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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Hugh Bollinger
/ Categories: Uncategorized

50 Billion and counting

The Kepler telescope is the latest camera to present fantastic new dimensions for space discovery. Just a month ago, the Kepler team at JPL announced the discovery of over 1200 extra-solar planets-- exoplanets --that circle their stars within a specific partial arc of the Milky Way. Approximately, 50 of the newly ID'd worlds were situated within the Goldilocks Zone where temperatures would allow liquid water and biology as we know it might exist. [caption id="attachment_3138" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="Kepler space telescope source: JPL/NASA"][/caption] Now extrapolating from this initial planetary data, Kepler's chief scientist announced at the AAAS meeting in Washington that 50 billion planets could exist in the Milky Way. That is a very big number but remember that our home galaxy is just one of billions of other spiral star fields spinning in the known universe. That perspective provides an entirely new meaning to Carl Sagan's famous comment about "billions and billions of stars" yet to be discovered and explored. WHB
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