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Habitable planet discovery "within four years"

Posted on Sunday, 10 January, 2010 | Comment icon 11 comments | News tip by: behaviour???

Image credit: NASA

Astronomers say they are on the verge of discovering habitable Earth-like planets in orbit around distant stars.

Leading scientists have claimed that the first such planet could be found within as little as four years, a discovery that could prove monumental in our efforts to determine whether or not we are alone in the universe.

"Astronomers say they are on the verge of finding planets like Earth orbiting other stars, a key step in determining if we are alone in the universe."

  View: Full article |  Source: Discovery News

  Discuss: View comments (11)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Mr. DeYoung on 11 January, 2010, 22:42
After they discover a new planet that is capable of inhabiting life then I have a feeling that heavy research will be done to find much faster forms of propulsion (ie. light travel). I think within this century that we will have inhabited a new planet and developed some colonies for research.
Comment icon #3 Posted by badeskov on 11 January, 2010, 22:50
The problem is that FTL or even just light travel is not something that you can just pay your way around as it is not an engineering task, but fundamental physics you are up against. Cheers, Badeskov
Comment icon #4 Posted by louis_last on 11 January, 2010, 23:01
They already have a pretty good grasp of physics that would allow us with enough funding to produce ships capable of travelling surprisingly close to the speed of light (potentially as near as 70% light speed), this would make a trip to some exoplanets conceivable within a single human life time. The problem is, it's not worth it, the money would be better spent elsewhere. I would love nothing more than to see humans colonizing the stars in my lifetime but it's more important to address the fundamental problems on earth first. billions of dollars could be wasted on sending a few hundr... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by towelie on 12 January, 2010, 0:53
I agree with louis we should try to finds ways to fix this world before moving to another planet
Comment icon #6 Posted by Finity on 12 January, 2010, 19:01
Earth-like doesn't mean you would actually be able to live on it. It means it's within certain parameters for life as we know it to grow in, it's very likely the air would not be breathable by lifeforms from Earth (and vice-versa). Which would mean some kind of terraforming to change it, if that's even possible.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Darkwind on 12 January, 2010, 23:17
Finity, you beat me to it. Look at the planet in the movie Avatar, the humans couldn't breath the air or eat the fruit.
Comment icon #8 Posted by MID on 13 January, 2010, 0:55
What we're talking about here has nothing to do with inhabiting another planet. It's simply stating the hope that we'll be able to locate planets within the habitable zone of a star...someplace, maybe even a planet with liquid water and an atmosphere that might support some form of life as we know it. We've already catalogued about 400 extra-solar planets to-date. An astounding number. With such a level of planetary discovery, it's simply natural to muse about the possibility of finding something like what we live on out there someplace. Going there, inhabiting the pla... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Grey Area on 13 January, 2010, 1:56
Indeed, this is not so much about finding life as such, but highlights a big area of research at moment around the formation of stars and planets. If we can find a world within the habitable zone of a star that is roughly the same size and in the right orbit of its star, then it will certainly be a milestone for human history. It will be the proof that the Earth is not unique. Further to this, if we do find an earth like world and are lucky enough to be able to determine whether it has liquid water and so on, I am sure we will see some bright spark bombarding that world with all sorts of... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by MID on 15 January, 2010, 2:32
I think that's precisely what this is about... I was just musing to an associate of mine yesterday about that. No doubt, if such a place is found, we'll be bouncing signals off her...it may take generations to await a possible response, but they'll do it. I think so. Indeed, I think all generations of scientists have had something to look forward to! This, though, is a pretty cool possibility.
Comment icon #11 Posted by DONTEATUS on 15 January, 2010, 4:05
Thats the Million,Quad-Drillion Dollar question! WHy we need to Fix Our Planet to be Habibital ! Were Killing our own Odd`s! Send a few buck`s to Haiti!

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