Space exploratory science has seen massive growth and development in the last few decades. Thanks to all this, we may finally find another planet like ours quite soon with the help of the powerful Gemini Planet Imager (GPI).
Astronomers have detected nearly 1,000 planets outside of our own solar system, but they have come to know very little about the composition of these planets. But, the Gemini Planet Imager has enabled scientists to image exoplanets directly. Recently Gemini was able to capture images of a 10-million-year old planet which is 370 trillion miles away from Earth. It can capture images of heavenly bodies as far away as 63 light years! This has created a hope in scientists that that GPI may help them find Earth-like planet in the space.
According to Dr Frank Marchis of the SETI Institute, the performance of the Gemini Planet Imager shows immense potential. He also said that this may happen as soon as within the next ten years. In his own words, “The search for Earth-like planets, the search for an Earth 2.0 is very close. I think in 10 or 15 years we will have an Earth 2.0 candidate.”
This ultra-high-power equipment has been deployed at the Gemini South telescope in Chile and has enabled scientists to look farther in the space than was ever possible before. Until now, scientists relied on other measurements to discern the existence and position of different planets tens of light years away. With the Gemini Planet Imager, it is possible to actually see these planets in images.
This remarkable advancement is coupled with the assertion by the scientists that one in every five sun-like stars in the Milky Way has an Earth-like planet orbiting around it. The Earth-like is meant to convey that such a planet may contain liquid water which is the key to the existence of living organisms.
Dr Marchis is very happy with the recent findings in space explorations and believes that the scale of these explorations, and their scope, will grow at a quick pace in the coming days. He is very hopeful, citing, “Imagine one day, we’re going to be able to see seasonal effects on these planets and be able to see if there is a biosphere.’ And given the recent images from the Gemini Planet Imager, that is not very impossible.”