Did NASA Just Find Alien Life? Kepler Discovery Changes Everything

Monday, 11 December 2017 - 10:58AM
Space
Alien Life
Monday, 11 December 2017 - 10:58AM
Did NASA Just Find Alien Life? Kepler Discovery Changes Everything
Image credit: Pixabay
NASA is preparing to announce the latest discovery made by its planet-hunting Kepler telescope—and the findings could change the course of human history.  
 
At 1 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 14, NASA will host a teleconference to explain what the Kepler space telescope has recently discovered about the exoplanets that exist far from here and hold potential to reveal more about the growth of our world, and possibly if life has taken hold somewhere far from us.
 
Researchers made the discovery using a Google AI learning machine, "an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analyzing Kepler data."
 
Kepler kicked off its mission in 2012, and ran that original game plan until 2014, when it began the K2 mission, searching for planets beyond the solar system, as well as looking at cosmic objects like supernovae and stars.

 

If the news alone that Kepler has made a discovery doesn't get you excited, remember that during its first mission, the spacecraft turned up 4,496 possible exoplanets—2,337 of which have been confirmed and 30 are Earth-sized worlds that exist in what science calls "habitable zones," an orbit around a star that could allow for liquid water and livable atmospheric conditions.  
 
But that's not all: the K2 trip has already turned up 515 candidate exoplanets, confirming 178 of those.

 

The last Kepler announcement expressed the study of the Praesepe star cluster, or "Beehive Cluster," a group of youthful stars that have been a good source for exoplanet discoveries.

The M67 star cluster is also under watch, as its makeup and age are similar to our Sun and could serve as a helpful parallel to the evolution of our solar system.    
 
Kepler will also be taking a look at a planet where life is quite confirmed: Earth, spending a half-hour taking pics of home and the Moon which, at the current Kepler distance, will be more of a blurry blob on its cameras than the usual cloudy blue marble we know it to be.
 
Teleconference audio and visual will stream live at nasa.gov/live.
 
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Did NASA Just Find Alien Life? Kepler Discovery Changes Everything
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