I enjoy some mystery and suspense from an organization capable of announcing the real discovery of extra terrestrial life, preferably the kind that doesn’t want to eat us. Perhaps we need to get our own planet in order before we go trying to populate others? Then again, we really should have a back up planet. Always have a back up planet.
Nasa will hold a press conference on Wednesday to present a “discovery beyond our solar system,” leading to speculation that the announcement will involve planets capable of sustaining life.
The agency has offered no details on the upcoming presentation other than that it will involve “exoplanets”.
Astronomers have been studying such planets, which orbit stars other than the sun, for clues as to whether, and where, life could exist beyond the earth.
Nasa has analysed dozens of planets that orbit sun-like stars at similar distances as the earth to the sun.
The first earth-like planet to be discovered was, Kepler-186f, a rocky planet that lies within the so-called “habitable zone” and is similar in size to earth. The Kepler space telescope has now located many more such planets.
At a press conference earlier this year Nasa announced the discoveries of 1,284 new planets, nine of which were in the “habitable zone”.
“One of the great questions of all time is whether we are alone in the universe,” Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division at Nasa’s headquarters in Washington, said at the time.