Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Galaxy Just Got M-Classier!

8.8 billion. Billion, with a B and an illion. That's how many potentially habitable planets there are in our galaxy alone, according to a new study. So what in the name of Space Jesus are we doing just sitting around, not spooling up the FTL?  
"Yeah, seriously you guys, what's up with that?"
                                      -Space Jesus
"I'm sorry Steven, but according to my 
calculations, yo mamma really is so fat."
Scientists used data from the Kepler satellite to extrapolate a reasonable figure for how many Earth-like planets exist in the Milky Way. According to their super-hard science math, there are something like 200 billion stars in the galaxy, 40-50 billion of which are like our sun and of those they think one in five have terrestrial planets in the Goldilocks zone (or as I like to call it, the Canadian Zone). That means between 8 and 11 billion potentially inhabitable planets. Of course, this is science, so we're going to have to rein it in a bit.

'Potentially habitable' is along way from actually habitable and full of aliens waiting for us to teach them about this thing we hew-mons call 'love.' Still though, this is pretty exciting. With 8.8 billion worlds out there, even the most preposterous Star Trek episodes seem suddenly plausible. Gangster planet, Nazi Germany planet, it's all on the table.
A world that's exactly like Earth except the Roman Empire
never fell and everybody speaks English? What the hell. 
This is why we can't have nice things.
But as rad as this all sounds, these billions and billions of class-M planets are still really, really far away. And while NASA's working on telescopes that can sniff out breathable atmospheres, I think it's high time they got cracking on a warp drive. Like, right now. Let's face it, we've seriously screwed the pooch on our planet. Between things like Fukushima, the Pacific ocean garbage pile and the fact that most of our coastal cities are going to require snorkels in the next few decades, we're going to have to start looking for a fresh planet.

Just listed! This unique fixer-upper is located in the Goldilocks zone of
a G-type main sequence yellow dwarf star and features 7 continents,
5 oceans and its own moon. It has room for two polar ice caps (not incl.)
and is priced to move. Don't let this one pass you by! 

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