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Discovery of Water on Exoplanets

As Earth’s population grows in number and our natural resources dwindle, the day will come when our planet is officially too small for human expansion.

If we haven’t discovered a way of leaving the solar system by that time, we may be in serious trouble. Of course, we’re planning on colonizing Mars in the next few decades, but the process of Terraforming, or turning it into an Earth-like planet, will take hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

So how do we determine which planets in the night sky are capable of carrying water? It may seem downright impossible to look at a pixelated star and claim that it likely carries water, but there is a serious scientific process behind this.

Check it out:

Just last week, NASA’s Kepler Mission made the discovery of 715 new planets beyond our solar system. How many of those planets are capable of human habitation is yet to be determined, but it’s a great start for the masterminds behind the 100 Year Starship initiative.

Will we ever reach these planets in our lifetime, or will our children? Their children? Our descendants 10 generations from now? That’s a hard one to answer, but researchers at NASA and private companies are working on developing faster-than-light (FTL) travel, and we may yet see many spectacular developments in our lifetime.

So if the probability of reaching these planets anytime soon is highly unlikely, then why waste time and money scouting them out in the first place? Well, for starters, we’re planning for the future.

Science is headed in the direction glorified in films like Star Trek and Star Wars. When the day comes where Earth is no longer capable of holding our ever growing population, we’ll have to move somewhere. The earlier we can begin looking for “Earth 2.0”, the better prepared we’ll be.

Since some of our resources, like Petroleum, are slated to be exhausted in the next century or two, missions such as this are imperative, alongside efforts to create a viable alternative energy.

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