There may be alien life out there, after all: Using the Harps telescope in Chile, a European observatory has announced "major" alien planet findings: 50 previously unknown "exoplanets" that could harbor life. These new worlds include 16 "super-Earths." Astronomers have also discovered a diamond in the sky.

In BBC News, Paul Rincon quotes astronomer Michel Mayor as saying that the newly-discovered planets are "an exceptionally rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets hosted by stars very similar to our Sun." All of them are in a narrow region around a star in which liquid water can be present on the surface of a planet, meaning that life can be present there as well. He quotes astronomer Francesco Pepe as saying, "These planets will be among the best targets for future space telescopes to look for signs of life in the planet’s atmosphere by looking for chemical signatures such as evidence of oxygen."

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, astronomers have discovered 564 confirmed alien planets to date, with more than 1,000 more candidate worlds suggested by data from the Kepler space observatory. And that diamond in the sky right in our own Milky Way galaxy. An international team of astronomers has discovered a planet 5 times the size of Earth that is made of diamond crystals,

In the Washington Post, Elizabeth Flock writes, "The object’s density means that the material is certain to be crystalline, meaning a large part of the planet may be similar to a diamond. Radio telescope data shows that it orbits its star at a distance of 600,000 kilometers, making years on planet diamond just two hours long. Any closer and it would be ripped to shreds by the star’s gravitational tug."

Flock quotes astronomer Michael Keith as saying that it’s "likely to be largely carbon and oxygen." She writes, "While the planet is an exciting find, it’s parental star is also quite interesting as well. It’s a pulsar, which are small spinning stars about 20 kilometers in diameter–around the same size as London."

What WE want to know is, have any Visitors from there come our way? We’re not sure that the Visitors are from another planet–they may be from a parallel universe, and Whitley talks about this possibility in his Communon sequel, to be published in January–but we know they’re HERE because Anne Strieber has interviewed a large group of "contactees" (forming a totally unique repository of information) about their experiences told IN THEIR OWN WORDS. If you subscribe today, you can listen to ALL of these fascinating conversations!

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