NASA is set to make a pretty big announcement today at 4pm, and we’re already on the edge of our seats.
The Ames Research Centre team has revealed that they’ll be making a pretty important statement on Thursday at 4pm UTC (9am PDT on Thursday, or 2am AEST on Friday) about their findings using the Kepler Space Telescope. The US space agency has caused quite a stir after hinting that they’ve discovered a planet similar to Earth:
“Exoplanets, especially small Earth-size worlds, belonged within the realm of science fiction just 21 years ago… Today, and thousands of discoveries later, astronomers are on the cusp of finding something people have dreamed about for thousands of years — another Earth.”
Another Earth. We can’t decide if that’s awesome or completely terrifying.
According to CBC News,
Astronomers previously discovered eight or nine of planets similar in size to Earth and in the “Goldilocks” or “habitable” zones of their stars – the region in which the temperature is right for liquid water, and therefore life as we know it, to exist.
The most recent discoveries, made with the Kepler telescope, were announced in January.
However, it’s not known whether any of those planets have Earth-like atmospheres, and most orbit near the edges of their star’s habitable zone, where average temperatures would be quite hot or cold compared to Earth.
The Kepler telescope was launched in 2009 and specifically designed to search for planets around distant stars. So far it has found more than 3,000 planets candidates and confirmed more than 1,000 planets.
The talk will include John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA‘s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Centre in Moffett Field, California, Jeff Coughlin, Kepler research scientist at SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, and Didier Queloz, professor of astrophysics at Cambridge University, United Kingdom.
The hints are relentless – let’s just hope they follow through. Is there extraterrestrial life? Can we live there?! Am I going to space?!?!
Find out by watching the live stream here:
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