London: A mission launched in “search of habitable planets” by NASA has predicted that one-third of “sun-like” stars may have planets similar to Earth.
Analysis of the first 136 days of data of the mission launched by the Kepler orbiting observatory has already begun and scientists are scrutinizing the scans of 150,000 stars and evidence of 1,235 potential planets.
One of the analysis has predicted that one-third of “sun-like” stars with classification F, G or K will have planets similar to the earth.
“About one-third of FGK stars are predicted to have at least one terrestrial, habitable-zone planet,” the Daily Mail quoted Wesley Traub, Chief Scientist with NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program as saying.
F, G and K stars, which are classified according to the characteristics of their spectrum are “sun-like” stars, and the candidates usually targeted by the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence in scans for signals from space.
Traub’s analysis hints that there may be even more potential ``Earths`` orbiting them than previously thought - and that this ``principle`` would extend to stars not yet scanned by Kepler.
Traub used statistical analysis to “predict” planets that had not been detected by Kepler, and the analysis hints that there may be even more potential “Earths” orbiting than previously thought.
The 600 million dollars Kepler spacecraft, which was launched in March 2009, is staring continuously at a patch of sky containing about 150,000 stars in the Cygnus constellation and analyses each stars’ light every 30 minutes, watching for telltale dips in brightness which may indicate a planet crossing its path.