When we think of space, we make see it as the final frontier, we may think of the starship enterprise and we may just want to go to infinity and beyond. The only difference now, is that we get the chance to.
NASA has just announced the discovery of 7 new Earth sized exoplanets (planets orbiting a star outside our solar system) circling around our new favourite star TRAPPIST-1. This is “record-breaking” for many reasons, not the least of which is that never before have this many planets been found circling the same star. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, says that “the discovery gives us a hint that finding a second Earth is not just a matter of if, but when.”
Of course, the big question on everybody’s mind is – are we alone in the universe? Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA believes we are one step closer to answering it: “We live in a time when humanity can answer this question scientifically. And the first sign of answering this question is looking at exoplanets.”
With this news, I think it is time to seek out new life and new civilisations, maybe even boldly go where no man has gone before.