According to a new research, there could be hundreds of billions of planets similar to earth in our own galaxy which can support life.
A team at the Australian National University in Canberra examined the figures from the Kepler space telescope as a means to predict the number of planets which could be orbiting stars in the area called the “Goldilocks zone”
These planets are presumed to be far enough from their parent stars for liquid water to thrive in the atmosphere, encouraging life.
PhD student Tim Bovaird and Associate Professor Charley Lineweaver applied an old idea to the thousands of exoplanets spotted in the sky to determine the number of suitable planets.
“We looked at the sub-set of stars that have multiple planets, not just one or two, and among those we looked for specific pattern called the Titius-Bode relation and we found that these exoplanet systems fit the relation better than our solar system does,” he said.
“So based on that we made predictions about where other planets would be if this pattern can be successfully extrapolated beyond what is normally seen.”
The result of many planets which can contain life than previously though sent a shockwave throughout the entire astronomy community.
“It’s not just a rare occurrence, and it is not just in our galaxy,” Associate Professor Lineweaver said.
“Essentially our result says almost every single star will have a planet or two in the habitable zone around it.
“The problem is our techniques to detect planets have very strong biases against being able to find planets in the habitable zone and that’s why this new technique, which is really an ancient technique that we have modified, is necessary to make this type of claim.”
According to him, lack of confirmed signs of life or aliens from other planets may be so because it is harder to emerge life than believed.
“One theory is the emergence of life is just a rare event, another could be that once you develop life and it becomes intelligent then you kill yourself, its called a self-destruction bottleneck.
“Or that human-like intelligence is a rare thing, and it could all be viral or bacterial life, and it doesn’t evolve towards technological intelligence.”
The research will be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.