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AN ambitious project to catalogue every habitable planet has discovered seven worlds inside the Milky Way that could possibly harbour life.

Marking its first anniversary, the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog said it had far exceeded its expectation of adding one or two new planets this year in its search for a new earth.

In recent years scientists from the Puerto Rico-based Planetary Habitability Laboratory that runs the catalogue have sharpened their techniques for finding new planets outside our solar system.

Chile?s High Accuracy Radial Veolocity Planet Searcher and the orbiting Kepler Space Telescope are two of the many tools that have increased the pace of discoveries.

The Planetary Habitability Laboratory launched the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog last year to measure the suitability for life of these emerging worlds and as a way to organise them for the public.

It has found nearly 80 confirmed exoplanets with a similar size to Earth but only a few of those have the right distance from their star to support liquid surface water - the presence of which is considered essential to sustain life.

Seven potentially habitable exoplanets are now listed by the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog, including the disputed Gliese 581g, plus some 27 more from NASA Kepler candidates waiting for confirmation.

Although all these exoplanets are superterrans are considered potentially habitable, scientists have not yet found a true Earth analogue.

Over the next year, the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog will go further in its analysis of the planets that could possibly harbour life, offering new visualisations and habitability assessments.

However, the team says the biggest impact over the next 12 months will come from new discoveries rather than deeper analysis of planets it has already found.

A spokesperson said: ?A true Earth analogue or a potentially habitable exomoon would be big discoveries.?

?Certainly, this was the right time to start mapping the habitable universe around us.?

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The only issue I have with this is that these planets, in quite a few instances, are lightyears away - meaning anything could have happened to these planets a few million years ago and we'd have no clue. For all we know, some of these planets could have been the victim of collateral damage from a nearby star going nova 500 years ago and we wouldn't know until it's too late.

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Yeah, it's more like looking for where life might have been years ago.

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The only issue I have with this is that these planets, in quite a few instances, are lightyears away - meaning anything could have happened to these planets a few million years ago and we'd have no clue. For all we know, some of these planets could have been the victim of collateral damage from a nearby star going nova 500 years ago and we wouldn't know until it's too late.

You are correct, but the latest string theory is that Scientists beleive that light may travel at different speeds. In the earlier Universe they say light speed may of been much faster than as we know it today.

In our day of age, it is impossible to reach one of these planets, but in the future, who knows.

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The only issue I have with this is that these planets, in quite a few instances, are lightyears away - meaning anything could have happened to these planets a few million years ago and we'd have no clue. For all we know, some of these planets could have been the victim of collateral damage from a nearby star going nova 500 years ago and we wouldn't know until it's too late.

Yes, but you're stretching it out. Most of these exo planets are in our own back yard in the grand scheme of things. No farther than a few thousand light years.

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Given that homo sapiens is never likely to perfect interstellar travel, we might as well look up at the night sky and say, with a high degree of certainty, that there are several billion galaxies which most probably harbour life.

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Yeah, it's more like looking for where life might have been years ago.

Ah, but if you can make the leap across Space, therefore Time, then you can get there from here. ;)

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