Tuesday, May 01, 2007

New astronomical discoveries

It was in the news last week that a new planet capable of supporting life has been found. The planet orbits a star called Gilese.
Salient facts:
Name: Gilese 581c.
Star: Orbits a star called Gilese 581. Which is believed to be 50 times cooler than earth.
Distance from star: The orbiting distance is around 6 million miles from its star. (Earth is 93 million miles from the Sun).
Orbiting time: 13 days, a rather short year.
Temperature range: Commonly between 0C and 40C.
Mass of planet: 5 times that of earth.
Pole to pole distance: 12 000 miles compared to Earth's 8 000 miles.
Gravity: Twice that of earth.
Composition: Unknown- could be rock, could be ice, could be a combination.
Distance from earth: 20.5 light years. (A little too far with our current technology).

There has been a lot of talk about whether this planet could support life or not. There has also been a lot of talk about the probablity of other such planets in the galaxy. There are many in the astronomical community who seem determined to discover extra-terrestial life and some how to use it as clinching proof against the existence of God. Let me go on the record now as saying that if there is life on any other planet in the universe, that the God we know and worship is the same Creator of this life also. As far as any theological questions are concerned, they seriously would have to wait until such a fact was established and if any contact with sentient life had been made.

There were a lot of people who were rather scared about Galileo's theories and discoveries. He was a branded a heretic for saying that the earth is round. Today we know this is true and it has not undermined our faith or the Bible at all. Neither would the existence of extra terrestial life.

What ever the case may be, this is an exciting discovery. What is even more important is the discovery or faster than light travel. This would make true exploration of our galaxy possible. On that note, there are two scientists- a German and a French who recently claim that some "black holes" could actually be worm holes, but there is no test to prove this yet, other than sending a probe in and seeing if it could return.

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