September 21, 2012
“There May Be Trillions of ‘Earths’ Orbiting Red Dwarfs” (Today’s Most Popular)

So believes Yale University astronomer Pieter Van Dokkum, who also says that red dwarf stars have been discovered that are over 10 billion years old, which means they’ve had enough time for complex life to develop and evolve. Van Dokkum notes that research conducted at Hawaii’s Keck Observatory concluded that the number of stars in the universe is triple what was previously thought.

Until recently, red dwarf stars were not detectable in galaxies outside our own nearby cluster because they are relatively small and dim. Thus, researchers were not able to comprise a total number of red dwarfs present in the universe.

“No one knew how many of these stars there were,” said van Dokkum, who led the research in this study. “Different theoretical models predicted a wide range of possibilities, so this answers a longstanding question about just how abundant these stars are.”

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