Look, I’m a space nut. It says so on the header up there. So when NASA announced the discovery of “Earth 2.0” I was as excited as the next space nut.
But let’s put this into context, people. What do we really KNOW about this planet, as FACT?
- It’s in the constellation of Cygnus, 1,400 light years from Earth.
- It orbits a star slightly larger than our sun, but of the same solar type.
- The planet has an orbit of 385 Earth days.
- It’s slightly larger than Earth.
And that’s it.
Let’s face it folks, astronomers have done a LOT of conjecturing on what amounts to a slight dip in the brightness of the star as the planet passes across its face. Science Alert has a rather good article about the discovery, with a little less hype.
We don’t know how long its day is. We don’t know the composition of its atmosphere. We might think it’s rocky but we can’t be certain. We certainly can’t suggest for a moment that its surface looks like the wonderful artist’s impression at top left. We should remember that Mars and Venus are in our sun’s habitable zone. Venus, in particular, could be seen as Earth’s twin – from a distance.
That said, (and to quote Captain Piett) it’s the best lead we’ve had. He was promoted to Admiral not long after that. Maybe we should send a star fleet to check Kepler 452b out. Maybe we’ll meet some Klingons.