photo: Richard Harris
"...First, from non-specialized radio speakers, I heard (twice) a sentence running as: "We have admired the beautiful pictures of the new planet," and I immediately realized how deceiving astronomical concepts are when their divulgation passes a number of times from one description to the following one. All the official public outreach sites I checked on the net (e.g. the NASA page, the Kepler mission Facebook page) make clear that the nice images illustrating the comparison between the Earth and the "cousin" Kepler 452b are plain "artist's conceptions" or "artistic views" of the planet, and not photos of any kind. Kepler 452b in fact is 1400 light years away!
A bit later on, I discovered that even a non-naif good friend of mine had fully conceived the idea that a space probe had reached the far-away solar system (and taken the images)! (Note to author: if you are going to use the word "naïf" rather than "naive" you need the two dots over the i).
She had not counted the time span necessary to do such a mission. Even disregarding the enormous energy necessary to power such space probe, and letting it travel at the velocity of the light (impossible claim), the probe would have taken 1400 years to arrive close to the planet and take the "beautiful pictures," and further 1400 years to send them back. So the mission should have begun with a launch 2800 years ago.
What was happening during the 9th century BC? Only Egyptians, Assyrians and Chinese people were civilized. Well, we can build fantasy tales about pyramids being launching pads for space probes... Let me stop here..."
Click here for the full article.