ExtraSolar Planets.we know that they are out there.currently as of June 2008 there are 304 extrasolar planets and so far none of them actually resemble a earthlike type of planet. Mostly all extrasolar planets that have bee detected have masses much closer to that of the planet Jupiter than of earth and they orbit thier parent star pretty darn closely.
Kinda like mercury orbits our sun.
So how the hell can we detect these smaller planets the ones that are capable of harnessing life and water and are far from their parent star orbiting naturally in a habitable zone. Well once we have the extrasolar planets confirmed that are near their apparent star we can use the same wobble technique that we used to find the jupiter size planet an put it to use. Find its moons and if their are any smaller planets orbiting out their in the habitable zone.
We have many future missions to identify smaller rocky/watery extrasolar planets coming up in the near future. One of them is the Kepler mission which was in effect in 2001 and is set to launch in may 2009. We are guessing that the Kepler mission will reveal possibly 1,000 new extrasolar planets in just two year viewing over 600,000 near by stars in our Milky Way galaxy.
Which will give us a better understanding of earth like planets.
Another mission to find smaller terrestrial extra-solar planets is the Giant Magellan Telescope. Once the Giant Magellan telescope is completed it will be able to see images ten times better then the famous Hubble telescope.
The estimated completion date for The Giant Magellan Telescope is early 2017.
We have discovered a couple earth like planets out there even though they are about 3-10 times the size that earth is,we call them super Earths. We have also discovered a planet that has water covering the whole thing?(maybe just guesses though)! Does it have life on it? Possibly, but we are still pretty far away from proving it.
I mean come on there has to be alot more extrasolar planets out there then there are stars. In our own Milky Way Galaxy astronemers are guessing to be a few hundred billion stars.
And now the Milky Way Galaxy is considered to be a normal sized Galaxy. Think about how many earthlike planets could be in our Milky Way galaxy ? Maybe a couple billion or so. And how many of these earthlike extrasolar planets could have intelligent life? I would say a couple hundred thousand or so.
Not even considering all of the moons orbiting these extrasolar planets.Now lets think about how many galaxies there are in this universe.there are hundreds and hundreds of billions.
So in this universe how many earth like planets do think there could be? Notice I said THIS universe.there could be other universes.all though they are thought to have a completely different laws of physics.
So there has to be intelligent life out there. But we will more then likely not discover them in our lifetime or our childrens. If we even find a exoplanet 10 years from now that has life that could communicate back to us through radio waves.(See Movie Contact) .it could take lifetimes to communicate back with them. Unless we master space/time travel through wormholes.
But I am sure that wont happen in our lifetime or even our childrens lifetime.
About the Author (text)David Spates also known as dwepproductions spends his free time researching the disvovery of Extrasolar Planets. Also making space art with exoplanets in it. Come by and visit my blog and drop me a message at http://exoplanetsfinder.blogspot.com/