Thursday, 30 September 2010

Inspiration: Gliese 581g

Astronomers find Earth-like planet

The habitable planet is 20 light years away, orbiting a  red dwarf star called Gliese 581. It's "tidally locked" which means the same side always faces the sun, with the habitable area being in the "terminator" - basically the division between light and dark areas.

So colonists are going to find themselves living in a permanent twilight (good for sparkly vampires, then) and a wee bit chilly - temperatures are estimated to range from -31 to -12 degrees Celsius.

1 comment:

  1. I love how everyone is jumping all over this.

    First, there isn't even confirmed water there.

    Second, although the planet is in the right weight range to have an atmosphere, we don't have proof that the atmosphere exists or is breathable.

    Third, while this is the most Earth-like planet yet discovered, the definition of Earth-like is very, very broad. All it means is similar size and similar distance from the local sun.

    Chances of Spock waving to us anytime soon: very slim.

    That said, I'm very excited. I would love to find evidence of an extraterrestrial-species, even if it isn't sentient.