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Pack your bags, we're moving! Scientists say Earth is uninhabitable

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

You might want to sit down for this, we have some bad news for you and your property value. According to our finest boffins, Earth is uninhabitable. It's tragic because Earth is where we live and keep all of our stuff, so it's hard to say what we're going to do with ourselves now.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers working at Penn State University have redefined what they believe the habitable zone around a star should be. The habitable zone is the area regarded by scientists as where life can exist primarily because of the presence of water in liquid form. Planets outside of the habitable zone will either be so close to their parent star that water vaporizes, or so far away that it remains forever frozen.

This habitable zone is also referred to as the "Goldilocks zone" because conditions are "just right" for liquid water.

Since liquid water is considered by many to be a prerequisite for life, a planet which exists outside of the zone is in trouble, if it aspires to life.

Unfortunately, Earth, the one planet where we once thought life was common, lies outside of the habitable zone. Indeed, the proclamation is so bold that it stretches credulity.

Still, researchers working within the Penn State Department of Geosciences have issued a straight-laced news release saying they have redefined the habitable zone based on models built by other researchers, and April 1st is still months away.

For astronomers, knowing the dimensions of a star's habitable zone is important because it tells precisely where they should look for planets which could possibly support life. 

The researchers insist they are serious and say that according to the new model, Earth lies just outside the Sun's habitable zone, by a mere one million kilometers. We actually live, according to the model, just outside the warm edge of the zone. They say it's our clouds that keep the planet habitable, reflecting solar radiation that would otherwise bake the planet to a crisp.

What a relief!

While we might beg to differ with them and point out an obvious empirical objection to the limits of their model, we should probably just refrain. After all, we're not scientists. Instead we have bigger issues to worry about -- property values on Earth just tanked, and we should start packing before everybody else gets the word. Mars is only so big!

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