Big news coming in over the wire! Apparently, NASA scientists, using the Spitzer Space Telescope, have spotted light from a planet in a distant solar system. Back in 2004, in a solar system named 55 Cancri A, a planet that is twice the size of Earth and almost 8 times its mass, was first discovered. They named this planet 55 Cancri e, is 41 light years from our solar system, and is often referred to as a “Super Earth”.
Though NASA has known about the planet for some time, it’s only now that they’ve been able to detect infrared light coming from its surface. As part of NASA’s ongoing exploration efforts, Spitzer is part of a long term goal to find habitable planets in our universe, as well as extra-terrestrial life.
Unforuntately, 55 Cancri e is not one such planet. In addition to not being able to support life in its current state, terraforming it would also be useless. It’s mass and density means that it’s gravitational field is far stronger than anything we humans would find tolerable. But hey, maybe it’s got some friends that won’t crush us like bugs the second we set foot on them! And as they say, it’s a big universe. Always a chance we’ll find intelligent life somewhere else…
In the meantime, check out this video on 55 Cancri e from Space.com!