Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kepler 22b

Some of you have no doubt heard the news of the discovery of a "Super-Earth" in a star system some 600 light years away from our solar system. Given the rather uninspiring name of Kepler 22b, the planet is twice the size of Earth and possesses a surface temperature estimated to be approximately 22° Celsius. It orbits a star very similar to our Sun at a distance that makes it plausible candidate for liquid water, as well as, possibly, life. Of course, there's no way to know for certain and there are still plenty of reasons why Kepler 22b may in fact be very different than our own homeworld. Still, it's very fascinating news if you're an astronomy buff or a fan of science fiction.

13 comments:

  1. I'm waiting for the mass numbers, because that will tell the story. At about 2.4 times the Earth's diameter we could get a lot of interesting scenarios. What I'm reading is that astronomers are expecting something in the range of 4 to 5 grams/cubic centimeter. A higher number is good, even with the higher gravity that entails, because it would indicate a metal-rich world probably with a good-sized molten core.

    FYI, to get 1g at the surface would require a mass of 5.759 Earths with a density of 2.29g/cm^3. Since that's somewhere between Mars and Jupiter on the density scale, don't expect that. Based on what I'm reading, I'd expect a nice happy 2g at the surface.

    Yes, I'm a worldbuilding geek.

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  2. I don't know that the name's uninspiring...pretty sure I've had a PC or two hailing from Kepler 22b!

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  3. Vance's Big Planet! Let's start plans for sending our social rejects there right away...:)

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  4. With any luck, it'll get a proper name soon.

    "A new life awaits you in the colonies"

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  5. I bet it's chock full of Unobtanium!

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  6. I just find this sort of thing so fascinating. With any luck, I've got maybe 40-45 years left on this planet and I would dearly love to be alive to see us discover conclusive proof of life "out there." I don't care if its a blade of alien grass or an actual alien. Personally, I believe the universe is teeming with life. I don't doubt for a second theres hundreds and hundreds (thousands? millions?)of planets out there harboring all sorts of crazy lifeforms...

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  7. The Kepplerians must die! Let us launch an Orion class Interstellar missile. If we are lucky we can wipe them out before they achieve tech level six and try to abduct our women for anal probing.

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  8. @dhowarth333
    I also thought on Big Planet the moment I read Kepler 22b is a Super-Earth. Fascinating news, for me at least, funny how everybody with whom I work or live not even mentioned it…

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  9. Hopefully it'll be full of big blue anarchists rather than loud-mouthed human bondage enthusiasts.

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  10. Sorry, I'm from the US. We use Fahrenheit. ;)

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  11. @Blackstone: The distance between two points is change in Possibility - you only think you are from the US. You are merely isolated in a pocket reality.

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  12. All I have to say is that if we eventually get some reports back on any form of structures described as "cyclopean", "singular" or any other Lovecraftian adjective......BLOW IT UP! To paraphrase the ol' Gent, we swim in a sea of ignorance which, thus far, has preserved our sanity.

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  13. I say we nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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