Sunday, October 21, 2012

31 Days of Planets: Earth 2.0

Day 18

Three-ish days ago, scientists announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet in the Alpha-Centaui system- which is made up of 2 sun-like stars and one red dwarf. They call it Bb. This new Earth-sized planet is a bit too close to its star for our comfort, averaging a 1,200 degrees Celsius. Maybe we could dig tunnels and live underground? At any rate, the idea is that if there is one small planet in a solar system, there are likely more small planets. This is exciting, because the likelihood of finding a small planet in the Goldilocks zone is high - and it might support or already have life! 

The other awesome thing about this planet, is that it is only four light years away from Earth. Now granted it would take a while to get there, but astronomically speaking, it's really close. One news article used the phrase "an astronomical stone's throw" which I think is a really intriguing statement which shows the clear concept of our own, tiny concept of distance in contrast with a universe-sized concept of distance.  

Some scientists think that NASA should drop everything and go find it. I say, one step at a time people. I'm all about going to find it, but we haven't even been to the moon in ages! I think that all kinds of astronomers would like doing all sorts of things, and instead of arguing about which things to do, we should just find ways to do more - and cheaper is probably better, so it might be a good idea to start with the solar system first. Besides, for all I know, one the Voyagers will just happen to end up in the Alpha Centauri system before we know it!

Here's a picture. It's not a photograph - don't be deceived!

In conclusion, Earth is not alone in the universe. And neither are we, probably.

For more information, read this article.
Picture from all the news articles.

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