Potentially habitable exoplanet discovered

20 ly away, in the constellation Libra, a rocky planet slightly larger than earth orbits the red dwarf Gliese 581 every 37 days.

It’s much closer to its “sun” but Gliese 581 is a red dwarf so that closer proximity is in the “goldilocks” habitable zone where in theory life could survive.

Gliese 581g is “tidally locked” as our moon is to us, with one side permanently facing the star, and so only the area on the border between dark&light sides has any potential for water, life, etc.

Astronomers have found nearly 500 exoplanets – or planets outside our own solar system.  However, almost all are too big, made of gas instead of rock, too hot or too cold for life as we know it.

It’s far-fetched but fascinating:  a tiny longitudinal strip on a rock 20 ly away may have some type of atmosphere and water.  And community organizers.

Read some of the hype here.

This entry was posted in Science and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s