Thursday, February 7, 2013


MAY RESIDE IN MILKY WAY - There are a lot of Earth-like planets wandering around the Milky Way galaxy, according to a study published by a team of Harvard University astronomers. According to astronomers, Earth-like planets may litter the cosmos, including our own Milky Way galaxy. The report, led by Harvard University graduate student Courtney Dressin, concludes that upwards of 4.5 billion Earth-like planets may reside within our own galaxy, the highest estimate to date. When matched against the number of stars in the galaxy, the number of planets may exceed 17 billion. 
The study, which was conducted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics team, estimates that nearly six percent of the 75 billion red dwarf stars within the Milky Way galaxy have Earth-like planets. Among the study’s more interesting conclusions, is the fact that a handful of Earth-like planets may reside within traveling range.

Astronomers say the odds are good that at least one Earth-like planet resides just 13 light-years – 77 trillion miles - away. The age of the stars the planets orbit also indicate that some of the planets may be far older than Earth; one of these target planets could be 12 billion years old, the scientists said. While the study estimate is likely to draw interest, the fact that many of the red dwarf stars do not burn as hot as regular stars, such as our sun, means the planets in question orbit much closer to their star. The resulting difference in orbits could make identifying such planets far more difficult for astronomers. 
The data, collected by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, is the latest twist in the ever-changing quest to spot the first true Earth-like planet. Astronomers noted that the distance separating Earth-like planets from our own planet Earth remain well outside the capabilities of modern technology.

Billions of Earth-like alien planets likely reside in our Milky Way galaxy, a new study reports. Astronomers have calculated that 6 percent of the galaxy's 75 billion or so red dwarfs - stars smaller and dimmer than the Earth's own sun - probably host habitable, roughly Earth-size planets. That works out to at least 4.5 billion such "alien Earths," the closest of which might be found a mere dozen light-years away, researchers said. "According to our analysis, the closest Earth-like planet is likely within 13 light-years, which is right next door in terms of astronomical distances," said study lead author Courtney Dressing, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). According to Vedic understanding, the entire universe is regarded as an ocean of space in where there are innumerable planets, called dvipas, or islands.

Shrila Prabhupada frequently refers to the idea of planets as globes floating in space. Since this point is quite important, we shall quote a number of his statements at length: "The earth floats in space among many millions of other planets, all of them bearing huge mountains and oceans. It floats because Krishna enters into it, as stated in Bhagavad-gita (gam avishya), just as He enters the atom" (TQK, p. 122) ... Outer space is taken as a great ocean of air, and within that great ocean of air there are many islands, which are the different planets" (KB, pp. 855-56) ... "Just as there are islands in the watery ocean, these planets in the ocean of space are called 'dvipas', or islands in outer space" (CC ML 20.218p). ... In SB 2.7.13p, 1.3.41p, and 3.15.2p it is indicated that the universe contains millions of planets, and that many are not visible to the naked eye.

Dr. Richard L. Thompson - Sripad Sadaputa Dasa :
"Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy"
VCA 3.C. "Planets as Globes in Space"

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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