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2011/10/06

How Common are Terrestrial, Habitable Planets Around Sun-Like Stars?

How Common are Terrestrial, Habitable Planets Around Sun-Like Stars?:


Artist concept of the Kepler telescope in orbit. Image Credit: NASA
Once again news from the Kepler mission is making the rounds, this time with a research paper outlining a theory that Earth-like planets may be more common around class F, G and K stars than originally expected.



In the standard stellar classification scheme, these type of stars are similar or somewhat similar to our own Sun (which is a Class G star); Class F stars are hotter and brighter and Class K stars are cooler and dimmer. Given this range of stars, the habitable zones vary with different stars. Some habitable planets could orbit their host star at twice the distance Earth orbits our Sun or in the case of a dim star, less than Mercury’s orbit.

How does this recent research show that small, rocky, worlds may be more common that originally thought?

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Read the rest of How Common are Terrestrial, Habitable Planets Around Sun-Like Stars? (412 words)



© Ray Sanders for Universe Today, 2011. |
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