Estimated Two Billion Planets Might Be Able to Sustain Life

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According to data gathered by NASA’s Kepler space observatory, there might be over two billion planets in the Milky Way galaxy that could potentially support life with liquid water while orbiting stars at the right distance for life as we know it to survive.

According to data gathered by NASA’s Kepler space observatory, there might be over two billion planets in the Milky Way galaxy that could potentially support life with liquid water while orbiting stars at the right distance for life as we know it to survive.

Researchers from the University of California in Berkeley studied Kepler space observatory measurements and found that rocky planets are orbiting 22 percent of stars similar to the sun at a distance where they get a comparable amount of light energy as Earth does.

The Milky Way galaxy has around 100 billion stars and 10 percent of them are similar to the sun in our solar system.

A planet’s orbital distance from its star is important for the existence of liquid water that doesn’t freeze or evaporate, and might be able to support life forms.

Subhanjoy Mohanty, an astrophysicist at Imperial College London commenting on the study said: “This is certainly an added impetus for planned future missions which will study the atmospheres of these potentially habitable planets”

The closest planet that fits these criteria for habitability could be approximately 12 light years away from Earth.

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