June 4, 2011 - LOS ANGELES — At minimum one in each and every four stars
like the sun have planets about the size of Earth
circling them in really close orbits, scientists explained Thursday.
That means our galaxy alone, with its two hundred billion sun-like stars, has at least 46 billion Earth-measurement planets orbiting close to the stars, and perhaps billions far more farther out in the so-referred to as habitable zone, mentioned astronomer Andrew Howard
of the University of California, a co-writer of the paper. The discovery was noted in the journal Science.
The researchers' method allow them detect planets ranging from three to 1,000 times Earth's mass and orbiting as much as one-quarter of an astronomical device from the host star. An astronomical unit, Earth's length from the sun, is ninety three million miles. Planets
that close to their stars are way too very hot to be habitable. But "it is not a large stretch to speculate that nature probably helps make a lot of these planets farther out," Howard explained.