European astronomers are saying they’ve found 16 “Super Earths” orbiting nearby stars, including one that may be in a star’s “habitable zone.”
Earth is in the habitable zone of the Sun. But then, so are Venus and Mars. You can’t survive on Venus because of the heat and the acid atmosphere. And as Elton John said:
Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids.
In fact, it’s cold as hell.
In galactic terms, a “nearby star” is light years away, so if you took off from Earth right now with our latest technology to get to the nearest Super Earth it would take you probably 600,000 years to get there.
And even a warp technology was suddenly created and the trip could be made in the time it took Kathryn Janeway to get from the Delta Quadrant back to the Sol System in the Alpha Quadrant, here’s what you’d find at a Super Earth:
Planets with a mass between one and ten times that of the Earth are called super-Earths. There are no such planets in our Solar System, but they appear to be very common around other stars. Discoveries of such planets in the habitable zones around their stars are very exciting because — if the planet were rocky and had water, like Earth — they could potentially be an abode of life.
Now, the planet in this solar system that probably has the closest size to a Super Earth is Uranus, which is 14 times the mass of our planet. But Uranus is a low density planet made up of gasses and liquids, and the gravitational pull is less than 90% that of Earth. You wouldn’t be crushed to death standing there … you’d just die from the poisonous atmosphere … if you hadn’t already frozen to death.
A Super Earth, 10 times the mass of our planet, I suspect, would have to be a higher density planet, and as such would have a higher gravitational pull. Your spaceship, instead of landing, would go splat.
But if a Super Earth exists, and if it’s in a habitable zone, there may be life there. Super life? Doubtful (Contrary to what the Weekly World News says). Anyway, it’s all speculation.
The only Super Earth we’ll ever see will be in artists’ renditions. Maybe, one day, a powerful enough telescope with be able to make out its features.
We’re not going anywhere. Anyway, we still have to clean up this planet before we go littering another one.