Exoplanets

In the last year, there have been hundreds of discoveries of exoplanets. Recently, Nature suggest there could be something in the order of a billion earth-like planets floating around a billion suns. Whether any of these planets might yield life, or more realistically and more importantly, be adaptable for human life, will be an unknown for many years.

Could There Ever Be Sentient Plants?

Courtesy of Thoughts from a Vacuum Cleaner

Imagine my shock when, rather than moral indignation and outrage over the slightly controversial notion that plants have a right to life, the same way humans do, it was met with nary a sound. We’re living in a world that doesn’t even recognize the feelings of animals, so this was probably seen as a joke… being taken to its final, absurd and hilarious, conclusion. So what does this have to do with my space blog? Personally, I love the idea of living plants. It makes me want to re-read Day of the Triffids. It sends me searching for more science fiction, and real science, on the subject of the sentient plant. But anyway, just try to find time in the craziness of your week to imagine what sentient plants would behave like. Here. On an alien world. Let’s consider what sort of societies they might establish. Governments, rules, moralities. Ok… That’s your writing/thinking assignment for the week.

Michael Pollan: How Smart Are Plants? : The New Yorker.

Earth-like Planets Very Close to Our Solar System

You need to read Nemesis by Isaac Asimov. It is about the possibility of Earth-like planets orbiting red dwarf stars. Then, you need to check out this Astronomy Magazine article, which talks about the likelihood of Earth-like planets orbiting red dwarf stars. My mind would be blown, but I am too busy wondering if they just finished that book and were looking for something to write about.

Earth-like planets are right next door – Astronomy Magazine.

Does this mean it’s going back in time?

Retrograde Orbit Planet

For the past five years, astronomers have been trying to figure out why this planet’s rotation would be going “backwards.” Apparently, in physics, every planetary body in a star system should be rotating in the same direction. So, this little mystery had them baffled. Obviously, the real question here is whether or not this world is going backwards in time. This might mean we’ve found the fountain of youth! Perhaps if we travel there we can turn back the clock on our own aging and become young again. I know one or two people who could really use this.

Newfound Exoplanet, Star Help Explain ‘Backward’ Orbits | Space.com.