Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

3/25/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Hunt for extraterrestial life is narrowing down to candidate star systems.

A major discovery has been announced in the search for life beyond our Solar System. NASA researchers say they have located a planet the size of Earth orbiting the habitable zone around a nearby star. Such a find is an important milestone in the search for alien life.

Are there other planets just like Earth? Scientists strongly suspect so and it's only a matter of time before we locate them.

Are there other planets just like Earth? Scientists strongly suspect so and it's only a matter of time before we locate them.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/25/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: planet, life, earth, search, faith, God, telescope, discovery


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomer Thomas Barclay from NASA's Ames Research Center in California announced his discovery made with the venerable Kepler Space Telescope which has already located a majority of the planets around other stars.

The planet he discovered is calculated to be 1.1 times the size of Earth and orbits a common dwarf star, much like our Sun, at a distance where liquid water can exist at the surface. These are fundamental prerequisites for life.

St. Dominic de Guzman, patron saint of astronomers.

The identification of such planets is the next natural step in the search for life beyond Earth. Already we have completed a preliminary step, which includes searching for stars which harbor planets. The next step includes identifying which stars with planets have planets where liquid water could exist.

Once those discoveries are made, scientists will be very close to answering with a high degree of precision whether or not life exists on another planet outside our solar system. The final step will be to image the planets themselves, and to study the light refracted through their atmospheres. This is surprisingly easy to do, provided a telescope with sufficient resolution is built.

Scientists will look for biomarkers, chemical traces of life in each planet's atmosphere. One such biomarker is oxygen. Although oxygen is a common element in the universe, ozone, a form of oxygen, is considered to be a biomarker which can indicate the presence of life.

The James Webb Space Telescope and several other next-generation telescopes that are already n the works, have the required ability and will be launched starting in 2018. By 2020, scientists should have their first results in hand and be ready for announcement to the public. We are but half-a-decade away from answering one of the most compelling questions of our existence.

How that question is answered could go either way. We could find that life is common in the universe, requiring just a little water and light as prerequisites for creation, or we may find that Earth is a truly special gem that floats quietly in a vast universe devoid of life.

Both findings have profound implications for how we will view ourselves and the universe in which we live.

Some also argue that this question has profound implications for religion, however this is not entirely true. The Catholic Church has actually wrangled with this very question before and simply concluded that man cannot place creative limits on God.

Even if we detect life, it does not mean that epic changes will occur. There is a great gulf between the detection of life and communicating with it. We could detect life on a planet hundreds of light-years distant, and life there may already be extinct, wiped out in some cataclysm, possibly of alien design, or natural. It makes sense, for we humans are already well capable of destroying Earth.

We may find that such planets are too far to communicate with, even using radio waves which move at the speed of light.

We may also prefer not to communicate in the first place.

Any civilization which we encounter that is technologically superior to ours will have an inherent advantage over us. It may be that we do not want to invite contact with beings which could have designs on our planet and its resources. Consider the example of the Native Americans. Contact with technologically advanced outsiders did not favor them.

Regardless of what the next few decades bring, we are very close to answering the a great scientific question. The discovery of another Earthlike planet brings us that much closer to closing the book on one topic, and opening many others.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Technology

We are THIS close to finding life on another planet Watch

Image of The James Webb Space Telescope may bring us the answers we seek regarding life in the universe.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have announced the discovery of three planets in the habitable zone of a star just 39 light years away. Such planets have the potential to host life, making them targets for future study. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Are scientists about to ... continue reading


Chinese invent robots that can beat humans at soccer Watch

Image of Chinese robots are now beating humans at their own game.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Earlier this year, a robot beat a master player at the ancient game of Go. Now, robots are beating humans at soccer. Armies of engineers are working around the world to develop artificial intelligence and robots that can do what humans do, only better. They're making ... continue reading


Top Secret Area 51 on fire - film footage captures mysterious mushroom cloud, armed security at base Watch

Image of What just happened in the secretive Area 51?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

UFO watchers have spotted a mysterious mushroom-shaped cloud over Area 51. The cause of the cloud remains unknown, but it is evidently connected to a fire at the secret military base. Viewers were unable to obtain direct footage of whatever caused the inferno, due to ... continue reading


AI shoots to kill: Will robots rule the world? Watch

Image of Researchers believe Artificial Intelligence can lead to the extinction of all humanity (Terminator 2).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After Microsoft's failure with AI teen "Tay," it should come as no surprise that more and more researchers are agreeing artificial intelligence requires a delicate balance between helpful tech and murderous exterminators. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


New machine about to replace ALL fast food workers -- and why that's awesome! Watch

Image of Several companies are developing machines and robots that can replace legions of low-wage, low-skilled workers. The cost savings would be tremendous. It would also be of benefit to the workers themselves, a least in the long run.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fast food workers, say goodbye to that grimy job with surly guests and overbearing managers. Your fight for $15 is over. No, you didn't win, someone has invented a machine that makes hamburgers better and faster than you do. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Extraordinary life-changing surgery allows paralyzed man to regain body control Watch

Image of Chip implant helps paralyzed man move arm and even play guitar (Screenshot/Ohio State University).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ian Burkhart underwent experimental brain surgery to help scientists pioneer technology aimed at reanimating paralyzed limbs - and it worked! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Six years ago, Burkhart severed his spine when he went for a swim and was slammed into a ... continue reading


Would you eat a pizza delivered by a robot? Customers in New Zealand already can... How will this affect you? Watch

Image of Within a few years, your pizza may be delivered by robot.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Robots will soon begin to deliver your mail, pizza, and other parcels within the next few years. Plans are being developed around the globe to test, then roll out automated delivery systems for everything from packages, to mail to pizza. The rising demand for delivered ... continue reading


Singapore tech shames Google - Here's why we're all looking forward to it! Watch

Image of Singapore is home to the most advanced autonomous car (asiawebdirect).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After securing $3.6 million to fund an up-and-coming piece of technology, an MIT-spinoff company based in Singapore shames Google's driverless car. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With news of self-driving taxis popping up across the internet, it should come as no ... continue reading


Cannibalism: What lengths would YOU take to survive? Watch

Image of The fight has moved from the physical to the digital (cstins12/YouTube).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Time is money and money is everything. It pays for your home, food, technology, education, transit and basic needs - but what happens when your time no longer brings in the money? What would you resort to if you knew you would starve? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How to see the green Comet 252P Watch

Image of Observers will see comet 252P as a faint green fuzzy patch. Naked eye viewing from a suburban or urban area may be virtually impossible. Observers will want a dark sky location, binoculars are recommended. Stargazers will need to look south about 90 minutes before dawn.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A pair of green comets have zipped frightfully close to Earth, and it may be possible to catch a glimpse of one from your backyard. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Astronomers were caught by surprise when they detected a new comet on January 22 using the ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • St. Florian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • St. Matthew HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: I fear no evil!
  • Captain James Cook wreckage discovered!
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 5th, 2016 HD Video
  • 'Our warriors are everywhere': ISIS uses CHILDREN to threaten Europe

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:1-8
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:6-14
6 Jesus said: I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 3rd, 2016 Image

St. James the Lesser
May 3: St. James the Less, the author of the first ... Read More