Are we alone in the universe? This age old question has puzzled man since the beginning of time. It wasn’t until 1992 that astronomers were even sure other planets existed in the universe. They were certain of other planets in our solar system, but had no proof that planets existed around other stars. We knew that there were billions of stars in our galaxy, and billions of galaxies in our visible universe, but the star light was just too bright for our weak instruments to be able to see if there were any other planets out there.
In 1992 that all changed with the invention of the “radial velocity” astronomical measurement technique. This innovation allowed scientists to detect a “wobble” in the light emitted from stars which indicated the gravity effect of an orbiting planet. Since the early nineties, we have since discovered over five hundred “exo-planets”, and it is now estimated that over 50 billion planets exist in our galaxy alone. It is further deduced that at least 500 million of these planets can support life and exist in the so called “Goldilocks Zone”.
The Goldilocks Zone refers to whether or not a planet is habitable, and describes the distance between the planet and its’ mother star as being “just right” for life. In other words, not too hot and not too cold. These discoveries have a profound impact on our search for extraterrestrial life and leads to the assumption that there is likely millions of advanced civilizations in our galaxy alone – many perhaps far more advanced than our own. The next logical question becomes: why haven’t we been contacted yet? The answer may surprise you.
Read the full article here: UK Daily Mail – Milky Way has 50 Billion Planets