WASHINGTON DC – Space heads are ecstatic this week as astronomers believe they have found a planet somewhere literally trillions of miles away that might possibly be habitable for life, maybe. The planet, Kepler 156874C, is said to be in the outer edge of what scientists guess is the habitable zone for planets, although they really aren’t sure about that. If someone were able to go there someday, which is something we surely won’t be able to do in our lifetime (or our children’s lifetime, or our children’s children’s lifetime, and so on), they might find some micro-organisms, or maybe even some early sponge-like creatures or something.
The planet, which exists in a (relatively) local star system surrounded by an enormously dangerous asteroid belt, has the whole astronomy community electrified. Charles Boden, head administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, talked about the buzz circulating around the office. “Oh man, I tell ya, everybody’s been saying the name: ‘156874C! 156874C! Imagine if we could go to 156874C!’ It’s so catchy, it’s become a chant around here.”
Boden did mention a slight problem that might rain on the parade of some hoping to one day explore new worlds. “Well…yes, it is true that the planet is 1,500 light years away, and yes, it is true that a single light year is 5.88 trillion miles long, which means that even if we were able to go the speed of light it would still take us 1,500 years to get there. And yes, it is true that we don’t have any spacecraft capable of even getting close to reaching the speed of light, and that with our fastest ships it would take us close to 25 million years to reach this planet…but that shouldn’t dull the enthusiasm about 156874C one bit! Heck, there might be slug-like life on that sucker! I mean, maybe. That’s our theory anyway.”