If ET phones home today, his long distance charge might not be as much as people believed when Steven Spielberg's classic film came out three decades ago.

That's because recent data from NASA's Kepler space telescope suggests that billions of Earth-like planets are much closer than ever before imagined.

"The information we presented today will excite the general public because we now know that the nearest potentially Earth-like world is likely within 13 light years of the sun," astronomer Courtney Dressing said in an email to The Huffington Post.
"Astronomically speaking, 13 light years is practically next door."

While we don't know if intelligent life exists on any of these planets, it raises the chances of that possibility.
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