In a recent article published by Science Daily, I learned that NASA funded scientists recently have found "planets orbiting sun-like stars in a crowded cluster of stars”. This is an extraordinary find that could lead to earth like planets in other galaxies. This also shows that planets can survive in densely populated areas. Because these planets are similar to Jupiter, they cannot sustain life. However, perhaps we can find planets just like our own in this cluster.
A drawback to these findings is the unlikelihood of finding these earth like planets.
The Beehive Nebula, the cluster that contains these planets, was formed at the same time out of the same material. Therefore, the chances of finding a solid planet are slim but still possible. Mario R. Perez, a scientist in the Origin of Solar Systems Program states, “We are detecting more and more planets that can thrive in diverse and extreme environments like these nearby clusters.” Perhaps with this information, we can increase the chances of the Drake Equation.
The Drake Equation is something I have always been interested in. The equation predicts the chances of finding life on other planets. It is widely used by SETI, another thing that I have been interested in. The Drake Equation calculates that the probability in finding life in another planet is about one in 182 million. Perhaps finding more planets in places once thought not to contain them may increase these odds. Perez also states that there are more than 1000 of these clusters in our galaxy and they may harbor more planets that we do not know about.
This also gives us a slight chance of hope to find earth like planets in our galaxy.
On the flip side, what would happen if we did find these earth like planets. There is no way of actually finding out what secrets they may contain. The closest earth like planet outside our solar system is still light years away! Even though it may sound crazy, we need to put forth the effort to explore the galaxy. But first, I propose that we continue exploring our own solar system for now.
Recently we landed a new rover on Mars, which is a great step in that direction. I really do not like to talk politics, but I feel that President Obama is inhibiting our space exploration by defunding NASA. NASA is a very important part of this country, and in many years, whoever controls outer space will control the world. Perhaps we can collaborate with other countries to research new technologies. The world is getting more and more connected, and perhaps by working with our neighbors, we can increase our foreign relationships and vastly speed up the technological pursuit.
New research also shows that the moon contains a great amount of Helium-3. This isotope is not readily found on earth, but can easily be fused together to generate immense amounts of electricity. If we were to invest more resources into a moon colony, then the world's electricity needs may be met forever.