New Planet Discovered That Might Sustain Life

Kepler 22B - A Planet With Life?

A new planet has been found right outside our solar system in what is called the Goldilocks Zone, also known as the Comfort Zone or Habitable Zone. The name originates from the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, in which a little girl chooses from sets of three items, ignoring the ones that are too extreme (large or small, hot or cold, etc.), and settling on the one in the middle, which is “just right”. Likewise, a planet following this Goldilocks Principle is one that is neither too close nor too far from a star to rule out liquid water on its surface.

The temperature of the newly discovered planet, named Kepler 22b, is about 70 degrees on the surface and it is a place where water would not freeze or boil. It might be too big to sustain life at 2.4 times the size of earth, which indicates it has a gas-liquid planet with rocky core and mostly ocean. It is possible, however, that if it is covered with water  and that life could live within it.

That presents an interesting possiblity. Wouldn’t it be great to find a planet where no one looks like us, perhaps they are more intelligent, and maybe they have found a way to live in peace. A planet where there are no reality shows – now that would be great!

NASA  found it through the Kepler telescope while they were on a planet hunting mission. This is the first planet discovered in the habitable zone that could sustain life.

“This is a phenomenal discovery in the course of human history,” Geoff Marcy of University of California, Berkeley, one of the pioneers of planet-hunting outside Earth’s solar system, said in an email. “This discovery shows that we Homo sapiens are straining our reach into the universe to find planets that remind us of home. We are almost there.”

It circles a star that could be the twin of Earth’s sun and at just about the same distance. The planet’s year of 290 days is even close to Earth’s. It probably has water and rock…Boston Herald

If you are interested in visiting, you had better get going because it will take 25 million years to get there.