Anybody out there? Probably so

Anybody out there Probably so
Anybody out there Probably so

[dropcap]Sorry[/dropcap], you can’t yet go to that place in a galaxy far, far away. You still have to pay your taxes, take out the garbage and fret about how your favorite professional sports franchise will underperform.

It’s 013 and we’re still Earthbound. But many astronomers say they’re confident that sometime this year, they’ll find one or morealternativeEarths circling some homey star out there in the cosmos — maybe not even all that far from us, as light years go.

The planets must lie within the so-called “Goldilocks zone” around a star similar to our own — not too hot, not too cold to allow water to exist and thus able to sustain life. Assorted ground- and space-based telescopes have been turning up planets beyond our solar system for nearly 20 years. About 900 have been confirmedsofar,butmost are many times larger than Earth.

One group of scientists recently noted a planet five times bigger than ours lies in the habitable zone of a star called Tau Ceti 12 light years away, or a mere 36 trillion miles.

NASA‘s Kepler Space Telescope has identified 2,300 potential planets. A new analysis by astronomers at Caltech reached a conservative estimate of 100 billion planets in our own Milky Way Galaxy. Perhaps one in 10,000issimilar in size and make-up to Earth…

The MetroWest DailyNews