Mental Floss

581 c - not just a government tax form anymore

David K. Israel

I know it sounds like a belated April Fools joke, but apparently astronomers announced yesterday that they've discovered a real planet 120 trillion miles outside our solar system that very well might be "habitable." Now, understand that Mars is also classified as habitable and, so far, no one has found life there either. But this new planet, which is called 581 c, has Earth-like temperatures and might have water on the surface, as well.

The folk who discovered it, actually just refer to it as "c," which by my way of thinking is pretty darn lame. I mean, what if Saturn were called J^8-9 instead? What if Martians were called 4t-ians? What kind of universe would this be? We might not know as much as the average astronomer about stars and such, but we're certainly more creative, right? Come on flossers! Let's come up with some better names for the new planet, and make the C-ians feel at home in the universe, shall we?