There are some who say that to think that Earth is the only planet in the universe that has living creatures is a very arrogant way of thinking, but so far from all of our explorations into space, there hasn’t really been much evidence to suggest otherwise, or at least as far as living creatures/organisms are concerned.
However during a recent news conference held by NASA, they believe that could change with the discovery of 7 Earth-sized planets that are 40 light years away from us and are within the “Goldilocks zone”. This recent discovery made possible thanks to the Spitzer Space Telescope marks the first time that astronomers have discovered another solar system that has planets that are roughly the same size as Earth.
NASA also believes that with the right atmospheric conditions, these planets should contain liquid surface water, along with oxygen, methane, ozone, and carbon dioxide in their atmospheres. According to Michael Gillon, lead author of the paper and the principal investigator of the TRAPPIST exoplanet survey, this “would tell us there is life with 99 percent confidence.”
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate adds, “This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life.” If this sounds like exciting news to you, you’ll be able to find more information about these exoplanets on NASA’s website, as well as a recent Reddit AMA held by the team.