Houston we have a problem- The most recent Galactic discovery!
Houston we have a problem. Well actually I suppose it’s more of a dilemma. Which planet are we heading to for next year’s holiday? With the most recent epic discovery from the boffins over at NASA, this predicament doesn’t seem quite as far-fetched as it sounds.
OK let’s not get ahead of ourselves. On Wednesday 22nd February NASA announced the discovery of a new solar system which contains 7 new planets, 3 of which have similar features to our very own Earth. This has led many to ask some pressing questions. Could these possibly support life? Are we alone in the universe? Is this where The Rebel Alliance is hiding?
OK I may have gotten ahead of myself again there.
Is this proof of alien life?
Six planets are said to be the right temperatures to theoretically hold water which then could support life. However only 3 are conventionally ‘habitable’ which NASA class as possibly being able to hold life. So that narrows it down slightly. Maybe running into Chewbacca around the pool is out of the question.
Manchester’s very own star gazer Professor Brian Cox tweeted on Wednesday ‘The discovery of 7 Earth-sized planets around a single star is stunning. Imagine what these worlds might be like.’ Professor Cox’s statement and the announcement do get you thinking about the sheer size of the cosmos and the endless possibilities it presents. It promises to challenge our perceptions of what is possible, to be less cynical and to push ourselves further which to me is an extremely exciting thought.
Thousands of planets discovered
All in all, NASA has found 3,449 planets over the years however no discovery has been quite as hopeful as this with the system now going by the slightly Star Trek sounding name ‘Trappist-1’. This being said, they have stated that there is no guarantee of alien life as so many factors need to be taken into consideration. A close encounter might be a bit further away than first thought.
With that said I’d like to remain a believer and stand by what one of my heroes Neil deGrasse Tyson once said, ‘Life doesn’t exist anywhere but Earth? That’s like filling a cup with ocean water and saying there aren’t any whales!’
Have I gotten ahead of myself again?……Nah! Infinite space, infinite possibilities…. The truth is out there!