Sep 18 2009

“Earthlike” planet found?

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:18 am

Astronomers are saying they’ve found an “earthlike” planet about 500 light years from earth. It is, however, very, very hot.

So close that its surface temperature is more than 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit, too toasty to sustain life. It circles its star in just 20 hours, zipping around at 466,000 mph. By comparison, Mercury, the planet nearest our sun, completes its solar orbit in 88 days.

What can it mean to call this planet “earthlike”?  I dunno…  but the astronomer who said it’s just “a bit” too close to its star is the very master of understatement.   The surface temperature is somewhere between the melting point and the boiling point of *iron*.   It’s hotter than the inside of a jet engine, so much so that any engine reaching such temperatures would probably just melt.

I do think, however, that we probably have scriptural mentions of this planet.  Dante appears to have made the same observations.

Celebration that we’ve finally found an “earthlike” planet might be a touch premature.