From SETI Institute: “Kepler 186f: Is It Inhabited?”

The search for life goes on but will it me intelligent?


SETI Institute

April 21, 2014
SETI Seth Shostak
by Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer

It’s so far away that even if you booked a trip on the speediest of our rockets, you’d have 100 million years to polish your Sudoku skills en route to Kepler 186f.

That’s probably not going to happen. But what has happened is that a team of astronomers, after carefully combing data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, has finally nailed a world that might be similar to our own.

But is it inhabited?

Lately Kepler 186f has been in the news as much as Vladimir Putin, although the former is more appealing. For the first time we’ve uncovered a planet that — unlike Venus, Mars or the other Roman deities of our solar system — could bear a passing resemblance to Earth. It’s nearly the same size as our planetary home and has temperatures that would permit liquid oceans to…

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