Thursday, January 15, 2009

Science Day #1 - Planets

Dan has been hitting local politics really hard. Brian has been talking about math and english. Rusty has been discussing high fashion.

Meanwhile, I've been talking about drinks and local talent shows. I feel like I need to get a little education back into this thing. So today is science day. The first order of business on science day is to check in on the universe. It appears we are getting better at identifying planets outside our solar system.

Two separate teams of scientists reported Wednesday the first-ever detection from Earth of the atmosphere of planets outside our solar system.

Taken together, the studies open a new frontier in the study of exoplanets, hard-to-detect celestial bodies circling stars beyond our own solar system.

Barely 300 exoplanets -- some of which may have conditions similar to those that gave rise to life on Earth -- have been identified so far, though astronomers assume that far more are waiting to be discovered.
The planet we found has absolutely zero chance of being hospitable to human life, but you have to start somewhere. Now all we need is a spaceship that can travel at pretty near the speed of light, and people whose lifespans are a couple of hundred years. That's the easy part right?

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