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|February 22, 2017|
Search for ET: Astronomers say small planets abound
MOUNTAIN VIEW – (INT) – Astronomers announced Wednesday new evidence that small planets – the type of worlds most favorable for biology – may be more common than thought.
They theorized that Earth-size planets can be found around nearly any type of star. The new work bolsters the chances that scientists will eventually succeed in discovering extraterrestrial biology.
A team of astronomers analyzed data from both NASA’s Kepler space telescope and ground-based observatories to discover that even star systems that contain only sparse amounts of the heavy elements that make up planets can still get enough material together to form small worlds.
In the search for extraterrestrial life, the scientists concluded that the tally of small worlds is even greater than once believed, and that relatively ancient stars, billions of years older than our Sun, could host planets that are potential homes to life.
Story Date: June 19, 2012