What Proxima b Tells Us About the Election, and Other Totally Serious Thoughts on Our Galactic Neighbor


Outside the Personal Space universe, in what we fondly call real life, scientists have discovered a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Sun.

As a scifi writer, that’s awesome! Most of what we do is take the coolest facts and warp them to our benefit, and this makes that easy. Every fourteen-year-old who invents a fictional star empire puts the first outpost at Proxima Centauri.


We writers are not scientists. Scientists are paid to doubt themselves and collect more data. You should find a scientist, and give them a hug. But writers are just paid to get excited about stuff. The unlikelihood of a fun idea does not diminish our enthusiasm for it.

And we are excited, because finding this planet so nearby was unlikely! It is Earth-sized, and in its star’s habitable zone. Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered, yet only dozens could possibly hold liquid water, and most of those are dead rocks that we sorted into the the cosmic “maybe pile” to make ourselves feel better. The universe is a barren place, and like your grouchy grandma, it doesn’t give a crap about making things comfortable for you.

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Reposted from http://ift.tt/2buPVqC.

Tags: can't not reblog anything with Overture in it, even though I question the utility, of the we're-in-a-simulation trope.

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