Sunday, February 26, 2017

NASA & TRAPPIST-1: A Treasure Trove of Planets Found

Seven Earth-sized planets have been observed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope around a tiny, nearby, ultra-cool dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1. Three of these planets are firmly in the habitable zone.

Planets are everywhere.

There was speculation about this decades ago which can be seen in the episode of Cosmos where Carl Sagan is talking about the probability of advanced life developing in our Galaxy with which we might be able to communicate (The Drake Equation). The estimate at the time was one quarter of stars (100 billion) might have planets:

I personally think life is common. It's on Earth and probably on Mars (Viking experiments, NASA fudging about the atmosphere/and here).

In many reports about this discovery it's been 'stated' that is will take 38 years to reach this nearby system travelling at the speed of light. However, for travellers moving at high speed, time slows down (See Time Dilation on Wikipedia, Space Flight). If you could travel fast enough (ion drive), and navigate well enough (to avoid the vessel colliding with small space objects, a huge 'magnetic? snow plow'?), you could go there and back and still be alive (except for the people on Earth who would not be around - since time for them would pass 'normally'.)

Related Info: 

Stan Friedman - The Skeptic arguments against UFOs (In relation to other life forms visiting the Earth presently, he talks about secrecy, the large number of nearby star systems, the implications of new technology, evaluating observational data)

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, February 26th, 2017.]