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First 'alien Earth' to be found this year ?

Posted on Thursday, 3 January, 2013 | Comment icon 25 comments

Image credit: NASA

Scientists are optimistic that the first true Earth-like planet will be found in the very near future.

So far astronomers have identified at least 800 planets around distant stars and that figure will continue to grow as planet hunting techniques improve. NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has been invaluable in the search, with several thousand potential targets flagged for further study and astronomers confident that as many as 80% of those will prove to be positive matches.

While many planets have been found that are thought to be potentially Earth-like, none have been close enough to be classed as a genuine 'alien Earth'. This is likely to change however and such a discovery could be made within the next 12 months. "I'm very positive that the first Earth twin will be discovered [this] year," said Abel Mendez of the Arecibo Planetary Habitability Laboratory.

"The first truly Earth-like alien planet is likely to be spotted next year, an epic discovery that would cause humanity to reassess its place in the universe."

  View: Full article |  Source: Huffington Post

  Discuss: View comments (25)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by bison on 5 January, 2013, 19:52
Troublehalf; Very sorry to hear about about all your health difficulties. I, too, was puzzled by Dr. Grotzinger's sensational-seeming remarks about an historic discovery on Mars, and the subsequent apparent pull back. I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt in all this, now assuming that he is sincere in admitting that he simply got carried away by the moment, when he learned that Curiosity was working as they'd hoped. Perhaps he was also thinking ahead to the historic discoveries he hoped the rover could make. One of his colleagues spoke in a similar vein, saying that Curiosity ... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by bison on 5 January, 2013, 20:04
'this Scientist' you mention is Dr. John Grotzinger. He is still in his position as head of the Curiosity rover science team. He's just released a statement that Curiosity is expected to begin drilling into a rock in order to get better specimens to analyze, next week.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Troublehalf on 7 January, 2013, 20:07
Thank you guys for reading my post about my "conspiracy". I suppose if he was removed from his post, people would be even more curious, start asking questions "Why did he get fired?" or whatever. Perhaps Obama was briefed on the possibility they MIGHT find bacterial life with the rover soon. It would make sense. Let us say that the organic compound discovery was legit and NOT contamination, the next experiments would go look for other interesting things. Remember folks, this machine is 100% dedicated, with state-of-the-art equipment for specifically testing for organic m... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 7 January, 2013, 21:00
Troublehalf, you are REALLY taking this thread off topic. It is not about Curiosity or Conspiracy theories, it is about the potential that Earth like planets will be found this year. This site has a Conspiracies & Secret Societies forum and a Extraterrestrial Life & The UFO Phenomenon forum. Either of those places would be more appropriate to continue your discussion than this thread. Thank you
Comment icon #20 Posted by minera on 9 January, 2013, 4:40
so what exactly is the true motive for finding an earth like planet? colonize? exploit it's natural resources? invade it? Seems ridiculous to be even looking for life on other planets if they are so adamant there are no such things as alien life forms.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Merc14 on 9 January, 2013, 4:43
What do you think?
Comment icon #22 Posted by minera on 9 January, 2013, 4:50
most likely all of the above mentioned.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Merc14 on 9 January, 2013, 4:58
Who is adamant that there are no "alien" life forms. It is pretty much a consensus view that life exists elsewhere, probably even in our own solar system, so I am not sure who you are referencing with that statement. Intelligent life existing is a bigger question but only flat earthers rule it out completely. As far as why look it is what we do as an intelligent species and to survive we need to explore.
Comment icon #24 Posted by minera on 9 January, 2013, 5:20
there may be a consensus but so far they have not found and proof to prove the concensus. I personally believe there are many life forms out there and many more intelligent than the ones on this planet. In fact I believe they found us before we found them.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Merc14 on 9 January, 2013, 5:48
You can believe what you want but go watch this that cost $2.5B to look for life. I got to meet these folks with my 6 year old at the time on the day before the landing at the VASC and they were awesome. To think we aren't risking things to look for life and aren't exploring when we did something like this landing at such a huge risk of loss of billions of dollars and that, that little vehicle is running at 100% is ridiculous. Curiosity is a huge achievement and a major step forward and she will have many offsp... [More]

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