A team of U.S. astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar, an area called Habitable Zone. The planet located close to the star Gliese 58, about 20 light years from Earth, might similar to our Blue Planet.
The planet has been found around the red dwarf star Gliese 581. The planet appears to be three times the mass of earth, according a team at the University of California (UC) and the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The planet is inside an area known as the habitable or Goldilocks zone. This is the first time a planet in such a zone has been found, and it comes after almost 500 other planets have been discovered outside of earth’s solar system.
A team of astronomers with the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey last week announced the existence of Gliese 581g—a planet they now think harbors the sanctuary its neighbor 581c turned out to be too sweltering to hold. This discovery is important, don’t get me wrong. Gliese 581g is no outer-space equivalent to Ida the Overhyped Monkey Fossil (link). But you can’t separate coolness from context. And the context is this: The first paper is not the last word. The initial findings, for any scientific discovery, are always subject to change.
There is still no confirmation of the existence of liquid water on that planet, but if there will be extra solar planet most like Earth. Of the 374 candidates for habitable planets, this is what has the greatest chance of being habitable, according to a statement from the University of California, Santa Cruz, issued by the astronomers responsible for the study.
According to NASA, a planet in the habitable zone does not make it a place where humans can live. The possible colonization of the planet depends on many factors but the most important are the existence of liquid water and an atmosphere. It is the sixth planet to be discovered around the red dwarf star Gliese 581 and is likely to be rocky and with a size greater than the Earth.
All of that adds up to Gliese 581g being the best place we’ve yet found to look for extraterrestrial life. But that’s quite a bit different from saying we’re likely to find life there, say astronomers outside the Lick-Carnegie team. For one thing, the whole point of astrobiology is figuring out whether Life As We Know It is the same thing as Life, said Jim Kasting, Ph.D., a geoscientist with Penn State University. Based on our limited view of the Universe, it’s reasonable to assume that Life goes along with rocky planets that have an atmosphere and water. But we don’t know that’s true. We study places like 581g to test the hypothesis.
The new planet has enough gravity to be able to have an atmosphere. This gives a planet around the star Gliese 581 every 37 days and have a very special feature: no spins on its axis, so it always presents the same face to the star, so that one half of the planet is always the day and in another all night.
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