Monday, August 31, 2009
Wrong Way Planet
This got me to wondering - if, in this possibly infinite universe, there exists a life harboring planet that orbits its star in the wrong direction, and by an extremely rare stroke of luck, orbits its star in a nearly circular orbit (eccentric orbits are not as conducive to life). Would the sentient species that arises, seeing that their planet orbits in the opposite direction from all the other planets in their star system (and later, they discover, around other star systems as well), think that this is a sign that they are special above all others? When they later find life on other planets, and find that those planets orbit with their star, would they think them inferior, or infidels?
Of course maybe they would reason differently than humans. Maybe they would think the opposite. Or have little emotions and thus not really moved one way or the other, other than curiosity as to why their planet is different.
By they way, the planet gets its name for the SuperWASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) program, not because it is a planet inhabited by hymenopterans, or by white Anglo-Saxon protestants...
Alexander, Amir. "Scientists Detect 'Wrong-Way' Planet." Planetary News. The Planetary Society. 12 Aug. 2009. Web. 31 Aug. 2009. <
"SuperWASP Homepage." SuperWASP - Wide Angle Search for Planets. 3 June 2009. Web 31 Aug. 2009. <http://www.superwasp.org/>
Image credit: ESA/C. Carreau