Though only about dozen potentially habitable exoplanets have been detected so far, scientists say the universe should be teeming with alien worlds that could support life. The Milky Way alone may host 60 billion such planets around faint red dwarf stars, a new estimate suggests.

Based on data from NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft, scientists have predicted that there should be one Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of each red dwarf, the most common type of star. But a group of researchers has now doubled that estimate after considering how cloud cover might help an alien planet support life.


Clouds exert a major influence on Earth’s climate and they could impact the climate on alien planets, too, researchers say

“Clouds cause warming, and they cause cooling on Earth,” study researcher Dorian Abbot, an assistant professor in geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago, said in a statement. “They reflect sunlight to cool things off, and they absorb infrared radiation from the surface to make a greenhouse effect. That’s part of what keeps the planet warm enough to sustain life.”

The habitable zone is defined as the region where a planet has the right temperature to keep liquid water on its surface, thought to be a requirement for life as we know it. If a planet is too far from its star, its water freezes; too close, water vaporizes. Since red dwarfs are dimmer and cooler than our sun, their habitable zone is much cozier than our solar system’s.

“If you’re orbiting around a low-mass or dwarf star, you have to orbit about once a month, once every two months to receive the same amount of sunlight that we receive from the sun,” explained another study author, Nicolas Cowan, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University.



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Categories: Space Exploration


Paul Rixson · November 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm

I think we are the hostile parasites,surely ….

Kalif Kasaba · November 1, 2015 at 6:09 pm

I would consider the possibility that our species have come in contact with more than one of those other species that travel among the stars. Maybe we’re still alive because ‘some’ keep the most threatening in check. Whatever the case may be, we need to evolve on a more conscious level before we ever step foot off this planet and venture to another in our current state of awareness.

Sue Sheehan · November 1, 2015 at 5:16 pm

I think if they wanted to kill us they would have done this a long time ago

Derek Tyler · October 31, 2015 at 7:50 am

It doesn’t really matter how many there are. It only takes one hyper-advanced race of hostile, parasitic, hyper-dimensional predatory aliens with an agenda of planetary conquest and a hunger for human flesh to put paid to any future we might have had as a species. And we’ve already met that race and they are already here. How many life-supporting planets may exist is the very least of our worries. How to get the only one we have back under our own control before they decide3 to ranch us out like we were cattle is what we’d better be concerned about. If we’re not, they will do exactly that…and then nothing else will matter–certainly not how many life-bearing worlds may exist. When you’ve only got one world and you can’t get to the rest of them, that one world had better be your very top priority.

Claudia Garoutte · October 31, 2015 at 2:38 am


Daniel LaBouef · October 31, 2015 at 2:30 am

Those parallels I lived on still very much exist but my vibrations changed my direction to where I am currently residing with the current world by altering the life design, time and year and I may or may not change course again down the road. I may or may not see this day again.

Daniel LaBouef · October 31, 2015 at 2:15 am

I’ve lived my life countless times from parallel universe to parallel universe. No sooner than I get up to speed with one life it’s as if I temporarily loose my vibration in other parallels I used live on.

Daniel LaBouef · October 31, 2015 at 2:11 am

My ghost radar on my iPhone I asked who’d suggest other planets to support life and it said “Kepler” that was 3 years ago.

Shaun Campbell · October 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm

When I was a kid; after dinner my mother,my dog & I went for a walk, on RiverSide Drive. (The steel railing looked very much like this one in the picture ) The time was approx. 9:30pm and my mother and I were looking up at the stars. Mother pointed to the night sky and said “Did you see that”? I replied, “See what”? Mom stated that she had seen brillient lights hovering over the Hudson River. “No, mom I didn’t see anything” “Just as I pointed and spoke the lights disappeared” When we looked at our watches, mom’s watch read 9:50pm and my watch read 9:35, we never knew what to make to that.

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