The European Space Agency is planning to launch its own planet-hunting observatory in 2024, after the mission was chosen for the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. Exoplanets The Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars, or PLATO, mission has been chosen to monitor relatively nearby stars, searching for the tiny dips in …
Aliens will be impressed by this mission
"Not bad at all for a species that hasn't invented slood yet"
Seriously though, great to see the ESA do these projects!
Does it mean, across the gulf of space -
that minds that are to their minds as theirs are to those of the slime, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, will regard their planets with envious eyes, and slowly and surely draw their plans against them?
"1.5 million kilometres from Earth, as seen from the Sun"
1.5million kilometres from Earth as seen from anywhere surely?
Re: Relative distance?
It should have read "1.5 million km beyond Earth...", that would've been correct in an orbital-mechanics sense.
Re: Relative distance?
As Einstein noted, that depends on how fast you are going.
It needs a (virtual) captain
You know; if they manage to make contact. And I think we should nominate Purple Tentacle for the job: "I am captain tentacle of the observatory PLATO. We've seen it all...".
...to go that far.
"...survey of nearby planets for indications from advanced life forms (as well as slime)..."
A survey of this planet would show some pretty advanced life forms, and if they checked in local and national government offices all around the planet, they'd find the semi-intelligent slime.
"...will use 34 separate small telecopies"
It uses FAX???
While if seems kind of early to hype this mission...
Its definitely an improvement on Kepler, which could only look at one small part of the sky.
So I hope this gets launched on time!
So sort of a 2nd generation plantet hunter?
1st generation. "That sun has a planet. It's about this wide."
Looking at more of the sky is good.
Getting more details on the planets found is good.
I think where still a way off being able to get a spectrogram of the atmosphere.
Perhaps the 3rd generation planet hunter?
"Popular media have characterised our understanding as better than it actually is."
Due in part to the media's obsession with putting an "artist's impression" in every article about a new planet discovery.
It's not just the popular media doing this, El Reg does it too (ha! pwned!).
Life on Earth is determined by far more than the 'magic' Goldilocks distance from the Sun. Earth has 2 million cubic mile of fissionable Thorium and Uranium that produce heat and 'elemental' atoms which form elemental molecules and compounds. Earths fission produces our protective magnetosphere. Our 70% liquid water surface moderates the solar impact with heat transfers by evaporation and condensation. Visit the Geo-nuclear tab at the FauxScienceSlayer site for more on the unique Astronomy and Geology that make our Biology possible.
Find and share Truth...it is your duty as an Earthling.
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