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Does Life Exist on Other Planets? CNN and NASA are Eager to Say Yes!
New Galaxy Found That Might Harbor Life
According to CNN, scientists are jumping up and down in their seats right now. While we run around completing our daily errands and getting the kids to soccer practice, scientists are preparing for the coming of the friendly aliens!
Well, not really. Scientists are excited to have found a galaxy that might harbor life, but no one is waiting for Will Smith to defend Washington DC quite yet. CNN announced on June 26 2013 that scientists at NASA have found a new galaxy which might have the right chemistry to harbor life.
Life requires a few factors to succeed. Any planet close enough to a star to hold water will eventually be able to hold life. In our own system, Venus is just outside the inhabitable zone. The star needs to be big enough to maintain the life forms, similar to our sun.
The new system was revealed in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Journal on June 26 2013. The scientists studying the breakthrough reveal that they have discovered a system which includes seven planets, three of which could potentially host life. The system is 22 light years away from us so there will be no traveling there any time soon.
Scientists hope that at least one out of the three planets floating in the habitable zone will produce proof of life. This discovery is the largest number of possible inhabitable planets in one star system. This is reason to be excited!
The star associated with the system has been named Gliese 667C. The system is named Gliese 667. If we were to stand on one of the planets with possible life, Gliese 667C would look like a bright red star in the sky.
As our telescopes and technology improve, our knowledge of planets which could possibly host life is growing by leaps and bounds. The number of planets which could support life is growing in our scientific journals since we are able to find them.
These new planetary finds are super Earth's, weighing in at four to eight times the mass of our Earth. As mentioned before, the sun would look like a bright red star from the main planet believed to be inhabitable. The other two planets would also appear in the sky as very large stars, most likely giving as much light to the Earth as the moon. Technically, there would be two moons.
Someone please alert Kevin Kostner because the new planets are believed to be water worlds. They are assumed to be completely covered in water. They are also tidally locked, which means they probably don't orbit their star. One side is always facing the star. One side is in eternal day, the other lives in eternal night.
Scientists are still super excited and on the edge of their seats though, because they have never found this many planets in the same system which might harbor life. This just might mean that we have found extra terrestrial life systems.
The system is also believed to include four more planets, but they lay outside the inhabitable zone. Scientists are happy about these planets too, but they don't have their panties in a bunch over them like the do the inhabitable three.
The discovery of these planets isn't new, but the confirmation that they could hold life is only recent. The planets were identified in the past as only having one slight possible candidate for life. Now there are three life candidates with a very high possibility of holding some sort of life forms.
The Gliese 667C is only one-third the mass of the Earth's sun. This means that it only has a luminosity of 2%, making it much fainter than our own sun. It sounds like the moon-like planets provide much more light for these possible life forms.
The small sun is possibly the reason the planets survive. If they orbited our sun, they would burn up and die. This new system seems to be a "mini-me" of ours.
It's not time to make the alien welcome signs quite yet, nor is it time to wrap the trailer in aluminum to prevent abductions. Scientists think that if life is there, it certainly hasn't learned to fly yet. Keep your eyes to the sky but keep your ear to NASA for updates on our possible spacey new friends!