General, Research, Technology

How many habitable planets can there be in our galaxy?

Scientists cannot say exactly how many galaxies exist in the universe. At the moment, they assume that there are about two trillion... Our planet is in the Milky galaxypath in the solar system. And today the Earth is the only inhabited planet known to scientists. But some of them are sure that life can exist in many other galaxies, it's just that we are not yet developed enough to detect it. Indeed, in the Universe there are clearly many stars similar to the Sun, next to which planets similar to the Earth with water and other components necessary for life could well have formed. Astronomers recently studied data obtained with the Kepler telescope in hopes of calculating the number of potentially habitable planets in the Milky Way galaxy. They succeeded and the resulting number is amazing.

This is our Milky Way galaxy

What is the Kepler Telescope?

The Kepler space observatory was designedAerospace Agency NASA and launched in 2009. The device observed 0.25% of the area of ​​the entire celestial sphere. Right now, you can reach out in front of you and look at the sky - your palm will cover about the same area of ​​heavenly space. In 2018, the device ran out of fuel and stopped working. But the collected data was enough to discover 2800 planetsoutside the solar system. And these are only objects whose existence has been confirmed in the course of other studies. Scientists suggest the existence of several thousand more distant planets, but they have not yet managed to collect enough evidence.

Space Telescope "Kepler"

Life on other planets

To find out how many are livableplanets may exist in the Milky Way, scientists are looking for stars similar to our Sun. Thus, they were interested in dwarfs with surface temperatures ranging from 4500 to 6000 degrees Celsius. Many of the planets discovered by Kepler are in the habitable zones of their suns. The habitable zone is usually called the space around the star, in which conditions suitable for the origin of life are preserved. That is, it is not too hot and not too cold there, which allows liquid water to arise. Near such stars, scientists were interested in planets that are as close as possible to our Earth in size and structure.

The location of the solar system inside the Milky Way galaxy

Taking into account that the Kepler telescope viewed only 0.25% of the area of ​​the celestial sphere, scientists came to the conclusion that there is about 300 million stars similar to the Sun... And each of them can have at least onea potentially habitable planet. It is important to note that approximately 3-4 of these solar systems could be within 30 light years of us. This is a very small distance relative to the universe. Perhaps in a few years we will be able to find life on them, but at the moment we are clearly far from that.

See also: If aliens contact us, will we understand them?

What do aliens look like?

So, scientists believe that in the Milky galaxypath there may be approximately 300 million habitable planets. It sounds like something fantastic - it's hard to imagine how many living organisms can inhabit them. And after all, they clearly do not look like what we are used to. They can have organs completely incomprehensible to us and look far from what we are shown in the films. The appearance and characteristics of the organisms of alien creatures should vary depending on the conditions in which they have to live. After all, even the human race has adjusted to the surrounding conditions. The simplest example is that our ancestors could not walk on two legs, and we can no longer imagine life without upright posture.

Shot from the movie "Alien" 1982

The findings of scientists are intriguing, but to prove themtruthfulness, scientists need an unimaginable amount of time. It is believed that to study distant planets, it is necessary to monitor each of them for at least 3 years. At the current level of technology development, this could take over a thousand years.

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However, there is hope that extraterrestrialcivilizations are much wiser than us and they will find us themselves. Recently, my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova talked about how the NASA aerospace agency sent a map into space that aliens can use to find us. You can read more about this event in this article. It remains to be hoped that the aliens will fly to us in peace and will not try to conquer us.