Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 12:34 pm
Deep in the Madagascan rain forest, a lemur and his daughter chatter softly as they climb through towering spires of bamboo.
Tiny, furry creatures, with snub noses and tufts of white hair sprouting from their ears, they exchange purr-like noises to keep tabs on each other's whereabouts. They definitely don't want to get separated.
A team of planet hunters estimates that about 22 percent of the sun-like stars in our galaxy may have planets about the size of Earth that are bathed in similar amounts of sunlight — and potentially habitable.
That's the conclusion of a new analysis of observations taken by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, which was launched in 2009 to hunt for potentially habitable Earth-like planets around other stars.