There may be 300 million habitable planets in our galaxy

A new study from NASA and the SETI Institute comes up with an exciting number of potentially life-supporting planets.

Credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle
  • A study analyzes data from the Kepler Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's GAIA survey to estimate the number of habitable planets.
  • There may be 30 such planets in our own galactic neighborhood.
  • The new estimate may help inform future research and missions.
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6 billion planets like Earth? Scientists make stunning estimate

Astronomers propose new estimate of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy.

Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/W. Stenzel/D. Rutter
  • Astronomers make new analysis based on data from NASA's Kepler space telescope.
  • The researchers estimate there may be as many as six billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy alone.
  • The scientists looked for planets that would be able to host life.
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Scientists observe strange lights in the heart of the Milky Way

Astronomers spot periodic lights coming from near the black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Credit: Keio University
  • Astronomers in Japan observe periodic lights coming from the region near the black hole at the center of our galaxy.
  • The twinkling may be produced by hot spots in the accretion disk around the black hole.
  • The mysterious region studied features extreme gravity.
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Gamma-ray space telescope study may have spotted dark matter

New study of gamma rays and gravitational lensing points to the possible presence of dark matter.

NASA
  • Analyzing data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, researchers find hints of dark matter.
  • The scientists looked to spot a correlation between gravitational lensing and gamma rays.
  • Future release of data can pinpoint whether the dark matter is really responsible for observed effects.
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Astrophysicists discover why black holes and neutron stars shine bright

Researchers find what causes the glow coming from the densest objects in our universe.

Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester (Arizona State University)
  • Columbia University astrophysicists discovered the cause of the unusual glow coming from regions of space with black holes and neutron stars.
  • The researchers ran some of the largest computer simulations ever to reach their conclusions.
  • They found that turbulence and reconnection of super-strong magnetic fields are responsible for the light.
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