There Could Be Up to 10 Billion Earth-Like Planets in Our Galaxy Alone - Physics-Astronomy.org

There Could Be Up to 10 Billion Earth-Like Planets in Our Galaxy Alone

Our galaxy could be littered with warm, watery planets like Earth.
That's the conclusion of researchers at Penn State University, who used data from NASA's Kepler telescope to estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way.


Their results, published in The Astronomical Journal this week, suggest that an Earth-like planet orbits one in every four Sun-like stars. Totalled up, that means there could be up to 10 billion Earth-like worlds in our home galaxy.
The estimate is an important step in the search for alien life, since any potential life on other planets would most likely be found on an Earth-like world warm enough to hold liquid water.


So a better understanding of the potential number of Earth-like planets in the galaxy can inform projects like the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, which will launch into space in the mid 2020s and hunt for signs of oxygen and water vapour on distant planets.
"We get a lot more return on our investment if we know when and where to look," Eric Ford, a professor of astrophysics and co-author of the new study, told Business Insider.
Ford's team defined an Earth-like planet as being anywhere from three-quarters to one-and-a-half times the size of Earth, and orbiting its star every 237 to 500 days.
That's presumably within the star's habitable zone – the "range of orbital distances at which the planets could support liquid water on their surfaces," as Ford described it in a press release.
"For astronomers who are trying to figure out what is a good design for the next major space observatory, this piece of information is an integral part of that planning process," he said.


5 to 10 billion planets like Earth

The researchers' estimate is based on data from NASA's Kepler space telescope. Launched in 2009, the telescope used what's known as the transit method to find worlds outside our Solar System. It watched over 530,000 stars for tiny dips in a star's brightness that could be caused by a planet passing in front of it – transits, in other words.
This work transformed our understanding of the galaxy. Kepler found more than 2,600 exoplanets, revealed that there are more planets than stars in the Milky Way, and gave researchers new insight into the diversity of planet types.
The telescope also allowed scientists to confirm for the first time that many exoplanets are similar to Earth.
The telescope retired last year after it ran out of fuel, but passed the planet-hunting torch to the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which launched in April 2018.
Overall, Kepler's results suggested that 20 percent to 50 percent of the stars visible in the night sky had Earth-like planets in their habitable zones.
But Ford's team didn't want to estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the galaxy based solely on the exoplanets Kepler found, because the transit method is only good at detecting large planets close to their stars (since they block out more light).


It's not great, however, at finding small planets farther from their stars. Plus, Kepler's method was biased toward small, dim stars about one third the mass of our Sun.
So to estimate how many planets Kepler might have missed, the researchers created computer simulations of hypothetical universes of stars and planets, based on a combination of Kepler's planet catalogue and a survey of our galaxy's stars from the European Space Agency's Gaia spacecraft.
Then the researchers' program "observed" those stars as Kepler would have.


The simulation gave the scientists a sense of how many exoplanets in each hypothetical universe Kepler would have detected, and which kinds.
They could then compare that data to what the real Kepler telescope detected in our universe to estimate the abundance of Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars.
"There are significant uncertainties in what range of stars you label 'Sun-like,' what range of orbital distances you consider to be 'in the habitable zone,' what range of planet sizes you consider to be 'Earth-like,'" Ford said.
"Given those uncertainties, both 5 and 10 billion are reasonable estimates."

Improving the search for aliens

The next step in the search for alien life is to study potentially habitable planets to figure out what they're made of.
"Scientists are particularly interested in searching for biomarkers – molecules indicative of life – in the atmospheres of roughly Earth-size planets," Ford said.


Even if a planet is in a star's habitable zone, it still needs a substantial atmosphere to trap enough heat to sustain liquid water on its surface. Scientists can calculate the composition of an exoplanet's atmosphere by measuring how its star's light behaves as it passes through.
This is where Ford's research comes into play: If Earth-like worlds are abundant, there could be enough of them close by for NASA scientists to study with a smaller, cheaper telescope. If all the Earth-y worlds are far away, though, NASA would need to rely on more far-reaching telescopes.
The researchers recommended that future space missions plan for a range of possible incidences of Earth-like planets – between one for every 33 Sun-like stars and one for every two sun-like stars.
"One of the important things here is not just giving a single number but understanding the range of possibilities," Ford said. "So that people who have to make decisions could hope for the best and plan for the worst and still be able to come up with a solid scientific strategy."

7 comments:

  1. Thank GOD for My Life, i am so glad to writing this article today to tell the world how Dr oso cured my HSV VIRUS,i have been detected with HSV-1 AND HSV-2 since five years ago, ever since then my life has been in complete bizarre and agony,i have used so many drugs that was prescribed to me by several doctors,but it didn't cure my HSV VIRUS neither did it reduce the pain,until a certain i was checking for solution in the internet,then miraculously came across Dr oso the powerful herbalist that cure numerous individuals HSV-1 AND HSV-2 INFECTION,then i contacted his whatsApp number at +2348162084839 or email: drosohaberhome@gmail.com i explained everything to him and prepared a cure that cure my HSV-1 AND HSV-2 disease totally after receiving his herbal medicine, so my friends viewers why wait and be suffer when there is someone like Dr OSO l that can cure any disease HIV/ CANCER/ HEPATITIS B VIRUS, you can contact his via : drosohaberhome@gmail.com. or WHATSAPP +2348162084839 GOD BLESS YOU ALL? ..
    here is the DR OSO website.

    https://sites.google.com/view/drosohaberhome/

    His blog page https://drosohaberhome.blogspot.com

    you can also email me for more information about DR oso via smithmorgan2777@gmail.com ALL THANK TO DR OSO .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank GOD for My Life, i am so glad to writing this article today to tell the world how Dr oso cured my HSV VIRUS,i have been detected with HSV-1 AND HSV-2 since five years ago, ever since then my life has been in complete bizarre and agony,i have used so many drugs that was prescribed to me by several doctors,but it didn't cure my HSV VIRUS neither did it reduce the pain,until a certain i was checking for solution in the internet,then miraculously came across Dr oso the powerful herbalist that cure numerous individuals HSV-1 AND HSV-2 INFECTION,then i contacted his whatsApp number at +2348162084839 or email: drosohaberhome@gmail.com i explained everything to him and prepared a cure that cure my HSV-1 AND HSV-2 disease totally after receiving his herbal medicine, so my friends viewers why wait and be suffer when there is someone like Dr OSO l that can cure any disease HIV/ CANCER/ HEPATITIS B VIRUS, you can contact his via : drosohaberhome@gmail.com. or WHATSAPP +2348162084839 GOD BLESS YOU ALL? ..
    here is the DR OSO website.

    https://sites.google.com/view/drosohaberhome/

    His blog page https://drosohaberhome.blogspot.com

    you can also email me for more information about DR oso via smithmorgan2777@gmail.com ALL THANK TO DR OSO ..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Greetings to the general public, i want to share to the world of a great herbalist called Dr Afrid,who helped me to cure my HIV/AIDS disease with his herbal medicine, i have been suffering of HIV/AIDS disease for the past 2years without solution,until i came across the email of Dr Afrid,who have cured so many people around the globe with his herbal medicine,so i decided to give him a chance to help me cure my HIV/AIDS, so i contact his email :drafridbalhealhome@gmail.com,i explain what i was passing through,he gave me hope and assured me that i will be cure,so i followed his instruction,then he sent me a Herbal medicine that i took and after 2 weeks i was confirmed negative,incase you have the same disease i will advise you to come straight to this great man, you can visit his website: http://drafridherbalhome.webs.com or his mobile phone:+2349057260738 all thanks to Dr Afrid for the excessive work that he has done for me.

    ReplyDelete

  4. I never believed in natural herbal herbs cure or spells, not until i contactedthis great man. I've been on Drugs since 2016, I was tested HIV+. 2. Due to some Family Issues, I had misunderstanding with my husband, and we went separated. But as i speak now I'm now HIV-, negative my husband is back with me and we are very happy again. I'm Very sure this Man can help every-one with HIS/HER problems. To me there is no problem that Dr.obor can't solve. He also have herbs medicine to cure the following diseases;Herpes virusDiabetes Lupus Hepatitis A,BInfertility e.t.c FibroidHIS MAIL ADDRESS____ hsvcuretemple@gmail.com or call/whatsapp +2348105813057

    ReplyDelete


  5. I really want to appreciate Dr Obor for using his herbal medicine to cure my
    Herpes. since 3 years now I have been living with this virus and it has been
    giving me challenges, I was so perplexed cause i have been taking several drugs
    to be cured but all of my effort was in vain,one morning i was browsing through
    the Internet then i saw several testimonies about Dr. obor curing people from
    Herpes virus and immediately i contacted Dr. obor on his email:
    hsvcuretemple@gmail.com i told him about my troubles and he told me that
    i must be cured, gave me some instructions and which i rightly followed. so he
    prepared a herbal medicine for me and sent it to me which i used for 1 weeks and
    everything was like a dream to me and my Herpes virus was totally gone, why
    don't you contact him today and be free from your diseases because he is very
    good and honest Doctor. contact him via email; hsvcuretemple@gmail.com or
    whatsupp him..+2348105813057

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would like to let all know that the size of your Penis really matters in your relationship or marriage. I got married to my wife about 1 month after we met on a photo studio, we lived happily for the first 3 months of our marriage until i and my wife started having quarrels at home because i couldn't satisfy her on bed with my little penis. Actually my penis was very small, it measured about 4.5 inch long on erection and i am 39 years old. My wife said it was forbidden by the women of this world. My wife started sleeping with other men outside. Sometimes i will return from work without finding my wife at home and whenever i call or ask her where she was, she will always snub at me and sometimes just tell me to go get a larger dick. All this continued for a long time and it hurt me so much that i was at the edge of breaking up on the marriage till when i read about a doctor called DR.OMOHAN. online. I never thought i could smile and be in a happy marriage again if not for the help of DR.OMOHAN. I got the doctors Emails:(dromohanherbalmedicine@gmail.com ) on the internet and i emailed him, and he got back to me with some encouraging words, he got me some herbs cream which i use for just 8 days and i began to feel the enlargement of my penis, and without surgery. This went on for a little period of about 10 days and to my surprise my wife keeps screaming that she love my big dick now. Now my wife no longer cheat on me, and my penis is now about 10.5 inches long on erection and off course very large round. And now my wife uses breasts, hips and bums enlargement. I and my wife are very happy for the help rendered to me by DR.OMOHAN , and i want to say a big thanks to Doctor for the help. You can contact the Doctor now on his Email:( dromohanherbalmedicine@gmail.com ) Am thankful to the doctor for helping me.
    his whataspp number +2348164816038

    DOCTOR OMOHAN CAN AS WELL HELP THE FOLLOWING PROBLEMS
    1. HIV/AIDS SPELL
    2. HERPES SPELL
    3. CANCER SPELL
    4 IF YOU WANT YOUR EX LOVER BACK SPELL
    5 IF YOU NEED A BABY SPELLhim to solve
    6 LOW SPERM COUNT SPELL
    get all your problem solve. No problem is too big for him to solve.  

    ReplyDelete
  7. Urgent cash loans ! ! !

    Loan 100% Guaranteed

    For those who want an emergency loan I offer you an affordable interest rate of 3%. You have been rejected by many banks? Do you need financing for debt consolidation urgently? Or you need financing for your business per track. So, we are the best solution to your needs. We offer loans to interested clients without penalties. If you are interested please contact us as soon as possible and you will be filled with joy.

    EMail: fastloan078@gmail.com

    Call + Whatsapp: +91 892 950 9036

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.