The alien planet Kepler 186f is the first extrasolar world ever found to be about the size of Earth and in the habitable zone of its parent star. But if scientists ever hope to try to find life on such a planet, giant new space telescopes are needed.
NASA AMES/SETI INSTITUTE/JPL-CALTECH
Humanity will probably have to wait a few decades to find out if life is common beyond our own solar system.
Dr. Ian O'Neill, space producer for Discovery News, steps in to discuss some of the ways scientists are working to detect signs of life on other worlds.
While NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) — which is scheduled to launch in 2018 — will be capable of finding signs of life on nearby exoplanets, a broad and bona fide hunt for life beyond Earth's neighborhood will require bigger spacecraft that aren't even on the agency's books yet, experts say. Read more >>