There may be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, or one for every sun-type star in the galaxy, said Alan Boss, author of the new book “The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets.” and an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution.
He made the prediction based on the number of “super-Earths” — planets several times the mass of the Earth, but smaller than gas giants like Jupiter, discovered so far circling stars outside the solar system.
Boss said that if any of the billions of Earth-like worlds he believes exist in the Milky Way have liquid water, they are likely to be home to some type of life.
“Now that’s not saying that they’re all going to be crawling with intelligent human beings or even dinosaurs,” he said. “But I would suspect that the great majority of them at least will have some sort of primitive life, like bacteria or some of the multicellular creatures that populated our Earth for the first 3 billion years of its existence.”
Other scientists are taking another approach: an analysis that suggests there could be hundreds, even thousands, of intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way alone. And considering, thanks to the wonderful images from the Hubble Telescope, there are 100′s of billions of known galaxy’s there is bound to be planets much like ours, and civilisations of unimaginable complexity and advancements.
We are at just the beginning of our understanding of the cosmos, and exciting times lay ahead.
NB: The Earth is not flat!