Milky Way ‘has 50 billion planets’

February 21st, 2011 - 9:33 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

New York, Feb 21 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Scientists have taken the first cosmic census. After the process, the scientists estimate that the Milk Way where planet earth is found has as much as 50 billion planets.

That means there is a planet for every 12 people on earth. The scientists say half a billion of the planets are found at the place where they think life is possible. The place called Goldstone zone is neither too cold nor too hot to support life.

The census was possible because of the data that has been sent back to earth by NASA’s Kepler telescope. The project has been going on for the past two years. Scientists plan to keep the Kepler working in a three-and-a-half-year project that they hope would tell them more about the outer space than they currently know. $600 million has already been spent on the project thus far.

So far Kepler has been able to spot only 1,235 candidate planets since the mission began but NASA scientists explain that they arrived at their estimates after they took the proportion of the night sky that they have searched into consideration.

Scientists have over the years estimated that only about 100 billion stars existed in the Milk Way. However a scientist from Yale last year proved that there may be as much as 300 billion stars out there.

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