John Ege

SEVEN new planets!

Blog Post created by John Ege Employee on Feb 23, 2017

Rarely is there such good news. Maybe 'good' isn't the right word. "Exciting news" might be better.  I mean, really, it so easy to be pessimistic when you think of all the negative news stories, and the ones that bother me the most, don't seem to affect everyone else's radar, and I struggle, and consequently I avoid the news, because it's rarely puppies and sunshine. I don't see this as a form of hiding my head in the sand as much as an exercise in self preservation. If I dwelled on things that seem to be clearly going wrong, I just wouldn't be able to get up.


And so, here's this gem of a piece of news. SEVEN Earth-type planets found in one solar system, and relatively close! TRAPPIST-1. Of the Seven, three of which are in the goldilocks zone, an area where the planets most likely to have liquid water on the surface provided they have H2O; it doesn't mean the other four don't have liquid water, or that the three do, but there are people looking for evidence, so more to come later. This system is 40,000 light-years away, so we're definitely not going there by car, obviously, or even the space shuttle, but, given reasonable predictions of advances in tech, it is hypothetically in reach of humanity, and who knows a future generation might step foot there. That's exciting to dream about, which means, this system, which the public has known about for less than 48 hours is already touching us.


But more exciting, this increases of the odds of finding alien life. The way things trickle out of NASA, one might almost assumes that they're getting us ready for the knowledge that they already know there is aliens, but they don't want to give us a shock. But even if there isn't any life there, no bacteria, no plants, that, too, tells us something about our universe and how precious life is and is a good reminder that we need to be better stewards of ourselves and the world we stand on. I mean, some say that if the bees dies, so goes man. I think we could become the pollinators, out there in the fields with paint brushes pollinating our gardens, but, yeah, kind of sad not having honey.


Anyway, as an avid fan of the "Little Prince," when I look up at the stars I can't help but look up and hear laughter. ANd when I see stories like this, I think of the opening. Is it a hat, with an elephant underneath, or is it a boa that's eaten elephant. Ummm. I guess we see what we want to see?


Happy planet day, folks. Oh, not celebrating? Maybe we need a planet day. Or an alien day. Maybe we can usurp Mardi Gras.