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Here Comes The Gliese 581, Little Darlin’ April 24, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in Good Stuff.

earth like planet


FITSNews – April 24, 2007 – Scientists have found an earth-like planet some 20.5 light years away in outer space, the first time in history that a celestial body capable of sustaining life as we know it has ever been discovered outside our solar system. The planet, which orbits around a red dwarf star named Gliese 581, is about 1.5 times the diameter of Earth and is rumored to be covered in large part with water. From Australia’s Daily Telegraph:

“On the treasure map of the Universe, one would be tempted to mark this planet with an X,” says Xavier Delfosse, one of the scientists who discovered the planet. “Because of its temperature and relative proximity, this planet will most probably be a very important target of the future space missions dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life.”

Sounds good to us, X-Man, there’s just one small problem. While 20.5 light years may not sound like that big of a deal, it actually encompasses quite a bit of real estate. How much distance we talkin’? Oh, only 120 trillion miles. Which would mean those two funny-looking British twins who sang that “I Would Walk 500 Miles” song would still have 119,999,999,999,500 miles to go. Plus you can’t even walk in outer space … stupid Brits.



1. Earl - April 24, 2007

Why this sounds like it’s time for a … GOVERNMENT PROGRAM!!!

2. Silence Dogood - April 29, 2007

Not fair. Will, the premise of the last part of your post is brutally flawed. I think you conveniently forget the second part of the song that notes “and I would walk 500 MORE” Therefore it would only be 119,999,999,999,000 miles left to go. The part about walknig in space may still cause a quandry though.

But all jokes aside, do light years include leap years? Because that would be at least an extra 4 days in the scenario above, and well, frankly just a single light day is 16,070,400,000 miles?

And with a single light hour representing a distance of almost 670 million miles, it really makes you think twice about stopping off at the rest stop on an intergalactic trip (even if everyone promises to be “really fast”).

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