NASA Makes Travel Posters For Nearby Earth-Like Planets

January 9, 2015

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To get people excited about outerspace, this is a small series of travel posters designed by NASA, advertising nearby (nearby being relative) earth-like planets that have the potential for liquid water on their surfaces. Obviously, I would vacation on any one of these, even without water, just to get away from the other people who live in my apartment building. The fine print on the three posters, in order:

Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size planet discovered in the potentially 'habitable zone' around another star, where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. Its star is much cooler and redder than our Sun. If plant life does exist on a planet like Kepler-186f, its photosynthesis could have been influenced by the star's red-wavelength photons, making for a color palette that's very different than the greens on Earth. This discovery was made by Kepler, NASA's planet hunting telescope.


Twice as big in volume as the Earth, HD 40307g straddles the line between "Super-Earth" and "mini-Neptune" and scientists aren't sure if it has a rocky surface or one that's buried beneath thick layers of gas and ice. One thing is certain though: at eight time the Earth's mass, its gravitational pull is much, much stronger.


Like Luke Skywalker's planet "Tatooine" in Star Wars, Kepler-16b orbits a pair of stars. Depicted here as a terrestrial planet, Kepler-16b might also be a gas giant like Saturn. Prospects for life on this unusual world aren't good, as it has a temperature similar to that of dry ice. But the discovery indicates that the movie's iconic double-sunset is anything but science fiction.

Granted distant exo-planets are cool and all, but if we're going to advertise space tourism, why not start a little closer to home? I'm talking about the moon. You don't even need to build a base, just send me up there with a couple warm blankets and some astronaut ice cream and I'll camp it out. I guarantee you won't hear me complaining. "Because you'll be dead." Shhhhhhhhh -- it's how I want to go.

Keep going for the other two posters.

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Thanks to Alex, who HAS boldly gone where no man has gone before, but barely lived to tell about it.

  • Fred

    Not to doubt NASA or anything but plants are green because they absorb blue and red light and reflect green. Plants with red leaves exist on Earth as they have evolved to cope with low light situations where they need to absorb the maximum amount of green and blue to survive and can do so without getting too much heat as they would in direct sunlight, they are however quite dark red as a result. Red light has a lower energy potential and so a plant which has evolved in the prescence of a red star would have to be very good at absorbing it and hence would reflect (waste) very little. Coupled with the planet being heated by a cooler star I would therefore think the leaves would actually appear black rather than red. Black leaves against a red lit backdrop would be pretty damn startling. Also the sky is blue and the light on the astronauts is yellow which couldn't happen on a planet orbiting around a red dwarf...

  • Lara Harris

    Two shadows, a space suit? Wouldn't go there if it contained the largest library in the galaxy!

  • We can only travel to the earth-like planet but we cannot find any planet exactly the same as planet earth.

  • Benmark

    Thank you, Doctor Philosophy.

  • S.M. Archer

    Also, there's no sound in space, so no one will hear you with out a suit on and 2 way walkie talkie in it.
    Edit: Lighter note, I wanna go to the land of two suns! See if I develop Super Powers.

  • Fred

    There's only no sound if there is no atmosphere. These are 'Earth like' planets which therefore have atmosphere. Depending on the density of this atmosphere your voice could appear far louder or far more quiet than on Earth. Super powers however are virtually guaranteed when there's two suns...

  • S.M. Archer

    I was referring to the moon part in the description where he talks about camping on the moon. Not the two sun's one. Guess I didn't make it clear in the post, but yes because there is no atmosphere on the moon there would be no sound.

  • Fred

    Nah my bad. Just looked at the images and didn't read the full text.

  • Jenness

    Interesting white picket fence idea. Until the fence starts to move of it's own accord and the pickets are monster teeth that eat you. Those trees aren't really red, they're covered in BLOOD!

  • S.M. Archer

    I like where you're going with this. Can't wait for the R.L. Stein book.

  • Camille Loquet

    Spacesuit and two shadows? Nopenopenopenopenope

  • Tyguy

    Huh?

  • TheQiwiMan

    It's very clear, she is obviously waiting outside her friend Ope's house and just wants him to open the sliding glass door for her (it must be locked) and after motioning him to unlock the door for her, he mistakenly thinks she was reaching for his pen. So he holds it up to her, a questioning look in his eyes, slight confused frown on his lips, and her answer is:

    "No pen! Open! Open! (motioning for him to unlock the door) OPEN, Ope!"

    That was actually pretty easy to understand, silly.

  • The_Wretched

    It's from Dr. Who. One of the alien life forms was more or less a shadow. Having an extra meant it was about to eat you.

  • TwiZtedS

    You're talking about the Vashta Nerada

  • Tyguy

    Gotcha. Thanks. I'm not a "Who" fan, so I was in the dark about that one.

  • Fred

    In the dark is literally the worst place to be with the Vashta Nerada.

  • Tyguy

    Again, the reference escapes me.

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