In news that has me
doubling quadrupling my efforts to finish building a rocketship, astronomers have announced that there's a rocky planet orbiting within the habitable zone (where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface) around Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun. The planet, Proxima b, has 1.3 earth masses but orbits Proxima Centauri at just 5% the distance between earth and our sun because Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf with just 0.12 the mass of our sun. The teensy solar system is a scant 4.5-light years away, or the distance light travels in 4.5-years. So traveling at the speed of light it would take 4.5 years to get there. For reference, we will never get there. We will probably go extinct having never left our own solar system, or, in the very best case scenario, floating just outside our solar system praying for some aliens take pity on us. They will not take pity though, they'll see us through their googly eyes for the no-good planet-ruiners we are. Then they'll blast the ship carrying earth's last human hope right out of the blackness of space, and the whole galaxy will sound a sign of relief. Amen. *rereads* Man, that story did not include nearly enough alien sex, and I'm sorry for that. I'll take things in a different direction next time.
Hit the jump for two more pictures and a video, but feel free to tell your mom or anybody else that the picture above is a real photo of the planet taken by a probe we sent there and let me know if they believe it.
Thanks to everyone who sent this, every one of which is welcome aboard my spacecraft. For a tour, not for blasting off -- I need trained professionals. AND NO STOWAWAYS.