Illustrative image of an exoplanet named K2-18b, which orbits the star K2-18, a red dwarf located in the constellation Leo, 110 light years from the solar system.



Thanks to observations from NASA's Kepler and ESA's Gaia spacecraft, scientists have been able to establish that there are 300 million exoplanets with Earth-like characteristics in the Milky Way, a statement from the Milky Way reports. US space agency released in late October.

A significant number, much higher than what specialists thought until now.

Stars 20 light years away

According to these NASA researchers, who will soon publish an article in the

Astronomical Journal

, the closest concerned planets are located 20 light years from our solar system.

To find them, the scientists looked for stars the same size as the Earth that orbit around stars resembling the sun and which can be considered "habitable", that is, which are rocky and which have liquid water.

However, some researchers claim that life forms could be found on planets other than rocky ones.

According to Jason Wright, an astronomer who has researched potentially habitable worlds, smaller celestial bodies, like moons, may also harbor life forms.


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