NASA’s New Solar System Is A Bunch Of Sci-Fi Movies Stitched Together
But better because it’s real
Last week, NASA announced that it had found seven Earth-like planets some 40 light years away from the surface of the Earth. There was a lot of attention and excitement because it made the idea of human life outside of the Earth more possible. The space agency admitted that it was the first time that it had found so many plants in such close proximity to each other and each surrounding the same star. In all aesthetic aspects, they had found a solar system like ours.
The newly found system, which NASA dubbed the TRAPPIST-1 System, has three planets that are directly within the star’s habitable zone. And because of this, it is believed that at least one of these plants can hold water levels that will help sustain human life. There is not a lot of details at this point, but Aki Roberge of NASA spoke with Forbes and disclosed that more would be discovered soon, particularly when the James Webb Space Telescope launches next year.
Is it starting to sound familiar? Yeah, we thought so.
Starring both Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, Interstellar was about a group of scientists trying to figure out whether or not the planets in a far-away solar system could hold human life. Much like how NASA’s scientists now need to get enough details on these exoplanets to see if they can be lived in one day. But how exactly are they supposed to see that far off into the galaxy? Roberge admitted that only the masses and radius of the planets are visible at this point.
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
In the scene below, we see Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) looking through a telescope to catch a glimpse of the Starfleet ship. It is this same process that NASA hopes to begin next year. According to Roberge, the James Webb Space Telescope will help the space agency determine whether or not the atmospheres of the newly discovered exoplanets can sustain human life.
But then there is the issue about getting there. How exactly are humans supposed to travel the distance of 40 light years in one lifespan?
Star Wars: Rogue One (2016)
Most of the ships in Rogue One and virtually all Star Wars movies, have a hyperdrive feature that allows that ship to enter light-speed and virtually travel the void between stars in the alternate dimension of hyperspace. It might take us a while to get to that type of technology where it is possible to travel to TRAPPIST-1, but it is not an impossibility. “It becomes more of an engineering problem than a laws of physics problem,” Roberge said.