Planets, planets, everywhere!

It wasn’t that long ago when we didn’t even know what the back side of our own moon looked like. My friend, Dave, used to have a globe of the lunar surface, and half of it was blacked out because we had no idea what was on the dark side of the moon.

And when I was a kid, there wasn’t any evidence that other planets existed beyond Pluto. We could speculate, of course, but there was no definitive proof that our solar system wasn’t unique.

This week comes word from the Kepler mission of the discovery of over 700 new planets! That nearly doubles the number found to date, a dramatic uptick of the count that stood at nine only a couple decades ago. And a number of them are supposedly “Earth-like” in terms of possible habitability.

So, we’ve lost Pluto as a planet (it was nice knowing ya’, kid), but gained 715 more in its place. How long will it be before we’re waxing nostalgic about that quaint time when we thought we were the only planet that supported life?