Search for extraterrestrial life goes on, even without Kepler
The Kepler satellite is in trouble. Meg Urry breaks the news on CNN that the much beloved telescope, which “has found more than 2,700 possible planets orbiting stars other than our Sun, of which more than 100 have been confirmed,” may be nearing the end of its life now that “the second of four of the Kepler spacecraft's reaction wheels, which aim the vessel's instruments, appears to have failed. It remains to be seen whether full repairs are possible.”
But have no fear, the search for life will not end with Kepler. Urry notes that they found many planets before Kepler, albeit using more menial ways of doing it. On top of that “A Yale astronomy professor, Debra Fischer, has pioneered clever improvements to this technique so that she can find 100 Earth-size planets, perhaps 10 percent of which might harbor life.”
So even if we do lose the iconic Kepler satellite, don’t give up hope. “I say: With Kepler or without, it's only a matter of time until we find signs of life on other worlds."
Freeman Stevenson is a Snow College grad and is the DeseretNews.com opinion intern. Reach me at fstevenson@deseretdigital or @freemandesnews