New Planets Are Out There

As I sit down to write this, it is a beautiful night, the sky is clear and the air has a nice autumn freshness. Yup, it’s a fine night for a cottage campfire and star gazing or new planet discovering.

New Planet Discovered

It turns out a couple of astronomers have discovered a new planet close to our solar system and not far away from us, astronautically speaking. The planet was detected using the HARPS instrument on the 3.6-metre telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Folks around here are excited because it gives some hope for finding a habitable planet not too far from home. Just in case we make a mess of our current planet with things like clear cutting forests, paving fields, polluting oceans, lakes and rivers and messing up the ozone…just in case we do all that, it’s nice to know that there are people working at finding us a new planet to live on. It’s kind of like hiring a real estate agent to find you a new home in a place you may never go.

However, this new planet will at least hold out some hope for the ATV clubs that have blazed endless trails all over the countryside. They will have somewhere else to go.

Unfortunately the newly discovered home away from home is a little too close to the sun to support life, and a little too far away from home. It’s 40 trillion kilometers away.

Talk About Global Warming

Kind of hot too, as reports suggest the surface temperature is somewhere around 1200 degrees celsius.

The Good News

The good news is, when it comes to planets, much like when it comes to warts, when one is found there are usually more. And more there are since we have discovered about 800 similar planets in the last 30 years.

So, I guess it is back to stargazing for me. It’s nice to sit beside a campfire, under the night sky, look up and wonder what’s out there. Can somebody pass the marshmallows please…..

Credits:
Picture of New Planet: European Southern Observatory Press Release
Center Of Milky Way Pic: Wilkipedia Creative Commons Stefan Gillessen, Reinhard Genzel, Frank Eisenhauer
Globular Clustar Pic: Wilkipedia Creative Commons

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