2700 Planets so far…

An artist's depiction of an extrasolar, Earthl...

An artist’s depiction of an extrasolar, Earthlike planet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NASA’s Kepler Observatory satellite has discovered over 2700 exoplanets so far…  and counting.  Most of these are super-earths — however, there’s a lot more there, according to the people who run it.

Ames Research Center scientists have the Observatory’s Photometer observes 145,000 Main Sequence stars simultaneously, looking for the slightest dimming of the stars that indicate an orbital body.  Of these, 114 have been actually confirmed and observed, one of them is a Mars-sized planet.

Ames also believes that, based on the observed planets, with the confirmations in mind, that the galaxy is full of Earth-sized planets.

Yale Astronomy Professor Debra Fisher, who has worked on improving the planet-detecting technology we have today to detect Earth-sized planets, says it’s only a matter of time before we detect life on other planets; specifically, those in the ‘habitable zone‘ of the stars they observe — that is, the area that’s “just right” in light and temperature, for life to flourish.

Do you think we’ll find alien life in our lifetime?

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