Astronomers have found a planet, or “super-earth,” that’s in the “hospitable zone,” meaning it’s in the sweet spot for harboring life. And guess what? It’s not that far from us and it’s way bigger than the trash compactor that we’re living in right now. I’m not saying we should bail exactly, but maybe we just start sending folks out there and see what happens.
Of course, this discovery is very early and we’re not sure if it’s a solid planet like ours or a gas planet or an ice giant like Neptune. And with it “only” lying about 42 light years away from Earth, we might be able to observe it directly in the near future.
The exo-planet is about seven times larger than Earth, and while it’s closer to its star than we are to the sun, the star itself is smaller. Combined with the size of the planet, it hit the sweet spot. The lead author of the study Mikko Tuomi from the University of Hertfordshire gave it “50/50” that it would be a rocky planet like ours.
But the planet sits right in the middle of the star’s hospitable zone, which makes it a “planet candidate.” Future studies will be needed to confirm this, but it is highly likely that a bunch of money just got pumped into this because we really need to, y’know, leave.
New instruments are going to be needed to observe the planet directly. But we want a new planet. We all know it. Secretly, we want intergalactic warfare and if we aren’t going to find any damn aliens, we’re just going to have to settle a new planet and fight in space ourselves.
Question: If you had the option to jump to a new planet, would you take it? Or would you rather stay home while others leave?