Thank all that is holy for NASA. Just when you’ve hit the end of your rope on the shenanigans being perpetrated on every corner of planet Earth, here comes the USA’s personal nerd horde to provide a little hope for the future. Last week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced that they’ve found not one, not two, but seven planets that just might play host to the perfect combination of elements needed to create life. That’s right, NASA may have just found some celestial neighbors thanks to the ultra-powerful Spitzer Space Telescope. There’s still a lot to discover about these exciting new planets, but the space agency and several experts have released a ton of information. Here’s everything we know.
1. A Bit About the Goldilocks Zone
Our home planet supports life because it happens to have formed in the Habitable Zone, i.e. a section of space that is the right distance from the nearest star to support the formation of land and liquid water. Earth is neither too far from nor too close to the Sun; it’s just right (hence the nickname). Three of the seven Earth-like planets found by NASA are squarely within the Goldilocks Zone, and the other four are extremely close. One of the seven appears to have a rocky structure similar to Earth’s.