Friday, September 18, 2009

First Rock Planet Discovered Outside Our Solar System

Extrasolar planets (planets outside our solar system) have been known for a while now. In the past Catholicgauze has linked to an online, Star Trek-themed encyclopedia of extrasolar planets. However, in the past all known extrasolar planets were thought to be gas giants and not rocky planets like Earth. This has changed. Corot 7b has been discovered and is thought to be rock-based. The planet is five hundred light years away with a surface temperature of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit (1,500 degrees Celsius)!

The linked article discusses the possibility of life being found on some rocky planet. The conversation is meaningless as far as I am concerned for several reasons. 1) It was no surprise that rocky planets are out there 2) Even if there wasn't rocky planets out there gas planets would be capable of having its own form of truly alien life 3) there are no religious qualms with life on other planets.

In the ancient Christian past, great minds like Saint Augustine of Hippo stated there could be no land outside of the European/Asian/African core. His geographical theology was shattered by the discovery of the new world. If there could be another hemisphere outside of the Jewish/Christian reach, why not whole worlds?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think we are asking the question in the wrong way; it is entirely possible that within 30 light years of earth there are no water-based planets. Essentially we are alone, and the stupid hypothetical of alien worlds will die.