Good news, hopeful future space travelers, the European Southern Observatory announced the discovery of over 50 planets outside our solar system and currently in orbit around stars of their own. One of these planets, named simply HD 85512 b, has scientists excited, as its orbit location in relation to its star offers the possibility of an Earth-like environment.
Though HD 85512 b is 35 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Vela, we've been daydreaming about the travel possibilities if the planet is one day deemed visitable and accessible by humans. Here's why we can't wait to visit this new planet.
- Tropical paradise — HD 85512 b is speculated to have a climate similar to Washington DC in the Summer (hopefully, minus any pollution). After months of mugginess, East Coast residents may be weary of such weather, but there can be some health benefits to a humid climate. It may be just the place for those who suffer from arthritis and joint pains, as humidity promotes healthy joints and muscles. Plus, no need for a stop at the spa during vacation; the moisture in the air is all the facial treatment you need.
- Possible water planet — Earth is considered the Goldilocks planet for its perfect combination of planet resources and its place within the habitable zone of the sun's orbit. Meaning, it's in the "narrow area around a star where water can exist in liquid form." HD 85512 b also orbits within the habitable zone of its star, indicating the possibility for water if the planet is rocky and has more than 50 percent cloud cover. Though we love Mars, we're not sure it's a vacation destination until water is confirmed, so we'll add HD 85512 b to our dream space destinations as a backup.
- Intrepid space exploration — In tech circles, people love to be early adopters, waiting days in line to be the first with the newest Apple product. The excitement of space travel has us clamoring to see worlds few other humans have witnessed. Don't worry, we'll take loads of pictures and report back.
Watch the video on the discovery of HD 85512 b and other news from the European Southern Observatory after the break.
Source: European Southern Observatory