An Earth-like planet found in distant solar system

I imagine that since the beginning of Earth’s time, whenever that was, people have wondered what other planet(s) did or could sustain life. Tonight when I was doing my daily browse through the Washington Post, I found that NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered a planet in the habitable zone of a distant star.

This planet, Kepler-186f, is assumed to be able to hold liquid water (as opposed to ice or vapor) for 2 main reasons:
1. Kepler-186f is only 10 percent larger than the Earth, holding the record for the habitable exoplanet that is closest to the size of the Earth, and
2. In the habitable distance from its star, Kepler-186, seems to be close enough so that the planet is neither too hot nor too cold. This zone is referred to as the “Goldilocks zone”.

Depitction of Kepler-186f and its sister planets

Kepler-186 is about 500 light years away from the Earth, and a team of astronomers have discovered five other placers also orbiting this star.

Although the planet seems to be at a habitable temperature, it absorbs only one third of the stellar energy that the Earth receives from the sun, making it colder than Mars.

One part of this discovery that I have found particularly interesting is that it is possible this planet is tidal-locked, meaning it may not orbit it’s star in the same manner Earth does. As opposed to the rotation of the Earth which creates a day-night cycle, it is possible that the same side of the planet is always facing the sun. Life could still be sustainable on tidal-locked planet, but it would create a much different world and system that we are used to.

What do you think it would be like? To live on a planet like that? The calendar would have to be different and sleep may become evolutionary unnecessary like it is for humans on Earth.

The climate would be different, but what would it be like? What if it rained Nutella♡ hahaha.

My boyfriend brought up the point that the dark side of the planet would not be able to sustain human life because Vitamin D is necessary for life. So what IF this planet really was habitable by humans? For some reason, which I can’t deem awful for helpful, Earth could use the planet for a sort of storage of plants and other resources.

Would we use it for the benefit of our species or our home planet, help it to create it’s own circle of life, or maybe leave it alone and let it run it’s course?  I’d like to hear what people think!  What do you think?

I hope that whatever we do as humans is in the best interest of Kepler-186f as well as for other environments. “For everything that lives is Holy” –> One Love (:

So, this is exciting, I think. There are many of Earth-like planets around, but now NASA is trying to find the closest one.

“Because the telescope can’t see exoplanets directly, astronomers use a technique called the transit method to infer their presence. The light intensity from a star will normally read as continuous and flat, but if a planet passes between the telescope’s field of view and that star, it will block some light and show up as a dip in the data.”

Because of this blip, study author and astronomer Elisa Quintana of the SETI Institute, thought this blip might contain something special. Her team when scoured one patch of the sky continuously for four years until Kepler-186f was discovered.

This transit method that is used to find bumps in data would make it tough to even find Earth from afar, because it requires the planet “to be aligned edge-wise along the observer’s line of sight, passing between the observer and the star”. Therefore, many of these planets may exist but remain undetected.

I believe completely that there are other planets that can sustain some type of life as intelligent and capable as humans. Maybe some even do already and we just haven’t found them, but I’m interested for science and this study to continue!

One Love (:

Picking Up the Positive


Happy Ash Wednesday to all those celebrating today!!

I am not Christian or Catholic, so my faith does not ask that I participate in giving up something “bad” for the Lenten season. My boyfriend, however, participates in Catholic tradition and has decided to give up something for good reason. I mentioned to him that while he is giving up this aspect of his life for 46 days he should replace it with something else so it could be a more permanent and progressive experience. In support of his decision, I have decided to participate too.

I suppose I could exile caffeine but I hear it’s good to make it to class and to finish your homework. I could stop the beverages and such but I don’t see them as negative if they are used responsibly. I thought about trying to stop cracking knuckles so much but I’ve tried that before and failed so many times.

What I have decided to do is to pick up a positive action for the next 40 days, hoping it will create a transition into habit.

I am going to write. Every day, for fifteen minutes a day, I will write. I will blog, I will journal, I will work on my creative writing senior project, I will send letters, I will make lists, I will put to use the stationary sets I get from my aunt for my birthday ever year.

My goal from this is to make writing more natural and more convenient for me. I hope that from it I will generate ideas for particular pieces of writing and that I will expand my writing avenues.

It is good for the mind to read and write.

Studies show that reading a novel improves brain connectivity. The more we read, the better alert our brains are at processing information through changes (as we grow older, our bodies and our societies change– reading helps keep us on our toes).

Writing helps too. Slightly different from reading, writing engages our minds to not only analyze and imagine scenarios in our minds, but we must first create those situations as opposed to accepting them as a narrative reality. Baby boomer neuropsychologist Jenni Odgen, and writer of both fiction and non-fiction, is “convinced that creative writing is one of the best exercises for the aging brain.”

I believe that words are good for the soul. They help us to better communicate ideas and to better analyze the words of others. If we were all effective communicators I believe the world would be a much happier place. I write not to be understood, but if my writing leads to understanding I have accomplished much.

Here I go, embarking on a 40-day writing journey. Join me! Pick up something positive and dedicate yourself to proving your willpower to yourself. It can be something small or something life-changing, but try and keep track every day so that you have a visual report of how AWESOME you are doing. 🙂 I will keep you updated with mine.

Happy positive-fying your life!

Live well.