Signs of alien life in 2017? Possibly.

The search for alien life has been going on for decades. Would the year 2017 finally unearth some long-awaited answers? Just recently, NASA announced a shocking discovery: a solar system with seven planets just like Earth that may be life-sustaining.

Well, at least three of them are. The researchers at NASA say the planets may sustain alien life due to their position within the “temperate zone”; they have just the right temperature for alien life to flourish. They may even have oceans!

They also discovered that the exoplanets TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c, approximately 40 light-years away, are unlikely to have atmospheres saturated with hydrogen, which are usually found on more gaseous planets.

This lack of hydrogen is precisely why these planets are said to have better habitability, according to team member Nikole Lewis of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore. He said: “If they had a significant hydrogen-helium envelope, there is no chance that either one of them could potentially support life because the dense atmosphere would act like a greenhouse.”

British astronomer Dr. Chris Copperwheat, from Liverpool John Moores University, who was part of NASA’s international team, said: “The discovery of multiple rocky planets with surface temperatures which allow for liquid water make this amazing system an exciting future target in the search for life.”

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope plays a huge role in the search for life-sustaining planets. Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has been giving us glimpses to our mysterious universe. One of the main purposes for building Hubble was to measure the size and age of the Universe and test theories about its origin. Let’s just say, the universe as we know it is bigger than you could ever imagine. The revolutionary image, Hubble Ultra Deep Field, from 1994 gave us the first indication of just how many distant galaxies exist.

edu_what_is_hubble3Image: Hubble Ultra Deep Field, 1994. The image above illustrates a shocking assortment of nearly 1500 galaxies.

Dr Simon Foster, esteemed physicist from Imperial College London, told “In the past, when we thought we had discovered aliens previously, it was a new form of star called the pulsar.”

He said: “We don’t know hardly anything and when we come up against something we don’t know or doesn’t fit into our current understanding, it is quite nice to say that it could be aliens, whereas a lot of it is just a phenomena that we haven’t discovered.”

“Either way there is a breakthrough just around the corner,” according to him.

On March 10th, I’ll be sitting down with Dr. Simon Foster himself, who was among the first to claim that alien life would be discovered in 2017.  

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