After the bomb-vest Rotten Tomatoes and other critical sites strapped on #Suicide_Squad and the less than fine reception for our World’s Finest companions in the #Batman_v_Superman buddy flick, this lifelong DC fan fell into despair.
Oh how DC has fallen since the magnificent work of director #Christopher_Nolan and #Christian_Bale in the title role of the Dark Knight trilogy.
On TV, #DC’s Legends_of_Tomorrow has tossed in every marginal character in the DC universe and it’s not working. #Supergirl is super lame. The #Flash ran out of steam in season one. [The Green] #Arrow has nothing original in its quiver.
On the big screen, rival Marvel has been soaring with the original #Spiderman, #Captain_America, and #The_Avengers. On the small screen, #Daredevil and #Jessica_Jones are kicking butt.
So it was about time for celestial forces to intercede on DC’s behalf.
Just like Adam Strange, the rocket-propelled hero from DC’s silver age, real scientists have discovered an Earth-like planet that could support life orbiting our nearest neighbour, Proxima Centauri.
No word whether they plan to nickname Kepler-186f as the planet Rann nor whether they’re hoping to train their telescopes on the lovely Alanna to see what she might have been doing four years ago.
Okay, so much for the fantasy side. Here’s the deal on what NASA’s planet hunters said they found:
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the “habitable zone” – the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.
While planets have previously been found in the habitable zone, they are all at least 40 percent larger in size than Earth and understanding their makeup is challenging. Kepler-186f is more reminiscent of Earth.
“The discovery of Kepler-186f is a significant step toward finding worlds like our planet Earth,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s Astrophysics Division director at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “Future NASA missions, like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and the James Webb Space Telescope, will discover the nearest rocky exoplanets and determine their composition and atmospheric conditions, continuing humankind’s quest to find truly Earth-like worlds.”
Although the size of Kepler-186f is known, its mass and composition are not. Previous research, however, suggests that a planet the size of Kepler-186f is likely to be rocky.
Here’s where DC could make some waves by popping in Adam Strange in subsequent flicks in the new JLA series to bring us news from the tri-star system by zapping himself back and forth between Rann and Earth via a Zeta-beam.
I appreciated that DC, unlike Marvel, tried to give some plausibility to its extraordinary storylines with some factual information.
A science major, Julius Schwartz came up with DC’s Adam Strange in 1957 and continued to press for a modicum of scientific fact in the character’s storylines that gave “the Adam Strange tales a plausibility that made them stand out from most science fiction of the time,” according to Wikipedia.
My knowledge of Alpha Proxima – its distance 4-1/4 light years [25 trillion miles] away came from reading about Adam Strange and now I know Julius Schwartz was also right about the star system having an Earth-like planet.