EUROPE - Super-Earth Discovered Only 40 Light Years Away

Arno Froese

Point a high-powered telescope at the constellation Cetus, the sea monster, and it is just possible to make out a dim red dwarf star shining in the tail.

Although it might seem unspectacular, orbiting around that star is a rocky planet that could hold the answer to whether we are alone in the universe.

Scientists say the planet is a ‘Super-Earth’ which is the best place to look for signs of life outside of the Solar System.

Early indications suggest it has an atmosphere, and sits within the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ where it is neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist.

The planet was found by an international team of scientists who have been studying data from European Space Observatory’s High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) instrument which looks for regular changes in brightness of stars, which suggests a planet is passing by in orbit.

The new world—dubbed LHS 1140b—is ten times closer to its parent star than Earth but because a red dwarf is far cooler than our own yellow dwarf, the planet still sits in the habitable zone.

“The present conditions of the red dwarf are particularly favorable—LHS 1140b spins more slowly and emits less high-energy radiation than other similar low-mass stars,” added team member Nicola Astudillo-Defru from Geneva Observatory, Switzerland., 19 April 2017

Arno's commentary

While the article emphasizes, “only 40 light years away,” the distance is all but mind-boggling. The speed of light is the fastest movement in the universe. Traveling at that speed it would only take 1.3 seconds to reach the moon, and 8.3 minutes to reach the sun. The distance to the “Super-Earth” does not involve minutes, hours, days, or months, but years; in plain words, if man was able to travel at the speed of light, it would take 40 years to reach LHS 1140b. One light year covers 9.6 trillion km (5.9 trillion mi.).

What is the reason for space exploration? The greatest and foremost reason is self-glorification. In his quest for ever more knowledge, man will do everything in his power to discover the unknown, which is already known by the Creator. The so-called space age started when, on the 4th of October 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite. That started the race between the USSR and the USA, with America claiming the landing of the first man on the moon. But when we summarize all of the successes of space exploration, it is virtually zilch, zero, when compared to God’s infinite universe He created.

Another reason lies in the fact that mankind rejects his Creator and tries desperately to “create” something new, a “new world.”

Here we are reminded of the words of Obadiah 4: “Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.”

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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