The analysis of the first 136 days of results from NASA's Kepler telescope - launched with the aim to 'search for habitable planets' - has ignited furious debate over the idea of intelligent life in space.
Kepler's scans have found 1,235 extrasolar planets in the Cygnus constellation of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.
A new study concludes that 1.2 per cent of stars in our galaxy could have a planet that could support life - more than a billion worlds - and that the 'core' of our galaxy might be richest in these planets. Earth lies further out, nearer the galactic 'rim'.
The rapid formation of planets at the galaxy's core would 'outweigh' the negative effects of repeated supernova explosions - providing a haven for life, say researchers.
Advanced life - or at least planets that might support it - could be much more common than we realise.
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From The Urantia Book:
37:10.1 "Besides the seraphic and mortal orders, who will be considered in later papers, there are numerous additional beings concerned in the maintenance and perfecting of such a gigantic organization as the universe of Nebadon, which even now has more than three million inhabited worlds, with ten million in prospect. "