NASA’s space telescope Kepler has revealed a ‘space geek’s’ greatest dream; alien life on another planet is likely to be a reality.

Scientists report that eight more small planets have been discovered, and two of them have a credible possibility of sustaining life. The telescope also revealed 554 so called ‘planet candidates.’ These are planets approximately the size of earth orbiting around other stars. They believe as many as eight of those could have life forms.

The Kepler telescope was launched in March of 2009 at a cost of $600 million. Its sole purpose was to discover earth-like planets in similar conditions which emulated possible life-sustaining situations relative to our own planet. The discoveries were made during the period of four years until the telescope had an operative failure in May of 2013 which prevented it from being precise in its ability to focus on suspected planets in specific areas.

The few number of planets which are considered as possible hosts of living organisms is in relation to size. Many of the newly discovered planets are considered ‘red dwarfs,’ and may be too small to contain sufficient gravitational pull to maintain an atmosphere.

Harvard University has also been researching the possibility of life sustaining planets. They have been using a powerful telescope called the HARPS-North located in the Canary Islands. The have been searching galaxies for planets which are no larger than twice the size of the Earth. They too believe that what we assumed to be unique may no longer be true. Life on other planets is a distinct possibility.

So, if you were a fan of science fiction books, comic books, or movies, you may see your fantasies become a reality. ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ may become more of a prediction than a fictional movie based on the imagination of science buffs.

By James Turnage



Photo courtesy of arbyreed

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