The vast majority of stars in our Milky Way galaxy host planets, many of which may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study suggests.
Astronomers have detected eight new exoplanet candidates circling nearby red dwarf stars, which make up at least 75 percent of the galaxy’s 100 billion or so stars. Three of these worlds are just slightly bigger than Earth and orbit in the “habitable zone,” the range of distances from a parent star where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface.
The new finds imply that virtually all red dwarfs throughout the Milky Way have planets, and at least 25 percent of these stars in the sun’s own neighborhood host habitable-zone “super-Earths,” researchers said.
30 January 2013, Damascus, Syria. Syrian rebel fighters take cover amid flying debris and shrapnel after being hit by a tank shell fired towards them by the Syrian Army in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus. On 30 January 2013, a Syrian rebel group planning an attack on government forces is hit by sniper fire in Damascus, Syria. After evacuating their comrade, who was shot in the chest and would later die from injuries, the rebels return to attack the checkpoint with rocket fire. Subsequently, government forces fired tank shells at the rebels. The rebels eventually retreated for the day to mourn the death of their comrade. ©Goran Tomasevic—Reuters