Astronomical phantasies

Astronomers have discovered a planet 100 light years away that looks a lot like Jupiter once did. Well, that’s what they say, but astronomy and facts have a bad relationship. So let’s have a closer look at this planet.

It looks “like Jupiter once did”. Interesting statement, but how do they know what Jupiter looked like long ago? Exactly, they don’t. They just assume things. “The star it circles, 51 Eridani, is just 20 million years old — fairly young considering our sun is about 4.5 billion years old.” Ho, wait a moment. Not so fast. How do they know6696892-3x2-700x467 that the star is just 20 million years old? Did it come with a birth certificate? Nope, it’s just based on assumptions. And the sun is about 4.5 billion years old. Did you ever wonder how they know that, considering that nobody has been there to take samples for testing? It’s just a wild guess, based on nothing.

“Enshrouded in methane, the planet is about twice the mass of Jupiter”. How do they know it’s methane? We talk about a planet at 200 lightyears away (if you like to know how far that is, look it up yourself. It’s a lot more kilometers than anyone here on earth can ever imagine). Actually, how do they know this distance? The concept of light years is based on the assumption that light behaves the same in outer space as it does here, but you can’t know that for sure. Anyway, it’s unlikely that whatever astronomers see around this planet is methane. It’s much more likely to be something that we don’t know here and that at such a distance looks similar to methane. And how do they know the mass of this new planet? They smiling-gold-stardidn’t go there to measure it. Again they can only base this on assumptions and things that happen here on earth. To conclude that that far away things are pretty much the same as here is a huge stretch.

“Its temperature is estimated to be more than 400 degrees Celsius”. Nice try, but what are those estimations based on? Probably again on how things happen here on earth, but that is a pretty silly assumption. Maybe 200 light years from earth there is not something like temperature or light.

I usually conclude at the end of a blog post that what’s called science is actually phantasy, but this time it’s slightly different. Whatever astronomers say about things outside our solar system is phantasy, for it’s absolutely impossible to know with any level of certainty what’s happening out there. At the same time I think that astronomers simply lack phantasy. Close-up_of_SiriusThey absolutely want to explain everything in an earthly way and don’t understand that there is a lot more than earth. Whatever is out there is very likely to be so much different from what we know that we can never understand it, as our brains are simply limited to what we have here on earth. There is no reason to assume that things like light or colours are the same that far away. Let alone that at 200 light years away there would be the same chemical elements as here. Astronomers should let go of all their earthly assumptions and let their phantasy work. And then they could write the most brilliant works of fiction. But now unfortunately they stick with this kind of fiction, that’s only good to make jokes about. Astronomy has nothing to do with science. End of story.


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