Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:19 pm ET
Somewhere in Orbit (Krapsody) - At risk of sounding like a total nerd, I'm a bit excited. A new planet was discovered. It might be a place that only a lichen or pond scum could love, but astronomers believe that they've found it capable of harboring water on its surface potentially making it a home for plant or animal life.
Nobody from Earth will be visiting anytime soon: The planet, called Gliese 581g, is orbiting a star about 20 light-years away in the constellation Libra.
But if the finding is confirmed by other brainiacs, the planet, which is three to four times the mass of Earth, would be the most Earthlike planet yet discovered, and the first to meet the criteria for being potentially habitable. Which is a lot more than I can say for Detroit.
In a news conference, Dr. Vogt an astronomist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, says he believes that, "the chances of life on this planet are almost 100 percent."
But caution is expressed about this particular planet, noting uncertainties about its density, composition and atmosphere, and the need for another generation of giant telescopes and spacecraft in order to find out anything more about it.
Perhaps a manned space mission will be planned in the future..but since the U.S. has such a dire financial crisis that will take years to recover from, perhaps NASA should allow another country the option to explore it first. Japan and India are space program newbies, let's see what they have going on...
Japanese Space Program
Indian Space Program
Looks like this could take a while...
Listening to: Space Oddity - David Bowie (perf. as Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars)
posted with Last.fm