It is not the existence of an apparent clone of Earth in and of itself that stirs up scientific interest, but the composition of its atmospheric layers and its potential capability of sustaining life that continue to intrigue, raising more questions than answers.
The near future will witness a curious and hitherto unrivalled discovery – a clone of Earth, the director of the Russian Institute of Space Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Anatoly Petrukovich, shared with RIA Novosti.
“In the next 10-15 years we’ll find the ‘identical twin’ of planet Earth; we’ll be able to check out what its atmosphere consists of, and make a preliminary evaluation of its climate and temperatures”, the researcher detailed.
He argued that this knowledge will usher in another series of questions like, “if there is someone out there, how can we establish a contact with them?”
“However, this is a totally different question to be raised later”, he said.
According to Petrukovich, it is the fundamental science that is expected to arrive at large-scale discoveries in years to come – related among other things to the search for life on other planets, or combing the universe for exoplanets – potentially life-compatible planets that orbit stars other than the Sun.
“We are currently studying exoplanets at the locations where we find it convenient to look for them. We single out a square in the sky with the greatest amount of suitable stars, further gazing there attentively for lengthy periods of time”.
“However, the ‘right’ planet might be in the opposite direction to where we are looking, and the choice of the single primary goal may drastically change our priorities”, the head of the institute rounded off.