An exoplanet is a planet that orbits a star outside of our solar system. The planets in our solar system orbit the Sun. Every star in our galaxy should have at least one planet orbiting it, according to statistical estimates from NASA.
This means that the Milky Way galaxy contains approximately one-trillion exoplanets. NASA scientists and other astronomers are searching for Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting stars that are similar to our Sun. It is possible that many exoplanets across the Milky Way may be suitable for life to exist.
Planets in the habitable zone or "sweet spot" are in orbit at a very specific distance from their stars. The habitable zone is the range of distances between a planet and star that allow life to exist. Exoplanets in a habitable zone have suitable climates for water to exist as a liquid and form oceans. Calculations to determine the habitable zone for a specific exoplanet are based on the exoplanet's distance from its star. Other factors, such as the exoplanet's atmosphere and the greenhouse effect, are also taken into account.
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