Close encounters of the non-bacon kind

For my first science/techie blog I was going to write about the bacon iPod case. Ok, it's not that scientific or techie, but come on it's an iPhone wrapped in bacon!! Ok, it's not really bacon, but it's still pretty ingenious. It's actually a bacon-looking felt case wrapping an iPhone, and really asks the deeper question of what isn't better with bacon? That's deep.

But I digress, I'm not writing about the bacon case. What I stumbled upon in my grand boredom of what has become my Friday nights in my 30s was that, HOLY SHIT!!, there were four planets discovered and PICTURED outside our solar system.

I know you're probably wondering how this would affect your life as much as a bacon wrapped wireless gadget would, but seriously, this is big time shit people. We're talking about planets orbiting stars, not our own, light years away that we can SEE. Holy crap!!

The first planet found was pictured by the Hubble telescope (damn that thing is good) and is called Fomalhaut-b. It's about three times massive as Jupiter and takes about 870 years to orbit its sun, the star Fomalhaut of the constellation Piscis Austrini and is about 25 light years away.

Did I mention Holy Crap??

Apparently, I've been living under a rock 'cause there are about 326 other exoplanets (planets outside our Solar System) that have been detected over the last 30 years, but none have ever been photographed. November 13 was the first time a real picture of an exoplanet has been produced.

Ok, so Fomalhaut-b is probably not gonna have any slimy aliens slithering their way toward Earth anytime soon. But there were three other planets also photographed Nov. 13. These little buggers are orbiting a star cleverly named HR 8799 (creative types these star-namers), a short 129 light years away, in the constellation Pegasus. These planets are orbitting their sun at the distance of our outer planets, Uranus (yeah yeah, we know whoever named this one shoulda been smacked), Neptune and Pluto. Ok, again, probably no aliens, at least none that are anything like us...but we still are not 100 percent sure. There could be oxygen in the atmosphere of these gigantic planets-- NASA has to check some light imagery something or other to figure this all out.

Why do you care? Cause this means we are one step closer to Independence Day, ok hopefully not that one, hopefully more like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, minus the horrible hippie hair. Hopefully anal probing is not included in our futures, 'cause I'm really not down with that. People are excited about a black president, yes I am very excited too, but can you imagine if we actually got pictures of an alien president  in the next 20 years? Holy Crap! I mean, if they exist, we are obviously one giant step closer to finding out! Our technology has come so far that we can take pictures of planets outside our solar systems?? Holy crap!

If we ever get to meet any extraterrestials, I'm totally going to introduce them to bacon, and maybe even the bacon wrapped iPhone. Hopefully they'll like it enough to spare me the anal probe.  


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