Kepler 22-b, and My Future Vacation Plans

With everything going on in my life, including getting this blog restarted — I still can’t believe that I forgot to mention the exciting piece of news that NASA has discovered an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of its star.  Of course, everyone else has no doubt already heard about it if they cared.  But that’s why you come here, folks.  Hard-hitting, behind-the-times analysis.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit early to book your trip to the Kepler-22 star system just yet.  600 light-years is an awfully long way to go for a vacation, and I doubt you have quite that much vacation time saved up with your boss. 

Additionally, we not only don’t know what weather to prepare for, we don’t even know what atmosphere and planet composition to prepare for.  According to several sources, the planet surface temperature could be near 72 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pleasant enough.  Pleasant, that is, if we’re not talking about breathing in a carbon-dioxide laden atmosphere a la Venus…or if an atmosphere exists.  And I’d rather have a solid planetary surface under me.  Though not too solid, in this case.  Since Kepler 22-b has a radius about 2.4 times the size of Earth’s radius, were it solid at roughly Earth’s consistency, I could weigh as much as 500 pounds!

But the biggest reason not to go to Kepler 22-b right now?  Even if it is currently uninhabitated yet habitable by humans, and even if we had a massive colony spaceship ready to launch today, given likely advances in space travel, I would project the chances at far better than even that you would get to the planet to find a teeming civilization already waiting for you, and your own skills of very little use in a future society.  Who wants to wind up on a new world, just to be a charity case the minute they disembark?

So I’m afraid my future vacation plans involve someplace a little closer to home.  Perhaps South Beach.  I hear LeBron likes it there.

Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

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