NASA Makes Travel Posters For Nearby Earth-Like Planets
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.
Thanks to Alex, who HAS boldly gone where no man has gone before, but barely lived to tell about it.