Science Fiction to Reality


Well Sci-fi fans, it appears our prayers have been answered!

On September 29, 2010 scientists announced that they had found an “Earth-like” planet named Gliese 581g.  Gliese 581g is an extrasolar planet that is located in the Gliese 581 Planetary system in the constellation Libra.  Gliese 581g is the fourth planet from its sun.  It orbits a red dwarf sun named Gliese 581.  It is 14 times closer to its sun, but because Gliese 581 is a red dwarf and only puts out about 1% of what our own sun does it is in the Goldilocks zone.   It orbits Gliese 581 in about 37 days.  It has a mass of 3.1 to 4.3 times that of Earth categorizing it as a “Super-Earth”.

Gliese 581g was found by a group of Swiss, French, and Portuguese astronomers at the E.S.O. observatory in Chile.  Astronomers use the radial velocity method to find exoplanets outside our own solar system.  This method measures the wobble of a sun.  When planets orbit a sun they cause the sun to wobble because of their gravitational pull.  Proving the existence of Gliese 581g was painfully long.  It took 238 measurements over 11 years.  I can imagine how excited these astronomers were during their observations.  They have been studying this planetary system for some time now, and they have been let down twice with two other planets that were found outside the Goldilocks zone.

What is the Goldilocks zone?  The Goldilocks zone is the zone that a planet can be in relationship to its star where the temperatures are not too cold or not too hot to support life.  Gliese 581g appears to be tidally locked in orbit around its sun.  This means that it does not rotate on its axis.  One side is always facing the sun and the other side is always facing away from the sun.

I can’t help but wonder what Gliese 581g looks like.  Scientists are fairly certain that it is a rocky planet.  They know that a planet with ten times the mass of Earth is gas giants.  With the small mass of Gliese 581g it is more than likely a rocky planet.  They also believe that it has liquid water on its surface.  It lies within the Goldilocks zone and because of this water will not evaporate or freeze.

With this knowledge, I can compare it to other alien planets all of us sci-fi fans are familiar with.  The most recent and famous one is Pandora from the movie Avatar.  Pandora is not a planet, but it is a rocky moon that orbits a gas giant Polyphemus.  We have several icy moons that orbit gas giants in our own solar system.  Ganymede and Europa are Galilean moons of Jupiter that are made of ice and rock.  We can’t forget Enceladus.  It is a moon of Saturn.  Enceladus is the smallest geologically active body in our solar system.  The planet Kobol is from Battlestar Galactica (BSG 1978 and BSG 2003). Kobol is the birthplace of humanity in the television series.  A spin-off of Battlestar Galactica is Caprica which is also the name of their planet.  Centauri Prime is a planet in Babylon 5 that is the home world of the Babylon 5.  Who could forget Tatooine?  This was my first vision of an alien world.  It is the home to Anakin and Luke Skywalker of Star Wars.  It was a desert planet.  No list of alien planets is complete without Vulcan of Star Trek.  Planet Vulcan is the birthplace of Spock.  It was however a real hypothesized planet between the sun and Mercury in the 1800s.

I then have to ask how we are going to get there.  Gliese 581g is approximately 20 light years from Earth.  A light year is the distance light can travel in a year in a vacuum. A light year is equivalent to 6 trillion miles.  6 trillion miles times 20!  That’s 120 trillion miles!  With our current technology it could take a couple hundred thousand years to reach Gliese 581g.  That would take too long.  If we could travel a tenth of the speed of light, that would take 200 years.  That is a little more reasonable, but would still take a large ship and multiple generations of people.

What sci-fi ship could get us there in a reasonable amount of time?  I searched the internet high and low and found a few notable sci-fi spaceships that could make the trip.  My favorite is the Jupiter 2 (shown below) from Lost in Space. This was my very first introduction to spaceships and life in outer space.  Who doesn’t love the Robinson’s?  This was a classy ride and to me the only way to travel.

Click to visit Stargate on MGM Dot Com!My second favorite intergalactic spaceship is from my most favorite science fiction television weekly episodic series currently on SyFy in the United States and Space Channel in Canada. That ship is the Destiny of Stargate Universe from the MGM Studios Stargate Franchise produced in Vancouver British Columbia by Bridge Studios.

Bridge Studios Visual Effects

The only way I want to travel in this craft is if Eli is at the helm!

MGM Studios Stargate Universe 'Destiny'!

Next is the Galactica of the two Battlestar Galactica series produced by NBC Universal.  Both were fight worthy spaceships capable of handling any hostile aliens we might come across.

Galactica-2003Click to visit NBC Universal!Galactica-1978

Last but not least is the most popular U.S.S. Enterprise of Star Trek.  Captain James T. Kirk could surely get us to our destination safely.  What do all of these ships have in common that would allow us to get to our destination in a reasonably short time?  They all have warp drive.  Yes, we will need warp drive to get us there.

U.S.S. Enterprise-1966
The question on everyone’s mind? Is there life on Gliese 581g?  If there is water on Gliese 581g, then there is surely life.  That is an overwhelmingly supported opinion of many astrobiologists.  Water is the universal solvent.  For life to happen on any planet it needs a liquid medium.  Water is the most notable because it is how life on Earth came to be.  Astrobiologist Steven Vogt says “My own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent.”

Scientists estimate the surface temperature of Gliese 581g to be between 10 and -24 degrees Fahrenheit or -12 to -31 degrees Celsius.  Gliese 581g is tidally locked in orbit and does not spin on its axis.  This makes it very hot on one side and very cold on the other.  There is a zone where the light meets the dark side of the planet that should be suitable for life.

Jason Mamoa as Ronon DexWhat would aliens on Gliese 581g look like?  It is a planet similar to Earth and its gravity is almost the same as Earth’s gravity.  Just a few variants along their evolution could have produced similar or drastically different results.  I can’t help but think about our famous sci-fi aliens.  My favorite alien of all time is Jar Jar Binks of Star Wars fame.  Jar Jar Binks would be a friendly alien to meet, but what if Gliese 581g was inhabited by the alien from the Alien series?  Hideous creatures with blood like acid!  Sigourney Weaver will have to come along with us as we travel to Gliese 581g to save us from the aliens.

What if the aliens looked like Ronon Dex from Stargate Atlantis as portrayed by Jason Mamoa?  Strong and handsome survivalists!  I am booking the first flight to Gliese 581g.  It’s also possible that they could be a race of androids such as Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek.  If their civilization is advanced enough, they could have developed android technology that outlived the species that created them.

The most famous alien race would be The Navi from Avatar.  Last but not least, what if they were similar to the aliens on War of the Worlds?  We can only use our imagination when trying to envision what kind of life is on Gliese 581g.

The discovery this week is one of the biggest of our lifetime! It is the first time we can truly say that we may not be alone in the universe.  I have combined science fiction along with the science that we know in this story because we are on the edge of what we know and diving off into the unknown.  Thanks for reading this story and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions.

Click to visit and follow WormholeRiders News Agency on Twitter!Please feel free to share this article with your friends, co-workers and or family and leave your comments! We look forward to you visiting our dedicated review and analysis web site here in the future! Or as many of our readers and visitors often do, visit WHR on Twitter, or visit me on Twitter by clicking the text links or images avatars in this news story. I and TeamWHR look forward to Seeing You on The Other Side!

RedOne68 (Sandra)Click to visit Redone68 (Sandra) on Twitter!


Hey Wormholeriders! I like to think of myself as a career student because i've been attending university since I graduated high school many many years ago. I have enough hours to have received a degree, but because I had changed my major 3 times I still lacked enough for a bachelors degree. Medicine was finally where I settled and was attending school to become a nurse when I had to return to work. So, I have an associates in behavioral science and that's all I can say towards an education. I like to think i'm educated on life. I work in the administrative side of healthcare and I enjoy doing that. I have one child and he is the love of my life. Children are truly one of our greatest treasures. I am a twin and my sister doesn't live close enough to me for my liking, but she is not too far away. I am a science fiction junkie!! Ever since I got my first Star Wars x-wing fighter as a child I have been hooked. I was somewhat of a nerd in school and science was always my favorite subject. I dreamed of being an astronaut or a astronomer because I loved looking at the stars and planets. It wasn't long after I started university that I found out I could not do the math that was required to get a degree in astronomy. So, I settled for something more realistic and just decided to watch and learn about the heavens on television. Bio Questions and Answers 1. Handle/Screenname: Redone68 for Wormholdriders and Twitter. Most peoople call me Red and that also works. 2. Education/Awards/Etc: Associates in behavioral science. Let's see awards, does band nerd count?! Lots of awards in music which is my first love. 3. Favorite Stargate characters: My favorite Stargate Universe characters would have to be Dr. Rush and Eli. I like brains what can I say! A close runner up would have to be Chloe. My favorite SGA characters would have to be Dr. Rodney McKay and Lt. Colonel John Sheppard. 4. Favorite Actresses: #1 is Evangeline Lilly. I also like Anna Torv, Ming-Na, Emily Deschanel, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Meryl Streep, and Meg Ryan. I'm sure the list could be a lot longer, but these are the actresses I watch regardless of the role they are playing. 5. Favorite Actors: Josh Holloway...yes ladies...Josh Holloway!! The rest are Joe Flannigan, David Hewlett, John Noble, Robert Carlyle, David Blue, and Harrison Ford. There are lots more but I could spend all day listing them. 6. Favorite Band/Performers: I am a classic rock junkie! Anything classic is good and my favorite is Led Zeppelin. New stuff is good too. I like Stone Sour, Black Label Society, Disturbed, and even Metallica. With me louder and faster is better! 7. Hobbies: I love outdoors so one of my favorites is camping. It's been a family vacation for 35yrs. I also love to fish but never get to go. Hiking is another thing I like to do when I get to. I do some painting but nothing you would pay money for. 8. Pets: I have a cat named Chloe, yes that Chloe. 9. What's your theme song?: I've never really given this much thought. I can relate to many songs during the course of one week. Today I could say "Another One Bites the Dust". Tommorow maybe a little different. 10. If you could have a sidekick, who would it be?: I'll go off into fantasy land and say Sawyer from "Lost" just because he is so tough and sexy. In real life my everyday sidekick is my son. He's my buddy. 11. Favorite Food: Junk food 12. What would you keep in a utility belt?: Tools of course! 13. Favorite Stargate Episode: I can't really say. I enjoyed the movie but didn't start watching the show until Atlantis. 14. Favorite Stargate Atlantis Episode: All of them. There isn't one that I don't love. This comes from the heart. I have watched the reruns over and over and never skip one! 15. Favorite Stargate Universe Episode: Again, I love all the episodes for this show as well. If I had to pick one this season that I would watch an infinite number of times it would be "Human". 16. Favorite Fringe Episode: All of them! 17. Favorite Caprica Episodes: The first episode was the one that i've enjoyed the most. I watch all of them and enjoy them all, but the pilot was great! 18. What was your sci-fi gateway?: I watched the original "Star Trek" with my mother when I was young, but I didn't get into it until "Star Wars". Yeah, I was a huge fan. I was even in the "Star Wars" fan club. That made me an official nerd! 19. What's under my bed?: A monster i'm sure of it! 20. Favorite TV shows (not Stargate): Lost, Fringe, Caprica, Deadliest Catch, Paranormal State, and Bones. Must see all of them! 21. What is your dream job?: Oncologist because I would love to join the fight against cancer. If I could go back 20yrs and start my education over, I would definately be a healer. 22. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?: On a beach somewhere. I'm not picky. I just need sun and fun! 23. If your life could be written by any author who would it be and what genre?: Easy Stephen King because 1. I love him and 2. my life seems pretty scary at times. I believe King gave away the genre. If not, horror would definately be the genre. I am exaggerating a little of course, but some days seem kinda mad. 24. Favorite movies: "Star Wars", "Empire Strikes Back", the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "Gone with the Wind", "Hellraiser", and all the Indiana Jones movies. 25. What are your goals/dreams/aspirations for This is going to be something I enjoy and I hope that the readers get some enjoyment out of what I write as well.

5 thoughts on “Science Fiction to Reality

  1. Very well written Sandra. The thought of traveling to another planet is very exciting. And getting there would be an adventure. Especially getting to sleep in a pod for about 100 years before arriving at our new destination. lol

  2. AWesome and well written greatly enjoyed putting Gliese 581g at the center stage for a great and awesome science fiction fantasy and reality story all wrap into one and giving us faith in exploring outer space for new worlds etc.
    thank you Sandra the brightest star shining in the sky

  3. Hey Sandra,

    You have written a wonderful science fact from science fiction news story! All your story of same category will be placed in the new ‘Science Series’ including the TTWH. Thank you.

    Best Regards

Comments are closed.

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