Nasa is set to make a planet-sized announcement tomorrow

Kepler Space Telescope

Tomorrow (May 10) could go down in the history books as the day alien life was confirmed, as Nasa is set to announce the latest findings of its Kepler Space Telescope at 1pm EDT/6pm GMT.

What's more likely, however, is the announcement of a newly discovered planet beyond our solar system (aka an exoplanet), as that's what Kepler has been tasked with looking for – and it's already found more than 1,000 of them.

But that's not all Kepler's found in the past – the telescope has also spotted dips of up to 20% in the luminosity of a distant star, which some have attributed to an alien 'megastructure' in the form of a massive solar panel, used to suck up energy from it.

However, while there's no conclusive answer for what caused the dips in brightness, it's widely believed that debris from a family of comets is the most likely explanation.

The universe is busier than we thought

So an alien announcement is unlikely – but even the discovery of an exoplanet is important, as prior to the launch of Kepler it was unknown just how common planets were outside our solar system, and now astronomers believe there could be at least one planet orbiting every single star.

And that's good news for alien hunters as well, because while no life may have been found yet, the discovery of so many planets greatly increases the chance of life being found on one of them – it just probably won't be tomorrow.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.