With the advent of one of the first Goldilocks planets (the second, according to that Wiki page) being discovered very recently, I decided to theme this post to space. First I’ll talk about Gliese 581 g, this newly-discovered Earthlike Goldilocks planet.
According to Discover Magazine’s blog post–I’d say they’re pretty reliable for not blowing sciencey things out of proportion–this planet is not certain to have water; it simply is in the right temperature range to have it in its liquid form.
It’s also close enough to its star that it’s years are 37 Earth days. And it’s very likely that one Gliese-581-g day lasts one Gliese-581-g year. That means one side of the planet would always be facing the star (like the moon does to Earth) which could well mean one side is way too hot, and the other is way too cold.
Lastly, its estimated mass is at least triple that of Earth’s. It’s likely to be more, though not by a whole lot. That has more impact on its likelihood of having intelligent life than it does life.
But still. To date, it’s still easily the most Earthlike planet found in its star’s Goldilocks region. Which is pretty spectacular, and very interesting.
Another cool thing: a couple professors published a paper which claims that finding the first Earth-habitable planet is, statistically speaking, (probably) imminent. Possibly by May of next year. Read about it.
Moving on. These kids were interested in going to space–because what kid doesn’t think about that at least once?
Well, they were lucky enough to have some folks who wanted to make it happen. So they strapped their camera in to a giant balloon and floated it so high you can see the curve of the planet. Pretty gorgeous.
The guy who uploaded this video was kind enough to edit out the boring parts. It’s a pretty thrilling ride for all six minutes, in my opinion.