I’m moving to Kepler 186F. Who’s with me? It’s a pleasant Earth-like planet with oceans and possible life. It’s in the zone. That’s a technical term. The planet, which is about 10% larger than Earth is orbiting the “habitable zone” of a star in the Cygnus constellation. This is in our own Milky Way galaxy people! We’re talking real live alien life forms (maybe.) And this information isn’t coming from crackpot lizard people on the internet either. It’s coming from crackpot government types. By that I mean NASA.
I have done a bit of reading on this exciting new discovery in the annals of space exploration, and while I’m no expert at spaceology (that’s the scientific name, right?) I can tell you that the study of this planet has the actual science types excited. An earth-like planet orbiting in the hospitable zone of a star in our own galaxy suggests how not unique our own Terra Firma may be in its ability to host life. I don’t know about you, but I am personally thrilled by the prospect of there being plants and animals that aren’t of the human and destroyed-by-human variety elsewhere. I imagine some of these life-forms look like the Gorn from Star Trek or possibly like people in Las Vegas. Here is a picture of me with a Gorn in Las Vegas for reference. (The Gorn don’t have a concept of “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” so I feel no guilt about posting the image.)
One reason I love the idea of another habitable planet is that alien life can literally be anything! So much potential—the idea that there are beings hanging out and evolving anywhere besides Earth fills me with excitement and the giddiness of a kid with a box of crayons and a blank piece of paper. I’m going to draw some alien tree-sneetches. Also, some sort of weird platypus-wombat thing. With wings. And gills. I am convinced these awesome looking aliens are also much smarter than humans, at least where the protection of their precious planet is concerned. Or the Kepler 186F elephant-leopards made sure to squish and then eat all the stupid aliens preemptively to protect their habitat.
That’s another reason this is so exciting: I could never believe that humans were actually the pinnacle of intelligence in the galaxy. Although we’re pretty clever when it comes to some things (bipedal locomotion, tool use, Grumpy Cat memes) we’re also pretty stupid in a lot of really significant ways (the Great Ocean Garbage Patch, American politics, photos of Kim Kardashian’s butt) so there’s hope that a more knowledgeable species exists to tutor us out of our collective adolescence is welcome news. Not surprisingly, I’ve been a fan of SF literature and film since I was a kid and continue to hold out hope that someday confirmation of alien life will be a reality and not just speculation.
In summation, who wants to help me move a sofa to another planet? I can’t wait to meet the neighbors.