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ET at home on ‘billions of planets’

Astronomers said they had stumbled upon an astonishing spiral galaxy that was born nearly 11 billion years ago.

Astronomers said they had stumbled upon an astonishing spiral galaxy that was born nearly 11 billion years ago.

Published Jan 12, 2012

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London - Stargazers have spent years seeking just one planet with extra-terrestrial life with, it has to be said, a conspicuous lack of success.

Now, however, they might soon run out of excuses after declaring that there could be billions of ET-inhabited planets out there.

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The world’s top astronomers have concluded almost all stars are orbited by one or more planets - many similar to Earth.

That means there could be more than 100 billion planets in our galaxy and they estimate one in ten is the right temperature to sustain life.

Most will be uninhabited, they said, but there is a chance of “exciting new forms of life”.

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Between 2002 and 2007 a team - including scientists from the University of Cambridge and University College London - detected ten new planets and predicted the rest using computer models, according to the journal Nature.

Daniel Kubas, of the Institut d’Astrophysique in Paris, said: “We used to think the Earth might be unique. But now it seems there are literally billions of planets with masses similar to Earth” - Daily Mail

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