The Kepler Space Telescope, which was launched into space 5 months ago, is designed to take direct images of planets outside of our solar system. It has stunned and delighted astronomers with a picture of a planet a thousand light years away, the first every direct photo of light from a planet not in our solar system. This system definitely holds promise for detecting planets that harbor life.
Yahoo News UK quotes Kepler astronomer William Borucki as saying that this is “the first time anyone has seen light from this planet.”
Astrophysicist Alan Boss is quoted as saying, “The real headline is Kepler works.” Boss states that, thanks to the Kepler, NASA expects to be able to say by 2012 if there are “lots of earths in our galaxy or we are alone.”