Monday, February 16, 2009

A Billion Earths?

A decade ago, it was widely touted that the earth was unique. We were a cosmic fluke, the perfect location, the perfect sun, the perfect protection from other planets.

Newsflash, most solar systems form planets. According to recent publications, there could be a billion earth like planets in our galaxy. Our galaxy is one of billions of galaxies in the observable universe.

According to Wikipedia, "Our galaxy is estimated to contain at least 200 billion stars[8] and possibly up to 400 billion stars,[9] the exact figure depending on the number of very low-mass stars, which is highly uncertain."

I would guess that the nearest earth-like planet is within 20 light years. Furthermore, I would guess that the nearest earth-like planet and star worthy of serious life-giving contemplation is within 50 light years.

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