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## The Galaxy May Have Billions of Habitable Planets380

The Bad Astronomer writes "A recent astronomical report (abstract in Science) came out stating that as many as 1 in 4 sun-like stars have roughly earth-mass planets. But are they habitable? A simple bit of math based on some decent assumptions shows that there may be billions of potentially habitable worlds in the galaxy. '... astronomers studied 166 stars within 80 light years of Earth, and did a survey of the planets they found orbiting them. What they found is that about 1.5% of the stars have Jupiter-mass planets, 6% have Neptune-mass ones, and about 12% have planets from 3 – 10 times the Earth’s mass. This sample isn’t complete, and they cannot detect planets smaller than 3 times the Earth’s mass. But using some statistics, they can estimate from the trend that as many as 25% of sun-like stars have earth-mass planets orbiting them!' Getting to them, of course, is another problem altogether..."
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## The Galaxy May Have Billions of Habitable Planets

• #### Law of Numerous Small (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday October 29, 2010 @01:00PM (#34064404)
This just in: Smaller objects more common than larger ones.
• #### Teh maths (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday October 29, 2010 @01:04PM (#34064466)

But using some statistics,

Uh oh...

• #### How many sagans is that? (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday October 29, 2010 @01:05PM (#34064478)

...there may be billions of potentially habitable worlds in the galaxy.

How many sagans is that?

• #### Re:Fermi's paradox. --- Reapers, dude. (Score:4, Funny)

on Friday October 29, 2010 @01:08PM (#34064544)

Well, there's the Jungle Hypothesis, the Zoo Hypothesis, and I'm sure a few other ones. While lack of proof isn't proof, there's also the possibility that intelligent life in this part of the galaxy only started recently.

Or you know, Reapers.

• #### Re:... For various quantities of habitable (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday October 29, 2010 @01:22PM (#34064780) Homepage

This reminds me of Geico commercials. "15 minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance." If you think about that sentence, it really doesn't say anything. The sentence would be true if 1 in 10,000 people who took 15 minutes to call Geico saved more than fifteen percent off their car insurance.

My personal favorite example of such claims has always been "baked with real vegetables" on some snack crackers.

In no way does that imply that the vegetables are ingredients. Merely that they were baked with real vegetables. Throw a carrot in the oven, and the statement becomes true. ;-)

• #### Re:Fermi's paradox. (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday October 29, 2010 @01:42PM (#34065078)
Could be God. Consider: what is more unlikely? That before time there was an infinitely dense concentration of something that burst, creating everything we observe? Or that before time, there was something else that said, "I'll make something today" and created everything we observe? I don't consider either one more or less plausible than the other.
• #### Re:NASA (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:28PM (#34069872) Homepage

I take it you've never worked in big business.

• #### Target practice? (Score:3, Funny)

<.moc.retsreofevets. .ta. .evets.> on Saturday October 30, 2010 @12:22AM (#34070872) Homepage

Voyager will almost certainly survive until it reaches another star system; maybe not with any power, but it'll be an intact object (there aren't a lot of other objects floating around in interstellar space for it to collide with).

Unless, of course, it's blasted to bits by a Klingon.

Torque is cheap.

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