NBC News reported this morning that astronomers have found a planet capable of supporting life. Why, here is a picture of the happy guy right here.
Except, as you can predict by this essays very existence, they got every piece of that wrong.
Actually, it was the Kepler space telescope who found a new planet. And that planet is at a temperate distance from a very stable, ordinary star. Thats it. There is no more.
Now, one could argue that a planet at that distance could have a comfortable temperature. We dont know thats the case.
One could theorize that a planet at that distance could be made of a rocky, solid material suitable for standing on, and not be a middle-mass ball of poison gas gathered around a liquid metallice core. We dont know thats the case.
Possibly, if the planet were solid, there could easily be liquid water on the surface in enough quantities to serve as a catalytic laboratory for mixing organic compounds. We dont know thats the case.
And maybe there is an atmosphere there capable of protecting the surface from catastrophic bombarments, and even providing a source of oxidization of the organic compounds so that cool and complex stuff can happen. We dont know thats the case.
Perhaps even there is a magnetic field around the planet, you know, if has enough rotating metal in its core, to protect the surface from lethal doses of radiation that would otherwise sterilize fragile life on the surface or just below the soil. We dont know thats the case.
So what do we know? We found a planet. For all we do know, this planet is a dry, bloated gasbag of toxicity and deadly radiation, peppered with meteorite hits, in a lazy orbit around a cold star.
And that photograph is simply the work of an artist who knows nothing more about the planet than you do. Heres your proof.
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