Report: There are tens of billions of 'Earh-like' planets08 November, 08:58
There are likely "tens of billions" of Earth-like planets in the galaxy, researchers from the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Hawaii said today.
The finding was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences using data from the Kepler telescope.
"Planets like our Earth are relatively common throughout the Milky Way galaxy," said researcher Andrew Howard of the University of Hawaii.
Researchers have previously teased out more than 42,000 stars that are like the sun or slightly cooler and smaller, and discovered 600 likely planets, including 10 with radii and stellar irradiation similar to those of Earth.
In fact, the nearest Earth-like planet may be 12 light years away, which is roughly about 72 trillion miles.
“When you look up at the thousands of stars in the night sky, the nearest sun-like star with an Earth-size planet in its habitable zone is probably only 12 light years away and can be seen with the naked eye. That is amazing," UC Berkeley graduate student Erik Petigura, who led the analysis of the Kepler data, said in a statement.