Once upon a time…in a galaxy far, far away………
This is not a world on Star Trek or Star Wars or ……..it is real and it is close by….well close in astronomical terms…..
The new planet sits smack in the middle of what astronomers refer to as the habitable zone, unlike any of the nearly 500 other planets astronomers have found outside our solar system. And it is in our galactic neighborhood, suggesting that plenty of Earth-like planets circle other stars.
But there are still many unanswered questions about this strange planet. It is about three times the mass of Earth, slightly larger in width and much closer to its star — 14 million miles away versus 93 million. It’s so close to its version of the sun that it orbits every 37 days. And it doesn’t rotate much, so one side is almost always bright, the other dark.
Temperatures can be as hot as 160 degrees or as frigid as 25 degrees below zero, but in between — in the land of constant sunrise — it would be “shirt-sleeve weather,” said co-discoverer Steven Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz.
It’s unknown whether water actually exists on the planet, and what kind of atmosphere it has. But because conditions are ideal for liquid water, and because there always seems to be life on Earth where there is water, Vogt believes “that chances for life on this planet are 100 percent.”
Okay, good news right? We may have found E.T…..or the possibility of a world that we can colonize……Now we do not have to tackle that pesky ozone problem….we can divert all that research money on to how to get to our new home once we fry this planet into the dust of time….A brave new world that we can totally f*ck up…and they say there is NO God!