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NASA has announced the discovery of 7 Earth-like exoplanets 13 hours ago. What are the chances of life there? Is it possible to see the ground of these planets from here? How far are they?

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    $\begingroup$ "What are the chances of life on 7 earth like exoplanets discovered by NASA?" Between 0 and 1 out of 1. Narrowing it down further would be pure speculation at the moment. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Thompson Feb 23 '17 at 8:18
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    $\begingroup$ "Also how far they are?" A Google search on 'NASA has discovered 7 earth like exoplanet' suggests they're orbiting a star at a distance of 40 LY. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Thompson Feb 23 '17 at 8:20
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    $\begingroup$ @AndrewThompson So Does it mean the planet we are looking at is 40 years in past? $\endgroup$ – Ritesh.mlk Feb 23 '17 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ There is insufficient data to make any determination at this point @Rishi. $\endgroup$ – GdD Feb 23 '17 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ So do they use "Transit photometry" to find exo planets, it seems using Transit photometry one is only shooting in the Dark (means what we can possibly know is only the size of planet) $\endgroup$ – Ritesh.mlk Feb 23 '17 at 9:08
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NASA has said roughly Earth sized. From this, reporters have written "Earth like". Some publications are even showing what look like photos of planets. These are likely generated with computers used for creating planets in games and films.

As for life, we only know of one planet that developed life, and you can't build a statistical model from that. Searching for life could be a complete waste of time.

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  • $\begingroup$ Kepler-186f's location is within the habitable zone $\endgroup$ – Ritesh.mlk Feb 23 '17 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ What about liquid water? $\endgroup$ – Anton K Feb 23 '17 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Rishi all the habitable zone means is that if a range of necessary conditions are met, water could exist on a body in the habitable zone. What are those conditions, then? An atmosphere that provides the pressure without which water cannot stay liquid (but the atmosphere can't be too thick because then we get a runaway greenhouse effect which is what probably happened on Venus), a magnetic field that slows down the rate at which water is lost to space when the sun splits water molecules into hydrogen (lost to space because they are so light) and oxygen atoms... And so on $\endgroup$ – Happy Koala Feb 23 '17 at 13:41
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    $\begingroup$ i think the likelihood hearing SETI messages from any particular planet or solar system is very very low, but if the Strong Anthropic Principle is true, it might be that if some random planet happens to have a sun like ours (that will last 10^10 years) and is about 10^8 km away and has the elemental and chemical diversity of Earth, that it might be that, after a few billion years, life has little choice but to emerge. but it could stay as algae-like goop and not evolve to sentient and sapient beings asking questions like we are. $\endgroup$ – robert bristow-johnson Feb 23 '17 at 19:14

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