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Friday, September 30, 2011

Scientists predict that one-third of 'sun-like' stars might have Earth-like planets - 30th Sept 2011

The Kepler orbiting observatory was launched with a simple mission - to find other Earths. NASA describes it as 'a search for habitable planets.'

And analysis of its first 136 days of data has already begun - with scientists combing through scans of 150,000 stars, and evidence of 1,235 potential planets.

Such information is fascinating in itself - but it also allows scientists to work out projections using statistical analysis.

One analysis has predicted that one-third of 'sun-like' stars - stars with the classification F, G or K - will have planets similar to Earth.

Traub says, 'About one-third of FGK stars are predicted to have at least one terrestrial, habitable-zone planet.'

Traub used statistical analysis to 'predict' planets that had not been detected by Kepler, and whether they would be within the 'habitable zone' around their stars. Read More