An artist's illustration of the extrasolar planets discovered around the star Kepler 11 by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.
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Roughly one out of every 37 to one out of every 70 sunlike stars in the sky might harbor an alien Earth, a new study reveals.
These findings hint that billions of Earthlike planets might exist in our galaxy, researchers added.
These new calculations are based in data from the Kepler space telescope, which in February wowed the globe by revealing more than 1,200 possible alien worlds, including 68 potentially Earth-size planets. The spacecraft does so by looking for the dimming that occurs when a world transits or moves in front of a star.
Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., focused on roughly Earth-size planets within the habitable zones of their stars — that is, orbits where liquid water can exist on the surfaces of those worlds. [The Strangest Alien Planets]
After the researchers analyzed the four months of data in this initial batch of readings from Kepler, they determined that 1.4 to 2.7 percent of all sunlike stars are expected to have Earthlike planets — ones that are between 0.8 and two times Earth's diameter and within the habitable zones of their stars.
"This means there are a lot of Earth analogs out there — two billion in the Milky Way galaxy," researcher Joseph Catanzarite, an astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told SPACE.com. "With that large a number, there's a good chance life and maybe even intelligent life might exist on some of those planets. And that's just our galaxy alone — there are 50 billion other galaxies."
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From The Urantia Book:
15:6.10 The superuniverse of Orvonton is illuminated and warmed by more than ten trillion blazing suns. These suns are the stars of your observable astronomic system. More than two trillion are too distant and too small ever to be seen from Urantia. But in the master universe there are as many suns as there are glasses of water in the oceans of your world.