Science

New Home For Humans

Go ahead and drive your SUV to the plastic factory: The French have discovered the first habitable planet in another solar system. It’s called Gliese 581d, and it’s a mere 20 light years away.

Cosmos magazine reports that French researchers think they’ve found the first planet other than Earth capable of sustaining life, concluding that it probably has a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere and that “the climate of Gliese 581d is not only stable against collapse but warm enough to have oceans, clouds and rainfall.” Yes! I just set some coal on fire to watch that shit burn.

It orbits the star Gliese 581 in the so-called Goldilocks zone (not too hot; not too cold), which means that water is likely to exist there in liquid form. Gliese 581d is about twice the size of Earth, if seven times its mass. It’s a neighbour of Gliese 581g, or Zarmina’s World, but unlike that planet, it is certain that this one exists. Sweet! I just stabbed a panda!

It may also be “tidally locked” with one side always facing its sun in permanent daylight. Which will be great for my tan! I just poured mercury down the drain! I just drank some toxic waste! I just shat in the ocean! I just punched the Pope in his ugly Popey nose!

Wait. Oh crap. Apparently it takes 300,000 years to travel 20 light years. Which may be a problem for me.