We are living in the golden age of exoplanet discovery. One might consider rocky planets for intelligent life. Truth is, Astronomers don’t know what to expect, there’s so much data still to sift through. Even stars poor in heavy metals can support the formation of rocky planets; something once, not thought possible! So I took more of a look-see, for a simple, yet information rich page for your inspection: http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-life-exoplanets
Not only will this article consider exoplanets, but how we will get to them! If we chose to colonize a planet double the size of The Earth for example, we’d have to reside ourselves, to the fact that we’d be a race of short dumpy looking people, because of the planet’s immense gravity! So go get your bowl of popcorn, jar of weebles, whatever you like to munch cuz we’re going to the movies!
What you’re looking at, is a failing star! Looks a lot like jupiter doesn’t it? Now it suddenly makes sense that Jupiter has a couple of moons we suspect may be supporting life! This opens up a whole new can of peas… Some planets, just like this failed star, are giant, hotter Jupiters, with perhaps hundreds of moons, a proportionately large number of its moons may support life. So don’t write an exoplanet off just because it’s a gas ball!
Above, is an Artists conception of 10 hot Jupiters; all of which, are larger than our own Jupiter. It was found that some of them had no clouds, and that these were mostly water worlds, and over-flowing with life-sustaining chemicals! There is estimated to be 33 billion exoplanets in our galaxy alone! And we know that moons are far more abundant than planets, so that raises the possibility of life filled worlds astronomically! Yet, what more is this than a bunch of useless facts if we can’t get there? Oh but we can! And we will…
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/10/nasa_fusion_engine_fast_mars_trip/ Be sure and take a boo at this intriguing article about what NASA is up to right now, using fusion power. Fusion fuses atoms together, the same way our own sun is powered. Using fusion power, we can approach one tenth the speed of light. A projectile traveling that fast, would pass the moon in 8 seconds! It would reach our nearest star system, in 42 years…
Now I know that sounds like an awfully long time! Don’t forget, future technologies will assemble crafts that can surpass this speed. And there are alternatives! For example, we could just send many small probes full of our seed, and hope one finds a hospitable resting place. Or, through suspended animation, we would still age, only very slowly… Perhaps these city-sized vessels would be flying habitats, searching for planets that would only one day be inhabited by our children. Whatever the case, we’re going to the stars!
This is a chart of the range in size of earth like planets… The planet’s name and size to earth ratio are given as well. Just picture all the mind staggering possibilities that will be available within the next 50 years! A star trek like Galactic Federation may be closer than we think… One thing I would do, is flick my bic so they think me a God and give me monopoly money! Or at least set me up with a cute alien :O)