New exoplanet HD 97658 discovered. Nearly eight times the mass of Earth.

Posted: July 3, 2013. At: 4:03 PM. This was 4 years ago. Post ID: 5917

A new exoplanet has been measured, HD 97658. This planet is hardly larger than the planet Earth, but this is nearly eight times the mass of our planet. This means that the gravitational pull would be much higher than Earth. Possibly 6-7 times the gravity of Earth and also it is much closer to the parent star than Earth. This would negate the possibility of having any plant life on the surface to create a breathable atmosphere. So we will not be visiting this planet to land anytime soon. The surface temperature a dozen times closer to the sun would be akin to Mercury and this would require a silicon based lifeform if anything could live there at all. This is an exciting find, but most of the planets that are discovered are too large for human life and too close to the star to be able to support carbon based life. We need to find another planet that is as far from the star as the Earth and has a similar atmosphere. Not a planet like Arrakis that is all desert and has no rainfall. That would not be a viable planet unless we built domes to hold in moisture and then grow plants in a sealed biosphere. But it would be best to find a similar planet to our own so that we can easily settle there and start another civilisation. Living on a planet with much higher gravity and a super hot surface is not practical. Even for mining. Mars is a little more practical in that regard. There is a lot of water ice and a thin but suitable atmosphere. You could build the aforementioned domes and then grow food in a controlled environment to feed the colonists.

The exoplanet orbits its parent star every 9.5 days, this is much less than the 365 days the Earth orbits the sun. This would be interesting if the planet was livable, but it is far too hot to support any realistic alien life. Currently we know about 600 exoplanets but most of them are unlikely to be able to support life. Still, there are many awesome sights in the universe that we could see if we discovered some kind of warp drive and went out to see the amazing locations in the universe. This is why we should focus more on aerospace and work out a way to explore the universe and see what is outside the solar system. The Voyager probe is leaving our solar system and is heading towards another star system; but it will not reach the system until the year 299,000. This is the only vehicle that we have sent other than Voyager 2 that will reach the stars and become an ambassador for humanity to other alien cultures. The first ever satellite in space, Sputnik 1 caused quite a stir when it was launched by the Russians on October 4, 1957. This emanated a beeping signal that radio hams could easily pickup when the satellite was overhead. There is a recording of the Sputnik signal here: http://www.mentallandscape.com/Sputnik1_WashingtonDC.mp3. This was an amazing achievement at the time; and now that we have people living in space for extended periods, this is still remembered as the dawn of the space age.

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