Super-Earth Discovered
December 16, 2009 3:39 PM   Subscribe

GJ 1214b is the most Earth-like planet ever found outside our solar system. And it needs a name.
posted by Taft (174 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
We're never going to a new planet without corporate sponsorship. I propose we call it "The Real World" and get Viacom to bankroll the rockets.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:42 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


There aren't any planets named Pluto. How about Pluto?
posted by Joe Beese at 3:44 PM on December 16, 2009 [84 favorites]


Why bother. We all know it's going to end up being called Colbert.

Then renamed some inanity.
posted by qvantamon at 3:44 PM on December 16, 2009 [22 favorites]


I propose "The Backup Plan."
posted by The White Hat at 3:44 PM on December 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


I like 'GJ 1214x'.

The x is way cooler.
posted by mazola at 3:45 PM on December 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


I just hope we don't put it to an internet vote. I really don't feel like having to evacuate to Planet Colbert when the asteroids come.
posted by hifiparasol at 3:45 PM on December 16, 2009


DAMMIT
posted by hifiparasol at 3:46 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


The proper name is right there in the URL: Waterworld. Getting there will take a long time, cost a lot of money and once we arrive everyone will complain about how much it sucks.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:47 PM on December 16, 2009 [39 favorites]


OK SciAm, I don't need two separate HTML overlay layers fighting with each other when I try to view your page. But we might as well call it too big and too far 'cause it's going to take something that's not human to walk on the surface of a planet that has 6x the Earth's mass.
posted by GuyZero at 3:50 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


'cause it's going to take something that's not human to walk on the surface of a planet that has 6x the Earth's mass.

It's also made of water, so I think Jesus is game.
posted by qvantamon at 3:51 PM on December 16, 2009


I wonder what they named our planet.
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:53 PM on December 16, 2009 [31 favorites]


Brocktoon.
posted by blaneyphoto at 3:53 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


start packing now, Planet C.O.L.B.E.R.T is going to be tough.
Cold
Out of reach
Low light conditions
Below average resources
Everyday is a moonday
Really, the moon is so close that the tides make a tsunami every day.
Tricked ye. It's a Paradise, for comedians only.
Or.
Earth II
no, Earth 2.0
posted by infinite intimation at 3:53 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Planet Splashy Pants
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:54 PM on December 16, 2009 [11 favorites]


Howard.
posted by griphus at 3:55 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I genuinely like the name currently in the lead 'Thalas'.

"General ready the Death Star. Target: Thalas."
posted by litleozy at 3:55 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


'cause it's going to take something that's not human to walk on the surface of a planet that has 6x the Earth's mass.

That would depend on the size of the planet, wouldn't it? A planet with 6x Earth's mass but a lower density could have gravity that isn't a problem for a human.
posted by Justinian at 3:56 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I propose "The Backup Plan."

I was kind of thinking osmething along those lines as the huge-ass Shell energy policy pop-up obscured the page.
posted by Artw at 3:59 PM on December 16, 2009




I wonder what they named our planet.


Planet 404.
posted by Danf at 4:00 PM on December 16, 2009


Quatloo
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:00 PM on December 16, 2009


I think it should be named Steve, just because.
posted by SteveInMaine at 4:00 PM on December 16, 2009


Planet Hollywood™
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:01 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is Thalas near Uranus?
posted by Artw at 4:02 PM on December 16, 2009


Ur, Astrobe, Calque, Vaalbara, Etiäinen, Tormance, Farhope, Prester, Thismia, Klepsis, NowWhat...
posted by Iridic at 4:03 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I say we call it Kunch, after the new dirty word replacement I've been workshopping.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:06 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Meep?
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:07 PM on December 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


We should name it Standandwipe, and move approximately half of humanity there.
posted by gurple at 4:08 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Claire.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:11 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Sauna.
posted by Anything at 4:11 PM on December 16, 2009


Armaghast. A scary-ass name like Armaghast will keep people away in droves, leaving more room for me and my pontoon-boat-armada-pulled-by-laser-sharks.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 4:11 PM on December 16, 2009 [11 favorites]


Plan B
posted by Navelgazer at 4:13 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Xorg.
Meexux.
Zenoxip.
Setidopo.
Wairxoze.
Coxevuza.

(randomly: consonant, vowel, consonant, vowel...etc. Lots of Zs and Xs)
posted by zardoz at 4:13 PM on December 16, 2009


Marklar.
posted by qvantamon at 4:14 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, after we name it, how are we to defend it from Klendathu?
posted by griphus at 4:15 PM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Schmearth.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:17 PM on December 16, 2009 [25 favorites]


Clearly the asteroid of crazy-ass libertarians we launch at it will require a Heinlein-style space-armour market.
posted by Artw at 4:17 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


It am Bizarro World!
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:17 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


It am Bizarro World!

It am not - it SQUARE LIKE EARTH!
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


If we call it Naboo I wouldn't feel so bad about us eventually destroying it like this one.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:18 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


GJ 1214b is stupid. They should call it LV 426.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:19 PM on December 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


The latest Ted Talk was about Mr. Splashy Pants. After the Time 100, I think Colbert has his work cut out for him if 4chan wants this.
posted by Gary at 4:19 PM on December 16, 2009


iPlanet
posted by Elmore at 4:20 PM on December 16, 2009


My back of the envelope calculation on this is that a 175 lb person standing on this planet would weight about 265 lbs.
posted by empath at 4:22 PM on December 16, 2009


Dizzy, since it orbits so fast (its year is only 38 hours!) Cripes, it must be in so close to its sun you could practically bump your head on it.
posted by Quietgal at 4:22 PM on December 16, 2009


PANDORA
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:23 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Urectum
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:24 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


The first thing that came to mind was "secret quonsar."

zardoz- You're thinking of pharmaceuticals. In fact, I am beginning to suspect that you are a pharmaceutical.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 4:24 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


GJ 1214b HAS FOUR CORNER
SIMULTANEOUS 4-DAY
TIME CUBE <>
posted by battlebison at 4:25 PM on December 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


err, I fail at HTML. That should have said "<>"
posted by battlebison at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2009


okay, what's going on here...
posted by battlebison at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2009


empath: "My back of the envelope calculation on this is that a 175 lb person standing on this planet would weight about 265 lbs."

So that's why all those "90 lb weakling" ads in the backs of magazines had a GJ 1214 mailing address.
posted by brundlefly at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


My back of the envelope calculation on this is that a 175 lb person standing on this planet would weight about 265 lbs.

Honey, does this planet make me look fat?

But seriously: The Mushroom Planet
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:27 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Not Kansas"
posted by brundlefly at 4:27 PM on December 16, 2009


I find it uncomfortable that Neo-Colonialist Aggressors want to name a region that may have never been named by any inhabitants. I suppose people will claim credit for discovering something that may have been already "discovered" by its natives, be they algae-analogs, spotted-owl-analogs, or buddhist-analogs. We'll just come along and say, "Hey you GeeJs, A.) you're GeeJs and B.)give us your spices/diamonds/long-chain hydrocarbons.

Seems a bit colonialist for me. *sigh*
posted by codswallop at 4:32 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Earth II "This time we'll try to be more careful!



Yeah, right! Let's parrrrrrtay!!!"
posted by ob at 4:37 PM on December 16, 2009


Chicken.
posted by dbiedny at 4:37 PM on December 16, 2009


Fuck that shit, we need to get 40K on these xeno scum.
posted by Artw at 4:37 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, Planet Mirth does have a good ring to it.
posted by ob at 4:39 PM on December 16, 2009


Actually, Planet Mirth does have a good ring to it.

Sounds like a Russian space station with a lisp.
posted by qvantamon at 4:41 PM on December 16, 2009


Live on GeeJ: The Spotted Owl Analogs feat. Long-Chain Hydrocarbons! Six times the mass is six times the fun! All ages!
posted by griphus at 4:43 PM on December 16, 2009


Planet Mirth sounds like it would have unfunny comedy types wearing jester hats on it, and should be subject to exterminatus via orbital bombardment as soon as our fleet is in range.
posted by Artw at 4:46 PM on December 16, 2009


I know! Planet Koozebane!
posted by brundlefly at 4:48 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


42 light years from your comfy chair, a dim, red sun fills three quarters of the sky over the frothing, churning waves of Thalas. In the distance, a great Thalasian SeaDragon, more than half a kilometer in length, crests above the waves as it ploughs through the thick layer of red algae upon which it feeds. The same algae which give the oceans it's blood-red color and in which the female Dragon will lay her two individual larvae come the end of mating season.


I've always wanted to write a sentence like that and have it be true. Amazing that we can live in an age where this is at least possible.
posted by Avenger at 4:52 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Earth II: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:53 PM on December 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wait...why does everyone keep talking about it as if we know it has water? I guess nobody actually read about it. It might be possible for it to have liquid water if it happens to also have a really dense atmosphere. It seems about as silly to give this planet a sea-related name right now as it would have been for Christopher Columbus to give the name "Indians" to the first island inhabitants he ran into after sailing west...
posted by ErWenn at 5:00 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I vote Tralfamadore. And I'm changing my name to Billy Pilgrim.
- * -

I say we call it Kunch, after the new dirty word replacement I've been workshopping.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:06 PM on December 16 [1 favorite +] [!]


Why am I imagining Sean Connery saying that?
posted by Hardcore Poser at 5:06 PM on December 16, 2009


Wake me when we find water, 80 degrees temp, with sandy shores on the oceanside, and no taxes.
posted by uni verse at 5:06 PM on December 16, 2009


There aren't any planets named Pluto. How about Pluto?

How about Pluto 2: The Revenge?
posted by ORthey at 5:07 PM on December 16, 2009


Heyyyy -- while you all work out the name of that new, shining jewel of a planet... let's break for an ANNOYING POPUP MESSAGE from this week's sponsor!
posted by Kikkoman at 5:10 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Vote Vaethros!

If the next few pages of names will load for you, that is. 'Cause they're not doing it for me.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:16 PM on December 16, 2009


Based on my impulsive nature and love of naming things after my petty grievances*: Planet Verizon Wireless Can Eat Just Like 100 Gnarly Dicks And Then DIE!



(thus my two cats: Fuck You Expired Metrocard and Get Off The Cellphone And Complete Your Transaction Before I Stab You In The Neck Lady In Front Of Me In Line At The Bank.)
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:17 PM on December 16, 2009 [25 favorites]


Just tried to submit a name and got:

you broke reddit

looks like we shouldn't have stopped using lisp...

posted by brundlefly at 5:19 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


So... we currently live in "Earth"...

We could call this one "Water", but I say we skip a few steps and call it "Captain Planet" right away.

Fuck "Heart".
posted by qvantamon at 5:20 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Planet Douchebag
posted by Flashman at 5:28 PM on December 16, 2009


East Earth.
posted by jonmc at 5:28 PM on December 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


A planet with 6x Earth's mass but a lower density could have gravity that isn't a problem for a human.

Um.
posted by DU at 5:29 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I vote for Gallifrey.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:32 PM on December 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


Um.

Lower density means larger radius. As you increase your distance from the center of mass, the force of gravity is reduced.
posted by knave at 5:34 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


As you increase your distance from the center of mass, the force of gravity is reduced.

Yeah but only as the square, while the volume increases as the cube....this is one diffuse planet.
posted by DU at 5:37 PM on December 16, 2009


Moistomax.
posted by phooky at 5:40 PM on December 16, 2009


New Earth.

Unless it's all water. Then Waterworld, definitely.


Unless it's all ice. Then Hoth, obviously.



Unless it's all gas. Then Fartus.
posted by mazola at 5:47 PM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wired link:

"Astronomers have spotted the most Earth-like planet to date, a massive ocean world that probably has an atmosphere and — though it’s highly unlikely — may support life"


Sci Am link:

"GJ 1214 b... is "a little bit too hot to have liquid water, but it didn't miss it by much," Charbonneau said in a telecast news conference Monday. "This is probably not what you would call a habitable world," he cautioned"

OK, so it's a "massive ocean world" without water. Got it.

Y'all can go space refugee there. I'm still going to Europa with a coat.
posted by dgaicun at 5:47 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Myanus.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:55 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


*furiously searches for imaginary delete post function*
posted by joe lisboa at 5:55 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Trig.
posted by el_lupino at 6:01 PM on December 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


Planet Mirth sounds like it would have unfunny comedy types wearing jester hats on it, and should be subject to exterminatus via orbital bombardment as soon as our fleet is in range.

On the other hand it might be an ironic. But not too ironic because no one wants Planet Hipster.
posted by ob at 6:02 PM on December 16, 2009


pl4n3t h0p3y - but that's just me.
posted by h0p3y at 6:05 PM on December 16, 2009


Caprica!
posted by serazin at 6:27 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Portia Allen
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 6:37 PM on December 16, 2009


Tamale.
posted by bwg at 6:44 PM on December 16, 2009


Bob.

Planet Bob.

And I DO NOT CARE if you refuse to live on Bob...
posted by Samizdata at 6:45 PM on December 16, 2009


empath: "My back of the envelope calculation on this is that a 175 lb person standing on this planet would weight about 265 lbs."

Actually, you'd be a bit lighter on GJ 1214b. According to that article, it's 6.55 Earth masses, but also 2.68 Earth diameters wide. That means you'd only feel about 90% of your Earth weight.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:45 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


melmac!
posted by janepanic at 6:52 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yep, you're right.

I double checked the numbers and got 160lbs. Not sure where I messed up last time.

object 1 mass (m1) = 39131010000000000000000000 kilogram = 3.913101E+25 kilogram
object 2 mass (m2) = 80 kilogram = 80 kilogram
distance between objects (r) = 17093.308 kilometer = 17093308 meter

Solution:
gravitational force (F) = 714.91416051134 newton
posted by empath at 6:53 PM on December 16, 2009


I suppose R'lyeh would be tempting fate?
posted by maxwelton at 6:54 PM on December 16, 2009


Yet again, Wikipedia has a list of suggestions. I like 'Gallifrey.'
posted by painquale at 7:11 PM on December 16, 2009


I submitted Splunge, which I think is a great name, but possibly not, without being indecisive.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:12 PM on December 16, 2009


Junior
posted by swift at 7:13 PM on December 16, 2009


Planet Unpossible sponsored by SNUGGIES! Get yours for the holiday season!
posted by Benway at 7:22 PM on December 16, 2009


Caprica!

I was thinking Aquarion would be more fitting, no?
posted by jock@law at 7:32 PM on December 16, 2009


Frogstar
posted by vibrotronica at 7:50 PM on December 16, 2009


Planet Mefi cause it's made of blue.
posted by mistersquid at 7:54 PM on December 16, 2009


Quonsar
posted by Balisong at 8:01 PM on December 16, 2009


Do-over.
posted by mazola at 8:04 PM on December 16, 2009


Swift
posted by swift at 8:08 PM on December 16, 2009


WeLearnedOurLessionAndWellNeverDoItAgain
posted by shothotbot at 8:10 PM on December 16, 2009


Butterstick
posted by UhOhChongo! at 8:11 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Caprica!

*SNORT*

Might as well be Planet Space Jesus or Planet It's So Obvious We're Writing This Shit As We Go. How about Planet The Plan Goodbye Two Hours Of Your Life Haha Sucker!

No, I'm not bitter.
posted by graventy at 8:11 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


There aren't any planets named Pluto.

Sadly. So True.

Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nine.
posted by eriko at 8:12 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I wonder what they named our planet: Pete.
what will we call this new planet: Repeat.
posted by infinite intimation at 8:21 PM on December 16, 2009


Rapemenext.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 8:37 PM on December 16, 2009


Tlön.
posted by Wolof at 8:37 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's interesting that in Sci-Fi books, there are many gazillions planets of all shapes and forms, but afaik there isn't one that is a huge, extremely hot ocean-world with 6x gravity. It's almost like when you think about an ocean-planet, you imagine a fairly cool world with local variety of dolphin-people. Are there any books with this kind of planet? Reality: 1, Imagination: 0.
posted by rainy at 8:40 PM on December 16, 2009


And: let's call it Solaris?
posted by rainy at 8:41 PM on December 16, 2009


rainy: Hal Clement has a few.
posted by hattifattener at 8:47 PM on December 16, 2009


Call it whatever you like. We don't care.

We're the ones who are going to be lazing on Our banana lounges & sipping martinis, watching through a high-powered telescope as you suckers succumb to climate change, mad swinecowbird flu & land-walking cephalopods.
posted by the Cabal at 8:55 PM on December 16, 2009


It am Bizarro World!

It am not - it SQUARE LIKE EARTH!


No it am cubed like Earth! I am not knowing geometry.
posted by mrgroweler at 8:58 PM on December 16, 2009


Thalas!

Down by the sea!
Wouldn't that be smashing?
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 PM on December 16, 2009


As long as we call the inhabitants "Overlords," I don't think it matters what we call the planet.
posted by crataegus at 9:08 PM on December 16, 2009


Sharona.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:10 PM on December 16, 2009


Just so we can end the gravity question: the authors calculated the surface gravity to be 8.93 +/- 1.3 m/s.
posted by kiltedtaco at 9:20 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is Thalas near Uranus?


Not until we agree on a safe word.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:21 PM on December 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


Suggestion made by a friend: Nearby Possible World
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:27 PM on December 16, 2009


Rick!
posted by humannaire at 9:34 PM on December 16, 2009


Mulligan
posted by Crackerbelly at 9:36 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


damn I just put in Mirth, but I see it's already been thought of
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:38 PM on December 16, 2009


Did you say "Overlords"? You meant "protectors".

Merry Christmas.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 9:51 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


We Made It.

You know, after we make it.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:18 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Planet Verizon Wireless Can Eat Just Like 100 Gnarly Dicks And Then DIE!

Obligatory Louis CK bit.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:24 PM on December 16, 2009


I actually do think Quonsar would be a fine name. Anyway, who wants to organize the first GJ 1214b meetup?
posted by davejay at 10:33 PM on December 16, 2009


Pookie.
posted by stevil at 10:42 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ralph
posted by PenDevil at 10:47 PM on December 16, 2009


Fort Awesome.
posted by iamabot at 10:48 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Okay, I looked at the list and that planet FUCKING NEEDS to be named Sagan.
posted by mightygodking at 11:08 PM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Not to rain on the naming parade but the IAU "sees no need and has no plan to assign names to these objects at the present stage of our knowledge. Indeed, if planets are found to occur very frequently in the Universe, a system of individual names for planets might well rapidly be found equally impracticable as it is for stars, as planet discoveries progress"
posted by IvoShandor at 11:21 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I find it uncomfortable that Neo-Colonialist Aggressors want to name a region that may have never been named by any inhabitants.

Well, it's forty-two light years away, so it's not like we're gonna meet anyone from there any time soon, so we might has well have something spiffy to call it.

I second Sagan, but if not that, then Space Texas.
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:29 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


So basically what you're saying, Ivo, is that the IAU seriously needs to suck my balls.

Seriously, no names? What kind of lame-ass shit is that?
posted by mightygodking at 11:30 PM on December 16, 2009


Alderaan
posted by Cranberry at 12:00 AM on December 17, 2009


I say we name the new one "Earth" and re-name this one, just in case alien war fleets with a grudge against humanity arrive. "Oh, no, you want Earth, that's the one way over there..."
posted by PontifexPrimus at 12:37 AM on December 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Kobol
posted by youcancallmeal at 12:56 AM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Talos IV.
posted by bwg at 1:09 AM on December 17, 2009


Manimal.
posted by ...possums at 1:09 AM on December 17, 2009


i'm in agreement with mightygodking.

Sagan sounds perfect to me.
posted by striatic at 1:28 AM on December 17, 2009


Shouldn't "Sagan" be reserved for when we find a planet like Earth that possibly could be inhabited by human beings?

One that would fry our nads off is not in keeping with Sagan's personality.

Just a thought.
posted by bwg at 2:11 AM on December 17, 2009


Valhalla
posted by molecicco at 2:40 AM on December 17, 2009


sparkle motion
posted by troybob at 2:58 AM on December 17, 2009


¡HOH!
posted by pracowity at 3:52 AM on December 17, 2009


Girth.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:02 AM on December 17, 2009


I enjoyed perusing the catalog of extrasolar planets linked to from the SciAm article.
posted by rbellon at 4:07 AM on December 17, 2009


Name it? We should probably nuke it before we're enslaved, skinned and raped by its cat people. (See "The Sparrow" for more info...)
posted by metajc at 5:20 AM on December 17, 2009


Just wait until they find the oil on that thing. It will be named "Tomorrow".
posted by Drasher at 5:38 AM on December 17, 2009


Kamino.
posted by grubi at 5:40 AM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Arrakis. Dune. Desert planet.
posted by papercake at 5:52 AM on December 17, 2009


Water planet = Kamino
Desert planet = Tatooine
Ice/snow planet = Hoth
Jungle planet = Endor/Kashyyyk
All normal and shit = Alderaan

THIS HAS BEEN COVERED, PEOPLE
posted by grubi at 6:06 AM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some Russia forum is apparently spamming the page with the name "Siberia".

I vote for Coyote.
posted by Target Practice at 6:06 AM on December 17, 2009


Some Russia forum is apparently spamming the page with the name "Siberia".

Yeah, 'cause everyone associates Siberia with unbearable heat.
posted by bwg at 6:25 AM on December 17, 2009


How about Waterloo?
posted by fancyoats at 6:26 AM on December 17, 2009


WATERLOO?

Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo - couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - finally facing my waterloo

My my, I tried to hold you back but you were stronger
Oh yeah, and now it seems my only chance is giving up the fight
And how could I ever refuse
I feel like I win when I lose

Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo - couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - knowing my fate is to be with you
posted by The Whelk at 6:28 AM on December 17, 2009


Ëarth.

Like us, you know, but HEAVIER and BRUTAL.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:03 AM on December 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I submitted Splunge, which I think is a great name, but possibly not, without being indecisive.

Well. I'm honored!
posted by Splunge at 7:04 AM on December 17, 2009


This makes me sad. At this rate, they are likely to find an earth-like planet, similar in size, composition and gravity as the Earth, and with water, in just a few years. And in several years they'll have ideas for building bigger and better spacecraft, along with safer and more reliable ways to get those vessels into space, and better ways to communicate among them. They'll design better rovers and robots, and maybe a decade or two after that, they'll send one of these on a craft to one of these new planets. And little by little These tiny little metal proxies will work their way out beyond our solar neighborhood.

But you know what else is going to happen during that time? We're going to get older. Our kids will get older. They'll stop being kids. They'll stop walking around with their heads lifted to the sky and instead will have their heads down, shoulders slumped, bearing the all the burdens of this world that we left for them.

Our clocks wind down too fast. And for most of us, the clocks wind down to the inevitable: cancer.

The truth is that DNA is not the code of life. It's the code of death. It's a counter. And each successive cell division decrements the counter until it hits zero and the cell divides not into its twin but into its devourer. The counter hits zero and biology throws a segmentation fault. DNA, like Time, eats its children.

I'm am happy that it there is a very real scientific and practical possibility that we will find other planets that can sustain our species even if they don't support species of their own. I am happy with the joy of a child who dream of other planets and grows into a cynical adult only to discover those dreams are real. But I am sad that my clock will run down beofre I ever see my dreamed-of planets.

Is that selfish? I guess it is. Discovery and exploration both are selfish endeavors. We want to go where we haven't, and we want to understand the things we don't for no other reason then greed for knowledge..

We don't know how to cure cancer. This makes me sad. Is this such a difficult problem? It isn't quantum electrodynamics. It isn't black holes or entanglement. Those problems were solved before the invention of electronic calculators. In comparison, cancer is an engineering problem. Can't we make it so DNA doesn't decay? Isn't there some kind of proteomic bandpass filter we can build that will pass through the genetic signal and cut out the noise? I feel like at the heart of cancer is an undiscovered secret about how cells and genes and DNA really work. And if we learn that secret than all the big problems of medicine will fall in turn like a rack of dominoes. Cancer, aging, heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's. Let's dispense with the fun runs, the 5k's, the ribbons and the other nonsense. Let's just throw a trillion dollars at the problem and be done with it.

Because it's our bodies that are keeping us down here. These sacks of meat and water that suit us in youth and only for a short time before they turn against us. DNA is the mortal coil that enchains us.

The Earth let us go 60 years ago. It revealed its secrets, gave up the resources we need to slip its bonds and set out on our own. This tiny little moist and mossy rock that has served us so well since we first learned to rub sticks together has warmed us and sheltered us and at night shown us the universe from the safety of its arms. It has taught us everything it knows and given everything it can. What more can you ask of a mother.

Maybe all that's happened in the environment over the last 60 years is Earth's not-so-subtle way of telling us it's time to move out. We grew up. We saw what's waiting for us out there. But it's as if we graduated college and moved back home. The Earth is remodeling our bedrooms into a playground for the deer and the dolphins and it wants us to go.

And I want to go. We all want to go. There are so many unfathomable sunsets to see, so many strange waters to drink. Lavender snows and iridescent skies. Oceans of pearl and trees like mountains. Flowers in innumerable colors: beautiful and terrible. Colors so bright and vibrant as to be unseeable. Bright browns, dark pinks, blinding purples. Entire forests out of gamut. Worlds as divergent and breathtaking as the dreams of lovers.

All these heavens and oblivions.

I hate cancer.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:24 AM on December 17, 2009 [19 favorites]


cancer is not a good name for a planet
posted by troybob at 8:34 AM on December 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


And each successive cell division decrements the counter until it hits zero and the cell divides not into its twin but into its devourer.

You know that cancer doesn't eat cells, right?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:45 AM on December 17, 2009


well fuck Pastabagel, just rock us to sleep why dont ya.
posted by ShawnString at 9:10 AM on December 17, 2009


Is 'I hate cancer' the new 'I like pancakes' for the glass-half-empty crowd?

Edgy. Urban. This ain't your father's non sequitur.
posted by dgaicun at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2009


Cancer, or mini-Shoggoths?
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on December 17, 2009


One that would fry our nads off is not in keeping with Sagan's personality.

OK, Cheney then.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:33 AM on December 17, 2009


Russia and/or hacker jerks - why we can't have nice things.
posted by Artw at 11:52 AM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suppose R'lyeh would be tempting fate?

R'lyeh is much closer than you think... even Yuggoth is inside this solar system. Maybe Carcosa? Is it anywhere near the Hyades?
posted by FatherDagon at 2:42 PM on December 17, 2009


For a plum planet like this, the bill for the naming rights will go through the roof.
posted by Partial Panel at 2:47 PM on December 17, 2009


If the planet gets named Siberia, I vote we rename Siberia Hoth.
posted by phunniemee at 11:40 PM on December 17, 2009


I'm pretty sure Wired polls are not binding.
posted by Artw at 1:06 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like Mazola's suggestion but would bump it up to "GJ 1214b XTREME"
posted by chairface at 1:02 PM on December 20, 2009


I think this PhD comic explains the cancer situation well.
posted by spiderskull at 6:08 PM on December 20, 2009


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