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Blake Ekelund

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What do you think of Planet Kepler 22b?

Is this the next "Earth"?

Will we "move here?

What will we do with this massive planet and when?

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    Dec 11 2011: It is 600 light years aways, meaning that information we have about that planet is 600 years old. In other words, 600 years ago, when it was the year 1400 on Earth, Kepler 22-b looked like as we know it today. Who knows how did it change in past six hundred years. i don't think people will move there, simply because, it is actually easier to improve the health of biosphere of Earth than moving to planet that far away.
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    Dec 7 2011: "What will we do with this massive planet and when?"

    We won't do anything with it, other than to know it's there. NASA has already figured out its probable orbit and mass from the frequency of its passage, and from that they have guessed its average temperature to be a balmy 22 degrees C. Keppler 22b is about 600 light years away, so in the unlikely event that we ever find a way to travel as fast as one-hundredth the speed of light the trip there would take 60,000 years one way. We could send a message by radio, which would take 1200 years for the round trip.
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    Dec 7 2011: This new planet is certainly a great discovery! The Kepler telescope has found over 120 potentially habitable planets, Kepler 22-b is the most recent and the smallest (keyword) discovered yet. However, it really isn't a "twin" planet. Habitable planets are being discovered at a faster rate then ever before and it is only a matter of time before we discover a true twin that matches Earth in size and distance from a sun sized similarly to ours.

    As for whether we could move here, it would take a very long time. To give you an idea, it would take over 20million years to reach this planet using a spaceshuttle with technology we have now. However, if the recent discoveries at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) prove accurate, then maybe someday we'll be zipping over in spacecrafts faster than the speed of light! Big maybe, but I think it's good to dream big.
  • Dec 7 2011: We actually don't "do" anything with it at all. It is at best another blue marble in a universe of perhaps millions of blue marbles. Remember we actually haven't found anything, except a good candidate planet.

    So let's see, it is 600 light years away, may or may not be really inhabitable, may or may not have any life on it, and may or may not have water on it. I would say we wait a bit.

    I am so glad NASA and other groups are out there hunting. I am glad we have that kind of research capability. I am glad of the promise of more discoveries. We also need to have tad bit of humility, patience and wonder.

    Do with it you say, I say we do nothing with it, as if we could anyway.
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    Dec 7 2011: Can you provide more details about Kepler 22b?
  • Dec 7 2011: I think it is widely accepted that at some point humanity (or whatever we exist as in the future) will have to leave this planet. This could be influenced by many factors and I'm sure we're all aware of most of them such as climate change, expanding population and war. There are also the very far off endpoints such as the expansion of the sun and the possibility of meteors striking the planet.

    The research into planets which are like earth is extremely interesting but eventually we're going to have to reinvest in the space programmes to actually capatalise on their existence. I believe the closest planet in the goldylocks zone is much further away than the distance reached by any man made object yet so evidently we have to improve the capacity of moving these great distances.

    I can't imagine a method of transport that would make the distances insignificant so I believe it will merely be the closest planet on which we have a certain degree of information that will be habitated first by mankind.