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Sunday, October 31, 2010

23% of sunlike stars have Earth-sized planets in close orbits.

A new scientific study indicates the Kepler spacecraft should find
hundreds of Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting close to their stars.

The Kepler space mission refers to a "NASA space observatory designed to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. The spacecraft was launched on March 7, 2009.The mission is named in honor of German astronomer Johannes Kepler. With a planned mission lifetime of at least 3.5 years, Kepler uses a photometer developed by NASA to continuously monitor the brightness of over 145,000 main sequence stars in a fixed field of view. The data collected from these observations will be analyzed to detect periodic fluctuations that indicate the presence of extrasolar planets."


 Astronomers Andrew Howard and Geoffrey Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley " predicted that 23% of sun-like stars have Earth-sized planets in close orbits. Applying these statistics to Kepler's search, the group estimates that Kepler will find 120 to 260 planets orbiting close in to sun-like stars. Astrophysicist Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C, is quoted as stating the following:

"Earth-sized bodies probably also abound at orbital distances where life would be comfortable, says Boss. "Earth-like planets are probably going to be common," he says. "Kepler will give us that number."


If Earth-like planets are common, does this mean that it is only a matter of time before a spacecraft finds a planet with life on it?

To read more about the phenomenon of "earth-like planets" in the solar system please visit the following websites: 

Astronomers found the first earth-like Planet in a Habitable zone in 2007. Here is a video which discusses that discovery:

Source of video:

Here is another video entitled,

"The Search For Earth-Like Planets", which I hope you find interesting.Note:this video is over 21 minutes in length:



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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.