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Wed Jan 11, 2012, 02:30 PM

Study says every star {likely} has planets (BBC)

By Jason Palmer
Science and technology reporter, BBC News, Austin, Texas

Every star twinkling in the night sky plays host to at least one planet, a new study suggests.

That implies there are some 10 billion Earth-sized planets in our galaxy.

Using a technique called gravitational microlensing, an international team found a handful of exoplanets that imply the existence of billions more.

The findings were released at the 219th American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting, alongside reports of the smallest "exoplanets" ever discovered.

Gravitational microlensing is a method that uses the gravity of a far-flung star to amplify the light from even more distant stars that have planets.
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more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16515944

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Reply Study says every star {likely} has planets (BBC) (Original post)
eppur_se_muova Jan 2012 OP
BadgerKid Jan 2012 #1
Posteritatis Jan 2012 #2

Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 04:13 PM

1. Looks like this doubles whatever number

of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way there are estimated to be. (f_P, the fraction of stars having planets, is generally estimated to be 0.5, now would be ~1.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

EDIT: oops, didn't scroll down far enough to see where the combination of different survey methods indicates f_P in the range 0.2-0.6 previously.

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Response to BadgerKid (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 07:09 PM

2. Given the scope of the galaxy, n-sub-e is the important one at this point. (nt)

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