Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is Earth special or one of a billion similar worlds?

Earth is one special planet.

It has liquid water, plate tectonics, and an atmosphere that shelters it from the worst of the sun's rays. But many scientists agree our planet's most special feature might just be us.

"It's the only planet we know of that has life," said Alan Boss, a planet formation theorist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Washington, D.C.- from
clipped from
clipped from

Not-so-special Earth

As our planet-hunting technology improves, many planet
hunters expect to find
Earth's twin
. The search has led scientists to debate whether Earth is
really as special as we think it is.

"In the past 10 years, everything has been pointing in
the direction of, 'Hey, the solar system, which we thought was unique, is not
unique at all,'" said Alan Boss.

Boss and many other scientists think it's likely that some
form of life exists
on some of those countless other planets out there.

"Certainly there will be other planets that support
life," he said. "I think life is actually quite common. I think we're
going to find there are literally billions of them in the galaxy."

 blog it

No comments: