WASHINGTON — NASA has some big news in the hunt for Earth-like planets. NASA plans to share a discovery from its Kepler Space Telescope in a news conference scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, a press release announced.
Calling a news conference for the Kepler Telescope, a mission dedicated to finding Earth-like planets in so-called hospitable zones, is unusual. According to CTV, a tantamount goal of the Kepler mission is to find Earth-like planets suitable for supporting the existence of liquid water, a necessary ingredient for life.
The mission seeks planets a perfect distance away from a star that would likely maintain liquid water, known as the Goldilocks Zone. Too close to a star and water evaporates. Too far and water freezes to ice.
The announcement of a press conference has lit the Internet on fire with speculation. Many hope the Kepler Mission engineers will announce finding an Earth-size planet with an abundance of oxygen.
“Abundance of oxygen suggests the existence of life,” one Redditor wrote. “Oxygen is too reactive to stay in an atmosphere without constantly being replenished.”