I suppose you could say I’m a bit of a nerd. “But Andy, you’re so cool and attractive. Why in God’s name would you qualify yourself as a nerd?” you may ask.
Maybe it’s the webinars on molecular paleontology and resurrection that I sign up for just for kicks. Or maybe it’s that on some Friday nights I like to sit on my couch and find a riveting documentary that I feel qualifies me.
Whatever the cast, don’t judge me. You’re not my mother.
One particular area of interest for me has always been space. Quite frankly, I’m not sure how people couldn’t be interested by space and its seemingly infinite depth. It may be my complete lack of understanding of the math/physics or my almost as equally limited grasp of astronomy, but when I think of space and everything that it could potentially hold in store, it literally almost makes my head explode. Every time.
CNN has a fantastic article that I stumbled upon today about the depths of the universe as we know it. It seems that civilization’s understanding of the worlds around us grows each and every day. Check out the article here, or don’t. Even though I recommend reading the article, if you’re a little leery of the big science men and their big science words, I can try giving you my best explanation as to what’s currently happening around our solar system.
It turns out that some world-renowned astronomers in Europe have discovered 32 planets outside of our solar system, referred to as ‘exoplanets.’ “Why is this a big deal?” you ask. Because using their sophisticated High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, or HARPS, (That sounds a bit cliche, wouldn’t you say? And where is the ‘v’ in their acronym? For as smart as those scientists are, you would think they could come up with an acronym that includes all of the letters in their fancy computer) these scientists have collected data that is “…also predicting even more … Earth-type planets.” I know, I know. There are quite a few ellipsis in that sentence. That’s why you should read the article and fill them in!
So, if you’re not excited about the possibility of life outside of our solar system, then you might be the kind of person who wouldn’t like to sit around on a Friday night and watch NOVA documentaries.*
*Editor’s Note: That’s not necessarily a bad thing.