TOPIC: Earth meet your cousin, Keplar-186f.
FINDING: Finally, using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-sized planet, Keplar-186f, in the Golidlocks zone, the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.
IMPLICATIONS: For some, like Adrienne LeFrance of The Atlantic who writes in her article, This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First Cousin, “Today we know that Earth is special. What we don’t know is how long we’ll be able to say that.”
For others, like myself who not only expect to find innumerable earth-sized planets but also signs of life, the discovery does not make the earth any more or less special. What it does do is continue to open the doors of possibility. This discovery takes us another baby step closer to the possibility of other life in the universe. Imagine, a cosmos with multiple stories of its genesis. God, I love this universe.
When God began creating the Universes and the Earths….
“We know of just one planet where life exists — Earth. When we search for life outside our solar system we focus on finding planets with characteristics that mimic that of Earth,” said Elisa Quintana, research scientist at the SETI Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and lead author of the paper published today in the journal Science. “Finding a habitable zone planet comparable to Earth in size is a major step forward.”