According to NASA, the Kepler telescope has now revealed stunning data pointing to 20 planets that have been “hiding in plain sight” and are orbiting a sun and the possibilities of these planets being habitable is pretty high. Among the twenty, one planet resembles our Earth very closely and consumes about 395 days in completing a revolution around its star. Further, it is believed that the climate in this planet is similar to that obtaining in Arctic Tundra on our Earth.
Among space buffs, this discovery has caused significant excitement. Each planet is believed to have varying length of orbit with one taking 395 days while another takes 18 days going round its star.
Jeff Coughlin, who leads the Kepler team analysing the data says that the exoplanet that takes 395 days to orbit its star has the greatest possibility to sustain life. This one planet is also said have many similarities with the Earth and has a cooler temperature while being warm enough to hold liquid water which opens up the possibilities of sustaining human life. The Hubble Space Telescope would now be observing these planets more closely now.
Earlier in 2017, 219 new exoplanets were detected by the Kepler Telescope and 10 of them could be habitable. The Ames Research Centre of NASA states further that some 4,034 planets in the galaxy are worth observing.
For ages, mankind has been fascinated by the hunt for new worlds and several expeditions have been undertaken to find alien life in an effort to prove that humans are not alone in this universe. Since 2009, the Kepler telescope has been engaged in this mission before it suffered from a technical snag in 2013. Presently, a second telescope has taken over and is slated to continue till 2018. Data provided by the two telescopes have pointed to several thousand suitable planets and scientists are presently waiting for discovery of terrestrial planets marginally bigger compared to the Earth with favourable conditions to sustain human life.
Is this good news for Elon Musk, whose SpaceX is pursuing its efforts to colonise Mars. Will there be competition for real estate in Mars sooner than we could expect?