Hey! Maybe I ought to run a column with that title here the way things are going…
Of course you are all familiar with the announcement that they have found Earth-2… I mean Kepler-452b – orbiting a G-Class sun (i.e. much like our own), only 1.5 billion years older than our own Sun. The planet has 4% greater gravity than Earth’s, 5% farther from its parent star than Earth, 10% larger diameter than Earth, and 385-day orbit (compared to 365.25-day orbit for Earth). And it’s in the Goldilocks zone for human habitation!
So what’s the problem?
It’s 1,400 light years away from us. In other words it will take us a VERY long time to travel there.
Even so, finding it means the astronomers and astrophysicists can concentrate their attention on it and find out more about how Earth-like planets are formed etc. Which means we can then focus our search even more for other Earth-like planets.
In the meantime there NASA has released even more information on Pluto – and this time they are saying they found craters! Who would have thought that finding craters in the Solar System would be so important… it shows that Pluto has suffered from asteroid impacts and that some of its surface is not all that new. But what it does mean is there is a mechanism that is renewing the polar cap (the heart shape) and the question now is what and how? As well as Pluto itself, there are pictures of Nix and Hydra.