(NASA/JPL – Caltech/MIT)
This story was provided by Tibi Puiu. Tibi is a science enthusiast and co-founder of ZME Science, a popular science blog which aims to bring science back to the people by translating seemingly complicated concepts into layman terms.
Kepler-7b (left) which is 1.5 times the radius of Jupiter (right), is the first exoplanet to have its clouds mapped. The cloud map was produced using data from NASA’s Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes.
For the first time scientists using data from the Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have mapped the cloud formations of an exoplanet – a planet outside our solar system. The exoplanet in question, called Kepler-7b, doesn’t look one bit like Earth and more resembles Jupiter.
We may owe our earthly existence to the transitory conditions of early Mars. Research reported this week by NBC News, Huffington Post, and other sources gives new weight to the notion that we all started out somewhere else. The effect may be to alter our view of life anywhere in the universe.
Panspermia is the theory that life began somewhere else in the universe and came to Earth on meteorites. The idea isn’t new – the notion goes back to the ancient Greeks – and life did emerge about four billion years ago, soon after a period of heavy meteorite bombardment. But the universe is big and hostile, so trying to draw a scientific line between all of space and our own planet isn’t easy.