Using results from the High Accuracy Radical Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at the European Southern Observatory, the scientists say there are likely tens of billions of planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone that may be able to sustain life.
They estimate that one hundred of those planets are in the sun’s immediate neighborhood — which in space-speak is 30 light years away.
**The fastest known technology allows us to travel 1 light year in ~100 years
The generally accepted (though perhaps shortsighted) definition of a planet that can sustain life is one that has a mass between one and 10 times that of Earth, as well as a rocky surface, and the ability to sustain liquid water — meaning the planet’s surface temperature is neither too hot that water would evaporate nor too cold that it would freeze.
Although there are no planets that meet those criteria in our own solar system, the report suggests that they are common around other stars.
via LA Times