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)