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Astrophysicist Claims Humanity Will Never Migrate to Exoplanets

Credit: AFP/Javier Soriano

Well, not with that attitude.

The Earth is still more or less intact, but in a few hundred years, assuming polluting and global warming trends continue, that may not necessarily be the case. The best solution is to think up ways to help our planet, but some folks have been kicking around the possibility of abandoning Earth entirely and migrating humanity to another life-sustaining planet. One Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist would like give the breaks a hard yank on that train of thought.

Michel Mayor, who shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics with Didier Queloz for their discovery of an exoplanet, made a statement to Agence France-Presse about the possibility of moving humanity to another world. Specifically, how there isn’t one. “If we are talking about exoplanets, things should be clear: We will not migrate there,” he said. “Even in the very optimistic case of a livable planet that is not too far, say a few dozen light years, which is not a lot, it’s in the neighborhood, the time to go there is considerable.”

He’s not wrong. Even if, for example, humanity were to terraform Mars (which would take quite a while in itself), the actual efforts to move humanity in its entirety would probably cost more money, time, and resources than any country could produce combined. Also, I’ve seen enough space anime and movies to know that if humanity partially moved to another planet, we’d probably end up with a space war.

So if anyone was entertaining ideas of living on another planet, maybe dial it back and focus on fixing the one we’ve got now.