Data hints at existence of hundreds of life-supporting planets

09/29/2011 | MIT Technology Review online

Astronomers analyzing data from NASA's Kepler orbiting observatory say there could be more life in the universe than was once thought. Researcher Wesley Traub of the California Institute of Technology studied solar systems with suns similar to ours -- classified as F, G or K stars -- and determined that one in three support planets that orbit in the so-called "habitable zone," meaning they could support life. Early data from the Kepler mission shows there as many as 1,235 exoplanets orbiting the 150,000 stars it targeted.

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