|Our Galaxy: The Milky Way|
According to new science - science, I tell you - reported in Forbes (so, not some rando blog), there could be 36 intelligent, alien, civilisations in our galaxy.
Check the University of Nottigham's maths here.
Elsewhere, the University of British Columbia has calculated that our galaxy could contain as many as six billion (!) Earth-like planets.
Check out their maths here.
And, as an added bonus, a bit of an older story for Star Trek fans: astronomers have found the planet Vulcan right where the show predicted it would be!
All three of these stories have enough meat on them for gamesmasters to use as either plot hooks or world-building elements when creating a "convincing" representation of the Milky Way in their campaigns.
This has application in anything from a superhero game to a campaign of deep space exploration (in the style of Free League's Alien, Jonathan Hicks' Those Dark Places etc