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article imageUniverse bigger than original estimates; 'trillions of earths'

By Andrew Moran     Dec 6, 2010 in Science
New Haven - A new study shows that the universe is larger than what we originally estimated. By analyzing elliptical galaxies, scientists found hundreds of millions of cool, small stars known as red dwarfs. This could possibly mean “trillions of Earths."
Last week, NASA announced that the definition of life has expanded with the discovery that new bacterium can live in arsenic, which is now crucial to the search for extraterrestrial life forms in this vast universe.
A new study suggests that the universe is large than what we originally thought, according to scientists at Yale University, reports Universe Today. The universe is three times larger than previous estimates and there is less dark matter.
Scientists came to this conclusion by analyzing light from elliptical galaxies, which they then discovered had hundreds of millions of red dwarfs – they make up 80 percent of the star population.
This is an imperative discovery because this could mean the possibility of “trillions of Earths orbiting these stars,” as study leader notes, Pieter van Dokkum:
“It's one reason why people are interested in this type of star,” said Dokkum, reports Press TV. “What we already knew was that these galaxies had a lot of unseen matter at their centers. What we didn't know was whether the matter was dark, this mysterious matters we don't know much about, or whether it was in the form of stellar bodies.”
PC World reports that astronomers used tools from the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii in order to conduct the study. The researchers were able to find red dwarfs in 8 galaxies that are between 50 and 300 million light-years away.
The findings can be viewed in the Dec. 1 online issue of the scientific journal Nature.
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