BEACON TRANSCRIPT – About twenty years ago, nobody would have imagined that the quest for habitable planets will ignite the imagination of the scientists and the public. The idea of Earth-like planets orbiting other stars in space was far out, the stuff of science fiction.
Now, research has revealed that there are other planets throughout the galaxies, and many of them have Earth – like features. These potentially habitable planets are far more numerous than there are people on Earth.
The ten-minute documentary “The Search for Earth Proxima” is about discoveries and breakthroughs, about curiosity and creativity – things which characterize humans.
With new space telescopes like Kepler, scientists uncover the mysteries of the universe. The spacecraft has found planets that orbit stars and some of them are the right size, the right distance away from the sun and have some intriguing, Earth-like conditions.
The challenge is to find these planets because they are dimly lit. It’s like finding a firefly in a source of light, from ten miles away. So far, experts have looked at Alpha Centauri, stars that are close to us. But even that distance means they’re a few light years away. This kind of distance requires traveling close to the speed of life, in order for a manned mission to be feasible.
So, for now, all we have is stargazing, through powerful and sophisticated technology. Around the world, space agencies and private contractors are teaming up to find habitable planets and to build cutting edge technology. Space X is one of these partners, which wants to help achieve the first manned mission to Mars, and has so far worked with NASA on a number of other endeavors.
The newest Earth candidates discovered by the Hubble Telescope are two Earth-like exoplanets, called TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c, and they’re in the space neighborhood – about 40 light years away. These are rocky planets, orbiting a smaller, nearby sun. They’re located in the constellation of Aquarius.
With the huge number of planets which could host life, it’s a matter of time before a potentially liveable planet will be discovered. That day will probably make humankind realize that there are things out there more important than conflicts, which require uniting, instead of the usual division – the documentary suggests.
What’s your opinion on this one? Do you ever think we will find alien life, in our lifetime?
Image Source – Wikipedia