Study: Billions of Earth-size Planets in Milky Way

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- Astronomers estimate one in six stars in our Milky Way galaxy has a planet the size of Earth orbiting it. That translates to at least 17 billion Earth-size planets.

It doesn't mean these planets are all habitable, but it's an encouraging sign for scientists hunting for worlds like our own.

Two independent groups came up with similar estimates after a fresh analysis of data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009 to track down other Earths. The findings were presented Monday at the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, Calif.

The goal has long been to discover a planet similar in size to Earth that's located in the so-called Goldilocks zone -- a place that's not too hot and not too cold, where water might exist in liquid form.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to comments@wsaw.com.
Please provide detailed information.
All comments must adhere to the WSAW.com discussion rules.

powered by Disqus
WSAW-TV 1114 Grand Ave. Wausau, WI 54403
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 185928982 - wsaw.com/a?a=185928982