29 September 2010
An Earth-size planet has been spotted orbiting a nearby star at a distance that would makes it not too hot and not too cold — comfortable enough for life to exist, researchers announced today (Sept. 29).
If confirmed, the exoplanet, named Gliese 581g, would be the first Earth-like world found residing in a star's habitable zone — a region where a planet's temperature could sustain liquid water on its surface. [Illustration of planet Gliese 581g.]
And the planet's discoverers are optimistic about the prospects for finding life there.
"Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent," said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, during a press briefing today. "I have almost no doubt about it."
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For more information:
New Earth-like planet discovered
Gliese 581g is in the 'Goldilocks zone' of its solar system, where liquid water could exist, and is a strong contender to be a habitable world
Earth-Like Planet Can Sustain Life
Located in a solar system that parallels our own, the new world could be habitable -- or even inhabited.
New Planet: There's Life! See Video!
Michio Kaku: Earth-Like Planet Discovered See Video!
Newly discovered planet to save human race See Video!
To learn more about: Gliese 581 Solar System.