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.


Earth-like planets could be found soon: astronomers

January 8, 2010

Astronomers say they are on the verge of finding planets like Earth orbiting other stars, a key step in determining if we are alone in the universe.

A top NASA official and other leading scientists say that within four or five years they should discover the first Earth-like planet where life could develop, or may have already. A planet close to the size of Earth could even be found sometime this year if preliminary hints from a new space telescope pan out.

At the annual American Astronomical Society conference this week, each discovery involving so-called "exoplanets" — those outside our solar system — pointed to the same conclusion: Quiet planets like Earth where life could develop probably are plentiful, despite a violent universe of exploding stars, crushing black holes and colliding galaxies.

NASA's new Kepler telescope and a wealth of new research from the suddenly hot and competitive exoplanet field generated noticeable buzz at the convention. Scientists are talking about being at "an incredible special place in history" and closer to answering a question that has dogged humanity since the beginning of civilization.

"The fundamental question is: Are we alone? For the first time, there's an optimism that sometime in our lifetimes we're going to get to the bottom of that," said Simon (Pete) Worden, an astronomer who heads NASA's Ames Research Center. "If I were a betting man, which I am, I would bet we're not alone — there is a lot of life."

Read the full story here:
Astronomers: We could find Earth-like planets soon


Anonymous said...

i want to see the earth like plants ............. i want know if there is people living there ? and how long would it take if we try to go to the new earth. i have so many "what if" quistions. Omg this is messing whith my head.................... i want to know so bad.......can some body go to the new earth now :)

< Gabrielle M >

Anonymous said...

i wanted to go out of this world,

Anonymous said...

i always believed that there are aliens and other creations out of this world. the whole universe is so huge that we cant even imagine and surely there are not only us living on small dot of land as compared to whole universe. might be some one from other world watch our world and says "look at this star glowing"..
its amazing, every thing i watch is amazing..