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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.

 

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First Earth-sized planets found

Big news: The first Earth-sized planets have been found by Kepler.

The two planets, dubbed Kepler-20e and 20f, are the smallest planets found to date. They have diameters of 6,900 miles and 8,200 miles – equivalent to 0.87 times Earth (slightly smaller than Venus) and 1.03 times Earth. These worlds are expected to have rocky compositions, so their masses should be less than 1.7 and 3 times Earth’s.

Both worlds circle Kepler-20: a G-type star slightly cooler than the Sun and located 950 light-years from Earth. (It would take the space shuttle 36 million years to travel to Kepler-20.) Kepler-20e orbits every 6.1 days at a distance of 4.7 million miles. Kepler-20f orbits every 19.6 days at a distance of 10.3 million miles. Due to their tight orbits, they are heated to temperatures of 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit and 800 degrees F.

Once again, this is only the beginning. The announcement of an Earth in the habitable zone is only a matter of months away.

Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

2 comments

  • Ron

    I wonder about all this. Even if we should find a habitable planet, with intelligent life, it would take centuries just to have a conversation with the inhabitants. Moreover, actually visiting or hosting a visitor, given the distance, is impossible. 950 light years away … we are looking at light that left these place over 9 centuries ago.
    Again, what is to be gained, other than providing government supported employment to a few scientists from all the effort?

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Science is about discovery & understanding. If we say there should be no Science unless it’s practical, there’ll never be much of it – certainly not groundbreaking discoveries. I think a case could be made that MOST new scientific discoveries initially had little, if any, practical benefit. Man seeks to know – we are (and always should be) on a quest to understand our world, the universe, life, how things work, what matter is really made up of, etc. Neither Relativity nor Quantum Physics were probably thought to be especially practical when the theories first began to prove out, but they make a lot of modern technological wonders possible…

    Knowing whether there’s even the POSSIBILITY that life could exist elsewhere has profound implications for humanity – are we all alone in this vast Cosmos? Or are there other intelligent beings out there? And if so, how does that affect our faith & belief in God? It’s far more than just an academic exercise that’s a waste of time…

    If Man ever stops wondering, discovering, wanting to know, we’ll become not much more than just a smart Ape…

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