They've wanted to get away from those evil Republicans and bible-thumping conservatives, not to mention the wild and wooly Libertarians. And on the horizon appears their opportunity to create enough distance from us. It seems there's a new planet out there:
|An international team of researchers including astronomers from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory have discovered the smallest planet yet detected outside of our solar system, using a method that could eventually locate other small planets with the potential to host life.|
|The new planet is just 5.5 times the mass of Earth, far more petite than the 150 or so other "exoplanets" spied outside the solar system to date, the smallest of which is the size of Neptune, 12 times the mass of Earth.|
|"This is an important breakthrough in the quest to answer the question 'Are we alone?'"…|
|Unlike the gaseous giants scientists have found in the past, the new planet has a solid, rocky core.|
|"It is so small that its gravity couldn't hold five earth masses worth of gas together," said Livermore Lab astronomer Kem Cook… The new planet is orbiting a star five times smaller than our sun at a distance 2.6 times further than Earth's distance from the sun. That means it is probably too cold, maybe 360 degrees below zero, for living organisms on the newly discovered planet.|
|"It's a major discovery," Cook said. "It's moving in the direction of the Holy Grail of planetary science, which is an earth-mass planet in the habitable zone."|
|The planet, which resides more than 20,000 light years away in the Sagittarius constellation, may also be the most distant planet found so far. It was spotted using a technique called gravitational microlensing, which is based on one of Albert Einstein's ideas.|
Imagine that. All the Libs safely on their own planet. Be still my heart.
Hat tip: Wally Ballou. However, he is not responsible for the editorial comment. Unlike the MSM, we here at Gates of Vienna can tell the difference between real news and our fervent hopes.