So many ‘Earths’

Our galaxy alone may host billions, a new study estimates

By Andrew Grant, 18:20 PM November 6, 2013

The Milky Way contains billions of Earth-sized planets that could support life. That’s the finding of a new study. It draws on data that came from NASA’s top planet-hunting telescope.

A mechanical failure recently put that Kepler space telescope out of service. Kepler had played a big role in creating a census of planets orbiting some 170,000 stars. Its data have been helping astronomers predict how common planets are in our galaxy. The telescope focused on hunting planets that might have cond...

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