Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dude! Where's My Spaceship?!

Ok. Ok... Even if this discovery does involve a best-case scenario, our tech is nowhere near up to snuff for a 240 trillion mile roadie. Still, this is a first and, like so many of those, it opens up whole new vistas of potential reality which had once been nothing more than the stuff of Science Fiction.

Potentially habitable planet found

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

*****
What (the European Southern Observatory's telescope in La Silla, Chile,) revealed is a planet circling the red dwarf star, Gliese 581. Red dwarfs are low-energy, tiny stars that give off dim red light and last longer than stars like our sun. Until a few years ago, astronomers didn't consider these stars as possible hosts of planets that might sustain life.

The discovery of the new planet, named 581 c, is sure to fuel studies of planets circling similar dim stars. About 80 percent of the stars near Earth are red dwarfs.

The new planet is about five times heavier than Earth. Its discoverers aren't certain if it is rocky like Earth or if its a frozen ice ball with liquid water on the surface. If it is rocky like Earth, which is what the prevailing theory proposes, it has a diameter about 1 1/2 times bigger than our planet. If it is an iceball, as Mayor suggests, it would be even bigger.

Based on theory, 581 c should have an atmosphere, but what's in that atmosphere is still a mystery and if it's too thick that could make the planet's surface temperature too hot, Mayor said.

However, the research team believes the average temperature to be somewhere between 32 and 104 degrees and that set off celebrations among astronomers.

Until now, all 220 planets astronomers have found outside our solar system have had the "Goldilocks problem." They've been too hot, too cold or just plain too big and gaseous, like uninhabitable Jupiter.

The new planet seems just right — or at least that's what scientists think.

[More to come? You betchya!]


With the speed with which technology has advance over the last century, who knows how close we actually are to Colonization Days?

Let's hope we even survive that long and don't end up a scourge of the universe.

11 comments:

  1. It's indeed a very interesting story. But, since we can't make things work on this planet and even get along with those around us, what's the point of going elsewhere, except to Fuck that planet up too? ; (

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  2. I'm already picking out curtains for my new digs on Gliese.

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  3. God, don't tell bush about this. He'll be planning to fuck it up too. And if there is oil there the little shit will invade it.

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  4. I know it, Coffee. But it really has always been that way for homo. Hell! 'Sbeen that way since way before as well.

    Despite Bush and the imperialistic neo-cons, muslim head-choppers and any other variety of sadistically self-righteous psycho-cultures we can mention, our species' recorded history shows us ever so slowly leaving bits and pieces of brutality behind.

    Evah so slowly, to be sure, but just comparing the ways we attempt to approach indigenous, pre-literate peoples today to the historical records and, genocidal insanity as is occurring in Darfur not-with-standing, I really think it's impossible not to acknowledge that we've made tremendous progress.

    Still, I'm bettin' your concerns are essentially spot-on because our tech-skills are evolving Far More Quickly than our ability to embrace "the other".

    Curtains! I always forget the curtains!

    See now, that's just one of the many reasons I do so miss a woman's touch.

    {-;

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  5. Talk about Trading Spaces!

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  6. Yeah...this has to be kept from Dubbie and Dickie. Or maybe we should just send them there instead.

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  7. {nod and a wink} to Bossy. {-;

    LOL! Sumo. Now that's a punishment to fit the crime. See how self-reliant those boys can be, eh.

    Ewww! Sick thought came up re; their survival odds: I could certainly see Shooter disposin' of teh Shrub to chow 'pon, but, even if Georgie could get beyond normal human squeamishness and figure out how to take down teh Dick, would he really gain any nutritional value from eatin' the sick fuck?

    Or would he be better off just eatin' dirt and his own feces???

    {shudder}

    {-;-D

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  8. michael b.

    You're making a false assumption... Shooter isn't edible...unless you eat cars and the like on a regular basis... besides, haven't you heard?? Dubya is on a "Liquids and Powders Only" diet.

    E

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  9. I's probably already more livable than Earth will be in another 50 years!
    :::preparing for another HOT summer:::

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  10. Don't tell Bush. They'll use it as a place to store more garbage.

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