Astronomers: In our Galaxy, there can be six billion Earth-like planets

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US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — New astronomical data indicate that in our Milky Way galaxy alone there are six billion stars in orbit which may exist planets similar to the Earth. A new study may be the most important incentive for the search for alien life in other places in outer space.

In one galaxy, the Milky Way has up to 400 billion stars, that is, trillions of planets. If we take our solar system as a model, according to new research, most of these planets are most likely lifeless and barren, but billions of years ago it could have been completely different.

Scientists from the University of British Columbia (UBC) have analyzed data from the Kepler telescope to determine the likelihood of the appearance of planets similar to the Earth – rocky worlds that can contain water.

According to a study published in the Astronomical Journal, in order to be considered terrestrial, a planet must revolve around a star such as our Sun, known as a G-type star. In addition, the planet should be in the habitable zone, not too hot and not too cold for life. Here’s what UBC researcher Michelle Kunimoto, co-author of the new study, said on this subject:

“My calculations set the upper limit of the coefficient 0.18 for terrestrial planets in the orbits of G-type stars. Estimating the abundance of different types of planets around different stars can provide important limitations for theories of planet formation and evolution and help optimize future missions devoted to the search for exoplanets. ”

UBC astronomer Jamie Matthews added:

“Our Milky Way has 400 billion stars, and seven percent of them are G-type. This means that at least six billion stars can have planets like Earth in our galaxy. ”

Previous estimates suggested that the coefficient does not exceed 0.02 for terrestrial planets in the orbits of stars like the Sun. However, Ms. Kunimoto used a technique known as “direct modeling,” which allowed her to create a clearer picture.

“I started by modeling a complete exoplanet population around the stars that Kepler was looking for. I marked each planet as “discovered” or “missed” depending on the likelihood that my planet’s search algorithm will find them. ”

“After that, I compared the discovered planets with my actual catalog of planets. If the simulation turned out to be close coincidence, then the initial population, apparently, was a good representation of the actual set of planets orbiting these stars. ”

Research should also shed more light on the “gap in radius”:

“The gap in the radius shows that planets with orbital periods of less than 100 days do not have sizes 1.5–2 times larger than the size of the Earth.”

According to Kunimoto, radial discontinuity exists in a much narrower range of orbital periods than previously thought. Its observational results make it possible to impose new restrictions on planetary evolution models that explain the radial clearance characteristics.


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