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Over the past few years, astronomers have spotted and identified quite a few planets that share many of Earth’s features including size, distance from the sun and surface temperature, but to date, not a single one has been discovered that’s a close mirror to our own. With an estimated fifty billion planets out there and new telescopes such as Kepler able to detect more than a planet a day, however, many leading researchers are going on record and speculating such a find will happen in 2013.

According to MSNBC, the Kepler Space Telescope has flagged more than two thousand planets since it was launched almost four years ago. Astronomers are currently going through and analyzing the specifics of each one. As everyone involved gets more comfortable, the process become far quicker, and since mathematical research has suggested there should be roughly five million planets like Earth floating around somewhere, it’s really only a matter of time. In fact, the only real question other than when is how people will react when it does happen.

Leading scientists are speculating that such a find may cause a renewed interest in space travel and many to ask big questions about our place in a universe that contains other planets very similar to our own. It could conceivably push various nations together to pool ideas for space travel, or, of course, it could change absolutely nothing. I suppose we’ll see whenever the alien Earth is found, whether in 2013 or beyond.

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