NASA's Kepler mission releases preliminary results that indicate over 1,200 candidate extrasolar planets, 54 of which are located in the habitable zone.
The spacecraft was launched on March 7, 2009,with a planned mission lifetime of at least 3.5 years. Kepler uses a photometer developed by NASA to continuously monitor the brightness of over 145,000main sequence stars in a fixed field of view. The data collected from these observations will be analyzed to detect periodic fluctuations that indicate the presence of extrasolar planets (planets outside our solar system) that are in the process of crossing the face of other stars.
On 2 February 2011, the Kepler team announced the results from the data of May to September 2009. They found 1235 planetary candidates circling 997 host stars, probably tripling the number of known exoplanets. This haul included 68 planets of Earth-like size and 54 planets in the habitable zone of their star. They estimate that 6% of stars host Earth-size planets and 19% of all stars have multiple planets.
On February 2, 2011, the Kepler team released a list of 1,235 extrasolar planet candidates, including 54 that may be in the "habitable zone."There were previously only two planets thought to be in the "habitable zone", so these new findings represent an enormous expansion of the potential number of "Goldilocks planets" (planets of the right temperature to support liquid water).All of the habitable zone candidates found thus far orbit stars significantly smaller and cooler than the Sun (habitable candidates around Sun-like stars will take several additional years to accumulate the three transits required for detection).Of all the new planet candidates, 68 are 125% of Earth's size or smaller, or smaller than all previously discovered exoplanets. Five Earth-sized planets are in the "habitable zone." Based on the latest Kepler findings, astronomer Seth Shostak estimates that "within a thousand light-years of Earth" there are "at least 30,000 of these habitable worlds."
Problem with our current assumption is that we're in search of species which are living in equal environment like us. But ever since there's discovery of arsenic based life form, my views for extra-terrestrial life form are changed.
It's good that those species are not in touch with us or else bible-lovers are likely to start war against them if they don't subscribe to their theory of formation of universe. Wherever that life is it should not get in touch with fanatic earthlings.
No one really know whether or not we are alone. The Kepler telescope has found a lot of habitable planets out there but that doesn't mean there are complex life on them. If there are life on them it is most likely that lot of them are probably simple micro-organisms similar to the bacteria and viruses here. Keep in mine also life on other worlds are probably going through the same stages of development as life on this planet. The laws are the same everywhere in the universe that control the forces in the cosmos. Many of the extrasolar planets are not in the so called Goldilocks zone so that rules out the possibility of life on many of these planets out there or their orbits are very eccentric, which make them impossible places to support life. Finally, even if there are some form of complex life similar to all the higher forms here we probably will never see or come in contact with them no time soon due to the vast distances between us and them, more than 1,000 light years away. Just traveling need the speed of light will take us or them more than a 1,000 years just to see each other. Any slower will take even longer.
Well said. To add to that, it violates the physical properties of spacetime for even a particle mass to reach the speed of light without having to use every single bit of energy in the universe to push it there.
As well, there are a multitude of other problems with space travel that seriously inhibit biological lifeforms to make such journeys.
My guess is that there is lots of life out there. Many of whom are way advanced beyond us.
And they are fully aware of us.
And are following the Prime Directive, except for their occasional teenager that slips through the quarantine for a joyride every now and again.
Stephen Hawking makes some good arguments. I can't remember his words exactly, but his book "A Briefer History of the Universe" is fantastic.
He basically says "Yes, of course life is out there! It's almost a mathematical impossibility that it isn't....
"... but do we want to MEET them?! Imagine what would happen if WE found someone else out there! Would we be nice to them, or would we begin to do to them what we've been doing to ourselves for our entire history?
"Think about it - we're on this beautiful planet full of carbon, H2O, and other very valuable resources. Other life forms will want these things as well!"
(Paraphrasing, but that's the gist of it).
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