UnNews:Seven exoplanets in Goldilocks Zone
14 December 2012
Palo Alto, California -- After only a year in operation, a project little known outside of astronomical circles, called the Habitable Exoplanet Catalogue, has already racked up an impressive seven worlds in its list of planets which are known to reside within the 'Goldilocks Zone' of a star.
The Goldilocks Zone refers to the region around a star where it is believed that a bowl of porridge on a planet's surface would be neither too hot nor too cold to eat, but instead would be 'just right'.
Until recently the scientific establishment believed that edible porridge beyond Earth was extremely rare or even nonexistent. However recent advances in porridge detecting instruments and techniques are now beginning to uncover a universe possibly overflowing with it.
"Where there's one, there's another and another and another," said astronomer Frank Squat. "So far we have seven. How many more might we have in ten years' time? I predict hundreds, perhaps even thousands."
Though this is encouraging news, Squat does add a note of caution. "The detection of porridge friendly worlds unfortunately raises one rather thorny issue: bears. We know that wherever you find tasty porridge, you're going to find greedy, hungry bears. See, they want the porridge all for themselves. They don't like to share."
Squat's fears were confirmed by biologist Terry Thwunk. "These bears tend to roam their territories in familial groups of three, constantly checking their porridge bowls for temperature and for signs of tampering. When an intruder is detected their response is immediate and violent. This could pose an obstacle to future exploration from Earth."
According to Thwunk, porridge bears are not unknown on Earth. Based on lessons learned from historical terrestrial encounters, he believes a change in approach might increase the odds of positive outcomes on these new worlds. "It's common sense really. What future mission planners need to do is ensure that the little girls they send to explore these exoplanets are well armed with the latest weaponry. With the right training and plenty of ammo, they should have little trouble driving off the bears and securing all the porridge for colonists that would be arriving shortly after them in the second wave."
Despite this and other potential problems that may crop up in the future, Frank Squat remains optimistic about Mankind's growing knowledge of the universe, and our role within it. "These are still very early days in the field of exoplanetology. Amazing discoveries lie ahead of us. Plans are already on the drawing board to build instruments that will enable us to detect planets in the Pancake, Bacon and Egg, and Hot Buttered Toast Zones." Looking wistfully up at the night sky, he concluded, "I firmly believe that Mankind's future in the cosmos is going to be absolutely delicious."
- "The next Earth? 7 possibly habitable worlds identified". Fox News, Dec 12 2012