Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Billions of Earth-size planets in our galaxy, researchers say

Anyone out there? Chances brighten in our galaxy

At least one in every four stars like the sun have planets about the size of the Earth circling them in very close orbits, according to the first direct measurement of the incidence of such planets, researchers said Thursday. That means that our galaxy alone, with its roughly 200 billion sun-like stars, has at least 46 billion Earth-size planets orbiting close to the stars, and perhaps billions more circling farther out in what astronomers call the habitable zone, said astronomer Andrew Howard of the University of California at Berkeley, a co-author of the five-year study, conducted using the Keck telescope in Hawaii. All these planets so close to their stars are exceedingly hot and are certainly not habitable. But "it is not a huge stretch to speculate that nature probably makes a lot of these planets farther out in orbits that might be habitable," Howard said. The report appeared in the journal Science.

Russian bears dig up graves for food

Famished bears in northern Russia have resorted to digging up graves in cemeteries — and reportedly ate at least one body — after the hottest summer on record destroyed their natural food sources of forest berries and mushrooms, officials said Thursday. The brown bears' grisly habit is forcing locals in the Arctic Circle region of Komi to mount 24-hour patrols to protect their families and livestock amid fears that the bears might get a taste for fresh human flesh, said Pyotr Lobanov, a regional spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry. Domestic pets, goats and cattle have all fallen prey to the bears since the summer, prompting fences to go up around farmland and more thoughtful disposal of garbage. Komi, about the size of California with the climate of Alaska, is nicknamed "Bear's Corner" because the coniferous Taiga woodland makes it ideal bear habitat.

Billions of Earth-size planets in our galaxy, researchers say 10/28/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: Floridians' health care now at risk in Washington

    Editorials

    The health care of millions of Floridians is now at risk. The U.S. Senate's dramatic vote Tuesday to begin debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with no idea what will happen is a dangerous gamble with American lives and the national economy. Barring an unexpected bipartisan compromise, a handful of …

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dramatically returned to the Senate for the first time since his brain cancer was diagnosed and cast the key vote that enabled Vice President Mike Pence to break the 50-50 tie and allow the health care debate to proceed.
  2. Former Marine from Florida dies fighting for Kurdish militia

    ORLANDO — A former Marine who secretly traveled to Syria earlier this year to battle the Islamic State was killed while fighting for a Kurdish militia, his father said Tuesday.

  3. Ratings service Nielsen begins tracking live TV consumption on Hulu, YouTube

    Retail

    TV ratings service Nielsen will begin tracking how many people watch network TV on YouTube and Hulu to gauge how many viewers broadcast networks have through streaming, the company announced Tuesday.

    Nielsen, a ratings company, is monitoring how many viewers watch live TV on Hulu and YouTube to get a better sense of overall viewership. | [AP]
  4. FWC investigates viral video of shark getting dragged behind speeding boat (w/video)

    Wildlife

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water. [Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  5. Cheers, whoops for McCain's return, then impassioned speech

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — In high drama at the Capitol, Sen. John McCain on Tuesday delivered a crucial vote in the Republican drive to dismantle the health care law, a win for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders, and then leveled a broadside at how the GOP got there.

    In this image from video provided by C-SPAN2, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. is embraced by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of N.Y. as he arrives of the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday. [C-SPAN2 via AP]