August 18, 2016

A Mere 4.25 Light Years Away....

One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us up to speed on potentially consequential news from the world of astronomy. 


"Take the following with a grain of salt."



A couple of things about that sentence: "Earthlike" in that context seems to mean a terrestrial planet, which is referring to rocky worlds like Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars...only one of which would be described by laymen as Earthlike. The habitable zone of a red dwarf is very narrow , so this is a very lucky happenstance if their figures are right. Note though, that we have three terrestrial planets in our solar system's habitable zone and only one of them had everything break just right. Finally, the actual paper has not been released yet, The article is based on an anonymous leak to Der Spiegel. 

Still, if a random planet has been found around a red dwarf, especially the closest star to our solar system, this is a big deal, if it IS in the habitable zone, it's an even bigger deal. 



It should be noted though that even this, closest of stars would take thousands of years to reach with our current fastest spacecraft. Nuclear pulse propulsion and laser sails however, both have the potential to reduce that to less than a century. 


"Science Babe" is Mercy from Overwatch as imagined by GGGG
Painting is an imagining of another planet orbiting a red dwarf in a trinary star system Gliese-667c and comes via ESO-Calcada



Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 01:51 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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