MEANWHILE, IN OUTER SPACE!

Kepler Space Telescope

Or ‘the back of beyond’ as I like to call it, where no one can hear you scream, Asteroid UW158 just passed our planet, and with it went an estimated £3 trillion of platinum, which is used in, among other things, catalytic converters, jewellery, fuel cells, hard computer disks and in the petro-chemical industry. Give it 50-70 years, and engineers will be mining in outer space.

Meanwhile, if you are one of the people who believe Earth is entirely too over-populated, you may be interested to learn scientists using the $600 million Kepler Space Telescope have located a planet that is supposedly a close match to ours. Kepler 425-b is in the ‘habitable zone’ in the constellation of Cygnus, is 60% bigger than Earth, and is in orbit around a sun. The catch? ‘Big Brother’ is 1,400 light-years away. Using current propulsion systems it would take astronuts…1,400 years to reach the newly discovered planet. So you can ‘look’, but you can’t ‘touch’…yet! Sooner or later, provided we earthlings haven’t blown ourselves up first, mankind will ‘touch base’ with deepest space, but neither you or I will be around to witness it!

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