Study: Milky Way has 60 billion possible Earths

07/2/2013 | Space.com

The galaxy could have 60 billion alien planets that could support life, a new study suggests, far more than originally thought. The key to a habitable planet, scientists say, is cloud cover. When the James Webb Space Telescope is launched in 2018, if it finds cold spots on other planets, those readings would "almost definitely [come] from clouds, and it's a confirmation that you do have surface liquid water," said study researcher Dorian Abbot, an assistant professor in geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago.

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