Yes, it's True, Dennis Overbye

Gliese 581c is indeed inhabited. Or at any rate it was before I left.

The most enticing property yet found outside our solar system is about 20 light-years away in the constellation Libra, a team of European astronomers said yesterday.

The astronomers have discovered a planet five times as massive as the Earth orbiting a dim red star known as Gliese 581.

It is the smallest of the 200 or so planets that are known to exist outside of our solar system, the extrasolar or exo-planets. It orbits its home star within the so-called habitable zone where surface water, the staff of life, could exist if other conditions are right, said Stephane Udry of the Geneva Observatory.

Yes, inhabited as well as habitable. And not just by me. There were indigenous life forms of the lower sort, mostly Republicans and Libertarians, but we saw no signs of intelligent life.

Unfortunately, the matter annihilating rocket needed to escape its oppressive gravity, not to mention accelerating to .98 of light speed to get here, has a rather nasty ecological footprint - a bit like an impact from a 40 km asteroid - so I worry a bit about what we left.

Oh, and by the way, Earthlings, don't worry about global warming. We are leaving here pretty soon now. Our tour only allows for a few of your decades at each stop.

PS - Thanks for the fish!

PPS - About string theory, LOL, the tales I could tell you. But I won't.


Alky & CIP


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