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NASA Kepler telescope data suggests billions of Earth-like planets closer than imagined

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Kepler Space Telescope Data Reveals Billions Of Earth-Like Planets Near Earth

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If ET phones home today, his long distance charge might not be as much as people believed when Steven Spielberg's classic film came out three decades ago.

That's because recent data from NASA's Kepler space telescope suggests that billions of Earth-like planets are much closer than ever before imagined.

"The information we presented today will excite the general public because we now know that the nearest potentially Earth-like world is likely within 13 light years of the sun," astronomer Courtney Dressing said in an email to The Huffington Post.

"Astronomically speaking, 13 light years is practically next door."

While we don't know if intelligent life exists on any of these planets, it raises the chances of that possibility.

The scientific team studied the huge number of red dwarf stars in our galaxy -- stars that are smaller and have a longer life span than our own sun.

Just doing the math, the odds of Earth-like planets in our galaxy are, well, astronomical.

Scientists estimate 6 percent of the 75 billion red dwarf stars may have Earth-size planets orbiting them at a possible habitable distance. That works out to approximately 4.5 billion Earths out there.

"Before today, it could have been that Earth-like planets did not exist, or that they were so rare that the closest one would be beyond the reach of any telescope we might construct. Thus we would never know whether or not we were truly alone," astronomer David Charbonneau told HuffPost in an email.

Charbonneau, co-author of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics study, acknowledges the intense interest the public has in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

"I would say that the single greatest question in all of science is 'Are we alone?' The announcement today moves the ball downfield significantly toward answering this question.

"In my conversations with people around the world, I have found that this great question provides enormous perspective on our lives, in much the same way that knowing the physical size of the Universe has humbled our view of our place in the cosmos," Charbonneau said.

But even if a planet like Earth is only a stone's throw away, at 13 light years from us, how could we even see it with our current technology?

"Future missions, such as the NASA James Webb Space Telescope (the successor to Hubble) and proposed extremely large ground-based telescopes, like the Giant Magellan Telescope, will be able to probe the atmospheres of nearby habitable planets," Dressing said.

"Those missions will be able to search for biosignatures, like oxygen, and possibly lead to the first announcement of life on another world."

The results of Dressing's and Charbonneau's study will be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Taken from article here

Although plausible before hand, it's interesting to know we're starting to prove life on other planets is legitimate.

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Fermi, Fermi, Fermi....Fermi, Fermi, Fermi....

:)

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This is really Cool.

I think its a global question, and one that almost every country would put in some money to find out the answer to.

Lets set up a UN NASA and make it rich!

That way, the first place capable of making crafts to actually get there, will nuke the rest of us then fly away! ... wait...

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One thing I love/hate about science is that scientists believe one thing for a long, long time and then we find out later that they were completely wrong. 13 light years is pretty fookin' close comparatively.

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The intellegent life out there is waiting for humans to reach their level of intelligentence and that can not be acheived with human religions. Image the fear, confusion, hatreds and chaos if the Bible is proven wrong with alien proof.

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The intellegent life out there is waiting for humans to reach their level of intelligent and that can not be acheived with human religions. Image the fear, confusion, hatreds and chaos if the Bible is proven wrong with alien proof.

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The intellegent life out there is waiting for humans to reach their level of intelligent and that can not be acheived with human religions. Image the fear, confusion, hatreds and chaos if the Bible is proven wrong with alien proof.

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Well if they are that close we would of picked up their radio signals. Our signals are what 100 years now? still no doubt there are countless planets out there.

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You have quite the image-ation.

tumblr_lvjocnVUks1qbqczto1_500.jpg

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that ancient alien guy needs a hair cut holy crap therees probably alien life hiding in his hair haha

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One thing I love/hate about science is that scientists believe one thing for a long, long time and then we find out later that they were completely wrong. 13 light years is pretty fookin' close comparatively.

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Sunlight currently takes 16.89 hours to reach Voyager 1. Voyager 1 needs approx 17,500 years to be one light year away from earth at it's current speed.

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At my age...I'm learing it's not just science but practically everything I thought I ever knew has to be challenged...at my age

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Fermi, Fermi, Fermi....Fermi, Fermi, Fermi....

:)

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Just curious, as a Christian, what's your view on alien life? Something like that would rock the foundations of the church, would it not? In no way am I trying to bash religion or anything, just wondering what the consensus is among your community.

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Just curious, as a Christian, what's your view on alien life? Something like that would rock the foundations of the church, would it not? In no way am I trying to bash religion or anything, just wondering what the consensus is among your community.

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Might rock ones like some of the hard core ones...but doesn't mean a thing to me...I think it means even more to those hard core anti religious types as well...

Technically, there are Bible versus that can be interpreted as talking about aliens:

Example:

Revelation 9:7-11

In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth; they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

Course - what is an alien? A being that didn't originate from earth?

Well, technically, that means Jesus (and all the angels) are aliens.

The NOTW in my pic means "Not Of This World".

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Technically, there are Bible versus that can be interpreted as talking about aliens:

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Alien life is, at this point, something completely made up in our imagination. We have no proof of it whatsoever.

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Sorry, but no.

The scripture clearly says the locusts come from a pit in the earth. The locusts are obviously figurative (as most of Revelation is), but saying they could be some sort of "alien" has no basis.

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