Exoplanets: Places for your possible summer home in Space

Once I figure out wormholes and hyperdrive, because I saw them referenced on television, I want to have a summer home amongst the stars. But where? I mean, I’d like to live on a nice Red Dwarf but even that might be a bit too hot. And by hot, would incinerate me into oblivion. So what’s a gal to do? Exoplanets! Or planets beyond our Solar System! (PS. Picture from Solaris—a movie with a summer house and angst).

Keppler -421: Perfect exoplanet for skiing and napping. And when you turn to your friends and say “This feels like a long year, BOY, can you believe it.”

Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b circles its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 days. Most of the 1,800-plus exoplanets discovered to date are much closer to their stars and have much shorter orbital periods.

Kepler-421b orbits an orange, type K star that is cooler and dimmer than our Sun. It circles the star at a distance of about 110 million miles. As a result, this Uranus-sized planet is chilled to a temperature of -135° Fahrenheit.

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Bundle up guys. The slopes are always ready but the average temperature is about the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth. Better stock up on hot chocolate.

Or maybe you are looking for something just a bit less adventurous. I know when I’ve traveled abroad, sometimes I just go eat at McDonald’s—don’t tell the others. Looks like Kepler -186f might be the perfect place for a Space Place with a little slice of home:

“The discovery of Kepler-186f is a significant step toward finding worlds like our planet Earth,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s Astrophysics Division director at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “Future NASA missions, like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and the James Webb Space Telescope, will discover the nearest rocky exoplanets and determine their composition and atmospheric conditions, continuing humankind’s quest to find truly Earth-like worlds.”

Although the size of Kepler-186f is known, its mass and composition are not. Previous research, however, suggests that a planet the size of Kepler-186f is likely to be rocky.

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Sounds like Kepler -186f just needs a few house plants and a nice hedge. Bring your favorite green thumb! And don’t forget the fertilizer. But then again, after a long space ride, there is PLENTY on board.

And looks like there is plenty of romance possible on Kepler -186f:

Kepler-186f orbits its star once every 130 days and receives one-third the energy from its star that Earth gets from the sun, placing it nearer the outer edge of the habitable zone. On the surface of Kepler-186f, the brightness of its star at high noon is only as bright as our sun appears to us about an hour before sunset.

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Break out the bubbly! It’s always time for love on Kepler -186f!

And looking for danger? Adventure? Well, thrill-seekers, look no further than Kepler-56b and Kepler-56c. This hot hot hot destination not only boasts some of the best sun worshipping this side of Omega Centauri but it’s only available for a limited time!

Kepler-56b and Kepler-56c will be swallowed by their star in a short time by astronomical standards. Their ends will come in 130 million and 155 million years, respectively.

“As far as we know, this is the first time two known exoplanets in a single system have a predicted ‘time of death,’” says lead author Gongjie Li of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

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Young, pretty and doomed. The Kepler 56b and 56c planets are type of sexy destination that is suitable for the kind of those of you who love something hot and dangerous. How would YOU dress for the end of the world?

So guys, this is just the start of the many places you can build that little cozy pile of bricks to bring your family to the summer. Remember, when you vacation, go big. GO EXOPLANET!