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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Alpha Centauri B may have "superhabitable" worlds

•, By David Szondy
 However, that is not the opinion of scientists René Heller and John Armstrong who contend that there might be a planet even more suitable for life than Earth 4.3 light years away orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B.
The nice thing about having a hypothetical “superhabitable” planet revolving around Alpha Centauri B, which is part of a triple star system, is that it makes it a lot easier to indulge in a bit of a thought experiment based on the arguments put forward by Heller, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, and Armstrong, of the Department of Physics, Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.

Imagine we’re in a spaceship approaching the planet in question. The first thing we’d notice is that its sun isn't a familiar yellow. Instead, it’s orange. That’s because where our Sun is a yellow G2 star, Alpha Centauri B is a K-type dwarf star, hence the orange tinge.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

One of the major fallacies in the article can be found right here: "Heller and Armstrong argue that the longer a planet is inhabited, the more habitable it becomes due to a perpetual increase in biodiversity, so an older planet revolving around an older sun will be a better home for life."

Obviously, Heller and Armstrong have not taken into consideration that Alpha Centauri B b probably had intelligent life. I say "had" because, Alpha Centauri B b, being a much older planet and having a much longer time for developing life, would probably have developed intelligent life that did to their planet what we are doing to earth... poisoning and irradiating it to death. Consider Fukushima, air polution, pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers, plus all the chemical waste dumped into the oceans or buried on land, etc., etc.

No, the intelligent life on Alpha Centauri B b destroyed their planet - and themselves in the process - long ago. What we will find is a desolate world, devoid of life, yet containing many ancient, gigantic cities that are in tragic ruin. In fact, odds are that some of our ancient ancestors here on Earth are remnants of the great civilizations that once flourished on the late great planet Alpha Centauri B b.

Just like many environmentalists on our planet recognize that our planet is dying, that we are killing it, so too some of the people on Alpha Centauri B b must have foreseen the death of their planet. In a last-ditch effort, they transported a number of their people here, simply to save a remnant of their dying race. These Alpha Centauri B b people intermingled with our struggling human evolution, producing things like the sudden advancements found in Egypt thousands of years ago, advancements that built things like the Sphinx and the great pyramids, advancements that appeared seemingly without a source, fully developed, integrating themselves into our lowly, barely-evolved, human society.

How do you like my science fiction? Is it anywhere near as good as that of Heller and Armstrong? I could see some of the contributors to FP taking it and running with it. I always liked a good Sci-Fi story. Let's see how far we can go with it. (chuckle)

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