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Topic: M-Dwarf System

NASA’s Kepler space telescope helps astronomers determine that our Galaxy has Billions of Planets

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Look up at the night sky and you’ll see stars, sure. But the sky is also filled with planets — billions and billions of them at least.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, which provides yet more evidence that planetary systems are the cosmic norm. The team made their estimate while analyzing planets orbiting a star called Kepler-32 — planets that are representative, they say, of the vast majority of planets in our galaxy and thus serve as a perfect case study for understanding how most of these worlds form.

An assortment of planets beyond our solar system is depicted in this artist's concept. (Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech)

An assortment of planets beyond our solar system is depicted in this artist’s concept. (Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech)

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