A potentially habitable planet 20 light years from Earth?
The recent discovery of a new Earth-like planet in many ways, allows us to ask if it could possibly be capable of supporting life.
It is one of 2 new planets found around the star Gliese 581, a red dwarf star located about 20 light-years from Earth. The planet, called Gliese 581g, orbits within the range known as the habitable zone.
This strip is determined by the minimum and maximum distances between one world and its star that allow the planet to receive the energy needed to maintain liquid water on the surface or close to it .
This finding suggests that the number of stars in our galaxy to them about potentially habitable planets may be much greater than previously thought. The new study brings to six the total number of planets orbiting Gliese 581. These planets orbit their star in nearly circular orbits, as in our solar system.
However, in the dawn or twilight zones of permanent temperatures would be temperate, becoming progressively warmer towards the sunlit, and cooler in the opposite direction. The gravity on the planet's surface is between 10 and 70 percent larger than Earth.
Therefore, it is strong enough to retain an atmosphere. The very fact that astronomers have been able to detect this planet so soon and so near the Earth suggests that habitable planets are common.
As some others like planets have been discovered, it will be possible to make a fairly reliable estimate of the percentage of existing biological potential planets in the galaxy.
The astronomers, members of the Lick-Carnegie search for exoplanets (a team that depends on the Carnegie Institute and the Lick Observatory), analyzed 11 years of radial velocity data of the star.
This method of radial velocity analysis is based on measuring the subtle movements of a star in response to the "tug of war" with other gravitational bodies holding in your neighborhood. Although the gravitational effect of a planet on its star is much lower than the exerted by it on the planet, is sufficiently strong to be measured, thus allowing the presence of the latter. The data analysis has allowed researchers to determine the planet's mass and orbital period, and from this has been possible to infer other information.
The team's calculations suggest that Paul Butler of the planet is between 3.1 and 4.3 times the mass of the Earth, follows an orbit circular of 36.6-day around its sun, its diameter is between 20 and 50 percent greater than the Earth.
It is quite likely that the world due to its remarkable proximity to the star, has rotation synchronized with its rotation, so that always present the same face to the star. If so, that means that on one side of the planet is simply always day, and the other is always at night, with the consequence of a scorching heat on the day side and freezing cold on the night side.
Habitable Planets Links
>>>>>>>>The idea that planets beyond Earth might host life is an ancient one, though historically it was framed by philosophy as much as physical science. These findings confirm that the Sun is not unique among stars in hosting planets and expands the habitability research horizon beyond our own solar system. In 1964 Stephen H. Dole estimated the number of habitable planets in our Galaxy to be about 600 million. The habitable zone (HZ)(Planetary Habitability Index) is a theoretical shell surrounding a star in which any planet present would have liquid water on its surface.
Alternative star systems
>>>>>>>>> The idea that planets beyond Earth might host life is an ancient one, though historically it was framed by philosophy as much as physical science. These findings confirm that the Sun is not unique among stars in hosting planets and expands the habitability research horizon beyond our own solar system. In 1964 Stephen H. Dole estimated the number of habitable planets in our Galaxy to be about 600 million. The habitable zone (HZ)(Planetary Habitability Index) is a theoretical shell surrounding a star in which any planet present would have liquid water on its surface.
Gliese 581 System This artists concept shows the inner planets of the Gliese 581 system. Could Alien Life Exist in the Methane Habitable Zone? But what if life on alien planets could exist with another solvent? Given a planet well centered in its habitable zone, like Gliese 581 g is supposed to be, and tolerable temperatures might exist over much of the surface.
5 possible Earth-like habitable planets found - Technology ...
>>>>>>>> Five potential Earth-sized planets that may support liquid water – and so possibly life – have been found by NASA's Kepler mission. All five orbit the habitable zone – the region around a star where the temperature is just right for the existence of liquid water – of stars that are smaller and cooler than the sun, NASA announced at a news conference Wednesday. Liquid water could make it possible for life as we know it to exist on those planets. Overall, Kepler found 54 potential planets around the habitable zones of several stars, although most are at least double the size of Earth.