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Astronomers Shortlist ET Candidate Star Systems (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 07:24 AM
A US astronomer has released a top-10 list of candidate stars that have a likelihood of harbouring extraterrestrial life based on certain criterias that include age, composition and likelihood of having Earth-like planets in their orbits.
Astronomers looking for extraterrestrial life now have a short list of places to point their telescopes.

They include nearby stars of the right size, age and composition to have Earth-like planets circling them, scientists say.

But cuts in US federal funding mean that private philanthropists, who pay for the bulk of their work, may find out first when and if extraterrestrial life is discovered, the astronomers told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Recent advancements in techniques used to detect extrasolar planets make this the logical next step in the search for extra terrestrial life. The universe is so vast and big that it would be practically impossible to look at all the stars in the sky.

Even our own galaxy, the Milky Way, contains over 400 billion stars. Not all these stars can support planet formation, and not all the stars that have planets orbiting them have planets that can support life.

Our own planet for example sits in the habitable zone where it's not too hot and it's not too cold, but just right -- the "Goldilocks Zone".

Of course, this is all assuming that life elsewhere in the galaxy resembles anything like our own. For all we know it could be on a completely different plane or level of existence.

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