Friday, October 1, 2010



Gliese 581d: Confirmed as Habitable Exoplanet

After years of saying habitable exoplanets are just around the corner, planet hunters have finally found one. Gliese 581g is the first planet found to lie squarely in its star’s habitable zone, where the conditions are right for liquid water.


“The threshold has now been crossed,” said astronomer R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, one of the planet’s discoverers, in a press briefing Sept. 29. “The data says this planet is at the right distance for liquid water, and the right mass to hold on to a substantial atmosphere.”

The discovery is both “incremental and monumental,” comments exoplanet expert Sara Seager of MIT, who was not involved in the new study. When a recent study predicted the first habitable world should show up by next May, Seager rightly said the real answer was more like “any day now.”
“We’ve found smaller and smaller planets that got closer and closer to the habitable zone,” she said. “But this is the first that’s in the habitable zone.”

Image Credit: Lynette Cook

5 comments:

  1. Is there a McDonald's there yet?
    I'm ready for that shit.

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  2. Wow, very interesting. THanks for the info!

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  3. Reddit had this earlier. Nice read brother.

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  4. Habitable?! I'm moving there o.o

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