New Planet Coming into this technologically and scientifically-advanced time has gradually become a constructive and exciting time for scientists and the rest of humankind. In addition to the new technology that has come about, over time there’s no denying that we have uncovered an increasing number of planetary bodies; be it stars and or planets that could possibly sustain life or not at all. Since 2005, scientists have found a vast amount of “super-Earths” which is defined as “…a planet with a mass between 1 and 10 times that of Earth, but less than the mass of the solar systems giant gas planets such as Saturn, Neptune and Jupiter (Live Science, 2011). In some cases the super-Earths are surrounded by water which could verify the likelihood of life forms inhabiting these areas, this information excites astronomers due to the chance that the super-Earths could be fit for the habitation of life in contrast to the gas giants. The search for these Earth-like planets continues to be one of the most sought after missions in the world with new findings every-day in the making, as stated by Keck Observatory, scientists from the Universities of California, Berkeley and Hawaii have come together and mathematically came to the conclusion that 20% of the Sun-like stars in our galaxy have Earth-sized planets that could in fact contain life (Keck Observatory, 2013). The article goes on to state that upon coming to this assumption from the studies done from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft mission that discovered the first exoplanet (Kepler-22) along with the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is the largest optical and infrared telescopes in the world, scientists are able to get that much closer to learning even more about these Sun-like stars (Keck Observatory, 2013). Upon learning about this pertinent information this reveals that every-fifth star has a planet somewhat like Earth, Mr. Howard who is an astronomer at the University of Hawaii states that they now have to build equipment i.e. space crafts, telescopes etc. that are governed by how close the nearest Earth-sized planets are in order to take a picture of the planet itself (Keck Observatory, 2013). If I were a scientist or astronomer and I had the pleasure of discovering a new planet that resembled Earth, the first factor I would observe is the temperature of the planet, the temperature depends solely on the planet’s ability to heat the oceans at the right temperature, the atmosphere and the land in order to balance out the environment as well as sustain life forms. The second feature I would study would be the surface of the planet to see whether the surface is primarily an aquatic zone or an area where the surface is primarily land, as this tells what species lives on the planet and also makes for an easier exploration of the planet by space probe and or actual landing on the planet by astronaut. Whether it’s Venus’s thick clouds that block the surface from sight, icy planets like Uranus and Neptune or the rocky surface of Kepler-22, which is the latest discovered planet; the surface of a planet is a highly important feature when comparing an Earth like planet to that of Earth itself.
According to an article put forth by Harvard University, plate tectonics are “the forces that move continents and build mountains” without them the world wouldn’t be as unique as it is with its hill topped plains and