EUROPE - Potentially Livable Planet Found

Arno Froese

A group of European and South American astronomers announced that they had discovered a potentially habitable world at the “close” distance of just eleven light years outside our solar system.

According to the European Southern Observatory, planet Ross 128b has a mass similar to Earth and “its surface temperature could equally be close to that of Earth.” This means that the planet could theoretically support liquid water, which is indispensable to terrestrial life.

The average temperature is theorized to be between -60 and 20 degrees Celsius (-76 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit).

Now, researchers have to find out if the planet has water, dioxygen or methane in its atmosphere.

“Ross 128b is very close, which will allow us to see it with a telescope such as E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope) in construction for 2025,” Project leader Xavier Bonfils told French news agency AFP.

Ross 128b orbits a star within the constellation of Virgo, and of the thousands of exoplanets scientists have discovered, is one of only about 50 that could possibly support life.

Because the planet is 20 times closer to its sun than Earth is, a year only lasts 9.9 days, the Guardian newspaper reported. Unlike our sun, however, Ross 128b orbits a fainter red dwarf star, allowing close proximity without burning the planet to a crisp.

Ross 128b also has a clear advantage over the closest “Earth-like” world to our solar system, Proxima Centuari b. Although it is only 4.24 light years away, it orbits a much more active star that regularly emits gigantic stellar flares.

Arno's commentary

A light-year, according to earthly measurements, is 9.5 trillion kilometers (5.8 trillion miles). The fastest speed of any manmade object is that of Voyager 1, traveling 38,600 miles per hour. But traveling that speed for 11 light-years would take 191,251 years. These astronomical figures should bury any dream for a “livable planet.” Yet man continues to search, to dream, and to speculate, because he is driven by the spirit of the god of this world. Thus, he ignores the real reality, namely God the Creator and His provided and already completed plan of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross.

This and many other such reports that continue to flare up in the new media, are nothing less than a diversion from reality, such as Hebrews 9:27: “…It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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