013 - Astronomers say there could be as many as 4.5 billion Earth-like planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and the nearest of them could be practically next door, in cosmic terms.
     
  3. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Granny wantin' to know how we s'posed to find out which o' dem space aliens is flingin' meteors at us?
    :eusa_eh:
    Kepler Malfunction Imperils Search for Distant Earths
    May 15, 2013 - NASA says its Kepler space telescope, which has been leading the search for Earth-like planets throughout the universe, has been crippled by the failure of one of the mechanical reaction wheels that helps keep it pointed.
     
  4. Politico
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    Politico Gold Member

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    They are all guesses of course. But there's gotta be some out there. If we are the only intelligent form of life the universe is fucked.
     
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  5. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    Time to increase nasa's budget to 50 billion and put up a dozen keplers, JWT, ect.

    Knowledge and the advancement of our species understanding is worth that much. Having bases and defending the entire world from its self isn't. That isn't worth more then 250 billion at most.
     
  6. PredFan
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    PredFan Gold Member

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    Being in the habitable zone isn't the only criteria. It's much much more complicated than that. First we have to define what we're searching for. Are we searching for "life" or "sentient life". I believe that we will find extraterrestrial "life" in our own solar system.

    Sentient life however, is a way more difficult thing to find. You need to be in the inhabitable zone, PLUS, the planet cannot be too big or too small, must be a solid planet and not a gaseous ball, it must have passed it's volcanically unstable phase, it cannot be bombarded with radiation, etc. etc.
     

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