How Many Planets Other than Earth Can Support Life?

The number of inhabitable planets within the Milky Way galaxy could be as high as 10 billion. Of course, the majority of these planets are further away than current technology could transport us. The best candidates for planets that can support life are those within a star's "habitable zone," meaning that water on the planet can maintain a fairly stable liquid form. A planet too far away from a star is too cold, leaving water on it in the form of ice; while planets closer than the habitable zone are too hot, meaning any water evaporates.

Life-supporting planets:

  • So far, at least nine other planets have been discovered in our galaxy with masses similar to that of Earth, and two of them are in their star's habitable zone.

  • There are over 100 billion stars in our galaxy, which means that 10% of stars might support an inhabitable planet in its solar system.

  • Future developments in telescope technology should let astronomers directly view light from distant planets to determine if the chemicals necessary to support life are present in their atmosphere.

Follow wiseGEEK:

More Info:

Discuss this Article

Post 2

You will never know the number and where they are. Only the Creator knows His creations.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?



Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

As President of Uruguay, José Mujica refused to live in the presidential mansion and gave away 90% of his salary.  more...
October 16 ,  1964 :  China became the fifth country in the world to successfully detonate a nuclear bomb.  more...