Apparently the world discovered yesterday about the existence of the Kepler project and the social media today are full of news about one of the exoplanets discovered by the scientist that are manning this project… since 2009.
The golden arguments are the similarities between our solar system and Kepler-452’s own. Same kind of star, a planet in the “goldilocks zone“, other planets in the system that are probably the like of Jupiter and Saturn. The message is clear, “another Earth!”, and let there be a million of artist renditions of this newfound planet.
Well, take five. Or ten.
According to NASA, there’s a 50% chance of similar composition of Kepler-452b with our planet. That means that we got a solid 50% choice of a very different world, where life as we know simply cannot exist. It’s the better candidate ever but there are more than 1,000 more planets to check out and many more to be detected.
The hunt for a Earth’s twin is still on and will continue for many years, no matter of how many good candidates we will find. There’s a lot we still don’t know about the formation of solar systems and the set of conditions needed for talking about “a new Earth” is quite hard to be satisfied. So, hold your horses for now.
What we know for sure now is that a number of exoplanets exists. Most of them are gas giants even bigger than Jupiter, a few are similar in size to our beloved Earth, fewer are in the right place to get enough energy from their star to have the choice of liquid water on their surfaces. It’s a lot. But it’s not enough.
Meanwhile, wouldn’t it be nice if somebody starts to pump serious money in the projects related to the Alcubierre concept? Because, you know, once we get the right place it will be a pity to leave it alone…