News: No Alien Life Yet But Many More Earthlike Planets Found

Ravi Kopparapu, a researcher from Penn State who will be publishing his findings in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters, has recalculated the chances of finding earth sized planets in our galaxy and discovered that they’re about twice as common as we thought.

While previous estimates said that the nearest possible earth was about 14 light years away, Kopparapu’s estimate placed the nearest habitable planet at about seven light years out and maybe even as close as 6.5 light years. "This is a good sign for detecting extraterrestrial life," he told New Scientist.

The recent discovery of Kepler 37b, the world’s smallest planet outside our solar system, also offered new hope that there are plenty of smaller planets out there available for the development of life in our galaxy.

Professor Cockell will argue that vacant habitats on earth almost never stay vacant for long. Life moves in quickly to exploit an empty space. "It is dangerous to assume life is common across the universe, it encourages people to think that not finding signs of life is a ‘failure’ when in fact it would tell us a lot about the origins of life," he has said.