mage credit: ESO / M. Kornmesser.

How Many Planets Are In The Universe?

Posted by Ethan Siegel on January 5, 2013

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” -Ray Bradbury

It wasn’t all that long ago — back when I was a boy — that the only planets we knew of were the ones in our own Solar System. The rocky planets, our four gas giants, and the moons, asteroids, comets, and kuiper belt objects (which was only Pluto and Charon at the time) were all that we knew of.

But these were just the worlds around our Sun, which houses (according to current definition) eight planets. Our Sun is just one of an estimated two-to-four hundred billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy, and looking up towards the night sky, one can’t help but wonder how many of those stars have planets of their own, and what those worlds are like.

Read more: How Many Planets Are In The Universe? – Starts With A Bang.

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