NASA's TESS mission finds Earth-sized world in habitable zone

Originally published at:


An orbit every 10 days. Dizzy. And aging fast!


I had to go and look up light-year again.


Rob, you might want to think about packing for your great, great, great, great … grandkids.


100 light years away is the cosmic equivalent of a kick of a ball! I hope this means that astronomers can get some good readings of its atmosphere and such.


I give it 5 minutes before Republicans start screaming to build oil rigs there


Nah. If you can accelerate constantly (and flip at the midpoint to decelerate), even lower acceleration values will have you at your destination WAY before you expected (subjective time, that is).

Interestingly, at 1g accel/decel, it would take approximately 1+(the distance in light years) of objective years (to a stationary observer at the origin) to get to any interstellar target: <- Nifty calculator

It would take about 5.8 years to get to Proxima Centauri to an external observer, and 3.5 years to the occupants of the spacecraft, at a constant 1g (with flipover).

Notably, however, accelerating at 1g constantly would take MASSIVE amounts of fuel/propellant, with current tech. This is part of why the EmDrive is such a huge, stinking deal, assuming it pans out as it has so far:

We’re not exactly sure WHY it works — beyond possibly pushing on virtual particles — but so far…it damn well does, although only at microgee thrust. shrug Nothing stopping you from strapping hundreds or thousands of these to a given vehicle, though (assuming they really do work)! I hope it doesn’t fall down the cold fusion rabbit hole =p.


Even if you start out now, they’ll be who you’re seeing when you get back-


That phrase reminded me of The Expanse episode “Paradigm Shift” - and Solomon Epstein. :pleading_face:

1 Like

My overall favorite episode of the series! Although frankly, if you can maintain a constant 1g, 20g of thrust is a) insane and b) pretty much superfluous, except possibly for military uses; you can cross the Solar System in days, so why dabble in weird drugs and risk a horrifying death? If you wanna do that, you can just buy some krokodil from street dealers =x …


// urgent message to kraagen supreme command // we are discovered // destroy earth //


I had the impression it wasn’t panning out at all. Every test seems to put a new, lower, upper limit on the thrust available, and the latest tests made it out to be comparable to a photon rocket using microwaves at comparable power levels.

But getting back to this planet: its tide locked, which means that the hemisphere facing away from its star will be a huge cold trap. Most likely any liquids and gasses the planet has are frozen out there, so it won’t have much of an atmosphere.

But that does make it an excellent candidate for terraforming. You would land, and use trucks to ship chunks from frozen gas and water from the cold side to the hot side. The cold trap should have preserved the original atmosphere, which might have otherwise been blown away by a solar wind.

1 Like

I’m waiting to NASA to announce that some joker has put up a space mirror, and that the “Earth-sized world in habitable zone” is the Earth.


That’s been the plot (in some form) of more than one science fiction story from the “Golden Age”, IIRC.

1 Like

but still really far.

Lets take a look at Voyager 1 as an example:

Voyager 1, which is zipping along at 38,000 mph (61,000 km/h), is currently 11.7 billion miles (18.8 billion kilometers) from Earth.

Now that NASA’s Voyager 1 probe has left the solar system, its next big spaceflight milestone comes with the flyby of another star — in 40,000 years.

…the robotic spacecraft is streaking toward an encounter with a star called AC +79 3888, which lies 17.6 light-years from Earth.

so it will take 40,000 years to go 18 light years.
It has been traveling for just over 42 years and is still just over 20 light hours away: 20:36:43 (hh:mm:ss).

So in 40 years it has traveled as far as light would travel if it was traveling for 20 hours.
At 100 light years away a spaceship would need to travel a very long time at the rates we are currently able to travel…i’ll let you do the math I haven’t finished my coffee yet.

1 Like

You’re not wrong, but you’re also assuming no constant acceleration. Even an ion thruster (very low delta-V) that’s on the whole way will get there MUCH faster. Even 0.1g will get you there in roughly 13 years! You would, however, need an “ice-steroid” worth of propellant =x .

The EmDrive is definitely nothing. It has all the classic pseudoscience markers. A tiny effect that gets smaller the more carefully you measure it, and the effects don’t replicate by external parties. It’s noise in data, nothing more. It’s this generation’s Pons & Fleischmann cold fusion shenanigan.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.