Periodically, my life enters the Twilight Zone. Or, in this case, the Goldilocks Zone.
You’ve heard about it, by now. The planet twenty lightyears away, which has a good potential for human habitation. One paper described it as the “Goldilocks” planet — not too hot, not too cold, just right to support life.
The Gliese star has been known for awhile; NASA identified it way back in 2007 or earlier. The big news now is that they found a planet orbiting the star that is tidally locked to the sun (weird to think of galactic, system-wide tides!) — one side always in the light, one side always in the dark, and the strip down the middle – a temperate zone habitable by humans. Just like the moon only shows one face to the Earth, the little planet will always show one face to the star.
This is good news. Especially since I picked Gliese 581c out of NASA’s website as a place to base a fictional Earth colony I started writing about in December of 2008. It seemed like a reasonably close place for humanity to explore and colonize after the Moon.
I have written sixty thousand words on this story since January… getting to know all about that red star, and imagining what life would be like with a pink sky. And eventually, we might know.
The coincidence both thrills and amazes me …and slightly freaks me out.