Ahh, the search for ET. Life on a rock other than our own. A quest as old and as popular as time. It is tedious, yet, it is necessary. Because we love it.
The Kepler Telescope is a NASA space observatory created almost exclusively for finding Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. It was launched in 2009 and orbits Earth. Kepler is badass and looks like this.
NASA announced yesterday that Kepler has identified 8 planets that are likely to be in the “Goldilocks Zone.” The Goldilocks Zone is a planet’s ideal distance from a star so that liquid water can exist. If too far, water freezes. If too close, water boils and evaporates. These planets are likely to be in the zone and most are likely to be rocky, like us.
— Fazale Rana (@RTB_FRana) January 7, 2015
CNN writes that 2 of these planets, Kepler-438b and Kepler-442b, are “the most similar to Earth of any known exoplanets to date.” Here is NASA’s “Hall of Fame” of exoplanets.
Look, none of these small incidents/discoveries are overly exciting. They’re tedious and they happen all the time. BUT, one time, it’s going to be the one. It’s going to be the breakthrough. As a firm believer that we will discover life, or the previous existence of life on a rock other than our own, in my lifetime, I love these reports. The more the merrier. This puts NASA’s number at over 1,000 exoplanets that Kepler has discovered since its 2009 launch. It is difficult to explore these planets due to their phenomenal distance from earth, but they’re there and super smart peeps at NASA are exploring the shit out of them the best they can. That’s enough for me. Enough for me to be confident.
So keep doing you NASA. I’ll keep reading about it. I’ll keep getting excited about it. And when you make that breakthrough, remember that I was here. Remember that I was reading about Kepler-438b and that I was pumped about it. Never forget. Never let go.