Earth-like Planet found


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According to Space.com, we've got a big brother lurking in our horizon (well outside our solar system's horizon anyways).



"An Earth-like planet spotted outside our solar system is the first found that could support liquid water and harbor life, scientists announced today.

Liquid water is a key ingredient for life as we know it. The newfound planet is located at the "Goldilocks" distance—not too close and not too far from its star to keep water on its surface from freezing or vaporizing away.

And while astronomers are not yet able to look for signs of biology on the planet, the discovery is a milestone in planet detection and the search for extraterrestrial life, one with the potential to profoundly change our outlook on the universe.

”The goal is to find life on a planet like the Earth around a star like the Sun. This is a step in that direction,” said study leader Stephane Udry of the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland. “Each time you go one step forward you are very happy.”

The new planet is about 50 percent bigger than Earth and about five times more massive. The new “super-Earth” is called Gliese 581 C, after its star, Gliese 581, a diminutive red dwarf star located 20.5 light-years away that is about one-third as massive as the Sun."

Read more of the article at Space.com


Posted by Shawn @ 4/25/2007 11:51  |    21 | Source

Discussion

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horcy (Level 2 Corporal) @ 5/6/2007 01:35
that's exactly what I thought jalonso. Very cool planet.

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Gil (Level 6 Major) @ 4/29/2007 07:21
You mean, like one of those fancy vegetarian places like they have up town?

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gorgothon destroyer (Level 1 Depressed) @ 4/28/2007 23:05
hahaha

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kakikukeko (Level 5 Detective) @ 4/28/2007 04:03
yeah if they are an advanced civilization they probably have something better

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Gil (Level 6 Major) @ 4/28/2007 02:42
What's the point, they don't even have McDonalds there...

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ZeroFive1 (Level 5 Rokkyu) @ 4/27/2007 18:25
Oh, how I wish we had faster than light crap.

D:

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Blick (Level 6 Commander) @ 4/27/2007 17:52
Dammit, Frankie, you really know how to crush my dreams of once owning an alien pet.

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silent sniper (Level 1 Depressed) @ 4/27/2007 16:45
heard a few days ago.

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Shawn (Level 9 Federal Agent) @ 4/27/2007 12:49
Natano is from the second Earth.

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OMGFossil (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 4/27/2007 12:35
natano IS TYPING IN ALIEN LANGUAGE

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natano (Level 1 Rookie) @ 4/27/2007 12:28
???????????????

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ceddo (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 4/27/2007 11:47
extraterrestial cockroaches! As if we don't have enough already.

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OMGFossil (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 4/27/2007 11:20
the larger the planet the higher its gravity

whatever's there it'll be interesting to find out about <:

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iLKke (Level 9 Nidan) @ 4/27/2007 06:55
As if it's not obvious that space is teeming with life akin to a rich oriental tapestry

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ben2theedge (Level 1 Jukyu) @ 4/27/2007 06:10
I would've named it Bob.

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jalonso (Level 11 Godfather) @ 4/27/2007 05:09
Yup, that pixel planet is awesome and one of my favorites.

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FrankieSmileShow (Level 6 Manager) @ 4/27/2007 03:56
The only real important thing this discovery brings, is that if this planet actually has the potential to harbor life, it will bring a new light on the many attempts by scientists to calculate chances our population will ever meet extraterrestials. (for info on two of the most known of these hypothesis, google "Drake equation" and its more pessimistic counter part, the "rare earth equation")
Y'all must keep in mind though, all they found about it is that the planet lies at a good distance from the sun... it could still have a too thick or too thin atmosphere, or could lack the elements needed for primitive life to show up, or it could lack proper radiation protection (a magnetic pole or certain gasses in the atmosphere. without either of these elements, the planet would fry up when the sun erupts solar flares and such.) It could also have no moon, or too many: if there are no tides, animal life would most likely remain aquatic.
Also, even if it IS adequate for life to devlop, chances for it to actually contain life other than microbial are thin, and from there, chance of animal, let alone intelligent life, are even thinner. So I wouldnt count on little green men just yet. But who knows!

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Gas 13 (Level 9 Boss) @ 4/27/2007 03:31
Love the pixel planet :)

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Zenobia (Level 1 Rookie) @ 4/27/2007 00:38
Very dissappointing name... Gliese 581 C

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dragonrc (Level 4 Deputy) @ 4/26/2007 23:50
I would be so cool if something actually lives up there

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gorgothon destroyer (Level 1 Depressed) @ 4/26/2007 22:46
wooooooa

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