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Alien Earths may be plentiful in our Milky Way galaxy

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The results suggest that Earth-size worlds may be common throughout the Milky Way, perhaps providing many places for life to gain a foothold. 'Since small planets could be widespread in our galaxy, the chances of life developing could be higher, simply because there could be more terrestrial-sized planets where life could evolve,' Buchhave said... But the fact that rocky planets can take shape around metal-poor stars means the first roughly Earth-like worlds may have formed long, long ago. 'This work suggests that terrestrial worlds could form at almost any time in our galaxy's history'... 'You don't need many earlier generations of stars.' Our solar system has been around for 4.6 billion years, and the earliest signs of life on Earth date from about 3.8 billion years ago. But the new study suggests that we may be relative latecomers as far as Milky Way biology goes.

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