Kepler has people thinking…

Comment written by Richard Dierking, an attendee at a Kepler teacher workshop in December 2009

Kepler has been the subject of about every science related publication I’ve seen recently. It’s really got people thinking.

A couple of months ago, I did a Kepler presentation with groups of GATE students at an Elementary school. At the end of these presentations, I always like to ask, “So, let’s say we do discover Earth-like planets – What then?” As usual, one of the kids answered, “well, we go there.” But it’s so far away I replied. During the presentation, I describe a light year and how far away even the closest stars are. However, this time, another kid that was intently following the whole presentation, answered, “well Mr. Richard, don’t worry about that! You just show us where they are, and we’ll figure-out a way to get there.” Wow, I enjoy sharing information with these kids.

18 thoughts on “Kepler has people thinking…”

  1. I hope Kepler finds something even close to habitable.
    It will change our focus as a people. Our purpose, our education, our technology. I believe it will give us the kick in the pants that we desperatly need.

  2. “well Mr. Richard, don’t worry about that! You just show us where they are, and we’ll figure-out a way to get there.”

    That’s The Spirit Sir, for the Generations to come!

  3. I always say: children have virtues that we cannot lose in we ourselves: complete unfamiliarity of limits. Luck that the adults already know much danger, and is not hurt. But known the form of if deviating from the danger, us we must be as children for the stranger: courageous, with will, curiosity, sensation of the open infinite ahead of itself.

  4. That kid will either be walking on the Moon or Mars in another 30 years or building the machines to get there.

  5. Once earth-like planets are discovered that have water, I honestly think the religious zealots will be in shock. It will be like how the world reacted when they finally realized the world was round and that Christopher Columbus reached North America. Of course, they’ll suggest there’s no life on those planets because they damn well know there is no way for us to prove it…. for now. It must be very frustrating for scientists to face off with religious people. Religious people can very simply explain the unexplainable by claiming the word “God”. Once it’s proved by science, they fight it and eventually accept it. Sigh….

    As for the kid, that is the enthusiasm you need. However, I’m still perplexed. If the universe exploded in a big band hurtling material away at the speed of light from its center, is there really another way to go faster than light (whether it’s through warping space or other 5th dimension). They did clock a pulse of light through a cesium tube at something 25% faster than light (186,000 miles per second) in a Cesium tube. Makes you wonder.

    What was there before the Bing Bang? (Religious people need not answer)

    Even if all the material in the universe was stored in something the size of a basketball (which I find very hard to conceive), was everything around just empty? Empty space? Where did that empty space come from? Maybe the universe is a black box and some alien kid’s science project for 10 billion years. lol


  6. The generation that will be in power 20-30 years from now will figure out a way to get there. Provided an Earth-like planet is found, this fact will re-establish the space programs around the world as far more than a scientific pursuit. The only reason why we made it to the moon is because it was more political than scientific (due to the Cold War). The same can be said for a “new” Earth. A government can find a lot of money in something like that…

  7. Although no communication by live beings (for the lack of definition) between Earth and other planets has been established, how about different forms of communication by live beings between other planets?
    is there any scientific investigation into communication between other planets?

  8. The little child was saying what a child’s mind can think. I was really happy when I read that. That’s what is called dreams.

  9. I think they think in parallel, & that represent open minded persons….as by the time, we find that planet we may find the way to.
    I see they they have to be encouraged.

  10. i am interested in searching the planets like earth but i have no suppport so if you support then i can help you.
    becoz it is not our duty it is now important for our next generation.

  11. 2 months since the last post- I hope this blog will continue. I have a question… on January 19 2010, the Kepler “Manager’s Update” on the official news webpage mentioned that 2 out of Kepler’s 42 CCDs had anomalous data and “…will remain offline pending further trouble-shooting and analysis.” Two months and two updates later, no further mention has been made of this issue. Should we assume the situation is unchanged? Is there hope for progress on understanding the issue?

Comments are closed.