16 'super-Earths' found outside solar system
The HARPS instrument has identified an Earth-like planet, shown in this artist's impression, orbiting star HD 85512 in the southern constellation of Vela.
September 13th, 2011
10:44 AM ET

16 'super-Earths' found outside solar system

It's not like aliens put up a welcome banner or anything, but scientists now have newly identified at least one planet that could potentially sustain life.

The European Southern Observatory has just announced the discovery of more than 50 new exoplanets (planets outside our solar system), including 16 super-Earths (planets whose mass is between one and 10 times that of our own planet).

One of these planets in particular could theoretically be home to life if conditions are right. It's called HD 85512 b, and scientists say it's about 3.6 times the mass of the Earth. This planet is about 35 light years from Earth. Its location with respect to its star suggests that this planet could have liquid water under certain circumstances.

Don't get too excited, though; there's a lot more work to be done to explore whether this planet is truly fit for life, in addition to whether there are alien life forms there.

The discovery comes from High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, or HARPS. HARPS is located at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, and is part of a telescope that's nearly 12 feet long.

Here's how it works, according to ESO: When a planet orbits a star, the star move toward and away from the person who's stargazing on Earth in a regular fashion. That's called a change in radial velocity. Because of the Doppler effect, changes in radial velocity make the star's light spectrum move toward longer wavelengths when it's moving away, and toward shorter wavelengths as it gets closer. HARPS can detect this shift in the spectrum, and infer that there is a planet present.

So far, scientists have confirmed the existence of 564 planets outside of our solar system, according to NASA's PlanetQuest website, not counting this latest batch of more than 50. Beyond that, NASA's Kepler mission has found more than 1,200 exoplanet candidates.

"In the coming 10 to 20 years we should have the first list of potentially habitable planets in the Sun's neighbourhood. Making such a list is essential before future experiments can search for possible spectroscopic signatures of life in the exoplanet atmospheres," said Michel Mayor, who led the HARPS team, in a statement.

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Filed under: In Space
soundoff (1,731 Responses)
  1. Mark L.

    "...newly identified at least one planet that could potentially sustain life...." This is FABULOUS NEWS !! Now, can we send the GOP and Tea Party candidates to this new planet ?? G-d only knows, we don't need 'em here !!

    September 14, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • suprizedIexist

      I wish blabbing about polling was band on topics that clearly dont cover it, bloody troll

      September 14, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  2. Sam Skwirl

    I bet the space aliens Steven Hawking was talking about perceive time much differently than humans. I also suspect they would have propulsion systems and a halfway decent government. 1 light year is probably perceived as 365.242199 human days by aliens. This explains why no one usually sees them, they are moving very rapidly. ;-P

    September 14, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  3. bla

    Cool! New life!

    September 14, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  4. rob c

    GREAT !! ...what time does the bus leave ?
    ...do they have WiFi ?

    September 14, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  5. tokyo joe

    new worlds to discover life will go on!!

    September 14, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • suprizedIexist

      yeah just not the human race or anything on this planet, life will end for this planet and because humans stopped at the moon life on this planet stops there too, if we had a colony on mars we would have a chance outta 2 of avoiding extinction. Why havent we spread out a little?

      September 14, 2011 at 7:42 am |
      • Arcscythe

        Because capitalists don't want you to leave. They need you to stay and give them your money and labor.

        September 14, 2011 at 8:13 am |
      • suprizedIexist

        yeah houses in mars would be dirt cheap, who doesnt want to live on mars its all red and pretty πŸ˜€ earth would never come out of recession cause mars would become the economic center of our solar system lol

        September 14, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  6. cjb122

    Let's see....Hmmmmm

    In 30 freakin' years we haven't made it past the moon.

    So 35 light years......yeah......we got shot.

    Face it.....we're all going to die here naked and poor.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:32 am |
    • suprizedIexist

      Great finally someone being realistic, we dont even have a space fleet wtf have we being doing with our time? Thank god for sci fi cause its never gonna happen in reality

      September 14, 2011 at 7:34 am |
      • Sam Skwirl

        LMFAOROF @ GOD! (but mostly at you)

        September 14, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  7. Josh

    I assume that the picture and the name ("Super Earths") is correct. That each of these newly discovered planets have liquid water oceans, oxygen rich atmospheres, and dry continents.

    I mean, that they are indeed "Super Earths", and _not_ a Super Mercury or even _not_ a Super Mars.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • suprizedIexist

      or super marios

      September 14, 2011 at 7:30 am |
      • Sam Skwirl

        or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

        September 14, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  8. Bucko G

    Before we all get too excited, remember that we are dealing with a species (Us) who can't get along with each other; let alone some purple, one-eyed 8-limbed aliens! Get real!

    September 14, 2011 at 7:24 am |
    • Sam Skwirl

      But think of the 8 armed ikea could sell to them!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  9. sapsxy

    It was I believe in 1969 man landed on moon and since then all the money NASA got seemed to have not generated many result yielding technologies, and infact its real disaster if you think of the time-42 since 1969-there's still no moon or mars base.We should have been there long time ago,atleast 20 years back.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:21 am |
    • Sam Skwirl

      Conspiracy theory?

      September 14, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • suprizedIexist

      yup its just shameful that we are so concerned with the resources on this tiny planet that we fight so hard and for what? nothing to show we may as well reset the human race 2k back cause nothing has changed, mars I bet has something worth selling πŸ˜€

      September 14, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  10. Sam Skwirl

    So maybe a Republican Plant, ad Democrat Planet, a Tea Party Planet, Planets for All Different Religions, Planets for People that Post Inane BS online.... but most importantly a planet just for the Skwirls to live on, prefer lots of nut trees to be planted first ;-P ..... But seriously... the most ominous thing about the discovery of planets that contain life is that religion will be destroyed or updated to include alien religion(s). We need to send a colony to these planets to start the rebuild like Steven Hawking talks about too.... if there are hostile aliens any of these β€œnew” planets like there are on ours, then we are in a ship load of trouble... I hope we have the strategical edge if it comes to Glactical wars.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • suprizedIexist

      seriously the human race can barely keep 10 ppl in space for any length of time, wars in space? never in a million years will that ever happen I give us another 1000 years of doing nothing and nothing happening then a change to the earths orbit or and big rock smacking into our lazy asses and we go bye bye and no one ever will know we existed. weird when its all gone isnt it?

      September 14, 2011 at 7:24 am |
      • Sam Skwirl

        I'm going to smoke a cigar...

        September 14, 2011 at 7:47 am |
      • Revolutionary

        @suprizedlexist, tell hem, tell them the truth even if they call you crazy.. they think they can travel 15 light years lol what a fools.. wasting all this money in earth for nothing.. if we see new life it will be cause they wanted to make contact not cause we can..

        September 14, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  11. John

    Well, let's also not forget that a planet 3.5 times the mass of the earth also has gravity 3.5 times that of earth as well, so a 200lb man for instance, would roughly weigh 700lbs, not to mention the variability in atmospheric conditions. So you can't simply pack your bags and go live on another planet. If not within the evolutionary stream of conditions on those planets, mankind will have to make sometimes radical adjustments to inhabit them.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:01 am |
    • Sam Skwirl

      You don't know what the pull of the gravity is... because you don't know what the core is comprised of ...or if the planets even have hospitable atmospheres or not for that matter.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:14 am |
  12. notduped

    There is no way we humans built the pyramids Someone else was here and eventually we will find this out Because our solar system has a 26,000 year obital cycle around another solar system in the universe This is why new discoveries of planets,comets,stars, you can see Jupiter and it's 4 largest moons now with binoculars why do they supress this information from us?

    September 14, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • Revolutionary

      you sound smart kid. tell them the truith...

      September 14, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  13. suprizedIexist

    So I wonder why after the US reached the moon did they all stop and just start looking again. What are we a planet full of peeping toms?

    hurry up and visit MARS and stop looking for life so far away our ancestors 1000 lifetimes ahead wouldnt even reach them. I love the idea that humans even think we can avoid any kind of space disaster involing the earth, think of the earth as a ship with no steering and no crew we will find some nice big rocks someday. Muuuuahahahahaha

    September 14, 2011 at 6:52 am |
    • suprizedIexist

      or the orbit just changes a little and burns or freezes us to death forgot to mention that

      September 14, 2011 at 6:56 am |
  14. steve

    Ancient Aliens have been here seen how violent we are they were more intelligent and advanced didn't want anything to do with and left!...

    September 14, 2011 at 6:44 am |
    • Sam Skwirl

      Sounds like that time back in band camp.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  15. steve

    So God made over a 100 Billion Galaxies and just one with life form. Lol lol lol...give me a break!...lol..lol..lol..

    September 14, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • Sam Skwirl

      Yeah, religion is screwed. It's the single most thing holding back the human race. Besides political corruption ( although religion has its hands in that most of the time too )

      September 14, 2011 at 7:18 am |
  16. timestickin

    "Cool, Let's all move their and over populate it an ruin it like we did ours....

    September 14, 2011 at 6:26 am |
  17. Moose

    Some of you already stated the obvious: 1 light year is approx. 1 trillion earth miles
    Traveling in the space shuttle, it would take 38,263 years to travel 1 light year or
    Traveling in the fastest unmanned space craft at 157,000 mph, only 8500 years.
    Multiple that by 35 light years?
    I hope they figure out how to travel through worm holes or black holes?!?!?!

    September 14, 2011 at 6:23 am |
    • Sam Skwirl

      Uhhh.. duuuhhhhhhhhh – What about Teleportation, by simply fusing your mater into a laser beam aimed to the distant planet? lol

      September 14, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  18. cachuw

    Stuck with all these dimented worshipers!!!

    September 14, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • Sam Skwirl

      you know what they say... Go POSTAL!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  19. Joel Crary

    Abolish all comment sections. We contribute nothing.

    September 14, 2011 at 6:11 am |
  20. jr.

    i think this would better if we actually went there

    September 14, 2011 at 6:05 am |
  21. Carl Sagan

    When we finally discover there is intelligent life on another planet, I suggest we send a delegation of Muslims to meet with them first. "Hello, we come in peace".

    September 14, 2011 at 6:03 am |
    • suprizedIexist

      they might fly the shuttle into the the planet 'by mistake'

      September 14, 2011 at 7:02 am |
  22. tadow

    does this mean my credit will start fresh at this planet? R they doing credit checks here? i need a fresh start

    September 14, 2011 at 5:58 am |
  23. shawn


    September 14, 2011 at 5:50 am |
  24. LEO

    35 light years away, how on hell are we going to get there?? Unless you have light speed, take a picture and hang it up cause that is about as far as you will get to getting there....unless the higher ups have a secret.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:47 am |
  25. Scorp

    By some theories, we may very well be creating life on those planets simply by observing them. Think of the cat, for instance.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:45 am |
  26. shawn

    ALL THE PLACES WHERE "MOONROCKS" WERE GIVEN HAVE FOUND OUT THEY ARE FAKES......ANYTHING ZIONISTS HAVE TO DO WITH IS FAKE. WAKE UP....watch on youtube......MOSSAD CAUGHT IN VAN ON 9-11 "FILLED WITH EXPLOSIVES" GW BRIDGE. stop being conned. this is nyc police dispatch footage recording of 911 when the cops pulled up on the israeli agents. you will see who did 911. and the media was 100% complicit. our news people are not who you think they are. they are wicked ass souls.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:43 am |
    • cachuw

      shawn you so screwed!!

      September 14, 2011 at 6:25 am |
  27. godwho?

    I am so tired of closed minded bible nuts. Get off that crutch you use for a minute and realize the book your quoting from was written thousands of years ago by some guy who like to tell stories. It doesn't mention anything about dinosaurs either but they existed. We need to send everyone of you bible nuts to one of those planets so all intelligent people can live in peace.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:40 am |
  28. Ajr

    Gee, maybe we can find a way to get there and rape that planet of its resources and then start fake wars!!

    September 14, 2011 at 5:38 am |
  29. DiscipleofElijah

    The planets are where all the God's of Mormonism reside. They have so many God's it would take 16 planets to support all of them.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:36 am |
    • cachuw

      How many god, are there going back to the time the 1st nut started worshiping????

      September 14, 2011 at 6:28 am |
      • cachuw

        sorry gods

        September 14, 2011 at 6:29 am |
  30. Mary

    We need to barge in and say Wendy, I"m Home!!!

    September 14, 2011 at 5:35 am |
  31. tommy

    well, i guess i will not get to live in one of those planet in my life time. so, should i be excited about it?

    September 14, 2011 at 5:25 am |
  32. ColoredMountains

    Poor, poor planets!! May God protect them from the Earthlings. Earthlings sickened and destroyed the Planet Earth and are after other victim planets to ransack...

    September 14, 2011 at 5:22 am |
    • cachuw

      The really good thing will be.. What's god!!

      September 14, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • Revolutionary

      @shawn, you the man.. this people put this bs here so we can forget about the real problem with this idiots politians wasting our money and killing everything in earth for money.. we were just fine back in the days where it was not about money, it was about living life with what we had... respect.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  33. Mark

    can we send the repubs and tea party there so they'll quit raping and polluting our planet?

    September 14, 2011 at 5:20 am |
  34. cody

    imagine if we did find somethin on those planets....like an ancient race of aliens.... kinda like whats in in starcraft 2.....i wonder if i could bang a protoss chick?

    September 14, 2011 at 5:19 am |
    • cachuw

      cody one problem they eat their mating partners

      September 14, 2011 at 6:32 am |
  35. ColoredMountains

    35-light-years-away is way too far away. Even if a spaceship travels with 1/3 speed of light, it'll take 100 years. Are they gonna send turtles there? Another cheese cake on a picture, not a real one. Scientists should concentrate on preserving the Planet Earth and its recovery and cleaning for now if they really want some space odyssey in the future.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:19 am |
  36. Slap

    Maybe they'll have the good sense to stay away from here.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:18 am |
    • cachuw

      Slap they planted us here...

      September 14, 2011 at 6:33 am |
  37. David Myers

    Please reference your sources that the Chinese invented printing presses first.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:59 am |
  38. Why have to scroll down

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ to post

    September 14, 2011 at 4:50 am |
  39. magno

    1-aliens will not be in those planets,
    2-humans cannot live in those planets
    3-those planets will have nothing to do with earth

    September 14, 2011 at 4:49 am |
    • Atomic-E

      Think outside the box. Humans once thought "the world is flat" that until further exploration. "We don't belong there" really, and who does? you? me? them? no one? The universe may create it's own rules, not you or I or scholars, poets and priests.

      September 14, 2011 at 4:54 am |
  40. James

    Great another probably beautiful planet for us to ruin.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:42 am |
  41. Zaske

    A telescope nearly 12 FEET long? NO WAY!

    September 14, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  42. joel

    I guarantee, if we put our minds and genitals to it, that we can screw up and overpopulate a bigger Earth in a fraction of the time it took to ruin this one

    September 14, 2011 at 4:21 am |
  43. Nightwing

    Sorry, but the plan is not to find another easth to move to. A planet that is 35 lightyears away will not do us any good.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:14 am |
    • Atomic-E

      What if life on other worlds finds us and is willing to assist with their technology?

      September 14, 2011 at 4:19 am |
      • Revolutionary

        you talking about china right??

        September 14, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  44. Atomic-E

    People here write "it'll take humans centuries(or more) to develop technology to travel near the speed of light". Consider this. What if aliens have or will visit and share their technology with us? (I know, "do aliens even exist?" is the question), but maybe these planet discoveries increase the possibility of them existing, and therefore sharing their technology sooner than later. Our chances of space travel could happen quicker than one might assume with alien influence. yes? no? The possibility seems to be increasing...

    September 14, 2011 at 4:09 am |
  45. John

    One of those planets is Barack Obama's homeworld: Krypton!!!!!

    September 14, 2011 at 3:52 am |
  46. David

    Oh no they found us.... Who found us? The Earthlings. Just great, there goes the neighborhood.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:48 am |
    • Mary

      LOL I thought the same thing!!!

      September 14, 2011 at 5:36 am |
  47. FA

    If you have a choice, would you stay here or go to planet HD 85512 b?
    What? No traffic, no crazy people, no coffee shop, no hookah, no 7eleven, no Liquor stores, forget about it I am staying here.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:46 am |
  48. captainhindsight

    fabulous news, can we somehow send the teabaggers and RNC there? let them create their own mega destructive society. peace.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:44 am |
  49. Ryan

    Who cares who found it, what if we're not alone?? And how will that change our future as a species

    September 14, 2011 at 3:44 am |
    • Atomic-E

      What IF alien lifeforms helped us shape our future as a human race? Finding these planets doesn't immediately help us get in touch with them, but maybe they've already studied us and someday may consider introducing new technology to us. Think outside the box (the box being earth and human technology).

      September 14, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • cachuw

      Ryan, more than likely they have been cultivating us. What's for dinner!

      September 14, 2011 at 6:12 am |
  50. DoNotWorry

    Got tired of the arguing on the political channel and came to read something interesting for a change. Same wah wah wah.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:43 am |
  51. Dylan

    Name one jersey shore and send snooki there

    September 14, 2011 at 3:37 am |
  52. Rao

    35 light years!!. Well...Well...that will take only about 1 million years at current speeds for manned vehicles (10 kms per second). Let alone the gravity, sunlight, atmospheric pressure, oxygen, food, bacteria etc. Very likely indeed.....not!!

    September 14, 2011 at 3:28 am |
    • Atomic-E

      Rao, I encourage you to think outside the box..
      Why must we insist on thinking we, humans, have to be the ones to invent the technology to travel through space and it'll take us too long and be near impossible? What if the technology already exists? (maybe the technology hasn't come to our part of the universe and/or our planet, yet.)

      Consider this. What if aliens have or will visit and share their technology with us? (I know, "do aliens even exist?" is the question), but maybe these planet discoveries increase the possibility of them existing, and therefore sharing their technology sooner than later. Our chances of space travel could happen quicker than one might assume with alien influence. yes? no? The possibility seems to be increasing...

      September 14, 2011 at 4:51 am |
    • cachuw

      RAO, we are not going there, they are coming here...

      September 14, 2011 at 6:16 am |
  53. Ashan

    guys... This is bull shit after all... you guys are so crazy to comment here.. 35 light years.....

    September 14, 2011 at 3:24 am |
    • Atomic-E

      Who's to say we don't get technological help from others (dare I say aliens who, dare I say, have the technology) outside our own world? When might we stop focusing on the limits of our race and start envisioning what else is out there, undiscovered?

      September 14, 2011 at 4:18 am |
  54. horstonca

    It's great! I think our nation's money is much better spent than in fighting fake wars!!!

    September 14, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  55. the sad thing

    if there was/is life, we will never be able to comprehend their signals; nor does anyone (majority) on this planet care about advancing our science and math

    September 14, 2011 at 3:18 am |
  56. realmike

    Do super earths wear capes?

    September 14, 2011 at 3:05 am |
  57. fiskenmann

    It's possible that if life does exist on these planets that they may be searching for intelligent life as well and have crossed earth off their list.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:01 am |
  58. Roco347

    This is some trippy stuff dude ..life on other planets besides ours? I don't see it or imagine that..crazy .

    September 14, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Mike

      dude there are over a 100 billion planets in the universe u really think earth is the only one with life we are not smart at all we are like primates to most other worlds lol so dont think we are all great and the only planet that has life contact me at http://www.facebook.com/LyNxViRus

      September 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  59. matt

    I hope there are women on this planet.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Atomic-E

      (Matt, this is a huge softball, thank you)...

      Matt, wake up, leave your parents home, go outside.... NEWS ALERT... There are women on this planet. They may even speak to you on occasion. Your wish has been granted many, many, many years ago.

      September 14, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  60. eric

    I don't understand how they can discover 50 planets all at once, wasn't it news worthy right when they found one planet bigger than earth that could potentially sustain life? how long was it between finding the first one and the 50th? confused...

    September 14, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Atomic-E

      they've been studying a cluster of stars in small area of the sky and have been focusing on it for the past couple of years. Based on the research the results are starting to come in in droves.

      September 14, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  61. SoundGuy

    For those interested about the sounds of space, the site TranscendentalTones offers very nice renderings of the sounds of the planets of our solar system, according to the work Harmonices Mundi from Keppler. Very cool!

    September 14, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Chris

      Very cool indeed!

      September 14, 2011 at 3:20 am |
  62. Winky

    Who cares about super-planets and life ! Its that diamond-planet where I'm headin'

    September 14, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  63. Yes

    I hope it sustains life so i can travel there and leave half of you retards behind .

    September 14, 2011 at 2:32 am |
  64. Fox Mulder

    I want to believe...

    September 14, 2011 at 2:31 am |
  65. Chieman

    Well, that's good. I think we should develop a vehicle that can travel faster than the speed of light and than time to be able to reach out to the new discovered planets.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:24 am |
  66. Clarence

    Fools have no rest...

    September 14, 2011 at 2:18 am |
  67. ed bailey

    Hey, WTF! We can't even get along or be good neighbors to each other here. Why the hell are ya looking elsewhere? Seeking miracles? If they are out there and they look close they will not want their kids learning from us so they will ignore us or shoot us. Better think about it!

    September 14, 2011 at 2:08 am |
  68. Fagsaregay

    There's life on other planets it'd be stupid to think there isn't. If you have sunlight and water there's life.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:06 am |
  69. MarsBar

    Maybe I'll find theYeti there.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  70. John Alias

    There's an elephant in the room. I would guess he might weigh a few tons. What do you think he would weigh on a planet with two or three times the mass of the earth? IOW, forget about any human ever setting foot on one of these giants. The force of gravity on any of those big boys would kill you instantly. Just say'n ya know.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:55 am |
    • Ken

      The animals there would be very different, very low to the ground, maybe even a type of virus. But the animals would be a lot like trilobites or something comparable to that. Soft carapace, very broad weight displacement. It is very, very likely that there will be microscopic life on one of these planets. And keep in mind, it's 1 – 10, which means a few are earth size.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • Atomic-E

      Great outside of the box idea. We need more of these. Remember too, this is just an extremely small sample size of planets/stars being examined. They have set their focus on one small area in the sky for the past few years and the results are now comnig back in droves. Imagine what planets they'd find if they focused on more than just a few star clusters in the sky.

      September 14, 2011 at 4:35 am |
  71. Ken

    I think that whole 'irreducible complexity' argument by the religious is fading fast.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • John Alias

      Yep, it's fading very fast and religion itself seems to be doing the same. The interwebs have obviously accelerated the decline of both, thank gods.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:58 am |
  72. Bubbacakes

    There may be "life" on other planets but I do not beleive there are human type creatures. We were made in the image of the God of the Bible and we are very unique and important to him. If you disagree than show me proof. People ask for proof of God all the time and through His creation and His word He has made himself clearly seen. We look for other humans based upon our stupid ideas of how the world and universe was created. Its very simple people don't make it so complicated.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • Bubbacakes

      Ok so there is life on other planets as you said. I don't have a problem with that. But Humans or whatever you want to call them? If you believe in the Big bang and evolution (which there is no proof just theories) then I could see why someone would say life on these other planets could turn into something more unique like humans. However If you take the Biblical account then you realize how unique we are and with no proof of anything anywhere else this has become more of a religious mindset that believes in something that we are always searching for but never finding. At least with the God of the Bible you can find what you are looking for because he has made a way to be found! That is proof enough for me.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • klay

      "If you disagree than show me proof."

      The burden of proof rests on you not me....i cannot prove a negative. impossible. Google "Drake Equation". If you really think there is no other intelligent life in the universe, you need to open a mathematics book and study up on probability. It is more likely that there is other intelligent life in the GALAXY than it is likely that your god exists. Now, show me PROOF/EVIDENCE of your god other than words written over a 1500 year period by 30+ people....then you will have something.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • Mike

      Stupid alien beings came to earth to help us in the past and we just labled them as gods cuz they could fly and do crazy stuff just as if we went to a planet that was around 500BC the being on that planet would write about us and call us gods man ur all dumb contact me at http://www.facebook.com/LyNxViRus

      September 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  73. Tom

    I certanly hope they were located outside our solar system otherwise if in ours they would have explained the mystery of dark matter.
    "Habitable planets in the Sun's neighborhood?" Which Sun might they be referring to? Are your editors reading the same astronomy books as me?

    September 14, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Mike

      dude ur dumb.... there are over 100 billion planets in the universe what are u reading school books please toss those lieing ass shits in the garbage and learn some real stuff called metaphyiscs contact me at http://www.facebook.com/LyNxViRus

      September 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  74. sapsxy

    I dont understand why scientists and others get so excited when infact there's no way to travel there in "startrek time" for actual confirmation! Scientists can sit there on their nice telescopes and discover a billion planets-but whats the point? No one's seriously working on inventing a technological breakthrough to come up with startrek type fuel source and then build the space ship to get there! Besides,in the event there is a breakthrough-humans will not have a rapid "colonisation systems on that newly discovered planet"-since there's no "human database of all inventions ever made by humans on this planet" so that "any particular knowledge can be taken from a "human database right away and brought to rapid "build".Kind of like "video format database that lasts 1000's of years that doesnt have to 'force humans to keep re-inventing the wheel" of shorts.Its like landing on that planet and if say it does resemble earth,then whats next step : build "living cities" right,and ofcourse there are various materials that need to be in place to do that -obviously you cant carry them in the space ship-as it would be available in that earth like planet.So knowing how to make steel,cement,glass,etc etc-right from that "human database" will accelerate that place.Kind of like " seed database building" -one that is in Norway,and one that is in London.We,humans dont have a "database of every little,medium,big inventions of all kinds"-thats my point.And I wonder why no ones is building that.It certainly will be a huge undertaking.So infact,just like "seed banks",we need to start recording everything in a format that still will be available to be viewed and accessed,5000 years from now.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • Atomic-E

      Why must we insist on thinking we, humans, have to be the ones to invent the technology to travel through space and it'll take us too long and be near impossible? What if the technology already exists? (maybe the technology hasn't come to part of the universe and/or planet, yet...)

      Consider this. What if aliens have or will visit and share their technology with us? (I know, "do aliens even exist?" is the question), but maybe these planet discoveries increase the possibility of them existing, and therefore sharing their technology sooner than later. Our chances of space travel could happen quicker than one might assume with alien influence. yes? no? The possibility seems to be increasing...

      September 14, 2011 at 4:41 am |
  75. Hasselhoff

    Life in the universe exists if there are 16 earth like planets. I'm moving to one of 'em , it sucks here. too much war and destruction.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  76. Deckard

    I'm not sure if this question has been asked (don't have the time to read all the comments).....but, do we not have the technology to make a super telescope that can see the planet and it's atmosphere and even go so far as to see if there are satellites/space craft in their orbit? It would be nice to go further to see the surface of the planet, but that might be pushing it. Perhaps in a 100 years for that one.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • Mike

      yes its a human abilitys called Remote viewing anyone can do it theres a 300$ DVD to teach u how to do it contact me at http://www.facebook.com/LyNxViRus

      September 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  77. Dee

    Wow....Republicans have to be the most heartless peices of crap there are on this planet. Mabey if we can ship them away to that panet and away from there familys, they'll learn the pain behind immigration. Yes biotch im talking to you. Lets see how you like being called an alien. Yea this ones for miss YEAUHOKAY....get a life.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  78. al

    Sarah Palin wants to know if there's oil and how soon we can invade.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Dee

      haha nice one πŸ™‚

      September 14, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  79. Ken

    Sorry guys, earth is all we have to sustain us.
    There is no place else to go. America was the last gift.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:28 am |
  80. thes33k3r


    September 14, 2011 at 1:28 am |
  81. Johnny Cage

    Another planet for us to ruin. Lets make a list of all the planets we can take over and ruin the ecosystems in! Oh, BTW it's so far, even at warp 1 (light speed) it would take 35 years. Seeing as that speed is impossible for matter of any kind, it shall never be. We might have telescopes to prove life one day, but will never have a way to communicate with them without a 35 year delay.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • klay

      Wow...never is a pretty bold statement....just like we NEVER could cross the oceans, NEVER cross america, and NEVER fly to the moon. Never say never.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  82. Paul

    Can we ship Casey Anthony off to one of them?

    September 14, 2011 at 12:51 am |
  83. Jordan

    I am really disappointed with the folks that are nay-saying what can or cannot be accomplished. You cannot fly...you cannot travel faster then the speed of sound...you cannot travel into space...you cannot make it to the moon...etc. Trying to say that we will never reach light speed or learn how to travel even faster is as ignorant is saying that the planet is flat.

    September 14, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  84. Kenny

    35 light years to planet HD 85512 b
    Suppose we go at 95% speed of light

    t = 35/0.95 = 36.84 years

    People on the Earth wait 36.84 years

    t = t'/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)
    t = t'/sqrt(1-0.95)
    t = t'/sqrt(0.05)
    t = t'/0.2236
    36.84 = t'/0.2236
    t' = 8.24 years

    People on the ship travel 8.24 years to the planet. Not so bad, is it?

    Energy it requires?

    E = mc^2/0.2236
    m = 4 million kg (estimate ship weight)
    c = 299792458 meter/sec

    now, solve

    E = (4000000 kg)*(299792458 meter/sec)^2/0.2236
    E = 1,607,791,017,418,278,425,760,286 joules
    E = 1.6 x 10^24 joules

    That is 7.6 million nuclear bombs

    September 14, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • sapsxy

      Isn't there another way ..to cut that time in half with some type of totally new technology, or fuel or something ??

      September 14, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • Atomic-E

      Why must we insist on thinking we, humans, have to be the ones to invent the technology to travel through space and it'll take us too long and be near impossible? What if the technology already exists? (maybe the technology hasn't come to part of the universe and/or planet, yet.)

      Consider this. What if aliens have or will visit and share their technology with us? (I know, "do aliens even exist?" is the question), but maybe these planet discoveries increase the possibility of them existing, and therefore sharing their technology sooner than later. Our chances of space travel could happen quicker than one might assume with alien influence. yes? no? The possibility seems to be increasing...

      September 14, 2011 at 4:43 am |
    • Revolutionary

      @kenny, maaan that looks beautiful right there.. if you know shit like that, is people like you that will takes us somewhere other than earth.. respect.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  85. Chi Tran-Easternsailor

    Do you know the meaning of Astro? If you don't know! You are an A... The astronomers looked more than 1,200 planets and found none and you found and I think u r the Freak...No such thing is 1/r=1/0= infinity u don't know about algebra! 1/0 is undefined! Who believed Einstein and it is an A..., 2. And it killed the soldiers and scientists in Arizona desert when it said it found the new weapon! It is the chaos and not the New World! There is only The Kingdom of God! No it allow!

    September 14, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • klay

      wow...what kinda weed are you smoking?

      September 14, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  86. Dot8

    If there is life on these "super-Earths" lets hope we are more intelligent than they are and that our government is better than theirs.

    September 14, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • ya

      They can fly all way here. Can you there?
      Look at USA gov. You still thinking they are not smarter than us, silly?

      September 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Mike

      dude our goverment is a pieace of shit that lies and steals from us are u one of those fucking sheep followers who beleave everything they hear on tv.... ur a fool

      September 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
      • blickelgorban

        ask you self if anyone even cares.. cause they dont there blind

        September 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  87. JB

    I suppose NASA's collective thinking falls along the lines of, "Let's put on a PR show with all the stuff we've known about for years, so we don't have our budget cut by the next administration in 2012". I don't blame them one bit for trying to save themselves, but such a transparent ploy insults my intelligence, though not the intelligence of the majority.

    September 14, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Alex Gessong

      @JB: never overestimate the intelligence of the majority! πŸ˜‰ NASA's budget is set by Congress. Presidents get to submit proposed budgets, but Congress has the final say on those proposals. President Obama's proposals increased NASA's budgets, and it's likely that his proposals in 2012 and beyond will continue that. NASA has bold plans for manned exploration of deep space, and fortunately the President and Congress understand that big plans require big money.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  88. wilbur

    Al Queda is hiding nuclear weapons on that planet. We better attack now before it is too late. I am running low on cheap beer and walmart ammo. Out.

    September 14, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  89. Maddog

    Let's hope intelligent life forms on one of those planets didn't notice our peeking at them, and now they're monitoring comments like the ones here to judge human intelligence.

    September 14, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • cachuw

      Maddog, They have already been here, check on your ancient civilizations long before god became popular...

      September 14, 2011 at 6:21 am |
      • Joe

        We are selves could be reminents of Aliens that visited this planet and procreated to leave their own to colonize this planet because theirs was doomed or destroyed.

        September 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
      • Alex Gessong

        @cachuw: ancient civilizations on Earth are the result of human intelligence. Any extraterrestrial civilization capable of interstellar travel would have given humans more than pyramids and such. You know, stuff like indoor plumbing, antibiotics, and other things that an advanced, spacefaring civilization would know how to make and be able to teach humans to make. Would they really travel trillions of miles just to teach humans how to pile stone blocks tightly together?

        @joe: fortunately, we have Earth's fossil record, so we know that humans are native to this planet. Our species evolved right here, with no apparent help from E.T. This is also why humans are genetically so closely related to other species on this planet: common ancestry. No weird alien DNA in humans. Nothing whatsoever to indicate any contribution from another world. But of it makes you feel any better, the heavier elements that form our bodies (carbon, iron, etc.) were formed in a huge blue-hot alien star billions of years ago. The remnants of that star eventually formed our star system and some nearby systems. We are made from stardust. Just like our planet itself.

        September 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Maddog, any aliens monitoring Earth would be unlikely to mess with us. They'd know that humans have used atomic bombs, chemical and biological weapons against other humans, so imagine what we'd do against space aliens! πŸ˜‰ Besides, there are (arguably) three "Earthlike" planets in our star system, yet only one of them has life. There's no guarantee that any of the "Earthlike" worlds in other star systems have life at all, let alone intelligent life.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Mike

      Ha if they were they would rank us as monkeys lol most of the masses are brainwashed by the government and cant think for them selfs so wut ever they hear or see they beleave and if the government says its fake they will be like o they said its fake so it must be lol a bunch of sheeps following the heard pretty sad xD contact me at http://www.facebook.com/LyNxViRus

      September 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  90. rhymeskeema

    And here we are, stuck on regular earth. This sucks.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @rhymeskeema, regular Earth totally rocks the universe! Regular Earth has strawberry yogurt, hummingbirds, the NFL, and blu-ray! When anything like that is discovered on one of these other planets, maybe I'll get excited. πŸ˜‰

      September 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  91. carl4os

    Awesome. And only 35 light years away – let's just bop on over and check it out...oh wait, we can't travel at light speed...never will be able to. Dang.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • eville_11

      my parents were there, and all I got was a t-shirt...

      September 14, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • yeti37

      I went on spring Break and caught alien crabs. bummer.

      September 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • speedy

      speak for yourself.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  92. mr positive

    .....I recall a while back ...people said it was impossible to fly ......

    September 13, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Mr positrive, if you actually recall that, you must be pretty old! πŸ˜‰ People had been trying to fly for thousands of years before the first hot air balloons were made. Remember the ancient Greek tale of Icarus and Daedalus? People have always known that flight was possible, just took a while to figure out exactly how to make a flying machine. Interstellar travel is a different challenge, since it's actually not possible for anything with mass to reach lightspeed in normal space, as that would require infinite power. So, until we figure out how to make stable wormholes in space, we're pretty much not going to leave our own star system. When you get right down to it, that's probably a very good thing. The vast distances between stars probably keeps civilizations safe from each other. Think how much better off the native Americans would have been in 1492 if the Atlantic Ocean had been just a bit wider!

      September 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  93. McJesus

    Prep the missionaries! Send 'em off so they get the message that I died in Israel on planet Earth for them too!

    September 13, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • cachuw

      Mc jesus I think he only works on our planet. Jesus would have to start over.. Probably doesn't have the time.. He's very busy guy!!

      September 14, 2011 at 6:07 am |
      • Arcscythe

        Time for a new new testament to say God created all these world for us... ah the church... best story tellers ever.

        September 14, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  94. DumbBassRepublicans

    I doubt if any of these planets have "intelligent life...."
    They probably only have tea-baggers...!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Nino4576

      Sometimes I doubt THIS planet has intelligent life!

      September 14, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • SkekLach

      Keep laughing, pal. Those 'teabaggers' are going to be running the show in a couple of years though. Politics are so funny.. The tea party has it's own debate now, Obama's disapproval rate is over 50% and the left still keeps on laughing like it's all just a joke.

      September 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  95. kent


    September 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Arcscythe

      No... name it "Bob"

      September 14, 2011 at 8:22 am |
      • Nichole

        It's probably a gay planet, we should name it Steve.

        September 14, 2011 at 10:44 am |
      • steve....

        "Planet An-twan" is a better gay planet name.

        September 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  96. Is There Anybody Out There?

    What if we start traveling toward these planets only to find out that we are the hillbillies of the galaxy? What if the species inhabiting these planets make us and our technology look like the cave man around the time he discovered fire and carved out a wheel? And we find out that they've known all about us for thousands of years and have been dreading the day we finally find them? "Hi there!!!! Ha yall doin' there?" "We're from earth!!!!!!!!!!"

    September 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Just nod if you can hear me...

      What in the world would make you believe humanity is anything other than the Oklahoma of the universe? That's why we have no firm proof of alien visits. They all know to avoid us.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
      • Is There Anyone Home...

        More like Pittsburgh if you ask me...

        September 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  97. Chris

    I wish we could eventually discover new life on other planets. Then we can find out what "Bible" they read and if Jesus died to save them from their sins on their planet too.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Revolutionary

      if you believe in god, then you must believe in aliens, i believe there is life form but not in our form. we are unique and only one in this universe. I don't know why we spend billions of dollars searching for stars, if we make contact it will be cause of them not cause we will be able to do it ourself. we cant even to get to china in hours, what make anybody think we can travel 15 lights years to somewhere else. funny story thou and yes it would be bad ass to find something new besides us.. ps live your life and dont let them fool you witht he bible tail..

      September 14, 2011 at 8:17 am |
      • Mike

        Pleadians are looks just like us u wouldent be able to tell the differents learn befor u talk human form isnt common but theres plenty of humans out there

        September 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  98. andy

    LOL so funny! We live in a sick world.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  99. Ted


    ...the dollar was once worth something..

    September 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  100. Interplaneteer

    Time to gas up the old rocket and pack up. I'm done with this planet.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
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