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NASA Finds 300 Million Potentially Habitable Planets In The Galaxy

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NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has identified at least 300 million planets in the galaxy, with many being considered habitable. In a recent article published on NASA’s news site, the agency revealed that a great fraction of the 300 million planets may allow human life to thrive, thus making them Earth’s interstellar neighbors. NASA refers to these planets as ‘exoplanets’, and it suggests that at least 4 of them could be located within 30 light-years of the sun.

In declaring a planet habitable, NASA pondered over a number of factors. These included the abundance of water sources, temperature, and planet age relative to the Earth and the amount of light that they absorbed from the sun. The exoplanets also have a radius that is either 0.5 or 1.5 times the radius of the Earth.

The Kepler Telescope after running out of fuel in 2018, became obsolete. Kepler was the telescope that concluded that there were a billion planets in our galaxy and that there were more planets than stars. Two years after Kepler’s retirement NASA has now concluded that several of the planets that Kepler recognized are hard and rocky, much similar to our Earth. They also have a liveable temperature, thus making them habitable. The results of course are far from final. But this is a key milestone for research scientists at NASA who are now working toward determining precisely if the exoplanets can actually support life in a way similar to the Earth.

Source: NASA