Seeds: Human beings have been fascinated with space since the first humanoid looked up at the night sky. The seemingly unreachable dots of light have enthralled generation upon generation. Before the 20th century, stars were used to mainly to navigate, tell fortunes, and recall stories. By the end of the 1950’s, space exploration became a reality as a result of the so-called Space-Race against the Soviet Union. In the midst of the launch of the first Russian satellite, Sputnik, in 1957 and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon in 1969, space exploration became an extremely popular topic in American culture.
Core: Recently, scientists have found three seemingly habitable planets orbiting a dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1 around 40 light years away. It is quite a small star; it is only around one-tenth the mass of the sun and for this reason, scientists rarely took it (and other dwarf stars) seriously in the past. However, the discovery of this series of planets give scientists hope that other possibly habitable planets will be found.
Skin: Scientists and science-enthusiasts alike are excited by the prospect of finding habitable planets, especially within our own galaxy. Although studies are still underway about whether or not these planets are within the “habitable zone,” this discovery is regarded as remarkable.
Leaves: These planets will continue to be studied, and these findings may encourage the study of other dwarf stars that were previously deemed insignificant. Several of these studies are fueled by the inherently human fear of the finite nature of the Earth. In other words, some fear that Earth may one day become uninhabitable as a result of nuclear warfare or the failure to protect our natural resources. Either way, it is needless to say that finding another habitable planets would be really freaking cool.
Food For Thought: Do you think that the three planets found will be habitable? Do you think something could happen to Earth that would make it uninhabitable before the Sun’s natural life cycle ends (in about 4 billion years)?