Hoo boy, everyone. All of these daily stories about global warming, war, pollution, and the general destruction of this fine planet sometimes just makes me wish we'd find another planet we could all go live on. Or at least one that the nice people could go live on, you know?
But lookee here! It seems a couple of amateur astronomers, part of the Yale University-led Planet Hunters project, were thinking the same damn thing, because they found a new planet! It's a little, um, far away, and a little, um, HOT, but hey ... maybe we could work around these things, no? The planet, with the uncatchy name of PH-1 (seriously, we'll have to work on that), is pretty cool. Listen up, cause maybe you want to think about relocating ...
The newly discovered planet PH-1 is about 5,000 light years away from Earth. One light year is six trillion miles. So multiply that by 5,000. I dare you. Anyhoo, it takes about 17,500 years to reach a planet that is one light year away, so it would take, um, well, a tad longer to reach one 5,000 light years away. So I guess we won't be moving there, but maybe it's something the kiddies would enjoy?
That said, PH is a lot bigger than Earth. Which is good, cause we are totally running out of room (thanks China and India!). It's six times our radius or about half the diameter of Jupiter. But if you're not much for the heat, this planet probably won't entice you. It's 800 degrees Fahrenheit year round! Damn, your AC bills would be OUTRAGEOUS!
However, there'd be some perks to living on PH. For one, the view! The planet is has four stars. One is bluish and brighter than our sun. One is cooler, fainter, and more red. And then there are two more red stars much like our sun. Imagine seeing that every day! You'd need so many pairs of sunglasses.
So, who could live on this planet? Jokes aside, it sounds pretty inhospitable to humans. Not to mention that it's probably a gas planet, which means there's nothing to stand on. So if there's any life there, it'd have to be like some kind of flying desert animal that subsists on gaseous fumes. I'm thinking anything that lived on Tatooine has a decent shot.
Do you think there's alien life out there? Will we find it in our lifetime?
Image via Nasa.gov/Haven Giguere/Yale