How Many of the Universe's Exo-Planets are in the Liquid Water Sweet Spot?

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 15 August 2019



Kepler Oil Painting
Kepler Space Telescope Oil Painting, by NASA/Ames Research Center/W. Stenzel/D. Rutter.
Artist's impression of NASA's Kepler space telescope, which discovered thousands of new planets. New research, using Kepler data, provides the most accurate estimate to date of how often we should expect to find Earth-like planets near sun-like stars. By NASA/Ames Research Center/W. Stenzel/D. Rutter.


How Many Planets are in the Liquid Water Sweet Spot?

How Many Earth-like Planets are Around Sun-like Stars?
Penn State, August 14, 2019.


Eye on the Sky
A Universe of Exoplanets
"...Kepler observed a large enough sample of stars that we can perform a rigorous statistical analysis to estimate of the rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of nearby sun-like stars."

The Sweet Spot
"The habitable zone is a range of orbital distances at which the planets could support liquid water on their surfaces."

"Kepler observed a large enough sample of stars that we can perform a rigorous statistical analysis to estimate of the rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of nearby sun-like stars."

Simulated Universes
"The new model simulates 'universes' of stars and planets and then 'observes' these simulated universes to determine how many of the planets would have been discovered by Kepler in each `universe.' "

Rate of Habitability
"Based on their simulations, the researchers estimate that planets very close to Earth in size, from three-quarters to one-and-a-half times the size of earth, with orbital periods ranging from 237 to 500 days, occur around approximately one in four stars. Importantly, their model quantifies the uncertainty in that estimate."

"They recommend that future planet-finding missions plan for a true rate that ranges from as low about one planet for every 33 stars to as high as nearly one planet for every two stars."


Kepler, Mission Overview,

Final Score of Kepler Accomplishments, NASA Graphic

Final Score of Kepler Accomplishments, NASA Graphic.


NASA Exoplanet Archive



Oct 2018
100 New Exoplanets Discovered


Dec 2017
The Living Universe: Two Stories, Islands of Hospitable Liquid Water in Space? & Not so Hospitable!


Oct 2017
Astro-ExoPlanet Paranoia: Are We Being Watched?


Recent Exoplanet News

Early Solar System Asteroids Contained Prebiotic Molecules

Storms of Neptune: The Dark Vortex

100 New Exoplanets Discovered

Water on TRAPPIST-1?, discovery of, & indications of water

Closer View of TRAPPIST-1 does not Eliminate Life

Exo-Planet Solar Systems exhibiting Regularity

Alien Megastructure Fail: Weird Star Wearing Debris Shroud, not an Alien Culture

Exoplanet Hell

Water World Exoplanet?

Water on TRAPPIST-1?

Searching for life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet




Astro-Physics Observations, Summer & Fall of 2019

News of Man & Nature, August 2019








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Kepler, data, stastical, range, exoplanet, exo-planet, odds, habitability zone, atmosphere, water, clouds, oceans


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