Monday, February 23, 2009

Billions of Earths in our galaxy?

According to some, our galaxy has billions of Earths.

Think what that will do for the slumping real estate market ...
So far, telescopes have been able to detect just over 300 planets outside our Solar System.

Very few of these would be capable of supporting life, however. Most are gas giants like our Jupiter, and many orbit so close to their parent stars that any microbes would have to survive roasting temperatures.

But, based on the limited numbers of planets found so far, Dr Boss has estimated that each Sun-like star has on average one "Earth-like" planet.

This simple calculation means there would be huge numbers capable of supporting life.
Oh wait ... what's the market reach for extraterrestrial bacteria?

A key question, obviously, is why would a planet have only unicellular, and not multicellular life?

While we are here, the Kepler mission is to hunt for Earth-like planets