Good day and hello to everyone in the Occupy movement. You guys doing alright? I know, I know, things haven’t been going the way you wished they would. There are still people who have more money and/or better jobs than you, no matter how many tambourines you bang and windows you smash, and it’s just not fair. You probably wish you could pack up your lice-infested sleeping bag and your Guy Fawkes mask and just move to another planet.
Hey, guess what?
A potentially habitable alien planet — one that scientists say is the best candidate yet to harbor water, and possibly even life, on its surface — has been found around a nearby star.
The planet is located in the habitable zone of its host star, which is a narrow circumstellar region where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface.
“It’s the Holy Grail of exoplanet research to find a planet around a star orbiting at the right distance so it’s not too close where it would lose all its water and boil away, and not too far where it would all freeze,” Steven Vogt, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told SPACE.com. “It’s right smack in the habitable zone — there’s no question or discussion about it. It’s not on the edge, it’s right in there…”
The researchers estimate that the planet, called GJ 667Cc, is at least 4.5 times as massive as Earth, which makes it a so-called super-Earth. It takes roughly 28 days to make one orbital lap around its parent star, which is located a mere 22 light-years away from Earth, in the constellation Scorpius (the Scorpion).
“This is basically our next-door neighbor,” Vogt said. “It’s very nearby. There are only about 100 stars closer to us than this one.”
Liquid water is a plus if you want to bathe. Not that I’m saying you should, but you’d have that option. And you’d be far, far away from the rest of us stupid Earth morons, so you could start up your own perfect society where nobody has more stuff than anybody else and nobody gets jealous. Plus, you could coexist peacefully with the planet’s current inhabitants and teach them how to hacky-sack. (Unless they don’t have legs and feet, just like tentacles or whatever, which is totally cool, I’m totally not judging.)
Just imagine the possibilities:
Live long and prosper… Just don’t prosper too much!