Astronomy

Finding Life on other Planets



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The phenomenal discovery of a planet similar to Earth, by NASA on Monday 5th December, is truly a leap for our expectation on finding other life in the universe. However, it is currently placed outside our solar system and therefore only viewable through a telescope, and is so far away, the likelihood of investigating would be impossible, as it would take 22 million years to get there. It does seem to be a probable place for life, as it is in the middle of what astronomers call the Goldilocks zone, which is a place, not too hot or not to cold, but is just right. It also orbits a star similar to our sun, is similar in distance from that star, taking approximately 290 to complete its orbit, and has an approximate surface temperature of 72 degrees. So if habitable, would be a good chance the same evolutions of life that are already in existence on our own planet could begin.

The scientists say this new planet is about 2.4 times the size of Earth, so therefore the likely hood of life on the surface to be slim that is if we believe life would evolve in exactly the same way as Earth. Also they believe the surface to be mostly oceans, but didn’t life begin on Earth in the ocean. Could this planet already have intelligent life, and unlike Earth, human like beings could have evolved within the oceans. Our human evolution began as land dwelling, air breathing mammals. But who says life somewhere else has to follow the same plan. I am sure the Kepler telescope has only just began to find planets with the exact condition that could match Earth; it thought it had twice before, since it was launched in 2009. They have found two rocky planets that have promising conditions similar to Earth, but this latest finding far exceeds the previous discoveries. The Kepler telescope has identified possibilities for 139 potentially habitable planets out of the 2,326 planets they have scanned, all of them being outside our solar system.

Human beings have come a very long way in a very short time, but I believe in the vastness of the universe, there are many planets with life and intelligence in other solar systems, some more primitive others more advanced. There may be life in places that are unidentifiable to human brains and its conception of what life, or intelligence should be. What is sure, they are millions of years away.


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