Study Finds One-Third of Planets Orbiting Small Stars in the Milky Way May be Habitable


According to a recent analysis by astronomers from the University of Florida, two-thirds of planets orbiting small, common dwarf stars in the Milky Way could be sterilized by extreme tidal forces due to their close proximity to their stars.

However, one-third of these planets, amounting to hundreds of millions across the galaxy, could potentially be in a habitable zone with suitable conditions for liquid water and the potential to harbor life. The study utilized data from NASA’s Kepler telescope, which monitors exoplanets as they pass in front of their host stars, and the Gaia telescope, which measured the distances to billions of stars in the galaxy.

This discovery is significant for future exoplanet research, particularly in investigating the potential habitability of planets orbiting these small stars.

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