An artist's illustration of an Earth-like planet. The search for planets that are similar to Earth is one of NASA's main goals. Many planets have already been discovered orbiting other stars, but so far only larger planets (the size of Jupiter or larger) have been found. New missions are being planned by NASA which will be able to detect smaller Earth-sized planets. Some of these missions will also try to detect signs of life on these planets by studying emissions in their atmospheres.
For more information:
New space telescope to search for earth-sized planets
Planet-Hunting Spacecraft Beams Home First Images
Telescope can find "oodles" of Earths: NASA
Kepler spacecraft sees its first exoplanets
Kepler Detects an Exoplanet Atmosphere
Spacecraft blasts off in search of 'Earths'
Nasa launches search for second Earth
The Inspiring Boom in "Super-Earths"
Let the Planet Hunt Begin
Posted by Derrick Timko