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Dec 20, 2011

Kepler: NASA Announce Discovery Of Two Earth-Sized Alien Planets

In our earlier article, we had reported "Kepler: NASA to Announce Discovery of New Alien Planets Today".

NASA in telephonic conference just announced, Kepler space telescope has found two new Earth-sized planets orbiting a distant sun-like star, and the researchers who made the find say these two are the size of Earth or smaller. That's a first in the search for extraterrestrial life.


If the discovery holds up under scrutiny by other scientists, it could be a very big deal. Earth-sized planets are considered critical in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, but until now, scientists said their instruments were not sensitive enough to detect them.

"Theoretical considerations imply that these planets are rocky, with a composition of iron and silicate," wrote Francois Fressin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the leader of the team that made the discovery. "The outer planet could have developed a thick water vapour atmosphere."

The team is publishing its report today online in the journal Nature.

The two newly-found planets, called Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, are much too far away to be seen directly. They circle a star about 950 light-years away. Scientists measured the miniscule dimming of their host star as they passed in front of it, and then did the math to figure out how large they are likely to be and in what orbits they move.

Just two weeks ago scientists reported a planet orbiting a different star, right in the middle of its so-called habitable zone. That planet was believed to be much larger (10 times as massive as Earth), but its temperature was estimated at an average of 72 degrees Fahrenheit -- perfect for liquid water, considered essential for life as we know it.

Put the two finds together, say scientists, and chances are good that some day soon we will find a planet of just the right size and temperature to have at least a chance of being a lively place.

"In less than 20 years, we have gone from not knowing if any other planets exist in the universe, to being able to look out at the night sky and realize that essentially any star we can see has at least one planet, and a good number of those are likely to be habitable," said Boss. "That is a revelation that has not yet dawned on the general public, and even astronomers are having their minds blown when they think about it."

8 comments:

  1. This is the quote which means the most from the entire story.

    "In less than 20 years, we have gone from not knowing if any other planets exist in the universe, to being able to look out at the night sky and realize that essentially any star we can see has at least one planet, and a good number of those are likely to be habitable," said Boss. "That is a revelation that has not yet dawned on the general public, and even astronomers are having their minds blown when they think about it."

    Rick

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  2. It's only a matter of time before we find evidence of civilizations - only problem being the immense distance means that by the time it's taken for the light to reach the observer, centuries would have passed by and those far away may already have seen their empires rise, evolve, atrophy and become extinct. Interesting to think that somewhere out there, observers with even more powerful telescopes are probably watching us scurry to-and-fro on the Earth and wondering at our very strange behaviour.

    Keep Cool,

    Ummphoo

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  3. "In less than 20 years, we have gone from not knowing if any other planets exist in the universe, to being able to look out at the night sky and realize that essentially any star we can see has at least one planet, and a good number of those are likely to be habitable," said Boss. "That is a revelation that has not yet dawned on the general public, and even astronomers are having their minds blown when they think about it."

    ROFL if you havent known about other inhabitable planets. that you are either not too intelligent or just plain ignorant. ive known about other planets since i was like 7 years old. im 23 now. i just dont know their location.

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  4. @Anonymous

    Agreed. I feel if astronomers are still having their "minds blown" over the concept of other habitable planets then what have they been doing this whole time? General public, okay, but for someone with astronomy as a profession? This should be old news.

    However, this is an important and fascinating discovery and I think it has good reason to be marked as an important milestone.

    -GQ

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  5. Your exactly correct Rick..Most of the general public are close minded and are to scared to open it. The truth shall be known to those who have no fear of the unknown

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  6. I've posted this comment on other blogs and I'll do it again now. It's just numbers but there's a lot of them. Also, The "Powers That Be" have turned humans into a bunch of Look Downers. Everything in our lives these days is geared to have us looking down and indoors. Looking down at our cellphones, computers, tv's, check your friend status, emails, Keeping up with the Kardasians, all that shit! They don't want us looking up to see anything.

    Anyways, here's the numbers.

    Our solar system has 1 Sun and about 170 planets total with all the moons.
    Scientist now say they estimate every Sun has at least 1 planet in its orbit. They also say there are over 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Suns in the know Universe. That's a 1 with 23 zeros behind it! Now multiply that x 170 or even 9 to represent our 9 planets.

    Can we even count that high?

    If for some crazy chance people still think there isn't life out there and I mean intelligent life out there, I think they better run to their tv's because they're gonna miss the latest episode of Jersey Shore.

    Rick

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  7. Right you are rick, but also evidence recently from NASA has shown hydrocarbons that could host life on pluto, methane based lifeforms could exist on mars. And these are two more extra factors. But out of all of these things the thing that annoys me the most is people who work at, say, area 51 have threats against them and the people who gave those threats to them, they too have Threats against them from their bosses. And so On. But if all of them stood up, we would be free. We all need to stand up and change our world for the better.
    HR

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  8. My problem with stuff like this, and no one ever mentions it or questions it.

    If we can see farther and farther every few weeks/months...And we can take pictures of Galaxies/nebulas and the likes from supposedly the farthest point in the universe (Which is just wrong, Space is infinite. There is no beginning and no end...but that's my theory which I'm not alone in theorizing).
    What I'm trying to get at is this...

    With all of our tech, that allows us to view galaxies thousands of light-years away.

    Why cant we zoom in on something only a few light years away, and see the planets, it's atmosphere and even the land masses surrounded by water (for an example)?

    Zooming in, is Zooming in surely? It's the same principle.

    Why can't we zoom in on stars that are closer than thousands of light-years away and see the planets directly; with the same tech that's used to view galaxies that are thousands of light-years away.

    Makes perfect sense to me...

    However, we're not allowed into space, nor do we get the use of extremely high powered telescopes for free...So really we're at the hands of the organisations that pay for these observatories or space missions.

    We don't get to find out the "whole" truth about anything.

    Yet, we're all expected to blindly accept what they say as truth!

    The whole thing is bullshit...and we're all being lied to. They have technologies that we can't even fathom, let alone imagine.

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