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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Earth May Be a 1-in-700-Quintillion Kind of Place

Nathaniel Scharping at Discover.
"A new study suggests that there are around 700 quintillion planets in the universe, but only one like Earth....

"Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson from Uppsala University in Sweden arrived at this staggering figure — a 7 followed by 20 zeros — with the aid of a computer model that simulated the universe’s evolution following the Big Bang.

"Zackrisson’s work suggests an alternative to the commonly held assumption that planets similar to Earth must exist, based on the sheer number of planets out there. Ever since Copernicus put forth the theory that Earth is not the center of the universe, scientists have expanded the map of the cosmos and diminished our planet’s relative uniqueness."

You can read the paper on the preprint server arXiv.

(via Althouse)

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