The Milky Way is teeming with planets

Just 20 years ago, astronomers had no direct evidence that planets orbited other stars. Now, researchers estimate the Milky Way galaxy contains a huge number of planets, with Earth-sized worlds vastly outnumbering the rest.

Scientists found that, on average, every star has a planet, and since there are at least 100 billion stars, there are at least 100 billion planets!

It seems that extrasolar planets are the rule rather than the exception, with each star in the galaxy hosting an average of 1.6 planets. More specifically, 17 per cent of the stars host a Jupiter-like planet, 52 per cent have a Neptune-like planet, and 62 per cent harbour a super-Earth – a rocky planet up to 10 times as massive as Earth. Learn more here, here, here or here.

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