What do Google Earth and

MIT have in Common?

This free Google Earth download site is a privately held fan site. This site is not an official Google site 

Well, they’ve decided to work together in a space exploration capacity, Google Earth with its resources and technology, and MIT with its genius scientists.  Here’s my disclaimer:  Science was NOT my forte in school.  I’m not much of a science fiction person and my knowledge in this area leaves a lot to be desired, but I found out about this in my web research and found it to be really interesting.  So…in my own simple terms here’s the gist of it…

MIT scientists are designing an observatory.  This observatory will be satellite-based, and its name is TESS, an acronym for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.  The plan is that the satellite imagery from this observatory will make it possible to locate other planets like Earth that are outside our solar system.  Many planets outside our solar system have been located already, but they’re much larger than Earth, and therefore easier to find.  But also more different than Earth because of the size.  The idea is that there is more chance of finding living things on a planet outside our solar system if we look for and can find planets with more similarities to ours.  And with better technology, it becomes more possible to find these smaller planets.  

TESS combined with other technology will be able to determine the temperature and chemical makeup of the newly-discovered planets, as possibly even find any signs of life on even a cellular or atmospheric level.

What does this have to do with Google Earth, you ask?  Google Earth is funding the development of the digital cameras which would be needed for this satellite.  Why?  Well, I have no idea.  Possibly because it’s a REALLY cool thing to do.  But Google Earth is already working with NASA on Google Sky and other future endeavors.  So they definitely have something up their sleeves with regards to space.  Rights-managed photos of the entirety of outer space for Google Sky perhaps?  Or just a hand in the goings on in space in the event of something fantastic happening?  That’s for Google to know, I suppose.  I do look forward to seeing the additions to Google Sky’s imagery as this progresses.  

If you want to see the original article, it’s here.  Thanks to the Daily Galaxy for all the cool info.