The Search for Earthlike Planets

The Search for Earthlike Planets

2014, Science  -   28 Comments
Ratings: 8.32/10 from 175 users.

For many years, the remarkable planet-searching mission, Kepler, gazed at a large body of 150,000 stars situated in a neighborhood located 3,000 light years away from planet Earth. The valuable information harvested by this space probe has brought a critical point in this lengthy search for earthlike planets. Is planet Earth one of many life-supporting worlds scattered across the galaxy; or is it a unique garden of Eden in a desolate universe?

What are we discovering about our place in the universe, from the hunt for planets similar to Earth? Thousands of years ago, humans began to migrate across the planet, following mysterious roadways, traversing unfathomable distances. We followed all coastlines, and crossed dangerous seas.

We managed to cross the ocean's narrow passages depleted by the last ice age. Into every obscure part of Earth we went, looking for a land to put down our roots, to take care of our families, or just to discover what was there. Today, it's the unexplored universe that excites our imagination. With countless of stars in just one ordinary galaxy, such as the Milky Way, we make a logical estimation, that the universe must be packed with earthlike worlds, with life... even with humanlike life.

This supposed "many worlds" hypothesis dates back to age-old times, to China, India, Greece and Egypt. The Qur'an, the Talmud, and many Hindu texts all fancied a cosmos full of live forms. It wasn't until the 16th century that this belief became grounded in the solid concepts of the physical universe.

Astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus asserted that Earth revolves around the Sun. That paved the way for the Italian monk, Giordano Bruno, a natural philosopher who assumed that the universe is everlasting and endless. He claimed that there is a myriad of worlds with various life forms, intelligent beings included. Bruno's explicit objections to church dogma got him put to death in the year 1600. His main ideas were proven when Galileo Galilei used his telescope to demonstrate that our Sun is just one among innumerable other stars.

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Christian Petersen
2 years ago

I wish the'd start making new documentaries with updates fact about today's advances, knowledge and discoveries!

Carl Thatcher
5 years ago

How defeatist, pessimistic to focus on possible human immigration to other star systems, when we have here just what we need. It's a magnificent, habitable place for all to reside, grow, thrive and discover more about what the world and its varied life systems are about. But this is true ONLY if we can care sufficiently for it and ourselves. No owners' manual here. But we have the knowledge and skills to go on with dedication, no gods required. Just perseverance and mutual cooperation.

David Kachel
5 years ago

Though I fully agree with Hawking that the human race can only endure by moving out into the stars, the 100 year thing is just ridiculous. Shame on Hawking for even saying it. The chances of an extinction event occurring in the next hundred years are almost certainly identical on whatever planet we might choose to colonize, as they are here. Not to mention on the space ship we might send there. Such a ship would face far greater risk than either planet. What a joke to rush to an uncertain planet only to discover it blew up two days before ours did. The only urgency is that of discovery.

6 years ago

Jeff, I have to disagree.

Religion = Politics = Power/Wealth Accumulation and Control. Plus, there is nothing science about it. It's pure fantasy fiction. Apologetics is the pseudo-science fiction...working hard to "baffle with bullsh*t" the less intellectually endowed. I can almost here it now...

I tells ya, all the learnin ya'll need is right in this here committee-approved, thousand-time edited, fairy tale inspired by Sky Daddy hissef. Now vote how we tells ya, pass the collection plate and give til it hurts.

8 years ago

I have always known that NASA reached the one trillion dollar mark is spending, and its mission? No matter what dogma they pump out, their mission was and is to disprove the existence of God. One of their top scientists was fired this past year for implying thought was a possibility on why we are, as we are. Molecular Biology is clearly showing that Darwinists can no longer pass this blind unguided process is responsible for you and I are a product of design, and I believe that to be God. Science is a religion in itself, when they use theories as facts, and this happens in the biologies on a regular basis. Einstein when asked about God said that no mere human could explain such an entity, should God exist. He said to come back once science has produced a blade of grass, and we are still waiting. I wonder what one trillion dollars would do in the way of Cancer research? The answer is practically nothing, as chemotherapy is a 30 billion dollars a year industry. The same applies to heart disease, and why or how can that happen? It is really quite simple. Folks that believe in God have morals ingrained in them, while the religion or ideology of science, are completely devoid of, after all, they are getting ready for the trillions they will make with the baby boomers. Anyone can say its an earth like planet, and all this through red shift of light.They do not even know how light behaves at these extreme distances, but I will wait for that blade of grass. The audacity of these so called scientists,who are morally corrupt, but if you want to follow this ridiculous notion that their is life on other planets, read Genius and find out why God did what He did. I will put my faith in Him, while you dreamers can dream.

9 years ago

An inevitable probability, sometimesI crack myself up.

9 years ago

This is so great how we can make tech like this to venture off into other galaxies it's just amazing so amazing

9 years ago

all this for who? the kids of AMERICA hopefully! and only !

John Doherty
9 years ago

A good documentary but only relevant to theme from 13th minute IMHO

9 years ago

This doc was short but very interesting. Our ability to create technology to observe the universe is truly amazing. I really enjoyed the photos and graphics.
I love my planet and never want to leave it.

9 years ago

it's next to a miracle how far we've come & when one ponders that by placing a certain amount of telescopical mirrors in to orbit functioning as one giant observing tool we could actually 'see' one of earths 'twins',i believe to have heard & that is just breath taking.