It’s 10% larger, orbits a sun that is about half as strong as ours (receiving about a third of the light we receive from our sun) in about 130 days instead of 365. Yet NASA scientists believe it is closely related to earth conditions, in the “goldilocks” zone, and therefore has strong possibilities for the sustaining of life, as we might define it. Kepler 186f is located in the Cygnus constellation about 500 light years away.
Though it is clear that more investigation needs to be done before any of this possible presumption of life is totally confirmed, the notion that there are other significant forms of life in outer space is not a new idea. Part of me is totally saddened that this discovery may be made well before we are ready for it. We can barely live with the diversity of humans on this planet let alone the potential permutations in other galaxies. We are clearly not too good at solving the conflicts already facing us let alone ready for those that will without question emerge with the discovery of other lifeforms elsewhere. We have not yet learned to live in harmony with the natural resources and “lower” life forms on this planet let alone with new resources clouding our vision and inspiring our greed.
Though our ability to commune with lifeforms on alien planets is a long way off, this news is both exciting and also terribly frightening. Frightening, not because of the unknown forms of life we may discover, but because of our out-of-control imperative to expand and explore, stretching our compassion and tolerance beyond any demonstrated capacities, whetting our insatiable desire for profit and plunder.