News

Scientists discover new, Earth-like planet

Pin it

Kepler 22

NASA has discovered the first ever officially-confirmed planet existing in a "habitable zone," meaning it's possible for liquid (and therefore potential life!) to exist on the planet's surface. Discovered as part of the Kepler mission, the planet has been given the unbelievably bland name Kepler 22-b.

Though it's one of  over 1,000 possible new planets, Kepler 22-b has been singled out as a possible "Earth 2.0," and orbits around a star similar to the sun. "Fortune smiled upon us with the detection of this planet," said researcher William Borucki, who has been working with the powerful Kepler Space Telescope to detect previously unseen planets.

More planets, naturally, mean more work on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (yes, that is the official term), and one researcher called it "a superb opportunity for SETI observations." 

So essentially, this is a double whammy of great space news: we now have more places to look for aliens, and at least one planet where we can probably move once landfills inevitably overflow and render the earth unlivable. What a great day in science.