While I was sleeping NASA made a big announcement.
The Kepler space telescope has found a new Earth, at least, that’s what the tabloids are calling it. The official name is Kepler-452b.
It is the closest match to Earth yet found, in the so called Goldilocks zone, just the right distance from the sun in it’s solar system, neighbours to us in the Milky Way, a mere 1,400 light years away.
It is older than our Earth, by a little over a billion years, around 60% larger, and scientists believe it may be a rocky world like ours, with surface water and an atmosphere. Some of this is speculation, and we don’t currently have the technology to get a detailed image. At that size, gravity would be almost double ours, though that is manageable.
Thoughts have turned to speculation, to the possibilities, that it might have once had, or may even now, hold intelligent life. With the additional gravity, lifeforms would still be possible. Bones would be denser. Bodies lower, stockier.
SETI have trained their arrays onto it, searching for an emissions, signals, any signs indicating an advanced race.
A discovery of intelligent life so close to us (in relative terms) would I believe be a game changer, a world changing event.
It could put our current troubles, over land and borders, over religion, into perspective as petty squabbles. It could also add momentum to getting out there among the stars. And perhaps cause a re-evaluation of our prehistory, all those discarded theories of alien visitations would need to be looked at again.
If the hopes for this new Earth 2 don’t come to anything, not to worry. Kepler is still out there, hunting for more. And it is doing a damn good job too.