Kepler-186f is described as “a rocky planet orbiting its star at just the right distance for it to harbor liquid water and thus, potentially, life.”
How wonderfully exciting!
It is amazing to me how many variables come into play to make Earth habitable by human beings: distance from the sun, having an atmosphere, and rotation to name only a few.
Of course it is usually assumed that liquid water is required to support life. I would be inclined to say “life as we know it.”
How many other types of life forms might there be? I believe the possibilities are endless.
What if – right on this planet – we live with four dimensional creatures that we cannot perceive? What if trees are sentient, but we don’t know it because they move infinitely more slowly than we do? So slowly that they appear to be unaware of their surroundings?
Still, everytime there is talk about planets that potentially have much the same conditions of Earth, I’m reminded of one of my favorite TV shows ever: Star Trek.
Someday, I hope someone establishes a Starfleet Academy.
Preferably in the year 2161. ;o)