Scientists discover new, Earth-like planet

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.

Commentarium (27 Comments)

Dec 06 11 - 8:35pm
Dr. Zeus

They can't actually prove it though, can they? But I imagine that most people will just accept it as fact since it comes from someone authoritative and convincing in their argument. Science sure is cool isn't it, atheists? Merry CHRISTmas.

Dec 06 11 - 8:49pm
commonperson

You sound very threatened.
Science is super cool. baking soda and vinegar volcano? WHAT? SCIENCE OR MAGIC?

Dec 06 11 - 9:13pm
Dee

Isn't picking the name of a non-Christian deity threatening to your very cultural fabric, Dr. Zeus? Or are you too busy fucking ladies after transforming into various animals?

Dec 06 11 - 9:20pm
nah

Hoo hoo hooo, another person that negates research and exploration in the name of an imaginary figure.

Dec 06 11 - 9:45pm
So

prove any of the findings of the research and exploration. Or will you just accept it as fact because the scientist sounded convincing enough?

Dec 06 11 - 10:03pm
Deityluvr

I'm pretty sure the whole point of NASA and all scientists, is to trick people into not worshipping God. Research for knowledge about life on earth and beyond? Ridiculous. I'm gonna stick with God. Cause he told me to.

Dec 06 11 - 10:12pm
Dr. Seus

Sorry, I've just been in a bad mood lately since God punished me by making my (already small) penis fall off as a punishment. I shouldn't have taken out my anger here on an exciting factual discovery. I'll go back to my lashings now.

Dec 06 11 - 11:00pm
profrobert

"Prove" what, exactly? That this planet exists, and that it has a certain mass and volume, and distance from its star, and surface temperature? They just did that. It's called "math" and "physics." They work on Earth, and they work the same way on Keppler 22-b. How this discovery relates to the existence vel non of a deity, or why it is evidence for or against such an existence is obscure. If you believe in God, you can certainly believe that He ordained relationships among matter, energy and time, and that some of these relationships have been revealed to us. Genesis says that God created the Heavens and the Earth; what's so anti-God about the notion that one part of those Heavens is Keppler 22-b?

Or was that just a troll comment, to be followed by one as to how Keppler 22-b is part of a conspiracy to subvert the United States hatched by Kenyan Muslim Socialists -- like Obama?

Dec 06 11 - 11:06pm
Nah,

I'm just saying that people here bash thrusts for blind faith in things that they can't prove. The same applies to science. The laws of math and physics are almost all theoretical here on earth much less a c. Candidate for something that is 100 million light years away. Have you seen the images and can personally attest to their validity, prof? Are you certain that it wasn't photoshopped so somebody could eel out a little more grant money? Or are you going on blind faith because somebody that sounds credible said so?

Dec 06 11 - 11:07pm
Nah,

*thrusts

Dec 06 11 - 11:10pm
Dr. Zeus

@Dr. Seus- sorry to hear about your penis. So something is fact if the person stating it sounds authoritative enough? But the religious are ignorant sheep? You can't have it both ways.

Dec 07 11 - 2:14am
@Nah

then what were you referring to douche-bag? that's the only image here or in the article. and why would you even be skeptical, there's no reason to make this shit up. it's a boring discovery to begin with, we can't get there in a thousand life times and it's all based on theories. god damned pessimists. grow up.

Dec 07 11 - 8:55am
@ "@Nah"

"... for something that is 100 million light years away. Have you seen the images and can personally attest to their validity, prof?" -Nah
......... images....
......image(S)
as in... more than one.. any images of any star or planet asteroid or meteor that exists far away. What he/she basically said is, all of the images presented MAY or may not be photoshoped or artist renditions. Meaning, unless your ass is looking through a telescope you don’t know fersure what is real and what is not. Not that I care what is millions of miles away or anything, but before you start calling someone a fucking idiot you should sit there and think about how they meant what they said, otherwise you look pretty fucking stupid. If you need another example, you told Nah to get his/her face out of Jesus’ taint, when infact the post started with “people here bash thrusts for blind faith in things that they can't prove.” This person may or may not be religious and they are completely right about people putting blind faith in things they cant prove. Not every science is EXACT without a single reasonable doubt. Some are, but far more are not. Most are all hypothetical.
I honestly could not care less about this planet, or the existence of God or Jesus, Or any other God figure, as whorish as they may be. (I mean you Zeus) But I do care about, and don’t like, the existence of stupid people who don’t read and contemplate their answers before they reply.

~Niccchole

Dec 07 11 - 9:58am
profrobert

I'm going to try to wade around the dreck of invective and address the substantive points. No, I haven't looked through the telescope (and if I did, I wouldn't know what I was looking at -- it could be dust on the lens for all I would know). But I've also never seen Oregon, yet I am reasonably confident it exists. Solipsism is a coherent belief system, but quite a limiting one. As for the laws of physics, general relativity works everywhere, both on Earth and on the Moon and 600 light years away. (What happens near black holes and at the quantum level hasn't been reconciled with general relativity, but that's not relevant to Keppler 22-b.) Einstein proposed the theory of general relativity, and experiment after experiment has produced results consistent with the theory. That's the "scientific method." You have results that are reproducible. Now, is it possible that there was a measurement error in this case, or even scientific fraud? Sure. Mistakes and crooks exist in every human endeavor. (Remember "cold fusion"?) Is it possible a year from now these scientists or another group will retract the conclusion based on new observations? Sure. But that's really the point that differentiates science from belief. The data here (I assume) are available for anyone to review, and someone is going to build an even better telescope in the future, and our understanding may improve. I agree that uncritical thinking about science is foolish (here, take these thalidomide pills; they'll help your pregnancy!), but to equate the understanding that science gives us regarding nature to the beliefs that religion gives us regarding the supernatural is not correct.

Dec 07 11 - 11:46am
thinkywritey

@profrobert: <3

Dec 07 11 - 12:04pm
NY

You are a light in the wilderness, man.

Dec 07 11 - 1:30pm
@ "@ "@Nah""

hey, Niccchole, newsflash! everyone looks fucking stupid on the internet, even me and especially you. hell, even profrobert comes across stupid for taking the time to put together a well written response on Nerve! (no offense profrobert)

loosen up and have fun, there's no need to be so serious about far off planets, god, taints and especially crappy internet threads.

~Dumshit

Dec 07 11 - 2:54pm
truth

no one wins on the internet.

Dec 08 11 - 12:48am
@truth

How wrong you are. Everyone wins... ...in their own minds.

(hehe I win, 'truth' loses. Chalk up another victory, ole intellect).

Dec 06 11 - 8:57pm
Alan Coffee

Part of me can only think of the final scene of Von Trier's Melancholia...

Dec 06 11 - 9:10pm
nope

Very timely news with Melancholia/Another Earth. Life imitating art.

Dec 06 11 - 10:15pm
haircut

I call dibs!

Dec 07 11 - 1:17am
Reptilian Illuminati

You better hope the Dracos aren't already there. They like eating humans, thou they do prefer us having had sex first. Every cloud has its silver lining.

Dec 07 11 - 1:59am
Dan

It's a shame Kepler 22-b is 600LY away, which would take about 2.5 million years to get there with our current technology.

Dec 07 11 - 12:04pm
NY

@Prof
You are a light in the wilderness, man.

Dec 07 11 - 1:19pm
Wait Five Minutes

Road trip!

Dec 07 11 - 1:35pm
K

Very interesting article, not the thing about the planet that no one in our lifetime will ever see, the thing that came after with the hoard of arguing trolls! I'd love to see them all in a room together, probably wouldn't say a word! Though in real life it might be one schizo arguing with them-self. Keep it up Nerve, you've got the cream of the crop here!