Most rational people agree we humans have completely trashed the planet. Sure, we won’t freeze in another ice age, but the global warming we have wrought brought about droughts, melting glaciers, coastal erosion, manic temperature fluctuations, and almost guaranteed destruction. Future generations will either die trying to save this doomed planet or have to find some other place to live, a la the short-lived NBC series “Earth-2.” Good thing we have super high-powered telescopes like the Magellan II in Chile, which helped scientists identify GJ 667Cc, an Earth-esque exoplanet within the elusive habitable zone. That means it’s not too close to its sun and not too far, creating the perfect habitat potential for alien life forms.
UC Santa Cruz astronomer Steve Vogt described GJ 667Cc as a celestial “holy grail” of exoplanets, the planets that exist outside our solar system, while the Carnegie Institute for Science’s Guillem Anglada-Escudé, one of the lead researchers of the study, said the planet “is the best new candidate to support liquid water, and, perhaps, life as we know it.”
Since GJ 667Cc, about 4.5 times the size of Earth and in a solar system with three suns, revolves around its closest sun once every 28 days, everyone gets more birthdays without actually aging. Perfection. But not all is well on this planet: there’s a deficiency of metal, so if we travel the 132 trillion to get there, we’d need not just oxygen, land and a hospitable atmosphere, we’d also need a new natural resource to mine and subsequently for our architectural needs and the such. Or we could keep looking.
This latest discovery had scientists psyched about the possibility of finding other promising exoplanets out in the abyss.
With the GJ 667C system being relatively nearby, it also opens exciting possibilities for probing potentially habitable alien worlds in the future, Vogt said, which can’t easily be done with the planets that are being found by NASA’s prolific Kepler spacecraft.
“The planets coming out of Kepler are typically thousands of light-years away and we could never send a space probe out there,” Vogt said. “We’ve been explicitly focusing on very nearby stars, because with today’s technology, we could send a robotic probe out there, and within a few hundred years, it could be sending back picture postcards.”
And if you lived there, you’d be home by now.