Thanks to new insights from the Spitzer, an infrared space telescope, NASA has discovered seven Earth-sized exoplanets, that is, planets orbiting a star outside our own solar system. This particular collection of planets orbits a dwarf star called the Trappist-1, which is 40 light years away.
Here's a video on what we know about Trappist-1 by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
But while our telescope technology has advanced, allowing us to see far reaches of the universe, we don't yet have vehicles that would get us there in a reasonable time frame. To get to any of these planets with our current vehicles would take about 44 million years. NASA has already released a poster about this planetary system, imagining a future in which we might visit the planets for a vacation.
That said, the scientists at a NASA briefing today believe that it is very likely that there is life elsewhere in the solar system.
[Images via NASA] ES