Maybe overpopulation isn't an issue after all

Posted on April 25, 2007

Every day, scientists are discovering more of space, which, I suppose, is still the Final Frontier. That is, unless you count the salad bar at truck stops, since that is another weird phenomenon as well.

There is an ongoing treasure hunt for sustainable-life planets. That's not surprising, considering the world's population is more than 6.6 billion (and growing, if you want to view). Where are all of the people going to go? There's just not enough space between the croutons and bacon bits.

Astronomers would like to introduce you to a planet orbiting Gliese 581. This sits about 20.5 light-years away in the constellation Libra. So definitely fill up the tank if you're planning a visit.

Anyway, the planet has been dubbed "super-Earth" because of its strong resemblance to our planet. The temperatures and general makeup are inline with what we have here. Scientists are already considering using the place as a setup point for future extra-terrestial ventures.

But don't make vacation plans anytime soon. Researchers haven't actually seen the place just yet; they indirectly detected it by measuring star velocity changes related to gravitational tugs. By that, I mean they're pretty sure it exists, but there's no guarantee they have your favorite salad dressing.