Milky Way May Have Billions of Earth-Like Planets

There could be as many as 40 billion habitable Earth-size planets in the galaxy, according to a new study. WSJ‘s Monika Vosough reports.


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

Latest posts by majestic (see all)

15 Comments on "Milky Way May Have Billions of Earth-Like Planets"

  1. shouldnt this say “terraformable” planets? assuming we could terraform? temperature and density isn’t everything

    • Some are probably not just habitable but inhabited.

      • Punctuated Colon | Nov 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm |

        If we’re concerned with the existence of Extra Terrestrial Lifeforms too, theres the possibility of xeno lifeforms that exist by different standards of biology and that require different conditions than that of the types of life we already know about. Some may not even be biological in nature.

        So if we can safely assume that we don’t know anywhere near as much about how life is formed and maintained on other worlds as we seem to think we do, there is a much greater possibility of habitable planets, provided we take into account that mankind isn’t the centre of the freaking universe.

  2. BuzzCoastin | Nov 10, 2013 at 11:41 am |

    even now those planets are wondering
    if there is intelligent life on earth

    • WiredPixel | Nov 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

      I don’t know about that. We still haven’t ever demonstrated, or even have a good theory for, abiogenesis, so we can’t say it can happen anywhere else but here.

    • I’d think it’s pretty clear there isn’t.

  3. billy_mavreas | Nov 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

    and watching us for ages

  4. lifobryan | Nov 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

    The scene: a Terra-Haliburton spaceship lands on a distant planet

    Sound effects: stomp stomp stomp

    Astro-soldier #1: “That clump of alien moss will never threaten earth again!”

    Astro-soldier #2: “Mission accomplished! Only 39,999,999,999 planets to go …!”

  5. Jonas Planck | Nov 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm |

    “Habitable” is a rather flexible word. Once you reduce the pool to the planets in the Goldilocks Zones, you have to eliminate the ones over 10 gees and under 0.2 gees, which cuts the pool down by another 90% at least… Then you have the ones with life already on them, and the troublesome chemical problems that arise as a result of it, namely the fact that 99.9% of said life is as lethally toxic to us as ours is to it, which presents a huge obstacle to terraforming attempts. And this doesn’t even take into account more highly evolved life, or the dangers inherent in stumbling across million-year old ruins of Krell brain boosters, Old One tombs, or beings so advanced that they keep us as pets or put us in zoos. Is it any wonder that in the post-FTL era I come from, most of the colonies are artificial habitats on barren moons, ice-teroid claims, or orbiting within the Goldilocks zones, but well away from the local planets? We found it was easier to just bring the mountain to Mohammed, so to speak. Sometimes quite literally, if the mountain happens to be made of valuable metal ore or precious H2O.

  6. Maybe we’ve got it all backward. Beings from those planets came here after they fouled their own nests there, and now they’re doing it all over again on earth… bastards

Comments are closed.