Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Confirmed: First rocky planet found orbiting another star!

"The planet, called CoRoT-7b, is the first planet beyond our solar system with a proven density similar to Earth's, astronomers say. Most known exoplanets are large gas giants like Jupiter."

According to a recent article on scientists have located the first known rocky planet orbiting another star. This is a huge breakthrough but I expect most astronomers are really not that surprised. There is undoubtedly a huge number of planets within the vast expanse of the cosmos. I can even safely assume that there are many Earth like planets - somewhere.

What does this mean for us?

Well, for now, not much. We can at least have the knowledge that there are other planets out there. This in itself gives us more hope that there are Earth like planets to be found too.

The real problem comes when you try to establish a means to travel to these other planets. Even if we found a way to travel at the constant velocity of 186,000 miles per second (the speed of light), we would still be ages away from reaching any of these planets. In fact, let's just assume we found a planet on the other end of our own Milkyway galaxy. Traveling at the speed of light it would take around 100,000 years to arrive!

Read more:

What if's

I would like to hear your thoughts on these matters. If we do find other planets capable of supporting life, should we think it is a big deal, even if we can never go there in our lifetime?


What if: Another civilization arose on a distant planet long before we did and already figured out how to beat the speed-of-light problem or even possibly the time-travel paradoxes.

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