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News Release Archive:

News Release 123 of 948

January 11, 2012 01:15 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2012-07

The Milky Way Contains at Least 100 Billion Planets According to Survey

January 11, 2012: Our Milky Way galaxy contains a minimum of 100 billion planets according to a detailed statistical study based on the detection of three extrasolar planets by an observational technique called microlensing.

Kailash Sahu, of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., is part of an international team reporting today that our galaxy contains a minimum of one planet for every star on average. This means that there is likely to be a minimum of 1,500 planets within just 50 light-years of Earth.

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Credit: NASA, ESA, and K. Sahu (STScI)