The Hubble space telescope has found that there must be six billion stars with planets in our own Milky Way galaxy. And astronomers believe our galaxy is just one among 125 billion galaxies in the universe.
Alien life expert Professor Barrie Jones, of the Open University, believes the implications of Hubble’s observations give a big boost to the search for ET.
He told me: “Hubble’s discovery is very encouraging in the search for more potential habitats for life in the universe.
“When we find planets the size of Jupiter around a star it indicates that there is a solar system like our own Sun’s there. It means there are probably planets like Earth too.”
Professor Jones, a member of the UK’s Astrobiology Society, added: “Hubble’s discovery shows that the galaxy and universe must be teeming with planets and so the prospects are strong that many are inhabited.”
The space telescope found 16 Jupiter-sized planets orbiting stars close to the centre of the Milky Way. Previous planets outside our own solar system had only been detected around stars in our own neighbourhood.
Last month, Nasa revealed that their computer simulations showed that more than a third of stars with giant planets were also orbited by planets with deep oceans like the Earth.
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