Since November, I have encountered a surprising number of Canadians who freely admit that they no longer have much interest in travelling to the United States. I’ve promised myself not to talk about the ‘T’ word this week, so let’s look at other possible travel destinations.
Mars and Venus have been talked about, but that’s a long way to go, and both of them seem to have significant shortcomings. What about really deep space? Just this month, scientists say they have discovered evidence of what looks like the best place where life as we know it might exist outside our own piece of the universe.
Seven planets, similar in size to Earth, are believed to be orbiting a small star, a mere 39 light years away. The story is published in the latest issue of the journal Nature. The star around which the planets travel has been named TRAPPIST-1. It’s apparently no bigger than Jupiter.
All of the planets are believed to be the right size, and capable of holding water. Might they play hockey or baseball I wonder? The findings have renewed the hope that other similar systems are also out there waiting to be discovered.
Hopefully we long ago abandoned the notion that ours was the only intelligent life to be found. The James Webb Telescope, which will be launched into space later this year, will be much more powerful and sophisticated than the old horse and buggy spyglass called Hubble.
Who knows what or who might be gazing back at us when the folks get to work. With a minimum of a 39 year journey to get out there, it won’t likely be someone like me who solves any of these mysteries. Perhaps my 12 year old grandson Andrew?
Where’s that guy Carl Sagan when we really need him?
I’m Roger Currie