Sorry I am late with my hauling this morning. I am going to the multiple personalities meeting this weekend in the city. I am in charge of the name tags, and I was up half the night, filling them suckers out! So ……. Let’s get on with it.
“Towards the end time, there shall be signs and wonders in the heavens, never seen before.”
A newly discovered planet some 36 light years away has the best odds of supporting life as we know it. Being somewhat curious, I looked it up. The speed of light in vacuum, usually denoted by c, is a physical constant important in many areas of physics. Its value is 299,792,458 metres per second, a figure that is exact since the length of the metre is defined from this constant and the international standard for time. In imperial units this speed is approximately 186,282 miles per second.
Not exactly close by … And it takes “36 years to get there” at this speed. Now 186,292 per second, times one year, is a little bit over 31,000,000 seconds and we are still 35 years out. Best take a lunch.
This new planet, HD 85512B, is roughly 3.6 times the size of Earth and orbits within its star’s Goldilocks zone — a region neither too hot nor too cold to harbor water. As I sit here, I can hear all of you, sitting there reading this and snickering to yourselves, “Goldilocks Zone?” and mumbling out loud, “how stooooopid does he think we are?” If by chance this is a moment of self doubt, try to see how it is you are stretching yourself, and welcome the opportunity for growth. Like Dr. Phil is fond of saying …. How’s that workin’ for ya?
Believe it or not, there are such places, perhaps not in this world, but in the parameters of space. You have to remember, the people who named all of this, are the very same people you made fun of in high school, with pocket protectors full of #2 pencils and pens, brown shoes and always had their science project done and in on time.
Anyway, getting back to the scientific portion of the post.
Given enough cloud cover, temperatures on HD 85512B could range between 85 and 120 degrees, making the surface a lot like Oklahoma, really muggy, but not inhabitable. By the way, we do not have a Goldilocks in Oklahoma, but we have a close second, Gotebo.
Check your Rand McNally.
This planet actually is among 50 that astronomers have discovered, and one of twenty, which appear to be “super Earths” meaning they’re not much larger than our own and the orbit is much the same. All of this is happening right in our own backyard, The Milky Way, and as telescopes continue to expand and improve, the odd’s of finding another Earth increase exponentially.
Say in the next 10 to 20 years?
Always nice to discover a little thing about life that you did not know to begin with. There is, beyond disbelief, hope for mankind, we still can learn and observe all that is around us. Not only that, but we can name it just about anything that we want, no one is driving over there any time soon, to check it out.
So to recap Boys & Girls …. We have just learned that 96% of the universe is made up of stuff we don’t understand, can’t measure, and, until very recently, didn’t even know existed. Personally, I find this extremely reassuring. A big mystery in my life is finally solved.
I mean, think about it.
I now understand why my first marriage went down the tubes. Much like a Kamikaze in a steep dive, lit up in flames. My unrequited love, a river of fear and I was too stupid to pick up an oar and row.
Now I know why it didn’t stand a chance, when we were both so clueless regarding the fundamental nature of everything. On a very deep, quantum level, I feel vindicated. It is as if the doors of the heaven’s opened wide and out poured a generous helping of an analogous discrete amount of another physical quantity, such as momentum or a powerful lithium induced electric charge.
This could very well be where the scientific expression “it knocked my socks” comes from, I dunno?
In fact, I’m thinking of sending a note to my ex-very-special-someone. Something along the lines of, “I told you that dark energy wasn’t just coming from me. It was in you, the coffee table, your mother – it was all around us.”
Unfortunately, I don’t know which truck-stop she is working on Thursday’s this month.