Earth-Like Planet Term

I have been giving a lot of thought lately to the term Earth-like planet. Specifically, I wanted to express my thoughts about this term being used in the media when reporting about planets that NASA has discovered. I find it curious that the Media is not more careful when throwing around the term “Earth-like” in their reporting. I believe that it is very misleading for the Media to label certain planet discoveries with this term, because it gives the general public the wrong idea about the actual nature of these planet discoveries. To be clear, NASA has not yet discovered a truly Earth-like planet in our galaxy.

Now think about this. When you hear the term “Earth-like,” what do you envision? I think of a planet that has oceans of water, land, oxygen, plants, animals, and possibly intelligent life! However, NONE of the planets that we have discovered so far in any way resemble our Earth, given the current data available. Whenever the Media describes a planet that is “Earth-like,” they really should be describing it as “Earth-sized” orbiting in a zone around its star where it is possible for the planet to have liquid water, given a sufficient atmosphere. That in no way means that the planet is “Earth-like.” In fact, many of the Earth-sized planets that have been found are very hot or super cold, or are so close to their star that they are scorched by intense radiation!

Therefore, I urge the Media to stop misreporting and misleading the public about the nature of planet discoveries in the future! I invite my readers to share your thoughts? What do you think about this topic?

Brian

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