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According to a report from scientists from the NASA Kepler mission, their space telescope has just confirmed the existence of 100 NEW Alien planets that could potentially harbor extraterrestrial life.
The Kepler mission was launched in March 2009 and its ultimate goal is to find as many Earth-like planets as possible in the Milky Way. Until now, the unmanned space telescope has found over 1000 Alien planets, of which around 100 are expected to be nearly identical or, very similar to Earth.
“Scientists have also found 234 possible planets that are awaiting confirmation,” Andrew Vanderburg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said.
The Kepler Telescope finds other planets by recording brightness fluctuations caused when a planet crosses the star’s orbit and interrupts, for a brief period of time, the emission of light.
This historical finding comes soon after the space telescope was doomed after its steering failed in 2013 after which many, including some astronomers, wrote off the Kepler mission.
But, thankfully Kepler mission specialists quickly figured out a way to overcome the failure in the spacecraft and keep it operational, using solar radiation pressure. Thanks to the quick reaction, the space telescope continues its mission in search of Alien worlds similar to our planet.
In 2014, Kepler commenced its K2 mission and principal investigator Bill Borucki stated that the spacecraft could still find ‘dozens’ or even hundreds of exoplanets in the near future.
“This is a validation of the whole K2 programme’s ability to find large numbers of true, bona fide planets,” said Ian Crossfield, an astronomer at the University of Arizona.
According to reports, Kepler has observed over 50,000 stars finding over 7000 transit-like signals during the early stages of the K2 mission.
In other statements, Tom Barclay from NASA’s Ames Research center said that the spacecraft is currently looking for different types of planets.
“We are focusing on stars that are much brighter, stars that are nearer by, stars that are easier to understand and observe from the Earth. The idea here is to find the best systems, the most interesting systems,” Barclay said in a statement.
The Kepler mission can boast that it has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet located within the ‘habitable zone’ of its star, something that has given hopes to everyone who is eager to discover alien civilizations in the cosmos.
Whether we will find aliens or not in the near future is up to debate.
But, the Kepler mission has certainly proven to be one of the best in NASA’s space exploration programme allowing us to better understand the types of Alien planets elsewhere in the cosmos. Maybe one day, in the near future, we will come across tell-tale signs that could point us in the right direction as to where in the cosmos we should be looking for Alien planets inhabited by our cosmic neighbors.