We Are Not Alone...

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We Are Not Alone... Groovy23 3/28/12 10:33 AM
... or are we?

An international team of astronomers have claimed there may be billions of so-called "Super Earths" in the Milky Way. Scientists say the numbers are based on planets that have already been discovered and the amount of Red Dwarf stars in our galaxy, of which there are some 160 billion. The astronomers made their discovery using the high precision HARPS instrument based at the La Silla observatory in Chile.
"Our new observations with Harps mean that about 40% of all red dwarf stars have a super-Earth orbiting in the habitable zone where liquid water can exist on the surface of the planet," said team leader Xavier Bonfils from the Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Grenoble, France. 
Further data reveals that up to 41% of super Earths are in the habitable (Goldilocks) zone.

More: BBC

This news comes just a month after scientists confirmed that the exoplanet GJ 1214b, discovered on December 16, 2009, is a "water-world" with a thick, steamy atmosphere.

Artist's impression: GJ 1214b: image and more: BBC



Of course, none of this confirms the existence of life on other planets, but I believe that life - however primitive - must exist somewhere out there.  Surely, it's a mathematical certainty?

Exciting times!