Astronomers say there are probably over 6 billion Earth-like planets in our Milky Way Galaxy alone, reports curiosmos.com.
To be considered a world like Earth, the planet must be rocky, of a similar size to Earth, and orbit a star like the Sun.
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It also has to be located in its stars habitable zone – the distance from the star where a planet liquid wald could exist on its surface. We assume that where there is liquid water, there could be life.
The new estimate comes not long after a study had revealed that the Milky Way galaxy is home to at least 36 intelligent alien civilizations.
It’s an approximate number, but can provide important constraints on planet formation and evolution theories, one researcher says.
Finding an approximate number of Earth-like planets in our galaxy is by no means an easy task. It’s because planets like ours are usually more likely to get lost in search data, as they are small and orbiting their stars at an average distance.
This means that the catalog of planets represents only a tiny subset of worlds that we know are in orbit around the searched stars.