NASA announced that they have discovered a close cousin to the Earth. The discovery of this planet and its star closely resemble the Earth and our Sun.
“This discovery brings us one step closer to finding an Earth 2.0” said John Grunsfeld, head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “The sun that orbits this tiny planet is the same temperature as our own sun. The planet’s orbit takes 385 days. Essentially, it’s as close to an Earth twin as astronomers have ever discovered.”
But what does the discovery of this tiny planet mean? Will the discovery help us to learn more about the Earths beginning?
For thousands of years humans possess an innate need to explore. Whether through exploring and discovering new continents, or finding cures for diseases, humans will continue to explore. This is how we’ve built our civilization.
Science, curiosity, the need to think and study and explore our surroundings – these are quests that drive us to be who we are. We believe in these endeavors and we feel enriched and fulfilled by answers to our questions. Like ancient civilizations that took off to search for other worlds, we too are looking over the next hill. That next hill is space exploration and other galaxies.
Humans have always been a thinking, wondering entity. To establish understanding of our origins is a part of our evolution. Part of human and scientific progress has been the ability to evolve our thinking to include not just simple trains of thought, but larger concepts. Scientists are modifying their roles as astronomers, physicists, planetary geologists, and space engineers to incorporate the visions of historians, anthropologists, paleontologists, biologists and genealogists to help analyze the details, clues and evidence of basic questions such as:
- Where did we, as humans, come from?
- What is the fate of life as we know it?
- Are we alone in the Universe?
Scientists seek to observe the birth of the earliest galaxies in the universe, to detect all planetary systems in the solar neighborhood and to find those planets that are capable of supporting life, and to learn whether life began elsewhere in the solar system. They do this in order to understand and explain the origin of galaxies, stars and planetary systems, and life itself.
Wanting answers to these questions is just part of human nature. Part of the never-ending search for our past.