Kepler Scientist: ‘Galaxy is Rich in Earth-Like Planets’
In a recent presentation, Kepler co-investigator Dimitar Sasselov preempted the official announcement that the exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope has discovered about 140 candidate worlds orbiting other stars that are “like Earth.”
Although he refers to these exoplanets as “candidate” Earth-like worlds, Sasselov goes on to talk about the statistical prevalence of small planets throughout the Milky Way.
Undoubtedly, this is huge news. If officially confirmed by NASA — and only then would it be advisable to pop the champagne corks — the discovery of dozens of worlds of comparable size to Earth is historic.
Speculation about the existence of alien life will have another strong case to suggest that if planets like Earth are not rare, than perhaps “life as we know it” is ubiquitous throughout the Milky Way.