By Derek Clark
Contributing Writer [GAS]
The more I live on this planet, the more I want to pack up and move to a new one. Considering humanity’s impressive talent at destroying this world of ours (wars, environmental disasters, Justin Bieber and whatever it was my coworker just did to that bathroom), I think it’s time to call my travel agent and reserve a seat on the next rocket out of here.
And not a moment too soon, either! NASA’s Kepler team just announced the discovery of the first Earth-sized planet orbiting a star outside of our solar system! And it’s rocky like Earth, not another one of those stupid gas giants we keep finding like Hummers in a haystack.
God bless you, NASA. I’m saved. Now, I simply have to Google the directions to our government’s version of the Battlestar Gallactica (someone has to know where they’re hiding it) and pack my towel.
As my mind races with thoughts of becoming the new ‘Adam’ to a planet full of Amazonian ‘Eves’–a planet I’ve appropriately renamed ‘Dereklandia’ (shut up, this is my fantasy)–I read the rest of the press release and hit a few speed bumps.
It seems this new planet is more than a few blocks away–560 light years to be exact. Unfortunately, no matter how much I yell at my kids, I don’t think I can generate enough negative energy to open a wormhole to get there.
Even if I could make it there somehow before my 560th birthday, I wouldn’t have much time to enjoy it. The planet has no atmosphere and is 20 times closer to its star than Mercury is to our Sun, making its surface a cozy 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s so close that iron flecks and silicate minerals constantly explode from its hot ass like a bad burrito out into space.
Bummer. Sounds like Dereklandia is about as nice as living in the armpit of an overheated Lane Bryant model. Guess I’ll be cancelling my flight off this rock… for now.
There’s still hope for the discovery of a habitable, Bieber-free world though. Last June the NASA Kepler team published a catalog of 306 stars with planet candidates. Even though it’s a long shot, I’m going to go ahead and trademark the name ‘Dereklandia’ just in case.