Hundreds of New Planets Found

More potential evidence that we may not be alone in the universe. Kepler telescope discovered 715 new planets beyond our solar system. So far, NASA has identified four of these planets as orbiting a hospital zone where water can keep a liquid state, according to the BBC.


According to this video from NASA, this find doubled the number of known planets. Doubled. We have now identified 1,700 planets outside of our solar system. "The more we explore, the more we find familiar traces of ourselves among the stars that remind us of home," says Jason Rowe of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, and co-leader of the research team.

This tremendous discovery obviously has some exciting implications. For one thing, as Stephen Hawking pointed out, as reported on Big Think, we need to start looking for another Earth and colonizing space if our species wants to survive. Kepler is essentially acting as our real-estate agent. What's as exciting is that more finds like this one could lead us to our nearest sophisticated neighbors. Believe whatever you want about the existence of aliens, hauls like this one indicate that there's just so much we don't know about space, and so much possibility for life beyond Earth.

What do you think this latest discovery means for humankind? Tell us in the comments section. The BBC has more on Kepler's planetary goldmine.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

Trauma in childhood leads to empathy in adulthood

It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Mind & Brain

  • A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
  • The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
  • The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
Keep reading Show less
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

Keep reading Show less