Could there really be other planets with life forms on them or do you think Earth is the only planet where there is life forms?
Study estimates 300 sextillion stars in the universe
08:59 AM CST on Thursday, December 2, 2010
Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The night sky may be a lot starrier than we thought.
A study suggests the universe could have triple the number of stars scientists previously calculated. For those of you counting at home, the new estimate is 300 sextillion – a three and 23 zeroes.
The study questions a key assumption that astronomers often use: that most galaxies have the same properties as our Milky Way. And that's creating a bit of a stink among astronomers who want a more orderly cosmos.
It's one of two studies published online Wednesday in the journal Nature that focus on red dwarf stars, the most common stars in the universe. The study that offers the new estimate on stars is led by a Yale University astronomer. He calculates that there are far more red dwarfs than previously thought, and that inflates the total star count.
A second study led by a Harvard University scientist focuses on a distant "super Earth" planet and sees clues to the content of its atmosphere – the first of this kind of data for this size planet. It orbits a red dwarf.