back to article Ideal solar system for SECOND EARTH found – and it's just 186 light-years away

There are hundreds of known exoplanets - worlds in orbit around other stars than our own Sun. The trouble is, because of the means used to detect them, that they tend to be big and very close to their faraway suns - and thus, sadly, not potential Earthlike habitable worlds. But that may have changed today. Excited astronomers …

  1. Pen-y-gors


    all we need is for Elon Musk to invent a warp drive and away we all go. Or perhaps we should send the B Ark first.

    1. Roger Kynaston

      Re: So....

      How do we know that our neighbours on HIP11915 haven't already sent us their own B Ark - complete with telephone sanitizers, marketing executives and management consultants. Do we have enough soap?

      1. Andrew Newstead

        Re: So....

        How do we know it has not already arrived...

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: So....

          It has.

          Look at our MPs (on both sides of the house) ...

        2. Mpeler

          Re: So....

          Well, jynnan tonnyx all round then... Look in the fridge, Number One...

    2. Interceptor

      Re: So....

      Something something stargoat something

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. knarf

    It like that great pub

    By the time you get there its not really all that good.

  4. Pete4000uk

    When is the probe launching?

  5. Little Mouse

    Current theories...

    "according to current theories of planetary formation - that HIP 11915 is likely to have smaller rocky planets closer in"

    But let's not forget that these theories are presumably only backed up by a single verifiable occurence. One in which Gas Giants do indeed exist further out and an Earth like planet sits slap-bang where we would like one to be.

    There's some good long-term science going on here, but isn't it a little early to be drawing conclusions like this?

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: Current theories...

      A theory is not a conclusion.

      Nobody has stated that there are rocky planets, only that by our current theories they are likely.

    2. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: Current theories...

      We know for sure that it has happened at least once. And if something can happen once, it can happen again.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    186 light years

    If we set off right now, and avoid the M25...

  7. gwenie

    Oh, dear...

    I know there is a need to expand the human race as we thoughtlessly breed ourselves into starvation and continuous war. Another planet would only provide more killing fields, I' thinking.

    As I was thinking about us, humans, in all our variety and wondering when we'd get around to talking about our horrific blood lusting, killing, inhumane psychopathic needs to exterminate other humans. We have too few of us not living with rage and aggression and great capacity to hurt others either emotionally or physically to create change.. .

    Then I thought "I hope no extraterrestrials ever come here to welcome us to our own galaxy because I am sure we will shoot them on sight." Then I wondered what percentage of us wouldn't do that.

    Then I really thought about what was going on world wide right now. Perhaps the muzzle blasts will warn our interstellar neighbors to stay away.

    Finally, I thought "Maybe the reason we humans are stuck away almost at the end of one of the arms of our galaxy is just because we are so uber bestial. No animals I am aware of have ever done to each other what we do to each other.

    In the end, my admiration of "us" is overwhelmed by my disgust. I wouldn't want to be a neighbor of Earth and its people as corporations and madmen would be waiting at the gates plunder and pillage as they are doing on earth. Sigh.

    1. NotWorkAdmin

      Re: Oh, dear...

      Blimey, what a depressing viewpoint. I think you're reading too many of the wrong news sources. There's plenty to be cheerful about, the trick is to look for it. TIP: Sky News isn't the place to get a world view.

    2. Chris G

      Re: Oh, dear...

      I think you'll find that any culture that dominates it's planet/ food chain is going to be agressive. If it is space faring of heading that way, then it is a fair bet that carnivorous or other aggression is or has been driving it. If there are other world dominating species out there it will be well to assume they have or have had simbilar destructive histories to us.

      Intelligent does not mean cuddly wuddly and friendly, it just means ( in our case) clever more aggressive monkies.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Vinyl-Junkie

        Re: Oh, dear...

        @ Chris G: You're advancing a hypothesis based on a single example, which is poor science. There is insufficient evidence for either case until we have met at least one alien species. Once a species reaches a certain level of intelligence and communication it could choose to build a planetwide civilisation based on altruism; the human race has already passed this point but is too tied up with outdated visions of nationalism and imaginary friends to have done so. It is possible, even probable, that a species that could co-operate on such a path would become non-aggressive over time.

        Or you could be right.

        At the moment the only thing we can say for certain is "we don't know".

        1. Chris G

          Re: Oh, dear...

          I typed my earlier comment on my phone, irritating to say the least.

          My point is not that others should not visit us or that we don't play well with others, it is simply that any species that is at the top of it's food chain and intelligent will not necessarily be fully enlightened and peaceful and will be competeive by nature.

          At minimum they will have the potential for violence,nothing can be dominant over other species through neutrality or submission, not even grass.

          Trees that dominate forests and jungles use chemical warfare via their roots to ensure other tree species and/or weeds don't overcome them.

          Humans may be aggressive and highly dangerous but they also have a genetic propensity for cooperation and even nurturing family and tribal members that may be weak in some way so we are not all bad just don't piss us off, something that based on what we know about ourselves and evolution here on Earth that we should at least consider in dealing with anyone from another planet.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, dear...

      Totally agree - the human race has never got past the "me first, and damn the rest of you" mentality, the end results of which are the massive and increasing over-population, and our utter disregard for the dwindling finite resources, of our planet and you get the reason for our ever-increasingly more efficient ways of killing each other en masse.

      The spiral we are in is unsustainable and can only end well (at least for us, probably not for any aliens we meet) if we develop FTL travel (if indeed such a thing is possible). If we don't then it most definitely won't end well, the only question will be as to whether we go quickly as a species (all out nuclear war, nuclear winter and eventual extinction) or slowly - exhaustion of resources, Elysium style enclaves for the super-rich, global poverty, starvation, disease and eventual extinction. I doubt the universe will miss us.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, dear...

      Were not that bad, I'm sure that the majority of your friends don't have the ideals you state in your reasons for us not to be visited by our alien overlords.

      Now if you apply that logic then for the world to be a really shitty place there would be large groups of narcissistic evil people which there isn't (well outside of politics anyway)

      So it can't be all that bad.

      Also, Stop watching fox news or at least realise it's a comedy channel and Think happy thoughts, Think happy thoughts.

    5. Bob Dole (tm)

      Re: Oh, dear...

      >>No animals I am aware of have ever done to each other what we do to each other.

      You obviously don't get out much. Every single living thing on this planet engages in some type of warfare with it's neighbors.

      Viruses find hosts and attack their cells.

      Plants use all sorts of techniques to entice others to do their bidding (ie: spread their spore) on up to being poisonous in order to be left alone. You should read up on the life cycle of forests. Each the trees and grasses fight each other.

      Animals establish dominance within their own "tribes", usually through physical altercations, while having no issues with hunting down and ripping out the throats of their prey. Yes some are herbivores, but isn't that just enacting violence on plant life? (side note, there's a reason for the phrase "jungle law")

      Then we have humans. Creatures which possess all the same qualities of the rest of the species that we share this planet with. We hunt, we kill, we establish dominance and pecking orders. Some are vegetarians, others like steak. That said we also exhibit the best traits as well. We love, share and help each other.

      I think your view of what an "advanced" society would think of us is way off. At this point every single living creature that we've found has shown that life is both incredibly brutal and shockingly beautiful. There is zero reason to think that "life out there" doesn't follow the same patterns.

      1. David L Webb

        Re: Oh, dear...

        Then we have humans. Creatures which possess all the same qualities of the rest of the species that we share this planet with. We hunt, we kill, we establish dominance and pecking orders. Some are vegetarians, others like steak. That said we also exhibit the best traits as well. We love, share and help each other.

        Although we are still a long way from world peace with every human being co-operating for the good of all we are still the most co-operative species on the planet. No other species has such large groups of pretty much unrelated individuals as embodied in our nation states which work co-operatively together and which although falling short have at least attempted to put in place organisational structures to provide for peaceful co-operation between those states.

        This might partly be down to our having self domesticated ourselves and partly because over time our wars themselves may have weeded out the most agressively reckless from our gene pool.

        If true that together with the fact that a technological civilisation has to successfully survive without its agressive tendancies killing it off as its knowledge provides it with ever more powerful weapons suggests that an alien technological civilisation capable of interstellar travel would likely be no more agressive than mankind. That doesn't mean that they would necessarily be much less agressive than mankind since the other driver of our civilsation has undoubtedly been our competitive instincts.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, dear...

      All wars are banker's wars... Get a clue.

    7. Colin 4

      Re: Oh, dear...

      I bet you've got a terrible pain in all the diodes down your left side too, right?

      1. Mpeler

        Re: Oh, dear...

        The first ten million years were the worst...

    8. Yugguy

      Re: Oh, dear...

      I think you're spot on. The universe is teeming with life that is studiously avoiding us.

  8. Beagle

    The human race knows of hundreds of exoplanets, is I think using the word "know" in an absurd way. What is more accurate is that we have hundreds of PhD's, who need desperately to justify their research grants. Publish, anything will do. No one can disprove what you say that is 100's of light years away. No one has "seen" anything at those distances. Each pixel on a digital telescope recording plate, at those distances, represents an area large enough to contain many objects, except "imagined" huge ones. And the result of the status of that pixel then is a possible combination of the net result of many individual sources. To assert, therefore that a "slight" variation in "light intensity" of any individual pixel means the existence of an individual planet and no other reason, I suggest is illogical. It is well known. It is called a "boot" strap argument. I assert, without proof that " a slight variation in light" MEANS A PLANET EXIST. Therefore, if I establish I have found a slight variation in light .....I am justified in asserting I have found a planet!

    1. Little Mouse

      And what's going on with all those bright dots in the night sky? They could be anything.

    2. Martin Budden Silver badge

      I see the words @Beagle has posted above... but they don't necessarily prove there is a real human who typed those words. (part of me hopes there isn't, because science!)

  9. Matt Langley

    Is there anyone out there?

    Maybe we should be listening for very faint radio broadcasts...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Is there anyone out there?

      Using that as an indicator of intelligent life would mean that, if there is anyone there and they've thought of it, they'll have written this place off as having inhabited worlds.

      Not much by way of radio here 186 years ago......

      1. tony2heads

        Re: Is there anyone out there?

        Also not much that is broadcast can be classified as 'intelligent'

        Excepting of course BBC radio 4

  10. Jarlsbane

    Let's see how long it takes us to trash it, once we arrive. I'm betting we can beat our old record, hands down. We've progressed a lot!

  11. Tromos

    What's not to like?

    The commute.

  12. REIDH


    Bullk Chitt

  13. Jeff Lewis

    To put this in perspective... the New Horizons craft is currently the fastest moving man-made object at 15.75 km/s.

    HIP is 1,173,917,650,176,000 kms away.

    Which would take 2,361,904 years and 9 months.

    Good luck with that.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      "Which would take 2,361,904 years and 9 months."

      I'd better bring my copy of "War and Peace" then.

    2. Yugguy

      And halfway there you'll get overtaken by some Klingon who will then use you for target practice.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where do we get such certainty we are not cohabiting already?

    Depends what ancient text we read but many seem to have no problem describing "other worldly" beings, visitors on flying craft (virmana?), intelligent help from oversize, undersize or other-formed individuals.

    Imagine a race had mastered genetics and had no reservation in manipulating some small copies of themselves, send them out in craft capable of travelling great distances with enough supplies for mini-me's to last years, have them land on some planet supporting life, dig in to the rock to avoid the worst local predators then get teaching the most promising wildlife. Ideally if you could get the local monkeys to keep you in fresh water by inventing a sacred rock "lingam" above your living area that needs constant fresh water. Keep teaching various religions and help the monkey move on.

    Ellora caves was quite a good back in the day, they left loads of illustrations in carvings but the monkeys got so full of their own importance they could no longer see the meaning.

  15. Stoneshop

    So if you think

    this will trick the Vogons into not destroying our solar system but HIP11915 instead, you'd be wrong. They'll just get to do it twice.

  16. hi_robb

    May I be the first

    To welcome our new near HIP 11915 dwelling overlords.


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Reading this at work, want to go home and look it up on Elite: Dangerous, just to see if it appears on their procedurally generated galaxy map!

    1. The Happy Camper

      Re: Elite:Dangerous

      3.5 billion years of evolution haven't been wasted so

  18. AJ MacLeod

    Given that no current theories of planet formation successfully explain the formation of our own solar system I'm not particularly inclined to trust what they predict about others...

  19. Slx

    Can we point SETI in that general direction and pick up their TV from 186 years ago?

  20. jrwc

    Scientists found a second earth just like they found out there would be no arctic polar ice by 2014. Its too easy to project into the future using computer models and distant photographs. This second earth they may have found - could it have similar life as we know it, just the right mixutre in atmosphere of oxygen and nitrogen? Its temperature is perfect for human life? Why if atoms could appear out of a big bang and accidentally form through cosmic evolution a primordal soup which would again accidentally collide to form life through biologic evolution on earth, why couldn't it happen many times again?

    American and U.S socialism will also work if its done just right, or maybe perfect government and people will just evolve into becoming perfect. Until then watch behind you for certain ethnic people to take your head off.

  21. JDSoCal

    "Just 186 light years," huh? So all we need to do is develop warp drive and take our starship there at Warp 9.8 and we'd be there in no time.

    Pluto is 4.5 light HOURS away and it took NASA's New Horizons spacecraft 9 years to get there.

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