The implications of this would be DEEPLY disturbing. More disturbing than is immediately apparent…
- First thing would be what to call it? Earth 2.0 sounds too boring. Maybe we could use Htrae.
- Send a probe to Htrae to examine its atmosphere, temperature, any life, any moons and a sample of its rock.
- Plan on sending astronauts there. Given that the planet is similar to Earth, spacesuits won’t be needed.
- If there is life there, then wow. I would never go back to Earth.
- Plan on learning from our mistakes and using environmentally friendly energy sources for when we colonize the planet.
- Kill all Neanderthals or whatever intelligent species reside there. Keep them as scientific subjects. I personally wouldn’t do this but I know people would.
Normally an orbit with two planets of similar mass directly opposite one another with respect to their star is not a stable configuration. The interactions between the gravity of the two planets and the sun (plus all the other planets in the solar system) would quickly cause both those planets orbits to become chaotic. The orbits would both become highly elliptical and leave the sun’s habitable zone. In a very short period of time, either one or both planets would be ejected from the solar system, collide with the star, or collide with one another.
In this scenario, this other planet “was always there but for some reason, we never knew about it”, and given the above, there is only one way such a situation could have come about.
Someone, or some THING, is deliberately making it so.
The kind of technology it would take to do this is mind-boggling. We are talking about a technology that can move around whole planets at will the way we move around things like cars. Or temporarily change the way gravity works in a certain area of space, at will. This is technology thousands, if not millions, of years in advance of anything we humans can even dream of.
Since we aren’t the ones doing this, there can only be two options. One, it is inhabitants on this other planet who are doing this, or two, some third party is doing this to us both.
If the first, it means there is an alien technological civilization 2.0AU away from us (closer than Mars or Venus) that is as far advanced of us as we are to ants. If the second, it means there is an even more technologically advanced alien civilization that has been manipulating our solar system like a plaything for billions of years.
This alone is terrifying enough, but then we add the final aspect of your scenario, namely that we have just discovered this planet, and never knew about it before. The only way an earth mass planet 1AU from our sun could go undetected until now by human astronomers is if it has been deliberately hidden from us. The aliens in question are thousands to millions of years ahead of us and thus should have no problem keeping this planet hidden from us for another few thousand to million years. The fact that we discover the planet now can only mean that these aliens have decided to stop hiding it from us.
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In other words, they have had a policy of benign non-interference with us for several billion years, and for whatever reason, they have, just now, decided to change that policy into something else.
All eyes of the world would stare diligently at that spot in the sky with shock, awe, fear, fear, fear, and more fear. Danger from the darkness is often the most truly terrifying of all of our adrenaline antagonists. Is this planetary reveal something synonymous to the “Monolith” in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. A paradox with no context? A cosmic fortune cookie? Did the influence that controlled this event just eventually wind down over time? Did entropy win? Did they loose all their Z coordinates? Is it only now remembered in starlight? All things end. Projections fail. The Universe is old enough for many terminations of even the best and brightest of it’s precipitated children.
Maybe it is a sign of aggression. Many would jump to that conclusion. When you think about it “aggression” in this scenario makes no sense. An advanced intelligence either biological or artificial (whatever that means) so advanced to stage the outlined scenario would be all supreme to us in every way. At least in every way that we fear. They could have done anything they wanted without any awareness or consequence. None of our insignificant minerals or water would be of any interest. All we have is found closer, in large quantities, and in areas where you don’t have to deal with planetary gravity fields. We are the protozoa and they are the professor emerita.
Any way you cut it, the lecture hall is filling up and the good seats are getting scarce. There would be no better time for us to get serious about all this.
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