Go Johannes!

This is really big news from the Redshirt corner. This here satellite based telescope, named after that swell fella Kepler, is designed to spot exo-planets.

To date, we've found approximately 350 exo-planets, but all were inferred to be present, either through observing a gravitational wobble in the parent star, or in periodic dimming of the star's light as the exo-planet passes in front. Better than nothing, to be sure, but these inferrences are limited, and only would discover rather freakish planets of Jupiter size, yet also close to their sun -- that is, nothing like our Solar System.

I believe this is only due to our lack of tools, not because there are no other solar systems out there like ours. Kepler will add to the ongoing revolution in astronomy since Copernicus, which can be summarized as such: We're not the center of anything.

Each new astronomical discovery makes it ever more clear what our true place in existence is -- a dust mote - and with each discovery, I hope, the God Squad and their myths are knocked ever further back into the ignorant shadows.

Because, when Kepler finds a planet similar to ours, orbiting a sun similar to ours, with similar elements in its atmosphere, it will be another new chapter in this ongoing story of humanity understanding our place in existence. A great new chapter, the first one that has real potential for awesome discoveries (to wit: Life, everywhere).

Stay tuned!

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