A lot of attention is currently being directed towards detecting Earth-like planets around M dwarfs (aka red dwarfs), which are the most common type of star in the galaxy. Many astronomers believe such planets could offer our best opportunity to detect evidence of extraterrestrial life in the near future. The basic idea is that we'd detect molecules in the planetary atmospheres that are unlikely to occur together under geological equilibrium, such as ozone and methane. In fact, it's not inconceivable that such observations will be possible once the next generation of 30m-diameter telescopes start observing next decade.
In a new study, an international team of astronomers have estimated that every red dwarf in our galaxy hosts at least one exoplanet and that one quarter host super-Earths orbiting within their habitable zones.