Have You Finalized Your Vacation Plans?

     Because if not:

     Scientists have identified an exoplanet that may possess an Earth-like atmosphere and the potential to support life, and in space terms it’s really not that far away.

     But how are the accommodations and the nightlife?

     Located just 48 light-years from Earth, LHS 1140 b orbits within its red dwarf star’s habitable zone, meaning it receives enough radiation to allow for liquid water, according to data from the James Webb Space Telescope.

     Red dwarves don’t put out a lot of ultraviolet radiation, by the standards of our solar system. Not nearly enough to get a decent tan. Still…

     LHS 1140 b, first discovered in 2017, is more than six times the mass of Earth and has already piqued scientists’ interest due to its proximity to our solar system. The latest observations suggest that the exoplanet might support a thick atmosphere, making it one of the best candidates for further study.

     The possibility of an oxidizing atmosphere is genuinely exciting, as without one, life as we know it could not exist. But wait: there’s more!

     Researchers suggest that between ten to 20 percent of the planet’s mass may be composed of water, indicating the presence of a sub-surface ocean or a massive ice layer.
     “If that were the case, the exoplanet would sport a 2,485-mile-wide ocean on its surface, measuring a balmy 68 degrees Fahrenheit,” noted the researchers.

     Plenty of beachfront property! Investors, get your liquid funds ready before Sandals and Club Med get it all!

     Yes, I’m funnin’ you, of course. All that to the side, LHS 1140 b is a genuinely exciting possibility – and not because we hope to go there. The detection of exoplanets is far advanced, but no one has yet detected an exoplanet with a lot of water and an Earthlike atmosphere. This might be the first, which would inevitably lead to the question “Is there life there?” To this point, we have detected no life anywhere but Earth.

     I think it would be nice to have neighbors, even if some might disagree.