Gliese 581g - a new planet like Earth

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 0 comments

Astronomers have found a planet that is in the Goldilocks zone- just right for life. It is in the same Gliese star system like the other planets such as 581c, 581d, 581e.

But unlike others this Earth-size planet has been spotted orbting its nearby star at a distance that would make it not too hot and not too cold - comfortable enough for life to exist. If confirmed, this planet, Gliese 581g, would be the first Earth-like planet found residing in the star's habitable zone where the planet's temperature could sustain liquid water on its surface.

The astronomers are optimistc about the prospects for finding life there.
"Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent," said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, during a press briefing today. "I have almost no doubt about it."

This planet is found orbiting its red dwarf star Gliese 581, along with its other family of planets.
This star is located 20 light-years from earth in the constellation Libra. One light-year is about 6 trillion miles(10 trillion km).

Red dwarf stars are about 50 times dimmer than out sun. And hence these stars are so much cooler, their planets can orbit much closer to them and still remain in habitable zone.


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