Scientists Hunt Foreign Worlds Outside Our Solar System – Are We There – Space

The concept of this artist shows what the planetary system TRAPPIST-1 looks like, based on available data on the diameters, masses and distances of the planets of the host star, until February 2018. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech

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Scientists are looking for exoplanets, planets that exist outside our solar system. So far they have found thousands of planets orbiting other stars and some that could be like our own world.

That means they could have all the prerequisites for life, as we know it here on Earth.

We will talk to two scientists leading the hunt to these alien worlds. First we’ll talk to MIT’s Dr. George Ricker, a researcher and principal investigator for NASA’s TESS mission – a space-based telescope tasked with identifying potential planets around distant stars.

The telescope has completed its main mission after launching Cape Canaveral in 2018. Now it is entering its extended mission, aiming to catalog even more exoplanetary candidates. We will talk with Ricker about the mission and the findings so far.

Then Are We There‘s Kirk Churchill speaks with UCF scientist Dr. Theodora Karalidi about TRAPPIST-1, a system about 39 light-years away that looks similar to our own solar system. Could that mean that these planets could sustain life?

The hunt for exoplanets and alien worlds, which is just ahead on Are We There Yet, here at WMFE, an American space station.