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NASA's Kepler Discovers Ancient Solar System With Five Earth-Like Planets

NASA s Kepler Discovers Ancient Solar System With Five Earth Like Planets The Atlantic

NASA s Kepler Discovers Ancient Solar System With Five Earth Like Planets The Atlantic


One of the greatest questions is whether life exists beyond our pale blue dot. The search extends across space and through the universe’s 13.8-billion-year history.Now, scientists have found five Earth-sized planets—all around an ancient, orange star—that suggest life in the universe could be far older than previously believed.

“We’ve never seen anything like this—it is such an old star and the large number of small planets make it very special,” Daniel Huber, an astronomer from the University of Sydney and a co-author of an Astrophysical Journal paper about the finding published this week, said in a statement.

Huber is part of a team of researchers who identified what they say is the oldest planetary system ever found. It consists of five small, rocky planets orbiting a star two and a half times as old as Earth’s sun—and dates back 11.2 billion years. Although astronomers do not believe that these planets harbor life today, theysay the findings suggest terrestrial-size planets capable of hosting life may have formed much earlier than previously thought.

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The thought of an 11.2 billion year old ancient star is mind blowing. 

Evidence of previous life there would shift our understanding of the universe. 

What we do in life echoes through eternity. 

I realize that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but I sometimes am on the fence about whether the claim of no life elsewhere is more extraordinary than the assertion that life *must* exist all over the place.

I know that feeling.

It's worth reading Wait But Why's Fermi Paradox:

Yup, very familiar.  It's just which assertion is more ridiculous?  That I wrestle with.

IMHO, it's not that there isn't life to detect, it is that it is by its very nature so distant, that it is likely gone by the time we'd recognize it.  To date, our tools are just starting to gain some maturity to be able to even detect exoplanets, forget earth-like planets.

Let me heavily recommend Stephen Baxter's Manifold series, easily some of the best and most thought out works of 'SciFi' I've ever read.

Thanks JP. I think the most likely scenario is that life is out there but we don't yet have the tools to detect and communicate with it. 

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