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New Kepler data could change our odds of meeting aliens

Earlier this week we reported on the astounding revelation that 22% of sunlike stars in the Milky Way are orbited by potentially habitable, Earth-sized worlds. Given that there may be billions upon billions of life-friendly planets out there, it's time to revise the numbers in the Drake Equation and estimate how many… »11/08/13 9:38am11/08/13 9:38am

Two Billion Reasons Why We're About to Find Earth 2

Planet-hunting scientists announced today that 22% of sunlike stars in the Milky Way are orbited by potentially habitable, Earth-size worlds. This remarkable finding indicates that there may be as many as two billion planets in our galaxy suitable for life — and that the nearest such planet may be only 12 light-years… »11/04/13 1:42pm11/04/13 1:42pm

There's something weird going on with our galaxy's planetary nebulae

This weird, hourglass-shaped structure is a planetary nebula, the not entirely accurate name given to the clump of gas that forms after a dying sun ejects it outer layers. Astronomers recently looked at over a hundred of these nebulae in the Milky Way's galactic center. Shockingly, a huge number of the nebulae appear… »9/08/13 2:00pm9/08/13 2:00pm